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.

Apr 26, 2009

Agricultural Production and The State.

From "The peoples Cube."

I'm away for a week or so but I'll leave you with a letter by Ron Kitching.

It is generally well known that Argentina is blessed with some of the richest, flattest, best-watered land in the world. With these advantages under their feet, plenty of sunshine, and a rapidly expanding population around the world, agriculture on the pampas makes agriculture Argentina’s main revenue producer.

But like Australia, farmers are blessed by nature but cursed by politics.

Instead, in Argentina, the farmers go broke. Why? politicians and popular democracy. For every person on the pampas, there are 10 voters in the big city eager for other peoples' money. So, farmers pay 40% export tax on their products to the feds in Buenos Aires and as much as 30% more to their local governments. By the time the tax collectors are finished with them, they are out of business.

Now, in Australia, we have dark green influenced bureaucrats deciding that farmers can no longer clear land and put it into production. This of course prevents farmers from maximising production of their many and varied products.

Impediments to farmers activities occurred in Roman times. As Henry Hazlitt reported, it led to the phenomenon of agrica deserta. Farmers walked off their land as, instead of maintaining them and feeding the multitude, it became an impediment to their survival.

Pursuing the the ever anti-industrial green vote, the activities of the Federal and State government are rapidly moving Australia’s producers in the same direction as those in ancient Rome, Russia in Stalin’s time, and in Argentina today.

Apr 25, 2009

Anzac Day 2009

Bomana War Cemetery.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning 

We will remember them".

Jackie Chan head-kicks free societies.

Cartoon; by Ramirez.

Sometimes its just great to sit back, relax, and watch something you don’t have to think about too much while reading the paper or whatever, and martial arts films tend to fit the bill. I quite like Jackie Chan, he’s a great humorist, entertaining, not as cerebral as Chuck Norris (LOL), or as self-righteous as Steven Segal. Jackie always gives me the impression he is actually taking the piss out of the genre.

As a guy who has made his name and fortune in the free world one would expect him to support freedom, which has allowed him to get where he is. An item in Wall St. Journal indicates otherwise:

"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," he told an audience at a regional economic forum in southern China Saturday. "If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic." He continued: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."

Mr. Chan, a Hong-Kong born actor of "Rush Hour" fame, isn't the first to claim that Asians would rather have prosperity and stability than political freedoms. (Think Singapore.) This implies, wrongly, that Asians are somehow incapable of genuine self-rule and need to be "led" by their superiors. It also ignores the vast economic gains made by free nations compared with their authoritarian counterparts.

Mr. Chan has in the past spoken out against Beijing's massacre of democracy advocates in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. In recent years, however, the actor has softened his position on China's leadership. In 2004, he called Taiwan's presidential election a "joke," although he later apologized.

Mr. Chan's latest comments were denounced in Hong Kong and Taiwan. "It's really shameless," Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung said, "his success in Hong Kong was the product of the freedom of expression [here]." In Taiwan, Bi-Khim Hsiao, international affairs director for the Democratic Progressive Party, called the comments "counterproductive to all the efforts of the many freedom fighters around the region." Neither government dignified Mr. Chan's jabs with a formal response.

If Mr. Chan is really so gung-ho about China's political system, he might feel more comfortable living in Beijing or Shanghai than in say, Los Angeles, where he maintains a residence. It's a pity he won't be able to watch his own movies there; his most recent film, "Shinjuku Incident," didn't clear China's censors.
H/t The Agitator, "Freedom’s Just Another Word for Not Enough Control."
He reminds me of a conversation I had with a prominent Liberal Party identity in the 70s where I was explaining the difference between libertarian ideas and Liberal Party ones. The reply was, “If your ideas were implemented, then people would be able to do anything they like.” (It was meant as a criticism.)

People with these sorts of opinions naturally see it as control we can believe in, - where the sort of things they dislike and only those things are what is controlled, while the freedoms they like are left alone. Of course in a democracy there is that nasty aspect of the people electing parties who feel differently about just what controls are needed. That is why there needs to be a total rethink by both left and right along the lines of leaving freedom in the hands of the people.

It may be a little chaotic at times, but once you allow freedoms that you disapprove of to be overturned, the stage is set for someone else to overturn yours, and it is a damn site harder to retrieve those you have lost, after all your mob will be too busy inflicting some more of your prejudices on the other side to be bothered with minor details. The fact is that generally an incoming government will be reluctant to lose those powers that the other side gave themselves.

I notice that few Republicans are cheering on the current activities of the DHS, which seemed like such a good idea while they were in charge.

Apr 23, 2009

The Australian Letter of the Year.

Cartoon; (Possibly by Stan Cross.)

I assume this to be apocryphal. It was sent to me as a PDF of a newspaper clipping with no reference to its origin, however it has been posted on the web a few times and is outrageously funny. It purports to be a genuine letter, which was sent to the then DFAT Minister, Alexander Downer and the then Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone.

This may appear to be a bit over the top, but having dealt with government officialdom over a number of years, I know the feeling. I would have signed my name to it however; - I mean if you are going to put this much effort into communicating your frustration, you really want the recipient to know; “Yes its bloody me that’s saying this to you.”

We tend to be far more direct and outspoken than others when dealing with the sort of elected wanker who wouldn't otherwise get the full drift of what they were trying to communicate. …

Dear Minister,

I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.

How is it that K-Mart has my address and telephone number, and knows that I bought a Television Set and Golf Clubs from them back in 1997, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date? For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand?

My birth date you have in my Medicare information, and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 40 years. It is on my driver’s license, on the last eight passports I’ve ever had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that I’ve filled out every 5 years since 1966.

Also, would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Audrey, my Father’s name is Jack, and I’d be absolutely f***ing astounded if that ever changed between now and when I drop dead!!!…

I apologize, Mr. Minister. But I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you and me, I’ve had enough of all this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my f***ing address!! What the hell is going on with your mob? Have you got a gang of mindless Neanderthal arse-holes working there!

And another thing, look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I can’t even grow a beard for God’s sakes. I just want to go to New Zealand and see my new granddaughter. (Yes, my son interbred with a Kiwi girl). And would someone please tell me, why would you give a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a sheep or a horse, believe me, I sure as hell would not want to tell anyone!

Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the city, and get another f***ing copy of my birth certificate, and to part with another $80 for the privilege of accessing MY OWN INFORMATION!

Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot, to assist in the issuance of a new passport on the same day?? Nooooo.. That’d be too f***ing easy and makes far too much sense. You would much prefer to have us running all over the place like chickens with our f***ing heads cut off, and then having to find some high society wanker to confirm that it’s really me in the god-damn photo! You know the photo…the one where we’re not allowed to smile? …You f***ing morons

Signed - An Irate Australian Citizen.

P.S.: Remember what I said above about the picture, and getting someone in high-society to confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in this country since before 1850! In 1856, one of my forefathers took up arms with Peter Lalor. (You do remember the Eureka Stockade!!) I have also served in both the CMF and regular Army something over 30 years (I went to Vietnam in 1967), and still have high security clearances.

I’m also a personal friend of the president of the RSL. And Lt General Peter Cosgrove sends me a Christmas card each year.

However, your rules require that I have to get someone “important” to verify who I am; You know… someone like my doctor; WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN F***ING PAKISTAN!!!…A country where they either assassinate or hang their ex-Prime Ministers, and are suspended from the Commonwealth for not having the “right sort of government.”

You are all f***ing idiots.

No need for “Bikie Laws.”

Photo; The sort of people you find at bike rallies. (Sorry GW, I couldn't resist that.)

Queensland has joined the headlong rush for new laws targeting bikie gangs and members since the incident where a gang member was killed in a brawl at Sydney airport. Premier Anna Bligh said the Queensland Government would have the power to proscribe an organisation and then make membership of that organisation illegal, under the new legislation. The stampede by state governments began in South Australia and has steadily gathered momentum.

Fortunately there are voices of sanity speaking out, unfortunately they are not being listened to:

PROPOSED anti-bikie laws could push Queensland into a ''McCarthy-like witch hunt'' against law-abiding citizens, a prominent defence lawyer warns.
Brisbane criminal defence lawyer Tim Meehan said the State Government decision to implement anti-bikie laws smacked of a panic reaction to the current media and public focus on bikie gang behaviour.

Mr Meehan said the tough new laws could act against law-abiding citizens and legitimate businesses, drive the gangs underground and make them more dangerous.

''The headlines are all about a looming all-out bikie gang war in Australia, and that's exactly the environment which encourages McCarthyism. There's a real risk anyone who rides a motorbike will be labelled a bikie,'' he said.

He warned Queensland risks becoming like America of the 1950's when Senator Joseph McCarthy whipped up hysteria about communism and innocent people were wrongly accused of either being or even associating with communists.


The new Queensland Government is pulling a media stunt by threatening to crack down on bikie gangs, a Brisbane criminologist says. …

"Bikies may go to ground and perhaps shave off their beards and remove insignia which has happened in other countries where governments have tried to crack down on organised crime, but the effect won't last too long." ….

Dr Schloenhardt said he did not understand the "mad rush" to push anti-bikie laws through. An Australian parliamentary inquiry examining the best way to tackle organised crime groups had been under way for almost a year and was due to report its findings in mid-2009, he said. "I don't see why the states can't wait," he said.

Today we get the news:

Police say they have dismantled a major drug network with links to outlaw motorcycle gangs in South-East Queensland.

Officers today raided dozens of properties in Brisbane, Toowoomba and on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

They seized $500,000 in cash and drugs valued at more than $250,000. Restraint orders were also imposed on $2.6 million worth of property.

Thirty-six people have been charged with a total of 82 offences relating to the possession of drugs, money, firearms and clandestine laboratory equipment.

So, just why the hell, do we need new laws to deal with the outlaw element among motorbike clubs? Police appear to have struck a significant blow against these people just by enforcing existing laws. There are laws against all of the illegal acts of outlaw bikies as things stand now, so I am inclined to think the whole ‘new law’ thing is just grandstanding by legislators in order to be seen to be doing something about it.

The problem I have with the proposed laws is that in passing them, the government has given itself the right to impose blanket bans on entire organizations, and ban freedom of association, which is outrageous. Worse still, anyone who opposes this will be labeled as not caring about criminal violence. It is noticed that the LNP has jumped on the bandwagon and claiming that they thought of it first, which leaves the LDP as the only party in Queensland which is prepared to defend freedom.

Apr 19, 2009

The Crusade without a Cause.


This year will see the peak of Global Warming hysteria. Greens, politicians and those geared up to benefit from Cap-n-Tax “industries” see their benefactor escaping, so they will redouble their efforts. Scare forecasts, doctored data and underhand schemes will appear. They will compromise ANYTHING to get some sort of fabian carbon tax legislation on the books.

One of the underhand arguments they will use concerns “Pollution”. Everyone who opposes their Cap-n-Tax Crusade will be accused of supporting pollution. We need to expose this slur.

No sensible person supports pollution of our air, water or land. The biggest source of air pollution in our region comes not from power stations, cement plants, or burping cows. It comes from open fires, forest fires, cooking fires, stoves, rubbish fires, boilers and smelters with no pollution controls. The result is clear to all who fly over Asia – the Asian Brown Cloud of soot, ash, smog and noxious gases from dirty fires and obsolete plants. If we really had reducing pollution as our priority, Australia would be advising Asian countries on how to deliver heat and light by wire to Asian homes and factories with clean silent electricity. At one stroke, this would save the forests being cut for fire wood and boilers, and clear the polluted air.

The Cap-n-Tax Industry
“Americans will be willing to pay a tax for their children to be less threatened, breathe cleaner air and live in a more sustainable world with a stronger America. They are much less likely to support a firm in London, trading offsets from an electric utility in Boston, with a derivatives firm in New York, in order to help fund an aluminum smelter in Beijing - which is what cap-and trade is all about.” - - Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 8 April 2009 reported in TWTW by Fred Singer

“Cap-n-Tax is a Crusade without a Cause”.
By Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition.

The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill was promoted using two lies and would fail in the Senate because of two fatal flaws.

In a submission to the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, the Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the mis-named “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” had nothing to do with carbon or pollution - “these are two Orwellian lies dreamed up to generate public fear and loathing about a non-polluting harmless natural gas that sustains all life on earth”.

“The Cap-n-Tax Scheme is all about capping and taxing the production of carbon dioxide, a life-preserving plant food which has always been in the earth’s atmosphere, generally at concentrations far above the trace amounts present today. It is not a pollutant.

“Penny Wong’s Bill also has two fatal flaws which should ensure it will NEVER become law if the Senate operates as an effective House of Review and not just another room full of party hacks.

“The first fatal flaw is that this bill is not supported by independent scientific advice that proves that production of carbon dioxide drives global temperature. Judging from the number of scientists prepared to go public with their opinions, there are more prominent scientists opposing this idea than are supporting it.

“The second fatal flaw is that the government has not provided a detailed cost-benefit analysis, done by independent experts, to the standard required by any public corporation seeking to raise huge funds from an increasingly sceptical public.

“The government is demanding more stringent and transparent disclosure from private financial bodies. The Senate should thus insist that independent enquiries are held into the science and the cost-benefits of Cap-n-Tax before this flawed bill gets legislative support.

“All over the world, global warming alarmism has become a Crusade without a Cause. It is increasingly exposed as an agenda to transfer wealth, businesses, technology and jobs from Western taxpayers, shareholders and consumers to India, China and Africa, and to parasitic non-viable sink-holes such as solar and wind power.”

The detailed submission to the Senate from the Carbon Sense Coalition is entitled “Two Fatal Flaws”

Apr 18, 2009

Creatures of the state vs. tea parties.

Tea party rally.

Rasmussen has noted he current outrage over corporate welfare and financial bailouts and have decided to measure the difference between the views of what it calls the Political Class and those of Mainstream America.

They state; “The mainstream, or populist, view sees big government and big business as political allies rather than political opponents.” The assessment is done on the answers to three questions:
Preliminary results indicate that 55% of Americans can be classified on the populist or Mainstream side of the divide. Only seven percent (7%) side with the Political Class. When leaners are included, 75% lean in the Mainstream direction and 14% lean the other way. 
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of those on the populist side of the debate are Republicans, 36% are Democrats, and 27% are not affiliated with either major party.

Twenty-two percent (22%) of government employees are aligned with the Political Class along with just four percent (4%) of private sector workers.

The biggest surprise so far is that a plurality of the Political Class believes the economy is getting better while 66% of those in the Mainstream say it’s getting worse.
My guess is that a fairly disproportionately high percentage of that 4% of private sector workers who are ‘political class’ are from the media, who seem to believe they are included in government or are as important as it if not more so. Whatever it is the majority of them seem to slavishly follow the big government line. Perhaps narcissism draws its own alliances. Currently most of the media with the exception of Fox seem to be chasing their tails to paint the latest spate of “tea party” rallies as a tool of the Republicans, rather than a genuine grass-roots movement.

As a libertarian I am delighted at the thought of large numbers of US citizens protesting about the excesses of the state, my only regret being that it is not Australians as well. Placards bearing the Gadsden flag or wording such as “Liberty is the only stimulus we need,” are something I find stimulating. Some of the harder line libertarians however were rather suspicious of the possibility that it might just be big government Republicans blowing off froth.

A post in Libertarian Republican, reprinted from ‘Knappster’ was encouraging. Tom Knapp is about as hard line as it comes in the realm of anti-war libertarians, and not a man to be taken in by a Republican front. The gist was his views on the St. Louis Tea Party event, (astroturfing is the term used for fake grassroots activity organized from the top down normally by political parties.):
There's been a lot of rumor mill stuff about GOP "astro-turfing" of the Tea Party movement, but I saw nothing to indicate that the St. Louis event had been co-opted by any party machine. Most of the signs I saw were handmade and there were a diversity of agendas in evidence. "Fair" Taxers. Campaign For Liberty folks. Freelance "End the Fed" activists. Anti-cigarette-tax activists. Some Know-Nothings. Some "Bikers for Freedom." Various Libertarian Party and non-party libertarians.

Can't say I agreed with every message I saw being offered, but that's the thing -- this event was eclectic. There was no ideological uniformity to it, other than that the general mood was anti-tax, anti-big-spending, anti-bailout. If it was a GOP "astro-turf" attempt, it failed miserably. And I don't think it was ... the "official" event flier included a reading list recommending a book by Murray N. Rothbard. Not exactly Newt Gingrich/Sean Hannity material. I only saw one sign favorably mentioning Fox "News." I saw several that pointedly laid the blame for the economic implosion as much at Republican feet as at Democrat feet.

The only counter-protester I saw on site (I ran into a few more -- poseur-punk-commie types, you know the kind I'm talking about, probably suburban upper middle class kids trying to expiate their angst by acting poor and oppressed -- coming as I was going) was a guy wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and a facemask and carrying a sign that read "Tax the Rich -- Quit Whining and Pay Up." He was one of only two masked demonstrators I saw. The other one was wearing an Obama mask and smoking a cigarette ... I didn't catch his message.

The crowd was too big and too loud for me to hear much from the stage except during a facsimile of respectful silence during an opening prayer and the singing of the national anthem. The only significant snippet I caught was more anti-"astro-turfing" evidence -- something about liberty not being the possession of any party.

The event struck me as much more genuinely grass-roots than the mostly carefully orchestrated lefty events I've been to in St. Louis over the last nine years. If this at least semi-spontaneous uprising coalesces around a non-partisan (or at least non-"major"-party) populist agenda, it could mark a major shift in American politics. I'm not holding my breath, but I am holding out hope.
His later post “Long Dark Teatime of the State,” is also a great read.

Apr 17, 2009

John Stossel: consumer report on government.

I’ve had a hell of a week, Monday, about a foot of rain. Tuesday and Wednesday, flooded in and repairing the damage. A new job coming up and working to get things ready for it today and tomorrow really hasn’t left me much time to think.

I happened to run into a John Stossel series; “John Stossel goes to Washington,” in which he proves that many of the private alternatives to what are normally thought of as government preserves really work better and cheaper. A must for small government people.

The URLs for the other parts are as follows:

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

Part 6

Apr 13, 2009

Harry Reid and that voluntary tax code.

H/T Gayle.

I have seen some pretty odd statements in my time but Harry Reid takes the cake with this one where he claims that the US tax code is somehow voluntary.

“Well I don’t accept your phraseology, I don’t think we force people, ….. In fact quite the contrary, our system of governing is a voluntary tax system.”

My personal view of Reid is that his senility has moderated his derangement and is therefore somewhat beneficial to him, however I find it difficult to believe that even Harry has much faith in the accuracy of this statement. As an exercise in neo-socialist semantics it stinks, as there is simply no basis in any sort of factuality that it can hold onto to give it traction.

Still it seems to be the fashion lately, with this effort from the White House:

The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.

"It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Picture from “Atlas Shrugs.”

This freeze frame shows that the President was not performing a two-handed handshake.

To need to get that low even for a two handed hand shake, Abdullah would have to be a real "knuckle dragger."

Apr 11, 2009

Levi Johnson, a paid off spiv.

I have until now avoided comment on the Levi Johnson/ Bristol Palin break up, it’s a family matter and therefore private, or what passes for privacy in the ranks of the well known or well heeled. Regrettably that has ceased to be the case after recent developments in the media. The break up of the engagement was a non-issue to me as I personally feel that the reasons for the marriage were all wrong.

A couple of years ago I was at a barbecue and talking to one of my mates over a few beers, when he mentioned that his daughter was getting married the following day. After the usual good wishes he told me that she was eighteen and that he felt she was too young, and thought that she ‘had to’ get married. I mentioned that I thought it was a bad idea, as most guys in that situation end up thinking they were “trapped into marriage.” He replied, “Bloody hell, that’s right, I always felt like that.” It’s a pity, because until they separated I thought of them as a great couple who were made for each other.

The reason for my belief that it is a political issue is not simply that Levi Johnston is trashing Sarah and Bristol Palin on the Tyra Banks show, the female version of Jerry Springer, and anywhere else he can find someone to air his dribble. Toads like that exist outside the political world as well. If the show had paid him to do it, it would not be political, just a sleazy TV channel paying a slime ball to tell the sort of stories that the sort of people who watch it want to see.

The show however appears not to have paid him as Tyra Banks has denied compensating the family in any way for this trip. Bear in mind at this time, he did not go to New York alone, he was accompanied by his mother and sister. The estimated cost of the trip for three people plus accommodation would amount to at least ten thousand dollars, which is a lot for an unemployed kid to outlay, especially after buying his brand new red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Its doubtful as to whether his mother had the wherewithal to pay for it from her now shut down drug pushing operation; she has some heavy legal bills.

So where is the money coming from?

The only people who would derive benefit worth paying for this is, firstly the television channel, (already denied), and the political enemies of Palin, the left. The left has already shown the world that it is prepared to smear the Palin children in order to get at their mother, so this seems to be the logical choice in this case.

I am not claiming that Obama, Axelrod, and Emanuel are making direct payments to the Johnstons; I doubt they would be silly enough to keep such activities at less than arms length. They have bagmen for that so they can keep it deniable. There is an incredible amount of money out there for the purchase of political favors, particularly given the enormous amounts the government is tossing around at the moment.

What would to the Johnstons seem a large amount of money would be piffling to the sort of people looking for bailouts, or large slabs of pork. For these people a small investment in the Johnstons could be returned by the government many times over. Levi would be well advised to hold onto as much of his ill gotten gains as he can, after all this source of income is only available while he can deliver the sort of stuff that his paymasters can use, and that has a shelf life.

There is more on this subject at Ron Devito's blog, and at Draft Palin 2012

Apr 10, 2009

Experts in what aint so.

Goanna, not a fearsome creature.

Today’s Courier Mail carries a story of meat eating (or maybe man eating) goannas on Fraser Island terrorising tourists.

A TOURIST will soon be badly attacked by a goanna at Queensland tourist spot Fraser Island, an expert has warned. Fraser Island conservation consultant Mike West said dingo fencing has stopped wild dogs from reducing lizard numbers.

Goannas which can grow up to 2m in length are carnivores and their hefty tail can be dangerous when swung, much like a crocodile. Small children and dogs have been knocked down by such attacks.
Fraser Island is heavily populated with large goannas and they often hunt for food in groups.

"We're up to our armpits in bloody great big goannas at Kingfisher Bay and Eurong because there's no dingoes inside the fences to chase them off," said Mr. West. …

"I got chased by one and had to drop an Esky on it. It's the same problem as dingoes. They are not frightened of people.
"Are they going to start shooting goannas next? They've already shot kookaburras for pecking people and they are trying to trap a crocodile off Fraser.

Mr. West said the island's dingo fences were a failed experiment and should be abandoned.
Fences at Happy Valley and Eurong cost more than $750,000 while $150,000 was spent at Kingfisher Bay.
However, four of the past five dingo attacks had occurred immediately outside the enclosures.

A spokesman for Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the island's dingo management strategy was being reviewed.
The whole problem as far as I can see is that tourists have no idea of the characteristics of native wildlife, and tend to feed the nice animals, dramatically changing the basic instinctual relationship between them and man. Most of these tourists are townies who just haven’t got a clue. This article also indicates that the ‘expert’ really doesn’t know what he is talking about either.

OK, this is basic knowledge from an old bushie.

Goannas might grow to two metres on occasions, but four feet (1.2m) is generally a pretty big one. I have seen a hell of a lot of them in the bush over a long period and have not encountered any longer than this. Yes they are carnivorous, but mainly on carrion and small animals, frogs, other lizards, birds and so on that they may be able to get. They will take eggs and chicks out of nests. They are not aggressive, and do not hunt in packs.

Generally when in drilling camps we tended to welcome the presence of the odd big goanna around the place as they tend to discourage snakes from hanging around.

Dingos tend to leave goannas alone; they are just too good at fighting back if cornered and usually get up a tree too quickly anyway.

Once people start feeding these animals they develop the same sense of entitlement that the average leftie has, and tend to lose their fear of man. This is the cause of any problems that may occur, they expect to be fed and if food is not given then they will damn well take it. The dingo fences were put up at great expense to stop them attacking tourists. Removing them, again at presumably at more great expense would remove the safety barrier allowing people to relax inside without having the worry of having their children killed.

I have never encountered or heard of kookaburras attacking people. They are very docile birds, and can be downright friendly. I think this idiot may be mistaking them for magpies, although its difficult to see why as they are totally different in appearance. Magpies will swoop and peck people in the nesting season as they are very protective.

Apr 9, 2009

Previous misconduct by Stevens Prosecutor.

Ted Stevens.

A judge has dismissed charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens because of prosecutorial misconduct and has ordered a criminal contempt investigation of the prosecutors.

"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said during the ruling.

Those facing the criminal probe are the lead prosecutor Brenda Morris, the department's No. 2 corruption official, Public Integrity prosecutors Nicholas Marsh and Edward Sullivan, and Alaska federal prosecutors Joseph Bottini and James Goeke, and William Welch.

Brenda Morris appears to have previous form in this type of misconduct in Texas some years ago, in the Allan Brown case. Not only did the jury find Brown not guilty in less than an hour, but Brown sued and the government settled for 1.34 million dollars.

Some folks in Austin and San Antonio were likely not terribly surprised last week when Attorney General Eric Holder announced he would ask a federal judge to throw out the conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on corruption charges because of the misconduct of Justice Department prosecutors.

Brenda K. Morris, principal deputy chief of the Justice Department’s so-called Public Integrity Section, showed the same regard for legal ethics here.

The federal judge in the Stevens case held her and several of her subordinates in contempt of court and called their behavior “outrageous.”

A San Antonio federal judge expressed similar feelings about Morris and her team seven years ago.

The feds had obtained a search warrant to search the office and home of criminal defense attorney Alan Brown for evidence of tax cheating and money laundering, but U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled the search to be unconstitutional and barred prosecutors from using what they had collected.

In seeking the search warrant, Garcia ruled, investigators misled a U.S. magistrate by failing to disclose that their primary source, a former office manager for Brown named Kelly Houston, had fallen in love with one of Brown’s clients, a drug trafficker whose 18-year federal sentence she hoped to get reduced by turning on Brown. …
(Houston Chronicle)
I have fairly strong misgivings as to the integrity of Ted Stevens, however this whole debacle does nothing but cause a lack of confidence in the justice system, while at the same time not really reassuring us that Stephens is innocent. The one thing that the public can have confidence in is that there are some investigators out there who are prepared to call a stop to these actions. Otherwise it reads like the script of a bad movie.

According to Alaska Dispatch, the judge in the ‘Brown’ case has strong feelings as to how the matter should be dealt with:
"This is a prosecutor who needs to be removed, and I would hope the attorney general utilizes the same test of integrity as he did in the Stevens case," said U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, who ruled against Morris in Brown's case. "Though (the Brown case) is several years old, there is no statute of limitations on integrity."

Apr 7, 2009

Obama Hits the Skids.

Approval vs disapproval to weeks end.

An interesting message from the Libertarian Party today caused me to have a look around to find out where their additional support might be coming from:

I was in the middle of writing a great Message to you this afternoon about how first-time membership in the Libertarian Party has increased every month for the last three months and we’ve seen a 151 percent increase in new volunteers. People are excited about the Libertarian Party!
A check of Rasmussen revealed:

In March, the number of Democrats in the nation fell two percentage points while the number of Republicans fell by half-a-point. Democrats continue to have a sizable advantage in terms of partisan identification, but the advantage is smaller than it’s been since December 2007.

Currently, 38.7% of Americans say they are Democrats. That’s down from 40.8% a month ago. It’s also the first time the Democratic total has slipped below the 40% mark since the Republican convention bounce last September.

There is also a report indicating a consistent fall in the Obama popularity ratings. Rasmussen's Daily Presidential Approval poll shows a consistent trend. At this rate, the lines should cross by May and his disapproval rating will be higher than his approval. By the end of last week, Obama had his lowest rating yet in the poll. Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters strongly approve of his job performance, while 32% strongly disapprove.

Going the wrong way.

Worse still their national telephone survey found that 36% of voters believe the nation is heading in the right direction, while 57% believe the nation is heading down the wrong track. While this is an improvement on the latter half of the Bush Administration, it indicates that that Obama has not markedly improved that outlook.

Bad election result.

Ad: Obama supports Scott Murphy.

The results from the election in the 20th District congressional race for the seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand when she was appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace Hillary Clinton has gone badly for the Democrats with a virtual dead heat and the Republican challenger ahead at this stage. The Democratic National Committee and Obama invested a lot of political capital into the special election race, launching an ad Friday highlighting President Obama's recent endorsement of Democrat Scott Murphy:

"In the worst recession in a generation, upstate New Yorkers deserve someone with the right skills to represent them in Washington," says the ad's announcer. "That's why President Obama is supporting Scott Murphy for Congress.” Just prior to this Obama sent an Email to New York Democrats explicitly endorsing Murphy. Biden and other high profile Democrats have been active as well.

There are over 6,000 absentee votes to be counted as well as an unknown number of overseas and military votes to be counted, so the result could swing around somewhat before it is finalized. Anything short of a clear and decisive Democrat win will be a blow for Obama’s prestige, and that hasn’t happened.

Failure of Organizing for America, (OFA)

In January Obama announced that his supporters were being organized into a massive grass-roots movement to bring pressure to bear to have his agenda enacted. (Democrat grass-root organizations are done from the top down, to ensure they don’t get their own ideas.) The first effort was to collect “pledges” of support to pressure Congress to pass the budget. The result of mobilizing what he regarded as his “13 million-strong grass-roots network built during his presidential campaign,” was a grand total of 214,000 signatures nationwide.

The massive Email list developed during the election campaign was tapped, resulting in 114,000 signatures, or less than a 1% response. OFA claims 640,000 signatures, but they are misleading the public and deceiving themselves, by counting the three copies of each pledge, one for the signer's House member and another two for the state senators. (Washington Post)

At this rate, in four years Obama, apart from the damage he will have done in that time, will be well on his way to being little more than an unwelcome skid-mark on the undies of history.

Apr 5, 2009

Ron Kitching, “Freedom Fighter for Liberty,” turns 80.

In the battle of ideas, Ron Kitching deserves to be considered a libertarian war hero.
(Inspired by comment by GMB)

This is an early picture is of Ron, with John Campbell Miles discoverer of Mount Isa. (Click to Enlarge.)

Today is the 80th birthday of Ron Kitching, who I have had the good fortune to have known and been in contact with for what seems almost for ever. He has been an inspiration to myself and many others over the years, and has always struck me as a person who has freed his mind from the confines of the state and its thinking. Ron, for as long as I have known him has been a wealth of information on free enterprise economics, having studied the classical texts on the subject and is the author of one of the best books I have seen in the field, “Understanding Personal and Economic Liberty” 

While not a great fan of “Cattalaxy,” (they’re a bit highbrow for me, and I have to resort to the dictionary too much,) they did a great post on him:
Today I had the excellent fortune to meet Ron Kitching (left), life member of the Mont Pelerin Society and sponsor of Hayek’s month-long lecture tour to Australia in 1976. Ron is a Rockhampton local, with a lifetime’s experience in the mining industry, where he was a distinguished exploration drilling contractor. He still consults to the industry, but outside of his mining experience, he’s a genuine economic autodidact.

His interest in Hayek’s thought was piqued after his drilling business nearly went broke as a result of H.C Coombs’ 1960 credit squeeze. ‘Coombs’ legacy still pervades Australia,’ he says. ‘He managed to hold every PM he served under in thrall. Even Menzies’.

At first Ron was just irritated with the bureaucracy and regulation - particularly when the ATO was the only body to refuse to enter a deed of company arrangement. After a while, however, his irritation turned to a desire to find out how and why governments could regulate the economy to such an extent that an ostensibly booming industry (like mining) was reduced to penury. ….
I have posted many articles that are either by him, expanded from his Emails, or on things he has drawn my attention to. I owe him big time for this.

All the best Ron. I hope I can post on your 100th.

A Charlie Reese comment on Government.

1934 cartoon from the Chicago Tribune, there seems to be a remarkable similarity between the political leaders of then and now. (click to enlarge.)

I received this from Ron Kitching who I featured in the post above this. While this article deals with the US situation, it is still highly relevant for the rest of the world, and we should remember that it is us who put these people into office in the first place. We really have to do a bit more thinking on who we trust with such responsibility.

By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does..

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, theFederal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.

The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party.

She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red .

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible..

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees..

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

Missouri detains potential Ron Paul “Militia leader.”

“It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a 
dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which
 our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.”
 – Charles A. Beard

Chuck Baldwin, Ron Paul, and Bob Barr, are cleared of being 'militia leaders' in Missouri.

A recent report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC),"The Modern Militia Movement," people who supported candidates like Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr pose a risk of being militia members. "It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian material." The report also warns that other potential signals of militia involvement, are possession of the Gagsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag or the widely available anti-income tax film "America: Freedom to Fascism."

The report was withdrawn after it became an embarrassment to the state government and the three candidates received an apology, but not before it was distributed to law enforcement agencies, creating a prejudice in the minds of police and others against libertarians which does not stop when the distribution stops. Any law officer pulling over a person displaying any of the paraphernalia associated with those candidates or libertarian causes will be aware that the person is profiled as a potential threat and be more prepared to use deadly force than normal.

This action by MIAC constitutes reckless endangerment directed at the very people least likely to be a threat.

From The Agitator:
[Steve Bierfeldt,] … a director of Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty is detained by TSA at the St. Louis airport because when asked to explain why he’s carrying $4,700 in cash (it was proceeds from book and ticket sales at the conference), he asks the agents to tell him what law requires him to do so. He managed to surreptitiously record his conversations with TSA officers on a cell phone. The audio is infuriating.

Steve raises good points with the comments:
“Well, the first thing that was going through my head was, I have a limited knowledge of the law, was not to say something that would incriminate myself, and in addition to the cash, I was carrying Campaign for Liberty literature, and I was carrying Ron Paul bumper stickers. So I thought; these guys already know what I do and where I work, they are probably aware of the MIAC report, which you’ve covered, maybe I shouldn’t say something right away.”

“The report about a month ago, where law enforcement in Missouri sent out a … Email that said Ron Paul Supporters, and Campaign for Liberty supporters were maybe potential militia members or terrorists, so I was stuck in the one place in the country that I didn’t want to be in as a supporter of liberty, and the Campaign for Liberty.”

Apr 3, 2009

GOP Offers Alternative Budget.

Graph: variation of spending between Parties; (from WSJ.)

H/T “Alex.”

When a democratic nation proposes its budget it is generally normal for the opposition to propose an alternative one and this year in the US is no exception. That is no exception in that the Republicans have proposed one, but on the other hand the differences between the two are exceptionally stark this year. Paul D Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, has the details in the Wall St. Journal.

The GOP has in the past had a habit of trumpeting its principle of “fiscal conservatism,” in the bad times, yet seems to spend like drunken sailors when in power. So will it be any different this time? There is little doubt they would be an improvement on the current administration, which is spending amounts that are difficult to even comprehend, but that is not really good enough.

There are some promising signs in the willingness of some of the Governors to reject sections of the stimulus that will establish new or increased programs that will require large state contributions in the future. This takes considerable courage in the current circumstances, as most of the public will have some difficulty in understanding this. Acceptance though is bound to create the need for substantial tax hikes later.
(From WSJ)… America is placed in a special moment in our history -- brought about by the deep recession, Mr. Obama's ambitious agenda, and the pending fiscal tidal-wave of red ink brought forward by the looming insolvency of our entitlement programs. If this agenda comes to pass, it will mark this period in history as the moment America turned European.

House Republicans will offer an alternative plan. As the opposition party, we believe this moment must be met by offering the American people a different way forward -- one based on our belief that America is an exceptional nation, and we want to keep it that way. …. Rather than attempting to equalize the results of peoples' lives and micromanaging their affairs, we seek to preserve our system of protecting our natural rights and equalizing opportunity for all. …

Instead of doubling the debt in five years, and tripling it in 10, the Republican budget curbs the explosion in spending called for by the president and his party. Our plan halts the borrow-and-spend philosophy that brought about today's economic problems, and puts a stop to heaping ever-growing debt on future generations -- and it does so by controlling spending, not by raising taxes. The greatest difference lies in the size of government our budgets achieve over time (see nearby chart).
Some proposals:
Deficits/Debt. Lower deficits than the Democratic plan in every year, and by 2019 yields half the deficit proposed by the president. By doing so, we control government debt: Under our plan, debt held by the public is $3.6 trillion less during the budget period.

- Spending. Give priority to national defense and veterans' health care. Freeze all other discretionary spending for five years, allowing it to grow modestly after that. We also place all spending under a statutory spending cap backed up by tough budget enforcement.

- Energy. Our budget lays a firm foundation to position the U.S. to meet three important strategic energy goals: reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, deploying more clean and renewable energy sources free of greenhouse gas, and supporting economic growth. We do these things by rejecting the president's cap-and-trade scheme, by opening exploration on our nation's oil and gas fields, and by investing the proceeds in a new clean energy trust fund, infrastructure and further deficit reduction.

- Tax Reform. Our budget does not raise taxes, and makes permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax laws. In fact, we cut taxes and reform the tax system. Individuals can choose to pay their federal taxes under the existing code, or move to a highly simplified system that fits on a post card, with few deductions and two rates. Specifically, couples pay 10% on their first $100,000 in income (singles on $50,000) and 25% above that. Capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15%, and the death tax is repealed. …
On the business side, the budget permanently cuts the uncompetitive corporate income tax rate -- currently the second highest in the industrialized world -- to 25%. This puts American companies in a better position to lead in the global economy, promotes jobs here at home, and strengthens worker paychecks. …
This sounds reasonable as far as it goes. I would like to think they would pursue this however they will not have he chance until 2011, and then only if they can get their act together to the degree that the public will vote for them. Personally I feel that too many of them are sitting back, smugly thinking Obama will be so bad that the public will have to reject the Democrats.

Even if this were to happen, without serious reform the party would not last long in power. The problem with parties voted in because a government was voted out is that because they are in, they think they ‘got it right’ when in reality they were only the least worst option.

Apr 1, 2009

Celebration of Human Achievement.

I wish I had found this before the celebration of negativity that is Earth Hour, or Blackout Night. Blackout Night is a celebration by green zealots of the willingness of federal, state, and local authorities, as well as the bewildered, to cut power to all those (normally) brightly lit offices, and other monuments to themselves in order to demonstrate their submission. At least the public sector bewildered do it that way, the private sector bewildered turn off the lights at home and sit in the dark.

As for me; I joined in the other celebration, Human Achievement Hour:

Had I known this video was there I would have played it continuously at full volume for the entire hour, while reflecting on how far we have advanced in a remarkably short time, and especially since the American Revolution, proved that liberty was a viable philosophy and foundation for the modern state.

My message to humanity and especially those guilt ridden souls who have fallen under the influence of the drab grey messengers of doom from the greens, the left, the right, and all those followers of bizarre lines of thought that lead down the road to authoritarianism, is:

It’s OK to feel good about yourself.

H/T Dr. Sanity.