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.

Oct 31, 2013

Prince Charles; Syrian war caused by global warming


Ever since he became self aware Prince Charles has struggled to find something to give him that sense of relevance that he craved.  Mummy was queen, Dada was consort, and young Chilla had little to do other than navel gazing.
For some time back in the 60s and 70s, he took an interest, or at least a disdain for British architecture, becoming the constant critic of everything new; sort of an English version of Ellsworth Toohey.  After becoming involved in alternative agriculture, he finally found something in common with his old dad; reincarnation.
Prince Phil decided that he would like to come back as a virus that would wipe out most of humanity, especially the lower classes.  Chilla had more modest, or perhaps Modess aims to return as Camilla’s tampon, although given the ladies age, this would probably result in him being tossed into the bottom drawer and forgotten about.
The Prince of Wales used his keynote speech at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London this evening to warn of the political and economic dangers of climate change, and used Syria as a "terrifyingly graphic" example of the adverse effects of climate change on vulnerable populations. 
Opening the forum, Prince Charles said drought, poor food security and rapid urbanisation contributed to the social tension that ignited into the 2011 uprising. 
"The tragic conflict in Syria provides a terrifyingly graphic example, where a severe drought for the last seven years has decimated Syria's rural economy. Driving many farmers off their fields and into cities where, already, food was in short supply. 
"This depletion of natural capital, inexplicably, little reported in the media, was a significant contributor to the social tension that exploded with such desperate results.”
So, apparently all of that stuff we believe about an authoritarian hereditary dictatorship being challenged by global jihad is wrong, and the real problem is GW.
The good news is, that since they stopped marrying their cousins, the latest generation of royals appears to be relatively normal.

Oct 30, 2013

Anti smokers latest obsession; E cigarettes


Anti smoking zealots seem to have an ever expanding wish list of things they wnt banned.  Not content with advertising bans and plain packaging laws, as well as restrictions on where smoking can be carried out, including private property, they have for some time gone after nicotine replacement methods.
For some time such products as nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum could only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Attempts at liberalizing this in order to make this therapy more easily available was resisted with the claim that travelers on public transport could use it to avoid smoking on planes and trains etc. (Go figure)
Now they want to ban E cigarettes, even though they contain no nicotine and a number of friends have successfully used them to give up smoking.  They are currently demanding a purge of Western Australia’s laws after a case was thrown out of court: 
The Cancer Council wants WA's tobacco laws changed to specifically ban electronic cigarettes after a test case that sought to charge a business for selling them was thrown out of court. 
Joondalup Magistrate's Court ruled last week there was not enough evidence that two types of electronic cigarettes looked like cigarettes or cigars, acquitting the operators of Heavenly Vapours of breaching the Tobacco Products Control Act. 
So-called e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that do not burn tobacco but turn nicotine or fruit flavours into vapour that is inhaled and exhaled.  It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes that contain nicotine under Australian law. 
The WA Health Department prosecuted the Duncraig-based operators who sold e-cigarettes and nicotine-free "e-juice" through a website in late 2011.  WA tobacco laws prohibit the sale of any food, toy or other product that is not a tobacco product but is designed to resemble a tobacco product. 
But the court ruled the electronic cigarettes did not necessarily resemble a cigarette or cigar and could also look like a fountain pen. Unlike normal cigarettes, they also required the user to press a button. … 
… Mr Slevin said the Tobacco Products Control Act was due for a review and could help ban e-cigarettes as well as address issues such as the need to reduce the number of licensed tobacco retailers.  "This incident of a failed attempt to prosecute points to the fact that the current provisions are not adequate," he said.
So, the argument is that because a prosecution based on the device having the appearance of a cigarette failed because the magistrate thought it didn’t, indicates that the law is inadequate for banning a harmless product.
Rules seem to vary from state to state.  In Queensland they can, and are sold through some tobacconists and unlike real tobacco products do not have to be hidden from view and can be spoken of.  According to one shop owner, “It is legal to sell them through tobacconists because they don’t contain nicotine.”
Once again, go figure.

Sean Penn’s new utopia


Image: The Peoples Cube

Most of us have some ideas on how the world could be made a better place and believe that were those ideas implemented it would be so. Libertarians for example, believe that removing about 50 – 75% of the size, scope, cost, and powers of the state would set people free to advance by their own efforts, without the dead hand of government weighing them down.

The left on the other hand, tend to believe in a centrally controlled state or even world, under the unlimited authority of a strong leader free to pursue his agenda without interference from opposition.

This brings us to Sean Penn and his fellow celebrities whose illusions of infallibility are only matched by their delusions of relevance. Sean has come up with a new idea to bring about Utopia in our own time; have the president issue executive orders to commit Ted Cruz and his fellow Tea Partiers to mental institutions:

Penn fails to mention whether he wants this power extended to all future presidents but possibly hasn’t thought this all the way through. His condescension towards ‘uneducated people is interesting in the light of:
… But the thing you're talking about and, and the way people's perception of political positions are, is a direct reaction to their lack of, of their education which is a huge problem that we're dealing with in the country. And between an uneducated people and the solipsism of the people like Ted Cruz and their party, it's a poisonous thing. …  
… Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton. He later attended Harvard Law School where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics, a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, an executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. 
Penn on the other hand, dropped out of a motor mechanics course at Santa Monica College. It is understood though; that he has played some highly educated people.

Oct 29, 2013

Political correctness catches up with the Unknown Soldier


Around fifty years ago, Protestants seemed to be the people who opposed drinking, smoking, fornication, and most of the simple pleasures available to all of us.  Catholics on the other hand were pretty laid back, possibly due to their ‘sin now, confess and repent on Sunday’ policy.
In this day and age though, things have turned around with the churches lightening up a bit, but in their place, atheists have become the new wowsers.  Now, rather than simply ignore the church or maybe poke a bit of fun at it, these people seem to be demanding the removal of all religious symbolism everywhere.
The proposed removal of the words, “Known unto God” from the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Canberra War Memorial has not been explained other than it seems to be a good idea, but is probably designed to avoid offending atheists or Muslims, both of whom might regard the words with outrage: 
IN 1999 the words "Known unto God" were carved at the northern end of the plinth surrounding the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier in Canberra. It is the epitaph Rudyard Kipling advised the Imperial War Graves Commission to adopt in 1917 to mark the graves of soldiers whose remains could not be identified. It is inscribed on the headstones of more than 212,000 Commonwealth soldiers. 
Six weeks ago, on the day Tony Abbott was being sworn in as Prime Minister, the War Memorial's director, Brendan Nelson, told the National Press Club that the inscription was being removed. The words of explanation at the opposite end -- "He symbolises all Australians who've died in war" -- also would be going under the hammer and chisel. 
"We are removing those," Nelson let slip towards the end of an unscripted speech.  There was no press release; no announcement on the memorial's website; no draft plans: no period of consultation: indeed nothing resembling a proper explanation. ...
... In its place were to be inscribed the words of our 24th prime minister, the Honourable PJ Keating.  "Into one end we will engrave: 'We do not know this Australian's name, we never will,' " said Nelson. "At the end, as you walk into the hall, it will say: 'He is one of them, and he is all of us.' " … 
… It was only when Abbott spoke directly to Nelson that compromise was reached.  "Known under God" would stay but the inscription "He symbolises all Australians who've died in war" would go. It would be replaced by Keating's phrase "He is one of them, and he is all of us." … 
… What next? Will they be sending the masonry police to every foreign field where Commonwealth soldier, name unknown, rests beneath the inscription "Known unto God"? There are 212,000 of them by the way, although for obvious reasons there is no way of knowing how many of them are Australians. … 
… In the end, however, what we think of God is irrelevant. The men and women who chose the words "Known unto God" were contemporaries of the fallen. They experienced the consequences of a horrible war and knew the pain of loss. Who are we to change them? 
The words of Charles Bean, whose vision inspired the War Memorial, leave no room for ambiguity. "Here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved," Bean said in 1948, "and here we guard the record which they themselves made." …
Nelson was one of the most useless opposition leaders the Liberals ever foisted on this country, being replaced after nine months when he couldn’t get it through his head that his role wasn’t to agree with Rudd on all issues.  Still, replacing the traditional inscription with words from a Keating speech is bizarre. 

GOP turns disaster into opportunity


H/t; Breitbart 
In a case of ‘every dark cloud having a silver lining’, the Republican Senatorial Committee is using the disastrous roll out of the flawed beyond redemption Obamacare website to raise funds.  This represents a double whammy with funds coming in by, and at the same time highlighting the incompetence of the Administration: 
Get Your 404 Error Bumper Sticker Today!Remind Democrats that Obamacare was a mistake with our 404 error bumper sticker – the same error message Americans are seeing each day when trying to logon to Healthcare.gov. 
Your contribution fuels our fight to build a Republican majority in the Senate in 2014, which is absolutely critical if we want to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Obamacare site according to most reports is almost completely dysfunctional with most of those who have attempted to use it giving up in disgust.
It has been so blatantly obvious that the Administration has been conned by the site builder that even the media are reporting it,  and even some of the more skin-crawlingly odious pro Obama left wing stand up comedians are making jokes about it. 

Oct 25, 2013

Palmer greasing the wheels of Qld government


After a series of disagreements with state premier Campbell Newman last year Clive Palmer quit the LNP and went his own way.  After a series of escalations since then, Clive formed his own party and contested the federal election, winning two senate spots and a possible third, and may yet have won a seat for himself.
Clive was one of the LNP’s major donors in the past, sparking claims to him owning the party.  Curiously though, despite having his own party in competition to them, he has turned up on their donors list
… The latest report from the Electoral Commission of Queensland on political party funding shows the LNP enjoyed some hefty contributions from the agricultural sector, oil and gas companies and property groups. 
Interestingly, almost hidden among the names is one Professor Clive Palmer, who made more than $40,000 in donations in June. 
Of course Mr Palmer reportedly quit the party in 2012 after a falling out with Premier Campbell Newman, and formed the Palmer United Party, which found much success at the federal poll. 
The Queensland Labor Party received $4.7 million in gifts and donations with a large percentage coming from unions while the state's Greens pocketed just $168,000 most of that from private benefactors. 
There was $160,000 for the Katter Party courtesy of seven pharmacy groups and $70,000 from the Sporting Shooters of Australia.
The LNP, especially the Nationals part, were notorious for a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ approach to commercial approvals in the past so its possible that Clive doesn’t want too many obstacles put in the way of his future ventures.
The hefty contributions from the agricultural sector, oil and gas companies make interesting reading.  The agricultural sector has been battling against the unfettered access to their private property by the mining, oil, and gas sectors, which explains their interest.  Those sectors want better access to the land of the former.  Someone is going top get the rough end of the pineapple there.
It is not known why Bob Katter gets such large donations from big pharma.  It is possible though that Bob's preference swap with Labor gave them the idea that Bob and his party were on something, a lot of it and they decided to give some of the proceeds back.

Oct 21, 2013

Abbott works a shift at the fire front

 The cartoon (right) by Bill Leak of Adam Bandt and Tony Abbott has proven prophetic.  Bandt attempted to use images of the fire front, burning houses, and fleeing residents to accuse Abbott of causing more of this because of his intention to repeal the carbon tax.



Over the last couple of decades bushfires, which were previously part of the Australian scene, have become a sign of global warming climate change.
Meanwhile Tony Abbott has joined up with his volunteer fire brigade and done a fourteen hour shift at the fire front: 

FOR 14 long hours over the weekend, Tony Abbott was just one of 1392 anonymous, sooty-faced firefighters battling to keep the relentless NSW bushfires at bay. 
His favoured white-shirt-blue-tie combo was swapped for yellow overalls as Australia's 28th prime minister joined his Davidson RFS brigade on a back-burning operation in Bilpin, near the Blue Mountains, for a night shift that began at 6pm Saturday and finished at 8am yesterday. 
If not for a couple of photos circulating on Twitter, it's a fair chance that Mr Abbott's weekend exploits would have gone unnoticed. His office did not issue a statement until the blurry image of the PM giving the thumbs-up from behind the wheel of a fire truck appeared on the social media site. 
While many Twitter followers praised his volunteering spirit, others questioned the wisdom of the nation's leader putting himself in the line of fire. But for Mr Abbott, it was just another day as a volunteer firey with his local brigade, something he has been doing since 2001. 
Prior to the election, Mr Abbott, a keen cyclist, runner, surf lifesaver and firefighting volunteer, vowed to continue his community activities should he assume the prime ministership. 
Last month, his NSW Rural Fire Service brigade captain Trent Dowling told The Australian the Prime Minister was just another volunteer when he was on firefighting duties. 
"It is the whole thing the brigade and the service is built on," Mr Dowling said. "It doesn't matter what you do outside, whether you are a plumber, a student, unemployed or, in this case, the Prime Minister. The rule that we have at our station is once you pull that uniform on, everyone is in the same boat. 
"Anyone who bags him for pulling on the uniform and thinks it is a picture opportunity, I would suggest they do the course and join the brigade and come and see what we do.”
In times of emergency it is common for state and national leaders to turn up at the scene for photo opportunities, looking suitably grave, sympathetic, or in control if things are going well.  Abbott deserves praise for putting himself on the line where the rubber hits the road.
There has been some hand wringing about putting his protective detail at risk, but they were probably not needed in any case.  Rural firefighters are a pretty tough bunch and anyone who threatened one of their members might need to be protected from them.
While regular readers are aware that this site has little time for politicians and other political parties, Abbott is the genuine real deal.
While I am at it, here's a shout out to a few good mates from down there who are probably involved right now.  

Oct 20, 2013

Indonesian clerics rort our abattoirs


A powerful body of Indonesian clerics is essentially holding Australian abattoirs to ransom over the certification of meat as Halal and suitable for export to that country: 
QUEENSLAND abattoirs are being slugged thousands of dollars a month through a religious levy on meat exports so powerful Muslim clerics in Jakarta can raise money for Islamic schools and mosques.   The Halal certification fees can cost some meat processors up to $27,000 a month.
The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), the top Islamic body which orders fatwa religious rulings, has even banned a Brisbane business from operating - because it was not charging Queensland abattoirs enough to give the religious tick-off to export meat. 
The scandal has stopped most of Queensland's Halal meat exports to Indonesia, as angry abattoir operators boycott the more expensive Halal certifiers endorsed by the MUI.Australian companies that certify meat as Halal, or legal under Islamic law, must be accredited with Indonesia's MUI - which approves just one certifier per state or territory. 
The MUI has suspended Brisbane based Australian Halal Food Services (AHFS) for engaging in "unfair competition'' that could "weaken (the) Halal certification movement". Certifiers must donate a share of their revenue to mosques and Islamic schools. 
AHFS - which refused to comment on Saturday - sponsors the As-Salaam Institute of Islamic Studies, based in Eight Mile Plains. It has also spent funds repairing and maintaining mosques in Rochedale and Rockhampton. … 
… But MUI chairman Amidhan Shaberah said AHFS had been suspended for trying to work interstate, as well as Queensland. He said setting minimum fees and restricting one certifier to work in each state was "part of our control''. "We have to standardise the charge to avoid any unfair competition between certifiers,'' he told The Sunday Mail during an interview in Jakarta.
This has nothing to do with the backlash from the live export ban, an ill conceived and misbegotten act of the Labor government in a knee-jerk reaction to a TV show.  While this act destroyed Australia’s reputation as a reliable supplier and crippled the northern cattle industry, damaging the rest in the process, this is the separate issue of processed meat exports.
Such high fees leave abattoirs with only three options:
  • First, to stay out of that particular market, as they appear to be doing;
  • Second, Charge more to all consumers including those with no religious fetishes, or charging the Halal market for the entire additional cost which could make the product too expensive and leave the company open to claims of religious discrimination under the Human Rights Act which was written and enacted by people with little or no commercial experience; and
  • Third (which is most likely), pay less to struggling producers for their livestock.
Where a product has to be produced under special requirements and is not visually different to the normal one, a certification system is necessary.  Such systems though, can be abused. 
The usual form of abuse is for an industry to use it to make it impossible for new competitors to enter. In cases where government runs the certification, industry lobbyists push hard for conditions to ‘protect consumers’ which have the same effect while leaving those already established to hog the lot.
In this case it is being used to extort money from meat processors by monopolizing the certification with the stated aim of preventing competition.  

Local UFO sighting

 Image: Cartoons a Plenty

In the Wide Bay region we tend to miss out on many of many of the mythical, apocryphal, dubious, and unnatural wonders of the world and the universe at large.  On the other hand, we have a reasonable supply of eccentrics, tellers of tall tales and bullshit artists.
There are no min-min lights here, something that people regard as ‘scary’ although they don’t seem to do much other than appear, hang about for a bit, and then disappear if the observer hangs around for long enough to realise this has happened.  These seem to be out to the west of us.
It’s a similar story with drop bears, a truly terrifying creature that is able to change its entire appearance just with a different storyteller.  They can be similar to the koala but with massive jaws full of slashing fangs and huge claws, although some reports indicate that they are of similar body shape to a tall beer bottle with fur and long spindly legs with vicious claws.  These drop out of trees on unsuspecting visitors to this country, but don’t worry the locals.

Even bunyips seem to avoid the place.  Bunyips, (for the benefit of foreign readers) are carnivorous monsters that appear out of billabongs and waterholes, usually when the moon is full and the person reporting it is in much the same condition.
Reports of yowies tend to come from sources that are less than reliable.
But at last we have caught up with flying saucers
Mr Kukopf was in the kitchen of his Downsfield property, 20 minutes north-east of Gympie, about 9pm when a brightly coloured object in the night sky caught his attention. … 
… "It was hanging above the top of the mountain and just stayed there for a while before moving westward towards Woolooga, shrinking the whole time."Mr Kukopf fumbled with his camera phone, wanting to record the sight but in the rush, mixed up the settings and was unable to take a photo.  The mysterious lights disappeared before the camera could be sorted. … 
… As the UFO-spotter stood inside mulling over the experience, the lights returned a second time, but this time over Gympie itself. 
The brightly coloured lights remained motionless in the sky once more while the red lights surrounding the pale, almost translucent green centre began pulsating.  The lights then suddenly began tracking westward again before disappearing out of sight behind a distant mountain …
(Editorial note) I once thought I was about to have an encounter with the min-min lights one night while driving out in the far west.  Out there the traffic is so light that when cars meet they circle each other sniffing tailpipes like dogs, and its so flat that if you see a hill it pays to take a photo of it to last you till the next one.  If a trip is longer than what is referred to as a six-pack and cut lunch one, most authorities advise you to carry extra fuel and another six-pack.
Anyway, a light appeared in the distance and kept moving towards me just off the road for about twenty minutes.  It was a somewhat exciting thought that I might get to meet one of the great mysteries of the Australian outback.  When it got to a couple of miles away it was a bit bright and thinking it could be an effect of my own headlights, I dipped them.
At this, the light dipped as well, and I was able to see the railway line running parallel to the road about fifty meters away.  Bummer.

Oct 19, 2013

The government cost of Halloween


The Advocates for Self Government have reprinted an assessment of the costs that the US government imposes on parents during Halloween by the Cost of Government Center from 2011: 
Each year, parents spend $1 billion on kid costumes for Halloween. On average, for the estimated 41 million trick-or-treaters, each kid wears a costume costing almost $25 -- a hefty sum for parents who know this annual investment is only going to get a few hours of use. Taxes make up a shocking amount of that cost.  
Kids' costumes are almost all made of heavily taxed synthetic fibers. On top of the state sales tax paid at the register, the government increases the cost of buying these costumes by imposing a 17 percent tariff on many of these imported costumes. Businesses not only have to absorb these costs, but also those imposed by income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, workmen's compensation taxes, and other payments to federal, state, and local forms of government.   
When all is said and done, government taxes compose a terrifying 47.82 percent of the cost of the average kid's costume -- $11.66 of the average price. Boo! 
But the government's tricks don't end there. The Halloween season brings with it $2 billion in candy purchases. Due to excise taxation on sweets in addition to the burden of taxes placed on the confectionery industry, the government takes a 30.81 percent bite out of the average trick-or-treaters' candy haul. Ouch! 
Altogether, the cost of celebrating our scariest holiday is made all the more frightening by the costs imposed by government: hidden taxes and other costs constitute 40.91 percent of your Halloween celebration.  
This amounts to a burden of $688 million -- or $16.80 per kid. The remaining $1.3 billion of candy not distributed during trick-or-treating represents another $406 million in taxes. 
Finally, after including taxes on adults for decorations and costumes the total Halloween tax bite comes to… a bloody and bruising $2.7 billion. 
And the cost is even higher if you attend a spooky party with alcoholic beverages. Wine, distilled spirits and beer are all subject to more hidden taxes. Going out to dinner instead of trick-or-treating also carries higher government costs. And if you have to drive your kids to trick-or-treat, the government bite of gasoline also takes a hefty bite out of your wallet. 
Wherever you turn, wherever you go, you can't escape the bloodsucking horror of… the federal government.
At this time, it is probably worth quoting:
"If you've never seen 'The Walking Dead,' it's basically a bunch of bloodthirsty zombies slowly devouring what's left of America. No wait, that's C-SPAN." – Craig Ferguson Oct. 11, 2013.

Oct 18, 2013

Some sense on US default in Aussie media


Anyone trying to understand the standoff in the US over the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling is ill served in the main by the local media, especially the ABC.  Most of the reporting seems to have been done on the back of watching Chris Mathews and MSNBC or reading the New York Times.
Most seems to revolve around the scenario of nasty bad ol crazy Tea Party whackos determined to get their own way by holding the nation to ransom at the risk of turning the world upside down with total economic destruction.  US readers will be familiar with this.
One of our saner economic correspondents, Terry McCrann (top) has taken issue with this, as reported in the Bolt Blog: 
JUST about everything you have read or heard about the US political brawl over spending, Obamacare and the debt ceiling, is almost certainly wrong. 
In particular, that the whole world has been taken right to the edge of a financial crash at least as bad and indeed likely to be much more dramatic and more fundamentally destructive than the Global Financial Crisis, thanks to crazy Republican Tea Party extremists… 
The truth is, [default] would only happen if the Obama administration deliberately chose to break not just the law but its fundamental constitutional obligations… 
First, the US government is constitutionally required to prioritise its debt obligations. Secondly, self-evidently, it can repay debt maturities with new borrowings - as that would not increase its total debt… 
The debt ceiling is one part of a much broader, more fundamental and indeed existential battle underway in the US - caricatured asininely by the media there and here as crazy extremist Tea Party types prepared - indeed wanting - to topple the whole structure of government in the US… 
Just maybe, some Americans might think that running a government where 20c or so of every dollar it spends has to be borrowed, can only end in tears… 
All this is mere byplay to the fundamental problem, that under Obama, a big structural deficit has opened up, with the government now spending about 4 per cent more of GDP than in 2001.
McCrann may be underestimating the rate of expenditure; most reports put the borrowings at over 30c in the dollar.  The facts are that in an annual budget (for want of a better word seeing none have been passed since the current administration took office) of more than three trillion dollars, over a trillion is borrowed.
The Democrats are running the joint like a private citizen who takes out a second mortgage to fund high living and lavish piss-ups.

Oct 14, 2013

Yes prime minister in Oz

Labor has once again dipped into the shallow end of the talent pool (or perhaps the wading one) and come up with a new leader in Bill Shorten. During the leadership campaign, Bill is the guy who came up with the idea of quotas for various groups in parliament including ethnic, gay, lesbians, transgender, and so on.

His defining moment though, came in an interview as a senior government minister during the Gillard prime ministership. (Note; this is not satire):

 

Oct 12, 2013

Motoring Enthusiasts Party brawl goes feral


The Motoring Enthusiasts Party had a very much against the odds win in the senate election in Victoria, resulting victory for their lead candidate, Ricky Muir (R) who has since then been making the news for all the wrong reasons.  The first thing noticed after the election was a YouTube video which he posted when half cut; but we have all done some silly things and there are sillier beer commercials around.
He then dropped out of sight, raising speculation that his party told him to stay out of the media.
Since then, the party has imploded with the Queensland leadership sacking the Victorian branch, which is fighting back.  Then Muir surfaced again yesterday in a press conference, announcing a deal to support Palmers party with the apparent blessing of the federal leadership.
THE jilted Victorian arm of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has hired a private investigator to dig up senator-elect Ricky Muir's past.  The Herald Sun understands the father of five has expressed concerns to party executives that his past would haunt him. 
"We've got an investigator looking into him," former AMEP Victorian chairman Scott McDonald said. "There's definitely things in his past that he's very worried about."  It comes as 290 Victorian AMEP members were invited to a meeting in Melbourne next week to vote on whether to eject the Denison family man from the party and put at risk his $200,000-a-year Senate seat. 
"We've got a lot of angry members at the moment," Mr McDonald said. "This deal was never discussed before or after the election. It seems at this point a decision signed off by two people with no consultation with members, council or executives. The AMEP is now a puppet to the Palmer United Party." 
The rookie politician today announced an alliance with mining magnate Clive Palmer.  Within minutes of Mr Muir announcing in Sydney he had signed a memorandum of understanding to work together and vote in line with the Palmer United Party, fans took to social media to express their disappointment and outrage. 
Supporters slammed Mr Muir for "jumping into bed" with Mr Palmer. … 
… "With three extra Senators working together, I will be able to achieve more than I would have on my own for the people of Victoria and Australia," he said. 
The deal extends the PUP's power in the new Senate.  It could also mean Mr Muir, who was born and bred in the Gippsland region, would have to back against residents' wishes in his stomping ground if PUP decides to support the controversial coal seam gas exploration in the area.
Muir has been elected and the result declared by the Electoral Commission, and it is doubtful that even if the branch disowned him, he would have to quit the job.  It is uncharted waters at present.
The only way they could force him to stand down is if he were found to be a bankrupt or have a criminal record.  Whatever it is in his past that he is referring to, may be simply something embarrassing and embarrassment is not a disqualification.
Were he disqualified, under the constitution the seat is the property of the party and he would have to be replaced by a party member.  Given that the Victorian branch has been dissolved, this could get interesting.
At this stage it looks very much like Palmer has used his financial clout to purchase the MEP and intends to use it as a way to increase his influence.  The story line about “three extra Senators working together” simply makes no sense, as the proposed caucus of minor parties would have a greater effect.
Palmer appears power crazed at present with his threats of making the government unworkable if he doesn’t get everything he wants.  If he tries this line, the result will be a double dissolution election in which his party will be seen as a bunch of nutters and if he manages to get any senators at all, they will be irrelevant.

Oct 10, 2013

Daniel Hannan backs me up

In my profile on the Jim Fryar Liberal Democrat for WA Senate page I wrote:

… the three levels of government in Australia are out of control, constantly passing rules and regulations that impact adversely on us all as well as sucking up vast financial resources. The mere fact that something is unregulated is now seen by the government as a reason to regulate it. 
From the time they register your birth, they inspect your toys, regulate your education, supervise your sports, set your working hours, register your occupation, tax your pay packet, license your marriage, broadcast your news, interfere with your children's upbringing, subsidise your competitors, resume your land, censor your entertainment, legislate your family arrangements, just to mention a few, and tax everything that moves. 
When they finally drive you to drink they increase the excise on it, claiming it is for the good of your health. Wherever you go and whatever you do, the kill-joys of the nanny state are there to restrict you and extract a price. 
It looks like Daniel Hannan shares that view