Terrorists one week, tofu the next

Trump Targets Michelle Obama’s School Nutrition Guidelines on Her Birthday.

“Democrats reacted furiously.”

The children’s obesity crisis is real enough but the answer lies with responsible parenting, not Stalinist control of school menus. President Trump is systematically destroying the Obamas’ legacy and it’s beautiful to watch. This is how you do it. Salt the leftist earth. Then nuke the entire site from orbit.

Posted in American politics, Take Nanny down | 30 Comments

Roundup 18 Jan

MEMO TO SCOMO. TRY A BIT OF ROGERNOMICS. Structural reform that transformed New Zealand in the 1980s.


Good news everyone, Dan Prawn’s collected slides from the background to his wonderful little song are available in a massive zipped file if people want to post a comment with a request.

Keep up with Jo Nova, invaluable fresh material almost every day.

Liberty Quote  History is littered with examples of politicians withdrawing citizens’ rights to free expression because they did not like what they had been saying about them at a particular moment in history.

Scratch the surface of this proposal and you will find a harsh new regime which stands to damage Australia’s reputation as a democracy and might well come back to bite the politicians, academics and publishers who are supporting it today.  — Mark Pearson

Germany on the road to recession. European carmakers could be fined more than £12bn ($22.6bn) for failing to obey new European rules on emissions. Most expect to miss the deadline next year and they are  selling smaller models to limit the damage.

The lunacy of  the law is that targeting CO2 prompted a shift towards diesel that puts out more genuinely dangerous pollutants than petrol.

Germany’s industrial base, which relies heavily on the likes of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, has been particularly hard hit, with thousands of jobs slashed and billions pumped into switching from combustion engines to electric motors. The emissions-rigging scandal at VW, uncovered in 2015, has intensified that pressure.

Increasing numbers of cities are limiting or banning petrol and diesel cars to tackle air pollution, with Oxford and York in Britain the latest to impose tough new rules. The regulations force carmakers to cut emissions to 95g of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Peter Ridd reports on a major study of defective research coming out of James Cook University.

Peter described the findings of a study that checked the results of eight previous studies. None of the findings were replicated.

All the erroneous studies were done by scientists from James Cook Universities highly prestigious Coral Reef Centre. They were published in high profile journals, and attracted considerable media attention.

This is the second time these 7 authors have got together to reveal a major scientific scandal. They were the whistle blowers of the infamous Lonnstedt scientific fraud in 2018. Lonnstedt, originally a PhD student at JCU, is also one of the scientists involved with these latest erroneous studies. She was found guilty of fabricating data in Sweden.

What is it about James Cook University?

Spotlight on Philip Munday, serial offender, the author involved in all eight of the suspect papers.

Continue reading

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 17 Comments

Lest we forget. Berlin Blockade 1948

When the Germans close their nuclear power stations and complete the longer-term project to close the coal stations they will be heavily dependent on gas from Russia. What could go wrong?

Seventy years ago.

“The airlift was a lifeline for West Berlin,” says Hope Harrison, an associate professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University who has written extensively on the Cold War, Germany and Russia. “To feel that the U.S. and Great Britain, who had been their enemies, weren’t giving up on them. The last time they were doing anything, they were dropping bombs, and instead they’re bringing in food and coal and everything else.”

Posted in International, Rafe | 24 Comments

Duda Day: Polish President Bests Putin In Holocaust Brawl

IN Jerusalem on Monday, world leaders will begin arriving to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The large-scale event is part of a broader Fifth World Holocaust Forum dedicated both to remembrance and the renewed condemnation of antisemitism. It will be hosted by Yad Vashem (Israel’s official Holocaust memorial). Organisers say they don’t want the event to become an arena for ongoing historical fights, most especially the one underway between Poland and Russia. It already is, however, and the way the bout has been managed so far does not reflect well on Yad Vashem. More on that to come. Poland will host its own commemoration of the liberation on 27 January (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) but Vladimir Putin will not attend. Putin is enraged by Poland’s attribution to his country of joint responsibility for World War II owing to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the secret protocols that led to the annexation of Polish territories 17 days after Germany’s invasion sparked the formal outbreak of hostilities. On Poland’s initiative, the European Parliament marked the anniversary of the Pact last year – to Russia’s disgust. Warsaw also believes Poland’s commemoration should take logical precedence, historically and prestige-wise, over Israel’s.

Not surprisingly, the fallout from these nasty contretemps has made planning the Jerusalem event complex. Already, officials have been forced to explain the decision to invite Andrzej Duda to attend but not to speak – as leaders of other WWII principals, including Putin, will. It is thought the Russian President intends to re-state a charge he made after the Pact commemoration in December – to the effect that Poland itself was partly responsible for the war thanks to the allegedly sinister dealings of Jozef Lipski, “an anti-Semitic swine” Putin called Poland’s war-time ambassador to Germany. President Duda refuses to be present, let alone silent, as such incendiary claims are repeated. Consequently, he will not attend the Israeli commemoration.

For its part, Yad Vashem refuses to be drawn into polemical warring between the two nations. However shameful his historical distortions and Pact denialism, nor will it reprimand Vladimir Putin under any circumstances. As the Jerusalem Post notes, the World Holocaust Forum is bankrolled by billionaire Russian-Jewish oligarch Moshe Kantor, a close friend and associate of the Russian President. While the decision to schedule as speakers only leaders of Allied nations and Germany seems neat on the face of it, millions of the Nazis’ victims were Poles and Poland is where – and why – the war began. President Duda has a right to be angry. As to whether it was prudent to draw attention to the 23-month partnership between Stalin and Hitler – 1939 to 1941 – opinions may vary but only one gels with what Yad Vashem is meant to be all about: remembering the ugly truth. There is no uglier one than that money talks. If Yad Vashem’s continued obsession with Pope Pius XII is anything to go by – I believe it is – there may be a back-story to Poland’s marginalisation: the nation is the most Catholic of proxies imaginable in the post-war world.

With frantic anti-Christian/anti-Western screeds appearing in the Israeli press in the run-up to the Holocaust anniversary – this one by Manfred Gerstenfeld makes reference to the “alleged son of God” when plain “Jesus” would obviously suffice – it may be time for Yad Vashem to take a longer look at itself. While the memorial’s official word on Pius XII bears the hallmarks of disinterested academic balance, the longstanding animosity to the war-time pontiff obviously perdures. “Roman Catholics might have been inspired to do more for Jews,” it asserts – ignoring the millions of Catholics who signed up to fight the Nazis and died doing so. The conflation of “the Vatican” with the Church and even with individual Catholics (who could have done “more”) is so jarringly inept intellectually that a suspicion arises that this is a prejudice too treasured to jettison. It seems Pope Pius has become the living embodiment of Christian history itself – with all of its lamentable anti-Jewish episodes – and cannot be paroled; culpability, once attributed, is salving and difficult to sacrifice. Nevertheless, criticising a leader with no army for supposedly not ‘speaking out’ (and getting thousands more killed) is morally dubious when contrasted with Yad Vashem’s effete aversion to offending Russia’s nuclear-armed tyrant. The only man to emerge from an affair Haaretz calls “dirty” is Andrzej Duda. Silenced but right.

Posted in Ethics and morality, History | 37 Comments

Open Forum: January 18, 2020

Posted in Open Forum | 2,220 Comments

Lost and Found in Australia

THE young volunteer killed when his truck was was flipped by a fire tornado while he and others were fighting the Green Valley blaze in Jingellic was farewelled today in Holbrook. Samuel McPaul, 28, has been described by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “the best of us.” His pregnant widow, Megan, was given his bravery medal by RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. The couple’s baby is due in May. Thank you, Sam.

ON a suddenly flooded million acre station in the Pilbara, three year-old Matilda went a-waltzing and spent the night on the muddy banks of a billabong. Her steadfast Jack Russell remained by her side throughout. The duo was spotted by the pilot of one of three helicopters searching the area. Matilda’s Aunt Chooky says “Wolfy” the terrier is “the goodest boy a little girl could wish for.” Two miles and 24 hours from the homestead when found, a lesser creature might have returned to his tucker-box. But not Wolfy.

Posted in Australian Story | 23 Comments

CBS struggling to find any bad news in Trump’s America

The U.S. is near full employment. Get ready for a bad flu season.

Americans are urged to get flu shots every year, but there may be another factor that could sway them toward immunization: The country’s rising employment rate.

Because the U.S. is close to full employment, workplaces are more crowded, allowing the flu virus to spread more easily, according to an economist. In fact, each 1-percentage point increase in the employment rate correlates with a 16% bump in flu-related doctors’ visits, Erik Nesson, an associate professor of economics at Ball State University in Indiana, said.

“It seems to be a place where higher economic activity is detrimental to people’s health,” Nesson said in an interview Wednesday.

Having achieved or presided over full employment, a record-breaking stock market, a complete renovation of US foreign policy, the muzzling of Iran, the hitherto unimaginable coaxing of North Korea, the first steps away from a failed Afghanistan War, the de-Ginsburging of the judiciary and the demolition of the Russia hoax, it’s no wonder the media has only two stories to run. Besides Trump ‘flu, there is the imminent impeachment trial. Democrats and the journalists who work for them will be covering every angle of the circus to damage Donald Trump but it’s too late. Americans tuned out of Ukraine miscellanea months ago. It’s the second drawer down in the scandal kitchen. They also know the Democrats are running a sausage machine whose issue is offal and whose purpose is assassination-by-poison. Taking its theatrical lead from Speaker Pelosi, the New York Times (above) is playing the story as straight news; as a reality-based event. A “somber ritual,” it says. Yes, one could describe a desecration as sombre. And that’s what this ‘trial’ is: a desecration of democracy and the Constitution by embittered liars covering up their own catalogue of crimes.

Posted in American politics, Fake News | 75 Comments

Wollemi ace now wants an end to coal exports … and debate

DOUBTLESS enlivened by the success of a multi-million dollar, emission-spewing mission to save some non-rare trees in a national park somewhere – which may or may not have been endangered by fire anyway – NSW environment minister Matt Kean has now hit out at “climate change sceptics” in his own Liberal Party. The new “Biggles” of Australian politics, Kean boasted to Fairfax journalist Peter Hannam this week that he ordered a fleet of air-tankers, fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter (from which a crack team of firemen were offloaded) to protect a stand of mystical Wollemi trees at an unspecified date during the current bushfires. While seventeen people have died in NSW during the crisis, not a single Wollemi has been lost on Kean’s watch. A “military-style operation,” he called it. Gareth Evans’ infamous RAAF surveillance flights over Tasmania’s proposed Franklin Dam site in the early days of the Hawke government look modest in comparison.

Newly endorsed by Richard Di Natale, Kean is angry with his Canberra colleagues. “We shouldn’t need a royal commission to convince Craig Kelly and the likes of him in the federal coalition partyroom to believe climate change is real,” he told ABC radio yesterday. He also wants all debate about ‘climate change’ stopped so that Australia can begin selling clean, non-existent energy sources overseas. “The reality is that the majority of the world market we currently ship our coal to are starting to decarbonise and they’re looking for newer, cheaper products to power their economies.” (Is there any oil in those Wollemis?). Maybe Kean has been speaking to Lenore Taylor. She argues today the states should consider circumventing the Morrison government to reduce the country’s carbon dioxide output by themselves. This, she implies, will end bushfires. All the states have to do is shut down their mines and power stations. All of them. Good luck with that.

Posted in Economics on the left, Politics of the Left | 57 Comments

The Intellectuals and Climate Change

Here is a money quote out of Hayek’s essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism”.

Hayek’s writing is not joy to read so I have put stuff in square  brackets to make his meaning clearer. It is clear enough in the context of the whole paper but that is a really heavy read and you have to be a bit of a nerd with some spare time to take it on.

A new theory may be judged as valid because it seems to illuminate some things but it will produce other new conclusions which further advance will show to have been erroneous.  But in such an instance the false belief will appear [it can be presented to the public] with all the prestige of the latest scientific knowledge supporting it [and be picked  up and promulgated by a certain class of intellectuals]. Although in the particular field to which this belief applies all the scientific evidence may be against it, it will nevertheless, before the tribunal of the intellectuals and in the light of the ideas which govern their thinking,  be selected as the view which is best in accord with the spirit of the time. The specialists who will thus achieve public fame and wide influence will thus not be those who have gained recognition by their peers but will often be men whom the other experts regard as cranks, amateurs, or even frauds, but who in the eyes of the general public nevertheless become the best known exponents of their subject.

Think of your favourite people among the usual suspects who hold forth on climate issues on the ABC and the MSM.

UPDATE. Taking up some points from the comments and a conversation off line concerning differences of opinion about the nature and characteristics of the people who Hayek called intellectuals. First a bit more about their influence.

It is not surprising that the real scholar or expert and the practical man of affairs often feel contemptuous about the intellectual, are disinclined to recognize his power, and are resentful when they discover it. Individually they find the intellectuals mostly to be people who understand nothing in particular especially well and whose judgement on matters they themselves understand shows little sign of special wisdom. But it would be
a fatal mistake to underestimate their power for this reason.

Even though their knowledge may often be superficial and their intelligence limited, this does not alter the fact that it is their judgement which mainly determines the views on which society will act in the not too distant future. It is no exaggeration to say that, once the more active part of the intellectuals has been converted to a set of beliefs, the process by which these become generally accepted is almost automatic and irresistible. These intellectuals are the organs which modern society has developed for spreading knowledge and ideas, and it is their convictions and opinions which operate as the sieve through which all
new conceptions must pass before they can reach the masses.

Hayek used intellectuals for want of a better term to describe all the people who deal in ideas who have some pretence of learning (excluding pop singers and people who write graffiti on walls). That covers a very wide range of people.  Continue reading

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe, Taking out the trash | 51 Comments

The backlist of Dan Prawn – the Johnny Cash man

The History of Western Philosophy. Inspired by the book of the same name by Bertrand Russell. It morphs into the wonderful dialogue of Douglas Murray and John Anderson.

Thanks and apologies to commentators, this is abbreviated to minimise the risk of blowback from the usual suspects.

Posted in Australian Story, Philosophy, Rafe, Western Civilsation | 3 Comments