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.

Nov 16, 2009

On the road again.

I'm off again to work. This time I am leaving you a music video from way back when.

The Four Preps were popular along time ago, and were one of those groups that had the ultimate college kids dream; releasing a world wide smash hit with "26 Miles."

One of their idiosyncrasies was novelty songs based on getting rid of other groups, and this one, "The Big Draft was one of them. Some of you will recognize the tunes as they take the piss out of them.

Another song in the same vein can be heard here.

Just what we need; more “master plans.”

Cartoon: Brookings, (Kelo House.)

In the wake of the Treveston Dam debacle the State Government says it will waive stamp duty charges and pay for legal fees under a buy back scheme for Mary Valley landowners. The normal rules had been waived so that tenant farmers and other former Mary Valley landowners could buy their land back at the same price they sold it for.

The affected former owners, or at least those who are in a position to take up the offer will greet this with some enthusiasm. I am however disgusted at the attitude of some who feel that they have been amply rewarded by the state with the purchase of their properties and don’t deserve any consideration with the new circumstances. These are people whose lives have been turned upside down since discovering that their property rights and security of tenure meant nothing if the state government had an idea.

The purchase of their land and homes was only “voluntary” from the point of view that they had the option of selling out or being forced off, by armed police if necessary.

One thorn in the side of this offer is the statement by Cr Engeman that he wants “a master plan for the Mary Valley that will benefit the whole of the Gympie region and will in turn create a jewel in the crown of southeast Queensland.” He wants the state government, Gympie Regional Council and the community to decide the future of the area, - you just can’t allow the residents and landowners do their own thing.

The Mary Valley will no doubt evolve in its own way in the future in its own time as the people of the area do their own thing without the need for “master plans” for turning it into some councilors image of what it should be. They have just suffered three and a half years of agony from Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh’s master plan for the area and I am sure they don’t need another one right now.

The local authority should get out of the way and let the people of the valley get on with their lives without the uncertainty of what some committee is likely to come up with.

What is it about elective positions that give people delusions of relevance?

“Let’s Hear the Terms before we Surrender.”

Cartoon: BY Ramirez.

By Viv Forbes at Carbon Sense "Opposing pollution of the atmosphere and the mind."

In the near future, some 20,000 people are going to descend on Copenhagen to negotiate the terms of surrender of the industrialised west to the United Nations.

Obviously no treaty is going to be “negotiated” by 20,000 people. Most are sightseers. Any negotiations will take place in secret meetings.

Every day it becomes more obvious that the PM and the Opposition Leader either do not know what is in the drafts already agreed, or they are concealing it from the parliament and the people.

The current Copenhagen draft, on which both Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are willing to “negotiate”, gives complete power over the Australian economy to a committee of unelected UN carbon regulators controlled by those claiming “climate compensation” from us.

This group will export our wealth ($7 billion per year), our jobs and our industries until Australia’s emissions per capita are equal to those in places like India, China and Brazil. There will be no change to global emissions and no benefits for global pollution or climate.

If we are unable to pauperise our economy quickly enough, and our usage of energy exceeds their nominated per capita carbon cap, they will impose draconian carbon taxes on the excess. “Cap-n-Tax” will become a stark reality for our children.

It is unbelievable that any Australian government or opposition could consider signing such a treaty without full disclosure of the surrender terms and the tax tribute obligations it will impose on the Australian people.

If our leaders are concerned about carbon emissions, they should insist on reducing our Copenhagen Footprint by sending just four observers - two from the Senate, two from the House of Representatives, all from different parties. Their brief would be to report in full to the Parliament, the States and the public on what is proposed – no signing of anything.

The likely long term consequences of this Trojan Horse being built in Copenhagen are so enormous that Australia should then hold a referendum on whether or not to surrender to the United Nations.

At the very least, the Senate MUST reject any Wong/Macfarlane compromise and insist on full disclosure of all draft treaties before Kevin Rudd seeks standing ovations at our expense in Copenhagen.

For an alarming discussion by Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt on what Kevin Rudd is secretly planning for us at Copenhagen see:

And for some good sense from a federal politician, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi.

For the treaty itself.

Skepticism Grows.

We are told there is a consensus on Global Warming. But the opposition to the alarmist case is so strong, and growing so swiftly, that Kevin Rudd was moved to devote much of a recent sixteen page speech to attacking “Climate Change Deniers”.

Opposition Growing to the Global Warming Alarmists. This is Kevin Rudd, PM of Australia, Address to the Lowy Institute:

“Climate change deniers are small in number, but they are too dangerous to be ignored. They are well resourced and well represented by political conservatives in many, many countries.”


“They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests.”

Maybe the PM was motivated by a poll in Queensland marginal seats that showed that 48% of people felt he was doing a bad job on Emissions Trading, compared to 34% that gave him a good rating. Some tiny minority!

Kevin Rudd said recently: "It's time to remove any polite veneer from this debate."

Jo Nova takes him at his word and responds on behalf of all slandered skeptics. Read Jo’s strong reply.

“Carbon Sense” also takes offence at his “vested interests” jibe. We all have a vested interest, especially all those with their hands in the government till seeking funds for things such as “Research into the effects of climate change on (fill in whatever you like here)”. For a “Carbon Sense” perspective on “vested interests."

A British sceptical journalist, Christopher Booker has been so moved by “The Real Climate Disaster” that he has written a book on how a handful of scientists who have pushed flawed theories on global warming for decades, now threaten to take us back to the Dark Ages. See:

Scare Stories, Bribery and Blackmail. 

Kevin Rudd is desperate for another standing ovation from the whole congregation in the Copenhagen Climate Cathedral.

To get that, he needs to exhibit a barrister’s trolley carrying the seven volumes and 1403 pages of the final Senate-approved version of the “Ration-N-Tax Scheme”. He will use two tactics to achieve that approval:

· A “scare-a-day” for the media. Hot buttons include drought, koalas, the Great Barrier Reef and coastal inundation. Expect more graphics from the government media and Rudd’s feted mates like Tim Flannery.

· Bribery and blackmail. The main target here is Barnaby Joyce and the Liberal dissidents. Rudd needs to encourage mass desertion of Barnaby’s supporters, the rural folk. That is what is behind the sudden decision to give some exemption to farmers.

Make sure your local candidate/senator knows you will be watching how he votes in this crucial Senate head-count. Here is some good advice from one of our members:

“I don't know where you live, but I beg you to get a list of the twelve Senators in your State.
Circulate that list to everyone you know who lives in your State. Ask them, beg them, just like I'm begging now, to telephone all of the Coalition Senators and let them know that you will be distressed or upset or worse if you hear that they vote for the CPRS Bill.
“WARNING Do not use abusive language - abusive phone calls do not get listed for that MP's attention. KEEP IT POLITE but make sure our message gets across and is recorded. Once that Senator receives more than 50 phone calls he/she will start to get a bit edgy. After 100 they start asking around the party hacks to see if it is universal.
“If you want to make a difference, make a phone call.”

“Then tell everyone you know and ask them to make probably about six telephone calls.
Yes, I rang my Liberal Senators about two weeks ago to leave my message. I also rang the ALP Senators to say that I had been in the ALP but if the CPRS bill is passed I will never rejoin. The light on the hill has gone out for me.

“Now, use your digits to find your Senators.”

And make sure you get active in the looming by-elections, and in all cases, vote for all skeptics and, if in doubt, “Throw the Incumbent Out”.

No Escape for Farmers

The Lib/Lab managers of the Cap-n-Tax Scheme have decided to give “permanent exemption to farmers”.

What rot! All they have done is exempted emissions from farm animals, which should never have been part of the scheme anyway.

But modern farms do not run on bullock teams and horse power – they run on diesel trucks and tractors, coal fired electricity and carbon based fuels for cars, helicopters and quad bikes. All of these will feel the increasing costs caused by carbon taxes.

Farmers also eat, and all food costs will rise. So will the costs of cement, timber and steel.

No matter what they say, there is no exemption for anyone. All will suffer equally, but some will be more equal than others.

Barnaby is right. The only safe option is to reject every version of the Ration-N-Tax Scheme they dream up.

“Carbon Sense” is a newsletter produced by the Carbon Sense Coalition, an Australian based organisation which opposes waste of resources, opposes pollution, and promotes the rational and sustainable use of carbon energy and carbon food.
Please spread “Carbon Sense” around.
For more information visit our web site at
Literary, financial or other contributions to help our cause are welcomed.

Japan achieves its 1940s wish.

It seems that Emperor Akihito has achieved his fathers ambition .

I really wish I could get those US channels so that I could watch Chris Mathews speculating on how many American lives could have been saved if FDR had just …….

But that was a different sort of President.

Nov 15, 2009

Chris Matthews - "Its not a crime to call Al-Qaida" …

Some time ago I did an article on Glen Beck claiming to be an emerging libertarian. The subject seemed to arouse some controversy and among the commentators. Among them was Patrick Joubert Conlon; a guy I have a lot of respect for, “It would be nice if Beck becomes libertarian but first he needs to become an adult.”

Checking him out on Youtube I found that I really didn’t really like what I was seeing, in fact if I were to try to describe him it would be difficult not to use the term "histrionic." I also considered him to be disingenuous, shallow, and he generally seemed to be over-acting. The following video however clearly indicates that he has a hell more going for him than his leftie competitors.

We have Chris (thrill up the leg) Mathews asking, "Its not a crime to call Al-Qaida, is it?" Matt Lauer not being egocentric, Evan Thomas, (Newsweek) letting us know that the worst aspect of the Fort Hood shootings is that it will inflame the right. I guess the right are not very PC about that sort of thing and find it hard to adopt an objective outlook on the deaths of thirteen soldiers. It takes the upper classes to recognize the really important things. Katie Couric wets herself over Al Gore.

Another in the series deals with Katie Couric wetting herself over the “dream team,” (Michelle and "Dear Leader"), Chris railing against right wing best-sellers, Ed Schultz making Beck look sane, (The Republicans want to kill you,) and Bill Clinton on the “vast right wing conspiracy.

The really worrying thing about these idiots is, that the White House sees them as the real news networks.

Meetings, the know nothings guide to looking good.

Click to enlarge.

I guess we all know the old saying, “ An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.”

This post is more about another one, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”

In this modern world committees are the way to go, after all that way the blame can be spread around, and if anything good ever comes out of it you can claim credit for it, especially if you called the group into being.

The following is from American Thinker:
The idea of a “summit” is typical of a community organizer mentality. Convene the stakeholders, let them vent about the problem, give a shout-out to those already engaged in efforts to address the problem, get at least one member of the “establishment” that caused the trauma to attend and be contrite, define a vague action plan, stress the need for the whole community to get actively involve, break into small groups to discuss the issues, put people’s thoughts on flip chart paper, have the break-out groups’ scribes report back to the larger group, be sure everyone signs their names and contact information on a clipboard, and then schedule a few interviews with the local media to exaggerate the outcomes of the event.

As the Summit ends in December, the room will be all a-buzz with optimism and bonhomie. Then nothing will change. It’s about feeling good, not doing good.
Dr Sanity has a great take on this phenomenon:
I have always thought that when you don't have a clue about what you are doing, the best way to disguise this is to call a meeting. Make sure you name it something big, important, and fancy--like a "December Jobs Summit" or something. It will delay the widespread appreciation of your ignorance.

December might well be a jobs trough, as opposed to a summit; but since the real reason for calling a meeting on the issue to disguise the fact that "the President hasn't got a clue how to grow the economy," it doesn't really matter.

Consider the following quotes:

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings." ~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

or, better yet, from one of my favorite thinkers:

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. ~Thomas Sowell

Or, the ultimate description, from Carl Jung:

A collection of a hundred Great brains makes one big fathead.

Nov 14, 2009

Angry Australian.

This should be listened to while reading "The Australian Letter of the Year." to put you in the mood. Those who have never had to deal with the Australian public service will probably consider the language a little intemperate.

Americans are probably too inherently polite to hold a discussion of this nature, and it would not happen in Europe. The Brits of course understand that their public service knows what's best for them.

Warning; Explicit language, (vulgar and biological.)

Interestingly I have encountered one private company which always made me feel a little like this, a hardware chain who had the most frustrating checkout system I have ever encountered. I was rather relieved when they computerized their system until I realized that nothing had changed except that they took extra time to type all of the stuff they still had to look up in the catalogues into the damn thing.

I once told one of their employees that I always make sure that I never eyeball anyone in their part of the street in case they had been in their store and were angry enough to be looking for a blue. Seriously it once took 16 minutes from the time I got served to finish buying the $5.20 pin punch I put on the counter.

Refugee Visas and confusion on victims.

Cartoon: Bill Leak.

Malcolm Turnbull is copping some flack on his statement that he wants to change the policy on refugees illegally entering the country by reintroducing temporary protection visas. Unlike those entering by legal channels, boat people would receive a "safe haven" visa would face having to return home to their country of origin if conditions there are deemed as safe. They would be able to work, but would not have family reunion rights and would not be able to claim welfare payments.

Rudd labeled the move as a "return to Howard government temporary protection visas" and said the visas did not stop asylum seekers coming to Australia. "Nearly 90 per cent of those people granted temporary protection visas under the Howard government were subsequently granted a permanent visa.”

He seems to have forgotten that under the Howard policy the boats stopped coming. Under the new enlightened Rudd policy we are witnessing an embarrassing four-week standoff in Indonesia where a boatload of ‘refugees’ is dictating to Australian authorities the terms under which they will accept refuge here.

Turnbull has a number of problems, not the least of which is his own incompetence, but is refreshing to see that he as leader isn’t the dumbest member of the party. That honor must surely go to Liberal backbencher Judith Troeth who insists the visa inflicts mental anguish on asylum seekers and is a backward step for Coalition policy.

"I'm sad and disappointed that we're going back to that style of visa because I believe it punishes the victims of people smuggling and not the perpetrators," she said.

Just why these people are victims in her mind is not explained. The people smugglers don’t kidnap these people and force them to get on the boats. The fact seems to be that the refugees seem to actually seek these people out and pay them substantial sums of money to join the voyage. Refugees are not the victims of people smugglers, they may be victims of oppression or whatever in their own countries, but the smugglers are to them simply people they enter into a commercial arrangement with to do something that is dangerous and illegal.

Nov 13, 2009

Traveston Crossing; Right decision; Wrong reasons.

Picture: Swamp News.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt.

“feasible or not, we will build this dam....”
Peter Beattie, as Qld Premier.

A decision by the federal environment minister, Peter Garret has put an end to a long saga in this area as to the building of the Traveston Crossing dam. The reason given was the risk to a number of rare endangered species, including the unique Australian lungfish, and the Mary River turtle.

In a generally misguided and incredibly stupid decision the state government decided to build a massive $1.8 billion dam in a shallow low lying area of the Mary River to supply water to Brisbane. It was to cover something like 20,000 acres to an average depth of 6 meters (20 feet). Thousands of acres of prime farmland were to be covered by very shallow water in full sunshine creating a massive evaporation problem, with a disproportionate heating factor when considered against dams built in suitable locations.

The Anna Bligh legacy to the state was to be a huge stinking algal swamp, poisoning the entire valley below it. In some ways given her economic management of the state this is appropriate. (In fairness she did tout it as the ‘greenest’ dam ever built.)

Among the costs of the project would have been the need to reroute massive amounts of infrastructure, including the power grid and the main North/South highway. The most significant cost though was the need to forcibly resume around 900 properties, which equates to the displacement of probably 2.5 – 3000 people. While this is not large by Chinese standards, it is pretty big for around here.

This is a prime example of the old adage that nobody's life liberty or property is safe while parliament is sitting. While property rights are generally secure from private encroachment, they have no security when the government invokes “the common good."

It seems incredible to me that in the long run the destruction of the Mary Valley was only averted due to the presence of some fish, turtles and frogs etc. I am not in any way attempting to denigrate those who led the campaign on these issues, indeed we would all be poorer for the extinction of these species, and these people promoted the issue that saved the day.

Congratulations to them on that.

It is shocking though that the enormous economic costs, social disruption, waste of resources, incredible stupidity of the concept, and the crushing psychological burden to the victims of this outrage, counted for nothing. Right up to the announcement of the decision the Premier was waging psychological warfare on landholders attempting to force them to sell.

The fact is that once the government jumps in any direction, no matter how misguided, there is no real protection for their victims or their property rights. Any reasonable analysis of the plan in the first place would have eliminated the idea as impractical simply on the basis of the impact of such a move on the population, and the destruction of large areas of valuable productive land. Those in government and their minions dismiss the rights of those who are in the line of fire, after all no ruling class ever viewed the plight of their victims with anything but contempt and scorn.

Those who made the decision to carry out this plan as well as those who followed up on its attempted implementation have to be some of the most callous people ever to walk the halls of power and influence since the Nazis. There is no room for this sort of action in a free society.

Nov 12, 2009

Rand Paul likely for Senate GOP nomination.

Reuters reports:

Bowling Green ophthalmologist and long-time taxpayer activist Rand Paul is leading the field for the Republican nomination for United States Senate, according to the latest poll results. The survey, conducted by ABC affiliate WHAS out of Louisville, shows Dr. Paul beating former frontrunner and beltway insider pick Trey Grayson 35-32 percent.
Today`s strong polling builds on more recent good news for Dr. Paul. Rand lead all Kentucky candidates, Democrat or Republican, in fundraising during the third quarter, pulling in over $1 million.
Rand is the son of Congressman Ron Paul and in the following clip appears to have strong leanings towards his fathers fiscal conservative libertarian brand of Republicanism.


It is interesting to note that his main Opponent Trey Grayson, is an establishment favorite and is now falling behind. Paul has reached out to senior Senator, Mitch McConnell and will be meeting with him shortly.

He is a political novice but has worked strongly with taxpayer groups over the years. His showing possibly is in line with a Rasmussen poll from about a month or so ago which indicated a strong feeling among Americans towards getting rid of a lot of incumbents in the Senate and House and getting new people in there.

The Tea Partiers have not gone away. This is a clear message to the GOP that the old party hacks no longer have a clear run.

Nov 11, 2009

“Snouts in the Carbon Trough.”

By Viv Forbes. Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition

A link to this statement:

Mr Rudd accuses opponents of his Ration-N-Tax Scheme of “bowing to vested interests”.

That is the pot calling the kettle black.

The biggest vested interest is the ALP itself, hoping to harvest Green preference votes from their green posturing.

Supporting the alarmists are the gaggle of green industries already reaping dividends from the Rudd subsidies and market protection rackets.

Mr Rudd also tells us that his big business mates want the “certainty” of Emissions Trading.

A roll call of these people reveals domination by big firms of auditors and accountants, bankers and brokers, speculators and solicitors, touts and traders - all longing to get into the biggest trading lottery the world has ever seen - more snouts in the carbon trough.

The rest of big business merely wants the “certainty” of free emission permits or other special exemptions denied to Joe the Plumber and Fred the Farmer.

Sceptics on the other hand do not have a mercenary army of academics, bureaucrats and publicists who can be bribed or bullied to produce scary climate forecasts or doomsdays ads on demand.

Nor do sceptics have the power to silence or sack dissidents in their ranks.

Nor do they have the pulpits and power of the UN which, having failed at “peace keeping”, sees “climate control” as its new business model.

The climate realists have only one big vested interest – the desire to live their lives free from the “certainty” of new taxes on everything they buy and new controls on everything they do.

This is not about global pollution or global warming – it is about global energy taxes, global government and global redistribution.

Opposition Leadership woes; climate change Chamberlains.

Cartoon by Nicholson.

I have had an extremely low opinion of the leader of the Australian opposition pretty much ever since he was elected to that position, however I have only just begun to realize that he is not on his own in his incompetence. Indeed he has ably surrounded himself with a front bench of hopeless cases whose main aim is to protect their own positions at the expense of the electorate.

I had not understood just how bad they were until Four Corners ran a program, “Malcolm and the Malcontents,” with Sarah Ferguson as compare. The link is to a transcript of the show, which highlights the divisions between the principled members of the opposition and those on the frontbench who aim to avoid an election at any cost.

Take this exchange for example:

SARAH FERGUSON: Like Britain's resurgent conservative opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull is convinced you can be conservative and green - out with old guard, and in with the new.

IAN MACFARLANE, MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES: Well Malcolm's shown, wants to show that we are a modern Party, it's part of the change, the evolution from John Howard to Malcolm Turnbull.
Just what the hell does supporting a massive tax hike that will disrupt Australian life and competitiveness have to do with modernity? It sounds a lot like we are being asked to become ecstatic about “Hope and Change!” The issue at hand is not the image of the Liberal Party, or Turnbulls perception of it but a stupid attempt by Rudd to big name himself on the international stage on an issue we cannot possibly have any beneficial impact on even if carbon emissions were a problem. Then we have this:
MALCOLM TURNBULL: If there was an election held in the near future and the polls remained where they were, we obviously wouldn't win. …..

SARAH FERGUSON: His closest allies supported his analysis then and do so now.

IAN MACFARLANE: Electorally difficult would be an understatement, I mean a double dissolution on this issue would be very hard for us in terms of an election to fight.
The whole crux of the matter from the Liberal front bench perspective is not what will benefit the Australian population as a whole, but protecting their seats in parliament. This is ably pointed out in the following exchange by some of the dissenters:
BILL HASSELL, FMR LEADER OF WA STATE LIBERAL PARTY: I never thought I'd live long enough to hear a federal leader suggest that he didn't want to take a stance because there might be an election.

NICK MINCHIN, SENATOR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE:: I've never felt that we should be constrained in examining this matter by fear of double dissolutions. …

SARAH FERGUSON: The calls for unity fell on deaf ears, the back bench was becoming increasingly bolshie about the prospect of negotiations with the Government before Copenhagen.

JULIAN MCGAURAN: The Liberal Party did have a position but it got messed up by a whole lot of nervous nellies on the front bench I should add, who just believed you know we've got to avoid an election, a double dissolution. They had this fit in their head, they've mucked up the politics for us all. They've mucked up our chance. They've almost made it self-fulfilling and to speak about it publicly is nothing short of dumb, it's a folly.
I have serious doubts that those members who are negotiating with Rudd in the hope of “Peace in our time” have any real belief in anything other than their own interests. It is unlikely from what I have seen so far that these people have addressed the issue from any other perspective other than what is to their own benefit, certainly the only issue they have raised is their own future.

If the warmist wing of the Liberal Party, attempt to dismiss the interests of Australia in order to secure their own future the party will suffer far worse consequences from doing so. By allowing Rudd to arrive in Copenhagen waving the Ration-N-Tax Scheme bill like some sort of Neville Chamberlain returning from his compromise with Hitler, Australians are being set up for economic disaster.

By compromising with Labor they are setting themselves up to take the blame.

Nov 10, 2009

Barnaby’s myth of “duopoly."

Cartoon; Not sure of the source, but anybody who has had to deal with government will identify with this.

I ruffled a few feathers on a website on a post by Senator Barnaby Joyce, “A Tale of Two Shops,” which he began with, “Where will Australia draw the line on what share of the market place the major retailers should have?” Generally I contend that in a competitive market place there is no room for the state to start dictating market share, the consumers will do that for you.

However Barnaby’s myth of an overpowering “duopoly” is still popular as can be seen in the “Courier Mail” today:

But University of NSW associate professor Frank Zumbo said comparing costs over 10 years eliminated variables such as currency movements or transport costs and exposed the country's "cosy" supermarket duopoly as the main reason.

"It is our market concentration which explains why our grocery prices are rising faster," he said.

Professor Zumbo said Coles and Woolworth’s had a combined market share of about 80 per cent.

While saner voices elsewhere are looking to other reasons such as actual government barriers to competition, often found in local government planning laws, drought and so on, the existence of Coles and Woolworth’s seem to be getting the most attention. Interestingly nobody has pointed to the inflationary effect of the diversion of hundreds of thousands of tons of foodstuffs into ethanol production at the behest of the state.

Recently on the SBS Insight program, “Going Shopping,” this issue was debated and some aspects of anti-competitive government were brought out by Graeme Samuel, Chairman of the ACCC and Craig Emerson, the Minister for small business. The transcript appears here, and seems reasonably complete although there was an item I don’t seem able to find.

Some of the more interesting comments were as follows:

GRAEME SAMUEL: No, it's not. What becomes of concern to us is if there are barriers to entry or expansion by other players. For example, until recently, there was a major barrier to expansion by the IGA group, by Franklins, by Aldi, indeed by Cosco in terms of locating site where they can open stores. Aldi has 200 stores in Australia, it says it wants to expand to 700 stores which is about the equivalent of what Coles and Woolworth’s have.

CRAIG EMERSON: …. But when you have such restrictions such as centers policy, which basically say the only place you can set up a retail outlet is in a big shopping centre and it's against the law to take on that competition anywhere else, that is anti-competitive. The effect of those laws is that it may be that it's Coles or Woolies who get into the major centers. Others want to take them on somewhere else where they don't want to pay the big rent and can't because it's against the law. Then you get people objecting to someone saying "I want to set up and provide some competition against a big guy or another guy or another girl" and they are not allowed to. I think that's very, very outdated and we should seek to free that up.

CRAIG EMERSON: Anti-competitive elements in the zoning laws. That is where people use the zoning laws, sometimes very frivolously to just object and object and object. This could be bigger players or smaller players, jam the system up. Some one might be saying I want to set up and take on this other outlet and they can't because it goes to court, there are appeals and it goes on and on. It is all nothing to do with amenity, with traffic management. It's all designed about someone who is there, saying, "I don't want competition". Who loses out of that? Consumers.

In other words while the government and the press blame the two main retailers in the country for the lack of competition it is mainly caused by the difficulties caused to potential competitors by their own idiotic interference in the market. The answer is not more regulation, the answer is for them to get the hell out of the way and let natural market forces sort the whole mess out.

Nov 8, 2009

Government Gas Wastrels.

Image: The Peoples Cube.

By Viv Forbes.

1. Government Gas Wastrels.

Four energy sources power most of our world – oil, coal, uranium and gas. These are the natural earth energy resources that provide heat, light, transportation and power for most homes, factories, farms, vehicles, engines and appliances (for Australia and New Zealand, cross out uranium).

Australia has huge buried resources of all of these fuels, and we lead the world in exploration, drilling and extraction technology.

So what could go wrong?

In just three words – stupid energy policies. Big Nanny must intervene in energy markets with ever changing rules on land tenure, investment policies, development conditions, restricted and no-go areas, market mandates, export embargos and discriminatory taxes and subsidies.

One of the worst examples of poor government policy in Australia today concerns the gas market.

The gas policies of federal and state governments could be major chapters of a text book entitled “How to Waste Energy Resources”.

Most of these stupid energy policies can be traced back to one universally corrupting source – the International Green campaign to control, ration and tax the usage of coal and oil, all under the cloak of hysteria about global warming.

Every government intervention in the energy markets creates temporary winners and long term losers. Naturally, the winners support the policy and the losers (usually consumers or taxpayers) do not realise what is happening until too late.

Who benefits?

Australian energy policies are full of contradictions, scientific stupidities and perverse consequences. They will result in massive misuse of energy resources, soaring electricity prices, closure and migration of energy intensive industries and supply interruptions for consumers.

As if that was not enough, the Queensland government is now considering gas export embargoes. Export embargos always assume that no new resources are discovered. They are always a self fulfilling prophecy. Few people bother to explore for something that cannot be sold. No exploration = no resources = no industry.

To recycle a truism of the Whitlam era:

“Any fool politician can bugger up Britain, but it takes real genius to bugger up Australia”.

Current Federal and State politicians are showing they have sufficient genius to bugger up the whole energy/electricity market, by encouraging overuse of gas, sterilisation of coal, prohibition of nuclear and mandated use of expensive unreliable wind and solar options.

All of our backbone industries rely on low energy costs to offset the low labour and other costs in Asia. Current energy policies threaten their existence.

Natural gas is a marvellous source of portable energy and also provides the feedstock for many other industries such as fertilisers, explosives and petro-chemicals. To deliberately encourage overuse and waste of this valuable natural resource on jobs better done by coal, hydro or nuclear power is energy vandalism, not Climate-Smart.

For more details on the whole sorry story of the Government Gas Wastrels, including the now forgotten history of the iron ore embargo (which was imposed in 1938 and delayed development of Australia’s iron ore export industry for over 20 years) get a print friendly pdf of the full article here:

And to read how they are turning off the lights in America see:

Skeptics in China.

Xiao Ziniu, director general of the Beijing Climate Centre, told the British Guardian newspaper recently that:

"There is no agreed conclusion about how much change is dangerous....Whether the climate turns warmer or cooler, there are both positive and negative effects....In Chinese history, there have been many periods warmer than today."

He disputed the disaster warnings of the UNIPCC, saying, "The accuracy of the prediction is very low because the climate is affected by many mechanisms we do not fully understand."

See here for full article:

2. Tide Turning in UK, Australia and USA.

Three straws in the wind:
· Britain is less concerned about global warming than any other country in the world. Just 15% worry about climate change, down from 26% last year. (Daily Telegraph 2/11/09).
· Australians also care less about climate change, and are more concerned about domestic issues and the financial crisis. The number “concerned” dropped by 14% in the last year – the largest drop among developed nations surveyed. (ABC News 2/11/09).
· There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the number of Americans in favour of aggressive action to curb US emissions - 35% now compared to 44% a year ago. (WSJ Environmental Capital 22/10/09)

“Carbon Sense” is a newsletter produced by the Carbon Sense Coalition, an Australian based organisation which opposes waste of resources, opposes pollution, and promotes the rational and sustainable use of carbon energy and carbon food.
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