Apr 16, 2014

Palmer, libertarianism, you’ve got to be kidding

Cartoon: By Pope 
It would be difficult to come up with a word that causes more confusion as to its meaning than libertarian.  To actual libertarians it’s relatively simple; a belief in fiscal conservatism, social tolerance, individual freedom, and limited government.
Among outsiders it varies from a reasonable understanding of the above, to right wing fanatics, hopeless utopians, selfish pricks, right through to the left wing journalistic interpretation; a suitable alternative to the adjectival use of the F word in polite society.
Peter Van Onselen of The Australian though, appears particularly confused on the issue when referring to the politics of Clive Palmer: 
… Equally, Tony Abbott must contend with the newly formed PUP, which primarily challenges the conservative side of politics. 
Clive Palmer is an odd mix of conservatism, libertarianism, social liberalism (witness his advocacy for onshore asylum-seeker processing) and self-interest. 
Nevertheless, there should be little doubt that his supporters hail more from the Right than the Left, and with that Palmer becomes Abbott’s problem, not Bill Shorten’s. PUP picked up a senator last weekend, which takes its Senate total to three, four if you include the deal done with motoring enthusiast Ricky Muir. …
There isn’t much to be confused about in Clive’s positions if you consider his origins and history.
Clive is an old-fashioned rump National Party dropout conservative and crony capitalist, who has created a populist party based on telling every audience what it wants to hear.  There is nothing whatsoever that is libertarian in Clive.
PUP lists five policies on it’s website: 
(1)          That his party officials may not be lobbyists;
(2)          Abolishing the carbon tax.  Libertarians would give this one a tick;
(3)          A nebulous statement on refugees that says nothing substantive;
(4)          A bizarre statement on ‘creating mineral wealth’, and;
(5)          A feel-good statement on wealth flowing back to where it’s created.
In the case of (4) and (5) he reveals his statist, big government agenda.
In the case of ‘creating mineral wealth’, he wants to utilise the minerals of Qld and WA, but wants to send them to the southern states, far from their origins and process them there. Apart from increasing transport costs to get them there, typically, he then expects incentives from big government to do it,
Libertarians tended to support the Lang Hancock concept of a privately funded railway from WA to Central Queensland, with processing plants and ports on either end, with Qld coal going west and WA minerals going east.
In the case of created wealth, a libertarian would favour not taking it out in the first place, rather than Palmer’s idea of taking it to Canberra, churning it through the bureaucracy, then sending what is left back to where it came from.
For the patient with time on their hands, PUP also has a huge quantity of press releases from the party for perusal.  It’s actually fun to go through and find out how many are contradictory.  This is probably the result of a knee-jerk desire to get something, anything, out there in relation to any piece of information in the hope of sounding good, or at least concerned in relation to it without really thinking it right through.
Van Onselen is probably a little justified in being confused; Palmer does that to people.  There is however, no excuse for observing an odd position or two that may gain the approval of some libertarians and assuming that this qualifies as part of that philosophy.  A broken clock gets the time right twice a day.
Libertarianism is a consistent philosophy of liberty and as result all policy positions are consistent with that condition.  If this is not the case, then the person or party is not libertarian.

Apr 15, 2014

Food Free Fridays Coming?

Cartoon: By Jerry Holbert  
Another Issue of "Carbon Sense” prepared by The Carbon Sense Coalition. 
Once again, the high priests of the UN/IPCC have forecast world starvation unless we mend our wicked ways. 

According to them, unless we curb our use of oil, gas, coal and meat, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will soar, the globe will heat up, and food production will plummet. 

This is just a rerun of their previous failed forecasts based on academic theories and computer models. 

They should have asked practical nurserymen, farmers and meteorologists. 

Nurserymen would tell them that if you pump carbon dioxide into a greenhouse the plants grow faster, bigger, more drought-tolerant and more heat-tolerant. Therefore more carbon dioxide will produce more food. 

See this Time-Lapse video showing effect of carbon dioxide on plant growth:
Farmers would tell them that plants grow faster in the warmth of spring and summer and slower in winter. Any warming by carbon dioxide would tend to warm the higher latitudes so the snow line will shift, thus creating more arable land. It would also tend to produce warmer nights, thus reducing frost damage to crops and opening more land to frost-sensitive crops. 

Meteorologists would tell them that if global temperatures increase, evaporation from the vast oceans must also increase. What goes up with more evaporation must come down as more rain or snow. While some areas may become drier, a warmer world is on average a wetter world, producing more food. 

There is also no evidence that extra carbon dioxide and warmth will make weather more erratic – in fact the reverse should occur as the global temperature gradient, which drives winds, and storms will be reduced with more warming at the poles. 

Finally, there is no evidence that their climate scares will occur “much earlier than expected”. With global temperatures flat for 17 years, how can warming occur faster than in their previous failed forecasts? 

There is no rational basis for claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will add to world starvation – history and science tell us that it would produce a productive green and bountiful world. It is global cooling we have to fear. 

Image: By Steve hunter
 On the other hand, there is no doubt that foolish climate POLICIES will produce less food. Policies on ethanol, biomass, carbon-credit forestry and the Kyoto bans on regrowth control, either directly consume food, or reduce the land available for food production. 
Encouraging and protecting trees at the expense of grasslands is threatening the production of low-cost food from marginal grazing lands and water restrictions are driving irrigators out of business. 
And to top it off, their taxes and regulatory wars on carbon energy will push marginal farmers and fishermen out of production. The world may indeed see hungry years, but carbon dioxide will not be the cause. 

Already they advocate “Meat-free Mondays”. Their anti-food anti-carbon policies will soon result in “Food-free Fridays”. 

If you would like to read more see: 

Alarmists admit that they exaggerate damage caused by climate change. It’s OK to lie: 
The Twilight of Abundance with the Cold Sun?

If you would like to comment on this article:

Apr 11, 2014

Antony Green seeing libertarians everywhere

Like Frank N. Furter of Rocky Horror fame, Antony Green, the ABCs election guru, is not backward in his desire to show us his favorite obsession.  In Frank’s case, it was making a man with blond hair and a tan, in Antony’s it is minor parties.
The rise of minor parties has driven him to distraction to the point where he rails against them at every opportunity, real or contrived.  One of his serious bugbears is the success that some of them have had since they started sticking together and preferencing each other ahead of the majors in elections.
The thing that really gets right up his nose though, especially since the 2013 election of LDP senator elect, David Leyonhjelm is libertarians in general and the LDP in particular.  During the cold war the Liberal and National Parties saw reds under the beds, Antony is seeing libertarians every where, tens of thousands of them, running rampant across the entire political landscape that he knew and loved, like a plague of rabbits:
It appears there is a growth industry in libertarian parties. One of the consequences of the Senate's registered ticket vote system is that it is possible for multiple parties to occupy the same area of the political spectrum without hurting their chances of election. 
In every other electoral system in the world, the current batch of libertarian political parties would be cutting their own political throats by running against each other, but ticket voting allows multiple parties to swap preferences with impunity, having first expanded their pool of first preference votes by standing multiple parties. 
At the 2013 election, the Liberal Democrats, as well as the advantage of a name that could be confused with the Liberal Party, and the advantage of the first column on the NSW ballot paper, also boosted their chances with other parties feeding them preferences. …
What bastards!  Can you imagine the Libs, Labor, Greens, or Nationals being so unprincipled as to attempt to maximize their vote?
Not likely; they would be too couth and cultured to do such a thing other of course, than granting themselves an unlimited pit of taxpayer dollars via the electoral funding scheme that hands them funds in the tens of millions.  In addition to this, they have a mutual grooming relationship with big business, (You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours) that brings even more in via corporate sponsorship.
Antony is looking at single-issue parties and assuming that those who are based on wanting their cause liberalised are libertarian.  This is a common error, also made by ‘glass half full’ libertarians who see any party or person holding a policy that they agree with as a sign of them being libertarian.
Nothing could be further from the truth.  Most of the single issue parties tend to be quite authoritarian but feel that the government has gone too far in relation to their particular cause. Rather than questioning whether the government has a place in it at all, or in any of the other causes SIPs represent, they accept unlimited government authority as a fact of life and only want changes to what their own problem is.

Some treat the concerns of other SIPs with the same contempt and disdain that ruling classes have traditionally held for their downtrodden minorities in the past.  Few of them did the LDP any favors and most of them preferenced as part of the minor party coalition which the LDP were not part of, and away from us in strange and counter productive ways:
Shooters and Fishers; at elimination their votes went to HEMP, which has no policy on guns. Considering their leftist inclinations, they are probably opposed.  When Hemp was eliminated, SFP preferences played a large part in electing PUP which is definitely anti- firearms.
Sex ; their votes went to ALP.  Labor has no history of support for Eros Foundation (neither do we, but we have libertarian outlook which addresses most of their concerns)
Voluntary Euthanasia; went to HEMP which has no policy on VE.  We support it directly.
Wikileaks; votes went to HEMP after the Greens which has no policy on government transparency.  Assange claims to be a libertarian.  
Motoring Enthusiasts; votes went to Shooters then PUP.  Libertarian, ORP have directly supportive policys.
Fishing and Lifestyle; votes went to the Liberals, then to the Greens ahead of the LDP.
If Green were to take his job seriously, he would do a bit of basic research and discover what the term ’libertarian’ means, and do a proper analysis of the nature of the parties that he assumes fall into that category. After that he would issue an apology for his stuff-up.

Apr 10, 2014

Irony; Shooters Party votes for gun control in WA senate rerun

Now that the red dust has settled in the rerun of the Western Australian senate election, it is time to digest some of the results and consider some of the deals which brought it about.
The Liberal Democratic Party, like most of the minors suffered a fall in primary votes, due in no small part by the massive spending of billionaire, Clive Palmer in support of his Palmer United Party.  Despite this, we have maintained our position of first among the minor parties right behind the majors and big money ones.
The first thing that springs out to meet the eye is the deals done by the Shooters and Fishers Party.  S&F is something of a mixed blessing to shooters, offering a forum to bitch against the draconian Howard gun laws and occasionally gaining minor concessions for shooters in New South Wales owing to their balance of power position in the upper house there, but otherwise, they have achieved precious little.
The main reason for this is that rather than adopt the libertarian position that all law abiding citizens have a right to gun ownership for whatever non-coercive purpose they wish, the SFP accept the status quo and essentially bargain for whatever scraps the NSW government is prepared to toss them from the big table in order to keep them quiet.
Worse still, their leadership have a habit of regarding shooter friendly parties as competitors and preferencing away from them in elections.  Despite the fact that the LDP have better policies on firearms than SFP and more rational arguments in favour of them, SFP normally preference the coalition which took their guns off them in the first place.
This time they became truly bizarre, in that they not only preferenced the Palmer United Party, but were instrumental in getting their candidate elected.  They actually expended 91% of their votes to do it.  This would not be that much of a problem if PUP were likely to support their position, but the opposite is the case as Clive Palmer opposes gun ownership: 
"The Katter Party is an extreme right party and our party is a more centre party."And we disagree on certain things, such as guns ... a whole lot of things Bob's in favour of." 
Mr Palmer said the leaders might like each other personally, but a political party had to share the same beliefs. 
"There's more chance of us merging with the Labor or Liberal parties than with Bob."
Shooters tend to be very responsible people, they have to be as each carries on his shoulders a responsibility for the rest of the shooting community.  The leadership of their party though, is clearly incompetent, out of its depth, inarticulate, lacking in judgment, and need replacing.
In addition to this, whatever drop-kick did this preference deal needs to be drummed out at the first opportunity.

Apr 4, 2014

Sporting Shooters deceives its members AGAIN

Image: SSAA response to Liberal Democrat gun policies

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia has a habit in federal elections of sending out questionnaires to candidates asking them to respond to a number of policy positions that are in the interests of members.  They also have a habit of only publishing a selective list, consisting of the Shooters and Fishers Party, and a few others with worse policies.
The Liberal Democratic Party has responded in the 2007, 2010, 2013, and again in tomorrow’s Western Australian half senate election re-run.  This will make the fourth time that SSAA has refused to publish the LDP response

Liberal Democratic Party policies – recreational firearm use
 What is your party’s policy on recreational sports shooting? 
The Liberal Democrats fully support the responsible use of firearms in all sporting contexts as well as for self-defence, collecting, agricultural purposes, and any other non-coercive use.   
We have a high proportion of firearm owners among our members owing to our firearm-friendly policies. These are found at: http://www.ldp.org.au/index.php/policies/1152-firearms 
Recreational sports shooting is a legitimate, healthy pursuit enjoyed by large numbers of men and women.  It is safe, can be undertaken by people with disabilities, and offers all of the benefits of other sports including family participation and social opportunities. 
What is your party’s policy on recreational hunting? 
Our attitude towards recreational hunting is the same as toward sports shooting. It is a legitimate and safe activity. 
Hunting for food is also a natural activity, older than civilization itself. 
What is your party’s policy on utilising trained and competent hunters to cull introduced species on public lands? 
We fully support the use of volunteer hunters to cull introduced species on public lands. Volunteers are essential to the control of bushfires and in responding to natural disasters, and they could also become integral to feral animal control. 
Do you have any policies that assist or support the sport of shooting and the recreation of hunting? 
Liberal Democrat policies are friendly to all forms of shooting related sports, including large and small bore, rifles, and pistols, single shot and semi-automatic, as well as paintball and airsoft.  
Our elected representatives will oppose any attempt at further restricting the rights of law-abiding and responsible shooters and will support any measure to roll back existing restrictions. That includes abandoning the National Firearms Agreement. 
The Liberal Democrats are also opposed to the absurd laws that make it illegal to own firearms for self-defense, or even non-lethal items such as mace and pepper spray. 
The police simply cannot be there to protect us every time there is a threat, and few of us would like to live in the sort of society where they can.
After the 2013 federal election in which New South Wales elected David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats to the senate, the media was obsessed with his firearms friendly attitude.  David proved himself to be the most articulate advocate for firearms owners in the country.
As result, we were inundated with calls from angry shooters who were unable to understand why they were not informed of our position and policies.  Many of them are now members of our party.
It is now quite apparent that SSAA is little more than a shill for the SFP and are not interested in providing its membership with any genuine information on alternatives to that party.  Worse still, the SFP has in previous elections habitually preferenced the Liberals ahead of us, despite that party being responsible for the 1996 gun confiscation.
Regardless of who wins tomorrow, shooters will need the support of our senator or senators when firearms related matters come up.  The hostility of the SSAA towards our party is going to make it extremely difficult to work with their representatives.
Fortunately, there are other organisations such as the Shooters Union who appear to be more willing to listen to us. 

Mar 29, 2014

Coal not Candles

By Viv Forbes, Chairman, 
The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that coal not candles should be the symbol of Earth Hour.
It was coal that produced clean electric power which cleared the smog produced by dirty combustion and open fires in big cities like London and Pittsburgh.
Much of the third world still suffers choking fumes and smog because they do not have clean electric power and burn wood, cardboard, unwashed coal, rubber and cow dung for home heat.

It was coal that saved the forests being felled to fuel the first steam engines and produce charcoal for the first iron smelters.

It was coal that powered the light bulbs and saved the whales being slaughtered for whale oil lamps.

It was coal that produced the steel that replaced shingles on the roof, timber props in the mines, wooden fence posts on the farms and the bark on the old bark hut.

In Australia today, coal provides at least 75% of our lighting, cooking, heating, refrigeration, rail transport and steel. Without it, we would be back in the dark days of candles, wood stoves, chip heaters, open fires, smoky cities, hills bare of trees and streets knee deep in horse manure.

Coal is fossil sunshine as clean as the green plants it came from, and less damaging to the environment than its green energy alternatives.

Earth Hour candles are green tokenism for rich applause-seekers and nostalgic dreamers.

We should spend Earth Hour saluting the real people who produce the coal on which most people on earth depend.

Mar 15, 2014

How the left ‘keep the skeer’

We have alluded to the Nathan Bedford Forrest style tactics of the left here before.  Some time ago, Andrew Sullivan made the rather curious claim that if Virginia and Florida were to go to the Republicans, the Confederacy would be reborn and the South would rise again. 
Over here we have similar tactics from the left with Labor’s demented assertions of a Liberal war on women and the recent Greens claim that Abbott was homophobic, racist, and every other buzz-word that will scare low information voters.
Here is Chris ‘Leg Thrill’ Mathews giving a bit of helpful advice on how to keep the public scared:

Many of us have known for a long time how statists spin the relatively innocuous positions of opponents into a worst-case scenario. Mathews is letting the cat out of the bag with his advice to exaggerate the positions of opponents and state the result as a fact.  A sensible person engaging in such underhand activities, or advising on the tactic would normally keep it ‘in house’.  Mathews though is no Einstein.
Given the failure of the Obama Presidency and the absurd disaster of Obama care, the left has little to hang its hat on as far as its record is concerned.  As result, its shills and apologists have resorted once again to the aphorism of the old general, "Git 'em skeered and keep the skeer in 'em.”
Expect more of the same here.