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JULY 2011

A right wing fanatic is reported to have killed over 80 people (mostly youths) in Norway using a semi automatic weapon.  Needless to say, semi automatic weapons and right to carry concealed handguns are not priveleges allowed to normal law abiding citizens in Norway.  It  is a terrible way to make the point, but these mass killings can only happen in countries (like Australia) and places (like US schools) where suitably qualified members of the population has been disarmed of concealed weapons.   My fellow humans should not try to deny their genetic heritage, which is based on the use of deadly violence for survival.
Tony Abbott, leader of the Australian Federal opposition, is an easy man to underestimate.  People recall that he was a college boxer, but seem to forget that the college was Oxford.  They know he is religious and nearly entered Catholic orders, so take his ingenuous manner for simple mindedness.  However the strategies he has evolved seem to be very effective, which should give pause to snap judgements.
Our ruling Labour party has an uneasy alliance in the house of representatives with the local Greens and three rural independents, to give it a majority of one.  The Greens insisted on some sort of carbon tax as a condition of their support.  Each of the three independents has conditions, from a card to control the use of poker machines to the NBN.  So Julia (our Prime Minister) has no wriggle room whatsoever.  She is, to coin a phrase, stuck between a rock and a hard place.  
On Climate change my views are similar to Lord Monckton's.  However I believe that without any political interference whatsoever, the cost of solar electricity will fall below grid parity in most places in the world before 2025.  If I owned any power company shares I would have sold them long ago.  So Tony has taken a far greener stance than I would advocate.  He is actually going to spend taxpayer money in an attempt to reduce the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.  Malcolm Turnbull, an otherwise promising politician, refuses to admit that he was on a losing horse, and insists that a carbon tax is the best way to control carbon.  He is correct, of course.  It would be the best way.  Unfortunately, it is also a tax from which we could not retreat.
The Greens are amazingly indirect about the tax breaks given to energy producers.  At the IQ^2 on 26th July 2011, the Greens senator for Queensland claimed that the quantum of tax breaks for non carbon fuels were only one third the breaks for carbon fuels.   However she did not mention that carbon fuels produce 95% of Australia's electricity in 2009, whilst Photoelectricity produced less than 0.1%.  Nor did she mention where that $14 billion of tax rebates went, but I suspect that most did not go to wealthy miners (as she suggested) but to farmers and truck drivers.

So next time you listen to a lecture about the evils of carbon on the environment, ask yourself, "who benefits from this narrative".  Most often, it will be the person advertising the evils of carbon.
Lets us look at some hard, verifiable facts.  Australia uses (2007) 240 billion KWH per year.  At the current price of about $2,000 per KW for an array of photoelectric cells, and assuming each 1 KW array gets an average 7 hours of sunlight on 350 days per year, we would need 240*10^9 / (7*350) ~ 98 million one kilowatt arrays, (assuming about 10% efficiency, that covers an area of about 1000 square kilometers (32KM x 32 KM)) which would cost around (98,000,000 x $2,000) ~ $200 billion.  For comparison, the Australian GDP is about $1.5 trillion.
Last week at Politics In The Pub, Lee Rhiannon and a Jewish Left whinger Antony Lowenstein were supporting the Palestinian BDS position that Palestinians should have the "Right Of Return" as per UN resolution.
Lee opened with a heartbreaking story about sitting with a displaced Palestinian near the Israeli border and looking over the border at a house which the Palestinian said was his home, and he showed her the key to the front door.
I told how Palestine was divided into two states by the UN in 1948.  The UN did then what it perhaps should have done in Rwanda and did do recently in Sudan.  That division was made because the Palestinian people did not accept (and violently rejected) that the Jews had a "right of return".   In fact, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is reported as having gone to Hitler before WWII and requested that he (Hitler) not act on his stated intent to send 100,000 Jews back to Israel.  And we all know how that story ended.
Neither Lee Rhiannon nor Antony Lowenstein deigned to respond to my question on the floor, which was:  Aren't we guilty of cultural hegemony when we demand that the Jews "Turn the other cheek" and allow Palestinians the Right Of Return?
Chutzpa is not exclusively a Jewish trait.  And Lee  Rhiannon is not stupid.  She no doubt makes a good living on a Senator's stipend.
Last night I was at Politics in the Pub and heard speakers on the Tea Party.  Both speakers were from Sydney University, a Historian and a US affairs expert.  What I found astounding was the left wing bias in both.  Both were anti Murdoch, and one of them spoke of "shock jocks".
I am a Nolan Chart libertarian.  That means that I am not just a "civil libertarian" but also an "economic libertarian". I want a choice from a wide variety of suppliers of any product I desire, including information and entertainment.  (No, I am not into porn, but see no reason why adults should be "protected" from any images that they want, so long as the obtaining of those images did not involve any illegal act.
So I have a question for those who argue that Murdoch and the owners of radio stations that employ "shock jocks" exert political editorial control.  Why is Rupert Murdoch such a success at operating media?  His opponents claim he exerts editorial control.  His editors (including those no longer employed by him) all say he does not.   How come that most of his publications display anti-"liberal" values?  Why are all the successful talkback hosts in Australia (and the USA) at the "shock jock" (i.e. anti-"liberal") end of the political spectrum?
Because either being anti liberal is the reason for the success of each of those newspapers and the success of those individual radio commenters, or else there is a vast conservative conspiracy by the capitalists of the world, a conspiracy that just will not permit liberal views to be propogated on any wide distribution media outlet.
In Australia, the liberal SMH has dropped from being a "river of gold" (Murdoch) to being a virtual give-away.  Most of the ABC radio commentators are liberal and unpopular.  (e.g. Adams).
It's the old question.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  In the world of print, wireless and TV, all the big chickens seem to be conservative.  Are they big because they are conservative, or are they conservative because they are big?  The small chickens have their platforms (SMH, ABC).  Are those platforms small because they are liberal?  Or is it because only a minority of the population subscribe to their liberal message?

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