Filed under: Australia, Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Australia's Cap-and-Trade, Fulfilled Campaign Promise, Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Climate hysteria probably reached its peak in 2006-2009 in Australia. Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called man-made global warming “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” Even though average global temperatures hadn’t warmed since 1989, we were headed for an environmental catastrophe and only drastic changes to our way of life could avoid Armageddon. Dissent was treated with shock and derision.
Mr. Rudd set out to pass a cap-and-trade scheme in 2009, but the Aussies didn’t buy it. But then the rest of the world declined to sign up with expensive carbon reduction proposals at the Copenhagen summit, Mr. Rudd lost even more credibility. In 2010 Julia Gillard promised not to impose a carbon tax, but she still lost seats in parliament and her coalition partners in the Greens persuaded her to push ahead with the unpopular levy of A$23 (U.S. $21.54) per ton of carbon. That further weakened Labor, and Tony Abbott won election last year on a platform of repeal of the tax. The Australian government’s own figures estimate the tax has added A$9.90 to the average household’s weekly power bill. (Think adding $40 to your monthly power bill here, and you see the objection.)
Cap-and-Trade Mr. Abbott argued, amounted to “a great big tax to create a big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy.” He supported simpler, cheaper and more practical ways of creating a cleaner environment and most Australians realized that the cost of decarbonizing the economy outweighed any possible benefits. Australia’s Senate voted 39-32 last Thursday to repeal the carbon emissions price. Prime Minister Abbott told voters in a news conference after the vote:
Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone.
Phillip Hutchings writes at Wattsupwiththat that:
Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.
In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria. It’s amongst the single biggest emitters of CO2 in Australia.
Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.
Filed under: Australia, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Immigration, Law, National Security, United Nations | Tags: Legal and Illegal, Nations Have Borders, United Nation Refugee Agency
We are not alone. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is now picking on Australia for not inviting uninvited immigrants to stick around. After an assessment at sea, 41 Sri Lankans were rejected by the border patrol and handed over to the Sri Lankan authorities.
I always find it fascinating that our friends in Russia can take the most severe actions and nobody criticizes, but when one of the world’s freest nations dares to insist that their borders mean something and that you need permission to enter, all hell breaks loose.
Australians welcome immigrants as we do. But there is a legal way to do it. You go to an embassy and tell them you want to immigrate. It may take some time, but you will be welcome when the time comes. We just don’t have room for all the people in the world who want to live in a free country. We cannot handle all the claim jumpers currently bidding for our compassion. The U.N. should butt out.
Filed under: Australia, Canada, Europe, Foreign Policy, History, Military, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Ceremonies at Sword Beach, The Bowe Bergdahl Scandal, The VA Health System Scandal
I recommend this article and the video that accompanies it for your edification. Those who managed and directed the disgraceful spectacular organized for a number of world leaders and small numbers of elderly veterans returning for a last look at Sword Beach, the beach where the British landed in 1944, have a lot to answer for.
The article enumerates the lip service the Western world pays to the sacrifices of military veterans and what they suffered so the rest of us might live free of such suffering.
Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson confirmed that another 18 veterans can be added to the death toll, now 35, of those who died because of a culture of callous indifference to the needs of veterans put on wait lists that never resulted in appointments. Cover-up and hidden or discarded lists to ensure that administrators got their bonuses and promotions. Bad publicity, not ended by jettisoning the VA secretary.
To get that off the front pages, the President announced the swap of five Taliban terrorist commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which the administration assumed would be an heroic story of the return of a Taliban POW to the arms of his family. The White House once again tried to distract from a major scandal by instituting another major scandal. When the “honor and distinction” suggestion surfaced, Bergdahl’s platoon comrades confirmed that he had deserted his post, a court-martial offense at best. When that one didn’t work, administration nit-wits tried attacking the members of Bergdahl’s platoon as “psychopaths,” Think Progress asked “Did Sergeant Bergdahl desert the Army or did the Army desert him?” Some spin!
Notice has gone out to the military overseas about the heightened danger of kidnapping as a result of Obama’s trading 5 Taliban leaders for the American deserter. Even Taliban leaders said they would be looking for more Americans to kidnap.
Some week! Capped off with a weird ceremony where hundreds of performers descended on Sword Beach, where they gesticulated and gyrated in something that was intended to be evocative of the struggles endured by the soldiers who slogged their way across the battlefields of Europe. The level of crass obliviousness that dreamed up this display is hard to fathom.
The high point of the video is the expression on the face of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth as she watched the performance. That was a royal “what the hell?” expression if I’ve ever seen one. People should not forget that Princess Elizabeth enlisted and served with honor and distinction herself when her country stood alone against Nazi Germany.
Filed under: Australia, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming | Tags: A Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Australia's Taronga Zoo, Eight-Month Old Joey
This little female joey is an eight-month old Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat who has just begun venturing outside of Mom’s pouch. The Taronga Zoo is Australia is celebrating the arrival of the second joey in three years, a breeding success story that could also help the Critically Endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Her name is Sydney.
They are notoriously difficult to breed. Compatibility and timing seem to be crucial, for the female in only receptive to the male for a 12-hour window. Other than that, forget about it.
I have read about wombats, but never seen pictures of one. Our only marsupial in the United States is the possum, an unpleasant animal that we see occasionally here. They hiss, and they are definitely not cute.
Filed under: Australia, Entertainment, Music, Politics | Tags: Australian Tenor David Hobson, Shenandoah, The Great American Songbook
David Hobson, Australia’s favorite tenor, sings “Shenandoah” from his album “Endless Days.” He is aso an award winning composer, and does his own arrangements.
Filed under: Australia, Canada, Freedom, History, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Free Markets / Free People, Individual Liberty, The Anglosphere
In “Inventing Freedom”, Daniel Hannan reflects on the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. Hannan argues that the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms — individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government — are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.
Filed under: Australia, Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Music, Taxes | Tags: Aussie Master Guitarist, I'm Bound for South Australia, Tommy Emmanel
Here’s another from Tommy Emmanuel, just because.
Filed under: Politics, Economy, Environment, Conservatism, Freedom, Taxes, Capitalism, Australia | Tags: Tommy Emmanuel, Waltzing Matilda, Congratulations Australia
Australia’s master guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel .
Filed under: Economy, Environment, Conservatism, Energy, Freedom, Taxes, Capitalism, Australia | Tags: A New Prime Minister, Australia's Tony Abbott, A Conservative Government
Australia has new management. Prime Minister Elect Tony Abbott has led the Conservative Coalition to a resounding victory. The Australian House of Representatives has 150 seats. Kevin Rudd’s Labor party got only 54 seats, 76 are needed for a majority. The Coalition won 87 seats, the Greens 1, and other 2, with the remainder still in play. A pretty resounding rejection of the Labor party and the hated carbon tax.
Mr. Abbott is a former boxer, a Rhodes scholar, and Catholic seminarian. He has promised to rein in government spending, scrap the hated tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia’s northwest. He also promised to keep his promises.
Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, for Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard, only to reinstate Rudd as leader in June of 2013 in a desperate bid to stay in power. Labor’s overall vote was the worst since 2004 when conservative prime minister won his fourth and final term. Abbott could end up with a majority of around 30 seats, ending the party’s first minority government since World War II.
Mr. Rudd had attempted to portray Abbott’s planned spending cuts as “dangerous European-style austerity” and said that Labor was best placed to manage an economy that while slowing, is still the envy of much of the developed world. Sounds familiar.
Congratulations to Mr. Abbott and to our friends Down Under
Filed under: Africa, Australia, Canada, Politics | Tags: Middle Class Jobs, Obama's Economic Record, Spending and Taxing
President Obama went to Chattanooga, Tennessee last Wednesday for a big speech on jobs at the Amazon fulfillment center. Let’s just say it was not one of Mr. Obama’s better efforts. He wants a “better bargain” for the middle class. He has this weird idea that the economy grows “from the middle out,” which nobody understands, but he’s trying to make the middle class feel important.
He said that “over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression.” He’s used this line over and over, but that does not make it true. It was a sharp recession, others have been worse, but we usually recover more quickly from a sharp recession. The recession ended in June 2009. It is the recovery that has been the problem.
From Zero Hedge: “Of 953,000 jobs created in 2013, 77 percent or 731,000 are part time. The U.S. is slowly being converted to a part-time economy.” According to Obama, it is because of the “long-term erosion” that it’s so hard to get the economy growing again. (Not His fault). “Together we’ve righted the ship. We took on a broken health care system.” The health care system was not broken, but the best in the world. There were something like 35 percent who had no health insurance. And we have learned that when Obama Care fully takes effect, there will still be about the same number who have no health insurance.
As Thomas Sowell said “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”That’s what they did not understand. And what has happened is that businesses who have large numbers of low wage people cannot afford what ObamaCare demands that they pay, so they are switching to part time employees, and they will have to hire twice as many part-time workers. There are always consequences.
Obama is going to fix the middle class with lots of construction jobs. You probably remember that he said that “those shovel-ready jobs really weren’t shovel-ready.” Construction jobs are complicated. First you have to get the agreement of the concerned governmental unit. Plans must be drawn up. Long approval process. Environmental impact statement. Long approval process. Legal battles with those who don’t like the project, and there are always those who don’t like the project. Repeat approval process. Construction jobs are not permanent jobs. They attach to a project.
The president added that “we invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil.”Sigh. We were never “addicted” to foreign oil. We had a government that wanted to buy foreign oil instead of allowing drilling for our own resources, and a government that extended the ban on offshore drilling in the case of Deepwater-Horizon to an absurd extent that sent ten big rigs off to other countries that were more cooperative, with their crews, and shut down the economy in the Gulf for months for no particular reason except that the President was ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, and subsequently forbade any drilling anywhere else, like offshore Alaska, onshore Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, Florida coast.
You don’t make the economy grow from the middle class out. A reviving economy will provide opportunity for all. ObamaCare is the biggest drag on the economy, but the”green jobs” in new 21st Century technology are nonsense. Spain and Portugal are dying from excessive investment in green technology. In Germany, Siemens burned through 21 Billion Euros and is out of the solar business. Wind and Solar are old, old technologies, and sexy new turbines or solar shingles seem like wonderful new technology, but the inherent problems of wind and solar remain the same. Wind is too intermittent, Solar is too diffuse.
How about doing some of the things that actually help businesses to create jobs? Obama has in mind a new “Grand Bargain.” He will reform the corporate tax code. His willingness to cut back the U.S. corporate tax, which is the highest in the developed world which taxes businesses on the income they earn in other countries. It destroys jobs and lowers wages for American workers and is way overdue for reform.
The central purpose of tax reform is to invigorate economic growth. Broadening the tax base (closing loopholes) and subsequently lowering tax rates is a good thing. But Mr. Obama wants to use some of that revenue to increase spending, which turns the whole thing into just another tax hike. He can’t give up the spending, and he needs more revenue to do it.
Filed under: Australia, Entertainment, Music | Tags: Australian Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed's Struttin', Master Guitarist
A nice way to start the day. Tommy Emmanuel’s guitar always seems like an extension of his body.
Filed under: Australia, Energy, Environment, Intelligence | Tags: Professor Ian Plimer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide
From Australian Climate Scientist Ian Plimer:
“The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it’s open.”