Re: Julia Gillard’s message to the Canadian socialists, it’s kind of funny how that works. While we’re exporting our socialists to Canada, they’re exporting their conservatives to us. The other night Canadian conservative Mark Steyn had a video message played to about 600 conservatives who turned up to an Institute of Public Affairs.
If only it worked like that for real. I’d be glad to send all of our socialists to Canada in exchange for their conservatives.
By the way, the Mark Steyn video is up on Andrew Bolt’s blog. It was hilarious, although it doesn’t quite feel as funny to me without the laughter which was in the room on the night.
i was afraid that this would happen. Qantas have cancelled flights (including mine) in Canberra this afternoon.
My backup plan of a bus or train leaving Melbourne around 7:20am wasn’t able to be enacted as my flight was not cancelled until after that time, so I have had to enact my other backup plan of hiring a car. The joys of needing to be back at work at 5:30am tomorrow.
I chatted with Luke Grant on MTR 1377 this morning after 7:30 and he suggested that, seeing as I travelled to Melbourne to see Andrew Bolt, Andrew should drive me back to Canberra. I don’t think Andrew agreed because I didn’t get a call from him after his spot on MTR.
Oh well, as chaotic as this trip is, it was well worth it. Many thanks to the Institute of Public Affairs for putting on last night’s evening.
Before I go and work out where this car rental place’s CBD office is, here’s a photo of me with Andrew Bolt. I suspect that I should have used the flash.
Greetings Mike from the southern outpost of Melbourne where Andrew Bolt was speaking tonight about freedom of speech, something which he was very able to demonstrate by producing a list of things, prepared by his lawyers, about which he is forbidden from speaking while a certain court case continues. It was a very good illustration of the dangers of the loss of freedom of speech.
Anyway, I’m glad that Kevin Rudd’s job-killing minimum hours per shift restriction has been repealed, or at least reduced to a sensible number. School-age kids can finally have after-school jobs again. The idea that any of them could work for three hours after school on any day except late-night trading or the weekend was ridiculous, and would impinge on their ability to complete their school work anyway…although I suppose that in the ideal world of Kevin Rudd, school-age kids would not work, but would instead have their own taxpayer-funded incomes and be encouraged to divorce their parents and spread the virtues of socialism to all.
The unions are only upset because some eager and cheaper young staff might be more productive than the unionised workforce.
Also Mike, it might interest you to know that when I got to Melbourne and turned on the radio in my room, the news report which was on noted that flights in Melbourne were to be grounded tomorrow due to the ash cloud, which sent me in to a frenzy of trying to re-arrange my plans for tomorrow. It was only after I returned from the Andrew Bolt event that I bothered to double check this information and found that it’s actually Adelaide which will be grounded. I then checked the radio and discovered that it was tuned to the instrumental music flavor of taxpayer radio. I should know better than to trust the news on that form of radio!
I do wish that your show was on the radio down here. It would be so much easier to call you on the phone if the number didn’t divert to 3AW, but alas, I suppose I can wait until I’m back in Canberra to ring you again.
Have a great day, and I hope Jack is well.
On loan to Melbourne
After a somewhat hectic weekend and a chaotic morning today, I have a few spare minutes before I have to bolt to the airport to catch a plane to Melbourne for tonight’s Andrew Bolt function. So, I have time for a few quick tidbits.
Firstly, Tony Abbott wants a plebiscite on the carbon dioxide tax. It would be a way to ensure that we have an accurate poll on the issue, but I’m not convinced that this government would listen to the results anyway…they would probably just implement the tax and hope that the public forget by the time the next election rolls around. I do support the idea of the plebiscite though. It would cost money, but at least we would have it on record that people either do or do not want the tax. Ultimately, I would like to see a definitive national answer on this issue, regardless of the answer, so that it is there on the record.
The Greens have poo-pooed the idea today, claiming that if we have a plebiscite on this then we should have also had one on each of the wars we have entered. I disagree. The tax would directly affect each and every person in the country and fundamentally change the economic landscape. The wars do not have a direct impact on most people, even if they do have a direct impact on some.
Some good news on the industrial relations front around the world. In New South Wales last week, Barry O’Farrell got his IR changes for public servants through the government. These changes would give him, as the boss, direct control over much of the aspects of the conditions of public servants, including their rate of pay. It is about time that the public service gravy train was reigned in, and the boss of the government should have the ability to set wages of government employees, much like the boss of a business should have the ability to set the wages of the business’ employees.
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” was passed by the state’s supreme court. The bill, among other things, limits the collective bargaining rights of public sector employees which should help to reign in their problems with excessive public sector wages. While public sector workers should have the right to request more pay or conditions, they shouldn’t be able to cripple every government service in their quest to get their way. Such strikes are not strikes against poor conditions, they are strikes against the public. It’s good to see Scott Walker’s budget pass, and in turn see his state’s budget start to get back on the right track.
While I’m pleased that this despicable man who was largely responsible for the Bali bombings has been sent to jail, I’m not pleased with the sentence. 15 years, as far as I’m concerned, is too lenient, and just another sign of the apparent lack of consistency in Indonesia’s legal system.
AN Indonesian court has jailed radical Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for 15 years for funding a terrorist group that was planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders.
The 72-year-old preacher showed little emotion as judge Herri Swantoro read out the guilty verdict and sentence at the end of a four-month trial in the South Jakarta district court.
Bashir was found guilty of using violence or the threat of violence to incite terrorism, despite the prosecution weeks ago having conceded that they would not be able to prove all elements of that charge.
The prosecution had been seeking a life sentence in relation to charges of funding terrorism, stemming from the discovery last year of a paramilitary camp in Aceh.
The former spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings, denied the charges.
(h/t The staff at The Australian who reworked AAP and AP copy)
I go one step further than the prosecution, I wanted the death penalty. I would have settled for life, but considering that this bloke won’t even take responsibility for his actions, I don’t see how he could ever be fit to be a part of society ever again. I’m also not convinced that 15 years is actually 15 years.
Over in Indonesia they have this bizarre practice where the President knocks time off the sentences of prisoners as part of a national day of celebration. It’s crazy, but it’s what they do. Schapelle Corby (who was sentenced to 20 years for a crime of drug importation which was surely a less serious crime than Abu Bakar Bashir’s deeds, and I think her sentence was about right, so Bashir’s sentence should be much harsher) has received almost a year and a half off her sentence in the six years that she has been in jail, and she will probably receive more. Bashir will probably get a similar treatment.
This means that, at the latest, Bashir will get out when he is 87-years-old, and will likely get out a few years earlier assuming that he lives that long. If he ever gets out, he will want revenge and he will be more powerful and influential in terrorist circles than ever before. Surely the judges know this. The whole legal system over in Indonesia seems to be an inconsistent shambles and bizarrely lenient decisions like this one do it no favours. They do, however, make me understand where Malcolm T. Elliott was coming from back in 2005 when he referred to the judges at Schapelle Corby’s trial as “three wise monkeys“:
And then we get this joke of a trial, and it’s nothing more than a joke. An absolute joke the way they sit there. And they do look like the three wise monkeys, I’ll say it. They don’t speak English, they read books, they don’t listen to her. They show us absolutely no respect those judges.
And he is right, bizarre and inconsistent decisions like the one we saw today prove that the Indonesian judges have zero respect for Australia, and western countries in general. A man who wants to destroy the western world gets off lightly for a heinous crime which amounted to the murder of many many people including a substantial number of Indonesians…I guess they were acceptable losses in the slaughter of Australians by the logic of Indonesian judges.
It’s a clear thumbing of their nose at Australia. Abu Bakar Bashir should not get out, ever, period!
Over at Mix 106.3, they’ve been without a permanent breakfast show since May when Cam Sullings resigned from the job, moving to a daytime slot and Lisa Ridgley decided to “consider her options” before quitting and travelling to Egypt. For a while, Mix have been making on-air references to something new coming to breakfast soon, and this week they made their announcement. Their new breakfast team will be Pete Curulli and Carla ‘Biggzy’ Bignasca. Pete was recently Mix’s Drive Show presenter, and has been filling the void on Breakfast of late. Carla used to co-host host Austereo’s national evening Hot 30 Countdown which is heard on Mix’s stablemate FM 104.7.
Mix will “introduce” the pair to their audience at 8am on Friday.
At 2CC, Breakfast host Mark Parton went on holidays recently, all the way over to South America. Alas, volcano eruptions have prevented him from returning to the country as the airlines can’t fly through the ash cloud. Mark is currently still stranded in South America and will be for at least the rest of this week. If all goes well, he should be back on-air around the middle of next week, and until then Jorian Gardner will continue to fill-in. Jorian caught up with Mark by phone the other day and Mark jokingly claimed that the volcanic ash cloud, which is not visible from his location, was a plot by 666 ABC Canberra Breakfast host Ross Solly to keep him off the air.
Perhaps Mark, but if I were you, I’d be considering it to be a plot by your previous employers at Mix to get their new breakfast show up and running before you can return to the airwaves. They’ve underestimated Mark’s resolve though as his latest Facebook status is about having trouble finding State Of Origin on the 80 channels available to him in Buenos Aires…even an ash cloud can’t keep him from his Origin. If the ash cloud keeps him over there until the next Origin match, I expect that Mark will fly the plane back himself and land outside Suncorp Stadium.
Good to see NSW get a try. They made a big boo-boo when they kicked for goal from a penalty rather than taking the tap and trying to score a try. They lost momentum after that. It’s good to see them get a try and get some energy back as this has all the makings of a great Origin match as long as both teams fire on all cylinders.
Still, go QLD. A win in extra time would be awesome.
I’m taking credit for this! Once again I tip a team and they lose, so I’m taking credit for us going to a decider. Now if only I could make a profit out of tipping the losing side, I’d be set.
Great call as always, can’t wait for Origin Three. Bring it on!
A while back I was quite annoyed at the introduction of point-to-point speed cameras along two roads which I often use during my random drives for the sake of driving, namely the Federal Highway between Goulburn and Collector, and the Monaro Highway between Bredbo and Cooma.
I was annoyed, not because of the speed cameras as such, but because these things cover quite a large distance, and the only way for me to be absolutely confident that I won’t accidentally exceed the speed limit over that area is to make use of cruise control, which I don’t like doing because I find it to be a very boring experience which makes it harder to remain focussed, unlike being in full control of the vehicle which I find to be thoroughly engaging and interesting. Put simply, I don’t feel as safe when I’m using cruise control.
So yesterday, on my way back from Sutton Forest, I was taken aback slightly by a variable electronic message board which was indicating in abbreviated and broken English that the point-to-point cameras were only targeting heavy vehicles, something which is not indicated on the signs near these cameras. When I later had a chance to research this, I discovered that the variable message boards were right; cars are not subject to the cameras and these cameras are merely an extension of the existing “heavy vehicle speed and fatigue” camera network.
This means that I can once again enjoy those trips without the extended period of trying to remain engaged while waiting for the end of the point-to-point camera zone.
Given the lack of clarity on the signage surrounding these cameras, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who thought that they were tracking all vehicles, so hopefully this information helps to relieve someone else of the burden of spending an extended period of time either tediously watching their speedo rather than the road, or trying to remain engaged while cruise control increases their boredom level.
It turns out that the good old-fashioned petrol car isn’t that evil after all…or that it is evil, and the electric car isn’t the saintly solution that it was supposed to be…or something like that. I’ll let Yid with Lid explain.
Global Warming Moonbats believe that electric cars are one of the major solutions to the problem of man-made global warming which is causing the snow caps to melt, animals to die and your public library to run out of the book you have been waiting to read. According to a new study, electric cars could produce higher emissions over their lifetimes than gas equivalents.
According to the study, an electric car owner would have to drive at least 80,000 miles before producing a net saving in CO2. Many electric cars will not travel that far in their lifetime because they typically have a range of less than 90 miles on a single charge and are unsuitable for long trips. Even those driven 100,000 would save only about a tonne of CO2 over their lifetimes.
a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.
Many electric cars are expected to need a replacement battery after a few years. Once the emissions from producing the second battery are added in, the total CO2 from producing an electric car rises to 12.6 tonnes, compared with 5.6 tonnes for a petrol car. Disposal also produces double the emissions because of the energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. The study also took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed.
Darn, and there I was feeling all warm and fuzzy because my not-overly-efficient petrol guzzling car and my penchant for going on long drives for little reason (I’ve averaged 139 km per day over the last nine months, not including the kilometers travelled in the few weeks that I had a hire car) was helping to boost the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and feeding all of the plants, when all along I would apparently have produced more carbon dioxide in an electric car.
Then again, given that I can travel further before needing to refuel in my car than I would be able to do in an electric car, I probably am coming out ahead on the carbon dioxide count, but if I ever do become one of those “I only ever drive to work and the corner shop” people, then I’ll change to an electric car to keep that carbon dioxide count up.
(h/t to: Yid With Lid for the linked and quoted blog post, Mark Levin for bringing the blog post to my attention, and Ben Webster of The Times in London for the article which was reprinted in The Australian.)
I heard plenty of good news on the radio yesterday. One of the highlights was the decision by Cricket Australia to reinstate the Tri-Series.
CRICKET Australia has reinstated the one-day international tri-series this summer with India and Sri Lanka to contest the series in February.
The 2011-12 summer schedule was released today, boasting six Tests against New Zealand and India, two Twenty20 internationals and at least 14 one-day matches in a triangular format.
It marked the first time in four years there would be an international one-day tri-series in Australia, after the concept was dumped due to lack of interest in matches not featuring the home nation.
(h/t AAP via The Australian)
It’s actually ironic that I can pinpoint the year that I started to lose interest in the “summer of cricket” as the first year without a tri-series. I love the 50-over version of the game, and I love the competition between three sides. Sure, when Australia was dominant, we all knew who would win the series, but I found that this made the clashes between the two visiting sides all the more interesting. I’m glad that it’s back, as it will make my summer more interesting, and with Australia not being to dominant force of the cricketing world that it once was, I think public interest in the tri-series will be revived.
The two aren’t directly related. The link is one which applies to me.
The Institute of Public Affairs posted on Facebook today to inform everyone that their Freedom Of Speech In Australia night with Andrew Bolt, Mark Steyn and others is now booked out. For those of you who won’t be there, the good news is that a video of the night will be posted online after the event.
At the moment, even though I am booked to be there, I do have to wonder if I may miss out and be forced to wait for the video to be posted online. I hope not, but given the current situation with the ash cloud from the volcano in Chile, it’s a distinct possibility. You see, due to my commitments, I do not have time to drive to Melbourne and can only make it to the evening by flying. I am not a big fan of flying, but I do it when I have to, although I can guarantee you that if I had a couple extra hours of free time on that day, I would drive to Melbourne, stay the night, and drive back the next day. As it happens though, I don’t have that option, so I’ll be flying, unless an ash cloud puts the kibosh on those plans. If that happens, I sadly won’t be going.
My fear though is not that I won’t be able to go, but that I might not be able to get back. I am fortunate that, due to a happy coincidence in my work roster, I do not have to work on Tuesday next week and therefore have plenty of time to make my way back to Canberra as otherwise even flying back might not have been viable, however I do have to be at work at 5:30am on Wednesday, so it would be prudent to be back in Canberra as early as possible. At this time, I intend on being back in the early afternoon, but this assumes that I am able to fly back…if an ash cloud prevents that, then chaos ensues. My two backup plans are either a lengthy train/coach trip which would require me to leave Melbourne quite early in the morning and not reach Canberra until early in the evening, and then I would still have to reach the airport to retrieve my car, leaving little time to settle back in to Canberra and sufficiently rest before work. The other option is a coach trip, which would probably take just as long and probably provide the same problems.
The thought of a hire car did cross my mind, but alas I’m not sure that my budget would stretch that far, nor am I sure that it would be logistically viable for a handful of reasons.
If it looks like the ash cloud may cause an issue for my return trip a bit closer to the date, then I will probably book a “backup plan” ticket just in case. It may very well turn out to be dead money, but it would probably be worthwhile as an insurance policy against getting stuck in Melbourne and being unable to work.
Perhaps I worry too much, but given the fact that I haven’t planned a trip in this much detail for some time and I’m quite excited about going to this event, I do not want it to be ruined or turned in to a chaotic haphazardness of transport by an ash cloud.
I don’t know if I can adequately explain how pleased I was when I heard the news, a little over an hour ago, that Michele Bachmann has entered the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. My pleasure was joined by mild amusement that the announcement came during a debate on CNN. The rusted-on viewers (not the casual ones) of CNN must have been mortified.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday night during a debate of declared and potential Republican presidential contenders that she had filed the paperwork needed to enter the race.
Bachmann, a favorite of the the Tea Party movement, said she intended to make a formal announcement of her candidacy soon.
She and other Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama’s handling of the economy from the opening moments of the two-hour debate and pledged emphatically to repeal the administration’s year-old health care law.
Bachmann, a third-term congresswoman and the first female contender to enter the 2012 race, has been leaning heavily toward a run over the past few months, visiting early primary states, raising money and railing against Obama.
“Our country needs a leader who understands the hardships that people across America have been facing over the past few years, and who will do what it takes to renew the American dream. We must become a strong and proud America again, and I see clearly a better path to a brighter future,” Bachmann said in a statement issued through her new campaign.
She brings high energy, charisma and proven fundraising ability to the Republican race to nominate a challenger to Obama. She also is known for unyielding stances, biting commentary and high-profile gaffes.
Bachmann, 55, spent the bulk of her political career in Minnesota and Washington as a minority party member, reveling in her role as a fierce voice of the opposition. She didn’t let up when Republicans gained control of the U.S. House last fall, enhancing her standing through public breaks with party leaders after she was denied a place in caucus leadership.
The camera-friendly congresswoman has irked some party leaders by grabbing at the spotlight, such as the alternate televised response she delivered to Obama’s State of the Union speech this winter.
Her willingness to speak her mind — she once accused Obama of running a “gangster government” — has brought her both loyal fans and plenty of critics.
Since first hinting at a presidential campaign ahead of an Iowa speech in January, she has made sustained trips there and to New Hampshire and South Carolina, all places with an outsized voice in the nominating process. She previously told reporters she would announce her intentions this month in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa.
Other full-fledged candidates include former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain.
Now that Michele is in the race, I think it is highly unlikely that Sarah Palin will run as they would probably fight over their main loyal audience (most of whom support both) effectively weakening both of them in the battle for the hearts and minds of other voters.
I like Michele about as much as Sarah Palin, and I have absolutely no reservations about supporting her. I’m very glad that she is running because I think she is precisely the type of person that the US needs right now in the place of the ongoing Obama disaster.
At this stage, my thoughts on the rest of the field are that there are a couple people that I can support, but I do so with increasing reservations as I move down the list. Rick Santorum is my second choice, with minimal reservations, and Herman Cain third with a few reservations about his knowledge of foreign affairs; domestically he is solid though.
The rest, well I’m having trouble separating them.
So, Michele 2012. I’m hoping it happens. It’s just a shame that, being a non-US citizen I am not able to financially support her, and as I have respect for campaign finance laws, I’m not willing to flout the law. Still, she has my editorial support.
Padders over at The Right Aussie, noting an article about anti-nuclear power protests in Japan, makes a few very poignant points about nuclear power.
1. Nuclear reactors did not cause the tsunami on March 11, nor any other tsunami for that matter.
Nor did global warming, but it didn’t stop people from claiming it.
2. Think the March 11 earthquake and tsunami were catastrophic? Well, if all nuclear power plants were immediately shut down, you would need to re-define ‘catastrophic’.
Indeed, however it is the aim of the radical types who are driving this agenda to have us use less power, perhaps even no power, thus sending us back to the stone age. What those of us who are sensible would see as catastrophic, the radical left would see as “good”. This is the battle which we face.
4. More people have been killed from an E. coli outbreak at an organic sprout farm in Germany than from the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
And despite this, nobody on the left has called for the banning of organic sprout farms. Hmmm, funny that.
Read more, including the point that I omitted because it relates exclusively to an article to which I am not linking, over at The Right Aussie.