Open Forum: July 30, 2011

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1,290 Responses to Open Forum: July 30, 2011

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  1. America could afford to spend quite a lot less on defence

    Sure, we could pull out of foreign bases and leave Europe and Asia to their own devices and just look out for Number 1. The idea that other countries should fight their own wars has never been completely without its fans, even among a few members of my family when it came to engagement in WWII.

    And after all, if Australia ended up in the poo again, I’m sure either the world’s largest Communist country or the world’s largest Muslim country would send their sons to die for you… right?

  2. Pedro the Ignorant

    Coz, I spent years in the bush, and about the only time I ever saw an owl was with a thermal imaging scope. Occasionally got a glimpse of one flying when the moon was full. (no loony jokes, por favor)

    They have nature’s best camouflage. You are very lucky to see one.

    Same with platypus. Rarely spotted in the wild.

  3. Gabrielle

    It would be a thrill, Coz. A rarity indeed.

    Reminds me, on safari in Zimbabwe years ago, we spotted some wild dogs. Our safari guide told us we were lucky to see the dogs as they are endangered species. Didn’t do much for me I’m afraid, mangy looking things.
    Did come across a herd of elephants, came up close and personal. Magnificent beasts.

  4. sdfc

    sdog

    There’s no need for the US to be in Europe, the Middle-east or Afghanistan. There’s some money they could save right their.

    If the US is serious about cutting expenditure defence has got to take some of the pain.

  5. Michael Sutcliffe

    I live in Toowoomba and see owls many evenings on my drive home. On Monday night there was one on the side of the road that I was worried about running over; he just wouldn’t move.

  6. coz

    i don’t know if i’ll see one again, i think they’re pretty shy here. it didn’t have the circular mask, i only saw it in profile, but it was about 5 metres away on the lawn – quite big, about stocky-cat size. the only pic that looks like it is the third one down on this page…

    http://www.derwent-bridge.com/our-unique-environment

  7. coz

    oh and what’s Toowoomba like?

  8. Michael Sutcliffe

    Big country town. Like many of the towns in rural Tassie. I spent a bit of time in the area around 90 mins north of Hobart, it’s quite similar because Toowoomba is quite high so the climate is moderate. Also families have been here a long time, like Tassie.

  9. Professor Bunyip

    Coz,
    if it’s the bird in the third photo you reference, it’s not an owl. It’s a tawny frogmouth, a member of the nightjar family, more closely related to the kookaburra.

    Magnificent creatures and very efficient hunters. Get yourself a nightscope — very cheap these days — and you are likely to see quite a few.

  10. If the US is serious about cutting expenditure defence has got to take some of the pain.

    Defense always ends up taking “some of the pain” – it’s never been immune from spending cuts as some like to make out, and going through and culling bloat & waste is absolutely necessary from time to time.

    What I was pointing out is that whenever lefties talk about spending cuts, it’s always and only defense spending they talk about “ruthlessly slashing” and never, say, domestic entitlement programs or foreign aid.

  11. Jonty Skinner

    “I would guess that the best economic wisdom lies somewhere between Krugman and Kates: but closer to the Krug side.”

    Well yes. Its clear that you’ve approached this matter with all the deep thought you used in the construction of your pick-up line.

  12. daddy dave

    There’s no need for the US to be in Europe

    of course, they should get out of Germany, etc., but there’s a case for a presence in, say, Poland and Slovakia. The Poles have suffered enough. It would be a tragedy if Russia invaded them again.

  13. The Poles have suffered enough. It would be a tragedy if Russia invaded them again.

    I’m sure the same Europe that can barely even muster a single attack aircraft squadron to bomb Libya to protect their own oil supplies would look after them.

  14. wreckage

    Yeah, Russia’s foreign policy is notorious, a reduced US presence hear its “Near abroad” would probably be bad.

    On the subject of owls: I see one or two a year. The trick is to be in the country with high-powered lights, being in wheat crops (plenty of mice) also helps. As such, working harvest in the wheat belt is a pretty good way to spot owls.

    I saw what I hope was an owl: over a foot tall, forward-facing eyes that reflected orange. All I saw were the eyes. Not many animals have those forward-facing eyes, they’re surprisingly anthropomorphic in isolation. It was either an owl or a flying demonic monkey.

  15. coz

    yeah there’s been lotsa mice this year.

  16. sdfc

    Why would Russia invade Poland or Slovakia. It’s a waste of money to be there to guard against a low probability event.

    You are talking about an open ended commitment. You can’t be serious about reining in the long term budget deficit if you excuse defence from expenditure cuts.

  17. Jonty Skinner

    “I did have a doctor tell me once that an ultrasound of a testicle (mine) looked a bit “motheaten””

    Steve introduces himself to a young lady at a nightclub.

  18. You can’t be serious about reining in the long term budget deficit if you excuse defence from expenditure cuts.

    I don’t appreciate dishonesty. If you have a valid point to make, you should be able to make it without misrepresenting what others have said.

    What part of “it’s never been immune from spending cuts as some like to make out, and going through and culling bloat & waste is absolutely necessary from time to time” did you take to mean “we must excuse defense from expenditure cuts”?

  19. Infidel Tiger

    I could Freddy Krueger the US Defense Budget without the slightest change to on the ground capabilities. First they fire 50% of the pinheads in the Dept. of Defense. Then they put the remaining 50% on notice.

    Secondly stamp out the corruption at the tendering process and eliminate earmarks.

    Thirdly they nuke any country that gives them grief rather than long drawn out pointless nation building bullshit.

  20. sdfc

    Nothing dishonest.

    Nothing dishonest. Fiddly cuts around the edges won’t do it.

    The US needs to stop wasting money on forward bases in regions that can afford their own defence. The Europeans are allies. If they are worried they will pay for it themselves.

  21. Secondly stamp out the corruption at the tendering process and eliminate earmarks.

    ^^THIS^^

  22. Infidel Tiger

    The Europeans are allies.

    Bull dang. They are duplicitous bastards. If anything the bases should be moved to Eastern Europe and Western Europe should be told to take a long walk of a short pier.

  23. sdfc

    The bases should closed.

  24. Nothing dishonest.

    BS. I thought you were interested in an honest debate, but by ascribing to me a position I specifically disavowed just minutes earlier you are demonstrating that you are not an honest player here.

    If you’re more interested in setting up serial strawmen to knock down than in engaging with what people have actually said, waste someone else’s time.

  25. Infidel Tiger

    The bases should closed.

    before the bases are closed, they should close these needless departments:

    ATF
    IRS
    EPA

  26. Not to mention the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts), PBS & NPR (government broadcasters)… kill Obamacare and any “high-speed train,” “green energy” and “carbon abatement” boondoggles… and of course withdraw from the UN.

  27. Infidel Tiger

    It’s so easy to cut the budget. And so much fun.

    Collapsing the property values in D.C and Canberra is something everyone should dream of.

  28. tbh

    They still have to tackle entitlement reform. The US doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of means testing we do for pensions. That needs to change, or they will never properly address their debt problems.

  29. C.L.

    …we are not now and have never been on the road to recovery.

    – Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winner.

  30. C.L.

    Owls are one of my favourites. The Snow Owl is particularly beuatiful.

    Did come across a herd of elephants, came up close and personal. Magnificent beasts.

    Indeed. 🙂

  31. JC

    How true:

    When George W. Bush took up residence in the White House in January 2001, total U.S. debt stood at $5.95 trillion. Last week it was $14.3 trillion, with $2.4 trillion more freshly authorized by Congress.

    Ten years and $8.35 trillion later, what do we have to show for this decade of deficit spending? A glut of unoccupied homes, unemployment exceeding 9 percent, a stalled economy and a huge mountain of debt. Real gross domestic product growth averaged 1.6 percent from the first quarter of 2001 through the second quarter of 2011.

    It doesn’t sound like a very good trade-off. And now Keynesians are whining about discretionary spending cuts of $21 billion next year? That’s one-half of one percent. And it qualifies as a “cut” only in the fanciful world of government accounting.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-05/decade-of-fiscal-stimulus-yields-nothing-but-debt-caroline-baum.html

  32. C.L.

    I thought it was tending across political lines now that America could afford to spend quite a lot less on defence; you know, now that we don’t have a Cold War.

    It amuses me that lefties are now admitting defeat and calling for spending cuts (to the military, of course) – as well as the cessation of the USA’s lengthy, Romanesque garrisoning of Korea, Japan and Western Europe.

    You know who floated sensible budget cutbacks and European devolutions back in 2000?

    George W. Bush.

    You know who mocked him for the notion and proposed doubling American defence spending?

    Al Gore.

  33. daddy dave

    Infidel Tiger:

    I could Freddy Krueger the US Defense Budget without the slightest change to on the ground capabilities. First they fire 50% of the pinheads in the Dept. of Defense. Then they put the remaining 50% on notice.

    Secondly stamp out the corruption at the tendering process and eliminate earmarks.

    Your comments could apply equally to the Australian defence budget.

  34. Gabrielle

    From RWDB:

    The Australian’s Chris Kenny observes:

    Nice to read SMH called extortion girl’s mobile and reports her “bubbly” message.

    After phone hacking scandal that is all class.

    It’s only wrong when it’s a Murdoch paper.

  35. C.L.

    Keep an eye on Gunrunner:

    “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/125634/

  36. sdfc

    Sdog

    I have given you the reason why I believe the bases should be closed. That is honest debate. Stop whinging.

    CL

    I don’t care what Al Gore mocked. It is irrelevant.

  37. Rafe Champion

    This is a nice statement by Heinz Arndt in 1977, commenting on the rabid leftwing campaign against uranium mining.

    It has to be recognized that the anti-uranium campaign for all its apparent preoccupation with the Heroshima syndrome is in large part a byproduct of the anti-growth attitudes which have been one of the luxury products of affluence in western countries.

    When anti-uranium campaigners describe their opponents as arguing ‘for nuclear energy just to maintain the luxuries of the rich’ and plead that, since ‘a more equitable distribution of material wealth’ must come anyhow, ‘uranium to keep up extravagant lifesyles in the rich countnries is only postponing the day of reckoning’, when one of Australia’s most distinguished poets in her capacity of Patron of the Campaign Against Nuclear Power, denounces the three members of the Fox Commission as ‘the final betrayers of our young people’s hopes’ and their report as signifying that ‘Australia has made its choice under the dollar sign’, one wonders whether some of them do not positively welcome the uranium issue [See how Global Warming fits there] as another stick with which to belabour the economic values which they, mostly middle class intellectuals, bored and guilt-ridden by affluence, affect to hate and despise.

  38. Pedro the Ignorant

    Magnificent creatures and very efficient hunters. Get yourself a nightscope — very cheap these days — and you are likely to see quite a few.

    —PROFESSOR BUNYIP !!!! Famous!

    Heartiest welcome back to the Cat, Prof, and congratulations on resuming blogging. Looking forward to your contributions.

  39. Kathryn Hodgkinson

    I am trying to find contact details for Rafe Champion who’s Theis “Flow of Funds to Services for Intellectual Handicap” Chapter 3: Evolution of the Structures of Care – which appears on the internet.

    I am currently putting together research for a Biography on Dr Lorna Hodgkinson and would very much like to talk with you, if you have some time.

    Kindest regards
    Kathryn Hodgkinson (a relative of Lorna)

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