July 30, 2011

It has come to this

Jon Kuldelka - The Australian
America is on its knees 

(And isn't it nice to see that Richo - whatever it takes - is still kicking about.)

July 29, 2011

Bandwagon

Christine Nixon, ALP luvvie, former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police, and woman damned by an independent royal commission into the 2009 bush fires -  for having failed abysmally as a leader during the weekend of the fires -  has jumped onto the Murdoch-is-evil bandwagon.

Nixon claims her undoing, during and after the royal commission, was the fault of the Herald Sun.  Not because of her own testimony, not because of the commission's findings about her failure to lead, to turn up - no, none of that stuff, it was the journo's (those on the payroll of Rupert Murdoch) who done it.

They also did her in for being female and fat, so she says.  Hmm.  Wasn't she the CCP for nearly a decade?  Resigned of her own accord, to retire to do good works and write her life story and get her hair done?  Speaking of which, Nixon's book is pending launch by our Labor Prime Minister. So Nixon has a few reasons to jump on this particular bandwagon.  Firstly, she has a book to promote.  Secondly, she has spent two years, becoming ever more shrill, defending her abysmal performance as a leader on the weekend that people in our state burned to death.

Nixon variously had her hair done, met with her ghost writer, had dinner with her husband at a pub, and in between, claims she looked out the window of her (city) office to check for fire smoke.

She has also branded the Bushfire Royal Commission a kangaroo court, as if the entire thing - hundreds of witnesses, thousands of pages of evidence and findings - was all about her, not the people who died, not the property lost, not the causes of the fires.

Nixon failed on the weekend of the fires and ever since has consistently denied any short comings, now she's being plain contemptible. 

Her book will be bought by journalists, but I can't imagine too many other Victorian's wanting to read this rubbish.

Christine attempts to drum up book sales by blaming News Corp for everything

Yes, Christine Nixon has written an entire book in which she attempts to crap all over what was left of her reputation

Yes, most journalists are left wing - even in America 


Duck Friday

A Kingscliff Duck - by Geoff

July 27, 2011

Political witch hunt

Labor backbenchers are beginning to press for a wide-ranging inquiry in the wake of the UK phone hacking scandal, joining the Greens and lower house independents in arguing the case for an Australian probe.

Victoria's Steve Gibbons told The Age yesterday a new Australian media inquiry was necessary - declaring some publications were pursuing ''vendettas of hate''. ''People will tolerate right-wing bias in newspapers … but when right-wing bias turns to vendettas of hate, that's when we need to have a look at it,'' Mr Gibbons said.
Where is this "vendetta of hate" being pursued? 

The vitriol of the language being used by our leaders is not a measure of it's truth.

This campaign, if it had merit, would not require such absurd and unfounded accusations.  Emotive nonsense, from the very top, is merely illustrative of the desperation and depths to which our federal political edifice has fallen.  Anything, it would seem, to divert attention from  governance and policies is good enough.  Anyone to blame for the lack of popularity of the Labor part, their leader and their policies is good enough.  If not News Corp, some other handy matter would no doubt have come to hand.  Bob Brown's fear of, finally, being held accountable, is stamped all over this ugly (and it will be costly too) proposed inquisition.
New South Wales Labor backbencher John Murphy told The Age that dominance by News Limited was an issue. ''Seventy per cent holding in our major daily newspapers is too much for one media company, particularly with the other electronic media interests which Murdoch holds and which only serves to reinforce the messages in his papers,'' Mr Murphy said.
Really?  Then why hold an inquiry?  Change the laws if that's what you want to do.  Have some guts about it.  Murdoch has such wide ownership of daily newspapers here because he is legally permitted to.  He has done nothing wrong.  

Pressure mounts for broad media inquiry

Wednesday Wisdom

Don't jump on grave of emperor until he fully dead. 

Confucian proverb

July 25, 2011

All aliens are the same

Yet another naked dead alien - this time, found in Russia.  
Why are they all identical and why are they always naked?

It will only hurt "this" much

The tax we don't yet have, and the over-compensation not yet distributed, is only going to affect consumer pricing by some pittance of less than one per cent.

So says Julia Gillard.

With absolute confidence.

Many voters believe her.  They've bought the message, many noting that the affect of this on the Australian economy will be negligible compared to the ten per cent GST, which we all absorbed without a whimper.

Even major retailers are crying poor and blaming the tax that is yet to be put to parliament.  Why do they believe that a negligible change to consumer costs is already and will continue to engender a massive turn down in spending?

It doesn't add up.

None of the claims add up and they never will.

In Victoria: 
Analysis of tariff data collected by welfare group the St Vincent de Paul Society shows electricity prices have increased on average by between 27 and 36 per cent since 2008. Gas prices have risen on average by between 24 and 29 per cent.

Water bills have increased by up to 68 per cent on average in Melbourne since 2007-8. They are expected to rise by another third in the next two years.
That's WITHOUT a CO2 emissions tax.  And the much vaunted over-compensation for those on Centrelink payments and low income earners is a massive mound of horse shit.

Those utility increases have occurred long before a CO2 emissions tax, imagine what those privately owned companies are going to do to pricing once the tax is in place.

The government wealth-redistribution doesn't come even close to covering the increases of recent years, and will not cover increases predicted over the next several years.  (That's before people have to start checking the price of every other ordinary living expense - food, housing, education, public transport, clothes, shoes, and all the rest of it.)

People aren't spending because they can't, not because they're saving - they're spending, on essentials.  There are only so many lights to turn off or jumpers to put on in winter.  The bulk of utility bills are almost immovable.  People use less and less power and water, but still end up paying more and more.  No wonder they're not buying new frocks or a fourth television.

That negligible price impact of the CO2 emissions tax?  Just wait.  It's going to be huge.

Big jump in utilities cutoffs as bills soar

The Greens: the reality

New book, The Greens: Policies, Reality and Consequences, edited by Andrew McIntyre, has been launched.

It has already been given a little press coverage.  I'm betting there'll be a little more, and then the momentary torch light will be switched off.  Our journalists will continue to pretend that the image of the Greens has some congruence with reality.  They'll continue in their absolute failure to put the blowtorch to Bob Brown and his colleagues, for the same idiotic reasons they'll hold off on Tony Abbott until a week before the next federal election.  I don't know what those reasons are, does anyone?  I assume they're like the "hard questions" Julia Gillard would like to ask Rupert Murdoch, if only she could dream them up.

The book, full of essays:
suggests that the Greens have an uncontrollable urge to spend our money, a mania for legislative and regulatory control – of both institutions and individuals – a disturbing and unwarranted confidence in central planning and a belief that government knows best. Underlying this is a thoroughly naïve understanding of how the real world works.

The irony is that the Greens’ policies would not only destroy our economy but actually make the environment worse.
Sadly, we knew this, didn't we?  Haven't we always?  But someone forgot to tell the young 'uns, who are so keen on this bunch of self-serving, destructive, ignorant and self-indulgent bunch upper class gits.

The gullible and ignorant, who vote for the Greens with such glee or reverence are the very people who will never buy this book.  Deaf, dumb and blind to this or any other searing analysis of their chosen oracle.  It's a pity.  It would be nice to see this on the school curriculum, instead of lessons telling kiddies that the world is about to end because of climate change. 
The findings of these experts lead one to understand that the Greens have an uncontrollable urge to spend and tax, almost everywhere and for everything; a mania for control – through legislation and regulation of both institutions and individuals; a disturbing and unwarranted confidence in central planning and belief that government knows best; an antagonism to initiatives by the private sector or individuals; and at best, a systematic and naïve understanding, both historically and practically, of how the world works.

In these policy formulations there appears to be a profound lack of appreciation or understanding of why our society is the way it is. All the fruits of Australia’s prosperity, with its brilliant scientists, economists, farmers, technicians, talented workers and thinkers, our leaders, our institutions, our democracy, and our constitution count for nought. The Greens want to change everything and, like spoilt children, destroy what they don’t understand.

The Greens’ policies would have catastrophic, unintended consequences for this country. They would threaten its prosperity, diminish individual human rights, decrease its tolerance and harmony, and make us less secure. Worse, and this is the biggest irony, the Greens’ policies would actually damage our environment.

The tragedy is that it is precisely the “good intentions” of the Greens that draws so many people to them and to vote for them. The result, if this group with its ill-thought out policies ever gets its way, will be a disastrous return to a new primitivisation.
One book of objective analysis is not enough, nor would 100 books.  Our media representatives, with their endless opinion columns (no longer reports, it's all impression, idle thoughts and entertainment),  will ignore it all.  Every now and then they'll be startled, act surprised, when the Greens (with the ALP kowtowing) push through some appalling economic or social legislation.  Then they'll treat it as an aberration, or offer plaudits for the Greens' staunchness or bravery or both.  It's appalling.  And it's all we're left with. 

Our journalists and our federal politicians have always mirrored each other, so we now plumb the depths of empty intellects, one-up-manship, tawdry rejoinders and garbled communications.

If this is our lot, I can't imagine ever getting used to it. 

What you need to know about the Greens

More pot - kettle - black

The federal guv'ment is upset by alleged deceptions presented in anti-CO2 advertisements.

Before they complain, perhaps the gov'ment would give consideration to not wasting millions of our dollars on a political campaign about a policy that has not even been drafted, let alone presented to parliament.  That is campaigning, isn't it?  That's not an awareness campaign for any existing program, is it?

Before they complain, perhaps they'd also consider giving consideration to being truthful about CO2 - like it's not a pollution; and truthful about those beaut environmental industries - like the solar company featured in the ads, latest declared loss being more than $30M, despite massive government funding; and the rest of the initiatives featured in the ads being trivial, local endevours that will have zip affect on anything. 

This political campaign is being run much like every greenie campaign, most especially those run in Tasmania during the 80's and 90's that promised a land of plenty when all logging jobs would morph into tourism jobs (all those folk without a job would become bus drivers and tourist guides, right?).  Except that as then, so too now, one energy source is not entirely fungible for another energy source, and one job will not translate to an entirely different job for the newly unemployed person. 

It's all  "crap", as our deeply intellectual and great communicator of a Prime Minister might express it when asked a serious question.

Oh yeah, and Tasmania continues to have the lowest incomes in the country. 

Government hits back at "deceitful" carbon tax ads

More tender corruption

a message came back from the government after the German company topped the tender process: ''Any option that doesn't include Thales is no option.''
Army tender ambushed 

July 23, 2011

The flood lingers

Remember back in January, a land of flooded planes? 

Queensland got the worst of it, with, seemingly, almost the entire state going under.

Geoff was our man on the spot, helping out his friends.

Six months later, Ros and Jeff, still have what's left of their house, unchanged from mid-January.

Their insurance company has denied their claim.

Six months later ....

Difficult to fathom.

July 22, 2011

July 20, 2011

The Good Wife

Wendi Deng:  tiger-wife saves Rupert. 


Corrupt tender process

While Bob Brown and Julia Gillard mull over an inquiry into Australia media (read:  how much can the Greens do to censor media and stifle free speech in this country and get away with it?), I'd like to see an inquiry into the corrupt intervention in the tender process for Australia's overseas broadcasting service - a contract worth around $223M.

The Department of Foreign Affairs' tender evaluation panel assessed the Sky News proposal as being significantly better than the ABC proposal.  Sky News was clearly going to be the preferred supplier, for offering far better services and superior value for money. 

Then the Federal Government jumped in and took the decision out of the hands of the department.

No reasons given.

I'd call it a corrupt tender process.

Where is the call for an inquiry into the government?

ABC warned on approaching ministers

Wednesday Wisdom

I have a good car and a wide assortment of excellent hair-care products.  I know what I want from life; I have ambition.

Douglas Coupland

July 17, 2011

Stop me if you've heard this one before

A Dalai Lama walks onto the set of a cooking show ...

Is it mandatory to call him "Your Holiness"?

Under the circumstances, I would have thought you could call him a dill, or whatever else you like.

(And shouldn't the show be called "MasterCook", not MasterChef?  Not that any of the current crop can cook.)

A Dalai Lama dilemma for MasterChef 

MasterChef Recap ... 

What if?

The USA is $14.3 trillion in debt.

Default on the debt is imminent if Obama can't gain support for ... an increase ... in the allowable of debt  ... an increase in the debt that America can't service.

And if they do default?

Meanwhile, Australia, sitting pretty, while Europe and America continue to blunder along, is burdened with the worst leaders that could possibly be inflicted on a wealthy, stable country.

Gillard and Abbott are not respected by the public, because they don't deserve respect.  They do not behave as respectable and authoritative leaders should.  Their gravitas is missing in action, they stand naked before us and we are collectively repelled.

And for goodness sake, will someone tell our Prime Minister to stop touching people - the laying of hands in her wooden manner is an excruciating distraction; and someone please make her stop speaking as if addressing a room of slow three year olds.

A special tip for journalists everywhere, who keep writing that Abbott will be subject to closer scrutiny ... in due course  ... three minutes before we have to vote at the next federal election.  For fuck's sake you morons:  how about applying the blow torch now?  Are you such dunderheads that you can't "scrutinise" the incumbent and the opposition at the same time?  Is that too much fucking work?  Will it use up too much fucking ink?

July 15, 2011

Shy girl overly ambitious

Julia Gillard has made an emotional appeal for the Australian public to understand her, declaring she was ''the shy girl'' at school and finds it hard to show her feelings when she makes big decisions.
Since when did Australian's require our paid leaders to "show feelings" whenever they make "big decisions"?   As with everything, Gillard continues to read the landscape entirely wrong.
She also urged the media to be more discerning in its reporting of the carbon debate. ''Don't write crap. Can't be that hard,'' she said. ''And when you have written complete crap, then I think you should correct it.''
A quote just begging for the obvious retort.
In her speech, Ms Gillard said Australians wanted to know what kind of person she was. ''I'm a decision-maker by nature and I have tended to let the decisions speak for themselves.
We've seen the decisions, during her career, under Rudd, and as the Prime Minister, and yes, they do speak for themselves.  The more she speaks, the worse the decisions look.

Green criminals destroy CSIRO crop

Greenpeace protesters have broken into a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra to destroy a crop of genetically modified wheat.

They say the entire crop of genetically modified wheat has been destroyed.
About half a hectare of GM wheat is being grown on the site, as part of Australia's first outdoor trials.

Last month the CSIRO received permission to conduct Australia's first trial in which humans will eat GM wheat.

The wheat's genes have been modified to lower the glycemic index and increase fibre to create a product which will improve bowel health and increase nutritional value.
-----
"No one is looking after the health of Australians. Julia Gillard isn't standing up to foreign GM countries to protect our daily bread so Greenpeace has to," she said.

Greenpeace destroys GM wheat

Duck Friday

July 13, 2011

First Bloke

As Julia Gillard's shoe leather tour shifts into overdrive, Tim Mathieson has been left to his own devices. But the first bloke isn't the sort to just mope around The Lodge. The footy-loving former hairdresser recently played host to ex-Richmond poster-boy Geoff Raines. The pair go way back. Raines told Triple-M: "I haven't done Kirribilli, but I've done The Lodge. Julia was away too... He entertained me well. We looked after The Lodge and we did it in reasonable style."

Tony Abbott is in Melbourne where he visited the city's wholesale fish markets about 5am with wife Margie and daughters Bridget and Frances.

The fish markets.

At 5am in the middle winter.

Dragging his wife and daughters along.


Oh yeah, and 63 per cent of respondents to a Gallaxy Poll want an early election.

Alarm clocks and shoe leather will not save the Federal ALP. 


c/o The Australian

Wednesday Wisdom

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make ye mad.

Aldous Huxley

July 9, 2011

Not Julia's fault ... nothing ever is

PM Julia Gillard had a little bit of good news today:  the gobsmacking waste of taxpayers money and failure to revolutionise education (i.e. school buildings) is not her fault, not one jot, even though she was the Minister in charge.

It's all the fault of the construction industry.  They had nothing to do with coming up with the concept (didn't lobby or dream it up), nor anything to do with designing the model or dreaming up the whopping big budget.  Still, the failure to achieve "value for money" is the fault of the industry, not the government's and not the public servants who assessed the tenders and handed out the contracts.

The taskforce into the $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution school's stimulus scheme has called for a review into the construction industry after it found the nation's two largest states had failed to deliver value for money under the program.
 
The third and final report into the BER, handed down yesterday, found that $1.1 billion was wasted in delivering public school buildings to NSW and Victoria, when compared with their Catholic counterparts.

The report, headed by former investment banker Brad Orgill, called for a Productivity Commission review into the construction industry as a whole after it uncovered a raft of problems in the way projects had been delivered under the scheme.

Mr Orgill found some governments had lost the expertise to properly manage building projects.  "We believe their poorer performance on both cost and observed quality has been influenced by the hollowing out of public works capacity over the last 20 years, which has limited the ability to effectively manage an outsourced delivery model," the report said.
So an enquiry should be held into the construction industry, not into the government whose scheme it was, not into Julia Gillard who was accountable, and not into the public sector which, after decades of outsourcing, apparently has no idea how to manage such arrangements.

And just a little reminder:  BER is the scheme so staunchly defended by Gillard, for months on end.  In dozens of interviews she condescendingly and dismissively waived away all questions, as if every interviewer was a blithering idiot.  On television, there was the fixed haughty smile, or the pursed lips as she momentarily asserted the wonders of "value for money", clearly having no idea what it means, let alone whether it was true of her vaunted BER program.

This outcome is appalling.

Gillard was not then, nor will be now, held accountable for a criminal waste of federal funds.

Only $1.1B wasted from the whole package?   I don't think so. 

(Remember the Gold Medicare concept?  That was Julia's too.  Every lousy policy with her name to it since then has demonstrated the same failure to apply intellectual and economic rigor.)

Building the Education Revolution waste blows out to $1.1B


Schools fail test on building revolution

July 8, 2011

$4Billion to implement the carbon tax

The government has dramatically slashed the number of companies hit by its carbon tax from 1000 to about 500, in a scheme expected to have a $23 a tonne starting carbon price.

But the cost of the plan, which was to be broadly revenue neutral, has blown out to about $4 billion over four years from its start on July 1 next year. Most of the extra costs come upfront, from implementing the scheme.
It's costs an awful fucking lot to implement a carbon emissions tax 

Let's force a vote

Nine and Seven television networks bowed to pressure from the government to telecast Julia Gillard's address to the nation on Sunday evening, ensuring it will be covered on all the main commercial channels, as well as the ABC and SBS.
If this is a matter of such national interest that all free to air channels have been forced to agree to screening Joolya, surely a vote would be more appropriate, so that the nation can speak, instead of being spoken to. 
Treasury modelling to be released on Sunday will suggest that the carbon tax will increase prices by less than 1 per cent. This compares to a projected increase of 1.1 per cent over the first two years of Kevin Rudd's abandoned plan for an emissions trading scheme. The Age revealed yesterday that the carbon price would be $23 a tonne.
Phew! That's alright then.

Unfortunately, the cost of living will continue to increase by around 1.1% a day, but you'll only notice in your bills and on your shopping dockets.

Labor's clean power play

Religion-free food

Other Jewish experts agree. “This is not about animal rights,” said Joe M. Regenstein, a professor of food science who runs a kosher and halal food program at Cornell University. “It’s an invitation to Jews and Muslims to leave.” 
Bull.

Shit.

The Dutch, unlike Australian's, are about to take a stand about inhuman killing of food.

It might be that cruelty to our food supply is entirely compatible with many or all religions, but I've yet to see a compelling and logical argument.

Anyone whose religion requires these practices needs to rewrite their sacred text of choice.

I don't think anyone's deity is going to get upset about a small kindness in the moments before we kill our meat.


Muslim butchers unsettled by Dutch bill 

Duck Friday

Look - up in the sky!  Authentic Queensland duckies ... by Kae.

July 6, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

I often quote myself.  It adds spice to the conversation.

George Bernard Shaw

July 1, 2011