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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Monday Rant: My List Of Peeves.

I haven’t had a Monday morning rant for some time now, and I thought today would be a good enough day as any to do it. Especially seeing as I woke up to people running around like chicken little making all sort of pointless comment online after the spate of shootings in Brisbane over night. One of which is literally metres from where I live.

Anyway, here is my Top 5 list of pet peeves.

  1. Coffee Too Hot To Drink.
    I am very specific when I order a coffee. Usually it is the biggest size they have, with a double or triple shot, depending on the size of the cup,  the vegan version of their soy milk (remember, not all soy milk is vegan), and the most important part, COOLER.
    I am a little bit precious when I drink coffee, in the way that I would like to be able to actually drink it. Not be forced to sip it for the next 3 hours because the temperature is hot enough to melt the teflon coating of a frying pan.
    I do understand that the milk has to be heated to 60C for some reason, though there is nothing to say you can’t put a little bit of cold soy in the top, so I don’t burn my precious tongue.
  2. Umbrellas.
    Not the umbrella as such, just those people who insist on walking along a crowded street when it is only looking like it might drizzle a bit.
    Those out there who don’t really care what damage their brolly inflicts on people, they wave it around, it bobs up and down all over the place. The unfortunate part is that the little pointy metal things at the end tend to be at the same level as my eyes are. Personally, I’d love to see umbrellas being prohibited from use if there are more than 3 people within a 20 metre radius.
    Don’t get me started on those who bring a golf umbrella to a sun shower…
    Come one people, it’s not the 1920’s where the umbrella meant everything, why can’t we all wear the ever fashionable japara?
  3.  Disciples of the Electronic Alter
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Republic: To Be Or Not To Be?

This question alone is usually enough to get even the most sedate politically apathetic person fired up, and happy to voice their views on the subject.

Very rarely will you hear anyone say that they don’t have an opinion on the matter or really care one way or the other, with people being either for or against the idea.

There are those who believe that the time has now come for Australia to cut ties with the United Kingdom and take it’s rightful place on the world stage as an independent sovereign nation.

Whilst those on the other side of the fence support our current system believing that there is no need to ‘fix’ that which is not broken. Asserting that it has served us well in the past, and will see us through into the future.

Can either side claim to be right in this discussion, and if so, which one?
In this two part post, I will discuss the arguments and reasons put forward by both sides, starting with the pro-Republic side.

Australia isn’t an independent nation without becoming a republic.
This is statement couldn’t be further from the truth, because Australia became an independent nation on any one of the three dates listed below.

10 Jan 1920 – As a member state of the League of Nations.
Article X of the Covenant of The League of Nations guarantees soveriegn nation status when it became part of international law

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Let’s Bash The Banks

With the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cut to their official lending rate, and the failure of the ‘Big Banks’ to pass on the full rate cut, it seems that everyone  from the Federal Treasurer down to the man on the street are all jumping on the bank bashing band wagon and crying foul.

Though can the banks really be blamed for not passing on the full amount?

Before we all jump up and down in chorus with Wayne Swan, let’s not forget that it was the ALP’s last World’s Greatest Treasurer, Paul Keating who originally deregulated then banking industry. All under the promise of greater competition and the consumer being the one who will be the big winner.

How wrong that promise was.

Since deregulation, the banks no longer have any legislated social responsibility, and their primary function now is to return a profit on their shareholder’s investment.

Unfortunately, this can only be done by increasing fees for the services they provide, and by not passing on the full RBA rate reductions.

With the government virtually powerless to put any pressure on the banks to reduce rates, and not being willing to reintroduce government regulation, what else can they do to ease the ever increasing cost of banking on families with already stretched budgets?

Instead of wasting $36 Billion dollars on the National Broadband Network, the money could have been invested in creating an Australian Bank.

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Election seen through smudged lens

In yesterday’s The Courier Mail, Des Houghton wrote an opinion piece about the Qld ALP’s 2012 election campaign.

The piece began with the line, “SO WE have endured an election campaign with plenty of mud-slinging”.

A paragraph later he borrows from the ALP strategists play book, describing the party in similar terms to how they described the LNP. Words like; inept, rancid, pernicious, corrupt, insincere and misleading were some of them.

Then before listing all the failures of from Labor’s 12 year reign in Queensland, he says “I have a horrible feeling we are going to the polls not knowing as much as we should about how an incoming government will handle new challenges…” adding later, “The print, electronic and social media was hit by an asteroid shower of misinformation. Mudslinging smudged the lens through which we view policy.”

Now as much as I am not a fan of the ALP, the blame cannot and should not rest with them. The media are just as complicit in the deception of Queensland voters.

The media are the ones that have kept quiet over the past 12 years while the ALP mismanaged this state.

The media are the ones that allowed The Premier to publicly and personally attack an ordinary Queensland citizen, under the protection of parliamentary privelege.

The media are the ones that have allowed this mud slinging to continue to throughout the election campaign .

The media are the ones that went into a feeding frenzy every time an allegation of impropriety or corruption was thrown at the LNP leader.

Yet it was the same media that has been eerily silent on any hint of corruption from within the ALP.

If the media was less focused in trying to justify their own existence by helping Anna Bligh with her campaign against Campbell Newman, and more focused on actually educating the Queensland voters about what the issues are and how to vote properly, things wouldn’t be looking as grim as what they are.

Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, March 24, the Queensland media have a lot to answer for regarding the way that the campaign has been played out and the future of politics in Queensland.

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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Monday Morning Rant – 23 Jan 2012

I haven’t had a Monday morning rant for a while so I thought that today would be a good a day as any to have one. First off, I should let everyone know I do have my cranky pants on this morning. You have been dutifully warned.

The reason I have my cranky pants on is because I was woken up at 02:00 this morning.

While I accept the noises of the city in my stride after all, it is a trade off for living where I do, today was a little different.

Usually the noises of the city don’t bother me, and if they do happen to wake me up, I can just roll over and shuffle off back to the land of nod without too much of a hassle.

Not this morning.

Today, it was a 02:00 fire alarm coming from the building next door. You know that annoying bell that once it gets inside your head, it just keeps going and going and going. Then came the evacuation tone. As soon as I heard that I didn’t even try going back to sleep because I knew that it wouldn’t be too long before the lights and sirens from the BRT’s that belong to the QFRS came screaming down the street.

Sure enough, they weren’t too far away, and I could hear the sirens in the distance getting closer. The funny thing is that once the two BRT’s got into the street, they turned the sirens off, so all I was left with was the flashing lights. Those of you that know me, know I am always distracted and mesmerised by flashing lights and shiny things, and even though it was a little after 2AM, today was no different…

Anyway, thankfully it was a false alarm, and they trundled off on their way, once they had the issue sorted.

I breathed a sigh of relief and thought I would be able to get back to sleep again. So I fluffed up my pillow, grabbed by Humprey B Bear teddy and closed my eyes…

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