Archive for June, 2011

North Korea—respectable
June 30, 2011

[T]he Conference on Disarmament was closing the second part of its 2011 session this week. The Conference was meeting in public plenary at 10 a.m. this morning under the Presidency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

That from the News and media branch if the United nations Conference on Disarmament. As the Wall Street Journal concluded: you can’t make it up. The Goon Show might have something along those lines. I did hear Neddy Seagoon remark just this morning (one of the very few programmes on the ABC’s Radio National worth attending to) that he had never worked in his life and the had OBE to prove it. (Note, it wasn’t the episode listed.)

And why not resign . . . or at least pay the bill
June 30, 2011

The Australian reports:

Joe Ludwig [Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture] was jeered by angry beef producers in outback Queensland yesterday while talking up $30 million in government offsets for the ban on live animal exports to Indonesia.

The embattled Agriculture Minister faced a rowdy reception at a packed beef industry forum in Mt Isa, 1800km northwest of Brisbane, only hours after Julia Gillard announced that producers would each be eligible for up to $25,000 in financial assistance.

The package announced by the Prime Minister was the third in four days for the struggling north Australian cattle industry, which relies heavily on the live exports to Indonesia that were suspended over animal cruelty revelations.

Rightly producers found the decision to ban live exports of cattle to Indonesia ‘crazy’.

No less crazy is the view of the monsters  ministers responsible that taxpayers should fund the $30m of financial assistance. Every cent should come from the Labor Party, Australian Greens, Andrew Wilkie, MP, and those citizens whose reaction to a single TV programme was a blind funk, one in which the Prime Minister joined willingly.

ABC reports:

At one point tensions boiled over.

“Everyone in this room should be so f**king angry with you people, just bloody slaughter you,” said Neil Byrne, a farm electrical worker, who said he had been put out of work because of the ban.

It gets better. Federal independent MP Bob Katter was there:

Mr Katter told the audience that Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) knew about abuse of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs for nine years.

“Nothing was done about it,” Mr Katter said.

“I am ashamed to say as your Member of Parliament, I should have done something about it.

Slaughter could begin with Katter and those from the MLA living high on the hog (perhaps that’s why they gave little or no thought to standards in Indonesian and probably other abattoirs).

It’s now over fifty years since the then-Premier of South Australia oversaw a process of judicial review of the Max Stuart murder case. Sir Thomas Playford found the expense involved, the easy spending of large sums of public money by those supposedly acting in the public interest, exceeding painful to watch. Indeed, from about that time he never seemed quite the same man again. He seemed to shrink and decency followed. Since then governments have learned, hardly challenging, to spend ever greater sums of taxpayers’ funds with complete disregard fro the sources of those funds, either in the present or in the increasingly dim future.

The Australian quoted one man: “Can you give me a good reason why we should not demand your resignation?”. No, no reason at all. And that goes for a great many associated with government, not just those elected to office occasionally. Widespread sackings have become increasingly urgent. The stupid implementation of a ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia is just one more example of the contempt that governments and their hangers-on have for broad citizenry. Breathtaking ineptitude founded upon the permanent adolescence of a broad sweep of the elite of one or more generations. So yes, resign, minister.

 

 

So very difficult
June 29, 2011

Afghanistan as a western, liberal proposition, even one relating to anti-terrorism, is probably an absurdity. Richard North of EUReferendum suggests ‘Doing the honest thing‘: bring it to an end. The cost, others tell us, is ludicrous. I don’t find Mike Shedlock’s isolationsim particularly attractive but, from the perspective of an economic rationalist, at the very least one must know the cost. As far as one can tell, the Australian government offers a frivolous case, it never argues, one with which the Opposition seems to agree. Curious is it not, how democracy is very much a momentary value for the authorities.

So much for science . . .
June 26, 2011

No doubt Professor Chubb has read the pertinent critiques of climate change (apd*); otherwise he would not speak as he has been reported. Nor is he scientifically precise to claim that the scientific literacy of politicians ‘is not high’. Like the Liberal Party, he denies the right to speak for Dr. Dennis Jensen, MP for Tangney, WA. Jensen earned a PhD in Materials Science and Physics from Monash University in 1995 for a dissertation on ‘Duplex toughening of ternary zirconia ceramics’.[1] He is sceptical of anthropogeneric global warming.

Because reports of migratory movements of “plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific” owing to “climate change”. Naturally, “the signs already point to far more trouble than benefit from climate change”. (The term “reports” refers not only to the report in the Telegraph (UK) but also to the same material being heard on both ABC and BBC but not mentioned on web sites of either institution.)

The Telegraph reports:

Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists. . . .

Professor Chris Reid, from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said: “It seems for the first time in probably thousands of years a huge area of sea water opened up between Alaska and the west of Greenland, allowing a huge transfer of water and species between the two oceans.

“The opening of this passage allowed the wind to drive a current through this passage and the water warmed up making it favourable for species to get through.

“In 1999 we discovered a species in the north west Atlantic that we hadn’t seen before, but we know from surveys in the north Pacific that it is very abundant there.

“This species died out in the Atlantic around 800,000 years ago due to glaciation that changed the conditions it needed to survive.

“The implications are huge. The last time there was an incursion of species from the Pacific into the Atlantic was around two to three million years ago.

Interesting is it not that the article makes no mention of the Northwestern Passages for it’s through there that this water must flow. Given that the medieval warming period (very roughly 950–1250 AD) made for temperatures much like recent decades (and perhaps even higher) but with higher rainfall, what do pertinent data tell, assuming any exist, of the passages then? And, accordingly, of marine migration.

Meanwhile the ABC has two other pertinent stories. The first reports Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens, keenly anticipating the demise of coal mining in Australia: “the coal industry has to be replaced by renewables,” he said. The ABC also tells of the horror of life for most in North Korea. They might have a slightly higher standard of living as a result of Senator Brown’s renewable sources of energy, but not by much. Nor will Professor Chubb be discommoded by carbon taxes: most will. And that for scientific falsehood.

Marxism, be it remembered, was also reckoned scientific. It’s leading scientist was Trofim Denisovich  Lysenko. He lived by a code that seems very much alive today:

“In our Soviet Union, comrades, people are not born. Human organisms are born, but people are created.”[2]

Significantly:

Scientific dissent from Lysenko’s theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in 1948, and for the next several years opponents were purged from held positions, and many imprisoned.

Given the nature of the National Broadband Network, in terms of expense and capacity for censorship, the outlook not only for personal liberty but also for the integrity of scientific research is dim indeed. Already Professor Chubb has “criticised the media for giving sceptics the space to make their arguments”. Perhaps he could prove that point scientifically. With proof.

 


[1] Use <http://search.lib.monash.edu/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?menuitem=1&mode=Advanced&gt;. Key in Jensen, Dennis. Under “Material Types” choose “Theses”. Click “Go”.

[2] Quoted by Thomas Meaney, ‘Never Say Die’, WSJ, April 6, 2011. Review of John Gray, The Immortalization Commission. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2011.

Bad, apparently irreversible law: the NBN
June 24, 2011

These are days of demise. Not a dramatic turn of phrase, yet ending in a whimper starts somewhere. And so it is with the NBN. The impetus from government is totalitarian; from Telstra and, I suspect, much else among the nation’s telcos, is rent.

At least someone, Henry Ergas writing in The Australian has recognised that monopoly is involved. Terry McCrann takes the story further. (At least I think he did for he continues to write in his familiar and largely shambolic manner.)

The whole arrangement fro the NBN smacks of corruption, definitely moral and political, and probably financial and legal. The framework for the NBN appears consonant with a totalitarian government. It was said during the republic debate, years ago, that a much more serious issue warranting attention was getting government to obey the law. To the surprise of no-one watching that didn’t happen.

The NBN is about control, not only of various forms of telecommunications hardware but, more importantly, who can do what with them, who can read with them (movies present no risk to left-wing governments). Clearly many of us will have no ability to read dissenting material (e.g. Wall Street Journal, to which I subscribe, among much else), not only because government will mandate what is suitable reading but because the new arrangements will have removed the copper network upon which I and many others are dependent. The point here being that the replacement fibre will be prohibitively expensive and that’s just getting physically connected let alone anything else.

 

Church and state, church and politics
June 23, 2011

The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide is a part of the government of South Australia. The diocese’s website notes:

Monsignor Cappo is Vice-Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board and Independent Commissioner for Social Inclusion Board SA and an Independent Adviser for the Executive Committee of State Cabinet.

Rubbish about Monsignor Cappo as ‘fiercely independent’ does not affect that dismal fact at all. He comes across, time and again, as nothing more than yet another Labor Party hack.

His church should distinguish between the public square, in which it is free to enjoin vigorously, and government, in which it has no place. If the church prefers to take sides in party politics it should be willing to live with the (often hostile) consequences. It’s remarkable that little serious criticism has come its way in recent years because it should.

Little if anything has come from the Catholic Church that belies my response of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference to the Northern Territory Intervention so brilliantly initiated by the then-minister, Mal Brough: that it was washed in the grey-water of Pontius Pilate.

Nothing that has come from Mons. Cappo or his colleagues warrants any other response.

And regarding the radical initiative in the NT, Brough himself observed in February this year: “It has become stagnant and buried in bureaucracy. It is no longer working.” And: “Because it wasn’t the Labor Party’s policy, they just adopted it for political reasons. They failed to take it to the next level.”

Catholic silence here represents just more grey-water in support of their increasingly loathed best friends.

Humbug rules
June 21, 2011

We can, apparently, control the weather and thus climate–hence the carbon tax and associated wonders of the federal government–but we (Australia) “can’t monitor cattle slaughtering practices beyond our shores“. Thus spake the Greens.

They may have a point, of course. But it does not stop at offshore abattoirs. Schools? Defence? Social Security? Health? So where is this point applicable and not applicable? Destroying farmers seems fine to these people. How do they feel about abolishing compulsory schooling? It achieves very little. Silly me: it’s not meant too: just get the “kids” out of home and off the street (unless they’re demonstrating for some political point. That’s OK).

And the climate? No problem. Just don’t let the public near it. “Four Corners”, that government-run fount of truth and wisdom, is almost certainly to be compulsory viewing under the NBN. Problems solved.

 

So what is it? Science or something else.
June 20, 2011

The Australian tells us, on its home page today:

SCIENTISTS: Climate change deniers blasted

Inside The Oz elaborates–without evidence:

SCIENTISTS have warned federal parliamentarians a misinformation campaign about the evidence of human-induced climate change is undermining the value of other research.

More than 200 scientists will take part in the the annual Science Meets Parliament today.

They will ask MPs and senators to make sure the climate change debate does not harm the vital contribution research is making to the nation’s future.

The Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies says misleading claims about climate science are spilling over into attacks on the credibility of scientific research in general.

“The valuable and credible work of all scientists is under attack as a result of a noisy misinformation campaign by climate denialists,” CEO Anna Maria Arabia said.

“It’s in the nation’s interests that our political leaders now lead the community forward on this critical issue.”

I wonder how many of these self-described scientists have a coherent response to this headline from Watts Up With That?:

On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

The author is Bill Gray, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University. His point is:

I am very disappointed at the downward path the AMS has been following for the last 10-15 years in its advocacy of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis. The society has officially taken a position many of us AMS members do not agree with. We believe that humans are having little or no significant influence on the global climate and that the many Global Circulation Climate Model (GCMs) results and the four IPCC reports do not realistically give accurate future projections. To take this position which so many of its members do not necessarily agree with shows that the AMS is following more of a political than a scientific agenda.

One of his very specific points of criticism is the quality of contemporary climate modelling, not least given the vast sums of money poured in to climate research.

Which led to this reasonable response at Powerline:

To put it less delicately, an enormous amount of money has flowed into the global warming movement. It is lavishly funded, mostly by governments. For an AGW enthusiast to admit that his models are patently wrong would mean an end to the gravy train. Hence the ongoing frauds that are perpetrated in the name of climate change.

Australian scientists seem to assume they have a right to taxpayer-funded (or rather funds courtesy of government borrowings) research without question. I think not. Given the less than rosy outlook for prosperity the assumptions of their importance may encounter severe questioning, perhaps of the sort that they themselves should direct towards the data and claims that underpin the ideology and false science of climate change (as presently defined).

 

 

Yet more yawns from the cemetery with lights
June 13, 2011

So a so-called university headed by Bill Clinton may appear in Adelaide. Yawn. The government has pushed several of these in recent years. Have any survived? Who would be vice-chancellor: Anthony Weiner.

 

The longer, the deeper
June 10, 2011

This from the Barnabas Fund:

An influential Islamic political party has called for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to ban the Bible describing it as “pornographic”, “blasphemous”, and offensive to Muslims.

A leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam or the JUI-S party, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, made the appeal at a press conference at a mosque in Lahore on 30 May. The JUI party, whose name means “an Assembly of Islamic Clergy”, is represented in the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament.

Nor is this persecution of Christians confined to Pakistan: it is rife throughout the Islamic world. Evidence abounds of a major intersection for Christianity in western Asia and northern Africa. This from Iraq (again courtesy of the Barnabas Fund):

The Christian community in Iraq is living in fear following the brutal murder of another believer. . . .

Christians in Iraq are said to be living in tension and fear as their community continues to be targeted by kidnappers and murderers. A senior Iraqi Church leader said that since Jacob’s death, more Christians had said that they wanted to emigrate, but that this was difficult because of the political crisis and uncertainty in neighbouring countries such as Syria, where Christians have historically been welcomed as refugees.

The issue is very alive in Indonesia, too. Benedict Rogers is East Asia Team Leader at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organization based in London. In the  Wall Street Journal, 8 June 2011,  he asked: “Could Indonesia ‘Pakistanize’?” He concentrated less on Christians than on “Indonesia’s Ahmadiyya community, a Muslim sect regarded by other Muslims as heretical”. But the point was the same.

The rise of militant Islam has caused some in Indonesia to warn of “Pakistanization.” As a term to describe Indonesia today it is an exaggeration, but as a warning of what may come if action is not taken, it is valid. Pakistan’s path to extremism accelerated when the Ahmadiyya were banned in 1984; their treatment is a barometer of tolerance in a Muslim society.