Full fathom 5 my Slipper lies.


The drama in Canberra has inspired me to discover a long lost poem by one Mr William Shakespere.

Full fathom 5 my slipper lies:

Of his reputation cesspools are made:

Those little turds that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade:

But doth suffer a Party-change:

Into something stink and manged:

Press gallery hourly ring his knell:

Dong-Dong

Fark, now I hear them,– Dong-Dong, Taxi!!

Original below the fold.

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A long fisking of a stupid Parlimentarian


I caught Christine Milne (Greens Tasmania) on ABC news radio yesterday  on Thursday during the opening speeches about the minerals taxation bill.

The sheer “did she just say that” stupidity was breathtaking… That she hasnt been pilloried in the press for it speaks volumes about the poor state of political reporting in Australia today.

So Im going to fisk it a little, its a loooong speech, so it will take quite a while, her speech will be plain text, my observations will be bold.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Crossin):

Order! The Senate is considering the minerals resource rent tax legislation as a package.

Senator MILNE

(Tasmania—Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (19:30):

I rise tonight to discuss what sort of future we aspire to have in this country, because, whilst the specific is the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 and associated legislation, the context in which we are debating this tax is what sort of vision do we have for Australia in the next 20, 30 or 50 years. How you raise the money and where you spend it will determine that kind of country, because the future is actually an extension of the present and it is shaped by the decisions and actions we make.

Here Christine is using her amazing intellect to tell us time is linear, and actions have consequences… probably the highest point of her speech

More, oh so much more.. under the fold

Read the rest of this entry »

Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

Why Julia stabbed Wilkie


Its perfectly simple, heres a pictorial.

Mr Wilkie proposed restrictions on poker machines. He was extremely sincere in his opposition to them.

This is Julia Gillard, she was extremely sincere in wishing to form government in Australia after the last election.

This is Julia Gillard sincerely forming government with the Support of Mr Wilkie, who believed he had secured a sincere promise of pokie reform in exchange for Ms Gillard securing power.

Then something happened to change everything…

This!

The ALP owns a number of the clubs that in turn, own a number of pokie machines, State ALP received hundreds of thousands in donations every election from these clubs.

Now Julia is left honouring an agreement she feels little or nothing about, if she does this state ALP branches will lose a huge source of funding. State ALP may be in  sincere “discussions” about this..

So its perfectly simple, to keep a promise she made which will cause her party financial pain, and make another “Kevin” challenge inevitable, or burn Wilkie.

Facinating Mr Wilkie, come closer and tell me more...

Wilkie is toast.

From the Australian, a bit of vital background…

“But Mr Hatch told The Australian Online he didn’t see how the Canberra Labor Clubs group, which donated about $600,000 to the ACT branch of the Labor Party in 2009-10, could isolate the compensation from other revenue sources.”

#ProTip for Following the GOP Primaries


I find the GOP debates & endless caucus coverage marginally more bearable if I turn down the volume and use the Benny Hill theme song as a soundtrack instead. Here’s a 10-hour loop (!) which might come in handy as Super Tuesday looms…

N.B. Works equally well as an accompaniment to Australian Parliamentary Question Time coverage.

A Decade of Tim Blair — Blogger, Legend


Gavin Atkins at Asian Correspondent marks the milestone:

Blogger/journalist Tim Blair has never been one to take a lot of notice of plaudits, awards or milestones – in fact, he assiduously ignores them – but the recent passing 10-year anniversary of his blog should not go by without comment.

For many Australians of a conservative or libertarian bent, about ten years ago, just reading or watching the news was like being asked to wade through a floating garbage dump of dogma to try and read what was written on the ground. What’s more, most of us were left cursing, as only the most watered down of our thoughts would ever make it through as a letter to the editor.

Tim Blair changed all that with his blog that tackled the idiocies of the left pretty much as they happened. His blog filled a niche that conservatives were crying out for, and his comment sections soon became almost as entertaining as the articles. [...]

Along the way, he has invented terms such as Blair’s Law and the Gore Effect as well as alerting the world to the alarming tendency of lefties to tilt their heads in photographs.

And then there’s the Plastic Turkey meme, the new verbs “to beclown” and “to Fisk,” and probably a whole lot more that others can add in comments.

One thing Gavin didn’t mention was how global Tim Blair’s appeal has turned out to be  – in fact, one sledge often thrown at him by some of his resident trolls is that he has “too many” American fans and commenters.  For some reason, his Leftoid Australian detractors believed that was some sort of fatal “gotcha”.

Ah, his trolls!  Not only have Tim’s blogging efforts attracted some of the most clever and witty commenters over the years, they’ve seen him collect some of the most dedicated, demented, obsessive and sometimes just chuckleheadedly-silly assortment of sockpuppets and trolls ever seen in one place.

Go over and read Gavin’s whole piece, and be sure to leave your thoughts & favourite memories/recollections in comments either here or there.

Happy Tenth Blogiversary, Tim!

P.S. Where’s Wronwright with that mead…?

P.P.S. As our blogroll has been rather neglected of late, if you are one of the #BlairNation troupe of bloggers (new motto, #WeAreUs – thanks Julia!) and aren’t listed over on the right-hand side there ——->
just drop your blog link in comments and we’ll get it updated. Cheers.

UPDATE:  More comments now at The Blogfather’s here:  TEN YEARS OF LOVE.  As Puce would have said, CLICK.

PAUL EHRLICH, still wrong after all these years.


For some obscure reason an Australian University was playing host to Paul Ehrlich this week, and apparently his lecture wasnt titled “I was wrong, boy wasnt that silly”. No instead hes jumped both feet first on the Global warming bandwagon and milking it for all hes worth.

 

Mr Ehrlich at his day job

 

As a serial wrongist of long standing I felt it might be worth a gentle layman’s Fisk of his radio interview.

ELEANOR HALL: The United Nations says the world’s population will reach 7 billion some time today, though it concedes the date is symbolic and its calculations could be out by six months in either direction.

The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says reaching the 7 billion mark is an opportunity for progress.

But Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and author of the controversial book, The Population Bomb, Dr Paul Ehrlich, says the milestone is no cause for celebration:

PAUL EHRLICH: I think it’s cause for a lot of alarm and so does every scientist I know.

(Every scientist he knows, careful parsing of the phrase there Paul)

You have got to face it, we still have close to 3 billion people living in poverty, almost a billion hungry. We are wrecking our environment, we are changing the climate, we are toxifying the planet from pole to pole and the worst thing is that nobody is doing anything about it.

(Heres an article from a poverty fighting website, in fact things are getting better on an absolute level, in pretty well every area mentioned,

  • 25 years ago in China, over 600M people were living on < $1/day. Today this number is 180M … meaning 420M+ people are now above this level.
  • Between 1999 and 2004, 135M people worldwide rose from < $1/day to above this level. This is more people, more quickly than at any other time in history.
  • In South Asia, the number of people without clean water has halved since 1990.
  • In 1975, 75% of people aged 15-25 were literate. Now the rate is almost 90%.
  • In 1970, the fertility rate in East Asia/Pacific was 5.4 and now is 2.1 In South Asia, it was 60 and now is 3.1. Overall, global fertility has fallen from 4.8 to 2.6 in 25 years. Africa has all but one of the countries with fertility rates above 5.0.
  • A World Bank study noted that every 1% increase in national income her person in an emerging country translated in 1.3% fall in extreme poverty.
  • In 2007, the global economy entered its fifth year of over 4% growth — the longest period of expansion since the 1970′s. Also, trade grew 9% despite all of the challenges.
  • Almost half of all humans lives in countries with growth of more than 7% per year (which doubles the economy every decade).
  • Inequality has risen in both rich and poor countries overall, but there are examples where this is not true questioning whether globalization is the main culprit of inequality. The Economist argues that lack of [quality] education is likely the biggest culprit.
  • In 1990, more than 25% of people in developing countries lived on < $1/day. At current rates, this will be 10% by 2015.
  • Income is not the only way to quantify improvement for the poor. Monetary measures understate the real gains from things such as lower child mortality, safer water, literacy and other social achievements.
  • A study shows that the number of conflicts (international and civil) fell from over 50 at the start of the 1990′s to just over 30 in 2005. The number of international wars peaked in the 1970′s and have been falling ever since. The death toll in battle fell from over 200,000 a year in the mid-1990′s to below 20,000 in the mid-2000′s. [The WHO has higher numbers.]
  • The number of incidents of terrorism has increased since 2001 although the number is still very small.

 

Much, much more paul slapping under the fold.

Or you could just watch this little video from

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

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Question time in Australias parliment.


While I was in Canberra I ducked into the gallery to watch question time. I got to see Julia and the 3 ringed circus in action, and was present when Mr Shorten made his rather silly “Economic white Australia policy” speech.

 

Here was my impressions.

Tony Abbott was walking around like he had 3 testicles not 2. It was fairly obvious from his demeanour, and that of his party they have the whip hand at the moment. Activity on the opposition benches seemed purposeful, and smooth.

The government benches looked a little different, much less confident, and fully aware they were under siege. The front bench looked ok, but Swan was all fluff and no substance and most of the rest of the bench were variously slouching, distracted or morose.

As for Julia, only one word to sum her up, brittle.

She looked extremely uncomfortable, but trying to radiate a sense of calm and control, but nowhere near pulling it off.

While I was in the gallery 2 people were ejected for disrupting proceedings, one went fairly quick, the other made a bit of a spectacle of himself.

At that stage the speaker of the house warned the gallery it would be cleared if there continued to be disruptions.

Then came the most pathetic, schoolyard bully boy bullshit I’ve seen for a long time.

Julias cabinet spokesman, yesterday..

The ALP side of the house swiveled their collective heads and tried to stare down/intimidate the gallery. It was ridiculous, it came close to me standing up and telling them to pull their heads in and stop being so childish. It reminded me of nothing more than this silly old clip from the movie “Beetlejuice”.

(the scene at 00:34 sums the look up)

The sight of the government of Australia acting like a bunch of kids was disappointing, not surprising, given the 3 ring circus it has become, but sad all the same.

Also sad was the amount of too-ing and fro-ing between the government and opposition benches and Mr Winsors seat, with multiple notes being passed to the “most important man in Australia”, sad.

Back from the trip, convoy of no confidence.


Im back, the convoy went well, numbers wernt as high as hoped though.

For the trip from WA we had 2 trucks (3 for a while) and 5 other vehicles. On the way I had at least 200 “thumbs up” or positive signs and a grand total of 2 thunbs down or negative signs.

Every place we stopped people came for a look, signed the petition and gave us encouragement.

There was a concerted effort made to minimise disruption to Canberra residents, the coppers were for the most part helpfull, but there was a deliberate lack of senior figures to make decisions on the ground. I was for instance forbidden access to the parlimentary parking area until I got out and spoke to the copper and pointed out I had medical gear in the back which was for the rally.

There was a point made by the chief minister on the ABC that they had to spend a lot on preperations for the rally. None of that spending included any medical units I saw, just police.

The start of the rally was a fizzer, only about 200 (as reported) arriving on time. the convoy I came in with arrived about 10:00 I was towards the front of this group and there was about 1.5km of trucks and other vehicles behind me. One of the WA trucks broke down (clutch problem) and held things up a little, but was quickly towed away.

There was a good turn out of Canberra citizenry supporting the convoy, with only 2 individual protesters spotted negative, and well over 300 positive.

One problem for many of the trucks was a lack of parking, some were told to park on the verge, but were then ticketed, others only got parked up and back to the rally after lunch.

I got to see speeches by Abbott, Prof. Carter and quite a few others, most made the point the government was a shambles, and climate change was a crock of crap. All good stuff.

Now the Allan Jones controversy. Notice how it became the “focus” story for the MSM? No other hook for the story?

Heres what I saw.

There was talk in the crowd of another convoy due in, I was fairly sure it had allready joined us just before we came in. Please note nearly every person with truck radios knew this, but as trucks were still looking for parking or circling the parliment there wasnt anyone fully informed.

Truckies were annoyed we hadnt been allowed to go past the actual bulding, and no light vehicles (myself excepted) with convoy markings had been allowed to drive up to the main building once the trucks arrived.

So there was quite a bit of confusion, if anyone was to blame it was the organisers.

Jones was handed a mobile phone (Im not sure who handed it to him) and had a couple of words with the bloke who handed it to him, listened to the phone a bit then had his rant on a convoy being turned back.

Without knowing who told him that its hard to apportion fault. But as best I could tell he was reporting in good faith what he was told, he left less than a hour later he left, could he have corrected his story by then? Dunno.

But it was a good day, Id estimate about 1500 people at its peak, there were a few strange folk (Truther alert!!), but for the most part a good natured bunch of Aussies assembled peacefully to protest an incompitent government.

Numbers should have been better, but considering (as one speaker mentioned) many of the cattle communities affected havent had an income for 10 months, its hardly suprising not many could afford the trip.

I have most of my piccies below the fold, I was pretty well suck in one place with my medical gear so missed quite a bit though.

WA truck

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Off we go


Im off for a few weeks for the convoy of no confidence. Need to pick up some medical gear in Perth for the trip, then leaving at 0630 from the Belmont Park racetrack in Perth.

Looks like it will be a fun week or so visiting the red Queen in Canberra.

Some of the poor Canberrans feel a little under siege allready, good, thats how most small businesses feel about what your town produces.

(PS: What sort of a blog is “Partnered” by the national gallery, and the ACT chamber of commerce? Even their blogs suck on the taxpayers teat FFS!!))

The Australian Liar bird.

A reminder of why people think this government  has no legitimacy.

Looks like Im taking a holiday.. of sorts


Looks like holiday time for the mole commencing on about the 17th of August.

Why you ask?

Im offering my services as a paramedic on this little expedition, “The convoy of no Confidence”, being organised by the National Road Freighters Association. The bloke I talked to was happy to hear from me, so it looks like Im going.

 

It will cost me a couple of grand, put business on hold for a fortnight or so, but should be a bucket load of fun. Who knows, maybe we can force the government into a backdown or re-election?

 

Ill take a few happy snaps along the way as well, its good to see the organisers are thinking of safety, they are still after paramedics, so if you know any ambos or minesite medics that might be interested let them know.

It started out as 1 convoy, now it looks like it will be 7-8 of the things leaving from all over Australia. According to the organiser I spoke to there may be up to 200 farmers from the mid-west region going. If there are similar figures all over Australia it may be the single biggest demo Canberra has ever seen.

Its open to anyone to go not just truckies, people will have to be fairly self sufficient (fuel/water/food) and allow the trucks to lead the way.

A few others have picked up on this

Menzies house

Bolt

Abc???? nothing….

 

More convoy routes/details under the fold

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Your Favourite Blogs – Now With More Carbon!


How often have you been reading a blog and thought to yourself, “Self, what that blog needs is MORE CARBON!”?

Tax this, Julia…

Click here to view full size

(click to embiggen)

Moar?    Read the rest of this entry »

Julia the Dullard.


Im sorry but our Prime minister is now embodying “stuck on stupid“.(:32 for the signature line)

The latest advertising junk is just an insult to anyone following the carbon DIOXIDE tax debacle.

Heres one set of lies, omissions and fudging all contained in just this 1:26 minutes of crap.

Lets concentrate on the biggest single cluster of lies and omission in the advertisement, its at around 32 seconds in when the countries “doing something” are listed on Juliars whiteboard.

China: Massively producing emissions, unlikely to change.

USA: Despite Obamas efforts at economic wrecking, is expecting a modest rise next year. If the economic misery continues then CO2 will stay stable or drop…oh…good….

India: You are kidding, heres one state in India’s efforts. “A single Indian state is to build a new fleet of coal-power stations that could make it one of the world’s top 20 emitters of carbon emissions – on a par with countries such as Spain or Poland.” The punchline to that joke?

Separately this week, international watchdog groups also complained that Indian coal companies were trying to earn hundreds of millions of carbon credits from the coal expansion. The Krishnapatnam plant has been registered with theUN clean development mechanism (CDM) and, if approved, could generate 3.5m carbon credits a year. Does Julia want to state shes sure none of our sinful carbon will be offset by credits from this plant?

Europe: May soon have to choose between its welfare state and the environment. They have dropped their levels of CO2 but lets face it, what have they gained?

The main reasons for the 2009 fall were a steep decrease in carbon emissions from public electricity and heat production, especially in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, it said.

“..Those four nations also suffered big falls in manufacturing industry while iron and steel industries receded in all major nations. “Emissions also fell in households and services — despite the colder winter — and in road transport,” it said…”

Oh good, cold people and less work…hooray?

So Juliar Dullards ad was factually right on exactly 1/4 of the countries it cited as leading the way.

Is Julia

a: Lying again

b: Mistaken

c: The greens made me do it..

Thug tactics or prudent behaviour?


I was struck by this article over on the ABC, at face value possibly prudent regulatory behaviour, given the Labour parties “whatever it takes” philosophy on politics possibly sinister.

 

ACCC flying squad to combat carbon rorts

Sounds ok, a specialist squad to catch those trading in fraudulent carbon allocations eh? Such as the EU has been plagued with..

 

Not quite…

The $12.8 million Australian Consumer and Competition Commission team will be tasked with dealing with false and misleading claims and price rises that businesses blame on the new tax.

More like a political weapon to keep companies from passing on the full cost of the carbon plan immediately.

The laws specify fines of up to $1.1 million per contravention, and the ACCC will use them to prosecute carbon price rorters.

The original penalties were in place to catch misleading or false advertising, they now encompass the possibility of fraudulent passing on of costs. This seems a massive expansion of the scope of the ACCCs’ powers.

Treasurer Wayne Swan says the consumer laws are the “toughest Australia has had for 100 years”.

“I believe the vast majority of business will do the right thing, but for those businesses that don’t do the right thing they will feel the full force of the law and heavy fines,” he told reporters.

Mr Swan says the ACCC “will be as active as possible” when the carbon price is introduced on July 1 next year.

“The ACCC will be the cop on the beat out there to ensure that those that meet these false claims are dealt with and dealt with  with the full force of the law.”

Competition Policy parliamentary secretary David Bradbury (another career lawyer/politician)urged consumers to dob in businesses that increase prices as a result of the carbon price.

“We’ve allocated $12.8 million over four years to the ACCC and will establish a dedicated team of more than 20 staff,” he said.

“Their activities will be directed towards enforcement and education of businesses and consumers.”

Mr Swan says the prices passed on as a result of the carbon price should be very small.

This is, to my mind, a thuggish way of pressuring businesses not to step out of line or face punishment.

Say hello to my liddle friend..

Mr Swan says the prices passed on as a result of the carbon price should be very small.

He says the carbon price will impact on the inflation rate by 0.7 per cent when the scheme is introduced.

“It is a price that applies to the 500 largest polluters,” Mr Swan said.

“It is not a tax on households as is claimed by many but it will have a small price impact in the supply chain and that is why we have put in place assistance for households to ensure they can meet those price impacts.”

Crap Swan, its a tax on energy production, pure and simple. The more energy you or the goods you obtain (as long as they are Australian made) “cost” to make the more money it will cost you.

Just because the Sunbeam factory doesnt produce its own power, doesnt mean it hasnt got increased costs for any of its Australian made products. But that’s ok, because we can import cheaper products from China, which doesnt raise a tariff wall against its own products.

 

Australia is effectively raising a tariff wall against Australian made products.

Carbon Tax Fallout: tax rates for low-income earners up, plus, “what compensation?”


Packaged along with the much-ballyhooed “save the planet” carbon tax were some increases in marginal tax rates which the press went pretty quiet on.  And although the tax-free threshold was raised, the LITO (low income tax offset) was actually reduced, which along with rises in the marginal tax rates for the lowest two tax brackets means that this is not such a good deal after all, especially for lower-income Australians.

I’m not an economist (and I don’t even play one on TV) so I’m linking you over to both Professor Sinclair Davidson’s reckonings at Catallaxy and Clinton Mead’s at the Australian Libertarian Society blog.  As a layman I found Clinton Mead’s in-depth explanation and examples pretty clear and easy to understand – I recommend wandering over and having a look at both his post and the comments there.

In short, though, both economists do a good job of showing what the effects of the new tax scales and the alleged “compensation” will work out to for those on various incomes.  And it’s not nearly as rosy a picture as the government or its cheerleaders in the lapdog media would have us believe.

In related carbon tax news, analysis of the latest opinion polls throws up a pretty surprising figure:  62 percent of 18-34 year olds are opposed to Labor’s carbon tax policy.  Wait, what?  If you only listen to the ABC and GetUp and its related pseudo-grassroots lobby groups, you get the distinct impression that it’s only the old fogeys who are opposed to this tax; that the Yoof are all hip & jiggy wit’ it.  So what’s up that? Are we being fed yet another busted meme which is all about the narrative Labor and the MSM want to push but nothing much to do with reality?

Sinc has the full polling results here and they’ll be worth referring to later.  As he points out, “Both these polls can be considered pre-policy announcement benchmarks. If Gillard is able to sell her policy to the public we’ll be able to see changes of opinion here.”  So, bookmark ‘em.

And also, just a memo to myself to remember to check out the Catallaxy blog more often, especially since I’ve pretty much gone off the comments thing at Bolt’s.  Some really good voices over there, and it doesn’t seem to be over-run by astroturfers and trolls (yet!).

Remember the live cattle trade ban?


With all the hoohah over the past few days over PM Gillard’s carbon (dioxide!) tax, it’s perhaps easy to forget some of the other current stuff-ups Labor is actively involved with.

Ten weeks on and there’s still no deal with Malaysia over a refugee swap.

There’s the mining super profits tax – not just the carbon tax – that our biggest industry with have to put up with.

There’s the $36 billion NBN that still somehow has to be paid for. Meanwhile, a bloke who just bought a new house can’t get a copper phone line connected – Telstra have stopped doing that – and has to wait three-odd years for his fibre cable.

And there’s the ongoing damage from the government’s naive decision to stop the live cattle trade (since resumed but so much damage is yet to be undone).

The suspension, prompted by cruelty concerns, was lifted last week and Indonesia plans to issue fresh import permits to get things moving over the next three months.

But Gulf Savannah Development says trade is still dependent on permits flowing through quickly.

The group’s chairman, Carpentaria Shire mayor Fred Pascoe, said it could take years to recover the costs from missing an important trading period with Indonesia.

“To be honest, I think we’d rather front a category 5 cyclone than the high pressure storm created by the government,” he said.

Mr Pascoe said it could take months to re-establish supply chain protocols.

Meanwhile, the Queensland manager of Australia’s largest livestock transport company doubts business will ever be the same.

Townhall meeting coming to a venue near you


OK, so PM Gillard reckons The Debate We Never Had™ is over, but that doesn’t mean – oh no siree – that folks aren’t standing up to have their say.

A townhall meeting in Brisbane:

Mr Hockey said merchants at a Brisbane market this morning told him they would not be able to pass on the cost of an estimated 10 per cent rise in electricity without sacking staff.

“Time and time again, as we went past every store, all the workers were coming out and saying ‘you have to stop this tax’,” he said.

Read on.

Best Australian Ad of the Year So Far: TradeTools Doesn’t {Heart} Julia


I love this ad.  I would marry this ad.  Hell, I would gay marry this ad.

PDF of actual ad from yesterday’s Sunday Mail at link; text of the prize rant below for clarity: Read the rest of this entry »

Why isnt this man a greens candidate?


I was perusing the ABC site when I came across this news item on the cattle trade being reopened, and how some in the Labour party were unhappy with that.

Kelvin Thomson is one of the nine backbenchers who have expressed concern about the announcement, demanding a “no stun, no deal” policy.

He says the main problem is that the international guidelines do not ensure cattle are stunned before they are killed.

 

I thought Id have a look at Mr Thomson and his background.

My conclusion… the mans a loon.

From his own Bio:

 

Kelvin Thomson is a tireless campaigner for population stabilisation, for action on climate change, and for the protection of Australia’s beautiful and fragile environment.

Hmm, population stabilisation… what could that mean?

Well it appears Mr Thomson was author of  “Kelvin Thomsons 14 point plan for population reform” a rather creepy document.

Much more under the fold

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Fight the GetUp! campaign against Australian businesses [Update]


I received this email from CANdo – the Conservative Action Network – today and thought it was worth passing on.  It’s time for us to have a go at fighting back against the bully-boy tactics of the Greens/union-funded astroturfers from GetUp!.  They may have had a win in getting clubs like the Broncos to cancel Chris Monckton’s speech at the last second, but the lifting of the ban on our live cattle export industry shows that if enough ordinary people get motivated to make their concerns known, true grass-roots movements can be just as effective.

Anyway, have a read and pass it on.  Also, think about joining Australia’s Conservative Action Network. They won’t swamp you with emails, only contacting you when there’s real action needing to be taken, and once you’re a member how much or how little you do is completely up to you.  Hey, as our Mole has found out, taking action can be fun!

Plus! Haven’t you really always wanted to be able to add “Community Organiser: VRWC Division” to your CV?  ;-)

A message to all members of CANdo

Dear CANdo members

There has been a disturbing development in the carbon tax debate, led by left-wing activist group GetUp!

GetUp! is engaging in a campaign to blackmail businesses into dropping their public opposition to the proposed carbon tax. To blackmail legitimate businesses that are doing nothing more than exercising their freedom of speech is simply unacceptable.

The letter sent by GetUp! is available here for you to read.

What CANyoudo:

  1. Contact your local talkback radio stations and let them know how disgusted you are by this latest scare campaign
  2. Write a letter to your local paper to make people in your area aware of this atrocity
  3. If GetUp! does indeed publish a list of businesses that it is boycotting (we’ll let you know if they do) go along to those businesses in your area and support them.

Australian businesses do not deserve to be intimidated by Labor-Greens front groups like GetUp!

Visit CANdo at: http://network.conservative.org.au/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

As soon as we get word of the businesses GetUp! plans to target, I’ll post them here and we can go to work letting these businesses know (as several of us did with Max Brenner) that they have our support.

And seriously – read the GetUp! letter, especially the questions they’re demanding that businesses answer.  McCarthy had nothin’ on these people.

UPDATE:  More on this GetUp! boycott at the Australian – CLICK.  (via James)

UPDATE II: Bolt goes with the McCarty analogy as well – “The New Warming McCarthyists” – and makes a good point about their claim to as many as 570,000 “members”:

It’s time more people realised the GetUp’s power is wildly overstated. Those more than 400,000 members it boasts [EDIT: The boycott letter actually claims 570,000 members] are just names on petitions. Fewer than 18,000 people have actually sent it money – less than $100 each on average.

Update III:  Quadrant, March 2011 – Inside GetUp and the New Youth Politics 

 In its most recently published annual report for 2008-09, the total number of individual donors was just 17,295 with an average donation of $96.78.

Since most of the donated money came from big unions, the actual amount given by individual members must have been very small.

UPDATE IV:  Via CANdo, The Galileo Movement and Menzies House comes this plea – URGENT: Help Us Stop GetUp!’s Blackmail.  It appears that the AFGC are really feeling the heat – the CEO reports that their members are feeling “intimidated” – and they need to hear that they do have support out here.  Click over to MenziesHouse for details.

 

 

Environmental activists “too polite and well behaved”; urged to “get tough”


You know what the Warmy activists’ problem is? They’ve just been too gosh darned polite & well-behaved so far. Really.

“Have we failed to slow global warming pollution in part because climate and environmental activists have been too polite and well behaved?”

Via climatenonconformist, Steve Goddard take a look at a Rolling Stone article which announces that “It’s time for climate activists to get tough.”   Because you can’t slow global warming pollution [global warming pollution??] without breaking a few eggs!

“Is it time to take to the streets, express some outrage, maybe engage in a little guerilla [sic] warfare against Big Oil and Big Coal?”

It’s not violent extremism if you’re on a mission from God Gaia.

Plus, bonus Crazy Eyes!

“In the letter by Bill McKibben, he is asking protestors “to do something hard,” which is to come to Washington ”in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will quite possibly get you arrested.” ”

Yeees, Biiill.

Now here’s a thought:  What would the reaction be if those of us who don’t believe that there’s enough scientific evidence to claim that man’s CO2 emissions are heating the world to hell, and don’t believe that the government can control the world’s climate through “carbon tax” or “cap and trade” schemes, were to propose engaging in “a little guerrilla warfare” against the government and academic institutions which are threatening our economy, our jobs, our quality of life, and our childrens’ futures with their various expensive but futile plans to “stop catastrophic man-made global warming”?

We were already tagged as “extremists” (and worse) simply for holding a peaceful rally in opposition to the carbon tax.  What if we were to promise to stop being so polite and well behaved and engage instead in a little guerrilla warfare*?

Happily, that’s not our way.  But it’s evident that as their CAGW scam continues to fall apart before their very eyes, the Warmies are getting more and more frantic and more and more militant.  I just hope this doesn’t get real ugly before it’s all over.

*That was not a “death threat,” Warmies.  No need to evacuate to your secure bunkers.

Fun with pollies


I sent a rather grumpy email off to a WA Federal senator today, I didnt bother signing the email as I thought it would go straight in the bin.

 

At about 1400 I received a phone call from the pollie in question he was a little grumpy as well.

 

Heres my email. (1 typo fixed)

A lifelong member of the ***, staying shamefully silent as the whole cattle transport industry is gutted by government fiat. (Im not going to dob the bloke in by name or affiliation, he was pretty straight with his answers)

 Please explain why I shouldn’t load a truck full of cattle and use your offices as a yard till this is sorted out?

 Do you(r) city based idiots have any idea just how stupid they are? If not would you please grow a pair of nuts and inform them. In bloody public.

 

The call went something like this.

Pollie: Are you the bloke who sent that unsigned email calling me stupid?

Me: No I called other members of your party stupid, Ive read your background, you of all people should know how badly this is affecting people.

Pollie: Oh well Ive rung you to set you straight, on a few things.

Me: go on..

Pollie: We are working as hard as we can to get the industry back up and running, the foreign minister is headed to Indo this week, theres other things happening as well.

Me: Look is this all because you are stuck with the greens, or your own people pushing the ban?

Pollie: Neither, its all due to the RSPCA and animals Australia, we want it started again.

Me: Well Ive got a *** business and a couple of my truck driver customers have been laid off, theres a business here in town with 30 trucks not moving and its killing them, its not just the farmers..

Pollie: (sounding genuine) Mate, I know Im receiving calls from blokes I know in the same boat, I got a call from *** who have just laid off 100 blokes..

Me: Well you know the effects, have you told your city based idiots what they are doing, do they even know?

Pollie: I can tell you there is a lot of friction in the party on this issue, I have had some pointed discussions with a few of my colleagues.

 

There was a bit more, but I was on the road when I got the call or I would have written it down. my impressions.

 

He is under massive pressure.

He knows blokes personally who have their livelihoods wrecked

I dont feel the ban was supported by him or any other “adult” in the ALP.

The government is so scared and shaky its willing to wreck the cattle industry to avoid pressure groups such as the RSPCA or animals Australia criticising them.

The threat of direct action, even in the abstract such as my email terrifies them.

 

This government would come perilously close to falling if a single truck of cattle made its way to a parliamentarians office..

Id encourage everyone to pile on, send emails or phone ALP pollies and put the pressure on them.

It’s not Godwin’s unless it’s an *inappropriate* analogy


At Andrew Bolt’s, but bears re-blogging:

I’m sorry, but the fascist analogy must now be drawn

Bolt comments: [all links added by me for the benefit of those not familiar with these themes]

I never dreamed I’d live in a country in which Jewish businesses were boycotted and blockaded.

The shame. The utter shame.

But then I’d never dreamed, either, that I’d be taken to court for expressing my opinion. Or that a news organisation would be denied a government contact for being political unsympathetic. Or that news outlets would be banned by government ministers for asking basic questions. Or that academics could protest against free speech.

What the hell is happening here?

UPDATE: Flashback to Melbourne 2009 (via Nilk) … it’s not like they’re being subtle, people:  “Nazis Needed”

.

Australians even get ripped off on DIGITAL book pricing


Why is the Amazon Kindle price of Ben Shapiro’s new book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV” almost double when I have my Kindle zone set to Australia?

Kindle 'Zone' set to Australia (click to embiggen)

Kindle 'Zone' set to USA (click to embiggen)

The takeaway lesson for Aussies would seem to be:  just set your Kindle “zone” to USA if you want to buy American books. No, I don’t know how “kosher” that is, but yes, I know that it works.

But the question remains:  why would a digital book, composed of nothing but zeros and ones, cost someone in Australia (who admits they’re in Australia) almost double?  This is what the blurb about “applicable taxes” says – as far as I know Australian GST is not charged on any internet purchases of under $1000 or so, and even if it were, a 10% GST would only add $1.29 to the price, not $10.18.

Is this still our protectionist luvvies in The Yartz at work, making sure we don’t find American books overly attractive?   (For background on Australia’s protectionist book pricing, see Tim Blair “Local Books for Local People” and “Luvvies Win”, and Bob Carr “Protectionism Means You Pay More For Books” and “It’s the Lunacy of Protectionism Write Large”)

Or is it just a matter of different publishers for the US and Aussie markets, each charging what they believe the market will bear?

And how realistic is that, really, in an Internet-enabled world where you don’t exactly need to be a rocket scientist to order from the most attractive market as opposed to being locked in to a local market?

Any thoughts &/or explanations most welcome in comments.

Our Langolier government


Most of you probably remember the book and/or movie, The Langoliers. Those little creatures would gobble up, or destroy if you will, everything – matter, space, time – they came across.

In a sense, the Gillard (and previously, Rudd) government has many similarities. Everything her Langolier eyes set themselves upon, they destroy.

The list is unbelievable.

Read the rest of this entry

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