September 1, 2013
“It is not goodies versus baddies, it is baddies versus baddies” Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott is quite right.
It is a question of baddies versus baddies. Unfortunately, the ALP and the commentariat can’t help themselves, being blinded as they are by reality. Whether it is the Arab Spring, the election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a sign of a return to democracy, or the insurgents in Syria valiantly fighting for freedom, there is amongst so many politicians of both sides a simplistic and dangerous Manachean view of the world.
Acting Finance Minister Penny Wong (that is, acting for the next five days) asks sarcastically, “I mean, is this the sort of approach that you want from a prime minister on foreign policy?” Well, yes, Penny, that is exactly what we want from a Prime Minister. Commentators beyond Australian shores are saying the same, and obvious, thing. Take American historian Dr Tim Stanley: .
We could be about to make a huge mistake.
We’ve spent the last twelve years fighting a war on terror, by which we mean a war on al-Qaeda. Now we’re proposing intervening in the Syrian conflict on the side of – wait for it – al-Qaeda. We’ve lobbed a grenade at the looking glass and jumped straight through.
Similarly, Mark Styen gives us a little bit of reality that escapes the likes of Henny Penny:
So we’ll get rid of Assad and install the local branch of al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever plucky neophyte democrat makes it to the presidential palace first — and then, instead of napalmed school yards, there will be, as in Egypt, burning Christian churches and women raped for going uncovered.
Thank god the Rudd era is coming to a close.
August 25, 2013
“Never has the Met Office had more scientists and computing power at its disposal — yet never has it seemed so baffled by the British weather.”
A devastating critique of climate science through the dishonest and feet dragging British Met Office has been made by Rupert Darwall, the author of The Age of Global Warming – A History.
He covers the deceit and cover-up of what he concludes is the largest case of public misfeasance in British history. It is still astonishing to me that, confronted with this sort of evidence of political conniving and plain wrong predictions from senior figures in a supposedly reputable scientific body, people still do not believe that something is seriously amiss in the whole shoddy business.
It is sobering to realise that in Britain alone, the cost of this deceit is costing the British taxpayer a sum approaching half a trillion pounds.
Only this week has Britain had a small taste of the kind of temperatures the Met Office has been promising for over a decade. In September 2008, it forecast a trend of mild winters: the following winter turned out to be the coldest for a decade.
But there is no paradox. It is precisely the power of this technology in harnessing climate scientists’ assumptions about global warming that has scuppered the Met Office’s predictions — and made it a propagandist for global warming alarmism.
The obfuscations …
Last November, the Labour peer Lord Donoughue tabled a written question asking whether the government considered the 0.8˚C rise in the average global temperature since 1880 to be ‘statistically significant’. Yes, came the reply. Douglas J. Keenan, a mathematician and former quant trader for Morgan Stanley, knew the answer was false. With Keenan’s help, Donoughue tabled a follow-up question. The Met Office refused to answer it, not once, but five times. Its refusal to clarify its stance left the energy minister, Baroness Verma, in an awkward position. Only then did it confirm that it had no basis for the claim.
The Met Office’s record of obstruction and denial should give pause to even the firmest believer in global warming and illustrates the profound incompatibility of state science (which climate science has become) and the real thing.
Read the whole article …
August 20, 2013
“An attitude is a vanity accountable to a conscience but is not a solution”
In a remarkably lucid piece in the Wall Street Journal, Brett Stephens looks at the way Obama’s policies in Egypt, for the sake of moral vanity,is just going to make the suffering and the problems worse. Stephens correctly asks, what is a realistic and desirable policy for that country?
Restoring the dictatorship-in-the-making that was Mr. Morsi’s elected government is neither desirable nor realistic—at least if the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets in June and July to demand his ouster have anything to do with it.
As it is, the people who now are most convinced that Mr. Obama is a secret Muslim aren’t tea party mama grizzlies. They’re Egyptian secularists.
It would be nice to live in a world in which we could conduct a foreign policy that aims at the realization of our dreams—peace in the Holy Land, a world without nuclear weapons, liberal democracy in the Arab world. A better foreign policy would be conducted to keep our nightmares at bay: stopping Iran’s nuclear bid, preventing Syria’s chemical weapons from falling into terrorist hands, and keeping the Brotherhood out of power in Egypt. But that would require an administration that knew the difference between an attitude and a policy.
Why does our media constantly fail to consider uncomfortably realities?
August 20, 2013
Lessons for the Anglosphere
The Europeans have many complex problems in tackling Islamism but France has some ideas on how to resist dhimmitude. At the same time, like most Western democracies, there is some confused thinking in some areas.
A few years ago, the French were the first to ban the wearing of simple head scarves in schools. Fadela Amara, a Sarkozy junior minister , said at the time, “The veil is the visible symbol of the subjugation of women, and therefore has no place in the mixed, secular spaces of France’s state school system.” Later, Sarkozy went further and banned the total face veil, saying it was “not welcome within France”. The ban was “to protect women from being forced to cover their faces and to uphold France’s secular values,” he said. Astonishingly, four out of five French voters supported him.
Read my fifth letter from France in Quadrant Online...
July 5, 2013
Almost paradise …
Corsica is a mixed bag, but for tourists it is sublime and unknown to most Australians.
Over a hundred years ago, Guy de Maupassant praised its natural beauty in his Contes du jour et de la nuit.
Imagine a world still in chaos, a storm of mountains that separate narrow ravines with rushing torrents, no plains but immense waves of granite and giant undulations of earth covered with maquis or, higher up, forests of chestnut trees and pines. This is virgin soil, uncultivated and deserted, although occasionally a village can be glimpsed, like a pile of rocks on top of a small hill.
July 5, 2013
Impotent Socialists Offer Little Hope
The French want reform but don’t believe President Hollande can deliver
President Francois Hollande wants to close the gap between the special perks and privileges public servants receive over those in the private sector. Even better news is that 56% of the public agree.
However, one little shadow on these good intentions is that in the same survey, fully 66% of this same public has absolutely no confidence Hollande will be able to do it!
Read my third letter from France in Quadrant Online…
July 4, 2013
‘Oui’ to gay marriage, but a big ‘no’ for restraint
A second letter of my impressions of today’s France has been published in Quadrant Online:
What really is under its nose has been unwittingly revealed by the master pastry-chef responsible for the soaring, one-and-a-half meter piece montée for the wedding, with its top crowned with the gay community’s rainbow and two male figurines. He commented, “Aujourd’hui, le marriage n’a plus de sexe” [“These days, marriage no longer has sex”]. The ambiguity in French of the word sexe, which also functions like the English word “gender”, is perhaps sadly true. The major message of the anti same-sex protest explicitly acknowledges that gays can make love, but that they can never have sex, if understood in the broader, biological meaning of the word.
June 3, 2013
Weather and same-sex marriage compete for news
I am in France for summer, although it can be hardly called that at the moment.
Here is a short report of first impressions.
It seems that with the financial crisis, high unemployment, and the catastrophic management of Europe by EU bureaucrats with their passive politicians, the only thing going at the moment is that the sun is approaching the solstice with hope of warmer weather. Even for French Mothers Day, Sunday, 26 May, the flowers traditionally offered to mothers have increased in price due to the bad weather; the traditional peony has gone from 27 euro for 20 up to 32 euros for only 15.
Read on ….
May 19, 2013
Henningham confirmed, although we always new it.
Now it is official.
34 ABC journalists who had the courage to declare their voting intention said they would vote for:
The Greens – 41.2%
Labor – 32.4%
Coalition – 14.7%
A new study br Folker Hanusch, a Senior Lecturer and Program Leader in Journalism at University of the Sunshine Coast, has published a new study that confirms earlier studies by Prof Henningham from the 1980’s on the beliefs and cultural values of our journalists in Australia.
Recently I blogged on this issue citing work from America on the leftist culture of of contemporary journalists that is clearly present in Australia. In this new study, all has been confirmed.
The report went on , commenting on senior editorial staff:
Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, the Coalition was the party of choice on 43.2%, followed by Labor (34.1%) and the Greens (11.4%).
This suggests that Australia’s media bosses are more in line with the broader electorate, at least according to recent Newspoll results.
However, with the clear complacency of Mark Scott at the ABC in the face of sustained accusations of bias and the protected workshop mentality of that organisation, there is nothing much that can be hoped for from this organisation.
May 19, 2013
Greg Melleuish pins the problem of the Left
In a new book published by Connor Court, Australian Intellectuals: Their Strange History and Pathological Tendencies, Greg Melleuish explains the tendency of academics and the Left generally to dismiss any criticism of their pet theories or ideas. As he says in an extract appearing in The Australian:
“they are increasingly addicted to theory and to making the world bend to their theories”.
I have noted that this same tendency has completely distorted the scientific method, particularly with regard to climate science.
Carl Popper, in his magisterial book, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, first published in 1934, is surprisingly prescient about present day climate science and warned that falsifyability is the criterion of demarcation between science and non-science. The irony is that this is just what is vehemently resisted by climate scientists. They set out to prove that their theory of warming is correct rather than openly testing it even as their hypotheses fail. But according to Popper, “the wrong view of science betrays itself in the craving to be right”.
Micheal “Hockey Stick” Mann, Tim “Empty Dams” Flannery and even Robyn “100 Metre Sea Rise” Williams, courtesy of our ABC, are the most obvious examples that come to mind. The scandal is that they undermine our confidence in the way science should be done. It is such a pity that these warminists are so completely unaware of what they are doing and why, in the end, the sceptical camp is the only one doing real science.