Free Markets, Free People


How disastrous is our foreign policy?

There are so many places to point to that illustrate the answer to the question (Libya, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, China, Russia … ad infinitum, ad nauseum), but there’s one that’s been going on sort of behind the scenes that illustrates it perfectly.

As we all know, our President has an ideological agenda item labeled “global warming” “climate change” that he is hell bent on forcing on not only us, but the world to his agenda.

Here’s the interesting part – much of the world is sympathetic with his agenda.  Just look at the UN and those who adhere to the UN line about climate change.  A smart guy – at least the guy who supporters claim is always the “smartest guy in the room” – would use that fact to try to fashion some sort of coalition and agreement that would advance his agenda.

Not our prez.  He’s an “all-or-nothing” sort of guy when it comes to things like this – science be damned.  And he likes to bully and shame people and countries into doing his bidding.

Except that never seems to work.  What am I talking about?

The Infrastructure Investment Bank – A China led initiative that not only extends China’s influence but will extend loans to developing countries to help develop their energy infrastructure – to include coal.

Well, Obama’s well known for his war on coal and his inflexibility about including it in future.  But if you’re actually trying to be a  diplomat – you know, foreign policy – you might end up understanding that you are at the extreme with the “no coal” position and see if you can’t influence the agenda via compromise.  Oh, and if you’re against China’s initiative, you gather allies to work against their goal and toward yours.  That’s if you have any savvy at all concerning diplomacy and foreign policy.

So, you have to ask, how did this happen?

Australia’s decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank follows a reversal of policy, revealed in The Australian this month, based on strategic ­arguments about China. The change followed a reassessment within government and intense talks within the G7 group of ­finance ministers and central bank governors.

Australia had been one of our allies, along with Japan, in resisting this effort by China.  What happened?

While Australia, Japan, South Korea and Britain have been cautious and aware of the US criticism, all are moving towards joining. Japanese industrialists keen to sell “ultra-super-critical coal-fired” electricity generators to India for more efficient use of brown coal are pushing for Tokyo to sign up.

Mr Obama’s administration has been tightening internat­ional funding for coal-fired ­generation but the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is likely to be more sympathetic to the pleas of developing nations.

The expansion of coal-fired power generation is a boon to Australia’s coal exporters and represents a boost to the flagging Japanese economy.

So, knowing that, what did the bully-in-chief do? Well, if you know anything about him, you’re unlikely to be surprised.  Just think – “ally” and it will come to you:

Australia has joined forces with Japan in international ­forums to resist the US campaign of limiting lending to developing nations seeking more efficient coal-fired generation. The technology offers the promise of cheaper power. The moves follow Mr Obama’s climate change speech at the G20 summit in Brisbane last November. The US President’s remarks, which embarrassed Mr Abbott and angered his ministers, were seen as an ­attempt to push the administration’s climate change policies in Mr Obama’s final year in office.

Yup, condescension and embarrassment have a tendency to move things in a direction you don’t want – especially when you do it in the country of your ally.

Result?  Another in a long, very long line of foreign policy failures.  Australia joins with China in rebuffing Obama’s agenda.

On the whole, I’m quite pleased with that.  However, it does indeed demonstrate how badly this circus is being run by the clown-in-chief.  I’m sure, even now, that James Taylor is tuning up for a trip down under.


Cloudy With A Chance Of Perch

Ahh, climate change. Although there’s no conceivable connection between AGW and the fact that it rained fish in Lajamanu, Australia, I’m betting that Algoreists will try to finagle one anyway, probably citing some local fourth-grader’s English composition about the event as the expert evidence.

Residents of a small outback Australian town have been left speechless after fish began falling from the sky.

Hundreds of spangled perch bombarded the 650 residents of Lajamanu, shocking local Christine Balmer, who was walking home when the strange ‘weather’ started.

She said: ‘These fish fell in their hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere picking them up.

‘The fish were all alive when they hit the ground so they would have been alive when they were up there flying around the sky.

Meterologists say the incident was probably caused by a tornado. It is common for tornados to suck up water and fish from rivers and drop them hundreds of miles away.

Mark Kersemakers fr0m the Australian Bureau of Meterology said: ‘Once they get up into the weather system, they are pretty much frozen and, after some time, they are released.’

Strangely, Lajamanu has experienced fish rain before. In fact, critter cloudbursts, money monsoons and Titleist torrents are not even that uncommon.

There is a long history of strange objects raining from the sky, with these strange occurrences among the most notable:

1st Century: Pliny The Elder wrote about storms of frogs and fish, foreshadowing many modern incidents.

1794: French soldiers stationed in Lalain, near Lille, reported toads falling from the sky during heavy rain.

1857: Sugar crystals as big as quarter of an inch in diameter fell over the course of two days in Lake County, California.

1876: A woman in Kentucky reported meat flakes raining from the sky. Tests found the meat was venison.

1902: Dust whipped up in Illinois caused muddy rain to fall over many north-eastern U.S. states.

1940: A tornado in Russia brought a shower of coins from the 16th Century.

1969: Golf balls fell from the sky on Punta Gorda in Florida (above).

1976: In San Luis Opisbo in California, blackbirds and pigeons rained from the sky for two days.

The only one I don’t get there is the last one in San Luis Opisbo. I mean, how do you tell the difference between it raining birds and, y’know, them just landing?

Now, if it would only snow gold flakes right into my backyard …

When “Green” Turns Deadly

Some real anger is welling up down under against some “green” laws which prevented residents from taking prudent fire control measures which may have prevented both property destruction and deaths:

ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.

During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne’s northern fringe, Warwick Spooner — whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze — criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council’s help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. “We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down,” he said.

As many as 230 feared dead in Australian bushfire

As many as 230 feared dead in Australian bushfire

Sound familiar California? And there are other places as well where environmental activists have successfully blocked forest management procedures which help inhibit the type of holocaust loosed in the bush of Australia and in the California fires of a year or so ago.

It seems, when given the opportunity, environmentalists tend toward the extreme. The result in Australia, of course, just as in California, was the total destruction of all the trees they were supposedly saving. Not doing what anyone with common sense would call prudent has also lead to the deaths of not only masses of wildlife, but fellow human beings as well.

There was widespread applause when Nillumbik Mayor Bo Bendtsen said changes were likely to be made about the council’s policy surrounding native vegetation.

But his response was not good enough for Mr Spooner: “It’s too late now mate. We’ve lost families, we’ve lost people.”