Fairfax-Ipsos poll: Dead heat on eve of Australian election as final poll points to cliffhanger

Fairfax-Ipsos poll: Dead heat on eve of Australian election as final poll points to cliffhanger, by Mark Kenny.

Fewer than one in five voters think Bill Shorten will win the election, yet around half intend to give his party either their first or second preference, according to the final Fairfax-Ipsos poll on the eve of the election.

The contradiction points to a looming dead heat that has lifted the potential for Saturday’s election to deliver either a shock Labor win, a narrow Coalition victory, or a hung Parliament with no side commanding a majority in the House of Representatives.

A massive 27 per cent of voters remain intent on supporting Greens and other crossbench parties and independents, as support for the major parties threatens to erode further.

Trump pulls into lead in latest Rasmussen poll

Trump pulls into lead in latest Rasmussen poll, by Rasmussen Reports.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 43% of the vote, while Clinton earns 39%. Twelve percent (12%) still like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. …

Last week at this time, it was Clinton 44%, Trump 39%. This is Trump’s highest level of support in Rasmussen Reports’ matchups with Clinton since last October. His support has been hovering around the 40% mark since April, but it remains to be seen whether he’s just having a good week or this actually represents a real move forward among voters.

Boris Johnson announces he will not run for Prime Minister

Boris Johnson announces he will not run for Prime Minister, by Laura Hughes.

Boris Johnson pulls out of Conservative leadership battle. Gove announces he will run for Prime Minister. Theresa May reaches out to eurosceptics as she announces bid. [Johnson] calls for ‘sensible, moderate One Nation Conservative approach,’ says Government must tackle income inequality [and that it is] vital to bring together everyone from Remain and Leave sides.

A handful of Tory MPs reacted with disbelief as news that Mr Johnson would not be seeking the leadership filtered through …

Shame. He was a brilliant and interesting speaker at times, likeable and funny.

And now Mr Gove has destroyed Boris Johnson, writes James Kirkup.

By suggesting ever so politely, that Mr Johnson cannot provide real leadership or build a united team, Mr Gove went for his former ally’s jugular.

The idea that affable Boris is actually divisive, selfish and unreliable is Mr Johnson’s biggest weakness in this contest.

UPDATE: Steven Neil suspects that the real story is Johnson is too right wing for the rotten Tory Party and can now wait for Britain’s Angela Merkel, Theresa May, to lead the party towards collapse. He will then be in a position to pick up the pieces. The bottom line is that UKIP’s work is only just beginning — treason by the elites continues regardless of the referendum result.

The great Conservative renewal is now underway

The great Conservative renewal is now underway, by James Forsyth.

The Tory party is in a deeply emotional state. … Post-referendum, Remain and Leave Tory MPs still meet in separate groups. Some think this indicates that the leadership fight could become the most divisive in recent history. …

In the coming days, Boris will come under pressure to set out his vision for post-Brexit Britain. I understand that he and Michael Gove have three principles. First, they want democratic control over immigration policy — a rejection of the EU principle of free movement of people. Second, they no longer want the UK to be subject to the European Court of Justice. Third, they want access to — but not membership of — the single market. …

Tory pragmatists, including several Remain ministers I’ve spoken to, acknowledge that [Boris Johnson] goes a long way to neutralising Ukip as a threat to the Tories. It would be perilous for them to select someone who had campaigned against Brexit as their leader because Farage and co could claim that referendum voters had been betrayed. They would shout that it was all an establishment stitch-up and that people needed to vote Ukip to make a proper Brexit happen. …

A staple of [Boris’] referendum stump speech was that the ‘EU is a corporate stitch-up’ contributing to the growing pay gap between CEOs and workers. As one of Boris’s closest allies puts it: ‘We need a government that understands this: in the last 15 years if you had capital you made out like a bandit. If you had to rely on your own labour, you didn’t.’ … Another pillar of a Johnson government would be social mobility. …

At the same time, the Labour party is in meltdown: it is almost impossible to see how the dispute between Jeremy Corbyn and the bulk of the parliamentary Labour party can be resolved.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. This 1996 book by Thomas Sowell has a stellar reputation across the policy spectrum for its insights into the modern elite and political correctness. A classic. Highly recommended if you want a serious read.

Sowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to crises in education, crime, and family dynamics, and to other social pathologies. In this book, he describes how elites—the anointed—have replaced facts and rational thinking with rhetorical assertions, thereby altering the course of our social policy.

While “the anointed” favor explanations that exempt individuals from personal responsibility and seek painless solutions, those with the “tragic vision” see policies as trade-offs.

Some quotes:

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.

To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by “society.”

…the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?

Among the many other questions raised by the nebulous concept of “greed” is why it is a term applied almost exclusively to those who want to earn more money or to keep what they have already earned—never to those wanting to take other people’s money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largesse dispensed from such taxation. No amount of taxation is ever described as “greed” on the part of government or the clientele of government.

One of the first things taught in introductory statistics textbooks is that correlation is not causation. It is also one of the first things forgotten.

. . ideology. . . is an instrument of power; a defense mechanism against information; a pretext for eluding moral constraints in doing or approving evil with a clean conscience; and finally, a way of banning the criterion of experience, that is, of completely eliminating or indefinitely postponing the pragmatic criteria of success and failure. —Jean-François Revel

Only in the light of this agenda does it make sense that so-called “sex education” should be advocated to take place throughout the school years—from kindergarten to college—when it could not possibly take that much time to teach basic biological or medical information about sex. What takes that long is a constant indoctrination in new attitudes.

Systemic processes tend to reward people for making decisions that turn out to be right—creating great resentment among the anointed, who feel themselves entitled to rewards for being articulate, politically active, and morally fervent.

There cannot be a law-abiding society if no one knows in advance what law they are to abide by, but must wait for judges to create ex post facto legal rulings based on “evolving standards” rather than known rules.

The staunchest conservatives advocate a range of changes which differ in specifics, rather than in number or magnitude, from the changes advocated by those considered liberal…change, as such, is simply not a controversial issue. Yet a common practice among the anointed is to declare themselves emphatically, piously, and defiantly in favor of ‘change.’ Thus those who oppose their particular changes are depicted as being against change in general. It is as if opponents of the equation 2+2=7 were depicted as being against mathematics. Such a tactic might, however, be more politically effective than trying to defend the equation on its own merits.

hat-tip Chris

Spoiled College Grad Demands New Dress Code at Job, Gets the Boot

Spoiled College Grad Demands New Dress Code at Job, Gets the Boot, by Tom Knighton.

Junior was at his internship, and he wanted the company to have a more lax dress code. Plus, they noticed one of the regular staff wearing shoes that weren’t in line with the standard dress code, and that just wasn’t right. So, this individual got together with his fellow interns and wrote up a proposal for an alternate dress code (hmm … ) accompanied with a petition (whoops!) and sent it on.

Hilarity ensued: “The next day, all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed. Instead, we were informed that due to our “unprofessional” behavior, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP.

We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it. The worst part is that just before the meeting ended, one of the managers told us that the worker who was allowed to disobey the dress code was a former soldier who lost her leg and was therefore given permission to wear whatever kind of shoes she could walk in. You can’t even tell, and if we had known about this we would have factored it into our argument.”

The reality is that colleges — the educational institutions that are theoretically supposed to prepare these kids for the real world — did these students a disservice by treating every petition or pet cause as valid, allowing the inmates to run the asylum. When the students hit the real world, WHAM!

I was fired from my internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code, by Alison Green.

Firing the whole group of you was a pretty extreme reaction, but I can understand why they were highly annoyed.

Y’all were pretty out of line. You were interns there — basically guests for the summer. Their rules are their rules. This is like being a houseguest and presenting your host with a signed petition (!) to change their rules about cleaning up after yourself. You just don’t have the standing to do that.

The bullying tactics worked so well at university — why not in the corporate world? PC meets reality.

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”: Reflections of an English Brexpat

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”: Reflections of an English Brexpat, by Carl Trueman.

Europe has been the central question of English politics for most of my nearly five decades of life. Throughout that time, it has consistently cut across conventional Left-Right lines, as it did in the vote last week. From our earliest involvement in Europe, figures such as Enoch Powell and then Roger Scruton made arguments against the E.U. based on notions of national sovereignty, history, and culture. On the Left, those like the late Tony Benn, doyen of unreconstructed socialists, pointed continually to the lack of democratic accountability of E.U. institutions. Both Left and Right Eurosceptics also raised repeated questions about administrative waste and corruption.

And behind it all was the obvious fact that the British had never voted for the Europe we now have. We had voted for little more than a free-trade zone. What we have is a legislative and administrative behemoth that aspires to be a transnational state. This Europe has never had a popular mandate—a point that has reinforced feelings of resentment and impotence as it has advanced across people’s lives like some giant, bureaucratic glacier.

The political part of the EU is illegitimate. The governed never consented. As for impregnating the EU lands with Muslims … that’s rape, isn’t it?

The demographics of the English part of the referendum were predictable. Those who have done well out of Europe—mainly the London metro-elite—tended to vote Remain. …such people benefit from globalization: For example, it gives them access to cheap and readily available foreign labor, to fancy designer goods, and to the professional freedom that comes from open markets and open borders.

Those who find the effects of globalization intimidating, who feel that their jobs and wages are threatened by free movement of labor and capital, and whose local ways of life are eroded by mass immigration, tended to vote Leave.

That makes sense. People usually vote their economic self interest.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Top 14 Countries Whose Women Have The Largest Natural Breasts In The World

Top 14 Countries Whose Women Have The Largest Natural Breasts In The World, by Rebecca Martinson.

Almost 400,000 women from around the globe were measured for the study, with Caucasian Americans coming in with the highest breast volume measuring in at larger than a D-cup. Even non-Caucasian Americans still beat out most other countries, ranking in at third place with around a C-cup….

Breast sizes (volumes) by country

[R]esearchers found that obesity did not play a large part in the relative size of breasts, with the average breast volume “found to be large regardless of body weight, with even athletic and slim women being large-breasted.”

From the The Journal of Female Health Sciences:

It has been shown that young women who come to the United States as exchange students have a very high incidence of  mental problems related to their body image and self-esteem. In-depth interviews of the affected exchange students have revealed that one of the key reasons for the problems is that they feel anxiety, when they realize that their breasts are so substantially smaller in size than the breasts of U.S females.

What Brexit market disaster?

What Brexit market disaster? by Joanne Nova.

For five days headlines have told us the markets are being “Pounded”, with “Turmoil”, like a “Wild Ride” with “bloodletting“. I thought I’d graph the horror of the last week on the FTSE100, DAX, the CAC40 and the Euronext.  Naturally big-government fans in the media have no interest in overselling the disaster that is Brexit.

last five years of FTSE 100 including Brexit

See the link for more graphs. Last night the UK’s FTSE 100 surged 3.6% to close higher than it was just prior to the referendum.

The British Pound is at a historic low (luckily the fall hasn’t quite hit the 2008 level). British exporters must be loving this. …

Shh. Banks are the biggest losers: … “Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are down by between 11.5% and 12% (having recouped around half of their losses at the European opening). In France, Societe Generale is the biggest loser, down 19%, followed by BNP Paribas -16% and Credit Agricole -12.1%. In Italy, seven of the bottom eight losers are banks, down by between 17% and 20.9%. The only thing keeping Lloyds Banking Group off the bottom of the FTSE 100 table is the fact that the U.K. has a lot of listed homebuilders, who have been hit even harder. — Fortune, June 24th

In the Brexit aftermath the Big Banks are getting into trouble. Most mainstream journalists don’t seem to want to highlight the banker-pain.   Maybe it’s not the right message: “Stay IN the EU and Save the Banks”

Federal election 2016: TV ad doctor is political activist

Federal election 2016: TV ad doctor is political activist, by Sharri Markson.

The doctor who fronts the ACTU- funded Medicare television advertisement saying he is not a member of a political party has been a left-wing political activist for 40 years.

Drummoyne Medical Centre’s Robert Marr, who appears in the advertisement claiming there will be healthcare cuts under the Turnbull government, has a long history of political campaigning, including calling for John Howard to be investigated by the International Criminal Court for sending Australian troops to Iraq, lobbying against the Coalition in the 1993 federal election and arguing against private health insurance.

Standards of truth obviously coming second behind the PC crew’s need to fuel the narrative. Deceptive, lawyerly wordsmithing is so typical of them.

Bonfire of the EU laws: From crooked cucumbers to powerful vacuum cleaners, the barmy Brussels regulations we can now get rid of

Bonfire of the EU laws: From crooked cucumbers to powerful vacuum cleaners, the barmy Brussels regulations we can now get rid of, by Amie Gordon.

Despite the fact Britain has voted in favour of leaving the EU, this is still the start of a long process before the country officially untangles from the network of institutions in Brussels.

The barmy regulations include:

1. Ban on curvy bananas and crooked cucumbers. … A 1994 EU regulation specified that bananas must be ‘free from abnormal curvature.’ ... EU rules also governed the shape of many other fruits and vegetables — cucumbers, for example, needed to be almost perfectly straight.

2. Incandescent lightbulbs. … Following the EU’s ban on incandescent light-bulbs, many people were reported to have suffered epileptic fits from the flickering, supposedly eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs.

3. Vacuum cleaners. From September 1, 2014, companies were prohibited from manufacturing or importing any vacuum cleaners above the 1,600-watt limit as part of a drive to reduce domestic electricity use.

4. Drinking water does not prevent dehydration. … EU authorities passed a law which claimed scientists had found no evidence to suggest drinking water stopped dehydration. Manufacturers of bottled water were prohibited from labelling products with claims that would suggest consumption would fight dehydration.

5. ‘Diabetics’ banned from driving. Diabetes UK said that the DVLA did not differentiate between daytime and night-time episodes of hypoglycaemia, meaning that some people with diabetes are losing their driving licence unnecessarily.

6. It is illegal to eat your pet horse.

hat-tip Barry Corke