Australia’s bushfires all you need to know

This is dead on: Media more destructive than fires:

Just like many other people I know, I have been inundated by messages from family and friends overseas, inquiring about my safety, having been terrified by the media reports of what seemed like an environmental armageddon engulfing the entire country….

Watching the hysterical and over-sensationalised coverage overseas has convinced many that the very existence of the nation is at stake. And the social media, if anything, has been even worse, with a number of completely misleading maps and photos exaggerating the extent of the affected areas by two-figure factors. As I pointed out, indeed the area the size of the state of Kentucky has been burned out, but unlike most other places on Earth, certainly in the developed world, Australia fits in nearly eighty Kentuckys, most of them pretty empty of human presence and activity.

Media sensationalises at the best of times in a never-ending quest for more eyeballs (“if it bleeds it leads”, or, in this case, “if it’s on fire, we’re on fire”) but the intersection of a large scale natural disaster with the “climate crisis” activism has generated a truly terrifying inferno of human passions where news becomes propaganda and the narrative trumps the objectivity. A significant proportion of the population – and the majority in the media – want to see the fires as Gaia’s wrath, with the disaster turning into green porn to terrify, titillate and agitate. Tourism has now become one of the casualties of this rhetorical excess, a collateral damage to the pursuit of a political agenda. This crisis is very much man-made and the economic pain unnecessarily inflicted on a whole industry because you wanted to make as terrible a point as possible will hang around your necks like a charred albatross, dear green activists on the streets and those masquerading as journalists.

Plus:

Not to mention:

Impeachment all for show

Made it back from the US where they had just begun the impeachment business. And in the hotel we were staying at – perhaps explicable because we were in California – it was MSNBC running in the restaurant night and day. My conclusion: in comparison CNN is balanced and fair. Non-stop with the occasional moment of foreign news devoted to bushfires in Australia.

The enforced media-driven ignorance of the American population is startling. The hatred towards PDT you come across everywhere is incredible. The ayatollahs of the American networks could not be more one-sided.

As for the impeachment here are the Senate draft rules.

Essentially, the impeachment trial will be gone in about a week and then it’s on to the State of the Union. The Democrats assume that not only is a week a long time in politics, four years and ten months is an eternity. Nothing going on today will matter then. They are giving away 2020 and waiting for 2024 where the present crew and the present political set of “leaders” and their arguments will have discredited themselves. Not that I think that the Dem nominee cannot win, but I do think there are enough Democrats who hope whomever it is does not win.

And while the tweet below is a bit old, it is dead on for me.

Magic Pudding Monetary Theory (MMT)

The most important element in understanding how an economy works is to begin from its resource base, its existing infrastructure, its labour force and its entrepreneurs. Then mix in the laws and regulations, along with the personal beliefs of the population about the market economy. If you get just the right combination of all of that, you will get rising prosperity.

Also needed is a system of credit creation and a mechanism for supplying a medium of exchange, but that comes last of all. You have to get the real side of the economy in place and they you can worry about ensuring that the supply of money grows more or less in sync with the number of transactions taking place.

So into this comes Modern Monetary Theory, the realm of cranks of such a spectacular level of ignorance that it is quite astonishing to see these people in action. Warren Buffett Hates It. AOC Is for It. A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Monetary Theory.

This state of confusion isn’t good because Modern Monetary Theory, once confined to blogs and a handful of colleges including the University of Missouri at Kansas City, suddenly matters. In the U.S., the left wing of the Democratic Party is citing MMT to make the case for massive federal government spending on a Green New Deal to wean the U.S. off fossil fuels and fund Medicare for All. It’s virtually certain that MMT will be dragged into the debates of the 2020 presidential race. So the time is right for a semi-deep dive into Modern Monetary Theory—what it is, where it comes from, its pros and its cons.

Are we immune from all this? You better hope so. From the AFR today: Bernie Sanders’ senior adviser has a message for Morrison.

The 2020 US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ senior economic adviser, Stephanie Kelton, is urging the Morrison government to ditch its surplus, spend money on climate change and prepare for central bank obsolescence.

Touring Australia as the University of Adelaide’s Geoff Harcourt Visiting Professor, Professor Kelton told The Australian Financial Review people had become less concerned about deficits and that the government should rev up spending through the use of the controversial Modern Monetary Theory.

Bernie Sanders’ economic adviser Stephanie Kelton says the Morrison government should ditch its surplus and spend money on climate change. Bloomberg

“The number that gets churned out of the budget at the end of the fiscal year, is essentially, unimportant,” Professor Kelton said, “Every deficit is good for someone.”

“There’s untapped potential in the Australian economy in the form of idle capacity, especially labour, that the government can afford to run its fiscal policy more ambitiously to make more judicious use of the available resources.

“I would argue that there’s clear evidence that you’re not doing that here in Australia.”

MMT really stands for Magic Pudding Monetary Theory. They are just thieves who will rob you by inflating faster than the rest of us can keep up with their spending. And because they are the government, they will get to spend it first.

My thanks to Spartacus for forwarding these articles.

Hysteria in the LA Times

A letter to the editor at the LA Times:

JAN. 4, 2020 3 AM

To the editor: I live in Australia, the country that is now being ravaged by wildfires. As a father and grandfather, I am reaching out in the hope that the lessons of our disaster are not lost on the world.

Our horrific firestorms are the consequence of a long-running drought and the elongation of the fire season, both directly attributable to human-caused climate change. The worst is yet to come, as the costs both economically and environmentally are yet to be accounted, let alone paid.

We have towns that have run out of water and need to bring in drinking water by transport. Major cities have imposed water restrictions. Farmers have no water for crops and livestock.

Currently many of us are suffering under a haze that makes it feel as if we are smoking 80 cigarettes a day. Major sporting events have been canceled. Tourism is suffering as bookings are canceled. Mass evacuations are underway.

We are a nation in great peril and one further imperiled by a leadership enthralled by the lobbying and revenues of mining corporations. We may well become a failed state in time, a once proudly developed nation, the first nation to fall victim to climate change.

Heed our warning. The time to act on climate change is here and it is now. The call is for immediate and urgent action. Please, contact your elected officials and demand action. Make the personal adjustments and sacrifices that climate change demands. Our world is on fire. It is time to act.

V-E Day 2

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All the great ones are known by their first names: Winston, Maggie and now Boris. And if you don’t know the reference in the heading, go to the link: V-E Day. The world is now a better place.

Given that Boris was born in New York, just like PDT, he could even become President after PDT has served his second term (well, technically). And who knows, the Anglo-sphere may about to be re-assembled.

Does the UK remain John Stuart Mill’s actual island? Can only hope. And there is more to it than just economics.

Mandate: Boris Johnson has won a mandate for a Tory manifesto which promises to take Britain out of the EU by January 31 and introduce a points-based immigration system

American Leftists Believed Corbyn’s Inevitable Victory Would Be Their Model. Hope they’re right.

 

Clearly the worst president ever

WORST. NAZI. PRESIDENT. EVER. Trump to Sign Order Targeting Anti-Semitism on College Campuses: The president’s action will protect Judaism under civil rights law and empower the Education Department to withhold money from institutions that tolerate anti-Israel movements.

Seriously, Trump is such a failure, he can’t even be Hitler right. Impeach! Meanwhile, since it’s the NYT, it’s about Trump targeting “what he sees as antisemitism” on campus.

 

Plus this.

WORST. HOMOPHOBIC. PRESIDENT. EVER. Senate confirms openly gay Trump nominee to 9th Circuit. “The Senate confirmed President Trump’s ninth judicial nominee to the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, elevating Patrick Bumatay, an openly gay Filipino man, to the federal bench over objections from his liberal home-state senators.”

So do Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris hate gays, or Filipinos?

UPDATE: From the comments:

“53-40 party-line vote”

40 Democrats voted against a gay person of color.

Thank God we have Trump to roll over such bigotry in the name of diversity.

 

And then this.

Each from Instapundit.

Even more media political stupidity

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Our cover this week is on the most important election in Britain for many years. Voters face a stark choice between Boris Johnson, whose Tories promise a hard Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour Party plans to “rewrite the rules of the economy” along radical socialist lines. Mr Johnson runs the most unpopular new government on record; Mr Corbyn is the most unpopular leader of the opposition. That leaves a low bar for the Liberal Democrats and, for all their faults, they clear it. Their economic approach is the most sensible; on climate change and social policy they strike the best balance between ambition and realism. Yet they will not win. So why back them? The principled reason is that the Lib Dems are closest to the liberalism on which this newspaper was founded. But there is a practical reason, too. Voters worry that backing the Lib Dems plays into Mr Corbyn’s hands. However, our modelling suggests that votes and seats would come from both the main parties. A Lib Dem surge would be the best way to restrain whoever ends up in Downing Street.
 Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question

I put this up on July 28 this year and just thought I might post it again, ahem. Came under the heading, Twitter too.

Big tech must be treated like media: Sims.

ACCC chair Rod Sims has described technology giants Facebook and Google as publishers, who should be regulated in a similar way to traditional media.

Following the release of the ACCC’s final report into the market power of digital platforms, Mr Sims said Google and Facebook should be subject to the same laws as publishers and broadcasters.

And not before time. Moreover, it might even become a bi-partisan issue. At least you can hope. From the US.

Yesterday, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign sued Google, alleging that the company wrongly suspended the campaign’s Google Ads account during the critical hours following the first Democratic debate. The Complaint is venued in federal court in central California.

Its allegations are explosive. Gabbard accuses Google of trying to sabotage her presidential campaign because she, like Elizabeth Warren, has argued in favor of reining in the tech monopolies, including Google. Here are some of the Complaint’s allegations:

4. In the June 26-27, 2019 Democratic Party presidential debates, tens of millions of Americans got to hear Tulsi Gabbard’s voice for the first time. And people liked what they heard: Gabbard quickly became the most searched-for Democratic presidential candidate on June 27-28. In the crucial post-debate period—a time when presidential candidates receive outsize interest, engagement, and donations—Americans around the country wanted to hear more from Tulsi Gabbard.
***
7. On June 28, 2019—at the height of Gabbard’s popularity among Internet searchers in the immediate hours after the debate ended, and in the thick of the critical post-debate period (when television viewers, radio listeners, newspaper readers, and millions of other Americans are discussing and searching for presidential candidates), Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account without warning.

8. For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline. Throughout this period, the Campaign worked frantically to gather more information about the suspension; to get through to someone at Google who could get the Account back online; and to understand and remedy the restraint that had been placed on Tulsi’s speech—at precisely the moment when everyone wanted to hear from her.

Utterly unacceptable. People go onto these platforms because they are suckered in with the promise that they will not be censored and once the network is build up find themselves sandbagged by a bunch of ignorant techies. Let them be sued, and as far as the eye can see.

The publisher here is “WordPress” and they don’t edit. They just provide the platform and we do the writing. And if we break the law in what we say, we are no more protected than if we said it anywhere else. If, however, WordPress were to refuse to allow us to write anything positive about Donald Trump, let us say, then they would be the publisher. Unless it is illegal to say something, it should be illegal for these various platforms not to publish what others have put up on their site. No different from what might be put in a personal letter.

“Social media” is a new phenomenon and the rules should apply to them. Community standards is an invention by each of these platforms and has nothing to do with any kind of legal determination of what can and cannot be said in public. I hope Christian Porter is able to change the rules and in just such a way that the entire world is compelled to follow along in the same kind of way.