Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Funny

Kerry O'Brien loves Kevin Rudd

The Australin Conservative makes a valid point about Kerry O'Brien's favourable treatment of Kevin Rudd...

The look of love on Kerry O’Brien’s face said it all when he interviewed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on last night’s “The 7.30 Report”.

On the agenda was the release of Treasury modelling about the economic impact of Rudd’s emissions trading scheme, or in Rudd spin-speak the “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme”.

O’Brien wasn’t interested in a critical, sceptical probing of the benefits of the scheme in the way he would have ripped into the former PM John Howard.

It was a cuddly little love in, with shared jokes about blokes, and finished with a “Dorothy Dixer” to embarrass even the most adept politician - how much extra workload was the current global financial situation adding to Rudd’s daily grind.

It was little more than an invitation for Rudd to present himself as hard-working, dedicated, energetic, decisive and generally on the ball.

O’Brien hadn’t bothered to find one example he could have thrown at Rudd to illustrate the point that Rudd was losing control.

He could have picked apart Rudd’s “policy on the run” bank guarantee scheme, rocketing inflation, the problem-ridden computers in schools roll-out >> more

Via: The Australian Conservative

Contrast this to the treatment O'Brien gives Turnbull

Did anyone keep count of how many times Kevin Rudd uttered the terms 'carbon' or 'carbon pollution reduction scheme"?

I recall ABC management once vowing to reign in politically motivated media bias in its news and current affairs programming. Yes, it was a while ago, still...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In Search Of True Conservatism

... The Liberal Party will ultimately rediscover the success it seeks through a return to Menzies’ inspiration ...

In 1945, Sir Robert Menzies recognised the need for a political party that would embody not only the spirit of freedom but of national prosperity and unity—one driven by the responsibility Menzies himself felt to Australia. The Liberal Party, formed as a result, has now reached a decisive and historic point. It is one that marks a particularly low ebb in our national standing, and one that must be seized as the basis from which to consider our identity and priorities.

It is often helpful, during testing political times, to return to challenges past. Through these we may reconnect with the essence of our shared cause, reaffirm that which we stand for and engage in the battles appropriate to our time. Today the Liberal Party faces several key challenges, chief among them the need to reinforce—both internally and to the Australian people—what the party represents. I am convinced that it is in consulting the Liberal Party’s inception and honouring its original values that we may make sustained progress.

We must return to Menzies’ first political concerns, and again ask what Australia needs from its government—what role should freedom play in our citizens’ lives? This process must first be driven by urgency, but balanced by the need for a serious and sustained commitment to the Liberal Party and its ideals. Perhaps some conclusions will be controversial; perhaps some will be difficult to articulate. But we owe it to both our Party’s founder and first supporters, and to those who continue to endorse the Liberal Party through votes and ideological alignment. Reflecting on the past does not mean indulging on nostalgic overstatements, but rather identifying what first made Liberalism attractive to Australians and searching again for a similar connection. Menzies measured success not by others’ reverence, but rather by what could be achieved through principled action and sheer hard work.

It is my belief that we can engage in political reflection while appreciating the unique challenges Australia presents today. Moreover, I believe that it is only in reflection—followed by concerted action—that we may return the Liberal Party to the noble status hoped of it by Menzies, and to an organisation dedicated to helping our great nation realise its full potential. The Liberal Party’s central task today remains firmly tied to the challenge Menzies encountered in 1945, that of providing an alternative to the broad reach of Labor governments while increasing Australians’ self-reliance. Menzies reached out to the common links between us—the noble, universal desires to work, to build solid and prosperous futures for our families, and to enjoy freedom’s full scope.

Our duty now is to redefine the role of government, and to respect the limits conservatism applies to it. Australia, though in some ways different to the nation Menzies sought to shape, is still characterised by our shared aspirations—those of providing our children with greater opportunities than we ourselves had; of finding stable, fulfilling employment and owning property. Australians also recognise that a spirit of compassion and resilience has fortified our nation through its many challenges. This spirit must be protected as we advance—indeed, it must be seen as the logical partner to Liberals’ economic goals. So it is, then, that regardless of the fiscal and social concerns linked to particular moments in history, we are perpetually connected to the ongoing task of making Australia ever better, safer and stronger.

The changes Liberals must consider are by no means small, or indeed immediately appealing to the public. Many require Australians to assume a greater degree of personal and national responsibility than they presently hold. To my mind, however, this responsibility will allow our nation to prepare for its forthcoming challenges, while diminishing reliance on government and increasing personal independence. These changes involve scaling back government spending, particularly in light of unique developments facing our nation. Australians must be prepared to manage such changes—but moreover, they must be empowered to embrace such changes’ corresponding implications of heightened personal responsibility. Just as hardworking families restrain their spending and prioritise when circumstances require, so should government. It is up to the Liberal Party to embody this philosophy—both in its rhetoric and in its action.

One of the most significant differences between today and Menzies’ time is not political but demographic. Australia faces a pronounced ageing of its population over the next forty years: from around 13 per cent today, the proportion of those aged 65 years and over is now projected to rise to around 30 per cent by 2051. In South Australia, my home state, one-third of the current workforce is likely to retire in the next decade. With many retiring and fewer young workers to take their place, economic growth looks set to slow, along with predicted declines in both government revenue and living standards. These changes will be accompanied by expected increased demand for government services such as health, aged care and pension payments, all of which could lead to ongoing federal budget pressure. The present strain on our hospitals and nursing homes is already well documented; it is therefore likely that increased burdens will stretch resources beyond acceptable levels.

There is no doubt that we need comprehensive workforce strategies to manage this demographic change. We also need to sharply reduce government spending. Without a reduction—afforded by a competitive tax system—Australia will face an unsustainable situation of offering support beyond its budgetary means to those not working. Decreased economic growth would compromise the opportunities and initiative of younger Australians, the drivers of our future success. Ultimately, then, it is vital for the Liberal Party to explain and endorse decreased reliance on government—to allow people to retain more of their own income so that they may best prepare for their particular circumstances. The political leaders of today and tomorrow must exercise particular responsibility in this area, by making decisions that actively support smaller government and promote personal initiative.

Politics is as much about results as ideals, though ultimately these are inextricably linked. Without knowing—and articulating—what we seek in the long term, the political action we take today may well be misguided. A shared political vision for Australia’s next generation provides two clear benefits: the first an opportunity for citizens to connect to our fundamental beliefs about small government and its associated freedoms; the second a chance for this message to resonate with members and supporters of the Liberal Party. This vision may be seen as a blueprint for forthcoming action—it does not represent where we will necessarily be in the immediate future, but rather what we are working towards.

History has consistently shown us the benefits of carefully limited government, and so too the pitfalls of unchecked power and unquestioned bureaucratic sprawl. Australians need to live their lives with as much autonomy from government as possible. They need to know that government is working hard in its fundamental roles—maintaining law and order; endorsing and expanding free markets; reducing the need for a welfare state and providing the greatest possible opportunity for Australians to find work. Successful governments should also endorse policies built on compassion, by recognising not only the need to protect a society’s most vulnerable citizens but the incomparable support such citizens’ families and carers can provide. This is but one example of instances where an authority is unable to offer a substitute for fundamental human goodwill. It is not always right to seek government control—generally speaking, the more sprawling the government, the less responsive it is to the needs of its people. Bureaucratic expansion, with its vague promises of improved services and increased action, must be the Liberals’ common enemy, for its endorsement disregards critical social and economic realities of our time. There will always be justifications and excuses for this type of behaviour, but ultimately it stems from the willingness of some to put their own political interests before those of Australia.

In short, then, citizens need a government that is not just for them but of them—one small enough to sense citizens’ basic requirements and respond accordingly. It must now be the Liberal Party’s priority to articulate just what these requirements are, and then set about committing itself to their provision. Doing so means restructuring our organisation around its core values, with an aim to be known as the party of integrity. These values—among them freedom of the individual, equality of opportunity, the importance of family, personal responsibility and reward for effort—must guide our judgement. In challenging times we may return to these, and ask whether our action will endorse or undermine their essence. There is a great difference, in politics but so too in life, between action guided by principles and action taken on a whim. Impulsive decisions, taken to fit situations as they arise, are often reckless but can also be deeply dangerous and even irreparable.

It is worth pausing here to consider the unique benefits of those spheres separate from government, and so too the incomparable need to afford these protection. It is generally agreed in free societies that government must not try to run people’s lives; equally, it must never assume the roles or responsibilities of families, religious bodies or any other societal community that lends itself to the development of culture and character. Laws and government exist to protect citizens and secure their well-being—those who claim otherwise disregard not only the intrinsic value of the individual but the importance of allowing each person the freedom to pursue their own goals and interests. In order for government to best support the work of families, whose efforts produce the decent, upstanding citizens that it alone cannot, government is best advised to assume a subsidiary role—not the primary ones it occupies in order to defend our nation, support the disadvantaged and uphold citizens’ basic liberties. From this restrained position government can endorse the work of those who effectively bind our nation, and can protect and prolong their invaluable contribution. Indeed, as families foster personal aspiration, so too must the Liberal Party foster its own. We should not shy away from this task, or from the moral judgements required for its completion.

These sentiments are not intended to challenge the notion that government can do a great deal in the areas in which it is designed to operate. Consider, for example, the method in which Australians’ taxes are collected, and the purposes these ultimately serve. During John Howard’s time as Prime Minister, Australia’s taxation system underwent reform to ensure our nation’s hardest workers were rewarded. This reform—initially opposed by Labor but subsequently retained and endorsed—must now form the basis for further limits to Australians’ tax contributions. More effort is needed to protect the progress made thus far. The only real way to increase work incentives is to make working more attractive than its alternatives, and to simplify the unnecessarily complex systems that assist those seeking to avoid or minimise employment. We need wholesale reforms of our tax and welfare systems, including consideration of a flat rate of tax with a high tax-free threshold. Unless Australia can develop and maintain a truly competitive tax base, we will lose both industry and individuals to more accommodating nations. Transparency and simplicity should be of primary importance as we consider these policies. Our current system—with a myriad of programmes, extensive and complex tax law, various tax rates, offsets, minimisation schemes and deductions—is sluggish and ineffective. Its administration, whereby officers remove tax from workers only to later repay them, is both unnecessary and exasperating. Many Australians are frustrated each year by the complexity of their tax arrangements; they realise that these are not addressed on a level playing field, and that tax minimisation avenues are often pursued by the particularly wealthy. Future reform must also target the tax and welfare treatment of families, specifically by bringing the two systems into line so that family obligations are recognised by both. Current arrangements—whereby individuals’ tax contributions are determined by their personal income and welfare payments on the needs of a family—are unnecessarily complex and overlook the disparity of income between a single worker with no dependants and a worker whose dependant partner cares for small children. Without a thorough discussion of these potential reforms and their merits, and consideration that goes beyond the ideological, Australia risks falling into a vulnerable economic position: one where the risk of stagnation is markedly higher.

Today’s Liberal Party has a crucial opportunity—that of presenting a consistent alternative government that can appeal to the millions of Australians who resist government interference in their lives. Liberals must bridge the gap between rhetoric and action; we must also think carefully about the ways in which smaller governments can be promoted to and accepted by Australians. The Liberal Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of Australians when we lead, not simply by polls but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction. Of all the critical lessons learned from our 2007 Federal Election loss, perhaps the most significant is that Liberals needs to present a clear and consistent message to voters: we need to believe deeply in this message, and to reinforce it at every opportunity. We can’t second-guess Australians, and we certainly can’t second-guess ourselves. This is not to say we are prepared to tolerate defeat. The crucial point to remember is that while the requirements of government will vary, our long-term philosophical framework surrounding its function should remain constant.

When it comes to creating and maintaining smaller governments, it is often said that providing tax breaks is the easy part. Generally speaking, tax relief is met with popular support. The challenge comes when the full implications of tax breaks are realised, namely that government provision must also decrease. Fiscal conservatism is a concept that has received considerable attention of late, much of it from those who have apparently been recently convinced of its benefits. Although, broadly speaking, the economic argument has been won, this debate is one of degrees. We cannot afford to rest here—to assume that enough has been done to safeguard Australia from economic pitfalls. Moving further down the road of fiscal conservatism requires a willingness from conservatives to explain the benefits of ongoing restraint; to push further towards spending reductions even after our policies have won broad political support. Crucially, in working to reassert itself, the Liberal Party is able to point to a heritage of fiscal conservatism that extends back to Menzies’ first political impetus. Not only is the party able to draw on this record, it is able to spend time carefully planning the ways in which such conservatism can inform future judgement and policy. This will not be an instantaneous shift. As a Party, we need to be honest about our goals, and about the time and effort required to achieve them. We need to identify these aims within a short, medium and long-term structure—in other words, we must to explain our ultimate future goals, and then set about achieving these through objective actions today.

Scaling back excessive government spending means that taxpayer funds may be used for their most effective purposes—the areas in which Australians have both a deep need and the faith that government will use its power to act in their best interests. Health, education and defence are such examples: their strength is our nation’s strength, and their neglect could prove catastrophic. This goal is easily reconciled with the Liberal ideal of maximised freedom—for when government is relieved of the unrealistic objective of serving every purpose asked of it, the opportunity to excel in a clear and limited role is far greater. Individuals, too, may enjoy heightened personal freedom as they are allowed to preserve more of their own income—meaning that they can direct dollars to heath and education services as they see fit.

Closely linked to increased self-reliance is the notion of what each Australian may do to ensure our nation remains strong, united and resolute. It is only when we are responsible for our own lives that we are properly equipped to help those less fortunate. It is my sincere hope that serving one’s nation does not become a relic of another time but is instead viewed as an intrinsic part of what makes Australia strong.

National service in its many forms—time spent in our nation’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. Supporting our nation does not simply mean toasting to it on Australia Day, but rather seizing each opportunity to make it better. All Liberal Party leaders and supporters should consider what they may do to fortify our nation, whether by speaking up when something strikes them as unjust or simply reflecting on the Australia they seek for the future.

With this in mind, it is also important to remember that so much of the work required to prepare Australia for the future is connected to relationship between our federal and state governments. It’s time to end the blame game. It’s time to publicly define federal and state responsibilities—or, more correctly, to pay more considered attention to the Constitution and the division of responsibility it has already assigned. Our founding fathers were bold and decisive in their creation of this document—there is little doubt they’d be dismayed by the hand-wringing and inaction that has accompanied federal-state relations for far too long. States’ self-interest cannot be a substitute for reform; there are many key areas where prompt action is required. These include not only health, but indigenous affairs, public housing, planning and infrastructure, education and water. Key aspects of Australia’s future depend on us acting effectively—not simply paying lip service to supposed national plans that compromise some states’ interests for those of others. When responsibilities are plain, governments can be held accountable. The public can see far more accurately where their tax dollars are being used, and are likely to feel confident that these have genuinely useful purposes. Hiding behind a maze of shifted blame and confusion will not bring Australia any closer to meeting its challenges.

As we work to improve the relationship between the Commonwealth and the states, it is necessary to consider the areas in which Australia needs a nation-wide approach, and those where states should be free to govern as they see fit. This builds on the general argument put forward thus far that there are certain spheres in which the Federal Government should be doing less, not more. National laws and regulations—those governing workplace safety or consumer credit, for example—are broadly designed to help people. In considering them, it is fair to clam that all Australian citizens deserve the same protections; there is no rational need to formulate a regulatory framework for each state and territory. Federal management ensures that credible standards can be set and maintained, and that bureaucratic red tape can be reduced. Provision of services, however, is generally a state responsibility and should be managed as such. Moreover, it is in this sphere that states may make decisions in the name of competition—a vital part of any robust economy. Consider, for example, each state’s WorkCover levy. If a state wishes to reduce its levy in order to attract business, it should be free to do so. It is not the Commonwealth’s role to restrict such changes, or to stop a state from becoming more ambitious simply to match a theoretical national practice. Even if a state follows a course of action that appears irresponsible—hiring more public servants and neglecting its core services, for example—the Federal Government should resist the urge to intervene. Australia’s democratic process is strong enough to ensure that state governments that do not meet their citizens’ expectations will be removed from office, and that citizens will come to carefully consider what it is their government should represent. Further, in the event of state governments’ shortcomings, it is vital for there to exist a united and determined opposition party whose values and action reflect a commitment to low tax and small government—a party whose national objectives are at once clear and restricted. The Liberal Party can, and should, fill this role.

A truly conservative ethos recognises that the closer a government is to its people, the more effective its actions will be. It should not be the task of Canberra’s bureaucrats to gauge the services Australian communities require. When we ask this of them, not only do we divert attention from issues that truly require federal management, but we indicate a sense of insecurity regarding ourselves and our abilities. We can get this right, and we owe it to all those outside of government to do so. Ultimately, cuts to federal spending will reduce the revenue available to states, meaning that they each must work harder for their income. This is as it should be; Liberals need to strive for a time when states will attract praise for successful management—but will also be truly accountable to their taxpayers for decisions made in their name.

The Liberal Party’s future is in the hands of all with a dedicated interest in bringing Australia forward to meet its challenges, while resisting a sprawling government as the best way to manage these. Though the pressures of time and politics insist we move ever forward, it is important to insist on a thorough discussion of the Party’s direction: a discussion that is honest, pointed and leaves no doubt as to our cause. The trust in government that the Australian people deserve will only be found when the benefits of limited bureaucracy are broadly realised—a cause we must now set about endorsing. Further, only when the responsibilities of our state and federal governments are properly reiterated can we truly tackle their corresponding issues—addressing some at a federal level while returning others to states’ management. Without this accountability and a reliance on Constitutional directives, our nation risks both an undesirable concentration of power and bloated, ineffective government—in other words, the antithesis of Menzies’ vision for our nation.

The Liberal Party will ultimately rediscover the success it seeks through a return to Menzies’ inspiration, while remaining mindful of the difference between short-term public opinion and long-term public interest. In order to regain Australians’ support, we need to present a party whose conservative principles are reflected in a commitment to mainstream values, to low taxes and increased personal responsibility: a party that does not abandon its conservative ethos simply because it may encounter scrutiny. Crucially, these values are in sync with those that led to the Liberal Party’s inception. They do not seek to distort or disguise our heritage, and they also appreciate that today’s political, social and economic environment has developed since Menzies’ time. They operate with a basic affinity for the Australian people—their shared aspirations and concerns, common as so many of these are to generations past. Most significantly, the Liberal Party’s conservative values are able to unite, rather than divide; to bring citizens together without overlooking their freedoms as individuals. This is the way forward. This is true conservatism.

Reprinted with the kind permission of Senator Cory Bernardi, Liberal Senator for South Australia; this article can also be read at the Senators website where it first appeared.

For those interested in learning more about the Sir Robert Menzies era click here to view an excellent Time Magazine article, 'Out of Dreaming' as featured in April 1960. I was particularly drawn to this quote:

At his first press conference, a left-wing newsman needled him: "I suppose you will consult the powerful interests who control you before you choose your Cabinet." Answered Menzies: "Naturally. But please, young man, keep my wife's name out of this."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ETS Delay is Logical

Our more young people realise the folly of embracing an ETS scheme as early as 2010, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Eric Abetz is urging for a delayed start to the proposed scheme:

At a time when businesses are struggling to stay afloat, when many have empty order books beyond Christmas, and many more are struggling to get the necessary
credit to survive, Labor’s blind push to implement the emissions trading scheme by 2010 is economic madness”, Senator Abetz said. “On top of this, last week we learned in Senate Estimates that the Treasury’s economic modelling, which will underpin this scheme (and which will be released by this Friday) – has not taken into account AT ALL the impact of the current financial crisis. “In its headlong rush to implement an emissions trading scheme in the face of the worst economic conditions for decades - bringing with it an ever decreasing possibility of meaningful global agreement – Labor will further tax Australian industry and jobs at a time when they can least afford it. “Worst of all, this tax on Australian industry will not make one iota of difference to global carbon dioxide levels. In fact, it might actually make the situation worse.“Despite having already spent some $10 million on advertising, it is clear community support is waning,” Senator Abetz said.

Via: The Australian Conservative

See also: Crises puts ETS on back burner

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Perhaps this guy should have been the nominee

I would not normally weigh into the U.S. Presidential campaign on this blog but in light of the world media’s incessant love in with Obama; much like Messrs Rudd and co. over here – this short (3:24) video is a good one!

Watch how the seasoned Newt Gingrich rips into an MSNBC reporter for downplaying Sarah Palin’s resume.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Turnbull, Rudd united in Lord's Prayer

I am absolutely opposed to the abolition of the Lord's Prayer in our Parliament. I say nay to change.

The Federal Government and Opposition have both given the thumbs down to calls to change or abandon the Lord's Prayer recited at the beginning of each day of federal Parliament. But the Greens want the prayer replaced with a period of reflection and a conscience vote in both houses on the issue. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, has called for a public debate about whether the daily prayer should be rewritten or replaced. >>more
This is not the first time the Greens have called for the abolition of the Lord's prayer from our Parliaments and I am appalled that my local member Harry Jenkins approves of this position.

The Lord’s Prayer is a symbol of peace, tolerance and stands tall as part of our Christian heritage. We must avoid letting fuzzy notions of multiculturalism and PC stand in the way of this important practice in our parliament. The words were conceived by Jesus to bring to mind a path to God and were so constructed to pass through ages without variation.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thatcherism is not over just yet….

Claire Berlinski disputes recent articles suggesting that the Thatcher era is finished citing a lack of understanding of what she should for:

The cover of Newsweek recently announced that it’s the end of the era of Thatcher. The Washington Post followed suit. These headlines suggest a very significant confusion about what, precisely, Margaret Thatcher stood for. They are an injustice to her legacy … It is true that Thatcher promoted deregulation. But the deregulation she favored had nothing to do with the meltdown on Wall Street. She was certainly not an advocate of regulation-free capitalism, as these headlines imply … No free-market economist in his right mind asserts that there should be no regulations or laws whatsoever. In fact, contract law and certain kinds of regulation — remember that “regulation” is just another word for “law” — are fully understood by free-market enthusiasts to be essential to the functioning of a free-market economy … No one connected to Thatcher would have dreamt of disputing this .. . Thatcher’s point was that the laws and regulations on the books must be good ones … she favor removing regulations that massively burdened the British economy … But at the same time, she was a passionate proponent of the kind of regulation that makes free markets function properly. Those who say Thatcherite deregulation has been discredited never say which regulations and laws shouldn’t have been passed during her time in power, or which ones should have been, and when. They don’t say so because the laws and regulations she did promote were good ones and remain good …
Read the whole piece here

True that the intellectual atmosphere is changing, indeed Alan Greenspan’s recent commentary is proof of this but to blame conservatism for this demonstrates a lack of understanding. Some commentary defends Thatcher and points the blame on the greed is good concept born of Ayn Rand, yet this too is incorrect. Rand never said that ‘greed was good’ being more an advocate of ‘rational self-interest’ and one who viewed crime and fraud as not merely wrong, but highly irrational. Rand would have opposed the statist interventions within the banking and finance sectors that helped create the mess we are in.

For related posts click here and here

Over to you

Friday, October 24, 2008

Victorian Abortion Bill and the Political and Ideological Correlations thereof

... On the Abortion Bill, 65-70% of Labor voted for the bill while 65-70% of Liberals voted against it … Vote wisely in the next election, get rid of governments which are motivated by leftist and humanistic ideologies …

Following marathon sitting earlier this month the Victorian Parliament passed legislation to decriminalise abortion. The final vote was 23 votes to 17 with all amendments rejected including the one to exempt doctors who object to abortions from having to refer their patients. Abortion will be removed from the Crimes Act and a woman can freely choose to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks gestation with late term abortions requiring the consent of two practitioners.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said that the Bill did nothing to reduce the number of abortions in Victoria, adding:
It is a betrayal of our shared humanity, a betrayal of women, a betrayal of the innocent unborn child that we would ease the way to the destruction of 20,000 unborn children annually,” the Archbishop said today … Our shared humanity demands that we assist mothers with an unwanted pregnancy to enable them to carry their child to term … For the time being the battle is lost in the legislature. But not in the hearts and minds of good people … The Church with all people of goodwill will redouble its efforts to foster and promote a culture that is pro-life; one that defends and supports women in their inspiring role of motherhood.
And in an excellent article posted as an advertisement in today’s Australian, Pastor Danny Nalliah outlines the fundamental and often overlooked differences between the politics of the left (LABOR and the GREENS) with their humanist/atheistic worldview and those of the right, (LIBERAL) who promote traditional family and moral values:

Before the last State and Federal elections, Catch The Fire Ministries put out Media Releases which very clearly stated, “If a Labor government is elected we will definitely see a huge slide on moral values with a very negative effect on the church in Australia”. If a Labor government is elected we will definitely see a huge slide on moral values with a very negative effect on the church in Australia.

I believe it should now be clear to everyone that what we stated is coming true. We, as a nation, are going the wrong way … We stated very clearly that if LABOR is in Government they will decriminalize abortion, register homosexual relationships, approve IVF for same sex couples, attempt to take Christianity out of the school curriculum, and the Greens would continue to try to pass euthanasia laws … Thousands of Christian voters were so desperate for an extra dollar and what they presumed to be a better way or change that they forgot about Judeo-Christian moral values and voted Labor in …

You would have also heard that the IVF Bill was passed by the Lower House in the Victorian Parliament a few days ago. Thankfully, all Liberal & National MPs voted against this bill but almost all Labor MPs voted for it … On the Abortion Bill, 65-70% of Labor voted for the bill while 65-70% of Liberals voted against it … Vote wisely in the next election, get rid of governments which are motivated by leftist and humanistic ideologies …

The pastor also chimes into the upcoming U.S. Presidential vote:

I wonder whether America will make the same mistake and vote in Obama as their next President. The Democrats in the US are the Left of politics and the Republicans are the Right of politics. Obama who is representing the Democrats, with his Islamic background, leftist ideologies and support for abortion, if elected, will drive America away from its Christian heritage and destiny … Let us pray that the US will get a Republican President (John McCain) and not a Democrat (Barack Hussein Obama).
The passing of the abortion bill not only represents a betrayal of humanity, it is in breach of established charters of Civil and Political Rights by amongst other effects, superseding the conscientious objection of medical professionals opposed to the new law.

For previous postings on the bill click here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unchained views and the Economic Stimulus Package

... politically the package is a sure winner that will provide some economic stimulus but we must not lose site of the fact that paradoxically, the nations chances of coming through this are at least enhanced, by measures that helped decimate the Howard Government ...

As financial markets reeled this past fortnight, I kept myself busy enjoying the restaurants and sights of the Broadbeach locale, I make no apologies. While major world banks and Governments strived to muddle their way through the crises, an effort that included some unwelcoming discussion from the usual suspects about the nasties of capitalism, I could not help but shape my own thoughts on the emerging crises. To be sure, the intention was to recoil from the news and resultant politics if only for the holiday period, logically though, one could not escape the incessant stream of related news and diverging opinions. Indeed, there is much to be said about the political and economic news of the day.

In point form, and rather belatedly, I offer my unorganized and unchained views on a series of events that present great challenge, at a time where balanced examinations are called for, and the ideals of capitalism, as the best economic system for long-term prosperity, now more than ever, necessitates strong unyielding affirmation from its advocates. As President Bush said when recently announcing plans to host an international summit to tackle the crises:

…. it is essential that we preserve the foundations of democratic capitalism, commitment to free markets, free enterprise, and free trade. We must resist the temptations of economic isolationism and continue the polices of open markets that have lifted standards of living and helped millions of people escape poverty around the world ...
>> A shift in focus from classical West to East was always to be expected as many infer the rise of China and India however, capitalists have nothing to apologize for. Not least, till our society creeps below that of socialist North Korea and the like. In recognition of the unprecedented level of prosperity it produced let us continue on the path of capitalism with less of the government manipulation and intrusion witnessed of late.

>> Is it right to squander government surpluses on lower and middle class welfare? The decision to triple the first homeowners grant to $21,000 not only makes it difficult for successive governments to wind back in future, but also will only serve to increase property pricing - demand leading to pricing increases is not rocket science.

>> Why do we speak in terms of crises in Australia? The language that has accompanied the release of the $10.4 billion dollar economic stimulus package has been nothing short of extraordinary. Swan suggests it is the greatest crises since the depression; and the PM evokes the words of FDR in his justifications. On one hand, Mr. Rudd tells us we are well place to weather the storm and that our banks are the safest on the globe while systematically performing a dramatic backward somersault on fiscal policy.

>> Self-interest is good! As individuals, we ought to be applauded for seeking to be the best we can, not merely for ourselves but for our families, our local communities, and the nation. By mine, there is something intrinsically wrong with viewing such notions as greed.

>> The assault on executive remunerations within our financial institutions is pure nonsense. I have not come across any evidence to suggest that high salaries have weakened or compromised Australian banks. Place restrictions on remunerations and the best and brightest will simply go offshore.

>> How many common folk understand and/or are willing to acknowledge that the massive budget surplus carelessly used by the present Government is primarily available because of over 11 years of sound economic management made possible by Howard/Costello.

>> Some sort of economic stimulus was called for, but why to the tune of $10.4 billion, how was this figure arrived at; is it too much to ask? Pertinent questions but not according to our Prime Minister - I am thinking over-reaction by a government intent on grand gesturing. I am thinking higher than expected inflation and unemployment.

>> Was it correct to embrace such mammoth fiscal measures following the recent 1 percent interest rate cut by the reserve bank? At the end of the day, it amounts to ‘on the run’ Government spending that could well drive the budget into deficit, make no mistake the latter is highly probable in 2009.

>> We could all be excused for suspecting that the measure is also intended to provide a response to calls for greater assistance for pensioners and homebuyers, recall the Governments response to Opposition pleas for an immediate $30 per week rise in the single age pension, when it accused the Opposition of engaging in political stunts.

>> Of course, politically the package is a sure winner that will provide some economic stimulus but we must not lose site of the fact that paradoxically, the nations chances of coming through this are at least enhanced, by measures that helped decimate the Howard Government – workplace reform. Be sure that both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard are all too aware of this as they consider restoring the ways of old – workplace rigidities and collective bargaining.

>> I can understand the frustration of those enterprising hard working families that pay the most tax and yet get overlooked for assistance. They also do not receive cheap medicines or childcare, and now they must look on, knowing that some eighty percent of Australian families will get Rudd’s Christmas present deposited into their accounts between 9 and 19th of December.

>> Washington and New York can be excused for taking a hard panic line to the current crises, but not so Melbourne and Sydney. The reaction has caused fear and remains over the top. History has a way of repeating itself in varying degrees; I suspect that within 12 months the market will be up 20%. Recall the spring of ’87, investors seemed perplexed as share prices tumbled, everyone feared inflation, unemployment, and rising costs. Not long after, in circa ’91 the Keating Government in its flawed wisdom felt it had to slow things down with the R we had to have. We soon roared into the dot com craze of circa 2000 and got our fingers burned again … It’s what economies and markets do, go up and down but mostly up. So what does our present Government do? It gives away a staggering 48% of our surplus.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vacation Time

I will be vacationing on the Gold Coast for two weeks and blogging will resume thereafter.

Moreover, after reading this, I really do need to break for while…

I thank my readers and commenter's for making The L Party a meaningful venture.

In the interim, you may wish to visit some of the worthy sites listed under the, "My Blog List" and, "Websites of Note" labels.

Once again, thank you, and God bless.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Paid Maternity Leave and the Welfare State

Rather belatedly, a few points about the proposed taxpayer funded maternity / paternity / parental leave that made headlines last week.

>> It is somewhat of a paradox that the proposal comes from the Productivity Commission because the policy is fundamentally, unproductive. The current system already increases the disincentive to join the workforce without adding this new component.

>> Wayne Swan was correct to hose down expectations about delivering the policy in next year’s budget, if anything Pensioners deserve any surplus revenue that may be available.

>> Why should those that keep the nation ticking, namely hard working taxpayers, be penalized for being self sufficient and not putting more strain on our education and health sectors?

>> Why so much emphasis on welfare; is it not enough that family assistance payments are already equivalent to almost 3% of GDP up from 1% in the 1960’s, 1.5% in the 1970’s and 1.6% in the 1980’s? Moreover, spare me all the loose definitions; it is and remains, state provided welfare!

>> The number of families receiving more in handouts than they pay in income tax has jumped dramatically over the past 4 years with the income-tax-free club now covering 42.2 per cent of the nation's 9.754 million families.

>> The proposition encourages a previously ingrained culture of dependence, and raises concerns about work ethics in Australia.

There was a time when welfare was viewed differently, as a way of helping those who honestly (remember that word) could not assist themselves, thus preventing them from falling through the cracks - it seems the new paradigm has broadened progressively. Let us hope this ideologically enthused proposal is quickly buried.

Listen up Messrs. Rudd, Swan, if you want to be genuinely reformist make the hard decisions and give Australia a system that rewards work, effort, enterprise, and cuts welfare waste along with the massive administration back of it, otherwise step up Mr. Turnbull….

Finally, the proposal calls for pair maternity leave at minimum wage levels, last I checked that was around $545 per week or nearly twice that which aged pensioners receive…

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Emissions Trading – One Part of the Coalition’s Three Pillars Approach

Firstly, let me say that its pleasing to note, that we have refrained from using the nonsense term, Pollution Reduction Scheme. See the Carbon video here.

Victorian employers, already grappling with rising inflation, interest rates and fuel prices, as well as plummeting business and consumer confidence, have every right to be worried about the Rudd Government’s plans for an emissions trading scheme.

Climate change is real and important and requires a shared global response. The Coalition supports efforts that protect both the planet and Australia. We need an approach to climate change which is both effective and responsible. It is a three pillars approach.

1. International action to both bring in the great emitters and preserve the great rainforests of the world as ‘the lungs of the earth’.

2. A clean energy revolution to clean up rather than close down the power stations. This includes our vision for Australia as a solar continent.

3. An emissions trading scheme which does not tax petrol and groceries with a petrol and transport tax, nor which undermines the clean energy sector.

People who believed the Government would solve climate change by signing the Kyoto protocol and television adverts are in for a shock. The Government’s ETS will impact on the cost of businesses across Australia. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong tried to suggest her trading scheme will only affect Australia’s top 1000 emitting companies. But of course, the flow on costs will be passed right through the business sector.

The Coalition is now working to expose what costs will be imposed under Mr Rudd’s
plans. Because as we know, the devil is always in the detail. We argue that there is a right way and a wrong way to introduce an emissions trading scheme in Australia.

The Wrong Way: A Rush that Risks Jobs and the Clean Energy Sector

The Rudd Government is rushing to introduce an emissions scheme according to a political timetable. As a result, it is risking damage to the Australian economy through an approach which is poorly designed, poorly implemented and poorly managed. Cracks are already appearing in the Government’s plans.

First, it forgot that LPG does not have an excise to be used to offset higher prices. Motorists using this lower emissions fuel now face paying more at the bowser.

Second, we are hearing of grave risks to investment in our Liquid Natural Gas industry. LNG is vital in helping to reduce emissions overseas, particularly in China.

Third, Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett attacked Australia’s solar panel sector with a new means test which led to orders being slashed and staff being laid off. It also made it harder for householders to cut their emissions.

Secret Modelling

The Rudd Government told business and the community to have their responses to its ETS Green Paper in by 10 September. However, the key Treasury modelling needed by the business sector is being kept secret until at least October. This is unfair and another example of the Government’s political timetable which could lead to mistakes and a flawed model.

Petrol and Cost of Living

Prior to the election, Mr Rudd led Australians to believe that he would cut the price of petrol, groceries and the cost of living, while all the time knowing he was planning to raise prices through his ETS after the election. The Government is now saying it will adopt the Coalition’s plan to offset the fuel excise – but only until after the next election.

The Right Way: The Coalition’s Three Pillars Approach

The Coalition believes that a sensible and responsive ETS is just part of a wider strategy to tackle climate change. We need to back international action. Australia accounts for only 1.4 per cent of global emissions. Simply cutting our own emissions will not reduce global warming. Helping countries like China and India to cut their emissions is vital. Which is why it was wrong for Mr Rudd to slash funding to our international programs that prevented rainforest clearing and which stimulated clean energy investment.

We also support the development of a clean energy revolution at home with a vision for a solar continent. We want to support our solar businesses here in Victoria and other States, not black them out with disincentives like Mr Garrett’s solar panel rebate means test. We also remain committed to cleaning up our existing power stations rather than closing them down as Mr Garrett and others would want. It is also why we back cleaner cars and reducing public transport black spots.

An emissions trading scheme represents an enormous challenge to our business sector. The Government risks turning this challenge into an economic time bomb if it gets it wrong. It is one thing to use climate change as a political weapon. But unless the Government works with employers to get the trading scheme right, the impacts on jobs, growth and investment in Australia could be disastrous.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and

Via: The Liberal Party of Australia

In passing, I was listening to ABC NewsRadio yesterday, mid afternoon I recall and was astonished at how many times I heard the term, "climate change" and/or "environment" ... over twelve (12) times in little over 90mins then stopped counting ...

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Roots of PC and the Anti-American Liberal mind-set

The goal ... undermine the culture, society, and economy of the United States ... target the three transmission belts of American culture: academia, the media, and Hollywood ... Marxist like progressive influences have piggybacked on the Hollywood machine ever since ...

In a compelling and thought provoking article Kent Clizbe, a former CIA Case Officer and author of the soon-to-be-released title, “Willing Accomplices” seeks to answer the question: Where did liberal progressive anti-American beliefs originate?

Clizbe’s research, which includes talking to former KGB operatives, the examination of scores of documents and texts that recorded Soviet intelligence covert influence operations reveal some fascinating evidence, that is not easily dismissed.

A conservative himself he sees a link between progressive attitudes associated with Liberalism and Marxism and in doing, suggests that the accompanying anti—American/Marxist perspectives may not be a coincidence.

In the 1920s, Vladimir Lenin charged a select group of communist espionage officers with a long-term covert influence project: undermine the culture, society, and economy of the United States.

Their goal was to weaken America in preparation for a socialist revolution. The communists targeted the three transmission belts of American culture: academia, the media, and Hollywood. Recent research reveals the unbelievable extent of their success.

Just how far have they come? Today we see the results in Obama’s campaign talking points, the media’s assistance, and Hollywood and academia’s slavish toeing of the party line.
What Clizbe’s research reveals is that communist covert influence operations may have sowed the seeds of Political Correctedness long ago.

New York Times

One of the first, and certainly most effective, recruitments for the covert influence program was The New York Times’ Walter Duranty. Recently completed analysis of Duranty’s lifestyle, access, and reporting reveals that he was, almost without doubt, a paid espionage agent. Duranty, America’s man in Moscow for more than a decade, supplied the U.S. media with a steady stream of communist-fed information.

The implied subtext of Duranty’s message was that communism works, and that it is inevitable. KGB operators now admit that they were tasked to continue delivering such messages up until the fall of the USSR. The media accepted Duranty’s covert influence messages as gospel. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The KGB must have gloated over their unbelievable success.

Does this explain why today’s The New York Times celebrates the passing of old Commies with rich obituaries.

Time Magazine

The Soviet-trained intelligence service of North Vietnam infiltrated the American press corps in Saigon, another covert influence coup. Pham Xuan An, a communist espionage agent, worked for Time magazine for almost 30 years.

Beginning as a translator, he ended his career as the last Time correspondent in Saigon, filing stories for publication in the U.S. after the North Vietnamese victory. All the while, An was a communist espionage agent. Morley Safer, in his book "Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam" upon An’s death in 2006, evidently without irony, called him one of the “best-connected journalists in the country.

In 1934, the operation against America’s Education system bore fruit at the Teachers College of Columbia University. A group of intellectuals began their contribution to the communist project to destroy traditional American society, calling themselves, "Reconstructionists.” Their message planned for every classroom, called for educators to be “less frightened of imposition and indoctrination.”

My analysis reveals that the leader of this group, George Counts, was likely a covert influence agent. His multiple trips to the USSR, from the late 1920s to the early ‘30s, place him squarely in the sights of the KGB’s covert influence operators.

Bill Ayers

According to a Sept. 23, 2008, Wall Sreet Journal article, after the '60s, Bill Ayers and Obama’s foundation in Chicago pushed for school reform. Ayers said, 'Teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression.' His preferred alternative? ‘I'm a radical, leftist, small "c" communist.’” The covert operation bears fruit decades later.

Willi Munzenberg, Lenin’s chief covert influence operator was determined to instill the mindset in Americans that, as Koch says, “to criticize or challenge Soviet policy was the unfailing mark of a bad, bigoted, and probably stupid person, while support for progressive thought was equally infallible proof of a forward-looking mind committed to all that was best for humanity and marked by an uplifting refinement of sensibility.


Munzenberg’s operations, run from Vienna and Paris, dispatched communist espionage officers into Hollywood. There they built solid operations, recruiting screenwriters, producers, actors, directors, and hangers-on.

The Hollywood strategy was wildly successful over the long term. The elite corps of today, Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Matt Damon, Oliver Stone, et al, save the PC multitudes from doing any heavy thinking. The elites provide emotionally satisfying, politically correct views on any and all issues, packaged for the consumption of the PC proletariat.

When Obama recently decried the bitterness of Midwesterners clinging to their guns, their religion and their anti-immigrant sentiments, he was echoing the Leninist/Stalinist covert payload of decades ago. When Obama’s preacher, Mr. Wright, accused the U.S. government of inflicting AIDS on “people of color,” as a means of genocide, he parroted a KGB covert influence operational payload, first inserted in an Indian paper in 1984, according to Christopher Andrew in "The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World.

Daily Kos

When progressives today chant, “Bush lied, people died,” they parrot the KGB’s messages. In the run-up to World War II, the communists characterized President Roosevelt as a war-mongering imperialist, and American foreign policy as somehow evil, and definitely naive. Reading the comments on virtually any Daily Kos posting today reveals the astounding success of the KGB’s influence op.

The goals of PC, which began to emerge after the 1970s, up until today, are nearly identical to the goals of the Communist International in 1920: Destroy the society in which capitalism thrives. Bring the capitalists to their knees ...


They -progressives- know better than you. They are oh-so-smart, oh-so-cosmopolitan, oh-so-loved in Vienna and Paris. They plan to give the rubes and hayseeds of fly-over country what’s best for them, like it or not, made palatable by oratory and lies, and spoon-fed by their friends in the media, Hollywood, and academia.

Kent Clizbe is the President of Cameron Halifax Associates, his full article appeared at and can be viewed here.

I venture to suggest, there is little argument that the KGB was successful in penetrating Western academia and government. Harry Hopkins, FDR's right-hand man, kept in touch with Soviet agents and Alger Hiss was a former communist spy within the State department just as William F. Buckley noted in the fifties.

As to Willi Münzenberg; while posing as the legitimate German publisher and politician, he directed a communist funded massive media empire that had profound influence on the who’s who of European and American intelligentsia. Münzenberg’s underlings and their intellectual descendants beginning in, and amongst the Los Angeles and Hollywood cultural elites of the day influenced the ideological and cultural history of the west from the 1920’s. Marxist like progressive influences have piggybacked on the Hollywood machine ever since and in doing so, glorified leftist politics en masse. This early Soviet activity planted the foundations for an assault on the western worlds time-honored American `bourgeois' values; a steady process that began in earnest in the second half of the last century and has been gaining momentum since.

Can we call today's contemporary leftists “Neocommunists” who proudly advocate a Marxist vision of a system led by groups of elitists’ who know what’s best for all of us, for the United States of America, for society?

Let’s not kid ourselves Anti-Americanism is all round us and most definitely more pervasive on the Left and principal media networks - MSM. In Europe in particular think, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, the Guardian, and the BBC, and how they condemn America at seemingly every turn.

Cross posted at: American Interests

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rees Government to fund Mardi Gras

Now that the Rees Government has fixed all its states problems, hospitals, transport, and education to name a few, it has decided to fund the Mardi Gras event.

Said Nathan Rees, the event deserves support adding: “It is a spectacular Sydney event and makes a significant contribution to our state’s economy.”

How perfectly pathetic; little wonder the news has generated so much commotion.

Said Piers Akerman at The Daily Telegraph, "It is the northern manifestation of Victoria's Cain-Kirner government of 20 years ago, rotten with influence peddling, corrupted by ennui and indulgence."

The Australian Conservative has joined the chorus adding:

The NSW government’s decision to fund the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras means it has “swallowed the grossly exaggerated hype of Mardi Gras organisers,” a Christian action group claims. Writing in Saltshakers newsletter, executive officer Peter Stokes says the mardi gras organisers have been playing a charade for years.
Non-homosexual corporate sponsors bailed out years ago - Ford, Qantas etc. - they saw what the government does not want to see - the truth. >> more


Friday, October 03, 2008

John Howard awarded Winston S Churchill Medal of Freedom

Pajamas TV Video: John Howard - The Long War Against Radical Islam

We congratulate John Winston Howard on another great achievement. Coming soon after accepting the Irving Kristol award our former Prime Minister has been awarded the Winston S Churchill Medal of Freedom at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

The American Freedom Alliance, an LA-based think tank, presented Mr. Howard with the award for being "a strong ally of the United States". Asked if he were concerned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Labor Government would erode the economic fundamentals built up during his 11 years in Australia's top job, Mr Howard replied: "I hope the new government does not in any way squander the inheritance we gave them".

He welcomed the news US President George W Bush and Congressional leaders had agreed on a $US700 billion ($845 billion) rescue plan for the shaky US financial industry. Australia, thanks largely to the policies of his government, was in a healthy position to ride out the economic turmoil in the US, he said. "Fortunately, the fundamentals of the Australian economy are very strong and those fundamentals were largely created by the former government," Mr Howard said. "The fact that we have a big surplus and have paid off our debt, that we have low unemployment, we have low inflation, we have a strong banking system, all of those things will work to our favour.

"If Australia were now in debt and were running a big budget deficit, the impact of this would be much greater."Mr Howard's wife, Janette, and son Richard accompanied him on the trip to the US.


Back in March and following his acceptance of the Irving Krystol award, John Howard launched a strong defense of his legacy, breaking his silence following last year's election loss. The former prime minister used a speech to the conservative US think tank, the American Enterprise Institute to attack his successor over his new policies including Iraq. To a standing ovation from over 1400 guests that included former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife Lynne, and former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, Mr Howard defended his Government’ record and personal convictions.

Once again congratulations John Howard.

Click here to view the interview, "John Howard - The Long War Against Radical Islam" (25min) or click on the image above.

See also: Australia's John Howard Receives 2008 Irving Kristol award

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Victoria: Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008

... Sure, it pertains to the upcoming U.S. Presidential election but nonetheless it is relevant viewing ...

Via Jill Stanek, here's the powerful video from Catholic Vote 2008:

As debate continues over the highly controversial Abortion Law Reform Bill which goes before the Victorian Upper house next Tuesday, we stumbled upon a moving video. Moreover, as many bloggers wrote before me, after having a look myself I agree, “It is powerful.” Sure, it pertains to the upcoming U.S. Presidential election but nonetheless it is relevant viewing.

There are over 90,000 abortions in Australia each year; a figure that we should seek to reduce. Life, faith, and family is paramount - vote life in 2008.


The new laws seek to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and allow terminations for any reason up to 24 weeks into pregnancy after which, the support of two doctors is needed. The laws passed the lower house 47 votes to 35 earlier in September.


Late-term abortion a life and death debate
Herald Sun, Australia 28 Jan 2008
The claim that late-term abortion is done only in cases of lethal abnormality or to save the mother's life is demonstrably false.

Doctors warn of abortion law exodus
The Age, Australia - 29 Sep 2008
Victoria could face an exodus of health professionals if the Government's proposed abortion law goes ahead in its current form, a new coalition of doctors ...

Abortion laws face growing hostility
The Australian, Australia - 28 Sep 2008
Victoria's proposed abortion laws face a potential legal challenge from Catholic hospitals and a withdrawal of services by concerned doctors as the ...

Totalitarian abortion law requires conscientious disobedience
CathNews, Australia - 23 Sep 2008
The abortion debate has produced a standoff in Victoria over church-state relations and freedom of conscience. It is time to seek a resolution which ...

For those of you reading this post via feed please click here to view the video.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Book Launch: The “Little Black Book” with Andrew Bolt, Mark Lopez and Kevin Donnelly

John Roskam from the Melbourne’s Institute of Public Affairs has just sent out an email highlighting an upcoming event or rather, book launch.

'The Little Black School Book' with Andrew Bolt, Mark Lopez and Kevin Donnelly

A sensational new book, born out of classroom reality, is set to rock education practice to its very foundations by telling students how to get ‘As' by exploiting their teachers' biases. Rather than complain, this Machiavellian study guide … shows students how to exploit teacher bias and shortfalls in teacher quality.
This is all-good and fine, just two problems.

Firstly, I know I will be out of town on the date, which is disappointing, and secondly, while the goal of the book is a noble one, students would be well advised to learn the ‘language mechanics’ of English at the outset that is, before attempting to ‘exploit teacher bias.’

'The Little Black School Book' launch with Andrew Bolt, Mark Lopez and Kevin Donnelly

14th October 2008
06:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Imperial Hotel, 2-8 Bourke Street (Corner Spring Street), Melbourne

For more information on the book visit Connorcourt publishing.

Sadly, I would certainly attend if I were not here on the day.

Terry McCrann on the Garnaut report

Who is going to be brave enough to reach for the big thermostat knob and turn the tables on our economy, Rudd perhaps, I doubt it, in spite of this.

Said McCrann:

BEAUTIFUL. The release of the Garnaut report could not have been better timed. It was dead, dead, dead, before it hit the table.


There is no way even the Rudd Government is going to embrace a policy to destroy the economy, in the wake of this week's disaster on Wall St and the Hill - the US house of Representatives.


There is no way that China and the US are going to agree to slug their economies in recession with punitive policies to send them in even deeper.


At the national level, Malcolm Turnbull would have two choices. Simply to argue for postponement of any emissions scheme, or the more rational and also more opportunistic: to make any reductions by us at the very least conditional on US and Chinese delivered reductions. I would prefer him to take the emissions scheme off the table entirely. To go Churchillian and announce: he does not intend to become the Queens's first minister to preside (that's a word he might like) over the impoverishing of Australia.


The Garnaut report remains like its predecessor, the British Stern report, an uneasy mix of religion married to dodgy economic and statistical analysis.

Read the rest here

As Peter Anderson from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated, the Garnaut report has "two critical missing links -- the absence of robust economic modelling and the absence of global emissions trading agreements".

See also: Haste on emissions carries great risk (op-ed at the Australian Financial Review)

For my previous postings on the subject, click the Climate Change label below…