The most consequential Australian in the world today has been issued an Australian passport

Julian Assange closer to a journey home.

The Australian government has confirmed that the WikiLeaks founder has a new Australian passport after years without one, and could now return to his home country.

An official at Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade confirmed yesterday that “Mr Assange does have an Australian passport”. The timing is good: last year he said that he feared Ecuador was seeking to end his asylum. He has been holed up in the embassy in Knightsbridge since the day he walked in, breaking his UK bail conditions, in 2012.

The Londoner called the embassy this morning and asked for a response to the news of the new passport. A member of staff initially said “no comment” but then added: “He has the right to do whatever he wants, but he doesn’t move on. He could stay here for ever.”

Now, in another boost, Assange has the support of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who described him as a “hero of mine” and called on Australians to rally for him.

“We live in strange and dark times and we need journalists and others, activists of all kinds, to shine light into the dark places,” Waters told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Waters is not his only high-profile backer. Assange has also entertained figures such as Pamela Anderson. Nigel Farage was seen there in March of 2017 but said he could not remember the reason for his visit.

Assange’s passport had been held up by wrangling over whether it could be issued to him given that a warrant is still out for his arrest in the UK.

His UK lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, reportedly applied for a fresh passport halfway through last year.

Greg Barns, Assange’s Australian lawyer, gave credit to former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop for her role in securing the new document.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Barns thought she had “gone to great lengths to ensure Mr Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen were upheld by being granted a passport”.

And a brief reminder of why he is famous, and may be the most consequential Australian alive today. This is only a small part of what you may find at the link.

Assange wrote on WikiLeaks in February 2016: “I have had years of experience in dealing with Hillary Clinton and have read thousands of her cables. Hillary lacks judgment and will push the United States into endless, stupid wars which spread terrorism. … she certainly should not become president of the United States.” On 25 July, following the Republican National Convention (RNC), during an interview by Amy Goodman, Assange said that choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is like choosing between cholera or gonorrhea. “Personally, I would prefer neither.” WikiLeaks editor, Sarah Harrison, has stated that the site is not choosing which damaging publications to release, rather releasing information that is available to them. In an Election Day statement, Assange criticized both Clinton and Trump, saying that “The Democratic and Republican candidates have both expressed hostility towards whistleblowers.”

Doubling down on incompetence

What else is he going to say, I suppose, but say it he did: Labor’s record spending while in power has been used as an attack for years. Wayne Swan, responsible for the debt, says he’s proud of it. That is exactly what he said in his Swan Song, his final speech to Parliament.

The man responsible for the billions lost on school halls and pink batts, and up to his ears in the NBN disaster is proud of his legacy of debt and the subsequent years of slow growth. The fall in real incomes across the labour force even today is his legacy. There are unfortunately Keynesians everywhere. But if he thinks he has left behind a how-to manual on dealing with a downturn then that is the greatest worry of all.

Look! Australia is now setting the international standard for green idiocy

From Instapundit.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Australia’s Obsession With Hopelessly Intermittent Wind & Solar Wrecking Entire Power Grid.

Australians once enjoyed affordable power, reliably delivered: the chaotic delivery of wind and solar changed all that. Australian power prices have rocketed out-of-control: its wind and solar power capital, South Australia pays the highest electricity prices, in the world.

Mass power cuts (aka load shedding and demand management) and mass blackouts are the new normal. And yet, the lunatics responsible are hell-bent on doubling down to deliver the final and fatal blow to Australia’s Eastern Grid (geographically, the largest interconnected power grid on the planet).

As Jo Nova explains, electricity generation and delivery is a finely balanced thing; and the sudden massive surges and collapses that are part and parcel of wind and solar generation are taking their toll, with much worse to come.

Ayn Rand didn’t write The Return of The Primitive as a how-to guide.

 

 

Plus this from the comments thread among many that discuss Australia.

Here’s a map of Australia’s shale gas formations, which are comparable in size to U.S. shale reserves. It’s not a matter of there not being an alternative answer, it’s just a matter of the politicians there to stop buying into the idea that freezing is better than fracking….

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Along with this, via Powerline.

2019 Battle Lines: Capitalism and Growth (L-N) versus Socialism and Degrowth (ALP)

The story is from the US and about them but applies to us just as well: 2020 Battle Lines: Capitalism and Growth (R) versus Socialism and Degrowth (D). Here is much of the article but there is more at the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG9N4ZP5MQA

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a character familiar to anyone who has spent substantial time on campuses in the past two decades

She’s a walking, talking social justice warrior soundbite machine, someone whose knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep. Social media, where she excels, is perfect for shallow but woke wisdom.

At one level, she is the gift Donald Trump and Republicans could not have hoped for in their wildest dreams. Her wacky Green New Deal is so preposterous in many of its details and in its totality, it is a caricature. It’s a prime example of what I call Progressive or Parody?, where it’s “very hard to distinguish progressive political and social positions from parody.”

That four of the leading Democrat presidential candidates (Harris, Warren, Booker, Gillibrand) rushed to co-sponsor or endorse the Green New Deal will be a theme Republicans will drive home from today through Election Day 2020. That these four kneecapped themselves as General Election candidates is Ocasio-Cortez’s greatest accomplishment (for Republicans) so far.

At another level, though, Ocasio-Cortez should be taken seriously precisely because she is a character familiar to anyone who has spent time on campuses in the past two decades. She represents an ignorant ahistorical adoration for socialism that has captured a significant portion of the Democratic Party. Socialists like Ocasio-Cortez are the energy in the Democratic Party, which explains why presidential candidates immediately jumped on her bandwagon.

Capitalism versus Socialism is one battle line for 2020. Whether or not the ultimate Democrat nominee endorses the Green New Deal, the Green New Deal will be made to be the Democrat platform whether Democrats like it or not. Let’s have a vote on Capitalism versus Socialism.

At another level, it’s not just Capitalism versus Socialism. In listening to a 2015 audio of Mark Levin, I heard a term I had not heard before: Degrowth.

What is Degrowth? An academic association devoted to Degrowth describes it as follows:

Sustainable degrowth is a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions. Such societies will no longer have to “grow or die.” Material accumulation will no longer hold a prime position in the population’s cultural imaginary. The primacy of efficiency will be substituted by a focus on sufficiency, and innovation will no longer focus on technology for technology’s sake but will concentrate on new social and technical arrangements that will enable us to live convivially and frugally. Degrowth does not only challenge the centrality of GDP as an overarching policy objective but proposes a framework for transformation to a lower and sustainable level of production and consumption, a shrinking of the economic system to leave more space for human cooperation and ecosystems.

Watch this video promoting degrowth, and it sounds a lot like the Green New Deal.

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And in Oz, these people have already blown up power stations and are dead set on a socialist-green agenda. There’s a lot of stupidity around. I just hope there isn’t that much, but we shall see soon enough.

George Polites RIP

One of the greatest political geniuses of Australian history has just today gone to God, aged 100. He was the representative of employers across Australia from the 1950s through until the 1980s, with his great achievement the formation of the Confederation of Australian Industry in 1977. The CAI was intended to be the employer equivalent of the ACTU, providing a forum in which employer organisations from across the spectrum of industries and sectors could come together to discuss strategy and tactics in the face of the tremendous anti-business attitudes that typically prevail among those who believe our wealth and prosperity is a free gift of nature.

It was my good fortune to be hired as the economist for the industrial relations division in 1980 and eventually became the Chief Economist of what is now the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry where I remained for 24 years. But among all of those whom I had the privilege of working with, there was no one who had George’s ability and vision. It was from him I learned most of what I understand about politics and the political process. I am always astonished by those who abandon some political leader because they fail to achieve 100% of what they want. From George I learned the patient art of politicking and the need to think about what is possible and how to achieve ends across large spaces of time.

He was the equal of Bob Hawke in his ability to sit down and negotiate an outcome, but sought none of the limelight and was content to work in the background working the room so to speak to get the things he wanted. He always thought of me as far too much of the economist, too devoted to the market, but I have to say that in many ways I carry within me his own vision of the kind of world I would like to live in, and his desire to ensure we create an industrial environment that is both productive, and dare I say it, fair to both employers and employees.

Having written the above I have had a look at The Oz and The Age to see if there is any mention of George but there is none. The only photo on the net is the one above, taken when he was already a very old man. He left CAI back in 1982 so it is not all that surprising that the world no longer remembers. But I remember, and I am sure Bob Hawke remembers, just as all of us veterans of the ancient world of industrial relations. The ACTU blathers on about fairness and justice, but it was people like George Polites who made such outcomes as near as possible in the real world of sharks and wolves that we inhabit and always will.

“We have a story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve”

The virtual absence of any mention of Nancy Pelosi’s sudden decision to allow the State of the Union address to go ahead, as if this were always on the cards, astonishes me. The notion that PDT gave it all away with nothing in it for himself, turns out to be not true at all. It may actually be that it was the Dems who will turn out to have given the game away since not so surprisingly, PDT has won the public relations battle, and may yet win the rest as uphill a battle as it may look: Pelosi Suffers MASSIVE Backlash Over Shutdown As She Watches Her Popularity Plummets, which adds this detail:

Also pressure on Pelosi and the Democrats is building as the United States Border Patrol just released the latest apprehension data at our southern border deflating their narrative:

Today, United States Customs and Border Protection released new information regarding the number of family units apprehended along the southwest border and the demographics of large groups apprehended in recent months by the United States Border Patrol (USBP).

As of today, USBP has seen a surge in Family Unit Aliens compared to the same time from last fiscal year by 280%. Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year and this year will surpass that if the current trend continues without any legislative fixes. Overall apprehensions between the POE’s are up 81%.

APPREHENSIONS

Over the past few months (FY19 to date), USBP has seen a dramatic increase in the number of large groups of 100 illegal aliens or more being apprehended along the southern border.

In the El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, Tucson, and Yuma Sectors over the last four months, smugglers and traffickers have delivered 53 large groups, totaling 8,797 illegal aliens.

This should also be at the core of the Australian election. We have effectively stopped the boats, but you may be sure whatever success we have had up till now will disappear the day the election ends in a Labor government.

But where’s the concern about a socialist government in Australia?

Israel, Australia Join Growing List of Countries Recognizing Venezuela’s Opposition Leader

You don’t often see this: an Australian foreign minister in overseas news.

“Australia recognizes and supports the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, in assuming the position of interim president, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution and until elections are held,” Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Late in the game and timid. Sticking to constitutional proprieties. Would prefer something along the lines of a full-throttle disquisition on the evils of socialism, kind of trying to warn us about the potential consequences of a Labor government here in Oz. You gotta hope they will eventually get it.

A female Malcolm clone

The Libs have a handful of candidates who represent me – conservative, free market, and repulsed by the global warming con that is ruining Australia among other things. By a last minute Prime Ministerial throw of the die, Craig Kelly will run again in Hughes. But it was in the face of the nitwit wing of the party trying to do Kelly over. Now they are after Tony Abbott.

So who is it this time? Young. Female. Sports star. Legal beagle. Another Julia Banks in the making, although here running as an independent but an obvious stalking-horse for the Turnbull Wing: Four-time Olympian Zali Steggall launches bid to topple Tony Abbott in Warringah.

“I am in this to win it,” Ms Steggall told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “I want to beat Tony Abbott, who has been a handbrake on Australian progress on many fronts but particularly effective action on climate change.[How many other power stations does she want blown up?]

“I know what I am getting into but I am not a wallflower – I am tough. [Incredible that she thinks being tough is the opposite of being a wallflower!] I learnt from sport that you have to put the work in, and can’t just turn up on the day hoping for the result. [What a deep and original example to us all about the need to learn from experience.] I will do the work for this, just as I did the work for sport and law.” …

The barrister wants federal Parliament to do more on climate change and [folks, prepare yourself] has been consulting former Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery on policy options. She said an emissions trading scheme model had been “overtaken” by private sector investment in renewables [any government subsidies here, Ms Steggall, or don’t they matter?] but unlike Mr Abbott is not opposed to a mechanism that ties the economy to emissions reductions.

“It needs to be a multi-faceted strategy. It’s not a quick fix, it won’t be a quick solution. it has taken years to get into this mess and will take time to get ourselves out of it.” …

The former prime minister, who has fought and won nine elections in Warringah, faces a Melbourne Cup field of candidates at the election and has previously described independent aspirants as “Labor in disguise” [although in this case not all that much of a disguise].

“That actually shows how out of touch he is,” Ms Steggall said. “A broad part of my support base is the extremely dissatisfied, long-term, moderate Liberal voters who are looking for [unspecified] sensible financial policies [MMT perhaps?] but progressive social attitudes.

“Tony Abbott does not represent me, or the views of most of the people I know in this electorate [she really should get out more often], and I want to replace him.” …

“Winning the seat is not enough. I want to do something with the position. I would like to be part of coming up with solutions for climate change, so I can look my children in the eye [as they shiver freezing in the dark].”

I can see her point: where would the Winter Olympics be if there were no snow? I can also see that with her specialty in downhill, that she would be quite an asset for the direction a Labor government will take us. But if the Libs really truly wish to drive people like me away, propping candidates like her up is a surefire way to do it. Meanwhile, in the non-surprise of the week, Labor considers preferencing independent Warringah candidate Zali Steggall.

Defining deviance up

From Cut & Paste at The Oz: Once a jolly polly offered an apollygy, and other neologisms to celebrate Australia Day.

From the cool cats at Catallaxy Files during the past two years:

Abbariginal: Fair-skinned blonde claiming Aboriginality for money, money, money

Acadumbic: Professor who dumbs down students

Accusuals: Usual accusers

Alt-Racist: Reactionary throwback who believes man should be judged by content of character not colour of skin

ATMs: Australian Taxpaying Machines, ie taxpayers that pollies raid

Apollygy: Apology made by a hopeless PM about something they had no involvement in to seem more virtuous than the previous PM

Balance of poorer: Control votes in Senargy so prosperity never realised

Bolshie Ballet: Choreographed routine when crimes of socialism are brought up, such as “but that wasn’t real communism”, “but Scandinavia”. “but outside forces”

Bloodger: One who uses race to suck from the taxpayer’s teat

Canoebaya: Imaginary state in which all parties are in the same boat

Climatocracy: Upper echelons of climate science and activist fraternity, made wealthy as dauphins by immeasurable government largesse

Dimwitterati: Energy policy masters

Disasterati: Airhead commentariat that thrills about latest research proving catastrophic impact of climate change will end world as we know it

Dodgeridoo: Fake Aboriginal artefact

Foregasm: Wonderful feeling when Treasury forecasts balanced budget some time in next 20 years

Flannery: Unit of rain. “We’ve had over 75 ‘Flannerys’ in the past week”. one Flannery being 50 gigalitres

Fragilista: One who fights by whining for rights of snowflakes everywhere

Fauxphobia: 1. Pretending that sticking “phobia” on to a randomly chosen word is meaningful. 2. Fear of people who create meaningless words

Fleffers: Far-left activists who routinely stack audiences at ABC TV shows such as Q&A in order to whoop, cheer and vigorously applaud their ideology and its espousers

Fridgicide: Thanks to a US intellectual we know this, not Islamic, terrorism is the real threat to Western civilisation

Gendercide: Destruction of bio­logical gender as we know it

Gendercreep: Public education on just how many ways to have sex

Gorebulls: Utterances of Al Gore

Insulterati: (see Offendopotamus)

Intaxication: Wonderful feeling when government spends $ on you but you know a headache is coming

Islamofauxbia: Pretence that being wary of homicidal jihadists is somehow irrational

Leftwaffe: Mechanical formations that carpet-bomb social media with hashtags and believe they are superior to all others

Marxist Stream Media: … formerly known as mainstream media

Neo-Apartheid: Progressive, compassionate policy … (of) locking sections of community into non-Western culture (which) magically result in improved standards of living

Offendopotamus/offendopotami: Full-time offense taker

Phallinked: Person associated with “Safe Schools” child grooming

Pollicock: Political correctness

Pollycy: Policy for political purposes

Preposterist: One who expects others to believe their preposterous views

Rearviewergy: Rear view energy. Politicians in cahoots with crony capitalists who decide way forward is to fix sight in rear view mirror, ie windmills

Slacktivist: Someone who only ­attends demos after midday

Socialislam: Unofficial alliance ­between the Left and Islam

Social license: Inalienable right of those who don’t produce anything to hector and humbug those that do

Spitcoin: Currency, the more spitcoins one accumulates, the higher on the virtue ladder one is elevated and the more deplorables one can spit on

UNuchs: Fawning obsequiousness at international diplomatic gatherings

Woking Class: Demographic educated just sufficiently to assign relative degrees of morality to every member of the population except themselves

Peter Costello for PM

With Kelly O’Dwyer about to vacate Peter Costello’s old seat of Higgins, the scenario writes itself. Peter Costello must become the leader of the Liberal Party and contest the next election on behalf of the Coalition.

He understands how to run an economy better than anyone in Australian history.

He will continue to stop the boats.

He will unite the party.

And as an added bonus, Malcolm has now gone, the miserable incompetent who would never let any partly leader alone until he was the leader himself has disappeared into his fully earned oblivion. There will be no instability among those who will recognise just how crucial stability must be.

I know that politics is a hard game, but there is no one I have ever seen dominate Parliament as he did. You don’t lose the touch. Your country needs you.

Peter must run for his old seat and the Libs must make him their leader to face Bill Shorten at the next election.