Rafe’s roundup 13 Sept

LATE FINAL EXTRA. Printing problems held up the latest edition of the UK Spectator and to compensate they have put the whole edition on line.

Posts of the week. On the Human Rights Commission. Tim Blair fisks Steve Biddulph. A libertine libertarian liberal in the House. Latham on the travails of the ALP.

Peter Boettke on the failure of governments to learn anything from the financial crisis.

Blast from the past. Tim Dunlop on Tony Abbott.

That a lightweight, puffball cypher like Tony Abbott, who demonstrably lacks popular appeal, and who has singularly failed to articulate a viable, positive justification for his claim to the prime ministership, is in hot contention for that very job is as good an indication as you could find of the power of those oligarchs to shape the world to their own will, of the ineptitude of those who stand against them, and of the inability of our media – old and new – to deliberate outside the narrowest understanding of the national interest.

Compare with the present:

In the campaign, rounded Abbott only shone through once, revealing himself to Annabel Crabb on Kitchen Cabinet. Then the public glimpsed an intelligent, well-read, self-aware and thoughtful man, who resists the hype and adulation that invariably surrounds political leaders.

Conversing with Crabb, Abbott showed that he has gained, from his life experiences, successes and failures, the maturity and judgment to make a very good prime minister. He finally tore up the caricature of conservative Catholic zealot that his opponents and detractors have made for him. Allowing Australians to see more of this “full Tony” surely is key to his longevity as PM.

Poetry. A haiku for Coase. Poetry in motion (why South Africans like AFL).

Around the town: The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Quadrant on line, at the IPA, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies. The Kings Tribune (something a bit different).

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. This weeks edition appears in the afternoon.

IPA HEY! on line, statements of the week.

Education. Ed West, champion of the market in education, and an enduring legacy, The Ed West Centre to promote private education, with amazing success stories in the most unlikely places, like parts of Africa.

Pictorial. The Van Dieman’s Land Company, in the news due to impending Chinese purchase.

Sport and recreation. Ron Barassi interviews Garry Ablett.

For nerds. There are some very interesting and revealing comments on this article on the Coalition move on ARC research grants.

Fungal contribution to the plant/soil interface. This kind of thing was under investigation in the CSIRO Soils Division in Adelaide a few decades ago, key figures were Albert Rovira and Glynn Bowen who shared the supervision of my research on the mucigel and root hairs with Keith Barley at the Waite Ag Research Institute.

These fungi colonize plant roots and extend the root system into the surrounding soil. (Figure 1.) Estimates of amounts of mycorrhizal filaments present in healthy soil are astonishing. Several miles of filaments can be present in less than a thimbleful of soil associated with vigorously growing plants. The relationship is beneficial because the plant enjoys improved nutrient and water uptake, disease resistance and superior survival and growth.

Nearly all commercially produced plants form mycorrhizae and require the association for maximum performance in outplanted environments. (Figure 2). This not-so-glorious association between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is fundamental to plant establishment and growth.

Which reminds me, next month I will return to Hobart to celebrate 50 years of Ag Science at the Uni of Tasmania. I think that is me on the left end of the front row (head partly cut off). They will announce the introduction of a John Beattie Memorial Prize for Soil Science. John Beattie was the man who encouraged me to go overseas to study with Keith Barley in Adelaide. He introduced me to the books of Karl Popper.

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36 Responses to Rafe’s roundup 13 Sept

  1. Rabz

    Ah yes, Dim Tunlop – another self important, two bit, taxpayer subsidised lefty wrongologist.

    Keep the faith, Dimmy boy – nine long years of the Abbottmonster doth loom!

  2. Alfonso

    All of the above are nice, however when Indonesia refuses to accept boatloads of scuttled illegals returning to Indo on RAN ships we’ll see how Liberal fantasy policy meets the road.
    Moylan knows what has to be done. Either multi million dollar bribes of the relevant officials to slash and burn the smugglers with 20 year gaol sentences or Indonesia ceasing its visa free entry by air for 3rd world muslims. Tony can’t fudge the boats.

  3. .

    We will have economic refugees faking it as refugees as long as we have our overly generous resettlement programmes and welfare, public heatlhcare and free public goods for non citizens.

    “The boats” are a non issue compared to that fact.

  4. Rod Clarke

    Thanks Rafe –

    Off Topic – does anyone else sense that Bill Shortens mother in law is taking a long time to Swear In our new PM>?

  5. .

    “economic migrants faking it as refugees or claiming asylum”

    Fixed.

  6. Alfonso

    The boats are a euphemism for all immigrants from failed 3rd world anti Western values cultures….legal or illegal

  7. Rod Clarke

    I also wonder if Obama fumbling and weak “go…no..go” on Syria was impacted by Kevin Rudd in anyway????

  8. .

    Alfonso #1000255, posted on September 13, 2013 at 9:17 am
    The boats are a euphemism for all immigrants from failed 3rd world anti Western values cultures….legal or illegal

    Err, no. Reality check, Alfonso.

    Howard stopped the boats (but he spent a shitload on doing so, he could have just cut the welfare off) and had immigration at all time highs, especially from Asia, even though he was characterised as ‘anti Asian’.

    It’s just more cost effective to lock up a bank vault than to employ a gaurd to protect it when it is open.

  9. Alfonso

    Yawn…why all the dithering, let’s have a binding referendum on 3rd world immigration right now, what possible objection could there be to the will of the people revealing itself? Smiley insert.

  10. .

    Yes lets’ have it. You seem to think demanding this means you are right, whereas the last Government that has ever tried this, rather than cutting off welching economic migrants coming through as boaties, gets dumped hard.

    Good luck considering how much heritage in Australia is immigrant – even the Anglo Celts and other Europeans. The Baltic immigrants on the Snowy Hydro scheme could hardly be classified as anything but 3rd world refugees at the time, as well as most of Europe up to the mid 1950s.

    Whitlam and Rudd got flogged. The ALP tried the WAP and it will never get back up. The Australain Protectionist Party is defunct and other anti immigation parties got flogged this time around.

    You forget who in Western Sydney is voting Coalition. It is immigrants who want to better themselves. Even some former refugees.

  11. Ant

    Got to hand it to the Indonesians. They take our foreign aid money and then come gift shopping for 1,000,000 hectare parcels of Australian territory. When they’re not acquiring Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the Americans for $1.6B, that is. Do we have any of those (or any attack helicopters for that matter)? I think not.

    Somehow, I think they’re smarter than us.

  12. .

    I have no doubt at all that they are playing us for chumps. Which is even more hilarious considering the condescending attitude of some pro foreign aid Australians.

  13. Alfonso

    The only thing the 2 party Establishment has to fear is fear itself…..well, that and the prospect of regular binding referenda.

  14. .

    …Alfonso plenty of smaller parties wanting higher immigration were elected in the last three general elections…the Greens, Xenophon, LDP, PUP…

    The only thing you have to fear is losing a referendum that will be too unpopular to even pass either the House or Senate.

  15. Ant

    I think it’s called getting handed your arse on a plate.

  16. Makka

    I’m not a fan of any Foreign Aid. It is a cesspit of corruption and odious characters. But I accept that we are obligated to provide some where it is in our interest to do so. But, it should NOT be money. If something needs building ; a road, a water purifications system, natural disater help, medical centres etc etc then there are PLENTY of reputable Australian companies able to deliver the Aid under contract from the AusGov.

    Providing our aid through NGO’s is a very expensive farce. Our money goes into providing Landcruisers , airconditioned offices and sumptuous accomodations for these poncy parasites who often tend to come from shining lights of probity like the Eurozone, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. If we provide Aid then let Australian companies benefit from it and we have the knowledge that the money leaves something behind of value. There is a valuable spin off to this not often acknowledged. Many MANY locals that come into contact or working for Australian companies in foreign lands benefit mightily from their contact with us. Aussies are highly regarded for their work ethic and fairmindedness in expatriate situations. Family alliances form in these situations, all grassroots of goodwill. This influences the thinking and lives of locals in so many enduring ways. I hope the LNP overhauls our Aid schemes from top to bottom and CUTS THE WASTE right out of it.

  17. Rafe

    Just about the only aid to the Third World that does more good than harm is hands on health care. Anything from from government to government will do more harm than good, as Peter Bauer explained in a series of studies starting in the 1940s.

    “For decades Lord Bauer stood alone in opposition to the view that only planning and foreign aid could produce economic development in poor third world countries… He watched marketing boards destroy a flourishing peasant agriculture keyed to exports, forcing the peasants back into subsistence farming… In theory, the marketing boards were set up to stabilize prices. In practice, the boards were used to confiscate the farmers’ profits. The main result of development planning, said Bauer, was to destroy individual initiative, which is the most important factor of production… Bauer’s dissent on development was based on his realization of the importance of traders in moving an economy from subsistence to exchange. This critical activity of traders was curtailed by the regulations imposed by development planning… With planning and aid came poverty and war. Foreign aid, Bauer noted, made control of the government a life-and-death matter, causing genocidal warfare between tribes. He did not spare his muddle-headed colleagues, who fervently believed they were doing good by socializing poor lands when any fool could see that not even England could afford socialism… Bauer’s books on development economics are the only ones worth reading. The rest are evidence of a pathology of delusion that wrecked the lives of millions of innocent people.”

  18. Alfonso

    Then you won’t have anything to worry about when citizens initiated referenda arrive and the great unwashed actually get to decide….will you?
    Another supporter, that’s great.

  19. Rod Clarke

    Thanks for the link on Peter Bauer Rafe

  20. egg_

    Conversing with Crabb, Abbott showed that he has gained, from his life experiences, successes and failures, the maturity and judgment to make a very good prime minister. He finally tore up the caricature of conservative Catholic zealot that his opponents and detractors have made for him. Allowing Australians to see more of this “full Tony” surely is key to his longevity as PM.

    Tradition PM-elect cameo I guess, then back off with the gloves…
    Crabb was crapping on about AGW sh!te during the election night coverage.

  21. jupes

    A nation is not truly independent if it relies on foreign aid.

    Economic independence should have been a criterion before empires gave political independence. Many third world nations are addicted to aid and have no intention of getting off it.

  22. .

    Alfonso #1000352, posted on September 13, 2013 at 10:26 am
    Then you won’t have anything to worry about when citizens initiated referenda arrive and the great unwashed actually get to decide….will you?
    Another supporter, that’s great.

    I am against CIR for proposing laws. It should be sued to strike them down.

    I’d make an exception this time. Bring it on anyway, you would lose, you are denial about the last elections we have had anyway or the heritage most Australians have.

    Your idea would end immigration from countries we treated as colonies, so it is two faced and unethical. To treat Fiji and PNG like colonies and then deny them immigration is parsimonious. Your idea is also ridiculous. There are parts of Australia which are worse off than most third world nations bar Liberia.

  23. .

    Cutting off aid and ending generous resttlement programs and welfare and free public goods and healthcare for non citizens would see the international siuation and immigration issues improve remarkably, along with full blown free trade and investment, and encouraging others to do so.

    Basically, we’d be trying to get our interaction in the world economy to end it’s welfare mentality.

  24. Alfonso

    “parsimonious”….even the Liberts can’t resist limiting the citizens choices for their own good, of course. The assimilation of all immigrants except the aforementioned 3rd world will be apparent in any vote….I’d up the carried mark to 60:40 just to rub the result in and stop the Establishment from whining.

  25. .

    You’re fantasising about shit that has beaten back at the ballot box since the end of WWII.

  26. jupes

    To treat Fiji and PNG like colonies and then deny them immigration is parsimonious.

    Fiji was a British colony.

    I don’t see why citizens of former colonies have a right to immigrate. Colonisation as practiced by the Brits was to teach them how to run their country in the modern world then grant independence, not to gain billions of new citizens.

  27. Alfonso

    You’re confusing single issue parties that the electorate knows couldn’t run a raffle with a binding referendum on parties that can run a raffle, a whole different ball of wax.

  28. .

    Jupes

    What about the Kanakas?

    Pretty rough using people as slaves in all but name and then just cut them off for no reason at all other than an arbitrary reason Alfonso dreams up.

    To some extent, PNG and Fiji are still client states. It may be cheaper just annex them as territories and send them to prep school for Statehood.

    You’re confusing single issue parties that the electorate knows couldn’t run a raffle with a binding referendum on parties that can run a raffle, a whole different ball of wax.

    …and the major parties would oppose this as well. You want minor parites (APP, AAFI, RUA etc) who are even more poorly organised than the LDP, Xenophon or PUP to back this referendum.

    You would lose. Badly.

  29. jupes

    What about the Kanakas?

    That episode in history was unsavoury but an entirely different thing than colonisation.

    PNG was never technically a colony either however I agree that it was in practice. Australia (Whitlam) gave PNG ‘independence’ far too early and therefore I accept that we have a large degree of responsibility for it now. Nevertheless that responsibility does not include a right for PNG citizens to immigrate to Australia. That wouldn’t be good for either country.

  30. .

    I’m suggesting that we ought to be one country anyway (better than just doling out aid) and so cutting off immigration before that happens would be just odd.

  31. jupes

    I’m suggesting that we ought to be one country anyway

    Be careful what you wish for. I would agree with re-colonisation but not absorption into Australia. PNG have 5 -7 million tribal people whose entire experience of government is that it has one function only – to give them stuff.

    Pretty sure I know which side of politics would benefit from having PNG as a seventh state.

  32. Eyrie

    Ant, we do have attack helicopters. 22 Eurocopter Tigers. 30mm cannon, rockets , Hellfires.
    We should have more. 2 squadrons in Darwin and a conversion unit at Oakey. Over the last 18 months it has been my and Mrs Eyrie’s pleasure to spend a fair bit of time in the company of some of the young men and women who fly them. Mrs Eyrie’s Anzac biscuits were popular. Meeting these people gives us faith in the younger generations.

  33. jupes

    Ant, we do have attack helicopters. 22 Eurocopter Tigers …

    ..which were unable to be deployed to Afghanistan.

  34. Ant

    Thanks, jupes. Forgot about the little Pussycats we purchased off the Euroretards.

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