Shallow rhetoric wins elections.

26 05 2009

OK, I’ll admit, Obama is a charming speaker. 

But surely anyone can see through an empty speech and meaningless catch phrases?

Answer: No, in our modern society we believe.  Believe in what?  A change we can believe in. 

But empty rhetoric isn’t enough.  Has Obama really worked on actually executing his plans in the realm of reality.  Because that is his job. 

 Obama, 14/11/07:  “Last point, Guantanamo. That’s easy. Close down Guantanamo.”  (the crowd roars, thunderous applause and offers of sexual impropriety follow). 

Obama, 19/5/09:  “Let me be blunt: There are no neat or easy answers here.”

“Obama has issued an executive order that Guantanamo will be shut down no later than Jan 22, 2010. He has tried to charm and persuade our allies to accept some prisoners—and has gotten virtually nowhere. He still hasn’t settled on which procedures will be used to dispose of the cases involving the most hardened al Qaeda detainees. And now, the Senate has voted—by a 90-to-6 margin—to deny Obama the $80 million he sought to pay for closing down Guantanamo.”

“Suppose you were one of the 50 Democratic senators who voted to deny funds for closing Gitmo. You’re not against closing the prison, but you just couldn’t vote to approve the money before you saw Obama’s plan. Did you hear anything in the National Archives speech that would cause you to change your position?

“You don’t have to answer. Shortly after Obama’s speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked that very question. His answer was no. “We’re all awaiting the details of the plan, and the president is going to come up with one,” Reid said. Just not yet.”

 http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/gitmo-speech-exposes-obama-shallow-rhetoric-45839477.html





Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

26 05 2009

http://www.vhemt.org/

Wow, I think they’re serious.  Full marks for honesty. 

I wonder what happens when the sun swallows the earth, or when a comet hits the earth. 

Actually I suppose the universe itself is the point of worship, not just the earth. 

Thanks to Shem at ALS blog for this link.





Paulson forced 9 bank CEOs into bailout

15 05 2009

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090514/ap_on_bi_ge/us_treasury_documents;_ylt=Aq3ZrqiIKsdezh.BFRvdn0ms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJuZDI4NHNtBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNTE0L3VzX3RyZWFzdXJ5X2RvY3VtZW50cwRjcG9zAzYEcG9zAzE0BHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA2RvY3VtZW50c3BhdQ

Stories like this remind us that the US is definitely no longer a capitlalist country.





Internet censorship in Australia

13 05 2009
 
This is a comment (410) posted on the Discussion pages of the ALS http://blog.libertarian.org.au/discussion/
David is the current National Coordinator of the Liberal Democratic Party in Australia.

A post on Catallaxy by Jason Soon has exposed some particularly authoritarian anti-free speech behaviour by the ACMA (we are talking about an Australian government authority here).

The subject of ACMA’s ire is not at all interesting. The issue is whether ISPs can be legally bullied into censoring material on sites they host.

Unfortunately the guys at Catallaxy wimped out and removed my link to the offending site, so I’ve added it here. WordPress is hosted in America (where free speech is protected by the Constitution) so it’s untouchable by the Australian gestapo.

Link here: http://www.abortiontv.com/Pics/AbortionPictures6.htm

Jason’s post:

Thanks to Rudd/Conroy how long will it be before our runaway bureaucracy ACMA bans even Google? It already has a 6 degrees of separation takedown policy: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/07/oz_link_ban/

The Australian Government yesterday broke new records for web censorship by requiring the takedown not just of a page containing harmful content, nor even a page linking to harmful content, but a page linking to a link to allegedly harmful content.

The content that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) originally deemed to be inappropriate was to be found on a US site – Abortion TV. The site is political in nature, clearly coming down on the anti-abortion side of that debate – and the page in question features pictures of aborted foetuses …

Despite this, the link continued to be published by popular news site, Whirlpool. In March, ACMA upped the ante, by sending to Whirlpool’s ISP – Bulletproof Networks – an “interim link-deletion notice”, warning them that they were in breach of the law – and that failure to block access to the link in question could cost them $11,000 a day.

Bulletproof pulled the link. This sequence of events was then reported on by Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc (EFA) …

It was therefore drearily predictable that ACMA would descend on EFA like the proverbial ton of bricks – and lo, yesterday they did exactly that, serving their latest “link-deletion notice” on EFA.

This time, EFA pointed out the cost of this sort of action. They said: “This system, which costs Australian taxpayers millions each year, is clearly unworkable”. However, there are also clear political dangers. As they further observed: “If a link to a prohibited page is not allowed, what about a link to a link? At what number of hops does hyperlink become acceptable?”





Another List of Global Warming dissenters

13 05 2009

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7

U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims




Compulsory Maternity Leave Payments Hit Australia

11 05 2009

The federal government is once again pursuing its ideology of collective sacrifice with it’s latest proposal:  Forcing all tax paying Australians to provide maternity leave.  http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25459124-2702,00.html

This is altruist based policy based on sacrifice. 

“Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master” – Ayn Rand, “The Soul of a Collectivist,” For the New Intellectual

The practical outcomes:  Employment rates will drop (all other things being equal), especially for women. 

Arrogantly, the federal government believes it can better manage decisions for all individual people and businesses.  Our federal government, criminally (at least in an ideal world) decides that it will attempt to destroy the proper, natural human function of planning for the future by adopting a blanket approach to women’s maternity leave. 

The extra monetary and legal requirements as well as extra paper work placed on business will mean that women will now (in many professions) find it harder to get work.  Employers in some professions will not be able to employ as many people. 

Just like minimum wage laws, compulsory maternity leave will unavoidably hurt more people than it helps.  And will hurt all Australians especially in the long run.

And here’s my LTE:

The Federal government’s plan to provide maternity leave will harm all Australians in the long term.  Arrogantly believing it can better manage the personal decisions for all individual people and businesses, our federal government has immorally decided that it will attempt to further restrict the proper, natural, human capacity of planning for the future and taking responsibility and control of one’s life.

This unnecessary welfare will waste the time and money of individuals/businesses/government departments and is yet another burden on the tax payer’s back.  As has happened in Britain, women will become less attractive to employers and will find it harder to get work.

Update 13/5/09:  This letter was published by the Advertiser (Adelaide’s only newspaper).  However they edited it quite severely to remove the word “immoral”.  – And they stuffed up the grammar as a result.  NB/ This editing was not due to the length of the letter

Anyway, the message is clear, no discussion of morality (contrary to the status quo/Christian style morality) in letters to the Advertiser.





Australia – The “lucky” country

4 05 2009

A popular phrase amongst Australians.  But why?

Personally if I had done a good job and someone dismissed it as “lucky” I’d be offended. 

I thought of this expression the other day because I was wondering why someone would be happy to be called lucky.  Probably only if they believed it to be true. 

So my conclusion:  Australians generally have no idea how they gained their relative prosperity compared to other nations.  Historically Australians have enjoyed more freedom including more economic freedom than many countries.  Individuals were able to develop large businesses in Australia that have benefitted all of us. 
Australian politics copied the UK system originally and in modern times, US systems – both political systems that historically were far superior than dictatorships, religious rule, communism etc. 

Interestingly, this expression was originally meant ironically:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Country

“Horne’s statement was actually made irnoically as an indictment of 1960s Australia. His intent was to comment that, while other industralised nations created wealth using “clever” means such as technology and other innovations, Australia did not. Rather, Australia’s economic prosperity was largely derived from its rich natural resources. Horne observed that Australia “showed less enterprise than almost any other prosperous industrial society.””

What’s ironic to me, is that I agree with Horne’s original irony intention, but not for the same reason as him. 

Horne doesn’t seem to recognise that primary industries (like any sucessful business) require much productive work and creativity.  There are scores of countries with large levels of resources and terrible standards of living: Nigeria, Venezuala, ex-Soviet countries – a few off the top of my head. 
Is it then ironic that Horne also doesn’t realise the source of Australia’s prosperity? 

Australians have enjoyed prosperity but they often have no idea how this was achieved. – Literally NO idea. 

That’s certainly not anyway to stay “lucky”.