Full fathom 5 my Slipper lies.


The drama in Canberra has inspired me to discover a long lost poem by one Mr William Shakespere.

Full fathom 5 my slipper lies:

Of his reputation cesspools are made:

Those little turds that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade:

But doth suffer a Party-change:

Into something stink and manged:

Press gallery hourly ring his knell:

Dong-Dong

Fark, now I hear them,– Dong-Dong, Taxi!!

Original below the fold.

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A long fisking of a stupid Parlimentarian


I caught Christine Milne (Greens Tasmania) on ABC news radio yesterday  on Thursday during the opening speeches about the minerals taxation bill.

The sheer “did she just say that” stupidity was breathtaking… That she hasnt been pilloried in the press for it speaks volumes about the poor state of political reporting in Australia today.

So Im going to fisk it a little, its a loooong speech, so it will take quite a while, her speech will be plain text, my observations will be bold.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Crossin):

Order! The Senate is considering the minerals resource rent tax legislation as a package.

Senator MILNE

(Tasmania—Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (19:30):

I rise tonight to discuss what sort of future we aspire to have in this country, because, whilst the specific is the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 and associated legislation, the context in which we are debating this tax is what sort of vision do we have for Australia in the next 20, 30 or 50 years. How you raise the money and where you spend it will determine that kind of country, because the future is actually an extension of the present and it is shaped by the decisions and actions we make.

Here Christine is using her amazing intellect to tell us time is linear, and actions have consequences… probably the highest point of her speech

More, oh so much more.. under the fold

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Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

Why Julia stabbed Wilkie


Its perfectly simple, heres a pictorial.

Mr Wilkie proposed restrictions on poker machines. He was extremely sincere in his opposition to them.

This is Julia Gillard, she was extremely sincere in wishing to form government in Australia after the last election.

This is Julia Gillard sincerely forming government with the Support of Mr Wilkie, who believed he had secured a sincere promise of pokie reform in exchange for Ms Gillard securing power.

Then something happened to change everything…

This!

The ALP owns a number of the clubs that in turn, own a number of pokie machines, State ALP received hundreds of thousands in donations every election from these clubs.

Now Julia is left honouring an agreement she feels little or nothing about, if she does this state ALP branches will lose a huge source of funding. State ALP may be in  sincere “discussions” about this..

So its perfectly simple, to keep a promise she made which will cause her party financial pain, and make another “Kevin” challenge inevitable, or burn Wilkie.

Facinating Mr Wilkie, come closer and tell me more...

Wilkie is toast.

From the Australian, a bit of vital background…

“But Mr Hatch told The Australian Online he didn’t see how the Canberra Labor Clubs group, which donated about $600,000 to the ACT branch of the Labor Party in 2009-10, could isolate the compensation from other revenue sources.”

#ProTip for Following the GOP Primaries


I find the GOP debates & endless caucus coverage marginally more bearable if I turn down the volume and use the Benny Hill theme song as a soundtrack instead. Here’s a 10-hour loop (!) which might come in handy as Super Tuesday looms…

N.B. Works equally well as an accompaniment to Australian Parliamentary Question Time coverage.

A Decade of Tim Blair — Blogger, Legend


Gavin Atkins at Asian Correspondent marks the milestone:

Blogger/journalist Tim Blair has never been one to take a lot of notice of plaudits, awards or milestones – in fact, he assiduously ignores them – but the recent passing 10-year anniversary of his blog should not go by without comment.

For many Australians of a conservative or libertarian bent, about ten years ago, just reading or watching the news was like being asked to wade through a floating garbage dump of dogma to try and read what was written on the ground. What’s more, most of us were left cursing, as only the most watered down of our thoughts would ever make it through as a letter to the editor.

Tim Blair changed all that with his blog that tackled the idiocies of the left pretty much as they happened. His blog filled a niche that conservatives were crying out for, and his comment sections soon became almost as entertaining as the articles. [...]

Along the way, he has invented terms such as Blair’s Law and the Gore Effect as well as alerting the world to the alarming tendency of lefties to tilt their heads in photographs.

And then there’s the Plastic Turkey meme, the new verbs “to beclown” and “to Fisk,” and probably a whole lot more that others can add in comments.

One thing Gavin didn’t mention was how global Tim Blair’s appeal has turned out to be  - in fact, one sledge often thrown at him by some of his resident trolls is that he has “too many” American fans and commenters.  For some reason, his Leftoid Australian detractors believed that was some sort of fatal “gotcha”.

Ah, his trolls!  Not only have Tim’s blogging efforts attracted some of the most clever and witty commenters over the years, they’ve seen him collect some of the most dedicated, demented, obsessive and sometimes just chuckleheadedly-silly assortment of sockpuppets and trolls ever seen in one place.

Go over and read Gavin’s whole piece, and be sure to leave your thoughts & favourite memories/recollections in comments either here or there.

Happy Tenth Blogiversary, Tim!

P.S. Where’s Wronwright with that mead…?

P.P.S. As our blogroll has been rather neglected of late, if you are one of the #BlairNation troupe of bloggers (new motto, #WeAreUs – thanks Julia!) and aren’t listed over on the right-hand side there ——->
just drop your blog link in comments and we’ll get it updated. Cheers.

UPDATE:  More comments now at The Blogfather’s here:  TEN YEARS OF LOVE.  As Puce would have said, CLICK.

PAUL EHRLICH, still wrong after all these years.


For some obscure reason an Australian University was playing host to Paul Ehrlich this week, and apparently his lecture wasnt titled “I was wrong, boy wasnt that silly”. No instead hes jumped both feet first on the Global warming bandwagon and milking it for all hes worth.

 

Mr Ehrlich at his day job

 

As a serial wrongist of long standing I felt it might be worth a gentle layman’s Fisk of his radio interview.

ELEANOR HALL: The United Nations says the world’s population will reach 7 billion some time today, though it concedes the date is symbolic and its calculations could be out by six months in either direction.

The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says reaching the 7 billion mark is an opportunity for progress.

But Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and author of the controversial book, The Population Bomb, Dr Paul Ehrlich, says the milestone is no cause for celebration:

PAUL EHRLICH: I think it’s cause for a lot of alarm and so does every scientist I know.

(Every scientist he knows, careful parsing of the phrase there Paul)

You have got to face it, we still have close to 3 billion people living in poverty, almost a billion hungry. We are wrecking our environment, we are changing the climate, we are toxifying the planet from pole to pole and the worst thing is that nobody is doing anything about it.

(Heres an article from a poverty fighting website, in fact things are getting better on an absolute level, in pretty well every area mentioned,

  • 25 years ago in China, over 600M people were living on < $1/day. Today this number is 180M … meaning 420M+ people are now above this level.
  • Between 1999 and 2004, 135M people worldwide rose from < $1/day to above this level. This is more people, more quickly than at any other time in history.
  • In South Asia, the number of people without clean water has halved since 1990.
  • In 1975, 75% of people aged 15-25 were literate. Now the rate is almost 90%.
  • In 1970, the fertility rate in East Asia/Pacific was 5.4 and now is 2.1 In South Asia, it was 60 and now is 3.1. Overall, global fertility has fallen from 4.8 to 2.6 in 25 years. Africa has all but one of the countries with fertility rates above 5.0.
  • A World Bank study noted that every 1% increase in national income her person in an emerging country translated in 1.3% fall in extreme poverty.
  • In 2007, the global economy entered its fifth year of over 4% growth — the longest period of expansion since the 1970′s. Also, trade grew 9% despite all of the challenges.
  • Almost half of all humans lives in countries with growth of more than 7% per year (which doubles the economy every decade).
  • Inequality has risen in both rich and poor countries overall, but there are examples where this is not true questioning whether globalization is the main culprit of inequality. The Economist argues that lack of [quality] education is likely the biggest culprit.
  • In 1990, more than 25% of people in developing countries lived on < $1/day. At current rates, this will be 10% by 2015.
  • Income is not the only way to quantify improvement for the poor. Monetary measures understate the real gains from things such as lower child mortality, safer water, literacy and other social achievements.
  • A study shows that the number of conflicts (international and civil) fell from over 50 at the start of the 1990′s to just over 30 in 2005. The number of international wars peaked in the 1970′s and have been falling ever since. The death toll in battle fell from over 200,000 a year in the mid-1990′s to below 20,000 in the mid-2000′s. [The WHO has higher numbers.]
  • The number of incidents of terrorism has increased since 2001 although the number is still very small.

 

Much, much more paul slapping under the fold.

Or you could just watch this little video from

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

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