Archive for July, 2008

Hard day

Start here and work your way up the page. A bad day for Atrios to have the TV on.

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Greg Sheridan, today:

All of this is not to argue for inaction. It seems to me there are four obvious things we can do. First, we can go along with, as well as trying to influence through persuasion rather than example, what becomes the consensus position of the developed world. Carbon still has no price in Japan or the US and not an effective price in Canada or Europe. We don’t want to be laggards but we would be mad to be far out in front. Travelling with the herd here is truly the only sensible option.

Greg Sheridan, today:

IF the world cannot do the Doha Round, how can it possibly do a climate change deal?

Being Greg Sheridan means never having to say anything principled or coherent.

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Frenemy CJ

The guy who ran as the Liberals’ candidate against Kim Beazley Sr. in 1969 is, someone would have us believe, a friend of the Left. The evidence? Well, Richard Ackland likes him (Bolt’s brain: “friend of my enemy is my …?”). He disagrees with Janet Albrechtsen (Bolt’s brain: “enemy of my friend is my …?”). And:

What’s more:

He’s a product of a Jesuit school, he’s been involved in Aboriginal legal aid and as a convenor of an Amnesty lawyers’ group. As if that’s not enough of a pointer, don’t forget his involvement this month in striking down the World Youth Day regulations designed to prevent pilgrims being “annoyed”.

Wow – a judge not only raised with Christian values (particularly the meaningful ones, like charity and tolerance) but who applies similar principles in respecting human rights and free speech.

Elsewhere, Tim Norton didn’t get Bolt’s Leftist memo – he notes that French wrote the majority opinion in the appeal to the full Federal Court about the Tampa and is unimpressed with the appointment. Legal Eagle notes that it makes a change to have a Western Australian heading the High Court; Jeremy Gans weighs French up against the others on the shortlist and appears optimistic about his reasoning with respect to human rights charters.

I had not read any of French’s writing or speeches before his appointment, so I have just made a start by reading his speech from February 2008 on judicial activism. First impression – I seem to like both the way he writes and the way he reasons. I’m going to read some of his judgments (the Tampa and World Youth Day cases would seem a good place to start), but as has often been noted, it can be hard to pin down what a High Court Justice will be like until he or she starts performing the role.

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Now that the Opposition have gathered and banged their heads together, can they start to make sense? Let’s ask Brendan:

“Australia in implementing an emissions trading scheme can only do so when it’s ready to be implemented,” he said.

And, as a corollary, you cannot implement it if it is not ready to be implemented. Logical, eh?

So, when do you think it will be ready, Brendan?

Yesterday Dr Nelson indicated emissions trading should start by 2012. Today he says “probably” by 2012.

Other Coalition MPs say a start date is irrelevant if the Federal Government continues to push for its 2010 deadline.

Starting to wobble now. Should have just said “When it’s ready.”

So, what should the response to climate change look like, Brendan?

“Our view is that we have got to act internationally – we believe that apart from clean energy technologies and renewables and a variety of things, an emissions trading scheme in principal is the way for Australia to go, but it’s got to be methodically, carefully and responsibly thought through,” he said.

Shorter Brendan: “It’s the vibe of the thing.”

So, the Coalition is unanimous in endorsing its climate change policy, but the policy is to be determined at a date to be decided with the details to be advised once the implementation has been readied. Clear?

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At around 8:30 am today, I posted a response to “Peter K. Anderson aka Hartlod(TM)”‘s hilarious reply to my request for Bolt to acknowledge and correct his use of erroneous data (Shorter Hartlod – “Bolt’s readers are not sheep and will read any information themselves before deciding what they think. But I’m not going to read the sites you cited because they sound silly.”) There were 101 comments on Bolt’s post at that time. As of 1:45pm, there are still 101 comments.

During that time, his site has seen five new blog entries and these new entries have seen new comments pass through the moderation process. Yet the post in which Bolt completely cocked up his graphic (claiming that it updated and showed “an even sharper divergence” than a previously posted graphic based on inaccurate data) has seen no new comments.

I would imagine that I am not the only person responding to his errors and obfuscation. But the moderation process seems to have been held up in relation to that post. I wonder why, but I don’t imagine I will ever know.

UPDATE: My comment is one of nine that trickled through by 2:30pm. Interestingly, there now seems to be a debate underway about whether I am the “real” Tobias Ziegler, after someone claimed I was a big-wig in the climate sciences. It has now been suggested that I am more likely a “phoney Tobias Ziegler”. I’ve just done what I can with the Google and found no indication that there is anyone named Toby Ziegler who does work on climate science.

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Some folks are saying (contrary to the empirical evidence) that mandatory detention served as a deterrent for illegal immigration and that relaxing immigration laws is a risky proposition.

Philip Ruddock, on the other hand, says that it is because of his “Pacific solution” that the immigration laws can now be reformed:

Mr Ruddock says the current Government has its predecessor to thank for the very different circumstances.

“We have no unauthorised arrivals in any significant number, and that’s of course as a result of the policies of the previous government that managed to contain smuggling operations that were so unwelcome in relation to Australia’s border protection,” he said.

Because, apparently, it was easier to lock everybody up when there were lots more people to lock up. And now that we’ve scared everybody off, we can be nice to the refugees who attempt to reach our shores again – until, presumably, the pendulum swings back again.

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I’ll put my hand up

Tim Watts asks:

Does Brendan Nelson have a shred of credibility left?



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Google Reader question

A few weeks back I switched from using Bloglines (the Beta version) to Google Reader. I’m largely happy with my decision, but there is one thing I miss that perhaps I can fix somehow.

Does anyone know whether it is possible to get Google Reader to display an updated item as a “new item”? If I list all items in a particular feed then I can see any updates, but Bloglines used to show anything that was updated as if it was new again, which meant I never missed anything.

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The Department of Justice’s ethics office has found that staff of the Department of Justice (in particular, the favoured lackeys of Alberto Gonzales) broke the law by making hiring decisions on political grounds [PDF of full report].

Among the wonderful revelations from this report – Monica Goodling, an aide who rose quickly in the Gonzales DoJ, refused to recommend the hiring of an experienced prosecutor of terrorism cases because his wife was a Democrat. Because, you know, the only thing that matters more to the Bush administration than winning the war on terror is winning in politics.

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Labor has had to bear the responsibility of introducing mandatory detention. I am very pleased that it can also claim the credit for doing away with it.

ELSEWHERE: Senator Evans’s speech sets out the plan for reforming detention policy. There is commentary from both Andrew Bartlett and Tim Dunlop. As Tim notes, the Opposition has responded by playing its greatest hits.

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