Note two recent quotes from putative conservative commentators Peta Credlin and Janet Albrechtsen. In order:
“As an imperfect Christian myself, who doesn’t always agree with the teachings of my faith…”
“Had grass-roots democracy been allowed to take its normal course…there is a good chance women would have secured abortion rights in those states where they now face…a criminal offence for taking control of their bodies.”
Both these quotes were imbedded in sensible articles. Both articles would have been better without the quotes. Though the second quote is more profoundly wrong than the first.
The first is pregnant with unanswered posers. What is meant by “teachings of my faith?” Some teachings are so fundamental that you simply can’t be a Christian, even an imperfect one, which we Christians all are, unless you accept them. Of course, if by teachings she means woke pronouncements by the current Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope, then that’s a quite different kettle of fish. My point is that people should not write about the importance of Christianity in our national life and leave important contextual statements hanging. At best its sloppy. Very sloppy.
The second quote from Ms Albrechtsen is disappointing for its dishonesty. I expect such dishonesty from lefties not from conservatives. The article correctly defends, and puts in proper perspective, the Supreme Court’s decision in overturning Roe vs. Wade. It also establishes Albrechtsen’s point of view that women should have “abortion rights.” That’s fine, so far as it goes. Where it goes wrong is in anchoring such rights in women having control of their own bodies.
No one with any sense, decency or fairness would deny women the right of “taking control of their bodies.” (Covid-vax fanatics, aside.) But that is not what abortion is about. It is about deliberately killing an unborn baby; and in brutal fashion when it is late-term. And the overwhelming number of such unborn babies killed would be born healthy, and grow into children and adults. So, it’s not the mother’s body which is at issue here. It’s the unborn baby’s body. It’s the unborn baby’s body! A separate body.
Conservatives should not use euphemisms and/or deflections to hide the truth. We can have a civilised debate about abortion; only provided the pro-choice side are willing to be honest. You can’t have a debate when one side insists on starting with a false premise.
Born on Christmas Day in 1899, Humphrey DeForest Bogart, affectionately known as Bogie, is probably the ultimate American movie icon, and, in 1999, the American Film Institute selected him as the greatest male star of classic American cinema – few could disagree.
What makes Bogart so unusual is that he became a major star whilst in his 40s, was of average height, had a lisp and he certainly didn’t have the classic looks of a matinee idol. But the aura he conveyed of personal integrity, being tough without drawing attention to itself and an attitude of not tolerating any bullshit made him beloved both of men and women.
He began acting on Broadway shows in the 1920s and his big screen breakthrough came with his role as gangster Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest in 1936 opposite Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. Unfortunately this led to him being typecast at Warner Bros. mainly as gangsters in secondary roles.
His breakthrough to stardom came in 1941, first with High Sierra but then into the major league as private eye Sam Spade in the marvellous The Maltese Falcon, directed and written by John Huston in his directorial debut. Both Huston and Bogart would go on together to make six classic movies in the next 13 years.
He became a romantic idol for all eternity as Rick Blaine the nightclub owner hiding from a ambiguous past and treading a fine line amongst the Nazis, the French underground and the Vichy authorities in the timeless 1943 classic Casablanca.
There’s not much more that I can say about this magnificent film that hasn’t been written before, except to say it is in my top 10 films of all time.
Bogart’s output in the 1940s was astonishing for the number of terrific films he made – Across The Pacific, Sahara, To Have And Have Not (where he met and married for the third time to the love of his life in Lauren Bacall), The Big Sleep (the definitive Philip Marlowe), Dark Passage and Key Largo.
And in 1948 he re-united again with John Huston to make the legendary The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre where he played the role of Fred C. Dobbs, who at the beginning of the film starts as a likeable bum but during the course of the movie is driven by greed to become an unsympathetic paranoid desperado. It’s arguably Bogart’s finest film performance and, again it’s a film that sits in my top 10.
Finally, in 1951, Bogart would win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Charlie Allnut in The African Queen (again directed and co-written by John Huston) where he played a rough and drunken helmsman of a small steamboat who is accompanied by a prim and proper missionary superbly played by the incomparable Katharine Hepburn.
Again, Bogart’s quality of output in the 1950s was still extremely high with In A Lonely Place, The Enforcer, Deadline, Beat The Devil, Sabrina, The Barefoot Contesa and The Desperate Hours but his last great performance was as Captain Queeg in 1954s The Caine Mutiny where he deftly played the psychotic and tyrannical officer whilst also managing to maintain a sense of sympathy for this character.
Bogart would die of oesophageal cancer on January 14th, 1957 – he was only 57.
There was never been a movie star quite like Humphrey Bogart, and, I’m quite sure, there never will be.
The time has come to face the fact that the transition to renewable green energy has gone as far as it can go with existing storage technology.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, the Federal Government is planning to legislate for a more ambition RE target and the push to get rid of coal dominates the public debate.
Several times a year there are periods with next to no wind across the whole of South Eastern Australia, the National Energy Market (NEM).
These “wind droughts” can be described as icebergs in the path of the RE Titanic.
Who knows about wind droughts?
Very few people pay close attention to the wind apart from cyclists, sailors and spin bowlers. For many years dedicated wind-watchers have been trying to sound a warning about the “icebergs” but the captain and passengers on the RE Titanic remain blissfully unaware.
This is a very strange situation. Obviously the supply of wind is critical for wind power in the way that the water supply is fundamental for irrigation but the windpower industry has apparently been built without bothering about wind droughts. Billions of dollars have been spent on wind and solar facilities that deliver no power on windless night
We developed a false sense of security because nobody had to worry about the wind supply or even think about it when we had enough conventional (mostly coal) power to provide energy security. However over the last two decades eleven coal power stations have closed in SE Australia. Some of the 19 remaining are near the end of their working lives and one of them has started to phase out (Liddell, in NSW.)
AT THE TIPPING POINT
We have reached a critical tipping point. If we lose any more fossil power capacity then at times of peak demand some input from the wind and sun will be necessary. Previously it did not matter whether the sun shone or the wind blew because the wind and solar plants were just expensive ornaments attached to the grid.
As plans proceed to get rid of coal, then every wind drought will threaten the power supply and prolonged wind droughts will be catastrophic.
The recent convulsions and price explosions in the system will become chronic.
No power-intensive industry will be viable unless the coal plants are kept on line in good running order for the foreseeable future.
If the coal capacity is not maintained, then more gas will have to be burned at crippling cost.
The official response is to accelerate the rollout of windmills and solar panels but these make no contribution to the grid on windless nights. Building more capacity does not help, any more than having a big petrol tanks in a car helps when it is empty.
All of this this would appear to be stating the bleeding obvious but it apparently eluded the masterminds of the electricity system that we have today.
After Hazelwood closed in 2017 the Market Operator warned that we were running with inadequate space capacity. As Liddell started to phase out, unscheduled outages produced the predictable result.
Completely windless nights hardly ever happen but there are frequent and prolonged periods with critically low levels of wind across the whole of the SE Australia.
This has been well-known for many years among the veteran windwatchers like “Tony from Oz” (Anthony Lang) and Paul Miskelly.
Tony monitored all forms of power generation and his first tentative comments on a blog in 2008 became a series that continues up to the present, including a daily wind report. This monumental body of work is practically invisible apart from references on Jo Nova’s blog and the output of the Energy Realists of Australia.
In 2012 Paul Miskelly published a landmark study of windpower generation in the NEM in the journal Energy and Environment. Looking at the output from all the registered windfarms over a 12-month period showed found numerous periods when there was next to no wind across the sub-continent.
He warned that this would happen whenever high pressure meteorological systems lingered for periods up to several days.
In recent years Paul McArdle of WattClarity and the independent analyst Mike O’Ceirin have charted the wind records from the AEMO since 2010. Mike O’Ceirin’s interactive site.
The installed capacity and the average generation (29% of installed capacity) have grown steadily but the output at the lowest points of wind supply stuck near the bottom of the chart. (When you multiply a very small number by five or ten you still get a very small number.) This means that it is not feasible to overbuild the wind capacity to compensate for wind droughts.
Three strategies are proposed to fill the gaps during low-wind periods. Call them the “holy trinity.”
(1) More transmission lines to carry spare power in parts of the NEM to areas that are short, (2) batteries and (3) pumped hydro storage.
Transmission lines are obviously no help during NEM-wide wind droughts because there is no spare wind power anywhere.
The capacity of the so-called “big batteries” is negligible compared with the amount of power consumed in the grid. Moore’s law (exponentially increasing capacity) does not apply to energy storage.
Pumped hydro is not a contender at the scale required because the major Snowy2.0 scheme will only be a partial replacement for a single coal power station. Moreover it comes with a massive financial and environmental cost. There is the problem of finding a dozen more sites for similar schemes.
Everyone needs to become wind-literate to understand the cause of the green power problem, the icebergs that threaten the RE Titanic.
This can easily be achieved by glancing regularly at the “NemWatch widget” ideally for discussion at breakfast and dinnertime. Search for the widget on your phone or computer.
Observe at a glance the amount of power that is being generated in each state, with colour codes to indicate the sources – black coal, brown coal, red for gas and green for wind.
See how often there is very little green!
RE enthusiasts will call “foul, focussing on the gaps in the supply is cherry-picking!”
Not so. This is due diligence, like looking for the defective rungs in a ladder before you use it, finding the defective part in the aero-engine that could crash the plane.
The failure of supply during wind droughts is not a bug in the RE system, it is a feature.
It will persist for a decade or three until some new form of storage is available or nuclear power is installed and the RE facilities will be stranded assets.
This is the first note for the new Federal Parliament. It is not time to start writing to members in the House of Reps because our mailman has yet to update the list to allow for the changes caused by the election.
The Energy Realists of Australia are about to progress the program that started three years ago with a series of briefing notes to 800+ state and federal members. Some will recall the letter-writing campaign that was a part of the program, whereby volunteers would write to their local member at their electoral address to follow up the mass mail and ensure that the member was aware of the note that was probably buried by his green minders in the Canberra office.
It turned out to be too hard to get useful interactions happening with the local members and the letter-writing stopped.
One aim was to put the pollies in a position where they could never say that nobody gave them good advice to avert disaster, we did not expect very many to change their minds, and certainly not to admit that in public.
That is a very minimal aim and more is required to get a shift in the public mood about energy policy. Hence the plan.
We are now aiming to get more support in local electorates so the members become aware of a groundswell of public opinion in their own electorate. .The thing is to get out of our own bubble .
The first thing is to recruit letter-writers to cover all the Federal representatives. Of course writers will be invited to get to their state member as well. We don’t expect them to take any notice but the point is to put them in a position where they can never say that they were not given access to information that they needed to be realistic about energy policy.
The next thing is to recruit people to be more active, ranging through different levels of commitment to the pinnacle where some people are working practically fulltime.
Two things about this. First, unlike the requests that are made by political parties, the commitment does not involve donating money, spending hours doorknocking, making a public spectacle of yourself or pushing pieces of paper at people who don’t want them.
Second, we are speaking to the condition of people who are upset about their power bills and the threat of blackouts. Unlike the climate realists (and of course we are all climate realists) the commitment does not mean trying to change people’s minds about things that they can’t understand.
We are kicking with the wind and not against it, provided we don’t get sucked into useless confrontations with green fundamentalists.
To summarize the plan at this early stage.
Network of agents of influence
Purpose: To shift the opinions of politicians and the public on energy matters.
Notes to politicians, continue as before.
Follow-up from local agents to ensure that they have seen the notes. Build beyond the 70 recruited two years ago.
Irrigation system to get to the grass roots of the electorate. The twin purposes are to find more people who will personally contact their local member and also to build the body of public opinion in favour of sensible policies.
The dam or reservoir for the system is the body of information in the notes and supporting material on our website
This material will travel through every channel we can find. The big channels are the big lists that reach a large number of people. In addition to the usual suspects like Jim Simpson and Viv Forbes I want to persuade the list of 20 or so liberal/conservative groups -IPA, CIS, Mannkal, Advance Australia, Aust Taxpayers etc to distribute material or advertise our site even if energy is not a part of their portfolio.
Smaller channels are people with local groups, some formed to fight wind farms, anyone with some organizing ability and the initiative and energy to organize a network and especially any good independent candidates from the recent election who are prepared to continue to be active on this front, using the networks and contacts that they formed for their campaigns.
The smallest channels are individuals who are prepared to talk to friends and relations with the benefit of our information.
A critically important initiative that I have not managed to get under way is a youth group using social media to get to their own generation.
The Covid vax will soon become de rigueur for Australian babies and infants, aged six months to five years. The FDA has approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for this voiceless cohort in the U.S. population and our TGA is busying away going through the motions before giving Moderna a tick here.
Interesting, isn’t it. At the same time that the federal government and state governments continue to push Covid vaccines, and multiple boosters, on healthy people and children, and shortly on babies and infants, to “save” them, antiviral drugs to combat those catching Covid are severely restricted.
And who are they restricted to? Well, according to a report in yesterday’s Australian newspaper, to people over 65 who have two additional risk factors (obesity, immunosuppression, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, cerebral palsy and other debilitating conditions) and to people over 75 with at least one additional risk factor.
In other words, when it comes to treatment, those at risk from the virus, and in fact only those at risk, are identified. But, when it comes to vaccines, that considered policy goes out the window. Why is that? In a hyphenated word, Vax-mania. (Mania; to wit, a type of mental abnormality or obsession; e.g., kleptomania, tulipmania.)
This particular Vax-mania condition has its origins in drug company profits, in attendant lobbying efforts, and in the eagerness of the political class to impose saving solutions, for real or imagined ills, on their needy and grateful populations. And, by the way, populations in need of nanny governments and ready to be grateful predominate these days. No shortage is evident. God has been replaced. Only pockets of populations retain an independent, self-reliant, temperament. Smaller pockets still think God is more powerful and life-giving than governments.
So, there we have it. Roll up your sleeves and be damned grateful. De-pram your baby and offer him or her up to the government medicos to be “saved.” Saved – from nothing at all. From an imaginary threat. Never mind peons, be thankful to your government and full of grate.
The decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation is a necessary victory on the path to eradicating the wrong of abortion. Few would have believed it possible, let alone see it realized in their lifetimes, yet here we are. We have the tireless work of an anti-abortion movement to thank for this, which spent the last several decades since Roe make the argument against abortion and for life. The decisions of Roe and Casey were wrong and depended upon the most tenuous and tendentious arguments. In the end, the appeal was largely to inertia; that is, having made a terrible decision and enabled the practice to generate a unjust social order, stare decisis remained the only legal bulwark protecting it from being struck down. Finally, owing to the choices of Trump, three new justices, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett, when given the opportunity, joined Alito, Roberts and Thomas in a stunning 6-3 decision in the most extraordinary of circumstances reversing Roe and Casey.
However, as much as we may rejoice in this decision, it is palpably only the end of the beginning. In order to eradicate the wrong of abortion, we had to reverse the lie that there is any fundamental human right to kill the child in utero (let alone that this right could ever be reserved to the mother (and father)). And I dare say that none within the anti-abortion movement is satisfied with the decision about whether such a right or privilege exists being left to the states. Even before Dobbs, minds had already considered the grounds for a federal ban on abortion based on the 14th amendment. The impetus for this will only intensify as states that permit abortion promote interstate travel, often paid for by employers, so residents where abortion is prohibited or strictly regulated can travel out-of-state to one where an abortion can be procured.
To paraphrase Lincoln in his House Divided Speech:
“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half pro-abortion and half anti-abortion.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of abortion will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.