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.

Jun 18, 2014

Queensland government arrested under VLAD Act

Image: Qld politicisan, possibly Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie being interviewed by Taskforce Maxima
In a stunning development, police officers from Taskforce Maxima raided a well-known hang-out on the corner of George and Alice Streets in Brisbane and arrested eighty-nine ‘persons of interest’ found there.  All are expected to be charged under the ‘Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment act as criminal associates.
A spokesman for Taskforce Maxima, Inspector Mark, “Copper” Reid announced that those taken into custody are reasonably suspected of belonging to an organization with a higher than normal rate of criminal convictions and are ‘helping police with their enquiries’.
“This gang, Queensland Parliament,” he said “has only 89 members but in the last twenty years, eight of them; (nearly 10%) have done time for serious criminal offences.” 
“It’s not just small stuff we are talking about here, two were for shagging schoolies, one for extortion, one for corruption and theft, and four for misappropriation of public funds.”  He pointed out that it was almost an embarrassment that while police were sent out on a witch hunt against mainly innocent bikers by this very group, they themselves seem to be the very essence of everything wrong in this state today.
Asked by the media what offences these people were alleged to have committed, Inspector Reid said, “That’s the beauty of a law enacted by an Attorney-General with only two years legal experience as a conveyancing solicitor; it is a crime punishable by fifteen years in pokey, or twenty five for leaders, just for being in the company of persons reasonably suspected of having criminal associations.”
“This makes our job a hell of a lot easier,” he said.
“We thought it would be worth following up on a comment by a Ulysses Club guy we were beating … err interviewing who asked us why we were not looking into parliament house,” he said. 
Civil Liberties spokesman, Perry O’Corman said that while his organization was opposed to overuse of police powers, this lot deserve everything they have coming to them.  “While we strongly object to excessive use of force, pick-handles are too good for these pricks,” he concluded.
Liberal Democrat spokesman Gabriel Buckley commented, “The first sitting of Queensland Parliament was done in the old convict barracks in Queen St, so their new accommodations will be quite appropriate and be in line with a great Queensland tradition.”

Jun 15, 2014

Truss; Your duty to democracy, support your ruling class

Acting Prime Minister, Warren Truss seems to be a little miffed with people voting for Palmer United, but doesn’t seem all that fussed with other minor parties.
Speaking about the future for PUP, he claimed that it, like others before it would ultimately fail.  This is a reasonable assumption given the fate of Pauline Hanson and the Australian Democrats. 
At this point though, Truss loses the plot with his claim that voters have ‘an obligation to democracy’ to vote for the three majors (although he only mentions the LNP): 
… He said yesterday those who voted for him [Clive Palmer] in protest were ignoring their obligations to democracy and putting their country at risk. 
Mr Truss, Acting Prime Minister while Tony Abbott is overseas, said the Coalition took its responsibilities seriously and would get on with the job of delivering what was important for Australia. He said other parties could worry about themselves. 
Asked if Mr Palmer's Palmer United Party was just a “flash in the pan”, he said there had always been independent parties. 
“We have had plenty of saviours in the past, like Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter. They all made a little bit of an impact for a while,” he told reporters at the NSW Nationals conference in Queanbeyan. 
Mr Palmer was a big winner at the 2013 federal election, gaining his own seat and three Senate spots.  Ms Hanson roared on to the Australian political landscape in 1996 but was only in federal parliament for a single term. 
Despite big predictions, the vote for the Katter's Australian Party of Mr Katter, a longtime Queensland-based MP, was disappointing at the last election, and Mr Katter's personal vote slumped. 
Mr Truss said there was always a protest vote.  “Sometimes these people will gain support from that element,” he said.  “Those who throw away their vote in some kind of protest are in fact ignoring their obligations to their democracy but also putting their country at risk.”
It is a curious claim that voters have an obligation to democracy that requires them to support their established ruling class.  It is downright bizarre to then go on to claim that failure to do so puts the country at risk.  Of what???
The risk is not to the nation but to the governing triumvirate.  Wazza, like so many other politicians, tends to confuse his own party’s interest with the national interest.
Truss’s problem will not end with the demise of PUP; the vote for Clive is only the symptom of a much bigger issue for the LNP and other majors.  The real problem is that around a quarter of the electorate has had a gutful of the dithering, spendthrift major parties and want someone else to do the job.
Palmer is offering little other than another populist party competing for the ground already covered by the Liberal/ Labor/Greens cartel, but as a policy free zone.  His only appeal to the electorate is that he is not LNP, Labor, or Greens.

Jun 14, 2014

“None of these candidates wins in Nevada

There has been a major embarrassment for the Nevada Democrats in their primary for Governor, with ‘None of these candidates’ winning the poll.   In fact, it wasn’t even close, NOTA getting 29.96%, and the leading candidate only pulling 24.9%.
Libertarian Republican is reporting that only one candidate beat NOTC in any county, his home one, and by a narrow margin. 
Unfortunately, this does not mean that there will be no Democrat standing in November, nor does it requite a new ballot, the second placed candidate will be nominated to stand
"None of the Above" won with 29.96% of the vote. Nevada was the first state to institute a “none of the above” line to its ballot in 1975, as a way for voters to protest weak, unqualified candidates. 
Senator Harry Reid, who runs the Democrat party in Nevada with an iron fist, told reporters earlier this year, that the candidate to run against the popular Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, would be "a respectable Democrat and someone that people know." 
Second place went to Robert Goodman, a retired state economic development commissioner, who got 24.9% of the vote. Since "none of the above" can't win under state law, virtual unknown, Goodman will be the nominee.
There is probably little point in standing a Democrat there given the extreme embarrassment associated with the ballot with their candidate clearly not meeting the expectations of the electorate.  His acceptance speech should probably start with, “Boy, is my face red.”
Libertarians have long favored the idea of a ‘None of these candidates’, or ‘none of the above’ option in ballots to allow voters the option of letting the parties know that they are dissatisfied with the quality of the candidates on offer.
Parties tend to promote hacks or shills who can be relied on to toe the party line, good, or bad, while voters have to put up with whichever idiot is the least worst option for the term of the elected body.  The libertarian position though, is that in the event of NOTA winning, a new election should be called with those candidates excluded, or that the position should be left vacant, or unfunded.
The then Australian libertarian party, the Progress party first called for this option in 1980 when Viv Forbes made the following statement
“Election ‘illusion’,” The Canberra Times, April 21, 1980, p. 9.
The Progress Party yesterday called for an amendment to the Electoral Act to allow voters the choice of “none of the above” in all Federal, State and local elections. 
The national secretary of the party, Mr Viv Forbes, said that until voters could say “no” to all candidates, the voting system was an illusion of free choice. 
“To many people at the ballot box, the decision is as significant as the choice between arsenic and rat poison,” he said. 
“If a significant percentage of people vote ‘no’ to all candidates, it would indicate massive public disapproval of the policies of them all.”

Jun 8, 2014

Move to repeal plain packaging

Social Problem: n; Something enjoyed by the multitude, as seen through the eyes of a statist who doesn’t like it. – Jim’s Dictionary
Image: CourtesyThe Australian
Some time ago it was reported here that plain packaging of tobacco products had resulted in a significant rise in counterfeit cigarettes coming in from places like China.  Predictions that this would be the case were dismissed during the passage of the bill. 
Now the very pretext for the legislation has been blown out of the water with the finding that the decline in smoking over the previous four years has come to a screaming halt.  The Australian has reported that the volume of tobacco products used in the last year has increased by 0.3%:  
… The 0.3 per cent increase, though modest, goes against a 15.6 per slide in tobacco sales over the previous four years — and undermines claims by then health minister Nicola Roxon that Australia would introduce the “world’s toughest anti-smoking laws”. 
Plain packaging laws, which came into force in December 2012, have instead boosted demand for cheaper cigarettes, with reports of a more than 50 per cent rise in the market for lower cost cigarettes. …
Now a couple of coalition backbenchers, Liberal MP Alex Hawke, and Nationals MP George­ Christensen have suggested repealing the law, oddly for the LNP on the grounds that it is nanny state legislation: 
Liberal MP Alex Hawke likened the initia­tive to other “nanny state” policies that Labor pursued, “even when it appeared they wouldn’t work”. 
“I think our policy should be evidence-based and where governments get the best bang for their buck; that is on individual responsibility, rather than big government,” Mr Hawke said. He said the tobacco policy had failed and it should “absolutely” be revisited. 
Queensland Nationals MP George­ Christensen said this week that plain packaging signalled an “inch-by-inch encroachment into our personal lives”. … 
… Greens senator Richard Di ­Natale hailed the switch to cheaper cigarettes, saying the policy had undercut the power of brands to attract younger smokers. 
Public Health Association of Australia chief executive Michael Moore said the rise in tobacco sales recorded in the study was a net decrease, when adjusted for population growth, and the few remaining smokers would be the hardest to convince.
The Public Health Association seems to be in denial if it is seriously claiming that population growth is solely responsible for the rise that it claims is a decline.  This ignores the previous 15.6% decline in the previous four years and there has been no huge increase in our numbers in the last twelve months that would account for that.
Senator Di ­Natale’s statement pretty much sums up the Greens approach of being against big tobacco companies rather than smoking.  He is actually cheering the increase in the use of counterfeit cigarettes because he doesn’t like Phillip Morris.
Don’t expect the coalition to act on this anytime soon.  Most LNP members are probably Googling ‘social responsibility’ and staring incredulously at the answer and wondering how such a concept could come into being.

Jun 5, 2014

Real ‘pork cutter’ wins Iowa GOP senate primary

Joni Earnst has won the Iowa primary with 53% of the vote, confounding pollsters and pundits who maintained that she would get less than the 35% needed to avoid a runoff. During her campaign, she produced one of the most outstanding ads we have seen, sending PC bedwetters into a lather:

Jun 4, 2014

Palmer United Party will split up

Cartoon: By Bill Leak 
In an interview with Miranda Devine, Liberal Democrat Senator elect, David Leyonhjelm raised the possibility that the Palmer United senators would cease to vote as a block and go their own way at some point in the future. Flick across to the 11 and a half minute mark.)
David points out that they are all different characters with no basic unifying philosophy to unite them.  The only thing they really have in common is Palmer’s money getting them into the position they are in today, which is not much of a uniting feature.
A split up seems to be on the cards sooner, rather than later as Palmer himself becomes more and more, an embarrassment to his senators.  His act of demonstrating solidarity with the working class man, saving him money by turning up at parliament in a chauffeur driven Rolls rather than a ComCar appeared more like the action of a poser than that of man of the people.  A Hilux Ute would have been more appropriate.
As if his current antic of picking a fight with Abbott’s Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin is not bad enough, his refusal to apologize exacerbates his original thoughtlessness, and his reason for refusing to do so must have his senators cringing
Mr Palmer has claimed Ms Credlin wields “undue influence” over the Prime Minister, engineering the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy so she can “receive a massive benefit when she gets pregnant”. 
Labor and Coalition figures have condemned the remarks, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop branding the comments “particularly hurtful” as Ms Credlin has struggled to conceive through IVF. As a commonwealth employee, Ms Credlin is already entitled to a generous parental leave entitlement. 
Mr Palmer defended his comments, accusing Ms Credlin of wielding “undue influence” over Mr Abbott by allegedly dictating ministerial appointments and guiding policies that are imposed on the Coalition party room. 
“I’m not going to apologise because that’s my position. I’m elected to parliament and being elected to parliament carries a lot of different privileges in relation to raising certain issues,” the Member for Fairfax said.
By ‘privilege’, he is referring in part to parliamentary privilege, something politicians have granted themselves through the ages.  Sometimes referred to as “freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings,” this rule effectively prevents members of the public taking legal or civil action against MPs over any statement they make in the course of debate. 
This is intended to allow for searching inquiry to get to the bottom of things without the threat of legal sanctions getting in the way, all too often it is used as a cowards castle I order for the lower forms of life in parliament, to slander the innocent and even old scores.
This is an unfortunate reflection on the sort of people we vote into high office and Palmer is one of them.
Now he is denying he said it despite TV footage to prove the contrary: 
SARAH FERGUSON: Forgive me, but the following day you also said that she had engineered the policy in order to reap a benefit for herself. My question is: have you apologised? 
CLIVE PALMER: I've sent her a note telling her that I never said that she'd done that. I said that - the following day I said that she was influential in the policy and of course she is. Her husband's the Liberal - director of the Liberal Party. But I sent her a note saying that I thought that it was unequitable that women who were working mothers and - on farms and stay-at-home mums didn't get something on the paid parental leave and I was just using her position to highlight the differences where she - a person like her would be eligible, and if that caused her any problems, I was regretful. I didn't mean to hurt her in any way, but I just I - to highlight that all women need to be treated equally.
Hopefully, his senators have some pride and abandon this embarrassment to all concerned.

Farewell Doc Neeson

Image: Doc Neeson 1947 - 2014 Courtesy, The Australian

 You were one of the best and will be missed.


Jun 2, 2014

Since when was driving a privilege???

Nothing any good ever came out of Victoria – Old Queensland adage
Victoria seems to be offering stiff competition for other nanny-state regimes with their latest stupidity.  Magistrates will now have the power to take away your drivers license for being drunk while walking home after a night at the pub.  It is not explained why being on foot has anything to do with driving but hey, with slogans like, ‘if one life can be saved,’ its said, it will all be worthwhile.
Effectively, this means that if you are out at the pub, get a bit pissed, and are a bit worried about how to get home a few blocks away; if you think you can still keep the car on a straight line, you might be better to take the risk on driving rather than leave it in the car park and walk.  You will be visible for longer on foot, and there is no difference in the penalty.
The government tells  the public that driving is a privilege, not a right and the editorial comes up with the same words: 
… The provisions broaden a judicial officer’s ability to suspend, cancel or disqualify an offender’s licence or learner permit for any matter, regardless of whether driving is an element of the offence. 
For anyone to lose a licence for public drunkenness would be an extreme use of the new power. Offenders can lose their licences for road rage and magistrates have wide powers to impose conditions on them.
“From today, offenders can lose their driver’s licence for road rage offences or for any other offence where the court considers doing so will better protect the community or send a clear message to the offender,” Mr Clark says. … 
 “Where a court considers the best way to pull an offender into line is by taking away their licence, it will have the power to do so.” 
A senior North East traffic policeman welcomed The Road Safety and Sentencing Acts Amendment Act 2013.  Wangaratta highway patrol Sgt Michael Connors said anything that deterred offending was welcome.
“The possession of a licence is a privilege, not a right, so if these offences are going to be committed where they shouldn’t be driving on our roads, say hoon driving or evading police, then their licence should be suspended or removed,” Sgt Connors said. ...
A drivers licence cannot really be considered a privilege, given that the roads are publicly funded and citizens are entitled to freedom of movement whether sober, pissed, or even meeting with the disapproval of the public at large, provided they are not acting in an aggressive or coercive manner.
Were a road to be privately owned, and that owner restricted the right to drive on it to friends, gay partners, climate change skeptics, or whatever, then driving on it would indeed be a privilege.
A drivers licence is given subject to meeting certain requirements in driving ability, knowledge of the road laws, and an understanding that while traveling, the driver has the ability to do so safely.
It is not an absolute right; otherwise it would arrive in the mail at the predetermined age.  It is however, a right to all who can meet the basic qualifications for receiving it, and can conduct themselves in a manner consistent with safe road use.
Any legislation that takes away the right to drive on public roads for reasons unrelated to road safety is an anathema to liberty and has no place in a free society. 

Jun 1, 2014

Australian senate; the adults in the room form their own group

Image: Senator-elect David Leyonhjelm, of the Democratic Liberal Party
The 2013 federal election threw up a couple of excellent results for libertarians.
The first was the election of the Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm in New South Wales.  David is a fully committed libertarian of long standing, unswervingly dedicated to the principles of fiscal responsibility, social liberty, and capable of arguing against the trend, logically, passionately, and convincingly.
The second surprisingly was the election of Bob Day of Family First, who despite being a social conservative is just as erudite as David on fiscal matters.  While Bob is unlikely to support the full libertarian agenda, his election brought joy to most of us in that another fiscally sane member would be joining David in July.
Some worried about how a libertarian and a Socon would get along, the problem has been solved.  They have agreed to work together on fiscal matters, while doing their own thing on social policy.  For some reason, the press see this as a ‘roadblock’: 
… David Leyonhjelm, the NSW senator-elect representing the Liberal Democrats, has revealed he would vote in alliance with South Australia's Bob Day of Family First when the new Senate sits from July 1. 
They have agreed to vote together on all economic issues, but will decide their own positions on social issues. As a self-described libertarian, Mr Leyonhjelm supports same-sex marriage, for example, whereas Family First is opposed to it. 
The two-member bloc is half the size of the Palmer United Party-Ricky Muir alliance, but is likely to provide some headaches for the government as it seeks backing for its legislative agenda, particularly if that involves any new taxes. 
Mr Day believes the minimum wage should be lowered to get more people into work and taxes should be lowered across the board.  Among the policy agendas of Mr Leyonhjelm is the full privatisation of all school and hospital services, a lower minimum wage and lower tobacco taxes. 
He said: ''Unlike the PUP senators, who are only united by Clive [Palmer]'s funding, Bob and I share the same values. That makes us a mini voting bloc.   Mr Leyonhjelm said he would defer to Mr Day on any industrial relations issue and Mr Day would take his advice on agriculture. 
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is leading negotiations with the new crossbenchers. He met with Mr Day on Wednesday and Mr Leyonhjelm in Sydney on Friday.
Mr Leyonhjelm said Mr Abbott laid out his legislative agenda for July, which focused on the abolition of the carbon and mining taxes, restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and changes to the Fair Work Act. 
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Leyonhjelm said: ''I quite like the guy; he speaks his mind, a bit like me.'' 
On Tuesday, Mr Day and Mr Leyonhjelm delivered speeches to the Centre for Independent Studies. Mr Leyonhjelm said: ''We will push for doing less on nanny state stuff. An end to plain packaging, lower tobacco taxes and fewer smoking rules affecting private property. 
''Stop funding public health advocates who want to control what we eat. Stop funding the environmental organisations that oppose everything about modern society. 
''I also intend to press buttons on health and education. There is no justification for the government being a service provider in these … Service providers, whether they are for profit, charitable or community, will do the job better than public servants.'' 
Mr Leyonhjelm said when it came to smaller government, ''I do not draw the line anywhere''.  ''I have every intention of using my vote to try and make a difference,'' he said. ''I will use argument, reason, pleading and, occasionally, blackmail.'' 
In his speech, Mr Day questioned why, when Newstart allowance was $250 a week and the minimum wage was $650, people could not choose to work for less than the minimum wage but more than the dole. 
''We praise people who work for zero money - volunteers who work up to 40 hours a week in op shops and nursing homes - but we don't allow them to work for more than zero until you reach $650. It's absurd,'' he said.
It’s just as simple as that.  Leyonhjelm and Day are probably the only two adults and economic rationalists in the senate.  Neither is hamstrung by the need to follow the crazed party line of Abbott, Shorten, the Greens, or the personal opinion of Palmer and have sensible ideas to pull the nation out of the shit.
Neither are in any way obstructionist, and both will be quite cooperative as long as Abbott and his henchmen are prepared to talk sense.