#pmlive

Quality campaigning for Zali

Quite certain this gentleman is not from Warringah, nor endorsed by Independent Zali Steggall but she must be glad to know this guy is in her corner. Quality campaigning.

The Ant and The Grasshopper

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Two Different Versions…. Two Different Morals

OLD VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.  The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

Channels 7, 9 and 10, the ABC and SBS show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

Australia is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on the ABC with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s not Easy Being Green.’

The CFMEU stage a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, ‘We shall overcome.’

The Archbishop of Melbourne then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.

Prime Minister Shorten condemns the ant and blames Scott Morrison, John Howard, Robert Menzies, Capt James Cook, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight.

Tanya Plibersek exclaims in an interview on Today Tonight that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, Labor in conjunction with the Greens draft the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the night, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorise the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighbourhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  Be careful how you vote on May 18, 2019.

Warringah Pub Test

Sky News held a pub test in the contested seat of Warringah. The pressure on the incumbent, former PM Tony Abbott, to hold his seat has been extreme.

The main threat has come from Independent Zali Steggall, who paints herself as a sensible centre candidate, despite backing from radical leftist lobby group GetUp. For some strange reason she decided not to go head to head with the other panelists. Probably because she has nothing to offer in terms of policy,” much less climate change or EVs (from the seat of her Nissan Pathfinder 3.5L V6 SUV)..

Having said that if one wants to lodge a protest vote against Tony Abbott (who presented well), United Australia Party’s Suellen Wrightson came across as a million times more impressive than Steggall in her media appearances to date. Even the Greens candidate, Kristyn Glanville, attended. Poor form Zali.

Listening to the questions asked, climate change and EVs didn’t feature as major issues. Power prices, more gas and coal baseload and restrained immigration got cheers from the crowd.

$14bn shock for Shorten. Not $100m

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Let’s face it, pre-election budget boasting is a beauty contest we can do without. Fanciful promises guarantee we will not end up in surplus. Shorten’s speech was loaded with mistakes. Let’s cut through some numbers.

The Coalition put forward the following on Tuesday.

What escaped many in the Frydenberg budget of Tuesday is that to fund the 16.8% jump in tax receipts on 2018/19, individual taxpayers will still see their pockets hit +18.4% in aggregate even after including the ‘generous’ rebates. Superannuation tax collections will jump 43% in 4 years time.

NDIS spending is targeted to be 92% higher by 2022/23 than last year. Medicare +24%, public hospital assistance to the states +21%, aged care services +27%. For all the celebrations of lowering pharmaceutical rebates for one wonder drug from $120,000 to $6.50, the reality is spending in this segment will fall 18.4% in total. The family tax benefit will squeak 4% higher in the next 4 years.

As written on Tuesday, the revenue projections of the government are unrealistic as we stare at a slowing world economy. German industrial production in March cratered to 44.1 and China’s auto sales continued a 7-month double-digit slump in February.

Analyzing the Labor response

Shorten claimed NDIS was cut A$1.6bn to get a surplus. Under Frydenberg’s budget, NDIS for 2019/20 will rise A$4.5bn. Out to 2022/23, it rises to over A$24bn.

The Opposition Leader also made reference to A$14bn in cuts to public schools. Note the funding to public schools on 2013/14 was A$4.8bn. In 2018/19 it was $7.7bn and projected in 2022/23 to be A$10.4bn. 

$200mn to renovate nursing campuses in Australia won’t achieve much. The John Curtin Medical Research School at the ANU cost $130mn alone.

Shorten made reference to bushfires being caused by climate change. Fire & Rescue NSW notes that 90% of fires are either deliberately or accidentally set. A Royal Commission after the horrible Black Saturday bushfires showed that policies which restricted backburning reduction targets were to blame for the larger spread of fires, not climate change. In 2013, Tasmania learned none of the lessons with similar policy restrictions preventing the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service to complete more than 4% of all the 2.6m hectares it manages. The reef is not being damaged by climate change and floods and drought are no more frequent or severe than a century ago.

While climate alarmists will relish the prospect of 50% electric vehicles (EV) and cut emissions 45% by 2030 to save the planet, a few truths need to be considered:

1) our own Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, has admitted that no matter what Australia does to mitigate global warming our impact will be zero. Naught. Nada. Putting emotion to one side, is there any point in spending $10s of billions to drive electricity prices?

2) South Australia and Victoria have already beta tested what having a higher percentage of renewable energy does or rather doesn’t do for sustainable and reliable baseload power. Both states have not only the highest energy prices in Australia but the world. These stats are backed up in Europe. The EU member states with a higher percentage of renewables have steeper electricity prices than those with less. These are facts.

3) Consumption patterns matterLast year Aussies bought only 2,200 EVs. In 2008, SUVs made up 19% of the new car sales mix. Today they make up 43%.
In 2008, c.50m total passengers were carried on Australian domestic flights to over 61m today. The IATA expects passengers flown will double over the current level by 2030. These are hardly the actions of people panicked about cataclysmic climate change. Or if they are, they expect others to economize on their behalf.

Qantas boasts having the largest carbon offset program in place yet only 2% of miles are paid for, meaning 98% aren’t. 

4) Global EV production capacity is around 2.1m units. While rising, it is still a minor blip on 79 million cars sold worldwide. Add to that, auto parts suppliers and car makers are reluctant to expand capacity too fast in a global auto market that is slowing rapidly.

Car sales in China have fallen for 7 straight months. In Feb 2019, sales fell 13.8% on the back of January’s -15% print.  Dec 2018 (-13%), Nov 2018 (-13.9%) & Oct 2018 (-11.7%) according to the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The US and Australian car markets are under pressure too. 

5) So haphazard is the drive for EV legislation that there are over 200 cities in Europe with different regulations. In the rush for cities to outdo one another this problem will only get worse. Getting two city councils to compromise is one thing but 200 or more across country lines?

Without consistent regulations, it is hard for makers to build EVs that can accommodate all the variance in laws without sharply boosting production costs. 

6) Fuel excise tax – at the moment, 5% of our tax revenue comes from the bowser. $25bn! Will Mr. Shorten happily give this up or do we expect when we’ve been forced to buy EVs that we will be stung with an electricity tax on our cars?

7) Norway is a poor example to benchmark against. It is 5% of our land mass, 1/5th our population and new car sales around 12% of Australia. According to BITRE, Australia has 877,561km of road network which is 9x larger than Norway.

Norway has around 8,000 chargers countrywide. Installation of fast chargers runs around A$60,000 per unit on top of the $100,000 preparation of each station for the high load 480V transformer setup to cope with the increased loads.

Norway state enterprise, Enova, said it would install fast chargers every 50km of 7,500km worth of main road/highway.

Australia has 234,820km of highways/main roads. Fast chargers at every 50km like the Norwegians would require a minimum of 4,700 charging stations across Australia. Norway commits to a minimum of 2 fast chargers and 2 standard chargers per station.

The problem is our plan for 570,000 cars per annum is 10x the number of EVs sold in Norway, requiring 10x the infrastructure.

While it is safe to assume that Norway’s stock of electric cars grows, our cumulative sales on Shorten’s plan would require far greater numbers. So let’s do the maths (note this doesn’t take into account the infrastructure issues of rural areas):

14,700 stations x $100,000 per station to = $1,470,000,000

4,700 stations x 20 fast chargers @ A$60,000 = $5,640,000,000 (rural)

4,700 stations x 20 slow chargers @ A$9,000 = $846,000,000 (rural)

10,000 stations x 5 fast chargers @ A$60,000 = $3,000,000,000 (urban)

570,000 home charging stations @ $5,500 per set = $3,135,000,000 (this is just for 2030)

Grand Total: A$14,091,000,000

Note that Shorten pledged $100m to EV charging stations around Australia to meet his goals. Even if he was to skimp on 2 fast and 2 slow chargers per stand, Aussies taxpayers will need to shell out $6.5bn. At least he could technically cover that with repealing $6bn in franking credits.

Norway’s privately run charging companies bill users at NOK2.50 (A$0.42c) per minute for fast charging. Norway’s electricity prices are around NOK 0.55 (A$0.05c) per kWh to households.  In South Australia, that price is 43c/kWh. So will Shorten subsidize an EV owner charging in Adelaide at the mark up a private retailer might charge? 

What about subsidies to EV buyers? If we go off Shorten’s assumptions of $3,400 per EV at 570,000 EVs per annum, the tax payer will fork out $1.94bn a year.

Will there be a cash-for-clunkers scheme?  If the plan is to drive internal combustion powertrains off the road, existing owners may not be emboldened with the decimation in the value of their existing cars. Let’s assume buyers are irrational and accept $3,000 per car (Gillard offered $2,000 back in 2010) trade-in under the scheme. That would amount to $1.73bn.

8) Making our own batteries! While it is true Australia is home to all of the relevant resources, sadly we do not have enough cobalt to make enough of them.

Australia is home to only 4% (5,100t) of the world’s cobalt. 60% of the world’s cobalt comes from DR Congo which has less than satisfactory labour laws surrounding children. If we want cheap EVs, we have to bear that cross of sacrificing children to save the planet. It can’t be done any other way.

Li-ion batteries consume around 42% of the globe’s cobalt supplies. Cars are 40% of that. The rest being computers, mobile phones, etc.

9) Automakers have set up their own battery capacity to supply internal production. Given our terrible history in automotives, we should not expect them to line up to buy our batteries.

Nissan spent around A$770m on a battery plant in Sunderland. Panasonic plowed $2.8bn into the battery plant that supplies Tesla.

10) Australia has no real homegrown industrial scale EV battery technology. If we bought in a technical license, that will only make our production costs prohibitive on a global scale. Our high wage costs would add to the improbability of it being a sensible venture.

All in, Shorten’s EV plans could cost Australians well over $20bn with c.$4bn in subsidies ongoing.

11) Green jobs – according to the ABS, jobs in the renewable sector have fallen from the peak of 19,000 in 2011/12 to 14,920 in 2016/17. The upshot is that green jobs in the renewable sector are not sustainable.

In short, Mr. Shorten’s budget reply was extremely thin on detail. Especially with respect to climate change. The LNP has plenty of ammunition to prosecute the case on his wild costing inaccuracies (as outlined above) yet will they have the gumption to fight on those lines. Saving the planet is one thing.

Loading a stretched grid with EVs and increasing the proportion of less reliable power sources looks like a recipe for disaster. We need only look at consumption patterns to get a true sense of how ‘woke’ people when it comes to global warming. South Australians and Victorians are already living the nightmare of renewables.

This election is about one thing – individual pocketbooks. The electorate needs working solutions, not electric dreams.

Staring at the dictator

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I read an FT article today and questioned why I paid $300 for a subscription. The author, most certainly Jewish, wrote about how we should remember our recent history when it comes to Trump. As someone descending from the same faith I find the moral equivalence irrational and irresponsible. It all stems back to the victimhood culture which is at the very root of what divides. When President Trump simply enacted the identical policy of vetting seven countries selected by President Obama the outrage showed the height of double standards. Is it a pleasant topic? No. Still had Obama done it how they would have cheered his bravery and leadership. Almost 60% of Americans polled by Rasmussen approved of Trump’s vetting process. Period.Yet media reports nothing but tired narrative.

During the election campaign, the majority of group thinkers totally dismissed Trump as a credible candidate. He was very open about his policies and made no politically correct overtones. He was crass, brutal and direct. No mincing of words. In the three debates he made exactly the same statements. The public was well forewarned. Had people who were gravely concerned of a Hitler-esque dictator potentially ruining their lives taken their own constitutional rights responsibly they could have easily got to a polling booth and voted to guarantee Hillary Clinton romped home. They didn’t. They have themselves to blame. Instead they ranted about the popular vote which is irrelevant because everybody knows it is decided by the electoral college system. Then they tried to force a recount and when that failed they tried to coerce those in charge of the voting in the electoral college to see reason and vote against their constituents wishes. However not once did they accept that they were 100% responsible for their own fate. What arrogance to try to force some sort of intellectual superiority over these bigoted white fools. However these supposed white bigoted fools were not swayed by propaganda. At the very least they were getting sick and tired of the liberal left constantly throwing barbs at them. If you call someone an idiot to their face long enough they will shut down and reply to your inability to listen at the ballot box. You are still not listening though.

To turn the argument on its head, had these same people not fallen for the type of propaganda concocted by their own biased mainstream media and understood the underlying issues really affecting heartland America they may have paid attention to Trump’s spot on the money analysis. Instead they stuck to the narrative churned out by the White House echo chamber that the great chief Obama helped put 15 million ( a dubious figure) back to work post the ‘Great Recession’ ignoring the fact that he also added 10 million (+33%) more Americans to the poverty lines. Was it all his fault? No. Did he have obstruction in Congress? To a degree. However we must not forget that Obama was responsible for passing more pieces and pages of regulation than any president in history. Obama also used executive orders with regularity. Suffice to say had his ‘legacy’ been so pitch perfect, the same bigoted white voters that twice put him in power had the opportunity of continuing it in the form of Hillary Clinton who offered the status quo. However among the 48 million Americans now on food stamps a growing number realized Obama was a failed experiment. He highlighted that career politicians were no different regardless of partisan politics. That under his leadership, America became even more divided. Even the hard line Farrakhan launched an explosive speech about how Obama had totally let down his people. Yet there was Obama at an African-American black tie dinner reprimanding the audience that if they didn’t vote for Hillary they’d insult his legacy. When I heard that the first thing that came to mind was the fact he was insulting them for it was indeed they in large part who supported him in the first place. A debt of gratitude might have been far more appropriate.

I’ll be the first to admit that President Trump is unconventional which at the same time can be unsettling for many. However he has done nothing but enact upon very publicly announced election promises in very short order. Yet, the victimology goes on. The irresponsible mainstream media that has learnt nothing went out of their way to paint an ‘anti-Muslim’ narrative which was not written in the executive order had many even bothered to properly read the document. Trump the Nazi they protested. However if people actually knew their history, the Nazis made best efforts to stop Jews, Gypsies and Roma from ‘exiting’ not ‘entering’. Think of the Warsaw ghetto in the1940s. The Final Solution was much to do with concentrating these populations in order to commit mass genocide. I have visited Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Bergen Belsen, Theresienstadt, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Auschwitz-Birkenau and I’ve read extensively on that period because my own family escaped Poland in 1931 to flee anti-Semitic sentiment. I have wept at the photo of 5yo Renia Kohn (pictured below) who was exterminated at Birkenau. I have tried for over a decade to trace the genealogy of my great grand-mother whose surname, Immergluck, is the same as two of the survivors of Schindler’s List. They came from the same town in Poland. So many records were destroyed given 90% of Polish Jews were murdered so it is personal, make no mistake. Making links to dictatorship and oppression is something that I take great interest in refuting without proper evidence.

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It is a deep sense of wanting to understand my own history. I have even read Mein Kampf cover to cover to get inside what drove Hitler’s megalomania. Trump has nothing of the mindset although the disrespectful media is now running a narrative that his hair growth tonic has mental disorder as a side effect. Seriously, people wish to read such ridiculous click bait? How can people put any faith in anything published by WaPo, NY Times and CNN with any level of authority especially given the abysmal track record in the lead up to the election.

Here is the bigger problem. The ones complaining of a dictatorship are the ones creating this toxic environment. For publicly beating up people who wear Trump hats. Even if these people are on the fringe. Why do these people wear masks? Own your protest because hiding behind a mask means you actually know you are doing wrong. Burning flags? Why do they destroy Starbucks stores when the CEO is on their side of victim based identity politics? Isn’t that an own goal? The problem with the liberal regressive left is that they have no capacity to listen. If you do not fit their narrative you are a bigot, racist or white trash. They seldom if ever open themselves up to alternative views.

To make that point, Nancy Pelosi exposed the pathetic level of the agenda at the time of the immigration executive order. She was caught on a hot-mic saying to a Democrat congressman Andre Carson “tell them you are a Muslim. Tell them you are a Muslim.” Had Carson thought personally as a Muslim that it was relevant to the discussion and his personal grief, surely he would have raised it unsolicited. That Pelosi had to goad him proves how hard regressives have to push an agenda which is the reason why Trump is in office. A growing number of Americans have got tired of identity politics. They want jobs and a sustainable future not spend countless hours debating transgender bathrooms, non-gender military titles and being forced to surrender their culture to somehow attain some sense of state-sponsored acceptance. If we keep pushing the “poor me” line on every issue we’ll get nowhere.

It is the growing numbers of impoverished that want their country turned around. They fear that open borders and boundless refugee intakes cut those odds. It is NOT racist or bigoted. The responsibility of any sovereign nation is to look after its citizens first. Period. If Canada wants to talk about “diversity is our strength” then all power to them. Yet the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’d take anyone rejected in the US into Canada, a lone-wolf shot up a mosque in Quebec. The media’s first hook – Trump supporter, the insinuation that he was a fair representation of the majority not the minority. Disgusting. What a smear. He isn’t even American so he is not legally allowed to vote (are you listening sanctuary cities?) so whether he likes Trump or Le Pen is completely irrelevant. I think Trudeau is the epitome of identity politics but he was democratically voted in by Canadians and I am happy to accept that fact. My opinion of Trudeau is irrelevant.

However when Trump berated my Prime Minister Turnbull, my opinion does matter. I believe Trump was correct. When our Obama fawning selfie obsessed Turnbull decided to cut a deal on refugees with him a week after Trump won the election that was plain stupid. He knew full well that Trump would never have allowed it under normal circumstances so undermining a future leader with the self belief he’d carry the weight of world opinion was poor judgement.

Additionally Obama’s last months in office highlighted his true colours. Things he could have easily achieved in his 8 years in office were rushed through in some kind of bucket list to stifle Trump. How unpatriotic. I doubt George W Bush tried in his last days to stuff Obama. What did Obama do? Did the deal with Turnbull, threw Israel under a bus and signed a check for $211mn dollars for Palestine. While you can argue he still was the president at the time, there is no excuse for laying landmines in the White House lawn to humiliate your successor. I was always taught that how you leave a job is far more important than how you join. I believe his legacy is a mere fraction of what he is praised for but his last days were built on spite, Watching him on comedy TV programs during the election campaign showed his total arrogance, patting himself on the back at every turn. His loss was not just because Clinton had been selected by the DNC as the chosen one, it was a repudiation of his failures to restore America.

Some people are complaining at Trump’s heavy handed treatment of Attorney General Sally Yates. What she did was insubordination. It is irrelevant what her political views were. Trump was not breaking laws. Her job is to follow the boss says on a legal basis not inject her personal feelings. Sacking her was 100% correct. If he’d broken the law then I’d be sympathetic. As he wasn’t she got served. Had she defied Obama we wouldn’t have heard the end of it. Such is the nature of identity politics that the side matters more than the principle.

The same goes for public websites and Twitter feeds sponsored by the tax-payer. The employees of these government agencies may hold personal opinions that conflict with the President but it is not a violation of free-speech for him to ban them venting on taxpayer funded media. If you think it is then I implore you to send a company wide email telling your boss that his policies are stupid and see how long your last. Insubordination and free speech are different,

Back to the immigration ban. Celebrities and protesters ganged up on Uber for offering a freeze on surge pricing to help their customers alleviate the stress of delays at JFK. Instead of allowing a company to exercise sensible commercial business practice, protesters and celebrities (who most likely ride in private limos) launched a #deleteuber campaign. For what? A company chooses not to get involved in your affairs and you choose to punish them. How regressive is that. Such is the level of hatred and bloody-mindedness, Uber’s CEO has stepped down from Trump’s business council. Even evangelical Elon Musk who is on the same board has had a wave of customers cancel Tesla Model 3 orders because they object to him serving his country. Instead of regressives looking at such an appointment as a way to perhaps bring Trump to a more even keel, they put so much pressure on Uber’s CEO that he resigned for the sake of his stakeholders. How conditional are liberals for love of country? Ask yourself who is causing division?  Companies can’t act commercially for fear of being attacked? Sorry who is behaving in a fascist fashion? What about 1st in SEO CEO’s brash statement of asking his staff divulge whether they voted for Trump and to resign if they did, not to mention demanding the same from their customers. What has voting preference have to do with ability? Nothing yet the regressive left prove their intolerance.

Then the same type of people light fires and beat people unconscious for wanting to listen to a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, They call an outwardly gay white man with a black boyfriend a white supremacist, Get real. He is a provocateur for sure but he does often make lucid points worth making albeit done in a poison tongue fashion. Yet because he doesn’t tow the victimology playbook he is vilified as a hate-preacher. Hello?

So while I read reams of social media posts about Trump and co’s Nazism I say take a long deep look at reality and stop the over-dramatization. It isn’t just Trump. Brits got tired of the incompetence of the EU and feared a future of having to kowtow to a supranational body of unelected officials. Brits weren’t racist or bigoted. They sent a message that politicians need to wake up and take care of problems at home before searching for noble misguided causes to cover up domestic issues.The guy and girl on Main St aren’t stupid. They’re hurting and tired of having rosy stats thrown in their face when they’re living harsh reality all the while those who espouse stats are chewing on $100 steaks.

The regressives must wake up and understand the very people they proclaim to protect aren’t listening anymore. They are tired of hand outs and freebies. They are sick of protests and the inconveniences caused by it. They want a future again. They want to live in a manner which doesn’t cause panic at the end of the month when the overdraft arrives. Make America Great Again wasn’t a catchy slogan but a deep down desire for a growing number of Americans to feel proud of their nation once again. So grow up and stop your victim culture at every turn. Judge Trump on his merits. Stop dividing your country and actually see what Trump is trying to do. The guy is a billionaire. Saying he is just pandering to his billionaire mates is a lame attack. Look at Clinton or Obama and their advisories had stacks of Wall Streeters. Look how many Dems voted against cheaper drugs coming from Canada because they had their snouts in Big Pharma’s trough.

I honestly think for all the bravado and noise behind Trump the biggest flattery to his ego would be to succeed in turning his country around. Nothing would give his Twitter fingers more joy than to succeed legitimately and have his fellow country men and women actually credit him with it, You’ll never get that from the mainstream media but be prepared for a second term if his health holds out. Of course the media will tell you its impossible but why put stock in their predictions when they have such a terrible track record on understanding voters. By the way your protests and demonstrations are actually pissing off the very people you think you’re representing and your dictatorial style is exactly what you accuse Trump of. On second thoughts don’t look at yourselves in the mirror. Your inability to change is exactly why he’ll win a second term. Keep up the good work! You’ve earned it!