Happy Easter

by on 18 April, 2014

easterMenzies House management and editors wish its readers and contributors a safe and happy Easter.

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” —Dave Barry

The day the Premier resigned

by on 16 April, 2014

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has been found to have received a $3,000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange as a gift, which he failed to declare, and failed to admit to ICAC, conveniently suffering from memory failure, and has accordingly resigned this morning.

Before all thoughts move to who will move on up into the top spot, our anti-lockout friends at I’m Not The Problem Barry – No Lockouts NSW have been taking advantage of this scintillating story to have a bit of a laugh. The full gallery is here, but some of my favourites are below!

alcoholrelatedcorruption

iguessivehadmylastcabernetmeeting

whinesforlockoutslockedoutbywine

chrisnewman

 

 

 

The Looming Great Green Tax You Didn’t Even Know About!

by on 15 April, 2014

Green tape is strangling Aussie businesses, killing jobs and driving up costs for consumers and it’s time the Federal Government honoured its commitment to make Australia open for business again.

And repealing a stealth green tax about to be made law is the perfect place to start.

In the dying days of the Gillard government, great new green tax was rushed through parliament – and you probably didn’t even know about it! But believe me, it will cost you big.

Under the guise of “illegal logging” up to 17,000 Aussie businesses could be forced to shut down due to the high cost of this act with a total cost of up to $340 million, and prices for consumers will go up, up, up.

Unless we act now, this will come into law in November.

Like with most “green projects” This will do absolutely NOTHING to save the environment. And of course, the Gillard Government never costed it, there was no regulatory impact statement,  no cost- benefit analysis, parliament never examined the regulations – it was just pushed through.

Only one group will benefit from this – Green “Certification” companies, who have just hit the jackpot.

The UN begging bowl

by on 14 April, 2014

volt-300x257There is hardly a day goes past now that there is evidence that citizens of the world are switching off on ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’.

Nevertheless, in the humid disconnected dingbat world of the United Nations every other day is spent on a press release sticking out the begging bowl to deal with ‘global warming’.

But the very term, ‘global warming’ is passe and so is ‘climate change’, though Fairfax has to find out about it.

Yes, ‘global warming’ is gone and the new mantra is ‘climate resilience’ – which means anything you please so long as it plugs money into the UN.

The UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has announced that malaria, Ukraine, the Syrian civil war, refugees, Muslim terrorism, are not key issues. He has prioritised ‘climate resilience’ as the key issue that leads a strong half-dozen global crises.

In furtherance of this loony dream, Ban told a gathering of finance ministers this weekend that they have a “catalytic role to play” to shape a new financial model to make “low carbon” investments attractive to institutional investors.

Full story: Morning Mail

Bendigo Bank deals in more than money

by on 13 April, 2014

bendigoCurrently playing to a wide audience in Bendigo, Victoria is what might be the pre-cursor of what all Australians understand “democracy” to mean. The administrators of the Bendigo Bank in that City has drawn well deserved flack for their dictatorial discrimination over who can have an account in their bank by closing the account of a group of citizens that opposed the building of a $3 million Muslim Mosque to service about 150 families.

The bank responded with statements of religious freedom, discrimination, racism and all the usual mouthed PC platitudes and babble about tolerance and inclusion. No doubt they are experiencing a severe backlash and account closures if social media means anything.

Since the PC brigade re-wrote the meaning of “democracy” the social rule, and according to some in the judiciary, “democracy” means “minorities prevail” and the majority should feel ashamed. They need to be reminded of the word meaning still in most dictionaries:

Full story via Morning Mail

You put your left foot in…

by on 11 April, 2014

carr1Australians all are splitting their sides at Bob the Builder Carr’s diary and his rationale for ratting on Gillard. There are rich pickings indeed, or as the military say ‘a target rich environment’. But there is a slant no one else has picked up on—how the Sydney Morning Herald had misjudged what its readers thought about Bob.
The scalding reaction from the readers forced Granny Herald to change the headline in the on-line Herald over and over,  and to finally hide the story away altogether, and get in step with other media.

GC.Ed.
Here is the full story.

If I wanted America, err Australia, to Fail

by on 8 April, 2014

Just replace “America” with “Australia” or “UK”.

Obama and Cameron are doing a great job of making sure their respective countries do in fact fail. With luck, Australian’s voted out just in the nick of time the Labor Green rainbow alliance before they irreversibly rooted Australia.

Thanks to Les for the youtube link.

 

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Email Andy at andysrant@gmail.com

“Speak without fear, question with boldness.”

 

The Freedom to be Wrong

by on 8 April, 2014

Recently the Attorney-General, George Brandis’ amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act have come under fire by the political elite, claiming they are in support of bigotry. In fact these laws simply take human rights out of the hands of the government and allow the free-exchange of ideas without external interference. Few people on either side of parliament are bigoted or want to make it easier for serious verbal damage to be done to our ethnic communities but the fact is that it is very difficult to legally define what constitutes ‘offensive.’

The 1995 amendments section 18 to The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) by the Keating government made it illegal to ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ others based on their race or ethnicity. At first glance these provisions may seem reasonable after all, for example, their is no doubt as to the humiliation that survivors of the holocaust must feel when extreme-right fringe-dwellers undermine their experiences by denying the atrocity ever happened. However it is by being able to withstand critique that the truth is all the more relevant. As John Stuart Mill said ‘If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.’ To have strength in our convictions we must be exposed to all contrary viewpoints. You cannot simply oppose something while being forbidden to know precisely what it is that you oppose.

Furthermore, with pre-existing statutory conditions on defamation and vilification there is adequate scope for the rights of individuals to be protected without imposing rigorous sanctions on the freedom of speech.

But this isn’t enough for ethnic advocates  with Jewish community leader Jeremy Jones fearing that the new legislation could open the door for holocaust deniers. Left-wing intellectuals argue that freedom of expression must be counter-balanced with the freedom to be free from verbal persecution.

I argue however, how can freedom of speech remain uncompromised if it is to be qualified by the  subjective standards of the government?

To bind free expression to the caveat of whether it conforms to the standards of the government of the day is to nullify it completely. If you believe in freedom of speech you believe in it on a sunny and a wet day, and uphold that no matter whether the speaker is Andrew Bolt or Sarah Hanson-Young, in the eyes of the law, their opinions are no more or less legitimate.

There are many that say that society is not comprised of an even playing field and that individuals like Cory Bernardi and Alan Jones are given a disproportionate  voice compared to the minorities they denounce  and that the government is required to step in as an independent arbiter. These people should be reminded that the government is in itself a class compromised of the upper echelons of society from the top-tier, sandstone universities and beset with a born to rule mentality fixated from birth. To have them as the qualifier of what is in good taste is to place severe boundaries on culture and expression.

Moreover, is there any practical outcomes to be achieved by the prohibition of free speech? History shows that when you try to put a cap on the bottle, the cap bursts off. With almost every government intervention there is a reasonable backlash which quite often strengthens the cause of the suppressed individuals. The fact remains that people aren’t cured from being a racist by governmental legislation, the process is cultural and starts from the bottom up.

To combat racism and bigotry the onus is on individuals, families, schools, work-places and media outlets to inform the people that that is not okay conduct. The suggestion that we need a centralised body to do so shows a fundamental distrust for humanity arguing that teachers, family members and colleagues are incapable of taking the initiative themselves to combat discrimination. The attitude that only government can save us from ourselves ultimately plays into the hands of the policy-making elites in allowing them to dictate the terms in which we interact and, in doing so, depriving us of our individual responsibility.

Edited by Matt Russell

AEC: all credibility lost!

by on 8 April, 2014

voter_apathy_431035-300x214Wilkie Collins offers an opinion not so far mentioned as WA election commentators try to explain the rise and fall of poll results. As the writer points out, the true reason for voter behaviour may well be hidden with those that refused to vote and the informal votes. Interesting reading to be sure.

GC.Ed.

Lucky for the Australian Electoral Commission they were not on the ballot paper for the WA Senate. A result of 6 votes would show what Western Australia thinks of them. And a shame there wasn’t a Disgusted Party.
Depending on preferences the Disgusted Party would have got at least one, and more likely two, Senate seats.
In round figures 30% of Western Australia did not turn out to vote. 
The extreme right hand column is the percentage turnout – it is not an optical illusion.

Division State Enrolled Turnout %
Brand WA 102,974 72,660       70.56
Canning WA 104,821 72,653    69.31
Cowan WA 97,382 69,085        70.94
Curtin WA 95,558 65,017         68.04
Durack WA 92,100 57,047       61.94
Forrest WA 99,095 74,994      75.68
FremantleWA 102,871 71,796 69.79
Hasluck WA 100,208 66,138  66.00
Moore WA 98,827 69,323       70.15
O’ConnorWA 95,611 67,951     71.07
Pearce WA 104,858 69,451      66.23
Perth WA 96,591 64,520          66.80
StirlingWA 97,422 64,360       66.06
Swan WA 96,618 63,219           65.43
Tangney WA 95,690 69,252    72.37
TOTAL 1,480,626 1,017,466     68.72
So how does it compare with previous turnouts?
Since 1925 the average turnout has been in the low 90%’s. It was, in round figures again, 93% in the last election. Why so low?
Battle fatigue, voter fatigue, are the words being shifted around.

Full story via Morning Mail.

Fixing our democracy?

by on 5 April, 2014

Kieran MacGillicuddy

Reading Rachel Connor’s (Smoker’s Rights Party) response to the ABC earlier this week (In Defence of Diversity) prodded me to reflect a little on our democratic system and it’s failings.

I tend to agree with the ABC (Antony Green) that our current system is broken and creates an election system which is less transparent and more unwieldy than it needs to be. Where I part ways with them is solutions.

Green seems to favour significantly increasing barriers to entry for new/micro parties. If the barriers were high enough then certainly it would reduce the scale of ballot papers and transparency of voting. Critically though it would also make it dramatically harder for new political parties, especially grassroots ones, to form. That means solidifying the major parties hold on power and limiting the political debate. Many of our readers may not like The Greens but I much prefer a system where new parties can form and more ideas can be debated than one where that can’t happen.

I think that this problem is beyond any single solution, in my mind some combination will be needed and I’d start with these:

  1. Above the line preferential voting with the option to exhaust your vote (above or below). Rather than voting for 77 candidates below the line on today voters could vote for any number of the 35 parties contesting the election.
  2. Removing compulsory voting (or at least adding a ‘no one’ option) would also almost certainly reduce the proportion of donkey/etc voters.
  3. Introducing electronic voting would effectively fix the ballot/font size issue and provide some pretty great ways of showing above the line voters exactly where their votes were going. And if given a ‘no one’ option voters could be asked ‘why’ which would be fascinating in itself.

What do you think?