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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.

Jan 7, 2014

NYT calls for enlightened despot to solve congressional gridlock

Cartoon: By R May 
Collectivists love the idea of strong leaders if they have the same collectivist ideas as themselves and pursue the same aims as the beholder.  Its not so much fun for them if the other side gets control of the reigns of power though, and you end up with a Margaret Thatcher, or worse still, (for both sides) a Campbell Newman.
For this reason, lefties around the world crave a philosophy that accommodates both the quick and easy idea of a central authority that is instantaneously able to grant their wishes, but not those of the other side.  The solution to the second part of this conundrum is the requirement that the person at the centre of things be able to understand the difference.
Clearly, as the proponent is presenting a vision for the future, the central authority has to be enlightened, just like the person advocating it considers himself to be.
David Brooks of the New York Times has resurrected the age-old concept of enlightened absolutism in his OP-Ed calling for increased powers for the executive branch to solve the problem of congressional gridlock in the US: 
... But there is a way out: Make the executive branch more powerful.This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout. It’s important to advocate greater executive branch power in a chastened mood. It’s not that the executive branch is trustworthy; it’s just that we’re better off when the presidency is strong than we are when the rentier groups are strong, or when Congress, which is now completely captured by the rentier groups, is strong. 
Here are the advantages. First, it is possible to mobilize the executive branch to come to policy conclusion on something like immigration reform. It’s nearly impossible for Congress to lead us to a conclusion about anything. 
Second, executive branch officials are more sheltered from the interest groups than Congressional officials. 
Third, executive branch officials usually have more specialized knowledge than staffers on Capitol Hill and longer historical memories. 
Fourth, Congressional deliberations, to the extent they exist at all, are rooted in rigid political frameworks. Some agencies, especially places like the Office of Management and Budget, are reasonably removed from excessive partisanship. 
Fifth, executive branch officials, if they were liberated from rigid Congressional strictures, would have more discretion to respond to their screw-ups, like the Obamacare implementation. Finally, the nation can take it out on a president’s party when a president’s laws don’t work. That doesn’t happen in Congressional elections, where most have safe seats. …
It seems odd that at a time where the President is increasingly making use of executive orders and is being seen as moving progressively towards a monarchial or imperial form of rule, that the Times would be seeking more of it.
The US Constitution was designed to prevent the accumulation of power in any branch of government, something that has been eroded over the years.  Calling for a more despotic form of government is totally irresponsible.
While the NYT is essentially a liberal advocate and apologist rag which would tend to see more Obama as a good thing, it tends to forget that the Democrats do not have a permanent hold on the top job.  A good rough rule of thumb is; do not give your current Obama more power than you would like to see your next Bush wielding.

Jan 6, 2014

Council global warming planning decisions suffer court setback

Local authorities in Australia have been moving increasingly towards becoming another arm of big government, micro managing local affairs.  One area they have entered with gusto is including hat tips to big eco in planning decisions.
Woe betide any resident with a tree threatening his house that is deemed to be ‘of significant biodiversity value’.  Old houses that have gone through a number of evolutions in the last century must not change in any renovation beyond some time in the past deemed appropriate by cultural censors, and must not have anything modern done with them.
The latest plaything of councils is to plan for global warming induced sea level changes with building restrictions on waterfront property.
A recent court decision may provide some relief
A NSW judgment has castigated a local council that permitted a couple to build a house on a beachfront plot, on condition they tore it down in 20 years assuming UN predictions of sea-level rise and coastal erosion come true. 
NSW Land and Environment Court senior commissioner Tim Moore struck down the condition, saying in his judgment that Great Lakes Council had held a "Damoclean sword" over Greg and Lesley Newton, who had sought to build on a vacant block at Jimmys Beach on the mid-north coast of NSW. 
The judgment has been hailed by a lobby group representing coastal home owners in the region, who are facing similar "time-limited consents" based on dire UN International Panel on Climate Change predictions of rising sea levels. 
It comes when, as revealed by The Australian, the NSW government, infuriated that some coastal councils are unquestioningly adopting the IPCC predictions and imposing often severe planning restrictions, is preparing to issue instructions for them to apply common sense.It is a victory for the deputy mayor of Great Lakes Council, Len Roberts, who led a minority of councillors against a majority headed by Mayor Jan McWilliams who voted to impose the time-limited consent on the Newtons. 
Commissioner Moore struck down Condition 7 in the development approval, which was limited to a period of 20 years, at which point the owners would have to hire a consultant to re-examine coastal hazards. Unless the council decided sea-level change and coastal erosion were not developing as predicted, the owners would have to abandon the house. …
Council climate change planning decisions are based on the precautionary principle in the wake of the sort of climate modeling that inspired a group of climate scientists to get caught in Antarctic sea ice that according to modeling, wasn’t supposed to be there, costing millions for their rescue.
While it is reasonable to prevent residential building under known flood levels, it is idiotic to base decisions on what are essentially unproven theories promulgated by the same sort of people who were predicting a CO2 based ice age back in the 70s.
Much of the issue of building approvals could be handled by the private sector. In order to get finance to put up a building, it is first necessary to make the banks feel secure by having insurance.  If the owner cannot convince any company to issue a policy on the construction, it simply will not be built unless the proposer is able to pay for it and take the risk of losing it.

Jan 1, 2014

Queensland business calls for sun to be regulated

The lack of daylight saving in Queensland is something the south tends to find amusing, with lots of jokes about the extra sunshine fading the curtains and so forth.  The Goss Labor government introduced it way back, but was persuaded to hold a referendum on the issue in which it was soundly defeated.
Now the push is on, mainly from business and tourism to reintroduce it.
Daylight saving is a product of the rather quaint belief in the southern states that their governments have the power to regulate the time the sun rises and sets.  Witness the advertisement from Travel Victoria: 
"If you're planning to get the first rays of the morning sun on Queensland's Gold Coast, you'll need to ensure you're up at the unearthly hour of 4.47am on December 21,'' mocks Travel Victoria's website. "However, you can almost forget that evening BBQ in the sun, with darkness falling from 6.42pm.”
This assumes that, were the government up here to be as progressive as the Victorian one, the sun would rise an hour later as ordered at a much more convenient time for their people to shit the bed and get up and have breakfast.  It also ignores the fact that with the extra heat of our summers, most Queenslanders have the sense to wait till the sun goes down to have their barbeques under lights, (yes, we have electricity up here) in the cool of the evening.
The real problem for Qld business is not that the sun rises and sets too late, it is regulation of trading hours; something that they in the main have demanded.  You can’t after all allow that prick in competition with you start at an hour more conducive to trading with southern companies, nor have him put on a smaller skeleton staff to take orders after the regulated trading hours, in case he gets the drop on you.  Many businesses tend to regard a level playing field as one where all trade when, how, and where the government allows them.
Were trading hours to be deregulated, companies could chose their own hours according to need, pressure in infrastructure would be relieved with peak hours being extended, and the public could use their free will to make choices.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, Is the arrogance of those living in the more populous South East.  In a poll accompanying the report, more than 35% of those living there believe the whole state should be subjected to daylight saving even though it means an 8:30PM sunset for the West.  During the previous poll in 1992, there was an offer made to allow the SE corner to have daylight saving but for the rest to stay on Eastern Standard Time.  Businesses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast insisted that such a scheme would cause chaos and be unworkable.
After the referendum defeated DS time, they suddenly had a change of heart on that, but too late.  The reason they objected to the rest of Qld having EST was the possibility that businesses outside the SE corner might gain an advantage over them by being in the same time zone, whereas the South would have been an hour different.
The SE corner wants its cake and eat it too, but the rest of us should be obligated to provide it courtesy of big government.