The Libs are only around 45% socialist while Labor is 90%

A proportion that must always be borne in mind by conservatives. The text below is from The Spectator Online. It’s a reminder that until Malcolm Turnbull pulled the pin on his own leadership, at least half the Liberal Party were for all practical purposes green-left socialists. No doubt something like that same proportion still are. As for what you read below, I am in complete agreement.

I’m all for conservatives taking matters into our own hands but the more you chat with others about politics the more frightening everything appears to be. Do we really want our own version of Joe Biden as Prime Minister? You do know Albanese is from the socialist left. 

Growing up in Mao’s China

A close and personal look at the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square Massacre

The story of Amei’s life began in a warm and comfortable family in an inner suburb of Beijing. Her time in the selective high school is delightful until Mao reactivated the class war as a vehicle to retain his paramount leadership after the disasters of the Great Leap Forward (the Great Famine),

Then came the nightmarish rampage of the Red Guards and the ensuing ten-year debacle until Mao died and the Gang of Four, headed by his wife, was brought down.

Amei spent most of those ten years in a village, 850 km west of Beijing on a high plateau not far from Xian. She met two old scholars who were sent out years before and they became her personal tutors as she read voraciously in their libraries, including the classics of western literature in Chinese translation. 

She learned enough English to help the old scholars run a program for English teachers when the education system began to revive after it closed down for the duration of the cultural revolution. She managed to get to university to study English and then she became an English teacher.

She experienced some of the horrors of the Tiananmen Square massacre as her students came back from the square carrying their dead and wounded friends in their arms.

Eventually she seized an opportunity to come to Sydney where she studied maths and taught in high schools and a coaching college until she retired in2017.

Available from Amazon Australia

The book is not in bookshops, to buy in Australia go to Amazon Australia, and search in BOOKS  for RAFE CHAMPION  (the co-author).


Guest post: Speedbox – China’s push into the Pacific

The Chinese have signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands.  According to the MSM, and depending on your political persuasion, the signing of this pact is either the “worst Australian foreign policy blunder since WWII” (said Penny Wong) or “the judgement was made not to engage at a foreign-minister level to ensure that Australia’s views were communicated very clearly and very respectfully.  This was the right, calibrated way to address this issue with their Prime Minister” (said Scott Morrison).

Do Morrison’s comments mean that our Foreign Minister Marise Payne could not communicate clearly and respectfully?  In any event, the Solomons have done the deal with the Chinese.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted unnamed ‘security experts’ as saying the Chinese government would act swiftly to implement the deal by sending military forces to the Solomons during the election campaign in order to capitalise on the caretaker period in Australian politics and match the rapid development of bases in the South China Sea.

Even the New York Times expressed alarm in an analysis article saying “China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and his army now have a foothold in an island chain that played a decisive role in World War II and could be used to block vital shipping Continue reading “Guest post: Speedbox – China’s push into the Pacific”

An example of classical economics in the real world

There is an article in The Oz on who used to be my favourite American president but is now only my second-favourite – Warren G. Harding. As the article points out, although he was president for only 29 months, he is regularly listed among the worst presidents in American history by that motley crew of academic historians (and economists) who have no idea about which direction is up. They would almost all have voted for Joe Biden so you can see how sound their judgment must be.

The title of the book under review is The Jazz Age President: Defending Warren G. Harding. Alas, I only have the review to find out what the author wrote, but this is the bit that I wish to focus on:

Harding’s first priority was the economy – gross national product was down 17 per cent, stock values were cut nearly in half, unemployment was over 12 per cent, and farmers were devastated by plunging prices.

This was the economy Harding inherited on becoming President. You hardly need to guess what a modern political leader would do, and be expected to do, if these were the circumstances they had to deal with. Anyway, he did precisely what no one would do today – the article continues:

Harding reduced government spending, slashed individual taxes (the marginal rate had reached a high of 77 per cent), increased tariff rates, and reduced the intrusiveness of the federal government.

The result was what is today recalled as The Roaring Twenties.

What is even more astonishing is that you can no longer find an economics text that will explain why such policies deliver the outcomes they always do, other than, of course, my own Free Market Economics. And then there is this if you would like more detail on the entire history and framework of an economic theory that provides wealth and prosperity: Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy.

Donald Trump did the same to the American economy but you will hardly ever find a good word about any of it virtually across the entire media and certainly not from within the academic world of economics.

On getting the politicians “they” deserve

I missed the debate. I was out. I have it recorded, waiting to be watched. Do I really, really, have to watch it?

I met a neighbour who said she’d watched it; said it was very civil. And that the audience behaved. Even more reasons not to watch it. She didn’t mention the incident of Morrison saying he was blessed to have healthy children in sympathy with the lady who explained her child was autistic; which since triggered confected outrage among the usual suspects.

I did see a bit of Sky News aftermath. Apparently, Albo was pinned by ScoMo on boat turn-backs, but ScoMo erred by querying why the Labor Party always sided with China against Australia. The audience was polled and gave the debate to Albo by a short head. A more general take was that Albo won because he didn’t mess up. In other words, he won because he didn’t lose.

I don’t really care about the debates or who wins them; unless they’re entertaining, apropos a Donald Trump debate. They don’t alter the facts on the ground. The most important of which is that in recent years, leftist parties have lost their collective minds. Voting for modern Labor is not within cooee of voting for a Bob Hawke or Paul Keating. It’s voting for a resurrected Jim Cairns, made modern. Maybe that’s doing Jim a grave disservice.

George Orwell, in The Road to Wigan Pier, wrote that “one sometimes gets the impression that the mere words socialism and communism draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England.” Orwell would be impressed to see how far the Left has come since 1936 in embracing faddish fetish causes. To pick one. The Victorian Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 is a poster child for new Labor.

Those who vote for Labor must either be unbalanced or have a morbid tribal attachment. However, even more disturbed must be those who vote for the Greens or for one of those dreadful refugee-loving, climate-hysterical, fringe parties or candidates. Climate 200 fits the bill perfectly.

One of its lower house candidates, numbering thirteen comely women, is contesting my electorate of North Sydney. She goes by the name of Kylea Tink. When I say I prefer dripping-wet Trent Zimmerman, you’ll understand how bad are her polices, or thought bubbles. She wants a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2040. No new gas or coal developments. The immediate release of all refugees held in detention in Australia; and so on into la-la land. And she might win.

The problem for the dwindling number of sane voters, of course, is that main-stream centre-right parties have also lost the plot. For example, virtue-signalling has eroded and replaced standing on principle. In microcosm we saw that when Morrison threw our SAS troops to the wolves, as he did with the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins. Presumption of innocence? What’s that when the baying mob must be appeased?

Examples on a policy level. On climate change, the government’s policies are only slightly less idiotic than are Labor’s. On defence, Labor will always tend to spend too little on defence but then the Libs spending is derisory and a shambles. So, we are effectively defenceless in either case, might as well spend extra money on free child care. On Aboriginal policy, instead of making the case for a unified cohesive Australia, the Libs pander to the cause of singling out Aboriginals for special treatment. Even if, for the moment, they are not onboard with constitutionally enshrined segregation.

In sum, while Labor into has moved into bizarre territory; the Libs are chasing after them. This couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without a seismic and generational loss of common sense among a majority of voters. Politics is truly downstream from culture. And “we” (us conservatives apart) are undoubtedly getting the politics and politicians we deserve. An unhappy thought. Meanwhile I’ll put Ms Tink last; try to find a UAP, or One Nation, or Lib Dem candidate to put first and, hold my nose, and put Zimmerman second.

Guest Post: Speedbox – Negotiate for Peace

Well, here we are.   Approaching two months since Russian forces moved into Ukraine with no resolution currently in sight.   Indeed, the opposite is true with the west, led by the United States, feeding vast quantities of weapons into the Ukrainian military.

Have you noticed how muted the calls for a ceasefire are in our media?   Sure, some individuals make these occasional calls but there seems very little appetite for a ceasefire as any such act will invariably see Ukraine have to cede some territory and agree to neutrality.   The USA for their part seem implacably opposed to any cessation of hostilities and as I read the other day, seem intent on fighting to the last Ukrainian.

We must acknowledge that Ukraine is in an invidious position with two unpalatable choices.  Namely, make a concerted effort for peace (albeit at a humiliating price) but which will preserve Ukraine as a nation and spare its people or, fight on against a superior force that is laying waste to Ukrainian towns and infrastructure.

We can all understand Ukrainian President Zelensky’s reluctance to talk peace but it is inconceivable that he genuinely believes he can prevail.   As of today, Russia holds substantial territory in the east and Moscow appears to have accepted that Russian troops will not be welcomed as ‘conquering heroes’ and is concentrating its military efforts.   Russian military doctrine on the utilisation of artillery is on full display with many towns being completely flattened or, at best, rendered largely unliveable.

Urged on by the west and the MSM, Zelensky has framed the war with Russia as a battle for democracy and in his address to the US Congress on March 16, Zelensky said, “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided.  The destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.”

Of course, the MSM lapped it up and has showered Zelensky with flattering reports including, believe it or not, his potential nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.  During the 2022 Grammy Awards on April 3 there was even a flashy musical tribute to himself and the Ukrainian military.  So drooling has been the hero worship that the MSM has already fantasised about seeing Russian President Putin before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.   Seriously.

But if ever there was a case of somebody believing the press releases, this is it.   We can’t help but wonder whether the international ‘acclaim’ is influencing Zelensky’s rational thought.   Each day brings dozens or hundreds of new deaths and injuries; homes demolished; infrastructure destroyed, yet talk of peace, or even a ceasefire pending meaningful negotiations, gains no traction.

And in fact, the opposite appears true.  US President Joe Biden has repeatedly denounced Russia for its violations of international law yet as leader of the free world, hasn’t even bothered to pick up the telephone to Putin and adopt a peacemaker approach – but he continues to authorise additional weapon shipments.

We shouldn’t be surprised as the west has long put the Ukraine in a bleak position with false starts and promises.   As Cats well know, for decades every opportunity for a diplomatic solution on NATO, Russia and peace have been brushed aside – it’s almost like we wanted this war to happen.   It is an inconvenient truth that by discouraging Ukraine from considering compromises for peace, means more Ukrainians will die.

And there can be no mistaking that U.S. and European governments share blame for causing the conflict.

Who can forget President Putin’s words of December 2021 when he said, “I want to make it clear to everyone, both in our country and abroad, to our partners, that it’s not even about the line that we don’t want anyone to cross.  They have pinned us against a line from which we have nowhere to retreat”.

At the time, Moscow was trying to come to an agreement with NATO on mutual security, hoping that the US-led bloc would agree to provide comprehensive written guarantees that it would not expand any further to the east.  Filled with arrogance and self-righteousness, Moscow was treated with indifference for which the world, and the Ukraine in particular, is now paying a high price.

None of us can truthfully know the extent of the Russian military strategy but as far as Zelensky and the Ukraine are concerned, Russia possesses a firepower and manpower advantage it has yet to fully deploy.  An increasingly impatient Russian government may progressively abandon their inhibitions in the use of force with dire consequences for the Ukrainian people.

The choice for Zelensky is surely about what is the ‘least bad’ outcome.  Are the Swiss quietly shuttling back and forth between Moscow and Kyiv?   Or the Turks, the Israelis or the French?  I don’t know nor do I particularly care who is trying to diplomatically resolve this matter – but this war has to stop before Ukraine is a smouldering ruin and a mere memory.

Perhaps unwisely, I hoped that the US, UK and most European governments would offer at least as much support for peace, as they do for war.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #17

The Very Voice of God

Released in 1984 and based on the play by Peter Shaffer, Miloš Forman’s magnificent film Amadeus tells the fictional stories of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri where Salieri as an old man claims to have murdered Mozart.

During his confession to a priest in a mental asylum, Salieri recounts how he could not reconcile Mozart’s boorish behaviour with the genius that God has inexplicably bestowed upon him.

Salieri cannot believe that God would choose Mozart over him for such a gift. Salieri renounces God and vows to do everything in his power to destroy Mozart as a way of retaliating against his Creator, whilst pretending to be Mozart’s ally to his face while doing his utmost to destroy his reputation and any success his compositions may have.

Therefore the central tenet of the film is how someone can compose music that is beyond the capability of mere mortals.

The film never asserted to be an accurate biographical portrayal of these 2 men. In fact both Forman and Shaffer claimed it was a “fantasia on the theme of Mozart and Salieri”.

I have to admit to having a great love for classical music, especially the music of both Mozart and Beethoven. This passion started when I was a teenager and probably grew from my late father who was a handy amateur pianist although I can’t play or read a note of music.

Therefore, I was thrilled when I first saw the film on release 38 years ago in that finally a serious movie was trying to explore the essence of musical creativity. It certainly captures the essence and wonder of Mozart’s genius and marvellously brings his music to the screen.

At the heart of the movie is F. Murray Abraham’s glorious performance as Salieri – it’s one of my top 3 favourite performances on film. He superbly captures the jealously and bitterness of his character whilst also showing his utter frustration in that it appears that only he can really hear and appreciate the genius of Mozart’s music.

His obsession with Mozart was pathological but at the same time he seemed to have a deep, but flawed, understanding of him although he was in utter bewilderment as to how he could compose such music.

He was fully deserving of his Oscar for Best Actor.

The film also presents a number of scenes from a number of Mozart’s operas which are beautifully staged in the Count Nostitz theatre in Prague where Don Giovanni debuted nearly two centuries before. The Commendatore scene from this opera is arguably the finest depiction of an opera scene in film history.

As Mozart lies dying in his bed, he is still trying to finish his final composition, the Requiem Mass where he has Salieri taking dictation. It’s a remarkable scene as it shows where Mozart’s composition is on a different plane to that of anyone else.

Winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Film, Director, Screenaplay and, of course, Actor, it’s incredible that the film was made at all given its subject matter and the cost of producing it, but a financial success it was, as well as being an artistic and critical triumph.

The film is impeccably produced and boasts a glorious soundtrack where the music was supervised and conducted by Neville Marriner and played by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; the film sits as one of my all-time favourites.