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The curse of interesting times

The Chinese curse is “may you live in interesting times” and that certainly seems to be the case at present since the changes in the Senate have brought the Palmer party into play. They certainly have shown themselves to be totally out of their depth and it must be vexatious to be obliged to deal with them to get important legislation through the upper house.  They have done a good job of proving that they are just as loopy as the Greens with the debacle of their attempts to amend the Carbon tax to add punitive measures against any businesses that fails to pass on the savings to their customers shows that they are in their own way greener than the loopy Greens.

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Even so its better than having the Labor/Greens holding the senate in their hot little hands, still not a great option but definitely better than what went before  but am I the only one who is wishing that Clive would succumb to the negative consequences of his obesity?   Because I can’t decide if he is more objectionable in the media saturation that he has achieved that the whining sanctimony that we get from Christine  Milne and Sarah Hanson Young?

Dreaming of a little boredom Comrades

fandari frontale

A Gilliaganesque voyage , or Just look at who was on that boat…

 Photo: Scott Morrison released a statement saying 41 asylum seekers were returned to Sri Lanka's navy yesterday. (AAP: Joe Castro)

Photo: Scott Morrison released a statement saying 41 asylum seekers were returned to Sri Lanka’s navy yesterday. (AAP: Joe Castro)

The Federal Government has confirmed that 41 asylum seekers have been handed over to Sri Lankan authorities after being intercepted near the Cocos Islands.

It is believed that two boats were intercepted north-west of Australia in late June, but the Government was not confirming their existence.

However, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has now confirmed that one of the boats, intercepted west of the Cocos Islands, was carrying 37 Sinhalese and four Tamils from Sri Lanka.

A statement from the Immigration Minister says the 41 people on board were processed at sea and transferred to the Sri Lankan navy yesterday near Sri Lanka.

The Government says one of the Sinhalese may have a case for seeking asylum but opted to be handed back to Sri Lanka.

Well how is that? Now that these would be illegal immigrants have been handed back to the  Sri Lankan navy I very much doubt that there will be  a new flood of mendicants following their example and buying passage on a voyage of gilliaganesque proportions that takes them nowhere. To me the thing that I find most in interesting about this cohort is their ethnicity. Namely that the majority were not even Tamils  they were Sinhalese  which very neatly undermines the arguments form the open borders left who have been insisting that they are all Tamils. Frankly if ever there was proof that these are economic migrants then that is the clincher right there.

Isn’t it nice to see our government doing what it promised?

Cheers Comrades

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Janet Albrechtsen and Auntie

Janet Albrechtsen.

Janet Albrechtsen.

The Abbott government has appointed conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen and former deputy Liberal Party leader Neil Brown to the panel overseeing appointments to the boards of the ABC and SBS.

The four-person nomination panel, which is appointed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, presents a shortlist of recommendations to the government when vacant ABC and SBS board positions arise.

Dr Albrechtsen and Mr Brown will serve alongside businessman David Gonski and former diplomat Ric Smith, whose terms expire next year.

Labor introduced a merit-based appointment process in 2011, which was aimed at depoliticising the ABC and SBS boards.

SBS has two vacant board positions – including the position of chairman – and the ABC has one vacant position.

Dr Albrechtsen, a columnist for The Australian and former lawyer, has previously derided the ABC as a “Soviet-style workers collective”.

She was appointed to the ABC board by the Howard government and she served on it from 2005 to 2010.

In November, Dr Albrechtsen called for ABC managing director Mark Scott to resign for airing stories based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden about Australian intelligence operations in Indonesia.

Mr Brown, a former Victorian Liberal MP, served as deputy Liberal leader under John Howard in opposition and as the communications minister and minister for business and consumer affairs in the Fraser government.

Call me a politics tragic if  you like but I could not help finding this to be a promise of rancor to come because I can’t help but expect that there will be a whole stampede of our friends form the left who are going to be having kittens about the thought of Janet Albrechtsen having a big say in the selection of boards of both the ABC and SBS. Heaven help us if the result was boards that did not lean so far  to the left…
Cheers Comrades
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But, as Cook points out, this means that ‘only four per cent of the authors “voted”‘ which is hardly grounds to claim a consensus.

Chariots of the Dogs

Chariots of the Dogs

Here is a lovely exposition of the way that statistics can be manipulated and distorted as a propaganda tool and then cited ad infinitum as if they have some intrinsic meaning, sorry in advance to the true believers in Climate change but this may just upset your apple cart just a little next time you cite the “97% consensus” claim.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday 28 May 2014
Media Contact: Tim Black
+44 (0)207 40 40 470
tim.black@spiked-online.com

Today on spiked, Michael Cook takes apart the claim, cited by President Barack Obama, that 97 per cent of scientists are in agreement that climate change is man-made and poses a serious danger.

‘Do 97 per cent of scientists really agree on both propositions? Let?s do a reality check here’, writes Cook. ‘On what issue do academics reach 97 per cent agreement other than that they are being underpaid? That the sun will rise tomorrow? No, some of them will say, because the sun doesn?t rise; the earth revolves. No, because we can only assert that it is probable, not certain. No, because we might be living in a multiverse where the sun will not rise on 28 May, etc, etc.’

So how did an Australian scientist at the University of Queensland, and several colleagues, arrive at the this now famous figure of 97 per cent?

Cook discovered that the researchers had sorted through thousands of academic abstracts featuring the words ‘global climate change’ and ‘global warming’, dividing them up into four piles to indicate whether they held a position on climate change (the biggest pile (66.4 per cent) held no position)

Cook writes: ‘Of the smaller piles which did express an opinion, 97.1 per cent “endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming”.’ 

The researchers then emailed a survey to 8,547 out of the 29,083 authors who ‘endorsed the consensus position’ on climate change, of which only 1,189 responded (nearly all of whom did agree that climate change was man made (97.2 per cent)).

But, as Cook points out, this means that ‘only four per cent of the authors “voted”‘ which is hardly grounds to claim a consensus. 

Furthermore, Cook points out, ‘Obama rashly added the word “dangerous” to the claim. Not even [the Australian reseachers] dared to assert that 97 per cent of scientists believe that global warming is “dangerous”.’

Cook concludes: ‘Scientists and politicians do themselves no favours when they use shoddy statistics and public relations flim-flam to sell scientific hypotheses to the public.’ 

Read the full article:
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/global-warming-the-97-fallacy/15069

When we are given any numerical value as a signifier of a proposition’s veracity we should, of course always ask the obvious question of just how was that number made or settled upon. Especially when it is a major  dot point in the climate change debate. In any event in scientific terms “consensus” is and always has been close to utterly meaningless, not that any of the true believers will ever admit that because to them its their ticket to ride in the Chariots of the Dogs.

Cheers Comrades

this post was produced entirely with puppy power

this post was produced entirely with sustainable  puppy power

Stunts that don’t work hurt the Gay community

During the course of the last government we saw the rather unedifying spectacle of the Labor party trying very hard to distract attention from its failings by letting the polity be distracted by the Greens long held desire to change the marriage act. With all kinds of silliness we saw MPs asked to consult with their constituents about their feelings on the subject we saw several doomed to fail private members bills presented to the parliament and we saw the Canberra town council try to create same sex marriage in their jurisdiction even though they knew that their efforts would be quickly torn down by the high court. So it should surprise no one that the high court has  in fact ruled that the whole edifice created by the Canberra Town council is null and void.

click for source

click for source

 The problem with political stunt flying is that those sort of aircraft are bound to come back to earth with a very unpleasant crash and sadly people get hurt. Some how I think that the sad Gay couples pictured in the Canberra Times’ picture gallery will direct all of their angst at the wrong players in this bit of legal theater.  They will undoubtedly blame the current government instead of both the Labor party and the Greens who gave them such false hope that there is any substantive mood for change of the Marriage act in the Australian polity. At best its a fringe issue a long way down the political agenda  of most people. The general public are more than OK with homosexuality per se I would venture that the reforms to various acts to remove discrimination against same couples made by Labor under Rudd is generally endorsed  and that within the greater Australian  community* being Gay is of no more consequence than having a particular hair colour. That is something to give ourselves a collective pat on the back for  but Gay marriage? Forget it, its not going to happen in this country any time soon because there are far more pressing fish to fry than the vanities of that small proportion of the community who bat for the other team.

Cheers Comrades

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*Our Islamic community is a notable dissenter when it comes to social acceptance of homosexuality within our society and that the Koran insists that being Gay is a capital offense.

Failing Civility 101 on QandA

Hands up who watched the young minions of the left making utter fools of themselves last night on QandA? It really was a less than encouraging display of utter stupidity and it was certainly of no advantage to anyone who supports the former government this is how the Guardian described the event:

Monday night’s broadcast was forced off-air for several minutes when protesters unfurled a banner and started chanting about potential deregulation of universities.

Australia‘s education minister, Christopher Pyne, had already been asked two questions by people hostile to the changes to university funding, such as deregulation and an increase in how much students pay, when demonstrators started chanting from the balcony of the studio.

The protesters had been chanting “No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities” under a banner that read: “More brains not war planes. Fund Education. May 21 Rally and UTS. 2.30pm”

The live broadcast cut to footage of singer Katie Noonan from a previous programme while the protesters were ejected. Pyne had said it reminded him of Question Time as they moved on to their next chant, “Christopher Pyne get out, we know what you’re all about. Cuts”.

When the cameras cut back to the show, the protesters had been escorted out and the audience cheered and applauded.

Host Tony Jones said: “That was not what democracy is all about.” Pyne then resumed his answers to the questions about deregulating universities.

The minister had been repeatedly interrupted by shouting in the lead-up to the protest and Jones had reprimanded those yelling, saying the microphones would stay away from them.

When Pyne resumed his answer he said the Hecs scheme, in which university students pay back their loans with inflation added when they reach a certain income threshold, was part of the “egalitarian society” and the government would not be changing that.

“The thing about the Australian education system is that there is nobody who can’t go to university in Australia because of fees, because every single dollar can be borrowed and paid back in later life,” he said.

“That is one of the great things about the higher education system in Australia. It’s not the case that people from low socioeconomic status background are shut out of university because of fees. It is quite a misnomer and a myth to say so because every single student is capable of getting a loan from the taxpayer.”

 Any one who follows me on twitter (all 65 of you ) would have noticed the complementary things I posted about Christopher Pyne who remained utterly unfazed and who went on to prove just what a fine performer he is under pressure remaining calm cool and collected.  The protesters were  ejected from the venue while we the audience were shown a pre-recorded musical interlude.

If the idiots form “Socialist Alliance” think that they did any favours for their cause by this display of bad manners and crass behaviour they are sadly mistaken all they did was prove that a university education is utterly wasted on them.  Civil society has to be predicated upon civil behaviour and they were the exact opposite of civility. Worse still what they were protesting about was not even an element of ACTUAL government policy it was something suggested in a report TO the government.  Clearly higher education has been wasted on this minions of the far left and maybe it would be better for the nation and the polity if they were expelled and perhaps made to spend some time in the real world where they had to, you know, like get a job and take a few lessons in”the university of life”. Sadly I expect that they would fail that course just as badly as they clearly failed Civility 101.

Cheers Comrades

abc protest

The IPCC now says it’s OK to adapt to ‘climate change’

Find below an excellent piece by Don Aitkin about the shift in the IPCC focus from mitigation to adaptation, which is something that I have been rabbiting on about for many years both here and elsewhere. I republish it here under the  terms of its creative commons licence. Further this post is dedicated to PKD  who still has not produced that long promised essay on Climate change.

When I first became interested in global warming ten years ago what puzzled me at once was the insistence on ‘mitigation’ — reducing or abolishing carbon dioxide emissions — and the  almost complete indifference to ‘adaptation’ — preparing in advance to deal with droughts, floods, high temperatures, and all the rest of the climate possibilities. We seemed to  be doing something in that direction, but hardly enough.

Professor Bob Carter, one scientist that has been sceptical from the beginning of the global warming scare, suggested long ago that Australia adopt  and adapt the New Zealand civil defence management system, which is built around the ’4 Rs’ — Reduction, Readiness, Response, Recovery. As any Australian of mature years knows, we are prone to natural ‘disasters’, and our SES system is one form of our own preparedness.

But the IPCC has never been interested. For it the key thing has been to get carbon emissions down before disaster overwhelms us. As I have argued many times, this strategy has three weaknesses: it is practically unfeasible to do it quickly, it cannot be done on a global scale, and the outcome of whatever any country does will have no discernible effect on temperature there. Given ‘the pause’, now approaching 18 years on one measure, one could also argue that there is no immediate need to do anything at all in the mitigation department. Isn’t it time, for example, that we built some more ‘flood-proofing’ dams?

Well, the IPCC has now given what seems to be a cautious go-ahead to adaptation. According to Chris Field , one of the co-chairs of the new report,

The really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change… Climate-change adaptation is not an exotic agenda that has never been tried. Governments, firms, and communities around the world are building experience with adaptation. This experience forms a starting point for bolder, more ambitious adaptations that will be important as climate and society continue to change.

Dr Field also declaredThe natural human tendency is to want things to be clear and simple. And one of the messages that doesn’t just come from the IPCC, it comes from history, is that the future doesn’t ever turn out the way you think it will be… being prepared for a wide range of possible futures is just always smart.

Does this mean that the IPCC is giving up on ‘mitigation’. No. But, at least it seems to me that, the IPCC may well be coming to the view that if it is to survive, it will have to have more than the mitigation arrow in its quiver. If I am right, then we can expect more IPCC papers on how best to adapt. Judith Curry devoted her 30 March blog to this subject, which drew 787 comments at last count. She cited an article by Andrew Lilico she had read in the Telegraph (London), which put forward the following:

… the global GDP costs of an expected global average temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius over the 21st century will be between 0.2 and 2 per cent. To place that in context, the well-known Stern Review of 2006 estimated the costs as 5-20 per cent of GDP. Stern estimates the costs of his recommended policies for mitigating climate change at 2 per cent of GDP – and his estimates are widely regarded as relatively optimistic (others estimate mitigation costs as high as 10 per cent of global GDP). At a 2.4 per cent annual GDP growth rate, the global economy increases 0.2 per cent every month.

So the mitigation deal has become this: Accept enormous inconvenience, placing authoritarian control into the hands of global agencies, at huge costs that in some cases exceed 17 times the benefits even on the Government’s own evaluation criteria, with a global cost of 2 per cent of GDP at the low end and the risk that the cost will be vastly greater, and do all of this for an entire century, and then maybe – just maybe – we might save between one and ten months of global GDP growth.

Whereas previously the IPCC emphasised the effects climate change could have if not prevented, now the focus has moved on to how to make economies and societies resilient and to adapt to warming now considered inevitable. Climate exceptionalism – the notion that climate change is a challenge of a different order from, say, recessions or social inclusion or female education or many other important global policy goals – is to be down played. Instead, the new report emphasised that adapting to climate change is one of many challenges that policymakers will face but should have its proper place alongside other policies.

Our first step in adapting to climate change should be to accept that we aren’t going to mitigate it. We’re going to have to adapt. That doesn’t mean there might not be the odd mitigation-type policy, around the edges, that is cheap and feasible and worthwhile. But it does mean that the grandiloquent schemes for preventing climate change should go. Their day is done. Even the IPCC – albeit implicitly – sees that now.

It’s all too soon to say where this is going. But it would seem to me that the Abbott Government could pick up the drift and win a brownie point or two by talking sagely about ‘adaptation’ — and quote the IPCC in so doing.

I’m damning Labor with faint praise

 ''Tony Abbott did not put Labor in opposition, the Australian people put us here, and unless we change, it is where we will stay,'' Mr Shorten planned to say. He conceded that, for too long, Labor had seen its problems as about image, message and its ability to sell its policies. ''It's more serious than this. We need to change ourselves. We need to change our party,'' he wrote. click for source


”Tony Abbott did not put Labor in opposition, the Australian people put us here, and unless we change, it is where we will stay,” Mr Shorten planned to say.
He conceded that, for too long, Labor had seen its problems as about image, message and its ability to sell its policies.
”It’s more serious than this. We need to change ourselves. We need to change our party,” he wrote.
click for source

Well now the mother of all by-elections is all over bar the shouting (and counting, assuming that its not stuffed up again) its good to see the leader of the opposition moving to reform the ALP to better reflect the diminished standing of the union movement in Australian society. The requirement that someone who wants to join the Labor party has to also be a financial member of a union is an anachronism that has surely been putting off a lot of people who might otherwise join the party. Now as much as I dislike the ALP as it is currently constituted and the polices that it pursues I do recognise the need for there to be a viable yin to the LNP’s yang and as the Greens are too loopy to be let anywhere near the levers of government a viable ALP is the best option and for them to be viable they need to be more reflective of the people that they purport to represent.  So after Ray has picked himself up  after discovering me writing something positive about Electricity Bill Shorten I’m sure that we will be in agreement that making  Labor party membership easier and cheaper will be a good for the political landscape of this country.

Cheers Comrades

evil-latte

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