Archive for December, 2015

Economic parody

December 29th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

The cost of doing nothing is sending the country broke if we are to believe the fright stats peddled by the City of Sydney council, I write in The Australian today.

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Illustration: Eric Lobbecke, The Australian

“Physical inactivity is a major killer,” chides the council in a news release. “It costs the nation almost $135 billion a year.”

Fiscally retentive readers will have noticed already what an improbable figure that is. It is almost three times larger than the commonwealth’s 2015-16 health budget or, to put it another way, roughly 8 per cent of gross domestic product.

The good news about fright stats, however, is that they seldom turn out to be true. Fright stats are not empirical measures of the world as it is but blunt instruments fashioned to fight noble causes, in this case Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s plan to tear up Sydney’s arteries of commerce and make everyone ride bikes.

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Fundamental errors

December 22nd, 2015 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

 

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So Duncan Lewis wants us to watch our language when talking about — how should we put it? — the less savoury side of an otherwise  delightful religion. 

If Islamic fanaticism were confined to Sydney’s Lakemba and Melbourne’s Greenvale he might have a point. But as I write in The Australian this morning,

The hostilities consuming the Islamic world have a momentum of their own. It is a fanciful to imagine that the conflict was provoked by the West, fuelled by the West or that the West alone has the responsibility to end it…

Sadly, the tendency of young suburban Australians to fall for this dangerous nonsense is but a small manifestation of an international ideological struggle.

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(Thanks to Bill Leak for his cartoon)

Perverse thinking on Islamist terror

December 8th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Seldom have the warped priorities of the Left been so apparent as in their framing of Middle-Eastern geopolitics generally and theocratic Islam in particular, I write in The Australian today.

The Islamic State’s sadistic rule in Syria and Iraq and indiscriminate acts of terrorism abroad are trivialised or denied while the BDS brigade takes up the cudgels against Max Brenner chocolate shops and Israeli-designed Soda Stream devices. Catholic bishops in Tasmania are accused of homophobia for stating their honest views on gay marriage, yet homosexuals are ritually slaughtered by ISIS without a murmur of complaint.

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Welfare for startups

December 1st, 2015 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

The romance of Silicon Valley is distracting us from the innovation that matters, I write in The Australian this morning.

Labor has plans for a new tier of welfare to assist a recently discovered pocket of need – businesses that struggle to persuade private investors to take their innovations seriously.

Bill Shorten claims that pumping a lazy half a billion into business start-ups will “capture the wave of digital change that is washing through the whole world.”

Labor calls it co-investment. Others might call its an expensive, one-way ticket to la-la land since it rests on the ridiculous premise that innovation can be unleashed by government decree.

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