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Essential Reading

Quadrant hosts Roger Kimball

kimballThe editor of The New Criterion has watched with alarm and dismay as President Obama fulfilled his pledge to set about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Six years on, notes Kimball, this presidency has indeed been devoted to constructing institutional challenges to American self-understanding and American power. Endeavoring to weaken America’s connection to the Anglosphere and its commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, Obama has embraced a European-style top-down, centralized style of bureaucratic rule-by-elites.

Kimball will address and discuss those changes and much more at the next Quadrant dinner on August 6. Follow the link below to reserve your place at the table


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How to be an 'Economics Editor'

gittins grimThe Age and Sydney Morning Herald are ardent advocates of sustainable living, placing a heavy emphasis on re-cycling, amongst other green virtues.

Going by his latest column, Ross Gittins is the poster boy for making sure other people's words get a second airing

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Of two minds at the SMH

crazy authorThe lead paragraph of today's Sydney Morning Herald editorial:

"Taxpayer-subsidised childcare will be cheaper, easier to find and more flexible for those who need it most if proposals from the Productivity Commission are implemented."

Clear on that? You won't be after wading a few column inches deeper into the leader writer's chaotic prose:

"Granted, parents of babies in care are likely to face higher fees and high-income earners will be out of pocket thanks to a means-tested single payment called the Early Care and Learning Subsidy. Some may even lose their fringe benefits tax breaks for childcare.

Then there's an activity test that stops payments to most stay-at-home parents. That will slug certain religious groups and people without stable employment or access to skills programs. In addition, a tough-love requirement will link family benefit part A to preschool attendance."

Come on, Ms Rinehart, no more shilly-shallying. Dig out some loose change from the crack in the sofa, buy Fairfax outright and a save a venerable publisher from the embarrassment of its current stewards.

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A better world

zeg carbon tax smallFinally, it's dead -- the Carbon Tax, that is. But don't relax just yet, as our poor planet remains in dire peril.

Not due to global warming. Of course not, as temperatures have defied those tax-funded modellers' career-building warnings by refusing to budge these past 18 years.

No, the real and present danger is the imminent rise in sea levels.

With the likes of Al Gore, Christine Milne and her press gallery admirers all sobbing up a storm, that deluge of cascading tears can only end up in the oceans.

Then we'll all be genuinely doomed, not that Zeg seems to care.


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Blamey half-quoted

sub midgetIn today's Age, newly recruited columnist Julie Szabo takes -- surprise! surprise! -- an anti-Abbott line, seizing upon the Prime Minister's diplomatic courtesy in hailing the bravery of the Japanese submariners who died after penetrating Sydney Harbour in May, 1942, as proof positive of his tin ear for public sentiment. Szabo believes Abbott should have kept his mouth shut, a view she advances by quoting General Sir Thomas Blamey's observation when accepting the surrender of Japanese forces in September, 1945.

“In receiving your surrender,” he said, “I do not recognise you as an honourable and gallant foe.”

The inference is clear: If Blamey couldn't bring himself to respect the defeated foe, Abbott shouldn't either. Trouble is, that Blamey quote has been somewhat, er, truncated. What the Australian military commander actually said was this (emphasis added):

"..In receiving your surrender I do not recognize you as an honorable and gallant foe, but you will be treated with due but severe courtesy in all matters."

Courtesy, eh? Six decades after the Sydney attack, Abbott extended that commodity to visiting Japanese PM Abe, but there is little chance he will get any of that from the Fairfax press.

UPDATE: In further Fairfax news, one of the green types who infest the media company's newsrooms has a monumental sook about the repeal of the carbon tax. Such misery in one so young is a joy to behold.

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Ready for his next close-up

zeg dragon smallIt's Clive's world, the rest of us just live in it -- and if you don't believe that, just ask a senate clerk, testy Chinese investors, a Prime Minister attempting to kill a despised tax  and, one guesses, the chastened voters in the seat of Fairfax

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