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.

Feb 27, 2014

Suicide sparks calls for ‘Charlotte’s law'

After a high profile death of someone who appears to have been wronged or was a victim of crime, there tends to be efforts to enact some sort of legislation named after them.  This is usually a bad idea owing to the knee-jerk nature of the effort, failure to examine other aspects to the case, and legislators desire to be seen to be doing something resulting in something draconian.
Charlotte Dawson, a model and TV personality with something of a troubled past committed suicide a few days ago, and a campaign has been launched for a law against cyber-bullying as result of her history of opposing such idiots.  One such incident has been dealt with here in the past. 
CHARLOTTE Dawson was found dead at her Woolloomooloo home yesterday, following a long and very public battle with depression.  Friends of Dawson’s have spoken of a sense of inevitability around her death, revealing that in recent weeks the prominent media personality’s mental state seemed specially fragile. 
It is believed Dawson was struggling financially, having borrowed up to $80,000 from friends as she tried to keep up the rent on her $1200-a-week apartment. 
She had also been axed from her role on the popular Foxtel TV show Australia’s Next Top Model, and last November parted ways with management company Chic Management after they said her battles with mental illness were ‘damaging her brand’. 
Only a week ago, Dawson’s ex-husband Scott Miller had appeared on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes to talk about his drug addiction and the role it had played in the breakdown of their marriage. Dawson, who described Miller as the ‘love of her life’, said at the time she wasn’t sure if she would be strong enough to watch the interview. …
While her battles with trolls and bullies has some possible relevance, there appear to be more significant and more immediate reasons for her actions.  Her death is tragic, but is not a good reason to introduce new and more restrictive legislation, no matter how badly we feel about it.

Feb 26, 2014

Piers Morgan ‘not finished with NRA’

Sacked blowhard Piers Morgan has come up with a final burst of hubris with his warning to the NRA that he is not finished with them yet.
Given his low ratings even by MSNBC standards, it is difficult to imagine where he can get another bully pulpit.  Being the worst ratings performer in one of the worst performing networks makes him pretty much as useless as tits on a boar pig as far as other networks are concerned.
He might manage to land a spot in one of the liberal organisations, maybe with Soros or Bloomberg, but his usefulness is dubious given that nobody much is listening to him any more.

Feb 25, 2014

Brits fret about status of King’s husband

Cartoon: By ‘Baloo’ 
In a world of strife, fiscal crises and upheaval, it is nice to know that there is one nation that has it all sorted and can worry about the mundane issues of the future: 
Next week parliament will vote on the thorny issue of titles for married gay partners. They will be asked to clear up laws dating as far back as 700 years. The changes are needed to ensure a gay married King could not style his husband Queen. 
Under the previous arrangements of Civil Partnerships gay partners were not allowed courtesy titles as their unions were not deemed full marriage. This is the reason Sir Elton John’s partner David Furnish is not entitled to the dubious honour of being known as “Lady John”. 
Once full gay marriage comes in next month gay Dukes could claim the title Duchess for their partners. This would also be true of other courtesy titles such as Princess of Wales, Countess and Lady. 
One of the stranger proposed changes is to the 1351 Treason Act. It forbids sex with the Kings wife, but the proposed law will make clear that it is legal to have sex with his husband. This is presumably because such an act would not interfere with the Royal lineage, whereas sex with the Kings wife risks illegitimate children.
Given time, this issue would probably sort itself out without directives from government, but that approach would give MPs one less thing to feel important about.  Nonetheless, it would probably always be rather un-PC to refer to a male marital partner as a queen, although it nay be OK for a lesbian marital partner to be called a king.

Feb 24, 2014

Money seized on reverse onus of proof

Proceeds of crime legislation has become popular with governments across the world since the idea was first mooted.  The idea was originally based on the principle of seizing assets that can be proven to have been acquired by criminal activity.
Since then, the scope has been expanded to meet an ever-growing appetite by government for more revenue.
Gradually it became the normal thing to seize all assets of a criminal even if the crime committed did not yield anything like the value of the accused’s assets, then was set to encompass any profits from media or book sales after release from prison.
In Australia, this is not enough for the government deeply in the red, which now demands that reverse onus of proof be applied, in order to dispense with the tedious requirement of proving that a crime has been committed in order to take what you have: 
NINE jetsetting Russians have been ordered to explain the source of almost $30 million stashed in Gold Coast bank accounts. 
The accounts have funded a global splurge on fur, jewellery, designer clothes and luxury holidays at the Great Barrier Reef, Thailand, Dubai and Italy. 
Australian Federal Police have frozen the fortune through the District Court in Brisbane as suspected proceeds of crime. 
Federal agents found the money was ``entirely incompatible’’ with the meagre income the Russians declared on their Australian visas. 
But friends told The Sunday Mail the Russians were behind major legitimate businesses in their homeland and were preparing to invest in Australia. … 
... The AFP told the District Court there was ``no evidence available to the AFP that the source of the funds is legitimate’’. 
``Nor is there any evidence to AFP that the intended purpose of the funds is legitimate,’’ the court was told.  
``The extremely large amount of money is entirely incompatible with the declared income of the nine Russians.” …
… A friend of the Russians told The Sunday Mail the group had a series of major businesses in Siberia, including a popular brand of ice cream. 
``I don’t know any Russian who declares their real income when they come to Australia,’’ the friend said.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a significant rise in the number of Russian millionaires, some legitimate, some not. 
There is no way of telling whether these people are legitimate or not, but it is apparent that the Federal Police have not been able to establish that any crime has been committed, let alone the nature of such an action. Had they done so, the action they have taken would be based on that crime, not on the rather nebulous claim that the origin of the money could be tainted.
Such actions have no basis in a rational justice system, nor should they exist in a free society.

Feb 22, 2014

ABC’s Redcliffe candidate debate features only 2 of 9 candidates

Cartoon: By R May 
The ABC has staged candidate debate on the 7:30 report on the eve of the Redcliffe by-election, an idea that would normally offer an opportunity for voters to make a rational assessment of the talent available.  The unfortunate reality is that it only featured the two major party candidates.
There are nine candidates standing, seven of whom were ignored.
A fuller coverage of candidates and their opinions is here, and a full list of those standing can be found here.
Media outlets, which try to pretend that there are only two or perhaps three parties standing in an election, actually do a vast disservice to their viewers and readers as well as democracy in general.  The dismissal of views other than the accepted ones of the ruling class parties prevents voters from hearing many of the competing views available, thus perpetuating the Tweedledums Vs Tweedledummer system we have at present.
For libertarians, the candidate to vote for is Gabriel Buckley, who is endorsed by the LDP but is not listed under the party name owing to the lack of state registration in Queensland.

Feb 18, 2014

McCain wants another war or an apology for not getting into one

"It's not goodies versus baddies, it's baddies versus baddies and that's why it's very important that we don't make a very difficult situation worse.” – Australian Opposition Leader (now PM) Tony Abbott
The increasingly erratic Senator John McCain has never seen a war he didn’t like and seems to think that the US is not getting into enough of them.  It would be reasonable to expect that his Vietnam experience would have dampened his ardor for such things but this isn’t the case.
Now that Iraq is over and Afghanistan winding down, old Johno is demanding intervention in Syria, or an apology from a future President over his country’s failure to remain the world’s policeman: 
Sen. John McCain has blasted President Barack Obama for his "failure" to have done more to prevent the mass atrocities inflicted on the victims of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. 
The Arizona Republican said he's haunted by the 55,000 photos taken by a Syrian military policeman who was tasked with documenting the horrors that Assad's forces had committed against political prisoners in jail. 
On the Senate floor on Wednesday, McCain said that the "future president" of the U.S. will have to apologize for not using "the power we possess" to help the Syrian people.
"Where is President Obama who has said he refuses to accept that brutal tyrants can slaughter their people with impunity while the most powerful nation in the history of the world looks on and stands by?" McCain said. 
"Where is that President Obama today? Where is the President Obama who has spoken so movingly of the moral responsibilities that great power confers? 
"Where is the recognition that 'the cold logic of mass graves' is right there in front of us, in Syria today? And yet our government is doing what we have sadly done too often in the past. We are averting our eyes." 
During his speech, McCain stood next to giant photos on easels of the atrocities taken by the military cop who defected. The former presidential candidate has also posted several of the photos on his Twitter account @SenJohnMcCain, including one tweet which showed a photo of a child whose legs appeared to be badly injured. 
"When the images and horrors of this conflict occasionally show up on our television screens, the impulse of many Americans is to change the channel," McCain said in the Senate. "But we must not look away. We must not avert our eyes from the suffering of the Syrian people ...
The current civil war is between the Hamas backed Assad regime, and the Al-Qaeda backed rebel forces, which makes it difficult to fathom why he seems to be asserting that either side is better than the other.  If the rebel side is killing less people than the government it is likely the result of them not being in power.
The fate of innocents caught in the middle is a tragedy, but any intervention by the US will create the situation of their forces being caught in the middle of two sides who hate America’s guts.  It would be something like sending troops into the middle of a circular firing squad.

Feb 17, 2014

Extreme cold blamed on global warming

Image: Courtesy, Breitbardt

We are becoming accustomed to being berated by warming frantics over any uncomfortable weather event being the result of ‘man made climate change’, global warming, or whatever term is deemed appropriate these days.  These include droughts, floods, bushfires, and now, cold winters.
Recently a group of grandstanding warmists attempting to revisit Mawson’s 1911 expedition inadvertently revised Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ trip by getting trapped in sea ice.  One of the explanations offered was that because of global warming the excessive melting of Antarctic ice had freshened the seawater to the point where it froze into sea ice at a higher temperature.
We have since been offered a similar sounding explanation for the lull in temperature rise over the past seventeen years.  Apparently GW has caused stronger trade winds, which have turned the oceans over, burying the warm water underneath and bringing cooler water to the surface.
Guest Michio Kaku, a physics professor from New York City College--not a climatologist, but a physicist--claimed that the "wacky weather" could get "even wackier" and its all because of global warming. "What we're seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. We think it's because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting," professor Kaku said. 
"That excess heat generated by all this warm water is destabilizing this gigantic bucket of cold air... So that's the irony, that heating could cause gigantic storms of historic proportions," the prof explained. 
This was all because of global warming, Rose insisted. …
The excuses are getting sillier and are running out.

Feb 15, 2014

Australia at #28 in press freedom

There has been some commentary in the libertarian and right wing blogosphere over the US falling to #46 in press freedom rankings in the latest assessment from Reporters Without Borders.
While the US Constitution has a guarantee of freedom of the press in its First Amendment, the reality is that over the Bush and Obama Administrations, there has been a considerable drop in rankings.  The depredations of the NSA and Obama’s ‘war on Fox’ are glaring examples.
Australia cannot feel too comfortable though.  While press freedom lacks a constitutional guarantee here and we are considerably ahead of the States, we are well down the rankings at #28: 
In Australia, the lack of adequate legislative protection for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources continues to expose them to the threat of imprisonment for contempt of court for refusing to reveal their sources. No fewer than seven requests for disclosure of sources were submitted to the courts in 2013 alone. …
This is not really much of an improvement on our #30 ranking during 2012 while Conroy and Gillard were pushing media controls including licensing journalists and a ‘fit and proper’ person test for media owners and a ‘super regulator to oversee the industry including bloggers.  It is also a decline from last year’s #26.
New Zealand currently sits at #9 and there is little reason why as a fellow liberal democracy with a similar geographic position and much in common, why we shouldn’t have a similar standard of freedom.

Feb 14, 2014

Coalition of eco-loons and anti-market fanatics

Daniel Hannan presents another glaring example of how both incarnations of the modern authoritarian left combine to screw things up in the name of the environment and consumer protection:

 Eco-loons and anti-market fanatics tend to be natural allies in inflicting greater and more intrusive regulation on all of us in order to advance their own jaundiced view of the kind of society they would have us become.