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.

May 31, 2011

Herman Cain on critics and skeptics.

One of the worst aspects of the 2010 US election was seeing great low tax, small government candidates fighting off the Democrats, while having to deal with the back biting of the GOP establishment. Many Tea Party candidates had to cope with trenchant criticism from their own side while trying to beat the Dems. It is almost an unholy alliance between the liberal hate machine, MSNBC, (but I repeat myself) and the big spending nanny state Republican establishment. (not much different.)

Herman Cain is having the same trouble:

Wow! I must be causing some people quite a concern as a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. The establishment skeptics are still stuck in the traditional campaign paradigm of immediate name ID, lots of money, and having held a worthy elective office before. The critics are pounding on what they perceive as my weaknesses. And the Democratic National Committee now has me on its radar and is sharpening its blades for a Cain attack.

No one is more emblematic of the Republican establishment than Karl Rove. He has an unmatched political record from his tenure with former president George W. Bush. I greatly respect and admire what he has accomplished in his career.

But I would suggest that he take a few minutes to review my record as a leader in business and as a problem-solver before he dismisses me as the radio talk show guy form Atlanta with not much to offer as a presidential candidate. Mr. Rove’s perspective also suggests that successful business skills are not applicable to changing the “Titanic” course our federal government is on.
People outside the political establishment are starting to recognize that those business skills are applicable. Maybe that’s why Cain is rising in the polls.

One of my favorite political commentators, Charles Krauthammer of Fox News, described my candidacy as entertainment. I enjoy his perspectives because he is usually very thoughtful and often correct in his analysis. Unfortunately, this time he got it wrong. Some people would describe being able to give an informative and inspiring speech as an asset, especially if one is running for president.

Or maybe Mr. Krauthammer was thinking of the announcement rally we held in Atlanta recently, which attracted over 15,000 enthusiastic supporters. Then again, maybe it’s because we do not have the funds or the fundraising network that the more well-known candidates have. And no, my campaign is not broke, as someone on Chris Wallace’s Fox News staff incorrectly concluded from a dormant PAC account.

My presidential campaign account is called Friends of Herman Cain, just in case Mr. Rove, Mr. Krauthammer and Mr. Wallace would like to make a contribution. I’m not mad! We just have temporary differences of opinions.

And to my critics who are scouting for more of my weaknesses to write about, I will give you three you have not discovered yet. I don’t know everything. I don’t pander to groups. And I am terrible at political correctness. Like any candidate, I will make some gaffes and stumble in some interviews with the press.

On the other hand, my strengths include identifying problems, properly framing problems, solving problems, surrounding myself with good and great people, and giving those overly inspiring speeches to engage the people in my common sense solutions process. Oh! I also like to smile, laugh and have fun with people. I think people can handle those qualities in a presidential candidate.

Lastly, I’m surprised that the DNC already has me on its political radar screen when not all of the potential candidates have yet to even formally declare their candidacy for the Republican nomination. Maybe the Democrats are taking my candidacy seriously, and if I win the nomination then they will not be laughing.

I realize that the road to the nomination and the White House is long and difficult. I know we will encounter many new challenges along the way, and that many people see my chances as against the odds.

When one considers that I am up against the skeptics, the critics, the establishment, the Democrats, the liberals, gotcha journalism, a liberal-leaning mainstream media, the challenges of raising campaign funds and a host of other candidates seeking the same objectives, my candidacy is against the odds.

But then, that’s been the story of my life and my career.

ALP to close Battersea Power station, in England.

Some readers, especially the Brits might find the that power station which is featured behind Michael Caton in the “Say Yes” to the great big tax advertisement, looks a little familiar. Well, all except the smoke coming out of the stacks that is. It’s the already closed, obsolete Battersea Power station in London.

It has not opersated in twenty eight years in fact. That doesn’t matter though, Gillard will close it, or at lest that is what Caton is implying.

A number of Courier Mail Readers have picked up on it today, and Andrew Bolt has mentioned it on his blog. Caton looks positively depressed in his Aussie battler costume here, so perhaps someone should give him the good news, “Its bullshit stupid.”

Given that at the last election we went into the booths with Gillard’s “ No carbon tax” ringing in our ears, perhaps this would be a better use for the footage:

Even on the normally reliably pro Gillard government deceit ABC, Media Watch contradicted one of the most popular misconceptions, that the stuff coming out of all those stacks is the dreaded carbon, shorthand for CO2. They pointed that it is in fact water vapor. Media Watch like to show how clever they are, which is probably a little counter productive as far as the ABC is concerned.

As CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas, the rule of thumb is, if you can see it, it is not the dreaded ‘carbon.’

As a matter of interest though, it may be interesting to see how this ad stacks up against the governments own truth in advertising laws.

May 30, 2011

Stars support carbon tax; don’t want no stinkin reality.

The usual suspects including Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, the Climate Institute, and a number of unions are coming to the rescue of the Gillard government with a million dollar advertising campaign in support of the proposed carbon tax. These ads are to be fronted by actress and Labor groupie, Cate Blanchett, and fellow hack Michael Caton:

Another fly has been tossed into the ointment by the Business Council of Australia, which announced that they will support it but have called for a low starting point of $10 a tonne. That price would then increase slowly they hope, but will not be accepted. They are pissing into the wind on this as Gillard will be lucky if she can get the Greens to agree to anything less than $40. All they have achieved by this action is to allow the government to claim a victory. Presumably they are hoping for a sweetheart deal to favor themselves.

Blanchet and Caton have been strongly criticized for their action although they should be free to do whatever they like.

It should be remembered that Blanchett has gone to a lot of trouble in flying in from the US with little time to drop her bags off at het $10 million luxury pad, then get out to tell us selfish yobs that we must reduce our carbon footprint. While those who are likely to lose their jobs as result, or are on low incomes, or pensions, complain about how hard it will be for them to find another $800 to $1,400 per year depending on the size of the tax, she feels she is doing the right thing.

And good for her, after all in these uncertain times when we are struggling to make ends meet, we naturally need to turn to the infinite wisdom of celebrities like Blanchet, Charlie Sheen, and Michael Moore for guidance.

Michael Caton is a very successful actor as well, and might be subject to criticism, in that as he is pretty well off, he is out of touch with the battlers which is the wrong impression. He may not be pensioner or minimum wage earner battling to keep his family housed, clothed, and fed, but he has played one on TV. Who better to understand our pain?

Update: Press reports now indicate that we are supposed to regard the mansion referred to above as "eco friendly," just like Al Gore's.

May 28, 2011

Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa snubs Obama.

Image; Lech Walesa.

Lech Walesa is one of the real heroes of liberty. Leading union action in Soviet occupied Poland was the sort of thing that could cause arrest, imprisonment, and constant state harassment, and in his case did. After years of leading his people in the face of oppression and state tyranny, he was able to negotiate a deal for a return to democracy and the withdrawal of Soviet troops. This was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, became president in 1990, and implemented the necessary reforms to bring about a free market economy. He has now refused to meet with Barack Obama, another Nobel Peace Laureate who was awarded the prize for … er … well … being Barack Obama.

From IBD Editorials:
Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and heroic leader of the Solidarity trade union that helped liberate the entire Eastern European Soviet bloc from communist rule, has his moral courage indelibly engraved in the history books.
At 67, Walesa is a living legend with nothing left to have to prove.
But on Friday, Walesa once again answered the call to duty and announced he would not accept fellow Nobel Peace laureate President Obama's invitation to meet with him in Poland after the G-8 Summit in France.
The decision makes perfect sense, considering the obvious rationale behind Obama's Polish visit. Obama is meeting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk not to help them defend their state against its obvious enemy: Russia under ex-KGB thug Vladimir Putin. …
... Close observers of this president for the two-plus years of his rule know he isn't interested in listening to the likes of Walesa, any more than he wants to hear the leaders of former Soviet satellite states explain how the low, flat tax rates they adopted in recent years led their nations to double-digit GDP growth.
For the sake of preserving Poland's hard-fought freedom, Komorowski and Tusk should be joining Walesa in giving Obama the cold shoulder.
The president hadn't even had a chance to redecorate the Oval Office before he felt the need, in fall of 2009, to appease Moscow by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield protecting Poland and the Czech Republic from attack by Russia, Iran or any other aggressor. …
… His replacement for that "tragically misguided view" has been the appeasement of the Free World's enemies — from favoring Palestinian terrorists over Israel, to allowing Iran to move steadily toward becoming a nuclear weapons power, to compromising Ronald Reagan's dream of functional missile defence.
The ego-based Obama foreign policy is designed not to defend liberty against its enemies, not to recognize and act effectively against the greatest threats in the world — a soon-to-be nuclear Islamofascist Iran being at the top of the list — but to score PR points and shoot for big deals. …
… The message Poland's leaders should deliver to our self-satisfied president is the one Walesa is delivering by his absence: Neither your Nobel nor bin Laden's head, Mr. President, is a substitute for U.S. help in keeping a liberated Eastern Europe liberated.

Controlling freedom of speech.

Image; The Peoples Cube.

Most people are all for freedom of speech but unfortunately in these times most accept the idea that there should be some sort of caveat on its application. In its simplest form, the reference to yelling fire in a crowded theatre is quoted. It is arguable as to whether the lack of fire yellers is due to caveats, or just a lack of people who want to do so.

Unfortunately, once one restriction is enacted calls for a wish list of others are bound to follow. As result we now have a raft of restrictions based on just about every politically correct wish list in the book, right down to the rather silly idea that there is some sort of right to be free of anything that might offend you. The problem then is that once the rot sets in, things only get worse.

It is noted that the US taxpayer has provided the White House with a new “Ministry for Korrect Thought,” position with the rather fascinatingly described role of: “helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.”

Cynics might argue that the progressive online community is not the one that they need to foster better relations with. Anyway, MRC TV decided to check out whether the progressive community really felt that enough was being done to shut those bloody conservatives up, sending a reporter out with a petition demanding:

"The undersigned hereby adamantly demand that the United States government shut down right wing hate sites. The hate speech propagated by sites like the Drudge Report, Hot Air, Instapundit, Big Government, and others must not be allowed to corrupt our political discourse any longer. These sites are dangerous not only to truth and freedom but also to our society as a whole. BAN THEM NOW!" Here is the result:

Some of the responses are; “There has to be some control,” “I mean, freedom of speech is good, but, there is a certain modicum of control — I mean, look at the Tea Party.” and “it can cause a lot of debate.” My personal favorite is that “I support the First Amendment, but its not something this country needs any more.”

The slippery slope is looking closer.

May 27, 2011

Clinton supports Medicare reform.

Many Americans would be a lot happier if the current administration was ‘a third term for Clinton’ rather than the ‘second term for Carter’ or worse that it seems to be. Clinton was not an ideologue and had the intellectual integrity that allowed him to canvas and consider contrarian views. I reported here some time ago on the Clinton/Cain exchange on healthcare.

In the wake of the Republican loss in the NY special election there is a perception that it was entirely due to a reaction to the Ryan plan for reform of Medicare. A traditionally red district was lost by 4%, however a fake Tea Party candidate who has always been a Democrat took 9%.

Ryan approached Clinton, who stated that he was glad they won the race but hoped Democrats did not use it as an excuse to do nothing. Ryan told Clinton he’s concerned the election results will freeze action on spending. He asked Clinton for help:

This clip was posted by a leftie on YouTube, (the ABC clip is slow loading)

“My guess is it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen. And you know the math. It’s just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving,” Ryan said.
Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should “give me a call.” Ryan said he would.
Clinton seems to be genuine in this given his statement reported by NYT:
“You shouldn’t draw the conclusion that the New York race means that nobody can do anything to slow the rate of Medicare costs. I just don’t agree with that,” Mr. Clinton said at a budget forum sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Instead, he said, “you should draw the conclusion that the people made a judgment that the proposal in the Republican budget is not the right one. I agree with that.”
But Mr. Clinton said he feared that Democrats would conclude “that we shouldn’t do anything.”
“I completely disagree with that,” he said. “I think there are a lot of things we can do to bring down Medicare costs.”
Indeed, liberal groups and liberal Democrats in Congress were claiming validation on Wednesday of their position against negotiating a deficit-reduction deal with Republicans that would touch major entitlement-benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, whose long-term costs are major drivers of future debt projections. They say the party should make the issues a rallying cry for the 2012 elections and use them to potentially reclaim the House majority they lost last fall.

May 26, 2011

Fraser’s memoirs; a new vision of the past.

Image: Fraser with Carter. From Wikipedia. Like two peas in a pod.

If Australians had to find a PM to equate to Obama, Malcolm Fraser would be a natural. He would probably be flattered by the comparison, as ideologically they are very similar. The trouble was that he led the conservative Liberal Party. These days he is mainly remembered as a constant critic of every Liberal leader since he lost power, losing his trousers in a seedy Memphis hotel, and being the ‘principal architect’ in the installation of Mugabe as Zimbabwean leader.

Mal has become well known over the years for his disparaging ‘recollections’ of prominent Liberal Party members that seem never to have happened. It appears that his memoirs follow the same path. A review of them appears in today’s “Australian,” which is actually scathing, and deservedly so:
MALCOLM Fraser's memoirs, co-authored with Margaret Simons, are the most error-riddled, factually unreliable, tendentious, consistently nasty and overall disgraceful political memoirs I have ever read. Naturally they won the NSW Premier's Literary Award.
This infamous award demonstrates why the Premier's Literary Awards should be abolished. In their nonfiction section, at least, they are not about literature but promoting ideological conformity.
Fraser was prime minister from 1975 to 1983. In office, he had the reputation of being an arrogant, right-wing bully. Later, he decided to reshape himself as a grand man of the Left.
I don't doubt his motives, though it is noteworthy that you get a lot more comfort, certainly more awards, on the Left.
Fraser now has the attraction for the Left of any radical convert. Metaphorically, he has crossed the Berlin Wall, except he went from West to East. The Left is constantly surprised that it dominates the culture in Australia but is repeatedly rejected by voters. In truth, it dominates the culture only because of its stranglehold on taxpayers' funds, such as these awards. John Howard's memoir - the bestselling political autobiography in our history - is truly popular. It will be fascinating to see if it wins any of these wretchedly compromised awards. Fraser's visceral hatred of Howard and his relentless denigration of him, often with highly dubious stories, along with Fraser's support of free entry for the boatpeople, more than anything else endear him to the Left.
Fraser's book contains some astounding factual errors. Two among many that Gerard Henderson has pointed out are that Fraser cannot even remember how many elections he won, claiming four, when in fact he won three. Fraser also claims George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four was inspired by British society of the 1950s whereas it was a satire of East European communist dictatorships. Henderson might have pointed out further that as Orwell died in January 1950 and Nineteen Eighty-Four was published two years before that, he couldn't have been inspired by much in the 50s. …..

… An even more bizarre claim Fraser makes, in rationalising his support for the Vietnam War, is that he did not know until 1995 of the US involvement in the coup against South Vietnam's president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.
Fraser was Australia's defence minister at the end of the 60s. If he didn't know about the US involvement he was surely the worst informed defence minister in the history of this country or any other.
The US involvement was absolutely common knowledge, a routine part of any discussion of Vietnam in those days. Morris West, Australia's bestselling author at that time, wrote a novel about the American role in the coup, The Ambassador, which sold more than a million copies. …
… His scabrous slanders of Howard, the worst based only on his memory and backed up by no corroborating testimony or documentation, reveal a nastiness of spirit remarkable even in the ego-mad world of Australian politics. This shameful book deserves no awards.
Well worth reading.

Rand Paul, fighting the Patriot Act.

A great adage for all political parties should be, “Never legislate yourself more power than you would be comfortable with the other side having if you lose government.” Unfortunately in the case of the Patriot Act, The Republicans were for it before they were against it after being voted out, and the Democrats were against it before they were for it. Now it seems that both sides are for it.

Perhaps the public need to be more circumspect when looking at legislation and objecting more vociferously to draconian acts by either side, and when seeing ‘bipartisanship’ should understand that if it is in the interests of both sides, then they are getting well and truly screwed.

One of the consistent voices on the side of freedom is Senator Rand Paul, who seems to be one of the very few standing up for the Constitution in the face of overwhelming odds in the battle to end this act. He has moved and supported a number of amendments to the act, and spoken towards these:

Essentially those in favor of extending the act are arguing that those who oppose it would be responsible for any act of any terrorist in the future, whether or not the provisions would have prevented it or not. This has intimidated most to the point where the attempt to block cloture was defeated 74/8 with only four Dems and three Republicans supporting him.

Rand is a strong and articulate voice for liberty in the USA, and has great scope for the Presidency at some time in the future. I have doubts as to whether it is now as the US population is justifiably wary of electing inexperienced first term senators to that position. Still, his letter to senate colleagues is telling:

He (James Otis) condemned these general warrants as “the worst instrument[s] of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever w[ere] found in an English law book.” Otis objected to these writs of assistance because they “placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.” The Fourth Amendment was intended to guarantee that only judges—not soldiers or policemen—would issue warrants. Otis’ battle against warrantless searches led to our Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable government intrusion.

My main objection to the PATRIOT Act is that searches that should require a judge’s warrant are performed with a letter from an FBI agent—a National Security Letter (“NSL”).
I object to these warrantless searches being performed on United States citizens. I object to the 200,000 NSL searches that have been performed without a judge’s warrant.

I object to over 2 million searches of bank records, called Suspicious Activity Reports, performed on U.S. citizens without a judge’s warrant.

As February 28th approaches, with three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire, it is time to re-consider this question: Do the many provisions of this bill, which were enacted in such haste after 9/11, have an actual basis in our Constitution, and are they even necessary to achieve valid law-enforcement goals?

The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in the wake of the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history, is no doubt well-intentioned. However, rather than examine what went wrong, and fix the problems, Congress instead hastily passed a long-standing wish list of power grabs like warrantless searches and roving wiretaps. The government greatly expanded its own power, ignoring obvious answers in favor of the permanent expansion of a police state.

It is not acceptable to willfully ignore the most basic provisions of our Constitution—in this case—the Fourth and First Amendments—in the name of “security.” ....

May 24, 2011

"The End of an Era?"

Photo: Mt. Isa discoverer John Campbell Miles, with drilling contractor, the late Ron Kitching. Click to embiggen.

By Viv Forbes, Chairman,

This is Viv’s introduction to the article, “Value Adding in Australia – The Beginning of the End?” below. For those of you who are not taken in by the warmist hype or merely oppose carbon taxes, please bear in mind the last paragraph and do whatever you can to spread the message. - Jim. 

A personal explanation first:

People seldom recognize major turning points when they occur. At the time they are just another routine event in a crowd of trivial news.

But I was shocked recently by what I believe is a major turning point in Australian industrial history.

Xstrata announced that smelting and refining of Mount Isa copper is to be phased out.

As a young graduate, decades ago, I watched in wonder as men in asbestos suits tapped the glowing copper furnace to release a test sample of molten metal for the metallurgist. I gazed at the huge ladles pouring the molten copper into the casting wheel to form the slabs of blister copper. I saw the heaps of the red metal piled up on the rail siding destined for Townsville.

And, as I later walked through the refinery at Townsville, I marveled at the science, engineering and practical skills under that roof. To see the continuous casting wheel turning molten metal into rod and wire was modern magic.

All of these assets, skills and machinery are about to be scrapped as Australia loses its competitive edge in value adding.

Does Minister Martin Ferguson understand that many of these jobs for technicians, engineers and skilled workmen in minerals processing and refining are under threat from the carbon tax? Does he honestly believe they can be replaced by green jobs such as oiling the gearboxes of wind turbines manufactured overseas by General Electric or washing the dust from solar panels manufactured in China? Can he explain how replacing low cost energy with high cost energy can benefit Australians? If the Minister understands these dangers and delusions, why is he not speaking up? Has he lost his wits or his courage?

This Mount Isa decision is a wake-up call to those who recognize the broad trends of history. The excessive burden put on every industry over a few decades by over-regulation; over-taxation and general featherbedding will be suddenly focused by talks about a tax on carbon dioxide.

I have personally done many investment analyses working for MIM when it was the biggest company in Australia (those heady days are long past). So I know how professionals like Xstrata do their sums. Decisions are taken not just on today's conditions, but on those expected to prevail in future. Those with the brains to do the sums will see that even talk of a carbon tax may cause a cascade of decisions like the Xstrata one. It is already happening in UK where Tata Steel is mothballing steel plants.

Copper production commenced in a hurry at Mount Isa in 1942 to provide Australia with wartime supplies of copper. In the next global crisis, where will Australia find the skills and machinery to produce the sinews of industry if the refineries and plants producing metals, steel, cement and motor fuels have closed? Where will our smart engineering and science graduates get their jobs? Instead of adding value to our fabulous resources, will they go to live in Asia, or get jobs writing fatuous climate change propaganda for Greg Combet?

Thinking about these matters, I wrote the article below, which I hope may help to convince people of the dangerous policies we are being fed.

Could you please help us to get this message out to every politician, every media person and onto as many web sites as possible. Write letters, send emails, make phone calls. We skeptics are out-numbered, out-spent and have the big guns against us. Being right is not sufficient these days – we need to convince 51% of the people we are right, so we need help from our distribution network.

Viv can be contacted at:

Value Adding in Australia – The Beginning of the End?

Image, Mount Isa. Picture credit:

By Viv Forbes, Chairman,

This article can be found with illustrations on the Carbon Sense site here:

News Alert: Smelting and Refining of Mount Isa copper in Queensland to cease.

The first industries of Australia were farming and mining and these two have been the backbone of the nation ever since. Both are threatened by the taxaholics in Canberra.

Shorthorn and Brahman cattle arrived with the first fleet and coal was discovered by convicts at Newcastle in 1791, just three years after the First Fleet arrived. The first Merino sheep arrived in 1797 and coal mining started in 1798. Since then mining and farming have earned the majority of Australia's income.

Wool and wheat, gold and silver, butter and cheese, copper and lead-zinc, leather and tallow, iron and steel, sugar and wine, coal and hydro-carbons, meat and mutton, aluminum and uranium, timber and fish, nickel and titanium – these comprise Australia's Magic Pudding.

But the Gillard/Green/Garnaut Carbon Tax Coalition hate our primary industries because they all depend on carbon fuels and produce the carbon dioxide that feeds our crops. Our backbone industries are seen as dreaded "polluters" and treated like noxious weeds and serpents to be removed from the green Garden of Eden.

Our pioneering squatters and prospectors blazed the trails, which Cobb and Co turned into the roads of Australia. Wool from the merinos, almost alone, carried the nation until the 1850's when metals started to create wealth – lead, copper and gold were discovered in the 1840's and 1850's. Mining started soon after and then cattle raising became profitable to feed the miners.

Better roads, towns and then railways were built to move our primary products to the smelters, spinners, millers and tanners in Europe. Ever since, our great primary industries and the industries dependent on them have supported all Australians.

Mining is largely a materials handling operation, and it needs a lot of energy for mining, crushing, grinding, smelting, refining and transport.

The first copper mines extracted only high-grade surface ore. They mined it selectively using human muscle power, packed it to the coast using camels, donkeys, horses and bullocks, and shipped it on sailing clippers to smelters in Europe. All stages used politically correct "green" energy.

But "green" transport moves slowly. Some loads of ore that looked profitable when they left the Peak Downs Copper Mine in central Queensland on donkeys, were sold at a loss, months later, when they landed at the copper smelter in Wales. Mining was thus an intermittent business – booming when metal prices were high, closing when prices fell.

But the high-grade surface ores never last long, and the deeper primary ore is generally much lower grade. It was OK to send 40% copper ore from Cloncurry to the coast using horses and drays, but ore containing just 2% copper would not cover the costs.

So the first metal processing started with primitive on-site smelters (often using wood and charcoal, both "green" energy). Smelters removed most of the impurities leaving crude metal with +95% copper, which was exported, to overseas refineries. Later, Australians developed the flotation process to produce metal concentrates to feed the smelters. And trucks and trains started to carry value-added products to the coast.

The great Mount Isa Mine was discovered in 1923 - lead smelting started in 1931 and metal smelting at Mount Isa has continued ever since – 80 years of value adding in Australia.
Early in World War II, Australia found itself short of copper and Mount Isa was asked if it could produce copper. A crash program took place to convert the lead smelter to producing copper and the first blister copper was poured at Mount Isa in1942. Refining of blister copper started in Townsville in 1959.

Mines can only be where the deposits are found. But smelters and refineries can be located anywhere between the mine and the ultimate customer for the metals. And just three factors dictate where metal processing is located – political costs, processing costs and transport costs. The political cost (tax burden) depends on the common sense of the electorate and their knowledge of where the real wealth is created. The processing and transport costs depend mainly on the local costs of wages and energy.

The first trains and power stations all used steam engines burning low cost local coal. Then came cheap diesel transport for trucks and trains. Now electric trains are again running on cheap Australian coal. This low cost carbon energy supported our high wages and ensured that mineral processing became a big business in Australia – iron and steel, lead-zinc-silver, copper, nickel, aluminum, gold, uranium, limestone, coal, oil and gas are all processed to some extent in Australia.

There is no point introducing a carbon tax that does not increase the cost and thus reduce the use of coal and diesel energy. Mining and mineral processing and transport probably consume over 50% of Australia's electricity, which is mainly coal powered with minor gas. And they are huge users of diesel for utes, trucks, shovels, dozers, scrapers, mobile power and drilling rigs. Therefore, no matter what they say, all of Australia's mineral processing advantages are threatened by their carbon tax.

The recent Xstrata decision to phase out their world class copper smelting and refining operations in Australia tells us that the taxes, processing, transport and energy costs that Xstrata expects in Australia are already uncompetitive.

The dreamers in the Canberra cocoon always drool about "value adding". Their carbon tax will surely cause all mineral processing plants in Australia to lose value, and some will surely close. Low cost coal and diesel power will no longer support our high wages. The value adding will take place in Asia.

We are watching a slow tragedy unfold - the end of an era. Once the mineral processing plants leave, they will never come back. We will be back to the pioneering era of mining – dig it out and ship it off.

And the final tragic irony of the Isa story is this – sending partly processed copper concentrate overseas, instead of smelting it at Mount Isa, will about triple the transport burden and do the same to carbon dioxide emissions.
Viv Forbes

Reference – Xstrata to phase out copper smelting and refining:

Viv Forbes is a geologist, mineral economist and farmer. He has spent a lifetime working in government, mining and farming in Queensland and NT, from field geologist in the Bowen Basin, to uranium exploration at Rum Jungle, to mill clerk at Mount Isa, to mining investment analyst in Sydney and Brisbane and to company director of gas, oil and coal companies. He should be retired but refuses to. He and his wife Judy live at Rosevale harvesting solar energy from natural pasture using beef cattle and meat sheep. He can be contacted at:

May 23, 2011

Oh well, the Rapture's passed and I'm still here.

The latest Rapture seems to have fizzed, like the two or three others that have come and gone that I can remember. There could have been more, as at times in my life I have worked for extended periods in isolated areas with minimal communications.

At least I don’t think anything has happened, no one I know seems to be missing, but then the kind of people I tend to associate with, albeit good honest folks, are generally not the types I would expect to go.

Bawb just commented, Angry, Dondero, Pat Conlon, and others have posted, Ranty is running late, but I expect him to be OK. (Not casting any aspersions there, Captain.) I still have to check on our LDP Federal Executive, but after what Fred Nile from the Christian Democrats has to say about us, I think we will all be here.

Actually I thought of revising the party’s preference deals to take into account the absence of the CDP, Family first, and other Bible thumper groups who maintain that we are incapable of individually conducting ourselves in a manner compatible with Eternal Salvation, and believe the whole thing needs collectivization and a little legislative help. The thing is though that we are more likely to get preferences from bin Laden than them, and now the prick is dead, he is probably voting Democrat in several swing states in the US.

The real problem with Rapture predictions is that they always seem to emanate from the US and presumably, are based on US time. The bloody Yanks complicate things by being at the arse end of the world’s time zones. We in Oz kick things off by being the first country (apart from some mini Island nations to our East) on this side of the International Date Line. They, on the other hand are the last to join us in today, by the time they get to midnight yesterday, we are heading home from work today. Recalcitrant pricks!

As result it is possible that we can be well into Sunday thinking it has not happened, just in time to see that irritating, holier than thou prick next door start ascending into Heaven accompanied by a choir of Angels.

Anyway, I guess there will be more of them to come.

May 22, 2011

Censor Google; for the good of the people, that is.

Image; 'Reputable' climate scientist on Google search.

The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media has expressed concerns about the quality of Google searches. It seems that they have noticed what some of us, the great unwashed from out there in flyover country have known ever since Al Gore invented the Internet. When you type in a search item, sometimes you get results, which are contrary to what you want to hear.

It is somewhat surprising that a site which seems to have some connection to what Yale graduates consider to be one of the best educational facilities around, would object to having the opportunity to engage with contrarian views. Of course their objections are purely altruistic, it is not for them after all, its for all those dumb bastards out there who might read something impure, and believe it, rather than the official line:
Google and other search engine sites can lead to climate change riches … but not every search does. Researchers need to take a caveat emptor — buyer beware — approach and select their search terms with precision to avoid being led to error-prone websites.

Imagine that you’re curious about climate change but know little about it.
You might turn to the world’s most popular search engine, Google, and begin typing keywords, such as “climate change facts.”

What will you learn?

As of early May, a search for “climate change facts” will lead you to the webpage There, you’ll be told that the link between carbon dioxide and Earth’s temperature is unproven, that many scientists agree that the sun is responsible for rising global temperatures, and that Earth may soon begin to cool.
The clear implication is that Google must do something so that only the side of the author is represented in the search results, for the greater good of those yobbos who don’t know any better. Generally we all understand that there are views out there that we may not agree with.

Obviously, some people are offended to see that which they would rather not have out there in front of the public, for the public good of course. Elitists always argue on behalf of others not gifted with the towering intellects they attribute to themselves. The fact is that there are many people out there who feel they should be free to peruse their own ideas without that annoying opposition.

The term for them is “neurotics.”

May 21, 2011

UKIP / LPUK, a little confusion.

During the last 24 hours reports emerged from the US indicating that the Libertarian Party of the UK was being deregistered and that the United Kingdom Independence Party was inviting their members to join them.

This seems to have been caused by the following notice on the UKIP website:

UKIP Welcomes Libertarian Party Members.
Following news of the proposed deregistration of the Libertarian Party of the UK, UKIP Executive Chairman Steve Crowther has said that the party will extend a warm welcome to former LPUK members who wish to join or rejoin UKIP.

"The values and beliefs of UKIP and the Libertarian Party are very closely aligned," he said.

"While we may not agree on everything, our shared commitment to freedom, personal responsibility and minimal government interference in our lives is absolutely clear. UKIP is a party making real progress, under a new management team, and is now firmly established as the ‘fourth force’ in British politics. 
"Now is the time for all libertarians to put our shoulders to the same wheel. Former LPUK members will be able to make a valuable contribution to our mission to wrest power from the political elites in this country, and hand it back to the people."
A check of the LPUK website reveals that there has been something of an upheaval, with three members of the National Coordinating Committee resigning in the wake of an internal inquiry which revealed no wrongdoing but criticized some of the practices as sloppy. While these people have expressed a wish to deregister the party, it is not happening. A posting from the Nominations and Membership Secretary, Simon Fawthrop, states:
There has been a lot of speculation that LPUK has been deregistered. This cannot happen without my signature and I haven’t signed anything.
Andrew Withers, Nic Coome and John Watson have resigned and lodged their resignations with the EC. It is also the case that they have made it clear to the EC that they wish to deregister the Party. It is also true that I have made it clear that I wish to resign and that my resignation will take effect from the end of June.
However I have assured Max Andronichuk, who is trying to organize a leadership team, and this goes for anyone else who wishes to become an official, that I will support them until an SGM is convened- as long as it is before the end of July.
I am in the process of organizing an NCC meeting for Monday evening when it is intended that a new Treasurer, Chairman and Leader will be appointed. …
Not being a regular reader of the site, I am unaware as to whether this an isolated issue, or something ongoing. With the issue of deregistration coming up, it sounds like the latter. Perhaps some of our British or expat readers can enlighten us.

UKIP is best known to most of us over here from the efforts of Nigel Farage who seems to be the face of the party. There is some reasonable element in the statement that there are some mutual values shared between the parties, but maybe not enough to attract LP members to join up.

Were the LP to fold, some members may be attracted to their policies of devolving power downward, lower flat rate taxes with a simplified tax code, less regulation and more personal freedom. The main issue is of course to get Britain out of the European Union. A glance through their Manifesto indicates a range of reasonable policies, as well as some that leave a fair bit to be desired.

On the whole though they are far better than the three major parties. I feel they have more to gain by a libertarian infusion than such an infusion would gain from them.

May 20, 2011

Herman Cain to announce?

Herman Cain made a big impression in the South Carolina Republican debate, being hailed as the clear winner of the event. Some of the big names skipped the event and Gingrich has entered since. Still, the ‘dark horse’ as he referred to himself as, seems to be on a roll:

He has announced that he will be revealing his decision on running on Saturday, in Atlanta. It is to be hoped that he goes ahead with it if for no other reason than to shake the contest up a bit. If he were to win it would be the biggest thing since the Christians beat the lions 10-0 in the Coliseum.

The campaign should get better if some of the other names touted, such as Bachman and Christie get involved. Gingrich has already blown it and other than the outsiders, there is little on offer as yet. Mitt Romneycare couldn’t beat McCain last time, and has raised $10 million from Hollywood celebrities, which is a bad sign.

Turnbull slithers toward challenge.

Last night I mentioned that the plan of Abbott and the Liberal Party on carbon dioxide was less than impressive. While it is not a carbon tax in its own right and is not the wealth redistribution Gillard and Brown are foisting on us, it will require high taxation and big spending.

Now, with the Liberals comfortably ahead in the polls with a fair chance of cruising to victory whenever an election is called, Malcolm Turnbull has raised his head with the idea of a leadership challenge in mind. In a move reminiscent of the Howard/Peacock backstabbing contest of the 80s, which kept the Liberals out of power until Peacock left parliament; Turnbull has made his move. In the process he has probably thrown away any chance of defeating Greens/Labor on the ruinous carbon tax.

The independents propping up Gillard have been showing signs of wavering, and this action will probably boost their confidence enough to support it.

Turnbull, who has a merchant banking background, and thus loves a scheme with the promise of high commissions, was the previous opposition leader or in his case, what passed for one. He was sufficiently hopeless, that the Liberals couldn’t gain any traction against Rudd who was the most sycophantic person ever to hold the post. It was rare for the Libs to even oppose anything the government put up while he was running the show.

Interestingly though, he made an interesting point which is a point in favor of the Abbott plan; that it is easy to stop. He added, “if you do not believe in climate change,” which while backing up the governments contention that Abbott is a closet “denier” makes it clear that there is a way out. The great thing is that it will be relatively to kill the policy when it is a proven failure. Gillard’s, is not so easy.

The Abbott plan, as bad as it is, is preferable to the Gillard/Brown plan because it is much easier to get rid of.

May 19, 2011

Why the peaceful majority is irrelevant.

Image: Extremists, The Grand Mufti of Cairo, in talks with Hitler who he allied himself to. H/t Libertarian Republican.

The following was sent to me by a friend under the title, “A Germans view on Islam, and reported to be by Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and respected psychiatrist. I have found a correction by Dr. Tanay, stating that it was wrongly attributed and the author was Paul E. Marek. The original Title was Why The Peaceful Majority Is Irrelevant.

The original can be found here. In view of its relevance and common sense, I have taken the liberty of reprinting it.

By Paul E Marek.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.' 

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority was irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. 

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'? 

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

No Sharia, now they want Islamic schools and taxpayer funded halal food.

Australia has absorbed waves of migrants in the past without many problems. Most have simply moved into the population at large and enriched our society with new ideas culture and the food is much better for their influence. They have simply fitted in, became ‘dincum Aussies’ and society moved in different directions in accommodating them.

It seems though that the current wave from Islamic countries is different in this respect. They appear to expect the country to give them their own law, fund religious schools and provide specialist food outlets for them:

AUSTRALIA'S top Muslim body wants taxpayers to help fund the expansion of Islamic schools and halal food outlets.
It says integrating them into mainstream suburbs would mean Muslims are not forced to live in enclaves.
And the nation's peak Jewish organisation has called for new migrants to be put on probation while their commitment to Australian values and laws is checked.

In a submission to a federal inquiry into multiculturalism, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils said Muslims were limited from taking part in civic life when cut off from essential services such as access to Islamic schools, mosques and halal food.

"The Government should invest in expanding services like halal and kosher meat and food outlets as well as faith-based schools which allow a greater capacity to work and live in areas where they exist," it said.
There is a viable education system provided here, and there are a significant variety of private ones for those that want them. The thing is though, that religion based schools, are built by those groups, not by the state. If Muslims want them, they do the same as Catholics and others have done in the past.

Food is the same. It is nonsense to suggest that we must provide outlets for specialized foods or anything else for that matter. If there is sufficient demand for specific products in an area, then somebody will provide for it in a free society. That’s the free enterprise system for you.

Labor: between a rock and a hard place.

Cartoon: By Nicholson.

The Labor Party is quickly backing itself into a lose, lose situation. For as many years as we care to remember, both sides of politics have prostituted themselves to the green agenda to the detriment of the population at large. Many of our traditional simple pleasures such as tossing a line out to do a bit of fishing have been curtailed to appease the environmental zealots.

Labor has gone close to self-destruction on this effort, basically sparing no expense to us, in order to grasp every green objective in order to slow its bleed of supporters to the Greens. This has lessened the difference between the two parties and in fact made it easier for their supporters to make the transition.

At the same time their efforts to appeal more to moderate voters has moved them further to the centre, which has pissed off many of their left wing. While this was happening the Greens set themselves up as a hard line party of the left, which made them more attractive to those people. For this reason they are now hostage to Bob Brown and have to depend on him to get them across the line.

Gillard’s deceit before the last election over ‘no carbon tax’ has angered much of the electorate. Those who were gauche enough to give them the benefit of the doubt feel betrayed. Abbott has little to recommend him on the issue of carbon, as he is promising that rather than introduce a “Great big new tax,” he is going to spend billions to do all sorts of good things to enhance environmental outcomes.

The trouble is that many of us are just sufficiently naïve, to think that this is not going to come out of his salary, but rather large tax increases.

Paul Kelly, Editor at large at “The Australian,” has over the years moved from a Labor shill, to something more skeptical has just blistered Labor:
Let's tell the truth about the past half decade. The green agenda has corrupted Labor values. It has seen Labor governments embrace fiscal irresponsibility, regressive income re-distribution and treat their supporters as too dumb to understand they were being played for mugs. For too long the idea that any green scheme was a good scheme was sanctified as a compliant media cheered such initiatives.
Repentance will take many forms and have multiple consequences. The electoral backlash from defective pro-green policies and the arrogance towards ordinary voters embedded in such schemes will haunt Labor, state and federal, for many years. Perhaps some tolerance for mistakes should be extended. The bigger point, however, is that Labor's culture abandoned fiscal discipline and social equity for what became the climate change cargo cult.
Paul is still comfortable with the old leftist terms about ‘social equity’ and so on, but he is at least calling a spade a spade as far as the stupidity of Labor is concerned.

May 18, 2011

McClelland, “No place for Sharia in Australia.”

I am not sympathetic towards Labor as my regular readers can attest to. Tonight though, I am willing to grant our Attorney General, Robert McClelland my highest praises for his outspoken rejection of calls for Sharia law to be implemented here. This should be par for the course in any western democracy, but of late PC-whipped excuses for leaders have prevaricated on the issue to the point where we have real reason for concern.

There has been a push for some time here by Muslims to allow the implementation of theocratic law, both as an adjunct to the law of the land, and as a replacement to rational law. The latest buzzword is legal pluralism, which demands that religious law be allowed in arbitration matters.

McClelland however has emphatically rejected this:

But Mr. McClelland said there was no place for sharia law in Australian society, and the government strongly rejected any proposal for its introduction.

"As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values," he said. "Australia's brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law, then Australian law wins out."
We were blessed to live in a stable democracy underpinned by the rule of law, he said. "People who migrate to Australia do so because of the fact we have a free, open and tolerant society where men and women are equal before the law irrespective of race, religious or cultural background.
"Indeed, all applicants for citizenship swear collective allegiance to the people of Australia, and undertake to respect our customs and abide by our laws. The values underpinning those principles will not be changing."
Theocratic law has long been rejected in the west as result of centuries of struggle against the tyranny of people who believe that their chosen Deity frees them from reality and allows them carte blanch authority to inflict savage retribution against anyone who transgresses what they perceive as the will of that Deity. It is in other words schizophrenic jurisprudence.

A great debt of gratitude is owed to the US for enshrining the principle of separation of church and state in their Bill of Rights under the first amendment. This has become the model for the rest of the civilized world.

While people from other cultures have different ways of settling disputes and may continue to do so after arriving here, once the matter is referred to the legal system it has to be dealt with according to the law of the land. There can be no excuse for an apartheid system of law to exist in this country, and fortunately, we have an AG who understands that.

Queensland LNP, daring move pays off.

Cartoon: Jos Valdmann (From “The Punch.”)

A couple of months ago, stung by a mediocre performance in the polls against the unpopular Bligh government, the LNP bit the bullet with a leadership change. This would be nothing new except that they chose to draught in the popular Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Neuman to the job.

As there were no by-elections for him to contest, and none of the sitting members were willing to step aside for him, we have the situation where we have an opposition leader who is not a sitting MP.

At this stage it is working well, with the party maintaining its discipline in the house with a stand in leader, while Neuman leads from the outside.

Queensland has a different electoral system to other states. We are the only state without an upper house, which is a mixed blessing in many ways. Unfortunately with no house of review, there is inadequate scrutiny of legislation. Upper houses though are not really effective if controlled by the party in power in the lower, and can tend to be gratuitously obstructive if controlled by the opposition.

Until Neuman, as bad as Labor have been since they passed their ‘use by’ date some years ago, the LNP were not able to gain any traction owing to paucity of leadership. They were uninspiring, looking very much like a party out of ideas and hoping to be voted in as a default setting.

Despite the obvious disadvantages of the leadership situation, Neuman has grabbed the imagination of Queenslanders and appears to be on a roll. The only problem I can see is that the electorate he has chosen to contest is reasonably solid for Labor, being held with a 14% margin.

On latest polling though this looks doable. Today’s indicate that Labor is facing a wipeout in the state election, due by next March. On a two party preferred they are behind by 60-40% and could be reduced to 13 members in the 89-seat house. This would be more devastating than the recent NSW election massacre for Labor. It would in fact be around the equivalent of the 1974 Qld election when they were reduced to 11 members in an 82-seat house, and were referred to as the Labor cricket team.

A great deal can change in ten months, but this government is a lost cause. After the recent floods, a relief appeal was organized which raised over $260 million but is in the hands of the Premier. During talks to establish a North Queensland LDP branch tonight, I was informed that some flood victims there are still housed in tents.

Future appeals for disasters need to be controlled by private charities who will do the job properly.

May 17, 2011

IMF head and prominent HuffPo blogger, denied bail, “Flight risk.”

Cartoon; By Nicholson.

We have reported already on the arrest of IMF head, and prominent luxury living socialist, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The latest news is that he has faced court, charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. This is around 25 years worth. He was remanded without bail, the US justice system having wised up a bit since Roman Polanski.

Now there is a prominent new twist to the story, he is also one of the HuffPo blogging team. His profile page is here, although it has not been updated to include the last week and the RSS feed is not updating.

From Newsbusters:
Interesting revelation at Huffington Post today about International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn facing charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault involving a hotel maid.
"Strauss-Kahn has blogged for HuffPost," the story reads, nine paragraphs deep. Well, that certainly catches a reader's attention.
Turns out the prominent French socialist has blogged at HuffPo at least a dozen times over the last eighteen months, including four posts this year. Most recently, on March 31, Strauss-Kahn wrote about China's economy and the international monetary system. All of his posts, linked here, have been on economics.
Another HuffPo story on Strauss-Kahn described him as a married father of four "whose reputation with women earned him the nickname 'the great seducer.' " The story also revealed that a woman in France who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn nine years ago "now wants to file a legal complaint against the IMF head."

Liberal economist Bob Kuttner quickly assured HuffPo readers that "even before this latest scandal broke, Strauss-Kahn didn't seem like much of a socialist."

May 16, 2011

Aus style 'royal wedding' ?????

Cartoon; by Bill Leak.

Forget about the carbon tax, mining tax, flood tax, the budget, and the economy going down the gurgler, the big news here this weekend has been that PMasterial consort Tim mentioned that he wants to marry our Jooles. The story though has gone through a number of transitions, from breathless anticipation of an announcement to finally, just a comment on a slow news day.

The Labor Party were initially hopeful that the prospect of impending nuptials would lift their sagging popularity which is currently two places below a dose of clap, but its not to be. Todays poll has them dropping four more places.

It turns out to be that Tim was asked in an interview if he would like to marry her. "No," "pigs arse," "not while my arse points earthwards," and "like hell," are probably not wise answers under the circumstances.

Gillard has now stated that it is not going to happen, which makes sense. With her record in politics, it is highly improbable that anyone could "make an honest woman" of her.

May 15, 2011

Obama takes Herman Cain’s advice! (well, some of it.)

Stung by public reaction to high oil and gas prices President Obama has announced a new policy of ”Drill Baby, Drill” ramping up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.

Granting leases is only part of the problem, it would not matter if leases were open slather as far as granting them is concerned, the biggest problem seems to be obtaining the necessary permits to do the drilling. These have to be signed off by numerous agencies and get past the whims of the multitude of Czars the President has appointed. There is little on this other than a vague reference to an interagency task force to coordinate etc.

Oddly, the President gives no attribution to Herman Cain, who offered the following advice in answer to Obama’s previous solution of blame the speculators:

This follows a similar statement he made in his column last month:

With all due respect, Mr. President, there is something you could do to ease the pain at the pump. Namely, declare and implement a “drill here drill now” strategy. And remove the ridiculous restrictions on shale oil deposits available out west. The very speculators you are blaming for the run-up in gas prices would quickly retreat if they thought you were serious about an energy independence plan to maximize all of our existing natural resources.
It is doubtful that Obama's announcement is related to Republican bills to expand and speed offshore oil and gas drilling, which are broadly similar to this proposal. The White House has already announced its opposition to them, saying the measures would undercut safety reviews and open environmentally sensitive areas to new drilling.

IMF sex arrest; some help for NY Post.

Image of Strauss-Kahn from NYP.

The media are reporting that IMF Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and removed from a French aircraft in relation to the sexual assault of a hotel maid. It seems incredible that people in high positions do these things that they have to know will land them in the shit, but power tends to make some of them think they need not abide by the rules, or decency.

If he was feeling horny, he probably has the funds to afford a prostitute, and a pretty good one at that.

A photo of the guy accompanies most reports. NY Post is no exception, other than that they opted to use one of him with someone that Americans know and consider important. They have chosen one of him with George W Bush, apparently being unable to find anything more current. In order to help them, a quick image search on Google turned up this more modern one which is a lot more touchy feely:

Note to NYP editorial people: It’s easy, bring up Google, hit images, type in the search item, and hit search. This avoids the necessity of using out of date file shots, (unless there is a political motivation I haven’t considered) and is easy. I hope this helps.

Glen Beck, the Olbermann of the right?

There are two significant figures on the right who have had the misfortune to spawn brainless prats. The first is Ronald Reagan, who had the misfortune to sire young Ronnie, the second is John McCain whose pride and joy, Meghan is the darling of the leftist media. Mind you, with a dad like old John, there may be some excuse for Meggy.

Ronnie has just made an ass of himself, when asked by Tingles of his dad, “Did he really believe if you lowered the tax rates the government made more money? I mean, really believe it?”

He answered, “You know, I think he actually -- honestly, I think he did. All evidence to the contrary, I know, find me a time when that actually happened, but I think he believed somehow that that would happen.” Given that income tax receipts after substantial rate cuts were 65% higher in the last year of Reagan, than they were on Carters watch, the guy is a complete nit.

Meghan, is little or no better. She has though, recently done some appearances in Public service ads for skin cancer awareness, which feature her seemingly naked. I doubt that Meghan naked would inflame too many passions, but it has apparently inflamed the ire of Beck. From Newsmax:
During Beck's show Wednesday, he and his co-hosts mocked Meghan mercilessly, with Beck pretending to vomit repeatedly while looking at McCain's ad or even hearing her name. "Just try to imagine John McCain naked with long blond hair," he said. ". . . That's USDA Prime right there."
There are plenty of political items to criticize her for, but this is really not one of them. Skin cancer is a serious problem and raising awareness of it and the relatively simple precautions against it are desirable. A little shock and awe can be helpful. While not being a great fan of ‘public service’ ads, real people can hardly be criticized for taking part in them.

Beck sounds rather puerile over this. Lampooning her political statements is fair game, but mocking her appearance is childish. He really needs to grow up. We are long used to the juvenile ranting of Keith Olbermann, which thankfully are over, we really do not need to see the same sort of crap coming from the right.

May 14, 2011

Land valuation increases.

Delayed post owing to Blogger maintenance shutdown.

One of the bugbears of the average ratepayer is the never ending increases in the valuations of our properties for local authority rating purposes. Recently I was notified that my valuation had increased by around 40% in a matter of a couple of years. I didn’t realize we were such bloody good land speculators when we bought it.

Normally councils lower their percentage in line with the increases, (they still screw a bit more out of us every time,) but this time they are all crying poor. Watch them jack it up, and blame the state government.

A mate of mine sent me an email with the following satirical take on the matter. It is reasonably accurate, but just at the moment I am not laughing:

Your House

As seen by yourself:

As seen by your buyer:

As seen by your lender:

As seen by the bank's surveyor:

As seen by your Council Rate Assessor:

May 13, 2011

Conservatives discover “Ron Paul plot.”

For some years we have been hearing about the New Hampshire Free State Project, which aims to persuade liberty lovers to move to that state. Its aims are stated here:

Their mission statement says:

The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. The success of the Project would likely entail reductions in taxation and regulation, reforms at all levels of government, to expand individual rights and free markets, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.
National Journal has picked up on it and published a report, in which it notes that Ron Paul can expect to gain some traction there in the primaries, if he stands.

Social Conservatives, who have a tendency to see themselves as the heart of the Republican Party tend to view libertarians and the Tea Party with deep misgivings, and are concerned about what they see as a libertarian or Paulist plot to hijack the election. The fact is that the FSP has been going for around ten years and long before Paul stood for President, unless you count 1988 in which he stood for the Libertarian Party.

There are only around 1000 free staters who have moved there, and 10,000 who have committed to do so within five years if 20,000 people commit to doing so, which indicates that with those numbers they will at best be a support group for his campaign, if he stands. Ron would probably approve of the project, but I have yet to see any evidence that he is directly involved in it.

SoCons tend to be alarmed and irritated at the massive and enthusiastic support Ron gets from young people, and do not understand it. What they fail to realize is that big government is oppressive and based on the illogical assumption that the state is there to rule the people rather than merely protect their rights to be free and do what they like, free from coercion. Ron Paul is a straight talker, (which is also a factor,) who exemplifies this.

There is really little other than this to understand, the man is 77 years old, and it is not about young chicks having the hots for him. Their enthusiasm is in some ways a double-edged sword. Their tendency to rally supporters to even the scent of a straw poll may give a great deal of encouragement to supporters, to the eternal angst of the organizers of these, causes him to win them. Unfortunately though, these false results tend to cause unrealistic expectations.

It would be a great thing to see a strong showing for Ron in New Hampshire, as that would be a great encouragement to some of the new candidates in the field this time around, and might convince some of the repeat performers who couldn’t beat McCain last time that they are flogging a dead horse.

May 12, 2011

Two Seal teams against Pakistan.

Cartoon: By H Payne.

A rather curious story appeared in the NYT claiming that Obama had ordered the force to take out bin Laden be increased in order to fight its way out of Pakistan if their army got in the way. It claims, “The decision to increase the size of the force sent into Pakistan shows that he was willing to risk a military confrontation with a close ally in order to capture or kill the leader of Al Qaeda.”

My father once told me how on his return from WW2 everybody used to listen to a rah rah radio program about a character called First Light Fraser. It seems that First Light would regularly slip over the French coast, wipe out the Nazis in Normandy, hop up and liberate Belgium and Holland, destroy the industrial complex in the Ruhr Valley, and sort out Italy on the way out. All on his own, mind you.

It was of course made as a morale boosting effort for civilians. The trouble he had was that he thought it was ridiculous, but everybody considered it unpatriotic not to listen to it. I guess that after fighting in Egypt, Syria Palestine, then doing the battle of El Alamein, coming home and then doing the landing at Lae, and other actions in New Guinea this show would not send you rushing for the radio.

The NYT story seems to try to cast Obama in the image of First Light. The courageous POTUS insisting that four chopper loads of troops be sent in so that if called upon to do so they could clean up the Pakistani army if it dared to stand in their way. I accept that the Seals are a pretty tough bunch but this story kind of strikes me as bullshit.

It also states that two teams of specialists were on standby: One to bury Bin Laden if he was killed, (presumably the Special Forces Undertaker Team,) and a second composed of lawyers, interrogators and translators in case he was captured alive. Well I guess if you are captured you are going to need a Special Forces team of lawyers to inform you of your rights.

Do reporters ever check the sort of shit the White House tells them?

May 11, 2011

Pat Condell on the bin Laden killing.

H/t; Captain Ranty.

Nothing more to be said.

The budget, Greens hostility to logic continues.

Cartoon; by Nicholson.

The budget, or perhaps what passes for one, was presented tonight. In classical double speak the treasurer spoke of $22 billion in ‘savings’ of which tax increases made up $17 billion. It is well past the time when the economics departments of our universities learned the difference between savings and extra charges, and started to get the point across to students so that this idiocy can be avoided in the future.

The so called tough budget allows for a deficit of in excess of $20 billion. Given that the last one has blown out to around $50 billion there is room for some skepticism as to the eventual result. Given that some of the projected big new taxes are not in the equation and there will be a revision later in the year, it’s a sort of Magic Pudding, “cut and come again,” budget.

The one constant of Australian politics remains conspicuous though. This is of course the Greens hostility to the mining industry, and employment in anything other than taxpayer funded green industry.

One of the relatively decent features of our migration policy is a preference for skilled people. The mining boom has created a shortage of tradesmen and skilled professionals, and in this years budget is a provision for an increase in this area.

Greens leader Bob Brown regards these people who come here with established skills that allow them to be employable from day one and not be a burden on the taxpayer as queue jumpers. Bob feels that those who are useful and productive should stand in line behind the people referred to in my previous post who are still on welfare after five years.

Mind you, he is determined to impose a 40% tax on the mining industry in order to fund a grab bag of green projects, and the old favorite, high speed rail that is a guarantee of an expensive project cost, and the necessity of a constant drain on the taxpayers for the future.

The Greens are never likely to allow common sense to get in the way of ideology.