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.

Aug 31, 2011

Stage 1 of the Carbon Wars is almost over. Stage 2 is about to begin.

Cartoon: By Nate Beeler.

By Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition.

The Global Warming scare is dead. Both the science and the weather have killed it. All that is left is the hidden agenda to use the "pollution" lie to engineer new taxes and grasp total government control of all aspects of energy production and use. The Carbon Cops are set to ration, rule and tax our brave new world.

The ALP/Greens government is also doomed. No matter what they do, the next election will sweep this government away. The ALP will suffer greatly from their dalliance with the Greens, and the Greens will become inflated as they feed on the decaying ALP carcass. But in their dying frenzy, this government will rush through its main agenda. Their major goal will be to introduce their carbon tax and try to ensure that no future administration can remove it.

Therefore it is likely that in the next few weeks, the government will ram its carbon tax down our throats. That is when stage 2 of the Carbon Wars start in Australia.

We must ensure that the Climate Industry has no doubt that THIS CARBON TAX WILL BE REPEALED and all those parasites who have attached themselves to the carbon tax teats will wither away, speculators will lose their money and directors will face questions and legal action.

All the merchant banks, wind and gas speculators, consultants, auditors, carbon cops, carbon credit scammers, regulators and litigation lawyers already lining up for new jobs and big handouts need to be warned of the dangers and risks. They should be told now, that there will be no compensation when the whole package is repealed.

We will be told "It will cost us billions of dollars to repeal this legislation". Tough luck - it will cost far more to keep it.

The ideal solution is for the new government to promise to repeal the lot immediately, and do it. However, Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce will need a lot of support to keep the backbench (and some of the front bench) from going to water. Therefore our battle is to support the climate realists in the coalition ranks and in all minor parties.

And if immediate repeal is not possible, these tactics should be employed:

• Immediately reduce the carbon tax rate to zero.

• Announce that the government intends to flood the carbon market with emissions permits.

• Repeal all the subsidies, tax concessions and mandates supporting the climate change/green energy scams.

• Abolish the right to purchase carbon credits overseas (that way, at least some Australians will benefit from this scam.)

We must ensure that all of those poised to build shonky businesses in the carbon tax industry are warned clearly that we will never rest until this tax is repealed and the whole climate change industry is demolished without compensation. Directors who mislead or fail to inform shareholders and financiers of these risks should be subject to serious criticism, public exposure and legal action.

Gillard scores own goal; shoots Herself in foot doing it.

Cartoon: By Bill Leak.

Whoever termed the phrase; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” had never seriously pissed off a journalist.

Over the weekend a story began to emerge that Gillard was in trouble when Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog at the Herald Sun about 'a tip on something that may force Gillard to resign. He claimed, ''On Monday, I'm tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds.”

On Monday though, Bolt announced, “No politics until further notice. Principles to weigh up. Faith to keep. Sorry.” The Australian however published an opinion piece by journalist Glenn Milne on how Gillard had been unknowingly implicated in a "major union fraud" while she was working as a lawyer in Melbourne before she entered parliament. Apparently, as a solicitor acting on instructions, she had set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

Although the article stressed that there was no suggestion that Gillard knew about the origin of the money, Gillard made angry phone calls to The Australian's publisher, John Hartigan, and editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell after which the article was pulled. This was accompanied by an apology from the paper, saying that the allegations about Ms Gillard were untrue, and that no attempt had been made to contact her for comment before publication.

News Limited appears to have been adopting caution while it checked its legal position, but now seems to have cut Bolt loose in a report today:
The issue was her judgment in having a professional and romantic relationship with a man now exposed as a conman - and whether Gillard could afford scrutiny like this when she was already hopelessly tangled in defending backbencher Craig Thomson from allegations that, while he was the Health Services Union's secretary, his union credit card was used to withdraw $100,000 and pay for prostitutes.

Gillard's office hit the panic button. Gillard herself rang Hartigan on Saturday to check whether I or another News Limited journalist would be pursuing the story.

After calls were made to me and papers I write for, she was assured I was not. But I don't write for The Australian, which on Monday ran Milne's column.

Gillard, I'm told, went "ballistic" and "nuclear". She made "multiple" calls to Hartigan and also to The Australian's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, demanding an immediate retraction.

Normally, someone aggrieved would not be able to call the CEO of a newspaper and normally a newspaper would, on being alerted to an error, correct or remove only those parts of its report that were false or defamatory. …

You may blame News Limited for being weak, but never has it felt so politically vulnerable. Gillard had for weeks exploited Britain's News of the World phone hacking scandal to threaten News Limited with inquiries that might force it to sell some of its papers or address what the Greens called its "bias."

Like the News of the World, News Limited is part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, and Prime Minister Gillard, long seething at the critical coverage of her performance by The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, now claimed the Australian papers also had "serious questions to answer." …

You see, Gillard could have simply pointed out the errors and ridiculed the accusers as muckrakers. Instead, it appears as if she pulled strings and, with threats of inquiries and forced sales left hanging in the air, sought to shut down a debate. I thank News Limited for defying the Prime Minister and letting me write as I have above.

But be aware how endangered is our freedom to speak as we find, especially of this Prime Minister.
Gillard has probably brought down a great deal of wrath on her head by her over the top reaction to an article which did little more than question her judgment over a matter that occurred in the past. Something that could have been easily resolved has been compounded by her overreaction, and her misuse of power in attempting to prevent a fairly mild criticism from being published, even after the horse had bolted.

National leaders need to use sound judgment, not engage in histrionics.

Aug 30, 2011

"The Science is Settled" but the party rolls on.

Cartoon: Nate Beeler.

By Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition.

The Carbon Sense Coalition has called on the Australian and New Zealand governments to boycott the UN Global Warming talkfest planned for Durban later this year.

The Chairman of "Carbon Sense", Mr Viv Forbes, said that there was nothing useful left to discuss, so tax payers should be spared the costs.

"There are only two legitimate topics to debate in Durban – the science of global warming or the politics of the Kyoto agreement.

"Government climate mercenaries tell us at every opportunity "The science of global warming is settled". They refuse to debate climate realists. Thus, according to them, there is no science to debate at Durban.

"The politics of Kyoto alarmism is equally settled. No one outside the Green Empire in UK, Europe and the Anzacs will renew Kyoto.

"Developing economies in Africa, India and China are never going to agree to carbon taxes and rationing that damage the aspirations of their millions, many of whom still lack electricity. Others such as PNG, Indonesia and Brazil will participate only to the extent needed to rip off the gullible Green Empire by selling ephemeral "carbon credits" to them.

"Thus the Kyoto deal is dead and there is nothing there to discuss in Durban.

"Almost every western government is guilty of massive overspending. Australia and New Zealand should reduce government waste by sending NO ONE to the pointless party in Durban."

More reading: 

Kyoto goes up in smoke:

US Republicans seek to cease US funding for UN Climate Activities:

The Secret to the Global Warming Scam – 
Posh Anti-capitalism

See a thoughtful essay by Martin Durkin, maker of "The Great Global Warming Scam":

Wind Power runs out of Puff.

Suddenly consumers and tax payers are waking up to the false promises and huge costs of wind power.

In Ontario, Tories promise a wind farm moratorium and cut in subsidies: 

In Texas, wind power has become a standing joke:

Even in Europe, wind power reality is emerging. Here is a powerful statement from Roger Helmer, a British member of the European Parliament (reported in CCNet 26/8/11).
We must "Recognise that wind power implies building the same capacity twice over — once as gas-fired power stations to provide conventional back-up; and again, at far greater expense, for the wind turbines. Remember that the gas-fired back-up will run inefficiently, intermittently, as it responds to the vagaries of the wind, and that the gas-fired units will therefore be more expensive to run, and emit more CO2, than they need to be.

"The solution is staring us in the face: just build the gas-fired plants, and forget the wind. Gas is increasingly plentiful, and (if you care about such things) relatively low on CO2 emissions. Only gas will keep the lights on in the medium term. For the longer term, we need nuclear and coal.

Renewables may have a place at the margin, or in remote locations, but we should remember that wind turbines are garden ornaments, not power stations. As Shaun Spiers of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has remarked, wind turbines “risk becoming the redundant relics of our compulsion to do something”, even if the something is damaging and counter-productive."

Animal rights, the new feeding ground for lawyers.

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. – Ayn Rand

What ever happened to the good old days when idiots who came up with stupid ideas were laughed at or ignored? Now they usually have a substantial research grant and regarded as authorities on various subjects.

Some time ago the issue was raised here of an Australian research lecturer Dr John Hadley from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) calling for a system of land rights to be established for animals.

Hadley said under his proposal, particular animals would be given legal property rights, and human guardians would be appointed to represent them in court, claiming giving animals legal ownership of their habitat might be the key to protecting biodiversity. He said people who wanted to modify habitat on their property would have to negotiate with guardians through an independent tribunal before taking any action.

An episode of the ABC production, Landline, is quite revealing of the way lawyers are moving into animal litigation, which appears to be the new litigation area of the future:

SHAUN MURPHY, REPORTER: At the University of Sydney, these law students are learning about property trust for companion animals. But as part of their final-year elective, they'll also cover issues directly related to Australian agriculture.

CELESTE BLACK, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: We talk about the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and similar acts across the states. We look at free range - so standards for something to be technically called free range, and just used it as a bit of a comparison, talk about enforcement issues. We also are going to spend - because of the amount of interest in the issue, we're also going to spend a class looking at the live export.

SHAUN MURPHY: There are now nine Australian universities, soon to be 10, teaching animal law to the nation's future lawyers.

Interest in animal law extends well beyond Australia's university law schools. It's now a growing field of legal practice, with specialist law firms. There's even a former High Court judge now acting as patron of an animal rights group. It's early days yet, but it's going to have major implications for farming.

Peter Stevenson is a lawyer and lobbyist with Compassion in World Farming. He's been in Australia as a guest of the animal rights group Voiceless. At this lecture for the Law Society of New South Wales, he's explaining how the law has been used to drive major reforms in Europe, such as enshrining in law that farm animals be treated as sentient beings. …
What we appear to have here is the situation where lawyers have seen potential income in vast quantities coming from the area of animal activism and are moving in for the kill. Essentially they are riding the animal welfare extremism bandwagon to lobby for laws that will result in the sort of feeding frenzy that other litigatory areas have given them in the past.

Aug 29, 2011

Poll reveals desperate state of Australian politics.

Cartoon: By Zeg.

The latest Galaxy Poll of Queensland voters has few surprises but has a number of findings, which should disturb both major parties. On the basis of the latest figures here, the coalition should romp home, but are not happy with either party.

Labor has plumbed record lows, with only 23% of the primary vote, - not much better than a minor party, while the LNP is basking on 55%. On a two party preferred basis, the coalition has 55%. Kevin Rudd is the only federal Labor member with sufficient margin to hold his seat in this state, even Wayne Swan; the Treasurer would be tossed out.

Such a result would similar to the situation in 1975, where Bill Hayden was the only federal Labor representative left in Queensland. In the state election the year before Labor had been reduced to a cricket team of eleven members, something that may repeat itself in March.

Neither party can be comforted by the breakdown:
Labor is struggling with increasing voter anger about the perceived influence of the Greens and the independents. Almost a year after Ms Gillard secured backing from independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie to form a government, 56 per cent of Queensland voters said the minority government was "worse than expected." …

Almost two-thirds of voters - and 41 per cent of Labor voters - say the Greens have too much influence on the Government. In a similar poll in February, voters were split over whether the Greens had too much influence.

"The problem for the Federal Government is the growing sense of disillusionment with the minority government," Galaxy chief executive David Briggs said. Calls for an early election have increased, with 69 per cent of voters saying they want to elect a majority government.

But they also expressed dissatisfaction with both parties, with 60 per cent of Labor supporters and 66 per cent of LNP supporters saying their vote was determined by not wanting to see the other party in power rather than a liking for the candidate.
This clearly indicates, that nearly two thirds of the electorate holds such a negative view of the parties that their principal voting motivation is that the other side are worse than the one they support. This is reminiscent of the situation in 1977, where both parties were seen as so bad that each headed its advertisements with an image of the other party’s leader.

The Liberal Democratic Party, (LDP) could make significant gains from this situation, pulling votes from both Liberal and Labor. With the Greens being seen as authoritarian ideologues there is a strong chance voters will be seeking a party, which covers all issues across the spectrum and has new refreshing ideas. The LDP fits this bill.

Politicized DOJ in act of bastardry.

The Gibson Guitar Company has announced that Federal Department of Justice agents have raided it over the use of East Indian Rosewood in their products. The wood was legally imported, but is subject to a domestic law in India that requires the wood to be processed by Indians. The Indian Government was not involved.

This appears to be an effort to intimidate Republican donors. The CEO of Gibson is a donor to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), as well as a PAC. Meanwhile the CEO of their major competitor, CF Martin and Co is a Democrat donor and uses the exact same wood in many of their products, without incurring the ire of the Feds. This has to be a blatant act of political bastardry. From Landmark Report:

The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.

On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.

The fact that the government would issue warrants based on their interpretation of another country’s laws is laughable–and scary–in and of itself, but that they would demonize an American, non-unionized (coincidentally, I’m sure) company for something that isn’t even a crime (especially not in the American lawbooks) is a gross misjustice. Keep in mind that the Indian government itself wasn’t involved in the Gibson warrants and raid. …

It’s worth pointing out that Henry E. Juszkiewicz (Image above), Gibson’s Chief Executive Officer, is a donor to a couple of Republican politicians. According to the Open Secrets database, Juszkiewicz donated $2000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) last year, as well as $1500 each to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). …

One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars.

The Gibson facility wasn’t raided over allegations of tax evasion, charges of embezzlement, or even something as drab as child labor. Not even close. It was raided over what the DOJ deems an inability to follow a vague domestic trade law in India (one that apparently the Indian government didn’t seem too concerned about enforcing) regarding a specific type of wood. Not illegal wood, just wood with obscenely specific procedural guidelines.

Aug 28, 2011

Libertarian student routes anti Semitic fascists with FB event.

Counter protest organiser Danielle Keys. (Menzies House Image.)

For some time far left groups along with pro Palestinian and Green groups have been waging, what they call a “Palestinian Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign,” targeting Jewish businesses. One of their favorite targets is chocolate store Max Brenner, “to highlight the support of its parent company, the Strauss Group, for the Israeli military and its sale of chocolate to it.

Danielle Keys, a university student, who was appalled at seeing flyers being handed out for the protest, organized a counter protest as a Facebook event. This took off and counter protesters heavily outnumbered rentacrowd. She has placed a report on it at Menzies House:

When the Socialist Alliance marched down to Southbank they were not counting on being outnumbered by ordinary Australians telling them to go home and that their intolerance was not welcome. They quite seriously didn't bank on it and were very upset about it (ha-ha!). …
Image: Protest contained. Courtesy J Wire.

It was amazing to see the Socialist Alliance and Justice for Palestine outnumbered and placed into a nice little contained area. There were stacks of people and in particular many young people out to stand up against the Socialist Alliance. Unlike in other cities, the Socialist Alliance were kept away from the Max Brenner store (as they would have had to get through 10 police officers and 70 regular Australians who were fed up). Max Brenner Southbank was really busy and business was booming for them. We had random people off the street so disgusted by the Socialist Alliance that they went and bought some chocolate then stood with us.

This rabble of socialist sycophants were chanting about Max Brenner's support for genocide and how it has blood on it's hands. I found this particularly disturbing as Jewish people have been systematically persecuted and subjected to genocidal attacks for thousands of years. The conduct of the Socialist Alliance yesterday made it clear their attachment to violent, aggressive and fundamentally anti-Semitic behaviour.

We responded with many different chants and songs, but I think one of the most amazing ones was when a Max Brenner staff member came up to join us before his shift started and chanted about how he loves the company he works for. I was happy to give that guy the megaphone for a welcome break... everyone's vocal chords have taken a beating

As a young idealist and libertarian I got lost in the principled machinations of what is happening surrounding the BDS. What is really important for all people to remember is that there is a huge personal element to these things. Because ordinary Australians stood up and said no to the Socialist Alliance's intolerance and hatred, the Jewish community has felt a level of support that I am not sure they felt was there before. I've been invited to an event at a synagogue!
Editorial note: I had never heard of Max Brenner until encountering the Facebook event and have no idea what their product is like. I will make damn sure that the next time I am in Brisbane, I will go there and find out. The idiots of the left may just have boosted Brenner’s trade.

Carbon tax, Target local MPs.

The Liberals are finally waking up to the fact that it would only take one Labor member to cross the floor on the Carbon tax vote to defeat it. Abbott has urged opponents of the tax to target local MPs on the issue:

Mr. Abbott today addressed the Liberal state conference in Tasmania - where none of the five House of Representatives seats are held by the party - telling the crowd to vent their rage on local Labor MPs.

"The good people of Tasmania could persuade (independent) Andrew Wilkie that this is not in the interests of Tasmania," he said.

"But don't stop there. Dick Adams, Sid Sidebottom, the other Labor members of this state, they too are balance of power Members of Parliament, and if they decide that it is not in the interests of their constituents to have a carbon tax, there won't be a carbon tax.

"So, ladies and gentlemen, please appeal to them as Tasmanians - stop making excuses for a bad government in Canberra and start standing up for the interests of the people of Tasmania.”
He would be wasting his time on Wilkie, who while nominally independent is in reality a Green. Labor members may be susceptible to this tactic on the basis of wanting to hold their seats. Tasmania is a bit strange, but there are distinct possibilities in other states. In Queensland, which has thirty federal seats, it is estimated that on current polling, only Rudd would have sufficient margin to hold on.

While Labor rules mean that any member who crosses the floor is automatically expelled from the party, some members must be surely tempted. In Qld there are eight Labor members who will lose their seats over the issue and are therefore vulnerable. One of these is the Treasurer, Wayne Swan who has to stay with the sinking ship, but seven could choose self-preservation.

Senator Barnaby Joyce has been pushing this line for some time. He has pointed out to Labor members that it is survivable as he has crossed the floor on numerous occasions and is still there. He says, “people are not going to talk to you for a couple of years, but you'll get over that.” He has also mentioned that with all of those meals you get to eat on your own you get plenty of time for reflection.

This tactic could appeal to Labor members in mining seats who by crossing the floor may end up as heroes in their electorates and survive as independents.

Aug 27, 2011

Krugman spoof; why it worked.

Cartoon: By Eric Allie.

After the global warming induced alien invasion prediction I made the comment that satirists must be having a hard time keeping ahead of the idiotic stuff serious scientists were coming up with. It is, after all not that long ago that a post from The Onion on how they were closing down as current political decisions were too over the top to lampoon was taken seriously.

I was immediately proven wrong by a post from an old mate, which had me in stitches. Disclaimer: Humorous content, do not read after recent abdominal surgery.

A short time ago someone opened up a Google + account in the name of Paul Krugman and posted: “People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.” This caused an immediate wave of ridicule until it was exposed as a fraud.

Satire only works if it is believable and in Krugman’s case there are plenty of examples of similar thinking from him. In the clip below there are three examples, he accepts the ‘ditch cycle’ fallacy, the WW2 was a good thing lunacy, and claims a threat of alien invasion would cause beneficial activity.

H/t Hot Air.

We are all familiar with the broken window fallacy, but it appears that Krugman is either not aware of, or cannot see the argument.

On the brighter side, when Al Gore’s GW theory is exposed as the greatest scientific fraud since Piltdown man, and his Nobel has the same status as the Obama Peace Prize, he will be able to display the Krugman Medal for all of the jobs that will be created to reverse the damage done to economies around the world.

It is no wonder people were taken in.

Australian national debt tops $200 billion.

Cartoon: By Ramirez

It seems incredible in this age that the Khemlani affair, which set in motion the downfall of the Whitlam government, was over the attempted borrowing of US$4 billion. Back in 1975 though 4 Billion was thought of as big money. To give some idea of the comparative value, it was to be used to fund a number of natural resource and energy projects, a natural gas pipeline, the electrification of interstate railways and (oddly for Labor) a uranium enrichment plant.

It became a scandal owing to the use of backstreet dealers, the bypassing of treasury guidelines, and the secrecy involved, with the Minister for Minerals and Energy raising the loan independent of Treasury.

Now according to Barnaby Joyce the debt level is over $200 billion and moving rapidly upward:

Nation's debt tops $200 billion after Labor borrows $100 million per day
Congratulations Wayne (Swan) on your double century. We knew if you stayed at the crease long enough you would get there. Actually it didn’t take you long at all; you have been doing a "fine job".

I have always had "complete confidence" in your ability to give Australia its largest debt in history.

Today our nation's debt went over $200 billion for the first time ever. We borrowed $3.2 billion over the last week.

Our debt ceiling was $75 billion when this crowd got into government. On 11 March 2009, Wayne Swan invoked "special circumstances" to increase it to a "temporary" level of $200 billion. In the last budget the government has increased it permanently to $250 billion.

If we keep borrowing money like we borrowed last week, we might be able to give this latest ceiling a nudge.

This fiasco that is masquerading as a government has got to end. This relationship cannot go on.

If you go to you will see that your nation's "Total Commonwealth Government Securities on Issue" as of today sits at $200.242 billion.

The Labor party has increased our gross debt by $140 billion since they came to office in November 2007.

They have been in government for 1371 days and have therefore borrowed over $100 million per day.

There are 12.3 million taxpayers in Australia, so this government has borrowed an extra $11,000 on behalf of each of them.

"What have we got to show for this debt? Fluffy stuff in the ceiling, which burned down 190 homes and billions of dollars on school halls, which haven't made our kids any smarter. The debt didn't save us from a recession, record prices and record volumes of coal and iron ore exports did."

Aug 26, 2011

Carbon tax; BHP demands corporate welfare.

Kloppers seeks wider, deeper spot at the public trough.

Cartoon: By Zeg.

"In retrospect it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated!" - Alfred E. Neuman.

With the ink barely dry on the result of the 2010, “There will be no carbon tax under a …,” election, Marius Kloppers, head honcho at BHP Billiton, friend of the mining tax, and compulsive ‘certainty’ seeker, called for a carbon tax, just to give a bit of certainty, and to put Australia ahead of the pack.

Marius, for some reason was not able to see any certainty in not having a carbon tax so rather than oppose the idea, he opted to go for it. This can be likened to sending ships to help your enemy invade so you can be sure of the future. Now he has changed his mind on how good it is going to be and is demanding corporate welfare tart status:
JULIA Gillard is under mounting pressure to give exporters a special deal under her proposed carbon tax after BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers yesterday became the latest business leader to warn that Australia's go-it-alone approach would be a "dead weight" on high-polluting industries.

Mr. Kloppers, the head of the world's biggest mining company who last year championed putting a price on carbon, yesterday reinforced the company's support for action to cut carbon emissions but told The Australian the government's climate change measures should adopt a "sector-specific" or "mosaic" approach.
His objection in this case is not based on any rational principle other than self-preservation in the face of the results of his own advocacy. Essentially he still supports the concept of a costly job destroying new tax as long as BHP Billiton has a wide enough space at the deep end of the public trough.

Companies have a habit of going along with government policies while at the same time seeking special deals within legislation in order to insulate themselves from it. The result is a gravely distorted economy much of which is consumed by the churn of funds out of and back into the same areas, incurring administration costs along the way.

Kloppers is a symbol of this.

More on Labor’s Talking Points.

And here was I thinking of something along the lines of Julia with “Stand by your man” in the background.

In the post below we dealt with the talking points memo Labor is using to stick to the same script on the Thompson affair. Menzies House has found a video that really illustrates this:

Aug 25, 2011

Labor’s talking points, saving time for journos.

Cartoon: By Zeg.

Labor is sticking to the story that they still have ‘full confidence in the disgraced member for Dobell, Craig Thompson. They have to, after all they cling to power with a majority of one, and that one is Craig. He appears to not only have expensive tastes, but is stupid as well. Barnaby Joyce says:

“… someone has had some big nights out thanks to the good members of the Health Services Union. … both instantaneously looked at each other when we heard it on the tele and asked what on earth does one get for $2475? If I was that way inclined, I do not think I would be slapping it on the plastic for the secretary and the missus to read!”
To maintain the party line on the issues, Labor have produced a talking points memo on what questions to expect, and what answers to give to maintain the current truth as it stands for the present. All members have to do is memorize twelve pages of answers, and remember which questions they are applicable to. If asked for example:

About the Fair work Australia investigation, answer is:
Of course many people under investigation end up with nothing to answer for; or:
Its appropriate the investigation runs its course before I comment.
If its on the NSW ALP paying his legal fees, try:
Questions on the NSW ALP’s finances should be put to the NSW ALP.
If you have full confidence in Thompson, go for:
He is a dedicated member, working hard for Dobell.
If its allegations that Thompson lobbied Central Coast Group Training, to give his ex a job, use:
I’m not across the details, but I haven’t seen many weaker front pages in my time, or:
There are investigations under way, it’s proper to let them conclude, or:
(If pushed), His ex wife didn’t get the job, so there’s not much to talk about.
After four pages on Thompson, it moves onto what to say about Abbott, death of a soldier in Afghanistan, the carbon price, power prices and so on.

After it was realised that some of their members are not too bright, and taking the independents, Oakeshott, and Windsor into account, they had to come up with a better solution. What the backroom tacticians came up with was the brilliant ploy of leaking it to the press.

This eliminates the embarrassment of a member being asked whether he has confidence in Thompson, and giving the answer meant for, “What’s your opinion of Tony Abbott?” or vice versa. When you think about it, this solves a lot of problems as well as reducing the carbon footprint of reporters.

Now, instead of traveling to the various press conferences and having to find politicians to ask them questions, all they have to do is write in the politicians name, the question, and look up the answer; simple. For a really in depth investigation, they do the same only they write in multiple names.

Convoy of no Confidence participants upbeat.

Image: The left have accused the convoy of being part of the Tea Party. The people involved say they prefer something stronger than tea.

Contrary to some reports, the convoy protest did well. It garnered fantastic support among the towns and communities along the various routes, and some members have mentioned a very positive response among Canberra residents. Mentions of low numbers seem to be wrong as there were at least 1100 vehicles there and around 2,000 people, who it should be remembered travelled up to 5,000 kilometers to be there.

A number of government and Green politicians, (actually the same thing) made a number of derogatory remarks such as convoy of no consequence, and other disrespectful remarks, such as convoys of incontinence. This is to be expected from the sorts of arrogant authoritarian elitists who inhabit the government benches.

These people tend to regard the population of provincial areas with contempt, disdain and condescension until an election comes up, at which they become the real Australians out there and the backbone of our wide brown land or some other politically spun dribble.

There is an excellent report in “Accidently Outback,” on the success of the effort:

Here is a report direct from a participant:

The Convoy of no Confidence has been a remarkable success.
I was extremely proud to be part of the 2000 plus peaceful protest. It was an unprecedented military style logistical effort performed by 'Salt of the Earth" Australians and their many thousands of supporters along each of the 11 routes.

The commitment of the Convoy leaders and the hierarchy of the National Road Freighters Association was an inspiration. The strength of character to embark on this unknown venture showed the true courage of everyone's conviction despite the threat of failure and ridicule.

After our symbolic drive through the Parliamentary precinct we all gathered on the lawn for the official proceedings. There was a wide spectrum of speakers representing Large Industry, Small Business and Social Groups. While all political parties had an open invitation to speak, only various conservative coalition members responded. Our own Just Grounds members Senator Joyce and Williams gave memorable speeches, as did Bronwyn Bishop and Tony Abbott. Two outstanding young speakers were, Rashida Khan from the Northern Territory and Stuart Austin representing Australians Supporting Beef Farmers.

Due to a week of intense buildup and anticipation the Convoy had captured the imagination of the greater population. This was largely due to the wonderful support of the Talkback Radio across the country, which is the defacto people’s parliament. The leaders of this were the 2GB network - Alan Jones and Ray Hadley in Sydney, and Steve Price and Andrew Bolt in Melbourne. We sincerely thank them for their tremendous support. Alan Jones arrived from Sydney after doing his breakfast show of 3 hours and proceeded to MC for the next 5 hours without a break. I personally, will not hear a word against this man, as his commitment to results for our country is there for all to see.

The Convoy of No Confidence was labeled of no 'consequence' two hundred metres from where we were in the House of Representatives. This is an insult from a disgraceful government by a minister of no 'significance'.

It was resolved that we would not submit the 30 000 strong petition signatures on the day. Given the short timeframe and massive support all over the Australia along the way, we are going to continue gathering signatures with an aim of 1 million to be tabled by Senator Joyce in the parliament.

The community spirit that the Just Grounds members have shown was one of the bonds that made the Convoy a success. It eliminated the isolation and aided the organisers to communicate ideas into action right across Australia in a matter of weeks. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back.

Aug 24, 2011

Katter’s gay brother makes waves.

Cartoon: By Bill Leak.

Populist conservative politician Bob Katter has had his gay half brother plastered over the screens, and in print over the last day over the gay marriage issue. It is not all that common for the odd political rello to publicly disagree with an MP, but there have been few. Tim Costello, brother of former treasurer Peter, is one that comes to mind.

It is not uncommon in families for political disagreements to occur, most of us form our own opinions over time and these may not be the same as those of parents or siblings. When people take their political activities into parliament, traditionally families are considered off limits as far as attacks are concerned, a protocol, which is largely respected.

Bob was reported to have told an anti-gay rally at Parliament House in Canberra that the issue of gay marriage deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed and doesn't serve any serious treatment. While it is rather idiotic to be involved in anti-gay activities, Bob is entitled to his opinions. Generally there should be no laws criminalizing homosexuality specifically but apart from that the laws affecting the rest of the community should apply.

The issue of gay marriage is an irrelevance only brought to prominence by the state being involved in the process. Government really has no justifiable role to play in what is essentially a contractual matter between adults who wish to form this bond. Civil gay unions can be recognized, but whether they are seen as marriages within the wider community, should be left up to that community.

People who wish to cohabit should not be prevented from doing so. If they wish to consider their relationship a marriage they should be able to do so. If others wish to recognize this, good for them but there should be no compulsion to do so, nor should there be any compulsion for services to be carried out.

Marriage is more a matter of recognition rather than a service and a ticket from the state.

Convoys of No Confidence, libertarian conspiracy: The Drum.

The Convoy of No Confidence has made its protest and will by now, be on the road home. Have a safe trip and thank you to those hundreds of people who, disillusioned with the lies, profligacy, mismanagement, and taxing ways of the Gillard government, drove up to 5,000 kilometers to Canberra in order to make their feelings known.

While there has been some positive reporting, much of the media seems to have concentrated on the negative government response, and in some cases have concentrated their efforts on interviewing some of the fringe elements present, such as the CEC.

Some time back, the Australian public broadcaster, the ABC launched its online forum, “The Drum Unhinged,” to provide a platform for their regular left wing contributors who were too batshit crazy for their regular ABC Online forum. To be fair, Drum also publishes material from right wing masochists to entertain those of their regular readers who are into blood sports.

According to The Drum, Convoys of No Confidence go beyond extremist right wing fascist opponents of the carbon tax who refuse to acknowledge the infinite wisdom of Dear Leader Julia. 
Their intrepid investigative reporter, Ramon Glazov claims to have exposed them as tea-bagging astroturfers duped by the 'libertarian' Just Grounds Community, and inspired by the evil Koch brothers. The glowing reports from the Murdoch 'hate media' don’t fool Ramon:

But is something darker going on? As I examined the convoys myself (as part of an investigative report for US magazine, eXiled Online) I found some disturbing unanswered questions that media sources, centre-left and centre-right alike, have shied from touching.

Firstly, is the Convoy of No Confidence just another Astroturf group - a fake grassroots organisation - much like the Tea Party groups in the US organised with funding from the Koch Brothers.

Reading the Just Ground Community forums - the libertarian website where the Convoys were first organised - you'll notice something strange. The threads with instructions on how to join your local convoy have very few comments, most of which are written by the organisers themselves. There are a total of 11 routes to Canberra, each one departing from a different city in Australia. You'd expect these threads to be full of god-speeds, count-me-ins and dumb itinerary questions, but there are hardly any of those. …

The same names keep appearing: Cate Stuart, Julene Haack, Matt Thompson, Janet Thompson, Anna Hetherington-Grego. It didn't matter if you were reading the thread for Convoy #6 (Perth) or Convoy #10 (New South Wales) or Convoy #5 (Brisbane). The organisers always spent more time communicating with Convoy leaders in other states than with the angry locals who were supposedly lining up to join their protest. …

This seems suspiciously close to how "Astroturf" organisations in the US are arranged: the actual backbone of the group is a tiny nucleus of organisers, individuals with close ties to corporate-sponsored think tanks. These organisers send call-outs to the public, and a larger nebula appears, mostly composed of casual one-timers who know nothing about the organizers. …
The whole thing is standard leftist, tinfoil hat, Koch Bros conspiracy, boilerplate about pseudo angry mobs, creating the perception that these supporters exist, corporate-sponsored event organizers, supporters being unpaid extras, manmade-climate-change-denier Jo Nova, global-warming denial group once sponsored by Exxon-Mobil and the Koch Brothers, and so on. He also claims there is evidence that blockades form a major part of the convoy movement's “libertarian ideology.”

A first hand look at the Just Grounds community reveals little to do with libertarianism, and a lot to do with conservatism. It appears that the author could not bring himself to believe that any group of people could actually disagree with Gillard, even those he perceives as the great unwashed knuckle draggers from out in flyover country. That is of course, unless the minions of the Koch’s such as Allan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Jo Nova, the Cato Institute, Menzies House, and Just Grounds lead them astray.

Disclaimer: Jim Fryar works in the mining and exploration industries, but is not in receipt of any grants from the Koch’s, not even in unmarked brown paper bags passed under the table. He states though, that he would be willing to sell out all of his principles to them for the right sized financial inducement, especially if it were to include an air conditioned office with a couple of attractive research assistants.

Aug 23, 2011

Department of Money Giving?

Image: Daily Cuteness.

Some time ago, I mentioned that people in foreign lands who share a surname with me have really rotten luck, in fact lethal luck. Some time ago I received what is the third notification of someone with my surname meeting with a fatal accident in a far off land, after depositing a large sum of money in a financial institution, while being intestate.

Having a great deal of concern for my unrelated namesakes, I thought to do a post advising them to:

(a) Change their name before travelling overseas:
(b) Don’t deposit tens of millions in foreign banks, thus tempting fate. And:

(c) Make a will, so your family can benefit.

This morning I had the incredible good fortune to be contacted by the Department of Money Giving, who wish to deposit $3,680 in my account. It seems to be one of the more secretive government departments, as I find they are unlisted on the government website. But hey, it’s probably something to do with Julia wanting to stimulate the economy.

At present though, I am still arranging things with the African princess who wants a relationship with me and to share the $23 million her father left her, and my multimillion dollar winnings from the London Lottery, which I don’t remember buying a ticket in.

Because of these matters, I haven’t the time to deal with piddling amounts. Rather than waste the opportunity, I have put them in touch with my Nigerian banker who looks after all my financial stuff. The only problem with him is he gets damn hard to get in touch with, especially since collecting those fifty crates of gold bars and jewels from that New York bank on my behalf and losing the consignment note.

Brown; Convoys of No Confidence a failure.

Failed to cause massive disruption.

While the press seems to be concentrating on negatives in covering the arrival of the Convoy of No Confidence in the Federal government, the truth is at variance with this. While most concentrated on the procession of around 200 trucks vans cars etc, the ABC let the cat out of the bag, with a report, that another 150 trucks had moved through unescorted.

Five convoys were already in Canberra, having arrived the previous night. In addition busses arrived from Sydney. Darryl Pedersen, leader of convoy 2 was provided us with an estimate of 6-700 vehicles, which seems more consistent with the figures coming out earlier.

Mick Pattel, the organizer, maintained it was just going to be too difficult, even with 60 vehicles behind you it was incredibly hard to manage in terms of getting parking, in terms of getting fuel, getting food. We realised that we could actually collapse in on ourselves just by the sheer weight of numbers, and by the time we got to Canberra I really think it would have been a mess," he said.

Greens Leader Bob Brown says the convoy has been a failure, as it hasn't blockaded anything. "But it has got the moaners brigade in town and to whinge about everything in general and nothing in particular it seems. That's their right.”

The reality is that there was never any intention of blockading anything or of causing inconvenience to anyone. Bob is from the narcissistic left, which believes in throwing tantrums and trying to prevent people from going about their lawful business.

Vitriolic Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said Mr. Pattel was an extremist who referred to world government on his website. Mr. Albanese should not dismiss the threat of world government so quickly, given that he is clinging to government with the help of Bob Brown. Bob has called for a world government and has been adamant that the best thing for all of us is another layer of politicians and bureaucrats superimposed on the ones we already have.

Albanese, also referred to them as The Convoy of No Consequence. “The Convoy of No Consequence, Mr Speaker. The Convoy of No Consequence, where a coupla hundred people gathered with no support from the mainstream organisations, the people who believe in one world government.”

The convoy has widespread support in the wider community, and people prepared to drive several thousand kilometers at their own expense deserve more respect than this. The very fact that the frustration in regional Australia has reached this height is an indication that Albanese and his mates should be listening, rather than repeating leftist boilerplate.

Tony Abbott, said the protesters comprised "salt-of-the-earth Australians who feel they are being ripped off by a bad government."

He said the Prime Minister today should meet representatives of the convoy, some of whom had travelled from Perth, Cairns and Darwin. "You have to have a reasonable dialogue with the Australian people and this is part of the Prime Minister's problem," Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio yesterday from one of the trucks.

Kudos to Tony for traveling into Canberra with a convoy.

Aug 22, 2011

Gillard, leading the party of the damned to destruction.

Cartoon: By Bill Leak.

Leading a minority government is an art form, requiring the ability to form an alliance of disparate groups, giving them enough to guarantee their support, but not enough to subvert your own agenda. When the other parties it is mooted with are reasonable, there is a chance of success. It is also necessary to secure a decent working margin.

Gillard had failed on both counts. In her negotiations, she not only had to make a deal with the extremist Greens, but also a group of obsessive independents who are unable to see beyond their personal obsessions towards the bigger picture. To compound this, at the end of the process, she ended with a fragile majority of one. This brings us to the Thompson affair.

Craig Thompson, a Labor member, is chairman of parliament's economics committee. After revelations that his union credit card was used to pay for prostitutes, engagement of escorts, and substantial cash advances, he sued, had to drop the case and borrow between $90 – 150,000 from the Labor Party to meet his legal bills.

He has claimed that someone else used his card and $15,000 was repaid by someone else in relation to this. It has now been revealed that the money referred to, has nothing to do with the money paid was nothing to do with this transaction. Meanwhile his claims have been further undermined with revelations that the signature was his, his mobile phone was used to do the booking, and his driver’s license was used as verification. Here is Barnaby Joyce on this:

Gillard faces two choices. She do the principled thing and sack him from his committee, relegate him to the back benches and prepare to sack him. It seems though that she will do the second, which is to tie the party to Thompson until the situation becomes untenable. At that point she loses her majority and goes to election with the carcass of Thompson strapped to her leg.

Given that any election is likely to result in a situation where the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate, thus making the country effectively ungovernable, she needs to do a deal with the Liberals. In such a deal, rather than just go to an election, a double dissolution should be the aim. In such a deal, the two parties need to swap preferences ahead of the Greens, in order to marginalize them.

Much of the current trouble was caused by both parties preferencing the Greens, which resulted in them getting a disparate representation in the Senate. Labor is screwed regardless of what it does. It would be a far, far better thing to do, to create the situation where the nation may rid itself of obsessive’s and move on toa brighter future.

Aug 21, 2011

Australian polls; Labor leader, Gillard 12% support, Liberals Turnbull 11%.

Cartoon: By Nicholson.

The only Labor figure who can take any comfort from the latest polls released today is former PM, Kevin Rudd. His comfort may only result in a little smugness, as the Labor Party would find it a total humiliation to replace Gillard with the man they unceremoniously dumped in her favor a little more than a year ago.

Essential Media poll, which is conducted weekly, found that Mr. Rudd was the preferred Labor leader by 37 per cent of voters. Rudd may be getting a sympathy bounce, some of which is residual from his ousting as well as from his recent open-heart surgery. He may also be gaining from the fact that during his convalescence, little has been heard from him.

Disturbingly for Gillard, who came second, with 12% support, she was only one point ahead of the former Liberal Party opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull (11%) to lead the Labor party. The margin of error for the poll was not given, but one percent would be well within it.

Turnbull should not rush into a party switch as most of his support is probably from Liberal Party supporters who would like rid of him. These people may remember how ineffective he was as Opposition leader and believe he could do the same for Labor. Mal is probably the current biggest threat to the Liberals election prospects, given his desire to knife Abbott if he gets the chance.

Rudd was the favored Labor leader among 43 per cent of the voters who identified as ALP supporters, compared with 31 per cent support for Gillard.

A Galaxy poll of 2000 people, commissioned by Australian Coal Association, shows Labor's primary vote has remained at 31 per cent nationally. This is roughly the same result as from the regular Newspolls, which have Labor on around the 30% mark. For this reason, those on the left who wish to use “coal industry” to discredit it, don’t have a feather to fly with.

Labor is also between a rock and a hard place over the Thompson affair. If they dump him they lose government, and are in the invidious position of having to suffer electoral damage from chaining themselves to the carcass of a member whose explanations have been discredited.

Aug 20, 2011

Paul Ryan to run?

This clip is on speculation that Rep Paul Ryan may be considering a run for the White House. While Reps moving to the Presidency is a rare phenomenon, this race has the potential for results from outside the usual box. The Tea Party and the desire of Americans for fiscal responsibility has come to the fore:

Ryan’s ideas for the campaign, a debate between the Obama vision of a cradle to grave welfare state, and his own ideas of an opportunity based society, could be a game changer. Ryan has credibility after presenting his ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget proposal, which is still the only serious attempt to make real efforts to control spending and bring debt under control.

While the Dems and their MSNBC propaganda wing will no doubt claim that the number of candidates is an indication of a divided party, it is more likely an indication that more potential contenders are prepared to take the plunge against a doomed President. There is nothing in a marketplace of competing ideas that is unhealthy.

2012 looks like a wild ride.

Coldest Period of the last 10,000 years & Convoy news>

Thank goodness for the modern warming era.

From, Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition.

"We live in the coldest period of the last 10.000 years," says glaciologist, Jørgen Peder Steffensen who takes us back in time to the Greenland ice cores and reveals the secrets from the past:

Viv also draws our attention to a poll being run by the Canberra Times on support for the Convoys of No Confidence. This is interesting, as they editorialized against them yesterday. The results currently are:
Yes, I support their concerns and how they are bringing them to Government's attention: 56.1%
Yes, public protest is a right in a democracy but they should try to minimise their impact on Canberrans: 19.4%
No, I disagree with their views and how they are expressing them: 24.5%
As the organizers have bent over backwards to cooperate with the authorities to avoid disruption, this can be assumed to mean that 75.5% support, and 24.5% against. This is a great result, given that it is taken in the area most affected by the convoys. People from provincial areas are smart enough to know that you don’t gain influence by making a nuisance of yourself.

Convoys of no confidence: News #2.

There is not a great deal of news at present on the convoys other than towns making preparations for their arrival. Just a couple of items:

Win News report on Convoy 2.

An update from Convoy one, via “Stop Gillards Carbon Tax:”

Reader Kate reports on the progress of the Convoy of No Confidence, on its way to Canberra from 11 parts of Australia:
We have just had a message from our son who is co-driving a truck from Charters Towers to Canberra.

On their way through Clermont this morning the convoy were presented with a donation of $13,000.00 to help with the cost of fuel!! Now that is passing the hat around, particularly for a town of less than 2000 people.
Barnaby Joyce has made a statement of support:
I would like to offer my support to those travelling to Canberra for the convoy of no confidence rally next week. I hope everyone takes their time and has a safe trip.

The Australian people everywhere you go are starting to have one retort and it is this – can you please get rid of them?

Whether it’s the secretary at the doctor’s surgery, the taxi driver, the lady behind the till, or the person standing next to you in the queue, they are no longer surprised by just how totally and utterly incompetent the government is.

The convoy of no confidence is the inevitable consequence of a population that is just sick to the back teeth on what is happening to their country.

They are not nasty, they just want them gone. These people are a mere expression of what the majority are feeling. They are regular truck drivers, regular people who are making a political point. They are driving to Canberra to ask the government to do the decent thing and go to an election. It is like when a relationship breaks down and now the Australian people are saying they want out, or more to the point they want the government out. …

Aug 19, 2011

Global warming induced alien invasion warning; NASA.

Pentagon orders 300 million Slim Whitman albums.

Cartoon: By Ramirez.

H/t: Australian Climate Madness.

In a statement believed to be related to the overuse of tinfoil hats NASA and Pen State scientists suggest that, in the future aliens, angry with the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth might wipe us out to save the planet:

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by scientists at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilizations.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.
The Australian Minister for climate change was not available for comment today, but a spokesman for the department made the following statement:

“We at the DCC take every alarmist warning very seriously, especially if it improves the chances of a carbon tax being passed.” He added, “These are eminent scientists who have done a peer reviewed study, the science is settled, so all them fascist, right wing, teabagging, knuckle dragging, climate deniers just have to accept it, treasonous bastards.”

The Prime Ministers office has declined to rule out the possibility of using images of Al Gore in a three cornered hat, riding toward Lexington shouting, “The aliens are coming,” in their next $12 million ad campaign.

Update: Nasa has backed away from this and claim that the scientist is only an associate.
Perhaps an explanation of that position would be appropriate. It should be explained how this got peer review and publication in the journal of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Owing to the ridicule this has gained, the odds of it making its way into the next IPCC report are probably only 50/50.

"Whats Up With That," has more details.

Protest Convoy: Canberra Times chucks a hissy fit.

Cartoon: Zeg illustrates the relationship between parliament and the people.

The Canberra Times seems a little confused over their attitude towards the Convoys descending on the town from all parts of the nation. In a report mentioned in the post below, on routes for the Convoy of No Confidence being altered to lessen the inconvenience for towns along the route, the following was said:

“Another route change involves a convoy deciding to travel directly to Canberra rather than stopping off in Marulan as originally planned on Sunday night. Convoy leader Ken Wilkie said the change was made due to concerns from the Australian Federal Police about traffic congestion for Canberra workers on Monday morning.”
Despite the clear indication in their own report that there was an effort to minimize inconvenience for the population, the editor threw a wobbly over the inconvenience of it all. Perhaps he should look at the inconvenience or, perhaps bloody minded destructiveness inflicted on Australians by Federal parliament that has driven hard working people to this sort of peaceful action.

Note: In the excerpt below there are frequent references to the term, “Canberrans,” which may cause some confusion. Wikipedia explains: “A resident of Canberra is known as a "Canberran."

This is presumably a word from the local ACT dialect which roughly translates to whatever term the reader normally uses to describe these people, although it lacks some of the subtle nuances and inferences contained in real world Australian terminology. Levity aside, here it is:
But before their show of disgust at politicians ''out of touch'' with the common man, organizers appear set to unleash traffic congestion across Canberra by having large semi-trailer rigs converge on the capital from all points of the compass. They may deny this will be the effect, but it is hard to envisage anything other than extensive traffic delays if the territory's main roads are flooded by up to 11 convoys of slow-moving trucks, utilities and camper vans during morning rush hour.

This apparent disregard for the rights of Canberrans to go about their business unimpeded by disruptive demonstrations suggests the organizers are as out of touch with reality as the politicians they seek to lambast.

For years, Canberrans laboured under the handicap of being equated collectively and individually with the Federal Government and federal Parliament - despite the fact that the politicians and their staffers comprise only a small subset of this city's social and business character. Indeed, with the exception of the territory's four representatives, no politician even deigns to live here except when Parliament is sitting. That people continue to believe this is a city of fat cat bureaucrats and self-interested politicians (even after two decades of self-government) shows insular thinking and blinkered viewpoints are not the sole province of our politicians.

If a desire for maximum media coverage is understandable, it should not be at the expense of ordinary Canberrans going about their daily business. Convoy organizers should rethink their plans to invade Canberra's roads or, failing that, show proper cause as to why they should not be barred by police from impeding or disrupting traffic.
Well, how about that. It seems to an outsider looking in, quite reasonable that they should have, “laboured under the handicap of being equated collectively and individually with the Federal Government and federal Parliament,” sob, shudder. Lets face it, if that area had not been chosen for the national capital, it would still be a bloody good sheep run, which was probably a better and more economical use for it.

Of course it is equated with “the Federal Government and federal Parliament,” after all, that’s the only reason it exists.

Aug 18, 2011

Convoys of No Confidence; News.

The leaders of the various groups within the overall convoy are rather busy, and difficult to get hold of. For this reason it is difficult to get first hand news. The routes of the groups on the road at present involve long distance driving and as such it is probably best to let them get on with it.

Currently, there is a report from Darryl Pederson from Convoy 2, (Cairns). He reports that they have reached Charters Towers, which has closed the main drag off for a celebratory street parade. He counted 75 vehicles at Cardwell but more have been joining in along the route. He is unable to say how many are present now, but the showgrounds where they are camping are packed full.

In a round up of news from around the country, the Katherine Times reports:
A Convoy of more than 100 vehicles - including road trains, campervans and utes - rolled into Katherine last night to show their support for the Convoy of no Confidence, a convoy heading to Canberra to raise a voice against recent government decisions.

Rashida Khan, who led a trail of vehicles from Darwin to Katherine yesterday, said she was on her way to Canberra to speak up for "some of the toughest people" she knows, who "have been pushed to the edge by the decision to ban live export." "And I don't know how much further you can push these people," Ms Khan said.

"It is time to make Australia and the government aware of what is happening to the people who were used to work from sunrise to sunset to muster their cattle, to breed for live export, to truck their animals across the country.”

The 23-year-old animal nutritionist, who comes from a background of cattle and land management, said she was "stunned" by the support the Convoy of no Confidence had received along the way from Darwin to Katherine.
The Sydney Morning Herald Reports:
About 50 people in 23 trucks, vans and cars joined the convoy that left Perth's Belmont racecourse early on Thursday. …

Signs on the sides of the Perth protest vehicles read "Election now", "Axe the Tax" and in reference to the Gillard government, "Wouldn't trust you to run a chook raffle.” One woman held up a sign depicting Ms Gillard as a redback spider weaving a "web of deceit."

Janet Thompson, organiser of the Perth convoy, said it was a movement of people concerned about over-regulation. She said she feared the carbon tax would become "a huge, huge bureaucratic nightmare."

Perth truck driver Gordon Crawford said Labor wasn't running the country and Ms Gillard had been "puppetised" by Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown who was "way too radical."
The Canberra Times reports on route changes:
Several of the 11 routes for the Convoy of No Confidence have been altered to lessen the inconvenience for towns along the route as drivers travel to the Monday rally. The 300-strong village of Wallendbeen is one of the late additions to the list of convoy pit-stops.

Owner of the Wallendbeen Hotel Kerry Murphy said she was informed about a week ago, but was still unclear on the details of the Sunday night stop-over. ''We don't know how many people are coming yet,'' she said. ''It started with 200 but now its up to 3000 ...

Mrs Murphy said a number of locals had offered to pitch in by hosting barbecues and working behind the bar.

Another route change involves a convoy deciding to travel directly to Canberra rather than stopping off in Marulan as originally planned on Sunday night. Convoy leader Ken Wilkie said the change was made due to concerns from the Australian Federal Police about traffic congestion for Canberra workers on Monday morning.
The people doing this trip are highly motivated and determined. They would have to be given the huge distances being traveled. Some of the truckers estimate their fuel costs to be in the order of $4-7,000, which they are meeting out of their own pockets. This is not something they do frivolously, they have to have a damn good reason; and have. We wish them a safe trip and to be heard.

Scandal may bring down Gillard government.

It has been mentioned here before that with the Gillard government clinging precariously to power with the aid of the Greens and a motley mob of eccentric independents by only one seat, we are a heartbeat, scandal, or floor crossing away from a change of government.

It looks like we have the scandal.

Labor member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, a former Health Services Union national secretary, launched a defamation action against Fairfax Media after it revealed that his union credit card was used to procure the services of prostitutes, pay for escort services, cash advances, and to finance his political campaign. Ultimately, he had to drop the case, incurring legal bills of around $90,000.

He has understandably denied the initial allegations, however his mobile phone was used to contact the service provider and his driver's license was used to verify the payments. He has since claimed that his signature was forged, but media reports indicate that handwriting experts disagree and photo identification was used by the provider for the verification.

As if the scandal itself was not enough, the next problem for Labor was that this bill had the potential to bankrupt him, a situation that would make him ineligible to sit in parliament. This is where a cover-up comes into play.

It appears that the NSW branch of the Labor Party has gifted and loaned him a sum of at least $90,000 with several reports that it was considerably more than that. The information became available after he updated the register of members' interests yesterday to include “a sum of money,” well after the allowable 28 day time limit for making such a declaration.

The PM, Julia Gillard now appears implicated, not as an escort, but in the decision to give him the money. Interestingly, she has sort of denied it but in the terminology of “refusing to rule out having a role in the NSW Labor Party's decision to spend more than $90,000 to help Mr. Thomson avoid bankruptcy:

Asked when Ms Gillard first knew about the bailout or whether she had discussed it with the MP, the PM's office said: "We do not as a general rule provide comment on private discussions between MPs and the Prime Minister or her office.”

Ms Gillard claimed there had been "no detailed discussions" with Mr. Thomson on the matter but did not deny there had been discussions or detailed discussions with her office.
Labor will probably try to tough it out, they can’t afford to do otherwise. It is not certain if he will be forced to resign, but this is gathering steam, and has the stink of corruption all over it.