If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

Here we are, a week into the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax, a week where both sides of the discussion added their thoughts as to why the scheme will or won’t work.

Among the many interesting articles and one that stood out the most, was this one by Dermot O’Gorman, which you can read here, the first two paragraphs are below.

I WAS at a barbecue recently when a friend came up and said: “I’ve got a bone to pick with you, mate. You know I’m all for doing our bit to tackle climate change, but why should Australians pay a carbon tax when the rest of the world is free to pollute?”

My friend almost choked on his steak when I told him that 31 European countries already have carbon pricing, including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where carbon taxes have been in effect since the early 1990s.

Whilst it is written from the point of trying to convince us how other countries are jumping on the carbon tax/emission trading bandwagon, the first few words of the second sentence highlight why it is pointless, and won’t change our behaviour.

Dermot O’Gorman is the current Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Australia, the same group that launched the Earth Hour campaign, and here he is at a social gathering where one of his friends is eating meat.

The time that Mr O’Gorman wasted trying to convince his friend that the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax is a good thing and what other countries are doing with regards to ‘clean energy’ could have been better spent explaining the environmental impact of of animal agriculture.

Any half baked environmentalist would be hard pressed to deny the impact that livestock have on our environment. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has come out saying that livestock are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding that of transport. It has even been mentioned in an article about saving money on groceries, adding that it takes eight kilos of grain to produce a kilo of beef. Then there is the issue of fossil fuel and water use. It’s been estimated that it takes approx 1,800 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, and 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of feedlot beef.

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Why the State of Origin MUST Change or Concede

It would appear that I may have upset a few people this morning with my facebook status update about last night’s “State of Origin”.

Ok. The “State of Origin” is over for another year, and Qld has won it for the 7th time. Does this mean that they will now open it up to other states for there to be some real competition or, my preferred option, no longer play it cause there is no long any point to it?

Well when I say a few people I mean Amanda Foy, and she even wrote a blog post about it too, which you can read here.

Not being one to let the opportunity to write a blog post in response go to waste, I have scribbled down what you now find below.

I would like to begin by asking the question, How can it be called a State of Origin, when there are only two teams playing? Remember this is a game administered by the National Rugby League (NRL), which means you’d be safe in thinking that the rugby is played in other states, which it is.

According to the rules of selection, you can play for the team of the state you were born in and played your first registered game, and if you are eligible to represent Australia at an international level.

Mind you, it does get a little tricky when you consider James McManus, who plays for NSW, was born in Scotland and played his first game in the NT.

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It’s Always Been Done That Way

How do you sleep in your bed at night?

Apart from the obvious answer of laying down with eyes closed. I mean, HOW do your sleep in you bed?

If you are like most people, I am guessing the answer would be, pillow and head up one end, feet down the other, with the pillows at the head of the bed.

I used to do that too, though recently I have decided to do things a little differently.

Being one of those fortunate people, I get to have a whole queen sized bed to myself, so I decided to make the most of the space that I have available to me.

A few weeks ago, and I don’t really know why, I decided to grab my pillows and sleep at the other end of the bed. Then a funny thing happened, I started to sleep in all sorts of different ‘positions’. I have even been sleeping across the bed, with my feet hanging off the end.

Now, I know what you are thinking, what about the monsters?

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Statutory Control v Self-Regulation

“…spectre of a Government-funded overseer of a free press in an open and forward-looking democracy like ours cannot be justified”
News Limited CEO Kim Williams

“a sort of jihad against News. And they’ve got an outcome that will give people outside the industry a level of comfort. But I think it is a total outrage.”
former News Limited CEO John Hartigan

“So as far as I can see the recommendations in his report around the foundation of a statutory body are not warranted,”
Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood

These are the responses by those in control of Australia’s two main media organisations to the report handed down at the conclusion of the Finkelstein Inquiry.

Now whilst I am not a fan of government regulation of the media, in the case of Australia, what we have cannot by any stretch of the word be called a free and independent press.

Whilst the inquiry was a good thing to have, like all every other inquiry these days, it’s terms of reference were way to narrow to actually get to the heart of how much influence the media has, nor did it actually look at who owns and controls the media.

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Is it possible to regain integrity after it has been gone for so long?

Under the headline “It’s time for voters to get the campaign Queensland deserves“, Brisbane’s ever so informative The Courier-Mail has decided to get off the campaign buses and planes and dedicate it’s resources to the important issues in the lead up to the March 24 election.

In my mind, this is too little far too late.

This is a daily paper that has spent far too long bathing in the stench of corruption, ignorance and misinformation that no matter how much Glen 20 they spray around the place, it won’t be enough.

The paper was silent on the issue of The Premier holding a press conference on 25 Jan 2012 to announce the date of the election, 24 March 2012, and that she was going to wait until 19 February 2012 to visit The Governor of Queensland to dissolve the parliament and issue writs for a general election.

They were silent once again when The Premier under the protection of Parliamentary Privilege set out to defame an ordinary citizen of Queensland, and accepting The Premier’s excuse that she got a little passionate about it.

They were silent on the fiasco that is the Royal Commission like Commission of Inquiry into the 2011 Floods, failing to uncover the information that another newspaper was able to.

They are once again silent or failing to ask more then one question about the Minister for Transport’s ability to offer free travel on public transport, at a cost of over $1 Million, when the government is in caretaker mode.

Maybe the reason for this is that those at The Courier-Mail are hedging their bets on a resounding ALP defeat at the polls. After all those years of keeping quiet about all the skeletons in the ALP’s political closet, they are pretending to be impartial so as to not fall foul of an incoming LNP government.

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What do you call an inquiry that won’t uncover the truth?

With all the media excitement that is surrounding the recent additional sittings of the flood inquiry, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that the truth about the Queensland flood of 2011 will finally come to light.

This would be the case, if it weren’t for a few seemingly obvious points that Queensland’s media has been complicit in covering up and thereby allowing the current regime to further hoodwink the public.

First and foremost, this flood inquiry isn’t a Royal Commission. To say that it is a Commission of Inquiry with all the powers of a Royal Commission isn’t really the same as actually having a Royal Commission in the first place.

The terms of reference are far too narrow to be effective. Let’s take a moment and compare this to the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission.

The terms of reference for that Royal Commission were:

FOR THE PURPOSE of inquiring into and reporting on the following matters:

  1. The causes and circumstances of the bushfires which burned in various parts of Victoria in late January and February 2009 (“2009 Bushfires”).
  2. The preparation and planning by governments, emergency services, other entities, the community and households for bushfires in Victoria, including current laws, policies, practices, resources and strategies for the prevention, identification, evaluation, management, and communication of bushfire threats and risks.
  3. All aspects of the response to the 2009 Bushfires, particularly measures taken to control the spread of the fires and measures taken to protect life and private and public property, including but not limited to:
    (a) immediate management, response and recovery;
    (b) resourcing, overall coordination and deployment; and
    (c) equipment and communication systems.
  4. Measures taken to prevent or minimise disruption to the supply of essential services such as power and water during the 2009 Bushfires.
  5. Any other matters that you deem appropriate in relation to the 2009 Bushfires.

Now compare this to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

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Newspaper’s duty to question on behalf of its readers

That is the headline of an opinion piece in today’s Courier-Mail.

The second paragraph of the piece says.

Newspapers have a clear task to ask questions, scrutinise and report on behalf of the people who each day pay to read its pages. Newspapers that fail to do this do not stay in business.

Now unless I am really mistaken here, a newspaper’s longevity is based on it’s ability to secure advertiser’s to ply their wares on the pages within. It has nothing to do with the quality, integrity, or informativeness of the articles contained within. With no other serious competition in this state, the Courier-Mail can pretty much publish what they want and people will still buy it.

This paper is justifying the publication of a piece over the weekend highlighting a conflict of interest that one of the deputy commissioners of the flood inquiry, as confirmation of their duty to keep readers informed.

The opinion piece goes on further to say The newspaper has an obligation to report the facts to its readers without fear or favour. That duty was exercised on Saturday.

The piece ended with the following:

Readers can rest assured that The Courier-Mail will continue to take seriously its role to question, scrutinise and report to its readers.
It is a duty that the newspaper has never taken for granted.

This is the biggest load of rhetoric and doublespeak that I have ever read in my life. As I have written previously, the media is complicit in the perversion of democracy and has failed in it’s above mentioned obligation.

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