Monday, December 02, 2013


 Rhiannon is a Trot masquerading as a Green.  She is now a senator

What a truly fascinating piece by Mark Kenny on the Fairfax Media website last Monday. Mr Kenny revealed Tony Abbott’s results in his Philosophy Politics and Economics (PPE) course at Oxford University some three decades ago. This followed research by journalist James West published in the Junkee website and in The Guardian. In fact, Mr Abbot received a respectable Second Class degree – quite good in view of his non-academic interests in politics and sport.

Your man Kenny wrote that “Mr Abbott struggled to gain the highest marks for his efforts” in the PPE program but provided no evidence of any such “struggle”.

Meanwhile, neither Mark Kenny nor any of his fellow members of the Canberra Press Gallery have bothered to follow-up on, or even report, MWD’s “scoop” about Lee Rhiannon’s (nee Brown) apparent post-graduate study at the International Lenin School in Moscow in the mid-1970s.

The Greens Senator has refused to confirm or deny that she did a course in Moscow during the time of Leonid Brezhnev’s communist dictatorship. As Professor Helena Sheehan of Dublin City University has documented, the International Lenin School was established by the Soviet Union “to train leaders of the communist movement” and “to facilitate” the progress of Bolshevik revolution around the world.

Graduates of the International Lenin School include Stanlinist hacks like Erich Honecker and Wladyslaw Gomulka. And then there is Lee Brown (who changed her name to Rhiannon), the daughter of Communist Party of Australia members Bill and Freda Brown.

According to Mark Kenny, Tony Abbott “struggled to gain the highest marks” at Oxford University in the early 1980s. But Mr Kenny has shown little interest in exploring Lee Rhiannon’s (nee Brown) intellectual struggles at the International Lenin School in Moscow in the mid 1970s. Can you bear it?


Education systems need hard lesson

Piers Akerman

THE feral critics of federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne made one simple but seriously-flawed assumption when they attempted to savage him over the former Labor government’s terminally damaged Gonski education reform.

In the collective view of the leftists at the ABC and Fairfax Media, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor governments possessed some degree of competency.  That’s a bad place from which to make any assessment of the programs they left in place - like Gonski.

Respected businessman David Gonski must rue the day he agreed to look into the education funding shambles for former prime minister Julia Gillard.

In the end, it became nothing more than an ideologically-driven scheme to bribe state and territory leaders.

To think it would ever break with Labor tradition and achieve success was always too much to ask for.

But a few Pollyannas remain ever willing to sacrifice thoughtfulness for wishy-washy idealism, despite the evidence of such lethal failures as Labor’s pink batts scheme, its tragically fatal border protection scheme, its extravagantly wasteful and inefficient national broadband rollout, its laughable carbon tax and ineffective mining tax. Media figures tripped over themselves in their rush to embrace Gonski as the latest educational panacea.

But what was it ever going to achieve beyond increased funding - Labor’s ever-ready toss-more-money-at-the-problem universal but always ineffectual solution?

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell should have been aware of the risks posed in getting into bed with Labor, as should his Education Minister Adrian Piccoli. They should have given more thought to the substance of Gonski rather than let themselves be dazzled by the cash Gillard was offering to entice them and other states to sign up. In education, principles as well as principals count.

The key defect in what is now known as Gonski is that Labor gutted the plan of genuine forward-thinking reform and ensured that it was about nothing more than cash handouts which Labor would place on the national credit card.

There is nothing wrong with that, if it’s affordable. The big error lies in believing money is the sole answer to educational problems.

In the past decade the education budget has increased by 40 per cent but results have declined in real terms across every subject. Australian taxpayers pay $42 billion a year for shocking results.

The Abbott government has been faced with the choice of continuing to fund bad policy and fail our children or trying to help them gain from their schooling. Given that the federal government doesn’t own any schools or employ any teachers, the choice seems simple.

Give the states and territories some guidance on curricula, replace the hideously ideological literacy program, for instance, with the universally accepted and proven phonics method of teaching reading, improve the quality of teachers by getting more involved in teacher training within universities, permitting school principals to assume greater responsibility and enjoy greater autonomy and, crucially, actively promote the engagement of parents or grandparents in the education of their children and grandchildren.

What happens in the classroom has far greater influence over a child’s education than the amount of money being handed out.

It is clear Pyne is relentlessly focused on teacher quality and training and understands that university students who don’t understand basic principles of English, let alone science or maths, are being trained as teachers.

They are the victims of failed educational fads and yet are expected to be able to teach future students.

The most hysterical criticism of the Abbott government’s plans for education has come from the teachers’ unions, because they can see their control being diminished as principals are given greater responsibility.

Hypocritically, the leftists who have always campaigned for more state schools are opposed to the creation of more state schools if they are to be given greater independence.

Independent state schools introduced in Western Australia are now so successful they are luring pupils from non-government schools, which upsets teachers’ unions and the left enormously.

The schools are owned by the state but run by principals, with involvement from parents. Parents say the education their children receive at such schools is transformational.

Pyne firmly believes he was elected to make a real contribution, not merely occupy a seat in parliament. He knew he was always going to be attacked by the educational establishment for identifying its core weakness.

Labor never tried to make the necessary changes because it didn’t want to create conflict with its trade union support base.

While the Abbott government has not cut the education funding agreed to during the forward estimates period, it is going to insist on value for money.

That’s a principle which principled principals will happily agree to.


Is Australia responsible for a slowing in the sea-level rise?

I also scoffed at this study -- on 21 August



By Albert Parker

The lack of global warming over this century in the measurements of ground and deep oceans temperatures and the lack of positive acceleration in the measurements of sea levels suggest that the climate models have greatly exaggerated the influence of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission. However, rather than feeling uncomfortable with possibly wrong theories, many authors have recently re-focused their attention from “warming” to “weather extremes”, blaming climate “variability” and “uncertainty” for the lack of warming, or sorting out the most unrealistic explanations for the lack of warming of temperatures and accelerations of seas as it is the case of the claimed storage of 4.572·1012 m3 of water in Australia discussed in the commented paper.

The latest news about global warming report of temporary falls of the rate of rise of sea levels because of formation of Lake Eyre in Australia.

“Global sea level has been rising as a result of global warming, but in 2010 and 2011, sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch. Scientists now say they know why: It has to do with extreme weather in Australia. The sea level drop coincided with some of the worst flooding in that continent's history. Dozens of people died and torrents washed away houses and cars, forcing thousands from their homes. Some of those floodwaters simply ran back into the ocean, so they didn't affect sea level. But a lot of that water was trapped on the Australian land mass. That's because the continent has an odd geography.” writes Richard Harris [1] reporting on a work recently published by John Fasullo and others in the paper here commented [2].

The claim by Fasullo surprisingly accepted in the peer review is that “Australia's hydrologic surface mass anomaly is responsible for the fall in the reconstruction of global mean sea level.” Apart from the fact that the global mean sea level (GMSL) reconstructions are not measurements but very questionable computations, it appear unbelievable that the natural formation of Lake Eyre in the centre of Australia can be considered responsible for a drop of a quarter of an inch in the GMSL.

Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) is the lowest point in Australia, at approximately 15 m below sea level (lowest point when empty) and when it fills is the largest lake in Australia and the 18th largest in the world. The temporary shallow lake is found in South Australia some 700 km north of Adelaide. The surface area is 9,500 km2 maximum, with average depth 1.5 m every 3 years and 4 m every decade.

A good reviewer of the paper by Fasullo should have asked him why the 2010-2011 pattern is not evidenced a decade before in the GMSL computation that started early 1990s.  Similar rain falls were indeed experienced about a decade ago [3], but the oceans did not fall that much.

Same good reviewer should also have asked Mr. Fasullo if he considers conservation of mass must be enforced when asserting that “the sea level dropped by a quarter of an inch during these raining times for Australia though normally it rises by an eighth of an inch per year and since that time the global sea level has risen by nearly an inch”.  Approximately 72% of the planet's surface totalling about 3.6x108 km2 is covered by saline water. In terms of the hydrosphere of the Earth oceans contain 97% of the Earth's water. Half inch of oceans translates in 4.572·1012 m3 of water. The average deep of Lake Eyre should have been 486 metres to store all that water that it does not seem to be the case.

Same good reviewer should have asked Mr. Fasullo why all the long term tide gauges continue to show same oscillations about a linear trend without any sign of accelerations since the beginning of the 1900 and during the two decades of the satellite reconstruction of the GMSL [4-10]. 

Same good reviewer should have asked Mr. Fasullo why there should be a rise in the level of the oceans if the thermometers have measured a flat ocean temperature up to 2000 m the first decade that measurements have been collected [10] and the ground temperatures have also been stable. 

Same days Scott Simon [11] reports on the opportunity to cool down the warming climate with engineering projects.  “Draft report from the intergovernmental panel on climate change was leaked to the media this week. The scientists will report to the U.N. that it is nearly certain that human activity has caused most of the earth's climate change over the last 50 years. Now, this leak is certain to rekindle debates about how best to contend with events like increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, and it might make some people take a new look at what's called geo engineering.” writes Scott Simon. 

The best energy policy options according to many climate advocates is to impose huge taxes on everything is carbon related to subsidise projects such as building machines that would suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, reflecting sunlight away from the earth, changing the hydrology of a continent and similar.

With reference to this latter option, it has already been proposed to flood Lake Eyre with seawater brought to the basin via canal or pipeline to increase rainfall in the region downwind of the lake [12]. If the computations of Mr. Fasullo are correct, this would certainly reduce at least temporarily the rate of rise of sea level [2], but we do have some doubts about the “sustainability” of digging channels of almost 700 km from the sea to Lake Eyre then to be kept clean of salt deposits all with tax payers’ monies.

SOURCE  (See the original for  references)


Tim Blair

Australian pride is restored.  This is no small accomplishment, considering the depths to which we sank in 2009, when then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd offered this wince-making speech to that year’s United Nations climate conference in Denmark:

    “Before I left Australia, I was presented with a book of handwritten letters from a group of six-year-olds. One of the letters is from Gracie. Gracie is six. ‘Hi,’ she wrote. ‘My name is Gracie. How old are you?’ Gracie continues, ‘I am writing to you because I want you all to be strong in Copenhagen. Please listen to us as it is our future.’ I fear that at this conference, we are on the verge of letting little Gracie down.”

We were a different country back then, outsourcing economic policy to babies and actually admitting it to the world. Happily, things have changed. For this year’s UN climatefest in Warsaw, Poland, Tony Abbott’s government didn’t even bother to send the environment minister, much less the Prime Minister and his pre-teen fan mail.

Instead we sent some delegates who quite properly treated the whole exercise as a lark, much to the consternation of Gaia’s little Gracies. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation,” fumed Ria Voorhaar, a spokeswoman for the Climate Action Network. “That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in.”

Back in 2009, Rudd negotiated pointlessly for 40 hours, grabbing just one hour of sleep. This year’s Australian delegates don’t go for that sort of nonsense. “They made an intervention that late-night negotiations were bad for health and should be stopped,” complained Voorhaar.

And the meetings were indeed halted, with many blaming the snack-chomping Aussies and their t-shirts. “Their behaviour caused over 130 developing nations to abandon discussions on the controversial issue of climate compensation at 4am,” seethed Sophie Yeo of the activist group Responding to Climate Change. “It is one thing to be tired in a negotiation meeting, another to turn up in pyjamas,” huffed EU negotiator Paul Watkinson on Twitter. “Respect matters.”

With all due respect, the EU and the UN can shove it.

The Australians’ fine performance in Warsaw recalls the great Ipswich Meat Battle, when Queensland abattoir workers set a new global standard for environmental negotiations. One April morning in 2006, the workers arrived at their abattoir to find animal activists had chained themselves to the facility’s killing area.

Rather than give up and go home, however, the industrious workers advanced on the chained idiots. As the ABC reported: “The 12 protesters got a fright when meatworkers took matters into their own hands and used angle grinders to cut the chains off the activists so they could get back to work.”

Police are usually called to deal with protesters. In this case, the protesters actually called police. “The workers, they were standing around cheering and whooping and yelling and making lewd comments,” protester Angie Stephenson wailed. “We had to call the police and tell them to get out here straight away.”

“We begged for the police,” confirmed another protester, Patty Mark, who said that the abattoir owner joined about 40 of his workers in removing the stupid activists.

“They were yelling and screaming, and he got the angle grinder himself and started to cut right near where we were chained,” pity Patty pleaded.

“It was terrifying. We didn’t have protection on our eyes. The sparks were flying.”

If ever we send any further delegations to UN climate talks, these boys should lead the way. “Like, this guy was basically coming at us with an angle grinder, so there were people shaking, there were people in tears,” said protester Noah Hannibal. “And he was just saying, you know, ‘I’m enjoying this.’ “

That’s the spirit. The UN better get used to it.


No comments: