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.

Jan 31, 2012

Canberra riot; Labor answers raise more questions.

Cartoon: By Pickering.

As Labor tries to distance itself from the embarrassment of the botched attempt by party functionaries to paint Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as a racist with a riot aimed at him, the spin becomes more obvious, even to journalists and the parties statements raise more questions.

Sacked media advisor Tony Hodges admits that he was attempting to have a couple of tent embassy personal confront Abbott over a statement earlier in the day. What seems clear is that Labor attempted to embarrass him by creating a situation where he was to be accused of racism by Aborigines at an Australia Day function in the presence of the PM. So much for Bipartisanship. After this things got out of hand:

The statement by Abbott was innocuous in response to an ABC journalist asking him on the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy if it was still relevant:

“Look, I can understand why the Tent Embassy was established all those years ago. I think a lot has changed for the better since then. We had the historic apology just a few years ago, one of the genuine achievements of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. We had the proposal, which is currently for national consideration to recognize indigenous people in the Constitution. I think the indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian and yes, I think a lot has changed since then and I think it probably is time to move on from that.”
Gillard maintains that Hodges did not embellish the story and did nothing wrong, but this does not explain his sacking nor why Abbott’s statement somehow got misconstrued to mean he wanted the tent embassy bulldozed into the ground and the inhabitants dispersed.

The Aboriginal community has suffered a serious setback from the PR perspective over this issue and has good reason to believe that they were set up on this issue. This does not excuse the behavior on display here. The correct response would have been to contact Abbott’s office and request a meeting to discuss the issue rather than confront him en masse.

The type of conduct during this event will lose the Aboriginal cause a lot of public sympathy. Intemperate conduct is generally not tolerated other than on the left of the divide, where it is encouraged owing to the apparent belief in those circles that the people they pay lip service to are brainless to the point where they are only capable of acting according to the emotion of the moment and are incapable of coherent thought.

Advice to Aboriginal people; stop proving them right.

Jan 18, 2012

Press leads our 'cultural cringe'

Most Australians other than the self-styled cultural elite are pretty comfortable with who they are and don’t give a damn if others dislike it. On the other hand there are the breast-beating pompous prats who have a vision of excellence for us, which they firmly believe we should abide by to give the right image of the nation and its people to others. Governments are very fond of telling us what Australians ought to be.

The rest of us are fairly accustomed to the reality that our leaders are ashamed of us and feel we don’t deserve them and couldn’t care less about their discomfort. There are though, a small proportion of suck-ups who aspire to present an approved image. Leading the charge among these is the press, which tends to find every criticism of us justified.

As an example, the rather sycophantic Malcolm Conn of the Herald Sun had the following to say about the Perth Test Match drinking incident:

IT'S been confirmed to many millions of Indians that Australians are a bunch of drunks. (Awwwwww)

Just hours after India captain MS Dhoni made the spurious claim that Australia’s players concocted stories about his divided team over a few beers, India television showed a dozen WACA staff drinking on the Test pitch.

Australians it seems will drink anytime anywhere without any respect or regard. Is there anything more sacred or central to a Test match than the pitch on the evening before the match? And there they were, half of them sitting, half of them standing in the middle of the WACA wicket before a match that could well decide the series.

What an insult to Test cricket and the visiting Indian team. Perception is reality and this is now reality to a significant chunk of the largest and most powerful cricket nation in the world.
The reality is that the WACA staff were having their traditional pre match drinks when the curator decided to do a final inspection of the wicket. They walked out to watch the process and were filmed by Indian television. The Indian media tend to be extremely sanctimonious about Australians and thus, it hit the fan.

While it is desirable that respect be proffered to residents of other countries where it is due, it seems that in the eyes of those like Malcolm Conn that we should be properly obsequious to anyone who wants to bitch about us over anything at all, no matter how trivial.

Next time Malcolm; tell them to go take a running jump.

Jan 17, 2012

Nuclear submarines for Australia?

This suggestion is similar to LDP policy.

The Australian government and Defense Department have been thrashing around for some time over replacing the rather problematic Collins Class submarines. The discussion at present still revolves around conventional powered craft; Australia still suffers from a Luddite obsession with all things non nuclear.

Former senior Defense official Ross Babbage has called for this option to be put on the table and offers reasons why this is a good idea:
If directly threatened, coerced or attacked, this country needs credible means of deterring and countering even a major power. It needs one or more powerful instruments with a capacity to stop a belligerent country in its tracks. Advanced submarines are one of very few capabilities that can contribute meaningfully to this.

To do this, Australia needs more than just small submarines to serve as crocodiles in the ditch of our immediate approaches. We need vessels that can travel rapidly to East Asia and to the distant reaches of the Indian Ocean to maneuver there with high security for extended periods.

In a crisis, the new boats should not only be able to sink ships and destroy maritime installations but also fire cruise missiles to precisely strike high-value targets well inland. The right submarine force can give Australia this credible deterrence. That is why getting the submarine decision right is vital. …

Option five is to buy or lease Virginia-class submarines from the US. The Virginias are fast and have almost unlimited endurance. They carry sensors with extraordinary performance such that they can routinely see potential opponents well before they themselves can be detected, often at trans-oceanic distances. They have also been designed from scratch to be very flexible and perform a broader range of functions that would deliver Australia strong deterrence power even against a major power.

The Virginia class is in series production, hence the project risks are low. The contract for the 14th Virginia has been signed for a price of $1.2bn, but by the time they are fully fitted out, the sail-away price is $2.5bn. These boats are demonstrating exceptional operational performance and high reliability and would provide class-wide training and upgrade programs. Operating RAN and USN Virginias in close partnership would also take the ANZUS alliance to a new level.
It is not known whether the US would be willing to do this deal although Canada is interested in doing the same thing. What is remarkable is that the only political party that has proposed the acquisition of nuclear powered submarines is the pro defense libertarian, Liberal Democratic Party which has had this as a major policy plank for several years. The LDP argues that without the carrier capacity to give air cover to a surface fleet, we would lose such a fleet in the opening volleys of hostilities:
Consistent with similar provisions in the 2009 White Paper, the LDP would concentrate resources into key areas in support of a maritime defence strategy.

The LDP believes the focus of our full-time military should be on the three strategic capabilities able to achieve long distance force projection. These comprise a strategic bomber capability, an effective submarine fleet, and a rapid reaction, air-mobile expeditionary force including Special Forces.

Concurrently, the LDP believes that primary responsibility for the defence of Australia’s landmass should be transferred to a part-time force.

To achieve this the LDP supports proceeding with the F35 fighter purchase but would also replace the F-111 fleet with a squadron of B-1B strategic bombers, paid for in part by a reduction in our order of F-35s.

The LDP would replace the current six-boat Collins Class submarine fleet with a greater number of new submarines. Ideally this would be twelve small nuclear submarines (similar to the French Rubis design), but if these are not procurable or affordable then eighteen submarines with air independent conventional propulsion equipped with land attack cruise missiles.
The Virginia Class is somewhat bigger than the Rubis Class, but comes with the advantage of being the same as is used by our greatest ally. European nations are not really reliable suppliers given their distance, trade barriers, and approaching insolvency. Clearly, the first requirement would to be electing a government with a big enough pair to implement such an initiative.

More voters rely on the Internet – Rasmussen.

Image: By ‘Maksim’ at The Peoples Cube.

Most people have known for some time that the net was becoming more prominent across the world and has been increasingly influential in the political discourse of the election cycle. We have all noticed the decline of most newspapers and the demise of some attributed to the rise of the net, the increasing use of its power by politicians, and the successful use of it to get the message across.

Many of us rely on it as a primary source of information without recognizing the degree to which it has become just that. A recent Rasmussen poll tells us that almost a quarter of voters rely on it for political news:
Most voters will continue to rely on either cable or traditional television news to stay up with politics this year, but the Internet will provide the election coverage for a quarter of the nation.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% of Likely U.S. Voters will get most of their political news in 2012 from cable television and 22% from traditional TV network news. The number following the election news online has inched above the audience for traditional TV networks. Twenty-four percent (24%) will primarily rely on the Internet for coverage of Election 2012. Nine percent (9%) who will still rely on print newspapers and seven percent (7%) will chiefly count on radio.
The big advantage of the net as opposed to mainstream media is the almost infinite variety of information available to those wishing to check out what is really going on. Whereas the mainstream media tend to follow a line and report news as it applies to the thinking of the organization, the more anarchic nature of the net allows the user to track down the real story.

Not all of what you read on the net is true, (as Abraham Lincoln pointed out ☺ ) but those who are net savvy are aware of this and are not taken in by sites like those of the White House or Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Jan 14, 2012

Women tentatively rebelling in Saudi Arabia.

Image: A 'daring' piece of arm from a Saudi FB page. From WebProNews.

Here in the West we have always had some difficulty in persuading the fairer sex that we men know what’s best for them. Try as we might, women not only refuse to accept this simple truth, they actually appear to resent the very suggestion. “Let me take you away from here and show you how to dress modestly and avoid the attentions of other men,” is not a recommended pickup line in Australia. It may work better in the US.

In Saudi Arabia though, they have a God who has decreed that things are totally different there. Women are subservient and do as they are told even down to the way they dress and are freed from dangerous ideas of independence by strict principles of Sharia law, enforced by the morals police. Latest reports though indicate the first stirrings of rebellion are in the air:

There is an emerging trend among young Saudi women who post pictures of parts of their body without revealing their identity. Journalist Mariyam Jaber said she found several social websites where just the body parts of what appears to be Saudi women are displayed, such as feet, just the body or even fingernails, but without betraying her identity.

“This reveals a woman’s desire to liberate herself from social restrictions and express herself, and Facebook or other networking sites are the easiest platforms to achieve this,” she said.

The number of Saudis on Facebook is estimated at 2.3 million out of the 5 million in the Gulf. According to figures, 29 percent of Saudi Internet users visit Facebook and women under 25 account for 48 percent of all Internet users in the Kingdom.

“Most women on social networking sites use fake names. By displaying parts of their body and sometimes in glittering colors, young women must be achieving some sort of gratification or release of their emotions while anonymity guarantees them immunity from social censure or parental displeasure,” said Amal Al-Saleh, a university graduate. …

But help is at hand. The cause has been identified:

Professor of Social Sciences at Umm Al-Qura University Mahmoud Al-Kesnawi warned the spare time a young woman has at her disposal because of spinsterhood or unemployment is a factor that prompts her to seek refuge in computers and mobile phones.
Saudi Arabia is probably one of the most oppressive Islamic regimes as far as the treatment of women is concerned, equal if not worse than Iran. While this development does not in itself represent a major turnaround, it does give some sign of a changing view by younger people, especially women. The dour nature of Islamic rule may be sewing the seeds of its own destruction as wider communication via the web gives its subjects windows into a much freer world that they will aspire to be part of.

The threat offered by Western values to tyrants the world over is not military, but is the philosophy of liberty.

Jan 13, 2012

Greece fails on austerity measures and entitlement reform.

Cartoon: By Lisa Benson.

Greece is broke to the point where it has had to throw itself on the charity of the Euro zone and IMF to stave off inevitable bankruptcy for another month or so. It seems odd therefore to see reports in the media over the past couple of days that indicate that there is to be an expansion of welfare benefits to some new and interesting categories of disabled.

Some of these are sex offenders, criminals, and weirdos:

Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs. …

The Labor Ministry said categories added to the expanded list — that also includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists — were included for purposes of medical assessment and used as a gauge for allocating financial assistance.

But NCDP leader Yiannis Vardakastanis, who is blind, warned the new list could create new difficulties for disabled Greeks who are already facing benefit cuts due to the country's financial crisis. …

The new list gives pyromaniacs and pedophiles disability pay up to 35 percent, compared to 80 percent for heart transplant recipients.

"It's really not serious to grant Peeping Toms a 20-30 percent disability rate, and 10 percent to diabetics, who have insulin shots four or five times a day," said Vardakastanis.
The Greek Labour Ministry however is issuing a denial of sorts, claiming that it is only for the purpose of medical evaluation rather than benefits:
The Labour ministry said the new list "solely concerns medical evaluation, not the provision of social benefits." The ministry rushed to clarify the issue after Labour Minister George Koutroumanis was derided in news reports for giving "bonuses" to criminals.

The list released in Greece's official government gazette in November, had included gamblers, pyromaniacs, kleptomaniacs, fetishists, flashers, voyeurs, paedophiles and sadomasochists among the mentally disabled.
Greece is not only overburdened with unsupportable entitlements, but has a somewhat chaotic system mired in fraud and overpayment. Merely fixing this system would not save the Greek economy, but would help to set the nation on the right path as long as a massive reduction in government and public services was included.

Americans and Australians have good reason to take an interest in what is happening in Europe, and especially Greece. The Obama Administration intends to pour billions into rescue funds, and we have been told by Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan, that we ‘have a responsibility’ to ensure that the IMF is adequately funded to help struggling Europeans retire at fifty after a life on disability or unemployment benefits.

Understanding that this may be difficult for us, the government is encouraging older workers to stay on the job well after the traditional retirement age of 65. It has not been explained to us just why we are responsible for the Greek economy, nor what Greece has done for us to incur such a debt to them, but it may have something to do with the high proportion of Greeks in Melbourne, which contains Gillard’s electorate.

Jan 12, 2012

Australian pot use highest in world; treaties prevent innovation..

This week we have been told by the press that we in Australia have the highest marijuana use in the world, closely followed by the Kiwis. There is little surprise there; the Kiwis are always trying to catch up to us and beat us if possible in everything we are really good at. It’s a fair bet they will fund a study of recreational drug use, try to find out how we do it and try to go one better:
Cannabis is the most widely used drug worldwide, with up to 15 per cent of pot smokers from the Oceania region of Australia and New Zealand, followed by North America and Western Europe. Three papers in The Lancet this week discussed global use and health effects of drugs including cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and opioids like heroin and methadone.

Melbourne-based Centre for Alcohol Policy Research director Professor Robin Room said existing international drug treaties were not working. "In terms of suppressing the illegal markets, there is very little evidence of success. The illicit use of drugs is very much greater than it was in 1961," Prof Room said.

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Professor Louisa Degenhardt said illicit drug use accounts for 1.3 per cent of deaths in Australia -- surpassing alcohol deaths at 0.8 per cent but well below tobacco-related deaths at 11.7 per cent.
While the press seemed to dwell on our high usage there are other aspects to the report that need some additional coverage. The first among these is the odd degree of flexibility in the estimates, such as; (Worldwide) “125-203 million smoke cannabis,” with a 40% variability between the higher and lower figure. It creates some doubt as to whether there is much accuracy involved.

One aspect that needs to change is mentioned in the report, namely that many efforts at drug control are based on knee jerk reactions rather than detailed knowledge. Also some international treaties are inhibiting innovative initiatives:
The report warned that many initiatives to control drug use are based on insufficient evidence. It also said that beyond a certain point, increasing punishment for drug offences has diminishing benefits and can lead to negative side effects.

The report's authors suggest that nations wanting to try new approaches to drug legislation will have to move outside the existing international treaties. They believe the existing international drug control system has not worked.

'The system's emphasis on criminalisation of drug use has contributed to the spread of HIV, increased imprisonment for minor offences, and contributed to legitimising extremely punitive national policies,' their report said. Meanwhile, while NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell avoided the standard political histrionics on needing new and more potent laws, which is commendable, (at least for an MP) he tends to lose the plot in criticizing the report over the fact that doctors are supporting legalization rather than nanny state penalties:
"What's disturbing is in the aftermath of the release of this report, hearing doctors continue to talk about the legalisation of drugs," Mr O'Farrell told reporters in Sydney on Friday. "The link particularly between cannabis use and mental illness has been documented.”

Jan 10, 2012

Will Tony Abbott leave us Legless and Powerless in the Global Storms?

By Viv Forbes & Helpers

Climate Alarmism has clearly peaked and is sliding into oblivion. Their “science” has collapsed and the public is losing their alarm.
But all the toxic laws passed during the mania now have to be repealed. 
That is where the danger now lurks - the danger of complacency and the seductive sirens of the vested interests. Please pass this on.

Some at the big end of town are worried that Mr Abbott may keep his solemn promise to repeal the carbon tax. No doubt they and their smart lawyers fear losing the clever green schemes that rely on ripping off tax payers, consumers and other businesses.

Australia’s wealth and jobs have always rested on three legs – mining and farming, making and processing things, and rich foreigners; in short, resources, manufacturing, and money from tourists and investors.

The Gillard carbon tax will white-ant all three legs.

Mining and farming rely on draglines, dozers, scrapers, trains, trucks, bulk carriers, tractors, generators, pumps and machines of all kinds. All need cheap reliable energy. Their energy comes from diesel fuel or coal powered electricity. A tax on carbon will sap their energy and reduce their ability to generate jobs and national wealth.

Our processing and manufacturing industries rely on cheap electricity produced from our marvellous deposits of coal and natural gas. Greens have demonised these national assets and their carbon tax will undermine all Australian industries. Investors always look ahead. Already the threat of a carbon tax has reduced the asset value of every base load power station in Australia. Already one of the biggest, running on Victorian brown coal, is reporting financial stress and may close. We cannot run steel works, refineries or big cities on sunbeams and sea breezes. See This:

Australia is remote from most of the world, and tourists must travel vast distances to get here. They need planes, trains, ships, buses and cars, all powered by carbon energy from petrol, diesel or gas. The carbon tax will strike at the heart of this industry. Harassed by the carbon footprint harpies, tourists may choose to stay home and go camping in their own backyards.

Finally, Australia is leading the world with the most onerous and widely applied carbon tax. This is already deterring the foreign investors who for generations have risked their savings to create businesses and jobs in Australia. Even now, the threat of a carbon tax is increasing capital shortage and debt stress in Australia.

There is no good news in the carbon tax story – no climate benefits, no real jobs and more costs for consumers. And it is white-anting the three legs supporting the Australian economy.

Unlike the big end of town, thinking Australians are worried that Mr Abbott may renege on his solemn promise to repeal the carbon tax.

That would really leave Australia powerless and legless in the global storms.

Saving the Suckers of the South Pacific - withdraw from Kyoto

Australia and New Zealand should follow Canada and immediately withdraw from the failed Kyoto Protocol.

With Canada deciding to cut and run, no country in the Americas bears Kyoto liabilities. And with the announcement by Japan that it will not renew its membership, there will be no Kyoto bunnies in Asia. It is time for the two lonely suckers in the South Pacific to also withdraw.

Kyoto has achieved nothing useful. Some countries such as Russia achieved fraudulent cuts by retrospectively choosing their base year to take advantage of the plant closures that followed the Soviet collapse. Others evaded real cuts by paying for often phantom cuts in other countries. Australia used larceny to seize carbon credits by banning regrowth clearing on private farmland. New Zealand is sacrificing their forestry industry on the Kyoto altar.

Europe's worship of Kyoto has led them into their current fiscal mess. Believing they are gods who can control the climate by demonising carbon, they have spent a fortune on green energy, carbon trading and international junkets that has exacerbated their deficits and now condemns their industry and consumers to expensive and unreliable energy.

The future for Australia and New Zealand lies around the vibrant Pacific, not in the backwater of Old Europe. We should immediately abandon Kyoto, cease wasting money on the IPCC, abolish all climate change bureaucracies and repeal all carbon tax and trade legislation.

The money saved should be used to develop appropriate infrastructure to cope with the inevitable natural disasters whenever they occur.

Authorized by Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition 

Shooting the Facebook messenger.

Bearers of bad news have always had a bad rap and in some cases an unfortunate demise. The advent of the postal service and telecommunications were a godsend to messengers, giving them the opportunity of delivering bad news from a distance, thus allowing them some chance to get the hell out of Dodge before their despot could react. This really pissed off tyrants but it was impractical to shut down the services.

Since the rise of the net and social media though, with its immediate appearance worldwide, wowsers and petty tyrants are back to their old tricks and with the help of the well meaning but naïve, regularly mount cases for the abolition of the medium. RWL has become aware that an advisor to the leading member of one of our political dynasties is collecting posts about his master from this source. As said dynastic leader will not like it RWL advises him to email them to him.

Now there is a call to ban Facebook for causing blood feuds:

ABORIGINAL elders have blamed Facebook and social networking sites for a rise in "blood feuds" between warring clans. Some indigenous leaders want to ban or censor internet sites including Facebook to calm tensions in isolated Queensland communities.

Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey said "unhealthy gossip" on social media sites had fuelled age-old animosities. "We are seeing kids getting on these chat rooms and bad-mouthing others," Mr Lacey said. "It is very public and stirs up old family rivalry and blood feuds.” …

Tribal leader Barry Walden, of Doomadgee on the Gulf of Carpentaria, called for a social media ban. A dozen youths clashed in a bloody street brawl this week after chatroom exchanges reignited a long-standing feud between clans in the former Aboriginal mission of 1100.

"It started out as name calling and petty stuff on-line," local woman Atlanta Taylor said yesterday. "It was rude tit-for-tat chat over the internet. You could call it a bit like cyberbullying. But then it got out of control.
Fortunately, there is a voice of sanity in all of this:
Palm Island's Alf Lacey is against a ban or censorship of the internet, saying that would be akin to discrimination. "But I do think kids need to be better educated on appropriate use of this technology," he said.

Police have urged warring families to be more responsible and to avoid violence.
Kids need to be taught the values of courtesy and respect for others as early as possible and some sensible perusal of their internet activities should be carried out by parents, although it has to be said that parents are at something of a disadvantage in this. It is reasonable to let children know of historical conflicts, but it probably wouldn’t hurt for them to be told that it is in the past and there is nothing to be gained by continuance of them.

Social media is neither a blessing nor a curse; the manner of its use can be either though.

What if? …; You are being sold Big Government.

We all know the old adage, “No matter who you vote for a politician wins.” In this video by Judge Napolitano the case is made that that is precisely what is meant to happen. It’s a pretty blatant Ron Paul promotion piece, but too close to the bone for comfort:

Jan 9, 2012

China’s Claytons carbon tax.

Cartoon: By Bill Leak.

The government and their coalition partners, the Greens are wildly ecstatic at the news that China intends to introduce a carbon tax, maybe by 2015. The government touts this as further evidence the rest of the world is acting to cut global greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately for Gillard, China is not the rest of the world, nor is this a serious tax.

It is more like a Claytons tax, set at an extremely low rate and according to their government media, only likely to be levied on large users of coal, crude oil and natural gas. China is not following us in any way, setting a price of $1.55 per ton as opposed to our $23 per ton and rising across the entire economy. Their tax is one fifteenth of ours, and selectively applied.

While Gillard and company are aiming at a reduction of the overall carbon emissions here, China is using the more nebulous term of emissions as a proportion of GDP. Given that their GDP is rising at a rapid rate and they are replacing aging and inefficient infrastructure with modern efficient power stations and nuclear, they are setting an easier task than we are.

This highlights another problem for Australia as far as emission reductions go; China has been spending heavily on nuclear and state of the art modern coal fired power stations, while we have been pissing billions against the wall on subsidies for wind and rooftop solar, ethanol, green schemes, putting pink bats into homes, inspecting them for dangerous installation, and repairing the ones that were really screwed up.

China Daily reports:

The main targets of the tax will be large users of coal, crude oil and natural gas, and tax cuts will be given to companies that take steps to reduce their emissions, Su said.

Jiang Kejun, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institute, who helped draft the tax proposal, said the tax is likely to be collected only from producers and wholesalers of fossil-fuel based energy. This will make it easier to collect the tax. "But it may still raise the price of energy," Jiang said. …

"But 2012 may not be a good time to introduce carbon taxes, considering the risk (they might introduce) of slowing economic growth," Su said. He said the taxes will begin to be collected by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).
This indicates that not only is it a low tax, but it is very selectively applied. We are already at a significant disadvantage to China, but now we are slugging a higher proportion of our industry with a tax that is fifteen times that of our competitor. Meanwhile, warmist Graham Lloyd is thrilled at the symbolism of the Chinese move:
THE symbolism of China's decision to push ahead with a carbon tax before 2015 speaks much louder than the modest rate at which the fixed starting price has been set. (The left tend to think that it is much more important to display the proper symbolism than to be correct.)

Together with the introduction of a carbon trading scheme covering some of the China's most heavily industrialised regions about the same time, the new tax plan builds on an undeniable trend. …

Politically, with billions of people worldwide making the transition to middle class, the reality is wealthier citizens make greater demands on government for clean air and better surroundings. …
Wealthier citizens tend to reach first for more consumer goods and tend to demand the energy resources to run them rather than worry too much about the environmental trappings. This move is more to do with doing the minimum they can get away with in order to quell pressure from the Europeans, who have saddled themselves with a green economy that is not working out too well for them and are threatening trade retaliation.

Jan 8, 2012

The Huntsman’s values ad.

The rather amateurish ‘ad’ below has gained a lot of attention in the media and the net and has sparked all sorts of conspiracy theories as to its real origin. There can be no doubt as to the fact that neither Paul nor his campaign had anything to do with it; attacking an opponents children is not his style:

It reminds me of an incident at a polling booth during the late 70s/ early 80s when the political divide was particularly polarized. In Australia for the most part, party booth workers get along just fine and tend to have mutual respect and even genuine friendship. It was not uncommon during the slow periods for the workers to get together under the best shade, then divide up when voters came in.

While I was enjoying a National Party drink, and a Labor Party scone, the National party local federal member rocked up to thank the people handing out his cards, and greeted all of us. A Labor supporter arrived and went into a tirade of abuse toward him, finishing up with, “You look like a Jap, you bastard” then walked off. An embarrassed Labor guy told me he had never seen him at a meeting and none of them knew who he was.

The reality probably is that someone like that made the video, thinking in his own dumb way that he was making a brilliant contribution. The Paul supporters who are pursuing the conspiracy theories about Huntsman making the thing himself in an effort to make Ron look bad, are beginning to appear decidedly silly themselves.

Its time to let go guys.

Jan 7, 2012

Climatism failed in 2011, but the big battles are ahead in 2012

Cartoon: By Pickering.

by Viv Forbes & Helpers

Peaks and turning points are only obvious to most people in retrospect. Looking back from December 2011 we can see clearly that climate alarmism peaked at the Copenhagen Climate Cockup in late 2009. The nails were driven into the coffin by India, China and others at the more subdued Climate Wake in Durban in late 2011.

These sensible countries got settlement on a vacuous statement that agrees to keep holding the Climate Parties for a few more years as long as nothing onerous is actually agreed. Last week Canada put the last shot into the dead horse by announcing its withdrawal from the Kyoto Foolishness.

But the real war in Australia will now intensify, mainly in back rooms as the plotters scheme to keep carbon tax, green energy subsidies and all the climate bureaucracies alive and on the law books.

Their main strategy in Australia will be to keep the carbon tax out of the headlines. They will try to maintain the myth that “the debate is over”. Our strategy is “never let people forget”.

We will be helped by the gathering scandal in UK about the BBC bias in acting as the megaphone for the climate alarmists and the apparent connivance of the US Department of Energy in hiding data to prevent sceptics from discovering dodgy climate research. The ABC will be watching the exposure of their ideological brothers in the BBC and they and their fellow alarmists may start to give token platforms to sceptical ideas. Non- government media are certainly awake to the extent and cost of the fraud.

Wind Energy Lights Up

Wind energy has created another fire season in the Northern Hemisphere as the wind blows and the turbines burn.

The Victorian government is planning to bury power lines to reduce bushfire risk. Wind farms pose a far greater bushfire risk than power lines. Maybe we should bury the wind turbines too? That is the best place for them.

SWindle Power
Wind energy is a great con:

• Not Clean
• Not Green
• Not Cheap

Each turbine requires large amounts of steel and concrete, plus a spiderweb of roads and transmission lines to connect each turbine to the grid. And because wind energy is so dilute, large areas of countryside are plastered and disfigured by bird-killing whirling sabres. What little power is produced is unreliable, unpredictable and nowhere near the capacity of the turbine. This is an enormous waste of community resources for a lot of environmental damage and no climate benefits.

The only thing SWindle Power does efficiently is harvest subsidies from taxpayers and electricity consumers.

Europe's Green Lobby Fighting For Survival

The European carbon market continues to tumble threatening all sorts of green sacred cows from Emissions Trading schemes, green energy and Carbon Capture and Burial. Check it out.

Authorized by Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition

Jan 6, 2012

Media noticing Gary Johnson.

Image; The probable GOP nominee.

Looking over the Republican field this time around, it is difficult to find anything to get excited about. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has not entered a new incarnation in order to appear to be in line with current voter sentiment, and probably the only one likely to carry out his stated policies. Of the rest, Newt Gingrich seems to have been until now the only one who is positive in his message, but still sucks.

From an Australian perspective, the proverbial drover’s dog looks like a good option. Fortunately, the entry of Johnson into the LP contest has a great deal of promise and his move is contentious enough to gain a lot of attention along with a rise in the polls. He comments below on how it is getting interesting:
They are figuring it out. The media, the pundits, and yes, the political establishment have now had a few days to contemplate what it means that I am running for President as a Libertarian. And some striking realities are setting in.

They see that, if I earn the Libertarian nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. They see that the one ‘constant’ in the polls is a majority of Americans who aren’t thrilled with either Barack Obama or any of the likely Republican nominees. 

And they are beginning to see what you and I have known for a while: A candidate who offers an unmatched record for cutting spending and the size of government – while refusing to allow government into our bedrooms and boardrooms – may just be the answer voters are seeking, but not finding in either of the two ‘major’ parties. 

Frankly, the prospect of a real, credible alternative to Barack Obama AND the Republican field has the business-as-usual crowd worried. The fact that I not only offer that alternative, but also have the track record to back it up, has them REALLY concerned. 

Some national commentators are even calling me a possible ‘spoiler’. When it comes to spoiling the status quo that has put us on the brink of financial disaster, put us in wars we don’t need to be in, and put the government in charge of our personal lives, a ‘spoiler’ is exactly what I intend to be. 

If you missed it, take a minute to watch my conversation with Judge Napolitano last night on Freedom Watch:

Since I announced my plan to seek the Libertarian nomination last week, I have been overwhelmed by the response. The emails, the ‘tweets’, the national – and international – media attention have all shown that we are tapping in to a massive desire for a new approach to governing, and campaigning.

We – you and I, and thousands of supporters across the country – have ignited something that is really important for America. We have ignited a realization that true liberty, true individual freedom, true equality and a serious ‘downsizing’ of government can finally be a part of the national conversation in 2012.

It’s about time!

We are in the game. We are in it to win. And we are in it because you have provided the effort and the financial support to get us here. We cannot let up now.

Please go to Gary Johnson. Help us keep this amazing momentum going.

America is looking for the leadership we are offering. We just need to let them know we are here!

One rule for farmers, another for DERM staff.

Something that is becoming a regular feature in the rural press is stories of landholders being threatened and/or prosecuted for land management practices that fall foul of their bureaucratic rules. They vary from clearing invasive weeds like turkey bush and parthenium weed right through to creating firebreaks, the list is endless. Clearly farmers property rights mean little in these times.

Draconian penalties and an endless process of harassment and costly legal expenses seem to now be the order of the day. This is happening in all states including Queensland, but an interesting case has emerged here in which a Department of Environmental Resource Management staffer seems to have been given special privileges. Doug Gillett reports in ‘Rural Weekly’ (an inclusion in some provincial papers) on what appears to be such a case:

A Lowmead grazier has accused a Department of Environmental Resource Management employee of destroying protected vegetation on a camping and water reserve.

Lynton Hayman has called for a full investigation into the felling of large gums and bloodwoods in the granite creek water and camping reserve. He also alleged that signs identifying the area as a reserve open to the public have been removed from the property.

The bushland area was leased from DERM by an employee of the State Government department for grazing purposes. …

A spokesman for DERM said it had been notified in advance of the leaseholders intention to fell trees to protect a fence line on the reserve.

(However) Mr. Hayman said the trees had been felled far away from any visible fence line. …
Apart from the strong probability that a government department leasing ground under its control to its own employees being a conflict of interest, questions arise as to the process of granting the lease and whether special privileges were granted, given the removal of the public access signs. The column is not online but an image with it is of stumps with no fence present.

Jan 5, 2012

Iowa good news for libertarians.

The Iowa caucuses presented two very good pieces of news for libertarians. The first was the strong vote for Ron Paul, who ended up just over 3% below the near dead heat for first place with 21.4% versus the 24.5/6% for Romney, Santorum, which is encouraging. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the primaries to follow, but it is reasonable to expect a stronger presence in the polls than occurred in 08.

The second is the early reports that Paul won convincingly among the under 40s, demonstrating that the rising demographic is moving significantly towards the libertarian position. We will be even stronger in years to come, and given that Ron Paul is well over 70 years old it is unlikely that this is a passing fascination brought about by his boyish good looks and sex appeal. Libertarianism is an idea whose time has arrived.

Ron has less than the proverbial snowflake in hells chance of making it through to the nomination, the political establishment and their media acolytes will see to that, but rather than this being a negative, it will give the Libertarian Party a strong appeal to non statist voters if they have Gary Johnson as their nominee. Liberty minded Republicans do not have to hold their noses and vote for the nominee this year; they have a viable alternative.

The LP has never had a candidate with a proven record of executive governance as a candidate before. They have the chance this time around to present their vision with a credible presence in the lead. While he lacks Ron’s kudos, he has a solid record as a libertarian governor in a successful eight years of good governance, and none of the baggage Paul has been weighted down with over the newsletter problem.

The GOP is effectively a divided house and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. The contest (with the exception of Paul) appears to be between big government moderates and big government conservatives, both reinvented and rebadged as limited government fiscal conservatives. If elected both sides will revert to their origins.

Libertarianism will come to the fore.

Jan 4, 2012

Global Temperatures? – Flat for 13 Years

Image Source:

See also:

by Viv Forbes & Helpers

Have you checked your Carbon Footprint?

What Really Happened in Durban?

What the media are not telling you
"We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy...Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization...One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore." - Ottmar Edenhoffer, high level UN-IPCC official.

Australia’s Greg Combet was played for a fool in Durban. He and the Kiwis followed the loony greens now running Old Europe. Their day is past. Old Europe has abandoned rationality and their current leaders care more for their green religion and their dreams of world government than for the welfare of their own people. The failure of their economic and energy policies is on display daily.

The European climate crazies were comprehensively outsmarted by the BASIC Group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China).

The Europeans want to continue penalising their people with expensive and unreliable energy. So the Basic Group humoured them by agreeing to let the Europeans keep penalising their people. The Europhiles of the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, picked the wrong side yet again, and have also chosen to keep penalising their people.

The US, Japan and Russia were bemused bystanders, happy to allow the Europeans to flagellate themselves. Canada kept quiet and dropped their withdrawal bombshell after getting home. Australia postponed the Kyoto costs so far by dispossessing Australian farmers with scrub-clearing bans. That trick will not work twice. When we have to fork over billions of real dollars (the prospect that Canada faced), hopefully sanity or an election will occur.

If anyone has any illusions on what the UN bureaucrats have in store for us they should read the report by Christopher Monckton on their 138 page document detailing how they will govern the world. It includes plans for:
• A new international climate court
• Rights for Mother Earth
• The right to survive (climate change) at our expense.
• Total disarmament (apart from UN forces no doubt) and the end of war.
• New dreamtime targets for world temperature, emissions and carbon dioxide content.
• Historic responsibility ie the west will pay for everything.
• World government with everyone reporting to the UN bureaucracy.
• A green climate fund (supplied by us of course).
• World-wide cap and trade.
• Technology transfer to be aided by abolition of patents and intellectual property rights.
• Taxes on shipping and aviation fuels (going to the UN of course).
• Equitable access to global atmospheric space
In case you think this is all make-believe, have a look at Christopher Monckton’s report here:

First Successful Low Emissions Economy.

Alexander Downer’s portrayal of North Korea lacks perspective (“A bit of a joke lost on long-suffering people”, 20/12). North Korea is the first country to move voluntarily and successfully to a low emissions economy.

William Kininmonth, Kew, Vic. The Australian, December 22, 2011

The Last Word for 2011

Thanks to all those who have sent information, suggestions, compliments, criticisms and Christmas Cards. We get a lift from letters like this:
"Thanks again, Viv, for giving voice to all of us out here who are not so enterprising, though still passionate about the reprehensible governmental behaviour over the "climate change" issue.”
But we also learn from critical comments, learned papers and even from the few abusive ones.

Unfortunately, although we look at everything and read most of them, we do not acknowledge or reply to many of them. If we tried to, we would do little else. So please take this as our collective “Thank You”.
Authorized by Viv Forbes, Chairman,
The Carbon Sense Coalition

Jan 3, 2012

Libertarian Party boosted by Johnson candidacy.

Why not a third party President? – Ed.

Image source:

The new Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, Carla Howell believes the candidacy of Governor Gary Johnson gives the party new possibilities and hope for 2012. Certainly, his presence in the campaign brings them the sort of presence and stature that any small party would give its eyeteeth for. 

A two term Governor who campaigned and served as a libertarian; it just doesn’t get any better than that:
Former Governor Gary Johnson’s announcement last week that he’s leaving the GOP and running for president as a Libertarian brings a high-profile candidate to our Libertarian primary. Thousands of news stories and political commentaries were published and aired nationwide since his announcement where LP Chair Mark Hinkle signed him up to be a Life Member of our party.

Possible results? Attention to Governor Johnson’s campaign. Attention to our other Libertarian presidential candidates. Attention to the Libertarian Party and our principles. A spotlight on our 2012 presidential nominating convention in May.

One news story published by said, "With independent or unaffiliated voters making up a larger part of the voter base than they have at any time in the past, there are many more people out there open to defecting from the two-party system.”

Indeed! According to a September Gallup poll, “55% of Americans say the two major parties do such an inadequate job of representing the American people that a third party is needed.”

Then there’s our libertarian friend Ron Paul.

His stunning ascent in the Republican primary – while running a libertarian campaign - is giving unprecedented attention and credibility to our libertarian goals.

If Ron Paul were to win the GOP nomination, a true Revolution in America would be underway. One that would put our libertarian agenda front-and-center in the 2012 election. This will bring heightened attention to our libertarian candidates who offer bold reductions in Big Government that most Republicans and Democrats won’t dare – and give voters the choice that so many desperately want: much smaller government and more freedom.
With the exception of Ron Paul, all of the Republican candidates are former big government statists who now claim to have had a road to Damascus moment, hearing the voice of the Tea Party calling for fiscal restraint. It was actually the sound of their political weather vane turning with public sentiment, and will turn back to establishment views once the eventual nominee reaches office and a need for pragmatism is discovered. Given the negativity of the current campaign, it is likely that by the time the nominee is chosen, he will have been dragged through so much mud nobody will vote for him.

Johnson is really the only credible candidate in the contest for libertarians, small government Republicans, and socially liberal Democrats, having the stature and ability to bring them together. Over eight years in New Mexico he proved his ability to govern a majority Democrat state without compromising his principles and achieving significant reforms while balancing the budget.

A third party presidency with Johnson at the helm would work well.

Jan 2, 2012

Charged for controlling parthenium weed.

By Dale Stiller on behalf of Property Rights Australia.

Property Rights Australia chairman, Joanne Rea said it is beyond belief that the Qld government would prosecute anyone for controlling weeds especially parthenium, a declared noxious, exotic weed which spreads aggressively into neighbouring property if not treated.

This follows hot on the heels of the capricious prosecution of Trenton Hindman of SW Queensland for renovating country infested with the invasive woody weed, turkey bush.

This reveals a pattern of unacceptable activism by some departmental officers. “What is the agenda of the State Government in pursuing people who have, in essence, done nothing wrong? Is common sense ever going to return to the pursuit of justice in this State?” Mrs. Rea, Chairman of Property Rights Australia said.”
The above quote was included in an article on page 9 in the 29th December 2011 issue of the QCL written by Troy Rowlings called, “Moore grazier defends weed ‘damage’ charge.” (not online - Ed)

Peter Leo lives on the farm that his family first settled in 1897 not far out of the hamlet of Linville. In 1911 a railway easement was cut through the farm and was used for this purpose until its close in 1989. Then in 2008 the Department of Infrastructure and Planning (DIP) took a sub-lease from the Department of Transport and Main Roads for the rail corridor land which was previously known as the Brisbane Valley Railway Line that ran from Wulkuraka Railway Station to Blackbutt. The DIP then started to develop the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as part of the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Active Trails Strategy and community greenspace network. The rail trail is supposed to be for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Photo sourced from ATHRA

The start of Peter Leo’s recent problems was the floods in January 2011; the same floods known nationally and internationally for the havoc they wreaked along the Lockyer Creek and the Brisbane River. After the flood waters had long gone, weeds germinated. In a phone call that I had with Peter he related not only of the abnormal amount of weeds but the variety of them, some that had not been seen before. Amongst the normal weeds such as noogoora burr were patersons curse and parthenium. The parthenium plants were found on the rail trail and Peter sent a sample to the Queensland Herbarium who confirmed that the plants were indeed parthenium.

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail employs a Trail Ranger to whom Peter Leo reported the weeds on at least two occations but no action was forthcoming. Peter wrote a letter to the Minister whose portfolio included the DIP. When a new minister, Paul Lucas took over this department a letter was despatched to him as well. In all his efforts to have action taken about weeds on the rail trail after 8 months Peter received no satisfactory response. An unwelcomed response was for the Director, Resource and Landscape in DIP, Steve MacDonald, sending a letter of demand for records of any agreement that the family had with the railway. An unlikely event that even if there was any agreement of the chances of documents surviving from 1911.

By mid-August the weeds were out of control, Peter did not wish for the weeds to go to seed so he decided to control the weeds by the means of a tractor & a disc implement to plough the weeds in. “A light harrow job””, as Peter called it. At the end of August parthenium was found by Peter & a friend on the rail trail. Peter sprayed the parthenium and also ploughed again. This was the first time that he had ever found parthenium but controlling weeds and encouraging natural grasses had been practiced by Peter along this easement ever since the railway had left.

On this map the railway is shown as a dotted line. Peter Leo's farm is just south of Linville.

After the weed control had been done the Trail Ranger turned up & reported it to the DIP. As a result a policeman paid a visit to Peter Leo, the policeman inspected the situation & left presumably satisfied that no charge was warranted. However the next day the policeman came back with the news that he had been instructed to charge Peter Leo.

Peter found himself taken in, finger printed, a swab taken for DNA and charged. Peter had been told to plead guilty and take a $100 fine. In a state of disbelieve and indignant at his treatment Peter told me that he decided, as he put it, “I’m not a criminal; I am not pleading guilty.”

He is convinced that the orders to charge him came from at a higher level in the DIP. The minister Paul Lucas was well aware of the situation, in fact Peter was told that “Paul Lucas had hit the roof”. Peter believes that this is a “political charge and that he has been subjected to intimation” and also that, “Independent discretion has been taken away from the police.”

If this is what occurred it is a very serious situation and of great concern for the administration of justice in Queensland.

Charging a person for controlling a declared noxious, exotic weed such as parthenium is bad enough but what is even more incredible is the charge brought against him, that he has to appear before a court for mention on January 6th – wilful damage.

Peter Leo was told that he had damaged the integrity of the rail trail.

Peter Leo told me that he “just wants to be left alone”, but I can tell you from listening to him that he will not roll over on this one just to be rid of the situation as soon as he can; this is one determined man.

Jan 1, 2012

It’s just as well they’re licensed.

Image: Melbourne Arts Centre fire. Source; Sun Herald.

Many years ago when fun was allowed you could use fireworks pretty much whenever you wanted celebrate in Australia. Guy Fawkes night on the 5th of November was the main one when they were traditionally used to celebrate the plot to blow up the British House of Lords in 1605.

The aftermath was usually a few injuries and the odd fire, and after a time the do gooders managed to have it stopped. The use of fireworks, like most other activities over here has been regulated and licensed to ensure that the ‘untrained’ are not able to access them. Who knows what might happen if the organizers of the new year celebration in Melbourne had not used qualified people to arrange the spectacle?

Possibly the whole Arts Centre would have burned down:

THE cause of a New Year's Eve fireworks mishap which saw the Arts Centre spire catch alight will be investigated. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the spire fire had not caused structural damage or endangered the public because of the exclusion zone around the site. …

The fire is believed to have started from one of the fireworks in the spire, that failed to discharge properly during the spectacular show, which was witnessed by more than half a million people. Mr Brinkman said the fire on the spire burnt itself out after about 40 minutes.

The area around the Arts Centre was evacuated immediately following the end of the of the fireworks. Large pieces of flaming debris fell at about 12.32am, causing smoke to rise from a lower level of the spire.
Of course accidents happen from time to time, but there would a full hue and cry were fireworks used 'illegally' to start a blaze.

Samoa joins us on the West of the dateline.

Image: Courtesy, The Daily Mail.

Well it’s the New Year here and this time we have Samoa joining us at the start of the day instead of waiting for the world to do nearly a full revolution. Now if we can just talk the Yanks into doing the same, we will have the important part of the world, all on the same day at the same time.

This would improve the election coverage for us so we don’t have to wait until Wednesday afternoon for the US to announce its results on Tuesday night.

There seems to be a little confusion in the press though, with many outlets reporting that the country has moved west over the Date Line. This is understandable though, with reporters being so tied up in statism that it is probably easier for them to visualize an island moving than a line on the map drawn by bureaucrats doing so:
The tiny South Pacific island is moving west over the international dateline …

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told Radio New Zealand that the drastic move would lead to major improvements in trade and tourism.

'No longer shall we have people ringing us up from New Zealand and Australia thinking it is Monday when we are closing our eyes and praying at churches,' he said.

'And vice versa on our Fridays when we ring up and already our contacts are holidaying on their Saturdays.' Samoa's population of 180,000 will now be one of the first in the world to welcome in the New Year, rather than the last.
This move has caused them to lose Friday the 30th which was replaced with Saturday the 31st, this in itself causing some consternation among the Seventh Day Adventists, although there are no reports of other Saturday Sabathists having this problem:
Critics say Samoa could lose tourist trade by no longer being the last place on earth to see the sun set - but it will now be one of the first places to see in each new day.

The nation's seventh Day Adventists are also divided over the change, and whether they should now observe the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday.
Officials are working on creating new maps, charts and atlases for the island, as it moves over the zig-zag dateline.
Since the original setting of the time zone to the US side in 1892, trade has moved from being predominantly with America, to being mainly with New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. Being on the same day makes a lot of sense.