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.


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 (where the buck really does stop with me) and show your heart-felt appreciation for 12 long months of Labor.

Your Dear Leader,


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

Saturday, November 22, 2008


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.”


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 <<<


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.


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:

"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 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 — "".

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 "" 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


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...


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

A call for Thrift

Thrift! Remember the term? It's hardly fashionable today - not just the word but the practice of.

Thrift - "Wise economy in the management of money and other resources; frugality." Source

South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi makes some valid points about the problems caused by easy money.

The race that stops a nation has been run and won. And when the hype of the US Federal election subsides, the focus of many Australian's will return to their personal financial position.

And in many cases they won't like what they see. With the economy slowing, unemployment rising and a lot of personal debt in the system, many are right to be worried.

Simply put, Australian's (like many other nations) have been living beyond their means for too long. Consumer credit has replaced thrift and saving as a means of getting what you want. >>more
Senator Bernardi has also written a book on how to teach our children good money habits …

See also: CPA leaflet “Creating good money habits

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Day United States: Picture Speak

Rudd cannot hide behind Howard now

Demanding an apology from Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull to US Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s remarks this afternoon show nothing more than an awkward manoeuvre to deflect the intensifying heat over the leaked G20 conversation, Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Helen Coonan said today, adding:

Referring to what former Prime Minister John Howard said of Senator Obama more than a year ago shows just how desperate Mr Rudd is becoming to fend off any criticism over his total mishandling of this diplomatic breach >> more
There is little doubt that such an unfortunate event at least undermines Australia's reputation for confidential dealings with heads of state. Said one expert:
I suspect Rudd's office might tighten up some of the systems that leak, and maybe, just maybe, in the short term some heads of state [could be] apprehensive about being specific or disclosing too much on the phone with Rudd, but generally that is probably all that could happen. This will just be put down as one of those occasions where too much information is made available.
Alexander Downer suggested, an inquiry is called for however failing this, a better explanation is warranted.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Watch out for Keynesians and Socialists; they're making inroads...

For those visitors with an interest in the U.S. election, I humbly point you to this. It's author makes a point or two about Obama, but as he speaks, think also in the context of the present Keynesian renaissance ...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rudd and Internet Censorship

The Belmont Club’s Richard Fernandez makes an interesting observation from afar …

When Kevin Rudd successfully ran against John Howard it was widely claimed there was very little difference between them. Both were said to be in the mainstream and the distinctions between them one of style rather than fundamentals. But if there were no difference there would have been no point in the elections. Today, one of those possible differences may have emerged. The Herald Sun reports that “Australia will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the Internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter. The plan was first created as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.”

Via: The Belmont Club