Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Steve Bracks' green stupidity

Brookes News has a great summary of the kind of ignorant yet harmful nonsense that Steve Bracks and the Victorian ALP believe in. I wish the recent elections would have appointed a different party that doesn't believe in massive governmental control of resources and energy. Such important and vital markets will surely be harmed in the clumsy hands of bureaucrats and politicians.
Here's the article in full:

Victoria’s Steve Bracks seems to have an insatiable appetite for green garbage as revealed by his ridiculous statement that “Victoria’s ecological footprint is huge by international standards. If everyone in the world lived like Victorians, we would require four planets”. What this idiot is saying is that the economic point of view on this matter is irrelevant and that natural resources are strictly limited and non-renewable. But as recently pointed out

...natural resources are literally infinite and “resource depletion” is just a green fiction. In 1970s the Commodities Research Unit in London estimated that the quantity of key metals in the top mile of the earth’s crust were about a million times greater then known reserves. It has also been estimated that there is “100 million years supply of sulfur, borax and potassium chloride; more than one million years’ supply of molybdenum, uranium, tin, cobalt...” (Professor Wilfred Beckerman Two Cheers for the Affluent Society: A Spirited Defense of Economic Growth, Saint Martin’s Press New York, 1975).

The first thing that should be noted — and rarely is — is that economic growth is a resource generating process. A I wrote elsewhere:

Up to the present day history is replete with examples of the market process finding new resources and substitutes when they have been most needed from the substitution of coal for charcoal in 18th century England, of kerosene for whale oil and gas for kerosene, of steam for wind, animal and waterpower, of electricity for steam and gas, of aluminium for cast iron pots and pans, of transistors for valves and of optic fibres for copper cables of nuclear power for coal and hydropower. The list is never-ending and growing exponentially. (Lefty journo Tim Colebatch screws up on Australia’s resources boom and exchange rates).

What the likes of Bracks miss is that it is always in the interest of entrepreneurs to maximise the present value of their land and capital assets. The present value of any of these assets is the sum of discounted future rents. The market tendency will be for these rents to become equal to the rate of interest. (In fact, capitalisation becomes an argument for the privatisation of state owned lands). Therefore the green argument that Bracks is mindlessly parroting rests on the assertion that capitalists would recklessly destroy the capital value of their operations if it weren’t for the efforts of far-seeing politicians like himself.

So what Bracks is really arguing for — though in all probability he does not realise it — is state control of all natural resources. But the market does not require the very visible bungling hands of politicians, bureaucrats and green ideologues to achieve a beneficial allocation of natural resources. Incompetent entrepreneurs who lack the necessary foresight and mismanage their resources are soon displaced by entrepreneurs with superior knowledge and forecasting ability. (Alas, if only the same thing could be said of incompetent politicians, inept bureaucrats and stupid journalists).

It is through time preference that the balance between present and future consumption is struck. Time preference is simply consumers’ preference for present consumption over future consumption. The less consumers spend on current consumption the more of their income is allocated to investment in future goods and thus to a greater conservation of natural resources. Although it is possible that resources like coal and oil could be the exception to this rule if there is a significant increase in demand for their use in new activities. It must not be forgotten, however, that a reduction in time preference, i.e., a switch from current consumption to future consumption, will lower interest rates and so raise the value of the land. This creates the obvious incentive to conserve the resource and maximise there present value.

Not only do market prices act directly to conserve natural resources, as against political considerations, through the process of capitalisation, they also expand the supply of resources by discovering and exploiting new reserves and by substituting new materials for old resources. The higher demand for the final products (consumer goods) increases the value of the resources that go into their production. These higher prices stimulate conservation and investment in exploration, new technologies and potential substitutes.

From this we can easily conclude that in a free market consumer prices determine the costs of production, including capitalisation. As Thomas Perronet Thompson’s paper The True Theory of Rent 1826, made this clear when he said that it

… is the rise in the price of produce … that enables and causes inferior land to be brought into cultivation; and not the cultivation of inferior land that causes the rise of rent. (The True Theory of Rent, 1826).

So in a free market costs reflect prices, not the other way round.

Despite vicious green propaganda to the contrary the market has — as we have already seen — created an abundance of resources. However, for this to have come about the prime mover in the market process, the entrepreneur, had to be free to explore and experiment. (This is one of the reasons socialist regimes eventually collapse). It is entrepreneurship that makes the market’s dynamic discovery process so successful and not the ramblings of dim-witted politicians. Regardless of what the brilliant Mr Bracks thinks conservation laws are not needed in a free market. Where such laws are implemented they have a number of undesirable effects. They restrict the use of depleting resources, i.e., they force a greater inventory in the stock of depletable resources and also force owners to excessively invest in replaceable resources.

If, for example, the government imposed a ‘conservation tax’ on oil the effect would be to slow down — depending on the size of the tax — oil consumption and redirect savings into finding a substitute, perhaps shale oil. But this would be a waste of resources: a malinvestment. Extending investment to the conservation of any natural resource to the point where the return is lower than the opportunity cost of the investment is truly wasteful, not that most politicians or journalist could comprehend this fact.

Such laws also extend the conservation of resources beyond the point where they become obsolete, a possibility with an oil ‘conservation tax’. In fact, economic growth and living standards would have been greatly retarded if past warnings of the imminent exhaustion of natural resources had been acted on by politicians. Moreover, what is not generally realised is that most of Australia’s conservation laws are actually preservation laws. The rationale for these phoney conservation laws is that these resources have to be preserved for future generations. But this is an absurd proposition. If these laws were permanently enforced then no generation would ever benefit from their ‘conservation’ because each generation would be followed by a future generation and so on.

When it comes to economic reasoning and genuine conservation the obtuse Steve Bracks and his equally slow-witted colleagues are at a complete loss. Unfortunately the Liberal Party of Victoria isn’t any better than Bracks’ ignorant and destructive team.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The paradigm of government spending

Across the community, across the state, all over the nation, and in other states and continents, people are voting for political parties based on promises of high levels of government spending on services.

Social democracy is like a giant auction, but instead of each individual bidding for the items they value the most, you have a collective that vote for a leader to take money from all of us and empower the leader to spend it on something they choose. Of course, in order to maintain popularity and win future elections, they will try and spend it on something that is popular with a large proportion of the voting public.

Sadly, but undoubtedly, this whole paradigm, this framework, this approach to politics, this method of thinking, is entirely wrong.

We shouldn't be scanning for a candidate, or a party, who promises to spend and regulate in our favor. Its not just because it might seem selfish, but far worse than that - because we are making decisions that will hurt or punish others who value different policies to us. Selfishness is about deciding whats best for yourself, but this is not a bad thing so long as you do not harm anybody else. If you don't steal, threaten, coerce or use violence against another, then feel free to pursue actions that make you happy.

When you vote for a government, you vote for a body that will govern others. It will take their taxes, it will pass laws and regulations, it will manage welfare payments and will impact on a person's income, relationships, wealth, privacy, property, water, food, clothing, roads, schools, hospitals, universities, advertising and media, parks, nature strips, entertainment, gaming, smoking, drugs, abortion, medical research, employment contracts, freedom of speech, police and security and even more.

This is the paradigm of social democracy. It is not merely selfish. It is wrong, and cruel, and inconsiderate to others who may not agree with every government action.

Try walking into a room of 20 strangers. Put a gun to their head and ask them each to hand over a $50 tax or else face a prison sentence for tax fraud. Then go and spend that $1000.

Try and think about how you could deliver something as good as possible, so that as many of the 20 people are as happy as possible. Is there anything you could do with the $1000 that would make each of those people happier than they would have been if they kept their $50 ?

There are all sorts of things you could spend it on. Food, entertainment, a big party. You could also "help them out" with a welfare payment, that goes towards the cost of their education, or petrol for their car, or medical bills for those who have it.

Many of them would enjoy those things. Maybe even all 20 people would be happier from some of the things you could spend the tax on.

Nothing you could ever spend it on would be as fair, as just, as valued or as beneficial, as the $50 in the hands of its original owners.

Take into account the fact that you've gotta pay government employees a salary to collect the tax, and to administer the spending. You'd be wasting at least 10% of it there. Take into account the fact that those most of those people would have almost certainly done something else with their $50.

If those 20 people handed over the $50 note voluntarily and consensually, I would have no problem. If they didn't like the way the money was spent, they wouldn't hand over their money to the person in the future.

Social democracy is cruel and inconsiderate and downright tyrannical. A liberal democracy is more interested in letting people keep what is rightfully theirs and spend on what they value.

Is government so arrogant that it thinks it can spend our money in ways better than we could ?

Bracks wins Victorian elections

Four more years.
After being elected in 1999, Bracks will be one of the longest serving Victorian premiers ever. His relentless spending increases and increasing the public sector's army of bureaucrats is a bad sign for those who love freedom.
Despite the goverment's interference, the economy has still grown consistently. But Steve Bracks seems to think that it is because of government's meddling and wasteful intervention that an economy remains strong.
"The provision of better services for Victoria, a strong economy, a strong budget and putting the proceeds back to work for Victoria. The challenge of climate change was paramount in the campaign," he said, spelling out his future agenda.
And more money plans to be thrown at other feel-good concepts, and he also plans to fight the freedom given to Australians under the new industrial relations laws.
"Going for a low-carbon future and making sure we cut greenhouse gas emissions, and the challenge of standing up against the industrial relations system of the Federal Government, which is going to hurt working families and young people around the state.
Nothing pisses off an authoritarian, socialist bureaucrat like Bracks more than giving people the freedom to choose.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Jimmy Carter: The worst ex-president in history

No other ex-president has brought more shame upon himself than Jimmy Carter. He seems to have completely gone unhinged in recent years, and aligned himself with anti-American and anti-Western ideology.

He recently received the Nobel Peace Prize, for his efforts as he travels around the globe and mingles with his favorite dictators, such as Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Mugabe and Kim Jong Il, and tries to negotiate for peace. He was a big fan of the late terrorist thug Arafat, but certainly no fan of Clinton, Blair or Bush. And a sworn enemy of democratically elected Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

He has now written a disgraceful libellous book called "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid", and Alan Dershowitz has torn the book to shreds in this piece here.

• Carter emphasizes that "Christian and Muslim Arabs had continued to live in this same land since Roman times," but he ignores the fact that Jews have lived in Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem, and other cities for even longer. Nor does he discuss the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.

• Carter repeatedly claims that the Palestinians have long supported a two-state solution and the Israelis have always opposed it. Yet he makes no mention of the fact that in 1938 the Peel Commission proposed a two-state solution with Israel receiving a mere sliver of its ancient homeland and the Palestinians receiving the bulk of the land. The Jews accepted and the Palestinians rejected this proposal, because Arab leaders cared more about there being no Jewish state on Muslim holy land than about having a Palestinian state of their own.

• He barely mentions Israel's acceptance, and the Palestinian rejection, of the U.N.'s division of the mandate in 1948.

• He claims that in 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack against Jordan. The fact is that Jordan attacked Israel first, Israel tried desperately to persuade Jordan to remain out of the war, and Israel counterattacked after the Jordanian army surrounded Jerusalem, firing missiles into the center of the city. Only then did Israel capture the West Bank, which it was willing to return in exchange for peace and recognition from Jordan.

• Carter repeatedly mentions Security Council Resolution 242, which called for return of captured territories in exchange for peace, recognition and secure boundaries, but he ignores the fact that Israel accepted and all the Arab nations and the Palestinians rejected this resolution. The Arabs met in Khartum and issued their three famous "no's": "No peace, no recognition, no negotiation" but you wouldn't know that from reading the history according to Carter.

• Carter faults Israel for its "air strike that destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor" without mentioning that Iraq had threatened to attack Israel with nuclear weapons if they succeeded in building a bomb.

• Carter faults Israel for its administration of Christian and Muslim religious sites, when in fact Israel is scrupulous about ensuring every religion the right to worship as they please--consistant, of course, with security needs. He fails to mention that between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Hashemites destroyed and desecrated Jewish religious sites and prevented Jews from praying at the Western Wall. He also never mentions Egypt's brutal occupation of Gaza between 1949 and 1967.

• Carter blames Israel, and exonerates Arafat, for the Palestinian refusal to accept statehood on 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza pursuant to the Clinton-Barak offers of Camp David and Taba in 2000-2001. He accepts the Palestinian revisionist history, rejects the eye-witness accounts of President Clinton and Dennis Ross and ignores Saudi Prince Bandar's accusation that Arafat's rejection of the proposal was "a crime" and that Arafat's account "was not truthful"--except, apparently, to Carter. The fact that Carter chooses to believe Yasir Arafat over Bill Clinton speaks volumes.

• Carter's description of the recent Lebanon war is misleading. He begins by asserting that Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers. "Captured" suggest a military apprehension subject to the usual prisoner of war status. The soldiers were kidnapped, and have not been heard from--not even a sign of life. The rocket attacks that preceded Israel's invasion are largely ignored, as is the fact that Hezbollah fired its rockets from civilian population centers.

• Carter gives virtually no credit to Israel's superb legal system, falsely asserting (without any citation) that "confessions extracted through torture are admissible in Israeli courts," that prisoners are "executed" and that the "accusers" act "as judges." Even Israel's most severe critics acknowledge the fairness of the Israeli Supreme Court, but not Carter.

• Carter even blames Israel for the "exodus of Christians from the Holy Land," totally ignoring the Islamization of the area by Hamas and the comparable exodus of Christian Arabs from Lebanon as a result of the increasing influence of Hezbollah and the repeated assassination of Christian leaders by Syria.

• Carter also blames every American administration but his own for the Mideast stalemate with particular emphasis on "a submissive White House and U.S. Congress in recent years." He employs hyperbole and overstatement when he says that "dialogue on controversial issues is a privilege to be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and withheld from those who reject U.S. demands." He confuses terrorist states, such as Iran and Syria to which we do not extend dialogue, with states with whom we strongly disagree, such as France and China, with whom we have constant dialogue.

Symptoms of a sick society

I interrupt my regular musings and attacks on government, to highlight how a society's culture can also be a massive hinderance to their success, comfort and security. A long time ago, Western cultures developed non-violent principles whereby differences can be resolved with dialogue. Western societies also developed standards if in the end, their armies do employ violence. These boil down to the Geneva conventions, and some of the most important parts of these conventions are:

- Differentiating between civilians and military
- Having your armed forces located away from civilian areas
- Avoiding the employment of children in armed combat.

Well, I can't think of a culture that disregards these standards any more than the Palestinians. They are the pioneers of suicide bombing, the modern method of indiscriminate mass slaughter driven by religious fervor. Their latest contribution to the world is the world's first grandmother suicide bomber. These people are sick.

Fatma A-Najar, 57, becomes first grandmother suicide bomber.

Until 57-year-old Fatma Omar A-Najar blew herself up near Israel Defense Forces troops in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, most female suicide bombers had been single. There had also been a few married women - but the 57-year-old Najar was the first grandmother suicide bomber.

Najar, a resident of Jabalya, had nine children and over 40 grandchildren. On Thursday morning, she called her children and asked to see them. She visited those who did not come to see her, without explaining the urgency of the meeting. Her family did not know where she was going when she left her home at roughly 12:00 PM.

Her family tried to explain that there is nothing wrong with a woman, no matter how old she is, carrying out a suicide bombing. Following the suicide attack at the Erez crossing by Rim A-Riashi, who was married with two children, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin issued a religious ruling permitting female suicide bombers.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The road to hell is paved with you know what

When a debate kicks off about whether a government has a right to collect taxes in order to administer, manage and fund some public goods, the biggest critics of the welfare state talk about all the wasteful spending, the bureaucracy and the ineffectiveness of such a strategy. But all too often, the bleeding hearts who take the side of defending taxation will fall back on one key principle - that you need to have good intentions and try to help the needy. This includes giving welfare, funding public hospitals and schools and universities, all part of trying to "guarantee" that everyone has a certain level of health, education and income.

Now if you have zero understanding of how markets and commerce function, these good intentions seem reasonable enough to justify public education, health and welfare/social security.

Those who oppose these socialist institutions are usually accused of not having good intentions, of being selfish and hedonistic, and not caring about the poor. Even if they suggest that people should only voluntarily donate their time or money to welfare or charity, they are accused of "not doing enough".

So in the end, the side of the debate in favor of welfare rests smugly and arrogantly on the principle that government has a right to confiscate a fair chunk of your income, all to achieve some grand objective of helping the poor and defeating inequality.

If the people pushing this argument had any integrity and honesty, they would be satisfied with spending their own money or time on charity, welfare and social work, or whatever it is that they value the most. If you really have the good intentions, then why not put your money where your mouth is ?

I suspect that all too often, the hidden motive behind supporters of welfare is envy and jealousy, and they wish to drag down the successful and those that contribute the most value to the economy, by taxing them more heavily as they earn more and more.

If these people had any integrity and honesty, they would not be cheering as billions of dollars are handed over to government to administer, regulate and fund certain public goods and welfare, even if some of it goes to help the poor. They would try and donate their own money and time to what they believe to be are the best priorities. But you see, its not their concern to see that problems are fixed and that help is given to those most needy and deserving, and to alleviate the most suffering.

(whether it is moral to reward need alone is another question altogether)

Milton Friedman summarised the concept best with this statement:

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you're doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I'm not so careful about the content of the present, but I'm very careful about the cost.
Then, I can spend somebody else's money on myself. And if I spend somebody else's money on myself, then I'm sure going to have a good lunch!
Finally, I can spend somebody else?s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else's money on somebody else, I?m not concerned about how much it is, and I'm not concerned about what I get. And that's government. And that's close to 40% of our national income.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Vampires, werewolves, zombies and other boogeymen

Climate Audit has produced this graph of hurricane frequency, showing a massive dropoff in 2006. So much for the climate change hysteria last year, where many blamed the devastating hurricane season on man made C02 emissions.

Also, don't forget to trash the Kyoto protocol, which is based on the IPCC hockey stick graph predicting global warming - heres yet another report exposing the fraud that Al Gore wants us to believe in.

And lastly, courtesy of Greenie Watch, a short sample of only *some* of the dishonest tricks and misuse of statistics used by global warming fanatics.

Misrepresentation by ABI of UK Foresight flood assessment

Misrepresentation by UNEP of disaster loss trends

Misrepresentation by former head of IPCC of disaster loss trends

Misrepresentation by New York Times of trends in disaster losses

Misrepresentation by editor of Science of detection and attribution of trends in extreme events

Misrepresentation by editor of Science of attribution of Katrina to greenhouse gas emissions

Misrepresentation of literature of disaster trends and climate in article in Science

Misrepresentation by lead IPCC author responsible for hurricane chapter of attribution of Katrina to greenhouse gas emissions

Misrepresentation of ABI report on future tropical cyclone losses

Misrepresentation by Al Gore of state of hurricane science and attribution of Katrina

Misrepresentation by Time of science of hurricanes and attribution of Katrina

Misrepresentation by IPCC WG II of storm surge impacts research

Misrepresentation by AGU of science of seasonal hurricane forecast skill

Misrepresentation by Environmental Defense of attribution of Katrina to greenhouse gases and prospects for avoiding future hurricanes

Misrepresentation in the Washington Post of the science of disaster trends and future impacts

Misrepresentation in Stern report of trends in disaster losses and projections of future costs

Misrepresentation by UNEP of trends and projections in disaster losses

How the left despise democracy

Let me remind readers once again - when an American diplomat or politician heaps praise on John Howard, the left wing go hysterical saying that they are meddling in our affairs and undermining our sovereignty.

So.. does everyone see a bit of intellectual dishonesty when one of the left's leading writers, Johann Hari, screams out loud for the "international community" to intervene in Israeli politics and isolate the government for being too right wing ?

But Avigdor Lieberman is a logo for all this at its most extreme, and today he is only a few bullets away from the Premiership. For the sake of the Palestinians, for the sake of Israel itself, now is the time for the world to jolt Israel, just as we jolted Austria back from its dark dance with the far right. But given how muted the world's reaction has been to the collective punishment of Gaza and the destruction of Lebanon, what are the odds of that?
Johann is clearly happy to align himself with fanatical and tyrannical regimes throughout the Middle East and Africa, and call himself a member of this "international community". Therefore all the democratic western nations like Britain, Australia, USA and especially Israel should not be allowed to exercise democracy if it results in the election of politicians that do not grovel and appease these anti-liberal and undeveloped masses.

Basically, its the same underlying theme behind the reason why the left get so hysterical when George Bush or John Howard win an election - they say democracy is a failure when it doesn't suit them and result in a left wing victory.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The depraved left

Over at Pr. Quiggins left-wing blog hive, the commentariat are rejoicing at the death of Milton Friedman, whose economic research and views have offended many of the socialistas. So much for the misguided notion that the left is guided byre compassionate and sensitive.

Some of the nastier comments include:

  1. brian Says:

    Friedman’s close links with the Pinochet regime,which he advised in the early years,makes him an accomplice to the crimes of Pinochet, as well as those of Thatcher.
    Pinochet is now under house arest in Santiago. What a shame there is no international Tribunal for trying economists,who i their own way inflict misery and pain on millions of innocent victims too
    Dante didn’t know about ecomomists but perhaps there is a special circle of hell for their really bad ones like Friedman !

Well, it took the people of Chile and Britain a long time to recover from the policies perpetrated in his name. But I suppose he would say that was caused by something else.

The BBC replayed an interview the other day in which he dismissed the concern expressed by the interviewer about the misery inflicted by his ideas, in the hands of Thatcher, with a casual and very aggressively delivered assertion that there was no misery in the US (I don’t know whether it is true or not, but it wasn’t the point). He was no social democrat! And since when have good intentions ever absolved people from crimes against humanity?

And this amusing comment, whereby wanting to be right about something is labelled as a "vice" by a progressive soul. Hence Milton Friedman was not exactly their cup of tea:
James Farrell Says:

No, but was still a fanatic and egomaniac, which can get in the way of progress. Joan Robinson said of Keynes in one of her reminiscinces that he was free of the vice of wanting to have been right. Even in Keynes’s case this was was probably too generous; but one suspects that particular vice had Friedman well and truly in its grip.

Damn that global warmerising and its iceberg creation !

This article from USA today reports how for the first time in 75 years, an iceberg was spotted off the coast of New Zealand.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — An iceberg has been spotted from the New Zealand shore for the first time in 75 years, one of about 100 that have been drifting south of the country.
The giant ice chunk was visible Thursday from Dunedin on South Island but has since moved away, driven by winds and ocean currents. The flotilla of icebergs — some as big as houses — were first spotted south of New Zealand early this month.

Man made global cooling, no wait man made global warming, no ... maybe its natural climate change that's to blame ?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Useful idiot award goes to...

The term "useful idiot" is one of my favorite to apply to some of todays most crazed leftists. Wikipedia describes it as:

In political jargon, the term "useful idiot" was used during the Cold War by anti-communists to describe Soviet sympathizers in western countries (particularly in the United States) and the alleged attitude of the Soviet government towards them.
So in modern parlance, useful idiots would refer to people who actively ally themselves with enemies of the West and its values, or try to take negative steps and react viciously to all efforts by the West to defend its values or its security. Useful idiots are busy going about promoting "solidarity" with hostile anti-Western regimes, like Hamas, Hezbollah, or the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran or sometimes even North Korea. They are also busy opposing any Western military strength or strategic efforts against these hostile regimes, and definately against the war on terror.

Now that I've cleared that up ...

The Melbourne Indymedia freaks have come out of their caves and headed out today to protest the G20 conference in the city. One of them put this post up to describe their actions:

On Friday morning the Mutiny Collective and other assorted bodies did two short direct action disruptions to business in Melbourne Town.

First target was Tenix Corporation who are involved in Defense projects and production. Their office was infiltrated and disrupted for 5 minutes, during which discussion were held with the staff about the nature of their work, the nature of the G20 and the MPH campaign.

They were largely amused and appreciated the break from monotony (as spoken to myself by one of the guys in a "training session").
Surreptiously, glitter was sprinkled on the floor and little war figurines were superglued to less obvious surfaces.

Great.. they spent their efforts demonising a company that develops defence technology which ends up in the safe hands of democratic and free Western militaries. So perhaps.. just maybe they have a set of consistent beliefs whereby they oppose all violence and military technology ?

Where were the protests against the Indonesian madrassas and Islamic schools that brainwashed youths into performing the Bali bombings that murdered 88 Australians on holiday? Or protests against Australian Islamic leaders who explicitly support Hamas and Hezbollah ?
The second action was directed at the Army Recruitment office where we were met with force (lol) by some beefcake plainclothes workers who were quite proactive and agressive in attempting to eject us.

More glitter was seen floating through the air, "Dunno Mate, I just work here" and rifle stickers were put up, and general chaos was created by bodies going left and right and Bear Hugs being offered by the workers. (they are employed to Love, after all). The Police were called immediately.

People disappeared into the warren and a lot more people were forcibly ejected into the lift foyer by the workers. When all were accounted for, we discovered that despite holding elevators open, they had been shut down by the building security.

These useful idiots really don't like our army and military. They just want us to hold hands and sing kumbaya. Or throw glitter. What a waste of human energy.

Beazley inserts foot in mouth

Yes, thanks Kim for those kind words.

Mr Beazley began a press conference in Sydney today by expressing his sympathy - but to the wrong Rove.

"The first thing I want to say is this - today, our thoughts and the thoughts of many, many Australians will be with Karl Rove as he goes through the very sad process of burying his beloved wife,'' Mr Beazley told reporters.

RIP Milton Friedman

At the ripe old age of 94, Milton Friedman, the free-market economist and founder of the Chicago school of economics has passed away.

"He has used a brilliant mind to advance a moral vision — the vision of a society where men and women are free, free to choose, but where government is not as free to override their decisions," President Bush said in 2002. "That vision has changed America, and it is changing the world."

Friedman favored a policy of steady, moderate growth in the money supply, opposed wage and price controls and criticized the Federal Reserve when it tried to fine-tune the economy.

A believer in the principles of 18th century economist Adam Smith, he consistently argued that individual freedom should rule economic policy. Outspoken and controversial, Friedman saw his theories attacked by many traditional economists such as Harvard's John Kenneth Galbraith.

In an essay titled "Is Capitalism Humane?" he said that "a set of social institutions that stresses individual responsibility, that treats the individual ... as responsible for and to himself, will lead to a higher and more desirable moral climate."

Friedman acknowledged that "pure capitalism" did not exist, but said that nations that cherished freedom must strive to keep the economy as close to the ideal as possible.

He said government should allow the free market to operate to solve inflation and other economic problems. But he also urged adoption of a "negative income tax" in which people who earn less than a certain amount would get money from the government.

He lived to see free market reforms spread in the former communist world and Latin America, but played down his own influence.

"I hope what I wrote contributed to that, but it was not the moving force," Friedman told The New York Sun in March 2006. "People like myself, what we did was keep these ideas open until the time came when they could be accepted."

Born in New York City on July 31, 1912, Friedman began developing his economic theories during the Great Depression when President Franklin D. Roosevelt's based his New Deal on the ideas of Britain's John Maynard Keynes, the most influential economist of the time.

Keynes argued that the government should intervene in economic affairs to avoid depressions by increasing spending and controlling interest rates.

Other tributes to the great thinker by Andrew Norton and by Jason Soon at Catallaxy, and Peter Boetke at the Austrian Economists blog.

UPDATE: This fitting epitah from Samizdata:

"The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom."

He forced back force by the power of argument. His epitaph might be: the pen is mightier than the sword.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

VIC elections: Let the spending spree begin!

I have just been browsing the past Victorian state budgets online and if anybody would devote some time to reading just how much money the Bracks government has wasted in the past, they wouldn't be cheering and supporting future promises by either Bracks or Bailieu to pour more money into wasteful projects.

In the state election of 1999, Bracks took power from Kennett, whose premiership, under the direction of treasurer Alan Stockdale, had seen Victoria finally eliminate all the massive debt it had accumulated under the ALP era of Cain-Kirner, and keep the size and spending of government down. Lots of private projects were thriving under Kennett, with massive booms in construction and road works.

Unfortunately, just as the 1999 election rolled around, even the Liberal party decided to boost its election spending promises. The public sector, who felt they deserve perpetual and ever increasing pay-rises, was screaming for funds. Teachers unions, police and nurses were all helping the ALP campaign to overthrow Kennett, because Kennett wasn't stuffing money down their throats with no questions asked. Kennett's final budget was the 1999-2000 budget, where about $19.36 billion of public spending was allocated:

A record amount of $4.5bil was allocated to public schools.

A staggering $5bil was allocated to health. As you can see, public spending had already been creeping upwards in each annual budget. But unsurprisingly, the nurses and public hospitals were asking for an even bigger chunk of funding despite providing poor services.

Needless to say, our political elites were happy to oblige with such election promises.

Moving on to the last election, the 2002-03 budget was already bloated with $24.7 billion of spending allocated. And here we are in 2006 facing another election. This time, the 2006-07 Victorian budget plans to increase total annual spending by 4.5% from this financial year, to a grand total of $32.1 billion !

Does anyone really see how pouring more of our hard-earned savings into taxes and public spending has improved our lives ? Schools and hospitals haven't improved. The only result is that State Governments become like junkies, addicted to ever increasing amounts of spending, vote-buying, marketing and advertising, and pork.

Meanwhile, poor families are struggling to get by and politicians play games with their savings. If people were allowed to keep the property that is rightfully theirs, instead of having it coercively stolen and spent by bureaucrats and politicians, then people are rational enough to spend it on whatever priorities they have, whether it be schools, health, transport, holidays, food or investment for the future.

$9bil goes to health, $9bil goes to education, $3.2bil goes to transport.

And these election promises are outrageously excessive.

Close to $100m gets thrown at "The Arts" ! Close to $200m gets thrown at Sports ! Close to $150m gets thrown at something totally ambiguous just so we can get that feelgood vibe - "environmental sustainability !

People already value art, and sport, and culture, and nature. Free markets would allow the best parts of these industries to survive and flourish, but instead government interferes and subsidises the arts and sporting venues that wouldn't be able to survive financially on their own, because they don't appeal to the majority of the public.

Why not just end the whole farce and stop taxing us to death?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Introducing to all bloggers

The following is a paid review

I've discovered a new website called, which as far as I can see, is a marketplace for advertisers and bloggers to meet and for advertisers to actively select blogs to review upcoming products and provide market research and initial feedback.

Apparently because it is very selective about which blogs get to review their products, it means that they are willing to pay good amounts of cold hard cash, into your paypal account if you prefer, in exchange for blogs writing a lengthy review of a particular idea, concept or website.

The amount you get paid has to do with your blog's rating and the amount of traffic it receives. So once you register, which is an incredibly quick and painless process, you sit back and wait for review invitations. You review the item on your blog, and provide the URL for your post and then you will be credited an amount of money into your Paypal account.

You will also receive invitations from advertisers who consider your blog to be more relevant to their product. I guess this blog writes about politics, economics, technology, movies, TV and pop culture so I should be able to write about most things.

I can't say I've ever heard of anything like this before, so a big hat tip goes out to Yobbo for finding out about this service.

It kind of sounds too good to be true, but hey, I'm willing to lend my writing abilities to something else for a change. If you are a blogger, be sure to sign up at The link is here.


True believers in global warming

Better pray to whatever spiritual deity, Buddah, Allah, even planet Gaia, that she doesn't destroy us all with her fearsome global warming !

On Saturday, to coincide with the conference, up to 4000 people from across Kenya - including a group of Masai herders - marched, chanted and sang in a demonstration against climate change.
Mrs Ailo, a farmer and pastoralist in her 30s, said: “People are saying, ‘Maybe it’s a curse from God that the climate has changed“‘.

Photo of the day

Driving home from work, I spotted the following bumper sticker.

The bumper sticker promotes Hillary for president in 2008.

Unsurprisingly, the car then turned its indicator on and moved left.

How the Greens butcher the English language

Lets take an objective description of events. Government *reduces* the level of industrial and workplace regulation through reforms, and allows for greater freedom in negotiating employment terms.

Previously, there was a greater level of regulation and hence greater government control over the industry.

So when the regulation is reduced, what does the leader of the Greens pronounce ? Well nothing less than an Orwellian inversion of truth:

THE High Court's decision upholding the Federal Government's workplace laws gave the Commonwealth enormous powers, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

The High Court today dismissed an appeal by five state governments and two unions against the Work Choices legislation.

But Senator Brown said Prime Minister John Howard was "cherry-picking" corporations power to aid big business against the whole Australian community.

He then continues to ramble about this amorphous concept called "the environment", with no regard whatsoever for individuals, freedom, liberty, opportunity and choice. What an elitist prick.
"The corporations power is being used to take away workers' rights at the same time as the Howard Government is returning environmental controls to the states, to avoid its corporations power responsibilities for the environment," he said.

"The High Court decision clearly gives the Commonwealth enormous powers over policy on climate change, logging of forests and such land use as cotton growing and urban sprawl.

"But the Howard Government is busy divesting itself of this responsibility," he said.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The ultimate irony

For quite some time, Tim Blair has been pointing out the most bizarre contradiction in recent times. Whenever some environmental activists go marching against "global warming", they incur some of the coldest and wettest weather. You would think that this might somehow make the true-believers doubt or second guess their blind convinctions.. Nup, the cult of global warming still marches on strong.

Heres the latest round-up:


Tens of thousands of people ignored frigid temperatures Saturday to lead a worldwide day of protest against global warming.


Thousands of people have marched through central Sydney, ignoring wet and windy weather to protest against global warming.


Torrential rain dampened crowd numbers and drowned out speeches at the rally in Brisbane, where thousands were expected but only 1500 showed up.

Byron Bay:

People had been invited to bring along their umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. But it didn’t quite turn out like that at Saturday’s Walk Against Warming at Byron Bay as steady rain fell on the more than 100 people who joined the protest.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Andrew Sullivan is off the rails

This post delves into moonbat territory. Andrew Sullivan, one of the most prominent supporters of the Iraq war, has now flipped and called Rumsfeld a war criminal, and said he has "blood on his hands". I wrote a letter to Andrew Sullivan as follows:

Andrew, I think you've crossed the line with your assessment. In fact I think you've pole-vaulted over it.

The biggest supporters of Rumsfeld usually identify themselves as Republicans or conservatives, and the biggest opponents are usually leftists and liberals. But I'm not going to partake in the whole debate of whether you are a conservative or not.

I'm simply going to say that your assessment and attitude towards Rumsfeld is totally unhinged and off the rails. For a long time, the moonbats have been crying that Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rice were all war criminals. Are you going to join in now ? How long before you slap the war criminal label on Bush or Condi ?

Another disturbing expression of yours - "Rumsfeld has blood on his hands". That is an incredible backflip by you. You were one of the most prominent supporters of the Iraq war. Even before the first bullet had been fired, the deranged left who were diametrically opposed to your viewpoint, were making the comments you've made today. At what point in time did you suddenly shift enough to start calling Rumsfeld a war criminal with blood on his hands ?

On a more general note, I do not believe that in general, more troops and better management would have guaranteed any kind of success. Iraq is, as you mentioned, a post-totalitarian society. There is simply no civilised political discourse, or even respect for human rights. Their political system is based upon tribal violence and bloodshed. Their culture is world's apart from the Japanese and Germans.

If hypothetically, you had increased troop levels, you would also expose more Americans to risk and bloodshed, so would you be saying that Rumsfeld has even more blood on his hands ? Lets wait and see changes in policy occur now after the midterms. Perhaps you will get what you ask for and extra troops will be deployed. Don't hold your breath waiting for peace to flourish.

The global warming debate

Whilst watching the ABC host the debate between Bracks and Baillieu for the upcoming state elections, I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV when an Age journalist asked Baillieu a particularly smarmy and arrogant question about global warming. Today, Andrew Bolt has a brilliant editorial which scrutinises the arrogance of the global warming believers, and he even refers to that same question by the Age journalist Paul Austin.

Victoria now has its own green version of heretic-hunting, and you saw it at work in Friday's election debate between Premier Steve Bracks and Liberal leader Ted Baillieu.

Two questions were asked of the leaders that should make even believers in man-made global warming fear rational thought is under threat from a new faith.

The first came from Age reporter Paul Austin who, shaking with intensity, demanded of Baillieu: "Do you accept that climate change is real and is caused in part by human activity, or are you one of the very last sceptics?"

The second came from ABC newsreader Ian Henderson, who asked: "Have you both installed low-flow, water-efficient shower heads in your homes?"

Well, Baillieu knew he was in hostile territory on the ABC, and that he had to pay lip service to their demented belief in man-made global warming. Here is how I would have answered the questions.

1/ Thanks Paul. For the first part of the question, I'd have to agree with you. Certainly climate change is real, and its been occurring for centuries. Its also very complex and dynamic, and no computer model on earth can closely predict the changes in temperature and weather that occur. I also agree that it is caused *in part* by human activity, however small that part may be. Seeing as human activity contributes less than 0.1% of C02 in the atmosphere, I wouldn't go jumping to conclusions about regulating our industry and emissions.

As for the second part of the question.. I am not a skeptic when it comes to climate change, because as I said, the climate undoubtedly and continually changes in unpredictable ways, that are also linked to solar cycles and cloud formation. If, by skeptic, you refer to someone who doesn't believe all the hyseria, who doesn't think human activity needs to be regulated and that human's will manage to adapt to changes in climate, just as they have in the past, then I suppose you could call me a skeptic.

2/ No. I like normal showers, not the low flow rubbish.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stop meddling in Australian affairs, Bono

First it was Tony Blair and Al Gore telling our government what to do, now its U2. Either stick to music and entertainment, or go home, you dumbass !

The Irish super group's frontman, Bono, raised the Hicks case during last night's concert at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in Brisbane.

"We call for David Hicks to be brought back to Australia," he said.
Ok.. its not that I'm against him having an opinion. He is free to form opinions. What bothers me is that when the US ambassador, or George W Bush praise John Howard, the left wing intelligentsia say that they are interfering in our politics and they should butt out.

But when world leaders espouse left wing opinions and try to lobby our government to pour more funds into feelgood things like "the environment", the SMH, the ABC and The Age absolutely love it and echo the opinions loudly and proudly, as if its an indicator of how the ruthless Howard government (that has won 4 elections mind you!) is really out of touch.

I think its Bono who is out of touch with reality. Nobody cares for stupid Taliban supporting David Hicks, what the hell was the idiot doing in Afghanistan anyway !??

Global warming is not about science

The mainstream media continue to echo alarmist calls and doomsday scenarios about our future due to global warming and/or climate change. These scenarios are often based on reports which are presented as being extremely pessimistic but scientifically sound.

Our fears would be justified if they are:
a/ based on cautious and responsible scientific analysis, and
b/ reported faithfully and accurately by the media.

However ... they are neither. Especially in the case of the Stern report last month, which generated front page headlines worldwide and prompted comments by world leaders such as Tony Blair and Al Gore.

Today's Mises article does a demolition job on the nonsense behind the hysteria from the Stern report.

"Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don't act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more."

Sir Nicholas's use of the words "don't act" is very misleading. What he is urging when he speaks of "action" is a mass of laws and decrees — i.e., government action. This government action will forcibly prevent hundreds of millions, indeed, billions of individual human beings from engaging in their, personal and business private action — that is, from acting in ways that they judge to serve their own self-interests. Thus, what he is actually urging is not action, but government action intended to stop private action.

Another great point that is raised by the article:

According to Sir Nicholas, what we must do to avoid the loss of up to 20% of annual GDP, is ultimately to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions "more than 80% below the absolute level of current annual emissions." (p. xi of the Executive Summary. My italics.) Lest one think that such drastic reduction lies only in the very remote future, Sir Nicholas also declares,

"By 2050, global emissions would need to be around 25% below current levels. These cuts will have to be made in the context of a world economy in 2050 that may be 3–4 times larger than today - so emissions per unit of GDP would need to be just one quarter of current levels by 2050. (Ibid.)"
The article goes on to elaborate how important it is to make the distinction between allowing free markets to develop efficient energy sources that ultimately replace carbon intensive sources, and between giving government total control over the energy industry.

What Sir Nicholas and the rest of the environmental movement offer is merely the destruction of much of our existing means of coping with nature and the aborting of the development of new and additional means. To the extent that their program is enacted, it will serve to prevent effectively dealing with global warming if that should ever actually be necessary.

A major word of caution is necessary here. The above discussion implies that the use of modern technology to control climate is infinitely more reasonable than the virtually insane policy of attempting to control climate by means of destroying modern technology. The word of caution is that in the hands of government, a policy of climate control based on the use modern technology could be almost as dangerous as the policy of government climate control by means of the destruction of modern technology.
In fact, a possible outcome of today's intellectual chaos on the subjects of environment and government is a combination of major destruction of our economic system resulting from policies based on hostility to carbon technology and climate damage caused by governmental efforts to control climate through the use of modern technology. It's not impossible that what we might end up with is an economic system largely destroyed by environmentalist policies plus the start of a new ice age resulting from government efforts to counteract global warming through the use of technologically inspired counter measures.

The only safe response to global warming, if that in fact is what is unfolding, or to global freezing, when that develops, as it inevitably will, is the maximum degree of individual freedom.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Road to Guantanamo - coming soon

Movie posters for "the Road to Guantanamo" are being plastered everywhere across Melbourne's mostly left-wing independent cinemas, who are always eager to screen any Michael Moore trash, Al Gore panic-mongering film about global warming or anti-capitalist documentary.

After seeing this film at the Berlin film festival, Amnesty International put their foot in their mouth and claimed that "surely, Guantanamo is the gulag of our times". Leftists everywhere, especially those who are already opposed to the war on terror, are up in arms as if this is proof that the entire war is about capturing and torturing innocent muslims. The film only focusses on the three British Muslims who flew to Pakistan for a wedding, decided to take a side-trip to Afghanistan, were captured on the front lines during the war between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban and then later transferred to US custody.

But honestly, this film gives no thought to the hundreds of other detainees at Guantanamo, undoubtedly many of which are members of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. In fact, the story of the 3 British-Pakistani Muslims in this film, known as the Tipton 3, sounds a bit fishy to me.

The American Spectator has the details:

That's if they are innocent. I must say that the three men's story sounds a bit thin to me. They were in Pakistan for a wedding and just decided one day to take a trip up to Afghanistan where they were "basically just chilling out"? They could hardly not have known that American warplanes were bombing the hell out of the place at the time, yet they just wanted to play tourist? Then, when they got scared and wanted to return to Pakistan, a sinister and unknown bus driver took them in the opposite direction, toward the front line. It all sounds just the tiniest bit fishy to me.
Dean Esmay, who considers himself a liberal and is usually balanced in his opinions, is also a skeptic:
Here's the timeline as I remember it. I invite you to check me on any of this:
1) America is struck on September.

2) On September 20th, the world was put on notice that the Taliban was given a set of absolute non-negotiable demands or would face military action.

October 7 2001, air attacks on Afghanistan begin, and six weeks later on NOVEMBER 25, 2001, U.S. ground forces invade Afghanistan and begin taking prisoners.

And these three carefree lads just happened to be there on or after November 25 for that wedding, and accidentally got taken prisoner eh?
So my conclusion is that the film-makers were far too eager to create a work of fiction that sways viewers (propaganda) rather than doing a well researched and balanced documentary. All the key facts that contradict their one-sided narrative are conveniently omitted.

Stop thinking in terms of left or right

Today on talkback radio, a representative of the state Labor party and state Liberal party were having a debate, and the host introduced it as "Left and right .. we have with us today ....."

Meanwhile I'm thinking, that given the current state of politics, they are both representatives of left wing authoritarian parties.

With that. .. i bring you a famous quote by the late great Ronald Reagan

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream - the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Stern report debunked

The newspapers and mainstream media have interpreted the report as some kind of incontravertable truth, some undeniable evidence, that global warming is going to cause havoc, devastation and most importantly, reduce economic growth substantially in the coming century.

So with that conclusion, it seems very reasonable for the author to suggest that all governments sign some global framework to regulate their industries and commerce to achieve lower emissions, which will substantially reduce the cost of the future global warming, and the lengthy conclusion is that this hypothetical situation will put all of us in a better and stronger world economy than the hypothetical situation which doesn't involve massive government regulation and control of emissions.

Well, Tim Worstall has a very good point to make of this shonky methodology:

However, that is something of a misunderstanding of the SRES scenarios. Each scenario has an equal probability, there is no such thing as 'this is what will happen unless we do something'. There are other families of scenarios, like the A1, B1 and B2 ones. The A1 family, for example, is based upon the international movement of people, ideas and technology and a strong commitment to market-based solutions. It's worth noting that this produces a world, in aggregate, twice as rich as the A2 one used by the Stern Report and given the lower population, one four times as rich per head of population.

So if indeed it is true that we have a moral duty to ensure that our descendants are as rich as possible (which is, after all, the report's justification for mitigation now) then don't we also have one to push the world in the A1 direction, not the A2? More globalization for example? That would have a much greater effect on their standards of living than any of the mitigation that the report proposes. Missing this point means that I'm rather less than impressed with the rest of the report. (Please note that all SRES scenarios assume no mitigation attempts.)
Hmm.. funny that. Why don't we see the headlines saying "Urgent calls for governments to deregulate and allow free trade" ?

Maybe its because it doesn't sound as hysterical.. doesn't rate as interesting with audiences, doesn't sell newspapers, doesn't give our political elites anything to do either.

Its far better for politicians to look like they are doing "something" about an issue rather than letting creative and dynamic humans evolve to the conditions of the changing environment, under a free and globalised society.