Liberal Senator delivers damning assessment of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership

Liberal Senator delivers damning assessment of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, by Joe Kelly.

Veteran Queensland Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald has vented his disappointment with Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, arguing the 2015 switch from Tony Abbott was the beginning of a political “disaster.” …

He said while voters knew exactly what Tony Abbott and John Howard stood for, the electorate doesn’t know what Mr Turnbull stands for. …

“There’s no doubt about it — Malcolm is not seen as representing people in northern and regional Queensland,” Senator Macdonald said. “They see him as a city person with city values.” …

“It seems to a lot of people, a lot of people where I come from, Malcolm tries to pick the issues that everybody likes.

“But he doesn’t seem to understand that 60 per cent of those or a lot of those people who he’s appealing to are people who are never going to vote for us, never in a month of Sundays will they vote for us.

“Even if we give them everything they ask for, they will never vote for us. Whereas often the people on the other side of the argument are our traditional supporters and we are losing them to people like Hanson and Katter”

The Nationals are now distancing themselves from the Liberals, because the Liberals are too PC. They “want their corflutes to show Mr Joyce and not Mr Turnbull.”

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in the West

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in the West, by Wang Dan.

I spent nearly seven years in a Chinese prison for being a leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. I was freed in 1998, and the Chinese government let me leave the country. I chose to go to the United States, where I could freely speak my mind without fear of being thrown in prison. …

Given the long tradition of free speech in the United States, I assumed that the forums would fare even better in America, where some 329,000 Chinese students attend college. I hoped that public discussions of topics off-limits in China might challenge visiting Chinese students and encourage them to embrace Western democratic values.

But instead, over the past three months, my efforts on American campuses have been stymied. The Chinese Communist Party is extending its surveillance of critics abroad, reaching into Western academic communities and silencing visiting Chinese students. Through a campaign of fear and intimidation, Beijing is hindering free speech in the United States and in other Western countries.

The Chinese government, or people sympathetic to it, encourage like-minded Chinese students and scholars in the West to report on Chinese students who participate in politically sensitive activities — like my salons, but also other public forums and protests against Beijing. Members of the China Students and Scholars Association, which has chapters at many American universities, maintain ties with the Chinese consulates and keep tabs on “unpatriotic” people and activities on campuses. Agents or sympathizers of the Chinese government show up at public events videotaping and snapping pictures of speakers, participants and organizers.

Chinese students who are seen with political dissidents like me or dare to publicly challenge Chinese government policies can be put on a blacklist. Their families in China can be threatened or punished. …

And in one egregious example of intimidation, in March 2016, the police in China abducted the relatives of the Chinese journalist Chang Ping, who lives in exile in Germany, after he published an article in a German publication that was critical of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on free speech.

Chinese students abroad hear these stories and, with good reason, tread carefully. Many have become too afraid to attend open forums like my salon, and those who do show up mostly keep a low profile. …

Chinese PC:

Nationalism is rampant in China and many students, who grew up subjected to the full force of the Chinese government’s “patriotic education program,” carry it abroad. They blame Western powers for causing a “century of humiliation” before the Communist takeover in 1949 and for instigating trouble and constraining China’s growth as a global power. These “patriotic” students and scholars team up with the Chinese consulates to sabotage protests critical of the Chinese government. Many resort to online harassment of Beijing’s critics. …

Australia:

The country’s growing influence abroad has received a lot of attention in Australia, where journalists have detailed how Chinese money has infiltrated the political process. Chinese students in Australia can come under heavy pressure and shaming from other nationalist Chinese students for criticizing Beijing.

Recently, Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics in Australia, said that his publisher delayed the release of a book of his that investigates the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia for fear that the Chinese government may sue for defamation. We can be certain that Mr. Hamilton’s name has been added to a list of Western scholars who are banned from China, another common tactic used against outspoken China scholars whose work the Chinese government dislikes.

Miranda Devine: Telling the truth has a price

Miranda Devine: Telling the truth has a price, by Stephen Brook.

Telling the truth has a price, controversial conservative columnist Miranda Devine says.

“I personally have lost friends over it,” The Daily Telegraph columnist Devine tells podcast “Behind the Media,” speaking about her decision to label supporters of deposed prime minister Tony Abbott “delcons”, or delusional conservatives.

Abbott was one friend she lost. Conservative columnist and colleague Andrew Bolt another.

“Andrew Bolt and I don’t talk any more,” Devine says, recounting how Bolt thought Devine was criticising him personally in the delcon column.

Devine says she wasn’t, instead targeting writers for the Quadrant and Spectator magazines. …

Devine had already lost her friendship with Abbott, whom she had known for 25 years, since he worked for her father, Frank Devine, a former editor of The Australian.

“We talk when we see each other and it’s very cordial. Well, it’s relatively cordial,” she says, adding that she still likes and admires him.

“I guess I had this mistaken idea that as a columnist I should be writing what I think is the truth and I have done that rather than help him run his insurgency, which I don’t think is my role.” …

The same-sex marriage debate supercharged the atmosphere and Devine was one of the few people in the media to advocate a no vote. “I was personally insulted by the idea that anyone voting no was a homophobe or a bigot.” …

Surprisingly, Devine started out working in the textile division of the CSIRO while completing a science degree majoring in mathematics and computer science. “Both parents had been journalists and both very much tried to talk me out of it. My mother I remember saying to me, “Journalism makes women very hard.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Germany’s green energy drive left Merkel vulnerable

Germany’s green energy drive left Merkel vulnerable, by Charles Moore.

The … Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) … really does offer something different. Given its pariah status, people assumed that parties would happily coalesce against it after its electoral breakthrough. But in fact its presence opens up two big discontents — mass immigration and energy prices — forcing other parties to consider their positions. Immigration gets most of the headlines here, but the energy issue is almost equally problematic.

Germany’s consumers have to pay huge bills because of their government’s determination to go green. …

In the current revolt against the elites in the West, few issues more divide the many from the few than energy prices and the bogus religion which is forcing them up. Strange that this issue should give the right its chance.

Man arrested over alleged Melbourne New Year’s Eve terror plot plans

Man arrested over alleged Melbourne New Year’s Eve terror plot plans, by Aneeka Simonis.

POLICE say they have foiled a frightening terrorist plot to shoot revellers celebrating New Year’s Eve at Melbourne’s Federation Square, with a ‘high risk’ person they had been watching for some time arrested in a counter-terrorism operation in the city’s west.

The 20-year-old Werribee man – born in Australia to Somalian parents – was taken into custody by Special Operations Group police just before 3pm in Werribee yesterday.

It is alleged he planned to shoot “as many people as he could” in the attack, police say. …

The man, who grew up in Victoria, worked at a computer business. Police say his extremist behaviour had gradually escalated over time.

Werribee man arrested over alleged Melbourne New Year’s Eve terrorism plot, by the ABC.

Police said they moved in because the man had been having face-to-face meetings about getting a gun. The man, who police said was connected to other extremists, did not manage to obtain one, Deputy Commissioner Patton said. …

The man is described as a Muslim, who is an Australian citizen with Somalian parents.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Cool reception as JJJ moves its Hottest 100

Cool reception as JJJ moves its Hottest 100, by Emily Ritchie.

ABC radio station Triple J is facing a backlash over its decision to move the Hottest 100 away from Australia Day, with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield warning that the national broadcaster should “not mess” with the national day.

The youth-focused station yesterday announced its popular music countdown instead would be broadcast across the fourth weekend in January each year because of indigenous concerns that the national day is held on January 26, which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in 1788. …

“The constant push to politicise and delegitimise Australia Day being held on 26 January is pathetic and out of step with most Australians’ views,” [Liberal Senator Alex Hawke] said.

The Hottest 100, which charts listeners’ favourite songs from the previous year, has been held on January 26 for almost two decades. This year the station conducted two listener surveys and canvassed the opinions of music industry professionals and indigenous groups, saying a majority of respondents favoured a change of date.

Supporting the move of Australia day away from Jan 26 has become a method of virtue signaling for the PC crowd. Therefore they won’t stop agitating until the day is moved — whereupon they’ll have to congregate around something else to show who’s the most virtuous.

WaPo Busts James O’Keefe’s Failed Attempt to Fool Them With Fake Roy Moore Accuser

WaPo Busts James O’Keefe’s Failed Attempt to Fool Them With Fake Roy Moore Accuser, by Ken Meyer.

An undercover endeavor from James O’Keefe seemed to crash and burn after Project Veritas was caught as they tried to feed disinformation about Roy Moore to Washington Post.

WaPo released a story tonight about how their reporters were contacted by a woman who claimed that she had an abortion after Moore impregnated her as a teenager decades ago. This account came after WaPo released their report on the first four women who came forward with claims about the Alabama Senate candidate.

The report said that this new accuser frequently asked about what could happen if she went public with her story. The newspaper never posted anything about her accusations before, however, due to a number of red flags that came up while they profiled her.

A sting operations attempting to uncover fake news is itself uncovered. Our postmodern elite says there is no such thing as truth … yet spend so much time and effort trying to find it or obscure it!

The big slide in renewable energy tells the real story

The big slide in renewable energy tells the real story, by Bjorn Lomborg.

We have spent the last two centuries getting off renewables because they were mostly weak, costly and unreliable. Half a century ago, in 1966, the world got 15.6% of its energy from renewables. Today (2016) we still get less of our energy at 13.8%.

With our concern for global warming, we are ramping up the use of renewables. The mainstream reporting lets you believe that renewables are just about to power the entire world. But this is flatly wrong.

The new World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency shows how much renewables will increase over the next quarter century, to 2040. In its New Policies Scenario, which rather optimistically expects all nations to live up to their Paris climate promise, it sees the percentage increase less than 6 percentage points from 13.8% to 19.4%. More realistically, the increase will be 2 percentage points to 15.8%.

Most of the renewables are not solar PV and wind. Today, almost 10 percentage points come from the world’s oldest fuel: wood. Hydropower provides another 2.5 percentage points and all other renewables provide just 1.6 percentage points, of which solar PV and wind provide 0.8 percentage points. …

Most people tend to think about electricity for renewables, but the world uses plenty of energy that is not electricity (heat, transport, manufacture and industrial processes).

The wrath of the do-gooders

The wrath of the do-gooders, by Patrick West.

Everyone agrees that to be left-wing and liberal is to be a better, more caring and compassionate human being. It proves what an enlightened and open-minded person you are. It sets you apart from conservatives and right-wingers, those selfish and nasty folk who are obviously racist, oafish and horrid. I mean, just look at Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and people of that ilk. Aren’t they ghastly?

All this is true, right? Wrong. Being caring is actually a licence to be nasty. Not only this year have we witnessed a torrent of abuse and slander from the supposedly caring left, directed at so-called populists in the UK and the US, we have also seen physical violence acted upon them.

Consider the aftermath of the US presidential election. On the New York subway, someone tried to strangle a 24-year-old wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. … The list of attacks goes on. …

There has always been a malicious, vengeful streak in sections of the compassionate new left. Consider how they have always boasted about ‘hating the Tories’, as if hatred is an emotion to be proud of. The far left always talk of ‘smashing’ or ‘fighting’ things, whether it be capitalism, racism or the system. The rhetoric of caring and combat paradoxically go hand-in-hand.

As Albert Camus observed in his attack on Sartre in his 1951 L’Homme révolté, the more someone professes to care about humanity, the more they tend to dislike people as human beings.

To be of the left these days is to assume a sanctimonious mindset. The more people are possessed of self-righteousness, the more they are convinced of the inherent goodness of their beliefs, and the moral deviance of their enemies, the more they feel at liberty to abuse others. …

The more caring a pose someone assumes, the more shrill and wrathful they become. For the righteous, anything is permitted. Conversely, the more one embraces the virtue of doubt, the less likely one is to want to smash things.

“Our ends justify the means” is alive and well in the left at the moment.

Why this Hong Kong-born mother won’t send her kids to selective schools

Why this Hong Kong-born mother won’t send her kids to selective schools, by Masako Fukui.

Dr Ho, who researches diversity as a senior lecturer in social and political sciences at UTS in Sydney, is decidedly against sending her two children to a selective high school.

The reason? According to her, the ethnic makeup of selective schools now no longer reflects Australian society.

In Dr Ho’s graduating class of 1991, Asians were in the minority. Today, there are more than 20 fully selective high schools in NSW and 25 partially selective high schools, and students with an Asian background dominate most public high schools for the gifted and talented.

A disproportionately large majority of these elite institutions are in NSW, and education commentators estimate that some Sydney school populations could be as high as 90 per cent Asian Australian. …

According to Trissha Varman, a 15-year-old selective school student who was born in Malaysia, south Asian kids tend to hang out in “curry groups”. Alissa, 17, who would rather be known by her first name, said a group dominated by white kids would be referred to as “skips”, short for Skippy the bush kangaroo.

Dr Ho points to terms like “the Asian five” — a cluster of maths-heavy subjects including science — which are contrasted against “white subjects”, mainly the humanities.

Many immigrants are selected for being smart:

In recent decades, Australia’s immigration policy has shifted, to rates skills, wealth and educational background over other factors like family reunion.

In education, too, government policies have shifted from more broad-based comprehensive models to a hierarchical, competitive system based on NAPLAN testing.

Dr Ho says the overall result is that Australia has hyper-selected migrants from countries like India, China and South Korea, who are on average more highly educated than Australians.

Private tutoring now the norm to gain entry to a selective school:

According to her, these aspirational migrants value education as the key to a successful future for their children, and to gain a competitive edge, they’re more likely to encourage attendance at private coaching colleges and tutoring.

In fact, extra-curricular academic support is now the norm for any family wanting their child to gain entry into any of the prestigious and public, selective programs around Australia. Unsurprisingly, the private tutoring industry has almost doubled in the past decade.

This trend is now a major cause of tension, especially in NSW. Coaching and tutoring is expensive, and can lead to inequities. But mostly, it’s considered unduly taxing for kids.

Power, Sex, and Politics

Power, Sex, and Politics, by Angelo Codevilla.

“Power,” Henry Kissinger observed, “is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Men, but mostly women, have been trading erotic services for access to power since time began.

The ruling class’s recent carrying on over a supposed epidemic of powerful grabbers and gropers runs counter to common sense and experience. …

During my eight years on the Senate staff, sex was a currency for renting rungs on ladders to power. Uninvolved and with a hygroscopic shoulder, I listened to accounts of the trade, in which some one-third of senators, male senior staff, and corresponding numbers of females seemed to be involved. I write “trade,” because not once did I hear of anyone forcing his attention. Given what seemed an endless supply of the willing, anyone who might feel compelled to do that would have been a loser otherwise unfit for survival in that demanding environment.

This, I wager, is not so different from others’ experiences in Washington. Senior female staffers were far more open than secretaries in describing their conquests of places up the ladder, especially of senators. There was some reticence only in talking about “relationships” with such as John Tower (R-Texas) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) because they were the easiest, and had so many. The prize, of course, was Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)—rooster over a veritable hen house that was, almost literally, a “chick magnet.” Access to power, or status, or the appearance thereof was on one side, sex on the other. Innocence was the one quality entirely absent on all sides.

In the basic bargain, the female proposes. The power holder has the prerogative to say “no,” or just to do nothing. By a lesser token, wealthy men need not offer cash to have female attention showered on them. Money is silver currency. Power is gold. A few, occasionally, get impatient and grab. …

What, then, are our powerful rulers’ claims of zero tolerance for sexual harassment or sexual commerce about? First, they do not involve the ruling class giving up any of their privileges, never mind what are effectively their harems. They are confessions — not of their own sins, but of the sins of others. …

The Clintons and the Weinsteins, yesterday’s ruling class paragons, are useful foils. When, inadvertently, photos implicate a member of the current ruling class leadership, such as Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) in beastly behavior, ruling class colleagues and media give him a pass (“he apologized!”) and use his case unfavorably to contrast the real enemies — always on the Right: President Donald Trump and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. “They are disqualified from office because they haven’t even admitted their guilt!”

In short, penalties for breaches of any item of political correctness are and will remain what they have been in the past, without exception: thinly veiled excuses to harm whoever stands in the way of the ruling class’s members.

This fact ceased to be a secret some time ago and explains the difficulty of having to maintain the authority of P.C.’s strictures. Thus we have the elaborate edifice of kangaroo courts and sensitivity training that governments and corporations have imposed on their fellow Americans more or less discredited in the eyes of just about everyone. …

The current campaign against a few, carefully targeted butt-grabbers is specifically designed to renew ruling class authority to continue business as usual, meaning to make socio-political war on the usual suspects.

Al Gore’s dark past is an inconvenient truth

Al Gore’s dark past is an inconvenient truth, by John Phillips.

You don’t have to look any farther than the pages of the New York Times or the airwaves of MSNBC to hear liberal voices openly opining that they blew it in the 1990s by not calling on former President Bill Clinton to step down after he admitted to an ongoing sexual relationship with a much younger intern. Not to mention the rape allegations brought up by Juanita Broderick.

Some on the left are even suggesting that we reexamine the way we look at former President John F. Kennedy, in light of new information regarding how he treated female employees in the White House.

However, one prominent name has managed to stay off of our radar, and I don’t know why. I am, of course, speaking of former Vice President Al Gore.

Al Gore

Back in October of 2006, a Portland, Ore. masseuse accused the former vice president of “unwanted sexual contact” while performing a massage on him in a hotel room.

While speaking to detectives in January of 2009 the woman said she had been doing requested abdominal work on Mr. Gore when he demanded she go lower.

The New York Times reported that she told police, “I was shocked and I did not massage beyond what is considered a safe, nonsexual area of the abdomen,” she said. “He further insisted and acted angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud.”

“I went into much deeper shock as I realized it appeared he was demanding sexual favors or sexual behaviors.”

She alleged he later tried to have sex with her.

“I did not immediately call the police as I feared being made into a public spectacle and my reputation being destroyed,” she said. “I was not sure what to tell them and was concerned my story would not be believed since there was no DNA evidence from a completed act of rape.”

No charges were ever filed due to a “lack of evidence.”…

There were two other incidents too.

Any conversation about powerful men behaving badly should include Al Gore’s name. Even if it is “an inconvenient truth.”

Roy Moore and the Fire This Time

Roy Moore and the Fire This Time, by Michael Walsh.

What began as a targeted hit on Roy Moore in his Senate race against a faceless Democrat with the generic name of Doug Jones has now turned into a blazing ammo dump, littered with the bodies of Hollywood celebrities and politicians in both the United States and Britain.

And yet, despite the best efforts of Gloria Allred, Moore is not only still standing, he is probably again leading in the race. A pair of recent polls has Moore up over Jones by anywhere from two to seven points …

From ABC News:

The initial burst of accusations about a grown man chasing high school girls might have sunk Moore. But the election is in Alabama, and then there is the media. From left wing site Politico:

How have we reached a point in this country when nearly half the voters of a U.S. state so mistrust, and even revile, major media outlets that they are willing to brush aside credible evidence and elect an accused sexual predator simply out of spite? How have we reached a point where a president of the United States can just declare “fake” news he doesn’t like — and largely get away with it?

In at least one survey, trust in the media — the necessary vanguard of any free society — is even lower than trust in Trump, which itself is nothing to tweet about. How on earth has this happened?

Back to the article by Walsh:

Well, that’s easy.

The media, in the form of the Baby Boomers who have reached its highest echelons and have controlled it for the past quarter century, sold its soul to the Democrat party — first to George McGovern, then (briefly) to Jimmy Carter, and finally and fatally to Bill (but not Hillary) Clinton and Barack Obama.

Whereas old-school reporters and editors abjured involvement in politics, they embraced it. Whereas once a reporter left to become a public-relations flack or, worse, to work for a politician, he was finished as a journalist, the Boomers celebrated such experience as a resume builder. In short order, a revolving door appeared, connecting the newsrooms of Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the television networks to the corridors of political power. …

This piece by Matt Latimer in Politico, goes on to make the case that the national media has long held a double standard in its news coverage, which is obvious to anyone on the right side of the aisle. “The job of the media is to reluctantly report the news it can’t ignore anymore & then explain why it wasn’t important in the first place,” cracked Jim Treacher.

Iowahawk’s famous dictum also comes to mind: “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” Nobody trusts the media any more because the media is, by its own definition, partisan and therefore untrustworthy.

And so conservatives view it, rightly, with mistrust and distrust. They know from bitter first-hand experience that there’s an agenda behind nearly every story, in every section of the Times: a crack about Trump here, a dig at the Right there. Even ESPN, which used to be a sports network, has gotten into the act, politicizing sports to its own detriment and to the likely ruination of the NFL. Nearly every mainstream media outlet takes as its standpoint a position that is well left of center, at which point its opponents (for so reporters think of those I call Real Americans) can only be deemed far-right. It’s a deliberate slander, of course, and everybody knows it.