Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Mar 31, 2012

Human Achievement Hour beats navel gazing in the dark.

I’ll be turning the lights off at 8.30 on Saturday night. The 65” plasma screen looks better in a darkened roomAndrew Bolt reader ‘Martain X’ (Unfortunately, its likely that the screen will be filled with images of lights going out.)

Image; courtesy Jo Nova.

Its that time of year again when the drab grey ranks of climate frantics and their silly and sycophantic followers hold 'Earth Hour' when they make the rather pointless gesture of turning out their lights as some sort of faux effort to get the climate back to what it was in the past. Not of course, what it was during the medieval warm period when the temperature was higher than at present, but possibly like the little ice age when the Poms could skate on the Thames.

Lets face it, being cold and miserable is the way we were in the good old days, worshipped by authoritarians everywhere, before those stinking capitalist exploiters made cheap energy available to all and softened us up with the ability to stay warm rather cheaply.

 Here is an excerpt from the latest offering from “Carbon Sense.”

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 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. … 

 Viv is a little wrong on the statement that coal saved the whales. Their savior was John D Rockefeller who made kerosene at such cheap rates that whale oil became an unnecessary luxury. This is the reason why all self – respecting Greenpeace activists wear a locket containing an image of John D close to their hearts. Electricity replaced kerosene later owing to its convenience, after Thomas Edison made the remark, “I shall make electricity so cheap that only the rich can afford to burn candles.”

 Anyway, here is the offering from the Competitive Enterprise Institute for 2009 Human Achievement Hour:

Mar 30, 2012

Bonfire of the independents.

Cartoon: By Bill Leak. 

Federal Labor has been in denial over the results of the Queensland election, claiming that it was purely a state matter with no implications for the party nationally.  Certainly, Queenslanders detested the wasteful, arrogant, and incompetent state government but issues such as the carbon tax and the exploding cost of living played a strong part in the result. 

Now Tony Windsor is attempting to reassure himself with the claim that while the unpopularity of Gillard may have played a part, there is nothing for independents to worry about.  He even makes the extraordinary claim that independents did well here: 
But he [Tony Windsor] shrugged off suggestions that the public’s view of independents had been negatively affected by his and fellow independent Rob Oakeshott’s support for the minority government.  “If people are trying to draw a connection between Queensland and the Commonwealth, independents actually performed quite well at the [Queensland] election,” he said. 
 “[Gladstone MP] Liz Cunningham was re-elected and she put Rob Borbidge in power after a hung parliament. [Nicklin MP] Peter Wellington was re-elected and he helped install Peter Beattie after a hung parliament.  “So if people were looking for an opportunity to punish independents for supporting hung parliaments, that would have been a prime opportunity to do it.”
The reality is that prior to the election there were six seats held by independents, one of whom stood as the leader of the Bob Katter Party and there are only two left.  The independent who held Nanango did not stand for reelection.
The remaining two are popular independents who have held their seats for multiple terms.  Liz Cunningham holds the traditionally Labor seat of Gladstone with the blessing of the LNP.  While her primary vote dropped owing to the LNP standing a candidate this time, and the entrance of the Bob Katter Party, she has increased her two party preferred vote by 8%. 
While Peter Wellington supports Labor on occasions, he is not seen as a pro Labor flunky like Oakeshott and Windsor are.  He has managed to hold his seat comfortably after a scare, but had a massive drop in support.  Other than Maryborough where Chris Foley is losing narrowly, the rest were smashed.
Windsor believes that the largesse he gained for his electorate as a price for his support will get him across the line.  The problem in this is that he could have done quite well from Abbott had he chosen to support the Liberals, and come the next election the love in comes to a grinding halt and the voters know it.  In the meantime the vast majority of taxpayers who have provided all of this free stuff and watched their own electorates miss out, have a seething resentment towards Labor and its lackeys.   

We are safe from alien invasion; Bob Brown.

Some time ago we were subject to the delicious terror of a proposed alien invasion by extraterrestrials who were supposedly furious with us over global warming to the point where they wished to wipe us out to save the universe. We had to take it seriously as the study was done by serious scientists, from Pen State and NASA associates. Of course a number of lunatic sceptics disagreed.

 All countries have their share of idiots, zealots and authoritarians, but few are unfortunate enough to get anyone like Bob Brown. Were Harry Reid to father a child from Maxine Waters, have it home schooled by Gordon Brown, Debbie Wassermann Schultz, and Rick Santorum, give it the economic skills of Paul Krugman, and the bipartisanship of Robert Mugabe, something like Bob would result, although possibly more laid back and less extreme.

 Bob is the guy who wants to shut down the entire coal industry, which along with iron ore represents the mainstay of the Australian economy. This according to Bob could be easily made up for by jobs in the areas favoured by Big Eco, alternative energy, and ecotourism.

 One thing we ‘Earthians’ have to be grateful to Bob for though is his reassuring tones during his third annual Green Oration.

 Most Earthians as you know spend our lives either fearsome of intergalactic invaders on the right of politics, while the left tends to be concerned as to why interstellar beings have not contacted us, and offered loads of free stuff.

 Bob has a theory that the reason we have not been contacted or invaded, is not that aliens have better things to do, or don’t give a damn about us, but that they have wiped themselves out by overdeveloping their planets and destroying themselves with global warming:

However, recent astronomy tells us that there are trillions of other planets circling Sunlike stars in the immensity of the Universe, millions of them friendly to life. So why has no one from elsewhere in the Cosmos contacted us? Surely some people-like animals have evolved elsewhere.  
Surely we are not, in this crowded reality of countless other similar planets, the only thinking beings to have turned up. Most unlikely! So why isn't life out there contacting us? Why aren't the intergalactic phones ringing? 
Here is one sobering possibility for our isolation: maybe life has often evolved to intelligence on other planets with biospheres and every time that intelligence, when it became able to alter its environment, did so with catastrophic consequences. Maybe we have had many predecessors in the Cosmos but all have brought about their own downfall. That's why they are not communicating with Earth. 
They have extincted themselves. They have come and gone. And now it's our turn. Whatever has happened in other worlds, here we are on Earth altering this bountiful biosphere, which has nurtured us from newt to Newton. 
If you chose to read the speech, try to remember, it is meant to be taken seriously.

Mar 25, 2012

Qld Labor loss; not a landslide; an avalanche.

Cartoon by Sean Leahy.

Labor has been thrashed today in the most massive electoral reversal in Australian political history. The party is blaming it on the fact that it has been in office for 20 of the last 22 years and the public just wanted a change. This indicates that they are in denial.

 Immediately after the 2009 election Bligh announced a massive sale of state assets, which was not foreshadowed during the campaign. When called out over it during this campaign, she claimed that she had not realised that the state was in such a dire financial position. Prior to assuming the Premiers job she had been Deputy Premier and Treasurer, so she either lied or is an idiot.

 The entire campaign from Labor was a constant diatribe of negative advertisements on Opposition Leader Campbell Newman and his family. This was made to look ridiculous when she was forced to admit that she had no evidence, just “unanswered questions.” The Crime and Misconduct Commission announced a couple of days later that he had no case to answer.

 The last week of the campaign was filled with more allegations against Newman and pleas to the voters not to give him too big a majority.

 The current results are: LNP 75 seats, ALP 6, KAP 2, Independent 2, Doubtful 4. At present the projections are: LNP 78 seats, (up 47) ALP 7, (down 44) KAP 2, (won 1 lost 1) Independent 2 (down 3).

 It looks like most of the ALP vote losses in the north went to KAP, with the rest going mainly to LNP. There is a chance that in Thuringowa where Labor preferenced KAP to try to block the LNP that it could go that way but at this stage projections have it in the LNP gains.

 Preferences are optional here and a significant number of voters only vote for their first choice without allocating preferences. Wayne Goss brought this in when the Libs and Nationals were at each others throats but it has come back to bite them in the arse this time as there are quite a few seats where the Greens could have got them over the line including Mt Coot-tha where the treasurer, Andrew Fraser lost his seat.

 The LNP strategy of selecting Newman as Opposition Leader from outside parliament has paid off big-time. Newman was Lord Mayor of Brisbane and a popular figure in the state and it took considerable courage to resign and operate in the role without actually being able to attend the house. This is entirely unprecedented here. The only incident that comes close was the appointment of Senator Gorton as PM after the death of Harold Holt. Gorton had to stand in a by-election and win before he could take up the position.

 There was a strong feeling that this tactic could unravel badly, but the LNP MPs remained loyal through the year it took and won the day. It will be interesting over the next few days to see if all of the pundits who ridiculed this action will eat their words. Don’t hold your breath, folks.

Mar 24, 2012

Labor on a flogging to nothing today.

Cartoon: by Pickering.  

A deep feeling of satisfaction today stepping into the polling booth in the certain knowledge that this time Labor is a goner in Queensland. Polling indicates that the LNP is leading on a two party preferred basis of 61% - 39% which should make the tally room look like a slaughter house.

The current state of the parliament is 51 Labor, 31 LNP, and 7 independents of whom 3 are defectors to Katter’s One Australian Party.

The last week of Labor adds concentrated on pleading to voters to let them keep some members.

 Antony Green who is the acknowledged electoral guru in Australia has an electoral calculator up on his site, which indicates that with the current swing Labor might hold 19 seats out of the 89 available, but does not take the independent and KAP seats into account.

 These figures are only a guide as it assumes that the swing will be uniform. In any election there are always the odd MPs who buck the trend and manage to hold on, as well as others who manage to get themselves tossed out against the trend.

 There are though, some predictions of a wipeout with Labor only holding 11 or 12 seats. To give some indication of the upheaval going on at present, the member for Nicklin is the popular independent Peter Wellington, who would require a swing of 17% against him to lose the seat is reporting that the result will be close. The main anger is directed at Labor, not the independents, so we are in uncharted territory.

 Bob’s Party may gain a couple of seats but with only 9% in the polls they will have to be very strong somewhere. There is speculation that they may win Mount Isa and Dalrymple, but are expected to lose Beaudesert. Dalrymple is held by former LNP MP Shane Knuth who defected to Bob when it was predicted the seat might go to KAP.

 His brother Jeff is standing in Hinchinbrook. Jeff is a Druery like serial candidate who has joined of a number of parties over the years in order to get himself elected. He won a seat for One Nation for a term, then joined the City-Country Alliance and lost, then stood as an independent and lost, and is now standing for Bob.

 We look forward to tonight.

Update: I erroneously stated that Jeff Knuth was standing in Burdekin; he is standing in Hinchinbrook.

Labor keeps adding to sovereign risk.

One of the most important aspects to investing anywhere is the spectre of sovereign risk; the possibility that the state will carry out some action that will cause serious damage to your investment, or possibly make it unviable. Here in Australia, this has become a real possibility especially since Labor has come to power. Some actions that have disturbed investors are:

  •  The carbon tax. 
  •  The mining tax. 
  • The nationalisation of telecommunications with the NBN. 
  • The overnight announcement of a ban on live cattle exports, destroying our reputation as a reliable supplier. 
  • The government being under control of the Greens who are economically illiterate and have an authoritarian agenda to destroy whole industries at the stroke of a pen. 

Recently it was revealed that green groups led by Greenpeace were in the process of building up a $6 million war chest which was to be used to disrupt and delay new coal mines via legal action and other ploys in order to make them unviable. Australia relies heavily on this industry along with iron ore in order to keeping the money rolling in.

Since then it has come to light that three of the organizations involved have received about three quarters of a million dollars from the Department of Climate Change. While this funding from the federal government is not related to their attempts at closing one of our most important industries, the availability of these funds for other purposes allows them to use their own funds to damage the economy:
 The Nature Conservation Council (NSW), Environment Victoria and the Conservation Council of Western Australia have received grants of $211,000, $213,215 and $319,420 respectively for public climate change activities since last December. News of the funding has prompted outrage.  
"We were quite shocked to learn about the detailed strategy to systematically disrupt and delay the Australian coal industry, particularly major export infrastructure," Australian Coal Association chief executive Nikki Williams said. "Now we learn that some of the anti-coal groups involved might potentially be misusing public funds to damage the coal industry, the jobs it provides and the Australian economy as a whole.” 
Adding insult to injury, Rio Tinto has just had approval for a $1.5 billion mine revoked because of a factually inaccurate one page submission from the Wilderness Society:
 Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke yesterday revoked an earlier decision to approve the project proposed for south of the Embley River near Weipa on Cape York, and declared he would force the miner to consider the impact of its massive project on the Great Barrier Reef - sparking Rio to warn of a significant impact on 3000 jobs in Gladstone at a time when the manufacturing sector was already under pressure. 
Environment groups had urged Mr Burke to revoke the decision, saying there would be a significant increase in shipping through the reef that could see up to 700 ships yearly - or 14 a week - transporting bauxite from the mine, with two alumina refineries in Gladstone a key destination for the ships. 
But Rio Tinto Alcan's boss of bauxite and alumina, Pat Fiore, said there would be "very little" change to shipping traffic through the reef from Weipa to Gladstone. "The vast majority of any extra shipping from the South of Embley project will be travelling north to export markets in Asia - not through the Great Barrier Reef," he said. 
Yesterday's decision sent shockwaves through the mining industry, with the Minerals Council of Australia saying it was "deeply concerned that a multi-billion project can be put at risk with an unsubstantiated one-page complaint from a green group." 
This really makes you wonder why anyone with an ounce of common sense would invest in the place at all.

Mar 22, 2012

The media’s “French Nazi” is Al Qaeda terrorist.

The usual suspects in the media and left wing sites have been promoting the idea that the person on a murderous rampage in France was a far right maniac or Neo Nazi.  This satisfies their agenda just as it did after the Gifford’s shooting where they blamed Palin and Rush for inspiring what turned out to be a rabid lunatic who was more to the left than the right.

In the recent shootings in France the fact that the paratroopers who were murdered were from ‘minorities’ and the school was Jewish have led the media and various pundits to claim that this time it really has to be a white supremacist or Nazi.  The small matter of Islamists hating Western armies seems to have escaped attention, never mind their penchant for killing Jews.

Now the left have to find excuses for a self-confessed Al Qaeda terrorist who has carried out these acts: 
The self-confessed Al Qaeda terrorist thought to have murdered seven people across south west France over the past two weeks has been arrested after a 12 hour siege, local media is reporting.  Mohammed Mera, 24, was detained by police just before 2.30pm local time - after he was told that police would storm his Toulouse flat if he did not give himself up.    
Just two hours before the raid he told news channel France 24's editor Ebba Kalondo he had 'filmed everything' with a small video camera and 'intended to put the videos online'.  It has also emerged he was being tracked by French security services 'for years' and had broken out of a jail in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of a mass Taliban escape in 2008.
He said he is punishing France's army for its foreign interventions and the plight of Palestinian children - and has promised to give himself up later today.
Oh well, we libertarians are still in the clear.  Nobody much tends to look to us as potential suicide bombers or terrorists, other than the American DHS which is keeping an eye on those Ron Paul supporters as potential right wing militias.

Mar 20, 2012

News from the military industrial complex.

Over at Ben and Bawb’s Blog Bawb, in one of his periodic military posts highlights the latest extravagant plaything from his friendly military industrial complex:

One of the latest toys to come out in American use is the new XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System, or Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System, or Punisher, or Super-Secret Choco-Fudgie Game-Changer Contour Line Re-Arranger, or whatever the hell they’re calling it this week.  
 Designed to defeat both exposed and defilade targets, the CDTE is a shoulder-fired semi-automatic weapon that engages targets with a 25mm airbursting round. Critical to the system’s capability is an integrated target acquisition / fire control that helps the warfighter detect targets, then determines range and calculates the optimal ballistic solution for target engagement. A wiring harness in the weapon then programs the ammunition to airburst at the predetermined range. 
The weapon is essentially designed to do the work of the old unsophisticated mortar, which is simpler, cheaper, and more effective, but not as cool:
Back in the day, since WWI actually, every military in the world used a counter-defilade weapon. It was called the mortar. British weapons expert Ian V. Hogg was pretty much on the mark when he defined the modern mortar. “…an inexpensive steel tube, with a firing pin on the bottom end, balanced on an inexpensive sort of tripod, and firing cheap ammunition. 

Key words why the American Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex would never touch an Commando mortar: “inexpensive, inexpensive and cheap.” No Pentagon general is going to get a six-figure “consultant” job with a large defense contractor after retirement by selling something like that to the military. 

We’re here to look at light or "Commando" one-man mortars which are easily man-portable. Before Vietnam, the American Army, proud of its own mechanization and motorization, got rid of the little 60mm mortar. Since vehicles would be hauling the stuff anyway, the Pentagon wonks decided all that was needed for the infantry was the 115-pound M29A1 81mm mortar. 

Turns out that in places like Vietnam, or Korea, or Afghanistan, or a host of other battlefields the Army didn’t expect to fight on you can’t just drive anywhere you please. Come Vietnam, infantry humping through the thick brush, jungle, and hills screamed to get their 60mm mortars back. Out came the mothballs came the 1940-vintage M2 and M19 60mm weapons.
He follows up with details of the alternatives on offer.  It is hoped that if Gary Johnson gets the Presidency, Bawb might be SECDEF.  

Mar 18, 2012

Bligh’s light pole getting slippery.

Some time ago in response to the Labor Party tactic of vilifying himself and his family as an election tactic, Campbell Newman claimed that the Premier, Anna Bligh was clinging to smears and innuendo like a drunk to a light pole. Ever since Newman became Opposition leader Labor has been coming up with allegations about his family. Matters came to a head recently when despite the fact that owing to the ineptitude of Queensland Labor eclipsing that of federal Labor to the point where smear is all they can rely on in this election, she admitted she had no evidence for her claims:

Now the Crime and Misconduct Commission has cleared Newman of any wrongdoing:

THE Crime and Misconduct Commission has cleared Campbell Newman of official misconduct regarding allegations raised while he was Lord Mayor of Brisbane. In a statement the CMC said it had finalised its assessment of three separate matters involving Brisbane City Council. 
 “In all matters, the CMC has established there is currently no evidence of official misconduct on the part of Campbell Newman in relation to the allegations raised while he was Lord Mayor of Brisbane,” the statement said. “On that basis, the CMC will not be conducting any investigation in relation to Mr Newman.”
 Meanwhile the press has finally had enough and has started telling it like it is, starting with an analysis of the CVs of the protagonists of Newman and Jones in Ashgrove. Newman is a Bachelor of Engineering degree with honours and has an MBA. He served 13 years in the army prior to taking leadership roles in some of the nations largest companies, then Lord Mayor of Brisbane. The Labor candidate, Kate Jones has been a party functionary all her adult life.

Another today sums it up: Ht Andrew Bolt.
In the spirit of this campaign, today I would like to borrow from the Labor strategist's play book: Queensland's Labor Government is worm-eaten, inept, rancid, pernicious, dirty, exhausted, dishonest, incompetent and lazy, not to mention mendaciously mud-slinging, ignorant, rotten, flagitious, disreputable, deceitful, unsavoury, unworthy, unsound, unwholesome, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, untruthful, corrupt, insincere and misleading.  
 And perhaps I should throw in reprehensible, weaseling, miscreant, nefarious, tarnished, ill-mannered, snivelling, expendable, foul, abominable, soiled, shifty, discreditable, improper, obscene, hateful, impure, degraded, grubby, pitiful, dilapidated, shabby, grovelling, flea-ridden, discredited, disgraced, degenerate, depraved, nefarious, toe-curling, perverse, putrid, rotten, unhealthy, faulty, opprobrious and empty.  
 Not to mention peccant, tergiversating, vituperative and insalubrious. …

Mar 17, 2012

Katter gets a little gay love.

Queensland has produced more than its share of political eccentrics over the years and Bob Katter is only the latest in a long line. Vince Lester was a favourite for many years and was remembered for walking backwards for charity. Bob Katter, founder of Bob Katter’s One Australia Party has also been known for offering to do a long backwards walk. Bob happens to have something of an unhealthy obsession with gays, denying that any of them exist in his native North Queensland and offered to walk backwards to Bourke if anyone were able to locate one there. It was not mentioned whether Bob was starting his reverse trek from Canberra, Cairns, or Cunnamulla if it happened.

 Bob’s latest act of stupidity is his advertisement for the party condemning LNP leader Campbell Newman over statements on gay marriage:

 Unfortunately for Bob, he has a gay half brother who nobody much had heard of until Bob made some over the top statements at an anti gay rally in Canberra to which he felt the need to respond. The One Australia Party ad has caused the same to happen, with the following ad likely to appear until election day:
 The good news is though, that he is getting a little love from the guys at Gays4katter, a satirical site dedicated to the great northern homophobe:

A limerick from Paul Moore 

There was an old Katter called Bob,
Who spewed so much crap from his gob.
With the help of young Carl,
He could become such a darl,
If he doesn't, could cost him his job

 Image and poem: courtesy; Gays4katter.

 One of the common misconceptions of the conservative mind is that if they fail to try to prevent any activity, they will be seen to approve or even promote it. Bob in his small mindedness is probably convinced that if he fails to oppose allowing gays to go about whatever it is they do, it will cause the whole of his electorate to turn queer and develop a desire among all the guys up there to ravish him. Being based in the electorate, he probably feels that there is a danger that if this were to happen, he might feel inclined to agree to it. Doesn’t work like that Bob.

Mar 7, 2012

No K-A-T-T-E-R in party name, “a travesty.”

Wot's in a name? -- she sez . . . An' then she sighs,
An' clasps 'er little 'ands, an' rolls 'er eyes.
"A rose," she sez, "be any other name Would smell the same.
Oh, w'erefore art you Romeo, young sir?
Chuck yer ole pot, an' change yer moniker!”

– C.J. Dennis; The Sentimental bloke, The Play.

Selection of a name is an important factor in the success of a political party and a number of factors come into play in such an endeavor. It has to grab the attention, or give an indication of the policies, direction, and principles, of the party; in other words shout what the membership are about. Most choose a sensible name like the Liberal Democratic Party, but some go for the sensational like Screaming Lord Such who formed the “Official Monster Raving Loony Party,” a personal favorite.

Some narcissists however when forming parties, like to use the founders name in the party brand, as the Peronists did in Argentina quite successfully. Well, the party triumphed in elections but was a disaster for the nation. We have had examples of this in Australia with the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, and currently, the Bob Katter’s One Australia Party.

The Hansonites were fairly laid back about the name and were generally referred to as One Nation, they had policies, not very good ones but hey; a policy is a policy. On the other hand, Bob Katter’s One Australia Party has a problem with the Electoral Commission naming the party the Australia Party on ballots, insisting that unless Bob’s name is there, party members will not know who to vote for:
Katter's Australian Party has taken legal action in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to destroy printed ballots that only use the abbreviated name 'Australian Party'. His party registered the shortened name with the Queensland Electoral Commission, but now wants to use the full name to identify Mr Katter.

Mr Katter says people will not know who to vote for if his name is not on the ballot paper. "If the name K-A-T-T-E-R is taken off the ballot paper, the implications for us are not much short of diabolical," he said.
This is a pretty good indication of the targeted voters the party is aiming at. It appears to be those who are sufficiently intellectually handicapped as to be unable to tell the difference between Labor, LNP, Greens, One Nation, Family First, and One Australian Party without Bob’s name out in front with caps lock on. This really says it all.

Mar 6, 2012

Ah, regulated news; that should put the correct spin on it.

Cartoon: Media control is not a new idea in Australia; here is Pickering’s take on the Whitlam regimes attempt at it in the 70s.

Anyone who frequents the news in this country over the last couple of years could be forgiven for thinking that the fascist Gillard government is made up of a group of compulsive liars. This according to the Finkelstein Inquiry is due to the unhealthy tendency of the press to concentrate our attention on such things as the dishonest claim that there would be no carbon tax under a Gillard government.

Small matters such as the broken promise to Andrew Wilkie over poker machine reform, that gained his support to form a government in the first place, and her denial of an offer being made to Bob Carr of a Senate seat and the Foreign Affairs Portfolio, followed by her appointment of Bob to the Senate vacancy and the Foreign Affairs Portfolio.

There is also the issue of the press making the government look incompetent. If the media had not mentioned the disastrous mistakes of the pink bats scandal, the burning down of homes and the killing of workers under a government stimulus scheme, the failure of the BER scheme, the government might look better. The fact that the scheme to provide set top boxes for televisions cost more than ten times per unit what the private sector could do it for, has also been unhelpful.

There is also the issue of the way ‘shock jocks’ pick on individuals. For example, that bastard Andrew Bolt has been making climate guru Tim Flannery look like a complete idiot just because every dire prediction he has made has been proven wrong. Cartoonists also make real pricks of themselves:

Cartoon: Typical example of unfair cartoonistic criticism of Flannery’s penchant for screwing up.

Anyway the Finkelstein Inquiry, (wasn’t there a bawdy song about a Mr Finklestein) is putting a stop to this with a recommendation that the news including blogs are to be regulated, so that the public will not be pestered with information that causes them to lose confidence in the ruling class here:

A TAXPAYER-funded watchdog should regulate all of Australia's news and current affairs across all media, an inquiry has urged. The Independent Media Inquiry wants a statutory watchdog to set standards and handle complaints involving all print, radio, television and online platforms. The controversial measures were detailed in the inquiry's report, released by the Federal Government. …

Inquiry chairman Ray Finkelstein, QC, said existing mechanisms regulating the media were not sufficient to deal with accountability in all news and current affairs platforms. He singled out the Australian Press Council, which handles public complaints and monitors the professional standards of its print medium members.
Greens leader Bob Brown is for it, claiming that it will improve media regulation. He has welcomed the report and urged the government to take action to establish the proposed News Media Council to regulate news across all mediums:
“I think we have an inadequate system of serving the public interest in truth,” he said.
Senator Brown said it was important to ensure the new body was set-up as a statutory entity as recommended by Mr Finklestein because it would see Australia “catch up with other countries.”

He also said the parliament should review the performance of the regulator in future and was open to changing its rules via legislation if necessary. “We’re a democracy and parliament is here to change rules if it wishes,” he said.
By the sound of that, the other countries he wishes to “catch up with,” are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Syria, and their counterparts.

Mar 5, 2012

Food for thought.

Recent post from Ron Manners:

This comes from an American friend...
- Luke McGrath

Something to think about:

1. The Department of Agriculture is distributing the largest number of food stamps in its history.

2. The National Park Service asks us to not to feed the animals because they will grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
Does the term, “cognitive dissonance” come to mind?

From Liberator Online:
"If the cigarette tax exists to stop people from smoking, then what does the income tax do? " -- tweet from libertarian Kathryn DeLong.

The suspense has been lost from "Homeland" after last nights episode contained a segment where the DNC seemed to be offering Sgt. Nicholas Brody the chance to stand for Congress. There is now no chance he is a terrorist unless he decides to stand for the Republican Party.

Mar 3, 2012

Wayne Swan; Billionaires opposing Labor are evil.

Cartoon: By Pickering.

“… we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine.

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan has launched into a diatribe of class warfare and envy politics against billionaires who in his narrow opinion hold too much power:

Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they are a threat to Australia's ethos of a "fair go." In an article in the Monthly magazine, Mr. Swan took aim at Australian mining magnates Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, as well as radio shock-jocks and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Curiously, Wayne seems only to be concerned about certain billionaires, those who oppose confiscatory taxation and wealth redistribution. According to Forbes, there are 17 or 18 other billionaires out there in this country, (for some reason Clive Palmer is missing.) It isn’t that they wage political campaigns either that seems to be the problem; Gerry Harvey has been waging a political campaign to have more taxes and duties imposed on his internet competitors, but gets a pass.
He said the presence of "vested interests" had been most obvious in "ferocious and highly misleading" campaigns waged against the federal Labor government's mining tax and pricing carbon plans.

"The infamous billionaires protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favorable reception two years ago," Mr. Swan wrote. "A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation's economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia's future to satisfy their own self-interest.”
Ah yes, those ‘vested interests’, the people who have invested in enterprises that create development and employment and are threatened by the element of capital risk caused by the redistributionist policies of the government. It seems that the “Australia Wayne grew up in” is a different one to the one most of us grew up in, as in ours we tended to defend what we had achieved by our own effort.
He says as US President Barack Obama has pointed out, well-funded lobby groups give an "an outsized voice to the few." The treasurer says in the last couple of years, Australia has seen the emergence of its own distributional coalitions willing to use their considerable wealth to oppose good public policy and economic reforms designed to benefit the majority.
Swan is clearly completely dumb, or is ignoring the facts here. Obama is raising a billion dollars from vested interests to fund his reelection campaign while railing the class warfare rant. The business people who are effected by federal policies to milk their enterprises and use the proceeds to prop up lagging areas of the economy at substantial cost to the future of their industries would be mad to go along with it.

Mar 2, 2012

Farewell, Andrew Breitbart.

It was something of a hammer blow this morning to wake up to the news of the loss of Andrew, prematurely at the age of 43. While most tributes to him describe Andrew as a great conservative, he has been a good friend to the libertarian movement.

A tireless worker, and courageous fighter for liberty, he will be sorely missed. We offer our condolences to all of those close to him.

Mar 1, 2012

Fail mark for 10’s The Circle.

American shows like ‘The View’ are standard daytime TV fodder over here on Channel Ten ever since ‘I Love Lucy’ got a bit too aged for further reruns. Being a forward and progressive channel wanting to increase Australian content the heads decided to make a local chat show with female hosts.

Lacking what most Americans consider the towering intellects of Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, or Barbara Walters, they settled on Corgi Coghlan, and Yumi Stynes, calling it ‘The Circle’, a sort of The View Lite. By inviting aging celebrity current affairs host, George Negus to be a guest, they have managed to answer the question, “What could go wrong?”

Corporal Roberts-Smith stated that the comments were not intended to be malicious and is probably correct in that they are puerile babblings of brainless twits. It is though, a good indication of the reaction of the wet liberal self appointed elites to being confronted by a real man.