Archive for February, 2011

Garnaut under scrutiny from Ergas

February 10, 2011

Will Gillard’s Court Jester ever realise that he and his Queen have no clothes — even as they still insist on global warming?

Henry Ergas has delivered a sober punch to the nonsense in Ross Garnaut’s report, Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Action. Will he be questioned by our compliant media and be held to account?

Garnaut is not a climate scientist but he is meant to be an economist. Ergas makes a pretty simple economic point.

It is obvious, however, that no one would accept an offer to invest $1 today in a project that would return only $1                  70 years from now …

Taking into account these benefits of postponement both in the scenario in which agreement is reached and in that in which it is not, the report’s logic would again tell against unilateral action.
The report avoids this conclusion by not modelling costs and benefits in the scenario in which we abate but the world as a whole does not. It ignores that scenario altogether.
This is inconsistent with the risk assessment framework it rightly recommends.

The report’s conclusions are therefore not properly made out. Until they are, its calls for immediate unilateral action, with all its costs, remain unconvincing.

Another critic, Bjorn Lomborg will be coming to Melbourne in March to further look at the futility of expensive carbon abatement measures. He accepts that global warming is real, but thinks that it can be solved at relatively low cost without compromising social and economic development.

This also may be too difficult for our media to honestly deal with.

British terror threats raised to “A bit cross”

February 10, 2011

“Australia’s?  “She’ll be right mate”

I reproduce an amusing text floating around the internet on the West’s totally inadequate reaction to Muslim terrorism. It is allegedly written by John Cleese for the BBC, although I cannot find an original link to substantiate the claim.

The humour reflects on human inertia rather than anything more sinister, although the report on UK Prime Minister Cameron’s intended action is heartening, and comes as a reassuring contrast.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist
threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful
Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

[Thanks to reader Andrew R]

Flannery is Australia’s real Nostradamus kid

February 9, 2011

We can learn from history

The entry on Nostradamus in Wikipedia is very instructive in understanding our ex-Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery, and his rise to such national prominence and influence.

Most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus’s quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power.

Following popular trends, he wrote an almanac for 1550. He was so encouraged by the almanac’s success that he decided to write one or more annually….

It was mainly in response to the almanacs that the nobility and other prominent persons from far away soon started asking for horoscopes and “psychic” advice from him, though he generally expected his clients to supply the birth charts on which these would be based, rather than calculating them himself as a professional astrologer would have done. When obliged to attempt this himself on the basis of the published tables of the day, he always made numerous errors, and never adjusted the figures for his clients’ place or time of birth …

He then began his project of writing a book of one thousand mainly French quatrains, which constitute the largely undated prophecies for which he is most famous today. Feeling vulnerable to religious fanatics, however, he devised a method of obscuring his meaning by using “Virgilianized” syntax, word games and a mixture of other languages …

The quatrains, published in a book titled Les Propheties (The Prophecies), received a mixed reaction when they were published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, a fake, or insane, while many of the elite thought his quatrains were spiritually-inspired prophecies. In the light of their post-Biblical sources, Nostradamus himself encouraged this belief. Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus’ greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted at unnamed threats to the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them and to draw up horoscopes for her children … By the time of his death in 1566, Catherine had made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to her son, the young King Charles IX of France.

According to David Spears, political editor of Sky News, Tim Flannery is to become the chairman of the Gillard government’s  Climate Commission. Its role is to build community consensus for a carbon price in place of a citizen’s assembly. What goes around, comes around. For a brief look at the record of our own true blue Nostradamus kid, go to Andrew Bolt’s summary.

ABC, please !! It is not unusual weather in Melbourne

February 5, 2011

It is just more of the same … really

Everyone, of course, is talking about this “really strange summer” in Melbourne. Warmists are just busting to believe that something odd is indeed happening, something to do with global warming. After all, how many weeks of holidays down on the coast have been spoiled by rain and exceptionally cold beach weather?

It all reminds me of my grandmother-in-law who announced one Good Friday morning that the gloomy black clouds hovering in the sky was a “sign” from God to remind us of Jesus’ crucifixion. She claimed that it always rained on Good Friday.

One can smile indulgently on an elderly woman’s naïve understanding of meteorology, but it is a lot harder to sympathize with the government’s leading global warming court jester, Ross Garnaut, with his self-satisfied grin, announcing “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Andrew Bolt has listed, yet again, a timely reminder, in case leading ABC journalists bleat out the “unusual weather = global warming” alarm. For any other warmists, please stare at the above photo, and ask yourselves, what is this telling me….

An end to dhimmitude in the UK?

February 4, 2011

Only 170 years late


I posted comments from Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore musing about the requirements necessary for Muslims to be able to integrate into advanced, democratic societies.

He was excoriated by the usual intemperate suspects for saying so.

Now David Cameron will today declare an end to “passive tolerance” of divided communities, and say that members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values.

To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. Everyone, from ministers to ordinary voters, should actively confront those who hold extremist views.

Well, isn’t it about time for some sanity on this issue. I remember a much earlier warning — try 1840 — in Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Considered by many as the best book ever written on democracy, it still contains remarkable insights into the importance and fragility of present day democratic systems. In particularly, he noted that Islam, because it came with “political maxims, civil and criminal laws, and theories of science” as well as a “body of religious doctrines”, was inimical to democracy.

It is just this conflict that Cameron distinguishes, as does the wise ex Prime Minister of Singapore, and as did Aayan Hirsi Ali in Australia recently, but to deaf media ears.

Mr Cameron will draw a clear distinction between “Islamist extremism” as a political ideology, and the Islamic faith itself. “We need to be clear: Islamic extremism and Islam are not the same thing,” he will say.

The Government is reviewing its entire strategy for counter-terrorism and community cohesion amid concern that the state is working too closely with Muslim groups that do not fully endorse liberal values. Mr Cameron will say that community groups will be scrutinised in future to see if they promote democracy, equality and integration. Those that fail the “tests” will be cut off. “No public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers,” he will say

Is it too much to think our Australian Government will come to its sense and end our passive tolerance, or dhimmitude, towards  Australian tax payer funded activities of Islamic groups in the name of multiculturalism.

UPDATE

If there were any doubt about the Australian Government’s funding of doubtful and potentially dangerous Islamic groups under the guise of multiculturalism, read today’s post by Andrew Bolt.

The Islamic Youth Movement used to meet in Australia’s biggest mosque, the one in Lakemba presided over by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, for years the Mufti of Australia, despite praising suicide bombers, backing the Hezbollah terrorist group, calling the September 11 attacks “God’s work against oppressors” and saying uncovered Australian girls invited rape.

Among its activities, the IYM published a magazine called Call to Islam, edited by Bilal Khazal.

In it appeared fawning interviews with members of some of the world’s worst terrorist groups, including the one that bombed the World Trade Centre in 1993 and another that killed 58 tourists in Luxor, Egypt.

It even interviewed—and praised—al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who’d already declared war on the West and was planning his September 11 attacks on the United States.

It also published articles by extremists such as its translator, Keysar Trad, now head of the Islamic Friendship Association, who wrote: “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.”

Now here’s how our government-funded prophets of multiculturalism and their fellow travellers dealt with this hotbed of imported hate and us-against-them separatism.

Khazal’s youth movement was not punished (at first), but given three government grants. Two were multicultural grants totalling nearly $7000 from the NSW Government, to teach its supporters not English but Arabic.

The other was a federal work-for-the-dole grant to spruce up its office and arrange its library of propaganda.

The excitement of Revolution

February 2, 2011

“lonely coracles of sanity in a vast ocean of paranoia”:

David Burchell

 

I became suspicious a few days ago of the alacrity with which the ABC and Fairfax media were covering the ‘people’s revolution’ in Egypt. These people in Cairo were demonstrating for democracy against an implacable tyrant and friend of America; surely, an irresistable magnet of radicalism and ‘activism’ for our Left.

To help explain this unseemly excitement in the tumescent voices of ABC announcers, along comes David Burchell.

[W]hen the crowds sprang up like lilies on the streets of Tunis, Cairo and Alexandria last week, our eyes lit up with undimmed optimism as we raptly observed – for the hundredth time, surely – the sovereignty of the people asserting itself and driving out a dictatorship whose existence had been a matter of scant interest to most of us merely a few days before.
What could be more joyous than to witness the inchoate majesty of the people displayed on somebody else’s streets, at no possible cost to ourselves? Observe the delighted, childlike rapture of the commentators.

There is effectively a miraculous delusion that a peaceful democratic process is dawning in Egypt. Surely, the reality is far more ominous and terrifying

In a brilliant piece by Bret Stephens, a deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal and reprinted in The Australian, there is a view that is only gradually beginning to be expressed, an opinion that would be difficult for many in our media to even begin to grasp.

Stephens wants you to imagine yourself as Hosni Mubarak, master of Egypt for nearly 30 years. You’re old, unwell, detested and addicted to power.

But you haven’t just been listening to the demonstrators. You’ve also been watching them—the way they dress, the way they shave. On Sunday, in Tahrir Square, you could tell right away that most were from the Muslim Brotherhood, though they were taking care not to chant the usual Islamic slogans. And Western liberals want you to relinquish power to them?

So you see, without even trying — or perhaps realizing it — the ABC has been getting excited by a revolution with “activists” that will precipitate another Islamic revolution, this time with the despised Muslim Brotherhood. It must be instinctive with these people.

Worst parking signs

February 1, 2011

How do you stop these town clerks?

It seems every time you park your car, you feel you need a lawyer to interpret the sign. This is not the worst one I’ve come across, but it certainly makes you think.

Anyone wanting to contribute a Worst Sign picture, please leave a comment below with a contact.

I will post the best ones.

 

[Photo by reader Cosmo]

Muslim integration; the key

February 1, 2011

So simple, so obvious

A piece in Quadrant Online reports The Straits Times quoting Lee Kuan Yew in his new book Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going about the problem of Muslim integration there.

On the question of multiracialism in Singapore, Mr Lee claims that integration of Muslims was going well until the “surge of Islam came”. He pointed out

how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide…. the result was a “veil” across peoples.

When asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied:

Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’

Predictably, he has received severe criticism for not bothering about Muslim sensitivities.