Monday, March 21, 2011

Eat your heart out, Libya and Japan

The top story in Queensland's largest paper today is about the Royal visit. The story below. Being a Queen's man in Queensland (as I am) is perfectly mainstream -- despite the derision with which the Leftist "intelligentsia" view Monarchists and the Monarchy. The Monarchy plays an irreplaceable role in places where the Queen reigns. You can read something of that below

IT WAS one of the most heart-warming moments of the Prince's trip to Grantham yesterday. Derelle Linneth, who has Down syndrome, has idolised Prince William for years, so when he entered the tent full of Grantham locals, she saw her chance to say hello.

"She just went, 'Yes!' and she grabbed him," sister Marilyn Hilan said. "She looked at him and said, 'I love you, William' and he said, 'You get another cuddle then'."

Ms Hilan said his visit meant a lot to the flood-ravaged town. "I'm 61 and I run a farm on my own," she said. "I felt like, 'Should I keep going or just stop?' After today, I think I will keep going."

Last night, at a dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Prince praised the efforts of rescuers and "stalwart Queenslanders" who helped neighbours and risked "life and limb" to save others.


Julia Gillard makes a stand as a social conservative

Given her unorthodox personal arrangements with her male hairdresser, cynicism about this has to be expected. But she is taking stances that have real political meaning and legislative implications. Regardless of the motive, cultural conservatives must applaud what appears to be her legislative agenda or non-agenda. Rather amusing that the very Leftist "Green" party have pushed her to the Right, however

Julia Gillard has revealed herself to be a cultural traditionalist, indicating she will oppose moves by the Greens for euthanasia and gay marriage laws and that she believes it is important for people to understand the Bible- despite the fact she is an atheist.

Appearing on Sky News's Australian Agenda yesterday, the Prime Minister again distanced herself from the Greens, arguing they did not have an economic philosophy about "reform or about growth" and had voted against Kevin Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme because they "didn't sufficiently care about jobs", The Australian reports.

Ms Gillard's comments came as her deputy, Wayne Swan, announced the government's long-awaited tax summit would be held in early October. Ms Gillard said tax cuts were "a live option" from the revenue from the carbon tax and gave her strongest signal yet that petrol would be offset to ease cost-of-living pressures.

Her comments came as Trade Minister Craig Emerson attacked Tony Abbott's vow to repeal the carbon tax as a plan to repeal tax cuts and lower pensions.

But the Opposition Leader said no serious government would advocate introducing a new tax ahead of the October tax summit, which should consider the plan. He labelled the tax-cut recommendation "a tax bribe". "Real tax reform does not rob Peter to pay Paul," Mr Abbott said. "Real tax reform is not taking money out of one pocket to put it in the other pocket."

Ms Gillard, taking aim at the Greens for the second time in a week, described as "a load of old cobblers" commentary suggesting she had only recently discovered a difference between Labor and the minor party.

Asked about her attitudes on social issues, Ms Gillard harked back to her upbringing in Adelaide and agreed that she was a "cultural traditionalist". "I had a pro-union, pro-Labor upbringing in a quite conservative family, in a sense of personal values. I mean we believed in lots of things that are old fashioned in the modern age," she said. "We believed in politeness and thrift and fortitude and doing duty and diligence. These are things that were part of my upbringing. They're part of who I am."

On euthanasia, Ms Gillard said while she could personally understand that people in the end stage of life might want that choice, she had never been satisfied that policy proposals from pro-euthanasia advocates had enough safeguards. On gay marriage, Ms Gillard said: "I do find myself on the conservative side in this question."

Declaring there were "some important things from our past that need to continue to be part of our present and part of our future", Ms Gillard said her view was that the Marriage Act - and marriage being between a man and woman - "has a special status".

Ms Gillard said it was important for people to understand their Bible stories "not because I'm an advocate of religion - clearly I'm not - but once again, what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture".

"It's impossible to understand Western literature without having that key of understanding the Bible stories and how Western literature builds on them and reflects them and deconstructs them and brings them back together," she said.


What planet is Dr. Hyphen on?

Self-defense is bad for you??? And the fact that the kid concerned is feeling the opposite of what Dr Hyphen predicts is no problem, apparently. It is Dr. Hyphen and his ilk who are the real problem. It is their sickly policies that encourage bullying

JUDGING from his face, you could not possibly guess at the trauma of these past eight years. He has a child's eyes; a broad smile, filled out by the gaps between his teeth.

But this is the same boy, 16, who last week retaliated as a schoolyard bully punched at his face; who hurled the smaller boy into the ground, and in doing so became an internet phenomenon. He had been picked on since year two, he said, but he had finally cracked.

The teasing was fairly basic: other children calling him "fatty", telling him to lose weight, tripping him, slapping at the back of his head. At one point, he was pelted with waterbombs. At another he was duct-taped to a pole. "They put duct tape over my eyes first, dropped me down and then duct-taped me to a pole."

At his worst, about a year ago, he said he contemplated suicide. "I just started putting myself down, putting myself down to that level. And then all the crap just kept on piling on."

Michael Carr-Gregg, an adolescent psychologist and founding member of the National Centre Against Bullying, called the interview reprehensible. "All this is going to do is put more focus on this kid. I can't see this as a positive - he'll just be further victimised and his life made more difficult," Dr Carr-Gregg, who is also the Queensland government's adviser on bullying, said. "Should this kid deteriorate and possibly harm himself, doesn't that sit squarely on the shoulders of Channel Nine?" [What a twit!]

The boy, who this website has chosen not to name, said the support he received online had made him feel "pretty good". He did not regret lashing out, even after being suspended. "All I wanted was it just to stop. So … I just did it."

His father thought similarly. "I don't condone the violence - it was a horrific thing to see, two boys fighting in a schoolyard and it ending like that. It is nothing to be proud of, but I'm glad that he stood up for himself."


Why Australians should be afraid -- very afraid -- of Prime Minister Gillard's carbon fantasies

Terry McCrann

WE were given two highly instructive insights during the week into Julia Gillard's thinking on her carbon dioxide tax. It proved an extremely disturbing revelation.

The first came on the ABC's Q&A program on Monday. The second was her speech to the Don Dunstan Foundation in Adelaide. The combination was particularly valuable. For while she might have "mispoke" on Q&A, the spontaneity better captured what she felt on the emotional level, genuinely or otherwise.

While the prepared speech gave us the considered, for want of a better word, substance on which the greatest change in the entire economic structure of Australia, bar none other in our 223 years of European settlement, was based, we were left with two alternatives.

If she actually believes the nonsense she spouted, spontaneously first and then with consideration aforethought, we have a leader with all the save-the-world enthusiasm and profound ignorance of a junior high school student.

And what would that say about the battalions of advisers on which she presumably relied? Or indeed, as in the joke about Maggie Thatcher, the sheep otherwise known as her cabinet colleagues?

If she doesn't believe the nonsense, we have a leader who is setting out to impose real pain on every Australian and cause serious damage to the national economy, for utterly no positive purpose.

I would suggest it is an inchoate mix of the two. That she actually believes we have to cut our emissions of carbon dioxide to save the planet. She knows it can make absolutely no difference. And she has a sort of vague expectation that we will emerge into some, literally, sunlit prosperous carbon-free future. All this was captured in her comments on China.

On Q&A she asserted that it was simply not true that we were the only ones moving to attack carbon pollution (sic). China was closing down a dirty coal-fired power-generation facility at the rate of every one to two weeks, she asserted. And it was putting up a wind turbine at the rate of one every hour, she added.

The picture she set out to paint was of China replacing dirty coal with clean wind. The truth is, as we've noted through the week, that China is not simply replacing coal with coal but dramatically increasing coal-fired generation.

Yes, it is closing really dirty coal-fired stations: the ones that pump out those little bits of grit that used to blanket our cities and which Gillard & Co are deliberately seeking to inject into the community's consciousness with their references to carbon pollution.

Real pollution has long since been banished from our coal-fired power stations and our cities. Smog no longer kills thousands of Londoners every year. But it is still killing thousands in Chinese cities. And not just in China. A World Health Organisation report in 2005 noted that more than half the world's population relied on dung, wood, crop waste or coal to meet their most basic energy needs. Cooking and heating with such solid fuels on open fires or stoves without chimneys led to indoor air pollution, including small soot or dust particles that were able to penetrate deep into the lungs.

Every year, this sort of real carbon pollution was responsible for the death of 1.6 million people, WHO wrote in 2005. If anything it would be worse today.

That is the real carbon pollution. Not the carbon dioxide that is the target (the only target) of her tax; the real pollution that is precisely avoided by our centralised existing clean, yes clean, coal-fired power stations. The building of similar power stations in the developing world would be the quickest, cheapest and most effective way of reducing and eliminating those deaths.

So does Gillard actually believe her carbon pollution nonsense?

Depressingly, you would have to conclude that at some level she does. Like so many who say or at least think, even if they understand, that this is all and only about reducing emissions of carbon dioxide; that yes, it's good to get rid of the bits of grit as well.

Witness our down under prophet Ross Garnaut, taking time off from dispensing his weekly profundities ex cathedra, to echo on the ABC's Lateline this same confused but deliberately dishonest mish-mash about China closing "environmentally very unfriendly" power stations and replacing them with new coal ones that had "very low emissions".

The facts on China are simple and irrefutable. It has a coal-fired system equal to more than 13 times our entire electricity generation. Between now and 2020, it is going to add between 400GW and 500GW to its existing 670GW of coal-fired power generation.

That's its projections. And that's net. So if they close, say, 200GW of really dirty old stations, they will be building 600GW to 700GW of new ones, all pumping out carbon dioxide, if hopefully not also grit. Total power generation in Australia is about 50GW.

Yes, China might be aiming for 150GW of wind and 20GW of solar by 2020. But that's installed capacity. When the wind don't . . . and the sun don't . . . Real capacity of the two combined will be closer to 50GW by 2020, as against an extra 400GW at least of additional coal-fired generation.

Despite those clean coal-fired stations that exist only in the deeper and increasingly darker recesses of Garnaut's mind, by 2020 China will be emitting something like 25 times the entire emissions of Australia today. Rendering utterly ineffective the 5 per cent cut we will purport to achieve at such huge and permanent cost.

The Prime Minister launched into pure fantasy in her speech in Adelaide about all the jobs that would flow in her brave new (sunlit) world. We'll become the world's supplier of electric and hybrid cars. Welders and steel workers will build and maintain large-scale solar plants. On and on she went, climaxing with this re-assuring statement of certainty. "And there will be new jobs too."

In both forums she claimed we had an abundance of solar, wind and geothermal. Interestingly in Adelaide she added natural gas, which emits what I wonder?

If we have these "in abundance", why don't we embark now on an accelerated program of closing our coal-fired stations and just plugging in the community power cord to all that sun and wind? As I started: does she really believe the nonsense she spouts? Should we be afraid? Or really afraid?


Capitalism saves the day

CHEAP fresh fruit and vegetables might be just around the corner. In a quirky turn-around, southern growers hearing sustained media reports of floods and cyclones in Queensland have planted extra crops of leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower. Queensland growers outside flooded areas also have planted big crops in an attempt to capitalise on shortages. These vegetables are expected to hit the market next month, dropping prices.

Growcom chairman and farmer John Bishop said yesterday damage was not as widespread as many people thought. And the floods had arrived at a fortunate, between-season time for small crops, meaning many operations were hampered but the crops were not necessarily lost.

Stones Corner Fruit Market proprietor Spiro Poulimas agreed with Mr Bishop, saying it was rare that bargains could not be found. But Mr Poulimas said sourcing bananas at a reasonable price had been an issue since Cyclone Yasi.

He had sold Coffs Harbour produce at $7.99/kg as opposed to supermarkets at $13.99/kg but prices have varied and at times he was able to obtain cheaper, ready-to-eat fruit. Before the floods, he had sourced mixed salad leaves at $8/kg but these had since jumped to $26/kg.

Good deals yesterday included sweet potatoes at 29 cents/kg, Granny Smith apples $1.99, Gala apples $1.99, zucchinis 99 cents, Packham pears 99 cents and tomatoes $1.99. However, hard-to-come-by cauliflowers were $7.99 each.

Mr Bishop said only 15 per cent of the prime Laidley farming region west of Brisbane was affected by the January floods. "People on the higher country were planting the day after the floods. About 85 per cent of Laidley is OK. Some people near the (Burnett) river at Bundaberg were affected but the rest were all right."

Planting particular lines to gain an advantage when crops failed elsewhere was a long-held farm practice. "We'll probably get an overlap of southern and local crops next month," Mr Bishop said. "The amount of lettuce and broccoli planted up here (Laidley) is unbelievable."

Even north Queensland banana growers were not as badly hit by Cyclone Yasi as they were by Cyclone Larry in 2006. "Growers had about 10 days warning of Yasi, so they took off all the crop they could before it hit," Mr Bishop said. "They also cut leaves from trees to reduce wind damage."


1 comment:

Paul said...

Julias been reading the polls and now has a mission to differentiate herself politically from the Greens. Funny that she feels a need to try to morph into John Howard to do this. I doubt she believes, or cares a jot personally about these things, but, whatever it takes.