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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Government helps kidnappers

In "Kidnapped photojournalist takes aim at Government" from the ABC/AAP, Nigel Brennan reveals the bungling by the Australian Government in trying to free him from his Somali kidnappers.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help" - Love or hate Ronald Reagan, he was spot on with this statement.
Typical of activities that the government gets involved with, this life endangering farce cost ten times more than the original estimate and took five times longer.
It's telling that Brennan's family had to sever ties with government help and involvment in order to get the job done themselves.

Here are some of the key bungles, according to Brennan:
  • Final ransom was $US658,000 when the average cost is $US54,000
  • Captivity was prolonged to 15 months when 3 months is average
  • Stephen Smith was "tardy and eventually dishonest"
  • Kevin Rudd was "less than involved"
  • A number of DFAT personnel believe that they handled the case incorrectly
  • 24/7 monitoring of his family's landline by Australian Federal Police failed to pick up two calls from the kidnappers. Hilariously Brennan was making these calls with a gun to his head ... ah those crazy government officials.
The Senate committee is scheduled to report on it's investigations by November 24 so we'll see if the fox has any meaningful comments on it's inability to guard the henhouse.

Sawdust Allergy

Friday, September 30, 2011

Murderous business as usual in Afghanistan

The following interview with Gareth Porter on The Real News Network gives a useful update and summary on the continuing battle to win the hearts and minds of the Afghani people through Night Raids by JSOC, civilian maiming Predator drone attacks and opportunistically imprisoning civilians.

Those Afghanis just won't roll over and let us scratch their tummies will they?

More at The Real News

Remember if you live in one of the following countries participating in the Afghanistan "War(?)" then your government is using your money and your name to murder innocent people and create more generations of terrorists.

United States
United Kingdom
Czech Republic
New Zealand

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Government works hard to solve the unemployment problem

"If you propose that the world is full of bad people then why would you want a monopoly organisation that people can gain control of? If you propose that the world is full of good people then what would you need a monopoly organisation for? If you propose that the world is full of good and bad people then wouldn't the bad people be attracted to the monopoly organisation of force and privilege?"

Friday, June 17, 2011

What's good for the Gander is no good for the Sheeple

The Washington Times has an editorial titled "One law for us, another for you". It reveals that the California Senate voted (28-8) to exempt itself from gun-control laws that apply to everyone else in California. Additionally it notes some other beauties that they've bestowed upon themselves:

"Exact salaries for state assemblymen and senators are obscured by the use of a “per diem” payment scheme that shelters a significant chunk of income from taxation."

"lawmakers rejected a bill that would have prohibited acceptance of concert and sporting event tickets, gift cards, spa treatments, golf outings and other benefits from lobbyists trying to buy votes."

"select public employees [are allowed] to avoid paying red-light-camera tickets and escape any consequence for using toll roads without paying. The current system grants free rides to politicians, court workers, police officers, city council members, social workers, meter maids and their spouses."

Forget the Red team vs Blue team politics. This is government, again, creating one law for themselves and one law for the tax livestock.

These are the same people that exempt themselves from airport body gropes and have tax livestock funded security allocated after their terms of office. These are the societal parasites that give themselves pay raises while knocking back increases for the sheeple and grant healthcare that is better than the voter ... you know the list is sickeningly long.

It's not about who you vote in, it's about the power you let them steal from you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Virgins and Whores

Amnesty International has revealed that women protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square (9 Mar 2011) were forced to take virginity tests.

The story is covered in two articles - "Egypt: Admission of forced 'virginity tests' must lead to justice" and "Egyptian women protesters forced to take 'virginity tests' ."

It has also been covered by the Australian ABC in "Egypt must investigate forced virginity tests"

Some (insane?) choice quotes:

"We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place,"

"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,"

"These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs),"

Before the pro-western, pro-christian indignation rises too high, remember that the United States was more than happy to use Egypt for Rendition. This means that allies of the U.S. also support/condone this torture.

These are your leaders using your money and committing these atrocities in your name.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

United States government involved in multiple wars

Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya - How many self righteous wars are the United States government prepared to wage?

Michael Scheuer's Non-Intervention.com - "Lies in the air of Libya's spring - The return of 'unintended consequences' "

Justin Raimondo in Antiwar.com  - "Foreign Policy and the Midterms"

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Scott Horton from Antiwar.com on the Edgington Post - audio clip

In this audio clip Scott Horton from Antiwar.com discusses the United States government involvement in multiple wars and military action. Horton investigates this topic full time so the interview serves as a solid introduction to the government obscenities abhorred on Antiwar.com.

Mark Edge is from The Edgington Post and this interview was the follow on from the Free Talk Live (freetalklive.com) episode that aired 28 March 2011.

Irradiated babies

Presstv.com article - US using depleted uranium in 'Humanitarian Intervention'
Stop the War Coalition article - Depleted uranium: the weapons that dare not speak their name.

Russia Today video

Friday, April 01, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who owns your money? (it's not you)

TheAntiTerrorist presents some concise and valuable information on the fiat money systems and the (unsurprisingly) duplicitous role of the government.

One of the surprises for me was the chain of legal logic that demonstrates how little we actually own.

It would be great if you rated these videos on YouTube.

TheAntiTerrorist,  Right on the 'Money'

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gillard takes aim at the electorate

Using a well worn tool, Julia Gillard is now (predictably?) offering free money to the sheeple to support her new tax.

Monday, March 07, 2011

In response to "What we are for" by George Monbiot

George Monbiot has an article in the UK Guardian - "What we are for".

There are a number of articles written by George Monbiot that I have enjoyed and many of his points that I have agreed with. This article has several that I side with:
1) Protest against taxation
2) Scrapping of military spending projects
3) Gathering together and objecting with a strong voice against government

However, I disagree with a number of his assumptions and am slightly disturbed by some points he presents as facts.

My biggest concern lies in his assertion that it is economically sensible for the government to swell the public service by creating jobs. This is one of the lynch pins of his article and  I consider he is being slightly disingenuous in presenting this as fact.

He references a Richard Murphy article ("The only way to cut government debt is to increase government spending") that is initially quoted by UNISON and which I have a number of problems with Murphy's reasoning:

1) Murphy assumes that all benefits are justified. If you increase the benefits (as pushed for by large corporations such as UNISON (1.375 million members)) then Murphy's equations and arguments fall apart.
2) In his paragraph on extrapolation and statistics Murphy is saying that he is interpreting and effectively guessing that his figures are correct.
3) Murphy states unequivocally that he is promoting a Keynesian philosophy and that the government can spend it's way out of the this problem. The article was written in July 2009 so history has already made some comment on the effects of the bailouts. He concludes the article with the assertion that spending worked in the 30s so we should trust him that it will work now.
4) In his third last paragraph Murphy basically negates his own argument by stating that private sector demand will eventually pick up.

As stated, I consider that Monbiot is being disingenuous.

The next worrying suggestion of significance is the oh so reasonable sounding "Robin Hood" tax. While he marks this as highly progressive it is likely to follow the path of all well intentioned taxes and be another arrow through the arse cheeks of the middle class's scarlet tights.

By his very own admission Monbiot has pointed out that "tax avoidance and evasion are the preserve of the very rich: only millionaires and corporations can afford the specialist advice required to disguise their earnings". In other words the same people who avoid tax now are the same people who will avoid tax in the future and leave the burden of the financial transactions tax to the poor and middle class. As offensive as it sounds, the employees of tax collecting agencies are just not smart enough to outwit the vast majority of "tax avoiders".

Unfortunately the same argument applies to the referenced suggestion by Greg Philo of Glasgow University. His proposition will rescue the people's money from the evil rich that have "stashed [it] away" (saved it for future use?). The well intentioned cap of £1million pounds and the reasonable sounding 20% are exactly the sort of "unmoveable limits" that governments traditionally move and re-limit. 

Unsurprisingly history shows that the burden is gradually shifted to the poor and middle class as time drifts by and memories of good intentions grow dim.

Monbiot's reference to the National Insurance illustrates this point. The National Insurance was initially set up for illness and unemployment. It then later grew to include retirement pensions and other benefits. It then became further entrenched when payroll tax was introduced. While it is meant to be hypothecated (a specific tax for a specific expenditure) the government has ensured that there are self-serving loopholes for it's own rules. A large proportion of the fund is invested in government securities which means that the money raised by National Insurance is available for general government spending. The latest figures show that this is approximately 17% of total government receipts.

And Monbiot and his sources want to give more taxation and more employees to this government machine? Yep, that'll stop the little guy from being shafted.

I have some other minor comments in Monbiot's article:

1) Who is this royal "we" that he keeps referring to? And by inference who is the "them"?
2) It's worrying that there doesn't seem to be any  concise aims being put forward by "the great rally". It risks being seen as a bunch of complainers or worse still, leaving itself open to hijacking by special interest groups/individuals. His point on the measurability of progress is critical. Also the observation that people lose hope without a programme is well made.
3) To combat tax avoidance he suggests putting on more staff at HM Revenue and Customs. What he doesn't address is: How many staff?; How are the staff going to be paid for?; How is an increased level of bureaucracy going change things when the current level is ineffectual and can't even be managed correctly?
4) The minimum wage should be raised by CPI plus 5%? Here's an idea, let's make the minimum wage $1000 an hour and very soon everyone will be millionaires thus eliminating poverty.
5) The money saved by scrapping military projects should be spent on public housing. Saved money that is spent is not saved money.
6) The money saved by scrapping military hardware should be spent on "offshore renewables". Where does he think the natural resources are going to come from for these renewables?(Financial Sense article on Rare Earth Metals)

Basically Monbiot is suggesting that the way to stop finance inequalities and abuse by the government is to make the government bigger and add more taxes. It's the fault of "the rich" and they must be made to pay. As with most articles revolving around this financial pariah the level of what is "very rich" is not addressed. I often suspect that it is the level to which the writer assumes he/she will not attain and therefore concludes that this is too much.