Friday, September 9, 2016

When regulation becomes state tyranny: the case of NSW, Australia

Coffs Harbour fishermen protest against new state legislation.
Photo: Ruby Cornish via ABC Rural


With notes from Democracy Defined: The Manifesto (Ken d’Oudney)

IN the state of New South Wales commercial fishermen are fighting for freedom and commonsense as the Department of Primary Industries strangles their industry with oppressive and even life-threatening regulations on what was once seen as an everyday commercial activity – supplying the state’s fish markets.

Similar oppressive regulations have been imposed upon the state’s farmers by a succession of governments in the name of ‘preserving biodiversity’. Farmers have effectively lost the ability to manage their own farms. The same government has declared its intention to ban the sport of greyhound racing – and the largely rural industries associated with it.

These alarming developments raise an important question: If government in our system is given its authority by the people, then why is this government acting directly against the will of the people who elect it?

Commercial fishing regulations in NSW involve extreme “micro-management” of people in the manner of a jailer over prisoners. The NSW Department of Primary Industries decrees that “fishers” (we must use the non-sexist term of course) in a certain category can only fish in estuaries at night by themselves. Neither can anyone help with launching or unloading that boat at the jetty. They can be fined $550 for merely shining a torch at the fisherman or even offering a cup of coffee!

Even worse is that a regulation imposed by a government agency should put people in mortal danger. Four fatalities in the past few years have been attributed to fishermen being forced into solo fishing at night with no companion to assist in an emergency or lack of mobile coverage in many areas. But those who make the rules and impose the penalties have been far from willing to listen to reason or the public they are supposed to serve.

Has it been lost upon those in authority in NSW that fines and punishments should only be applied to people who do something wrong or harmful? Such regulations appear to be simply a threat of force to control behaviour and to strangle an industry seen as some sort of threat the environment.  Section 270.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code defines the term ‘slavery’ as “the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, including where such a condition results from a debt or contract made by the person”. The same Criminal Code also outlaws “slavery-like practices”.

In effect, NSW’s so-called “fishing laws” reverse the traditional definition of law, which is to protect life and property and provide remedy for those who suffer harm or loss.

Fishing industry spokesmen say their government is clearly intent on suppression of their trade. At least one former politician is on the record as saying that the people who make a living from fishing will be “starved out” of their occupation and reduced to a mere 500 businesses on the entire NSW coast. In the 1980s there were more than 6000 commercial fishing businesses.  

To underline how corrupt and oppressive NSW statute laws have become, we need to look into some history of our Westminster system of government. Englishman Kenn d’Oudney notes in his book Democracy Defined: The Manifesto1: “It remains a universal criterion of justice that the validity and justice of laws and all acts of their enforcement require them to be judged not by those who make and enforce the laws (government), but by those who voluntarily agree to abide by the laws (all adult citizens). All men and women who do not uphold this tenet are then promoting unlawful rule by a tyrannical élite.”

“Tyrannical elite” fits perfectly today to the powerful, highly-paid (and armed) public servants who strictly enforce endless, micro-managing regulations under the threat of penalties than can bankrupt an individual or small business. Armed NSW fisheries officers have even threatened NSW fishermen on occasion.

Supposedly, this is all to save “dwindling, threatened fish stocks”, which has long been disputed by independent scientific opinion. Regardless, the fishermen themselves rely on conservation of the seafood resource and have substantially submitted to the declaration of various coastal parks and no-fishing zones.

But the political reality is not about protecting resources, it is controlling them under the United Nations’ Agenda 21 (now Agenda 20-30) planning template. The regulations forcing this change are tyrannical, as might be expected under a system of global, centralized control of population and resources.

This is essentially why these behaviour-modifying regulations are put into place by senior public servants and compliant politicians – in that order. Senior corporate bureaucrats implement UN “policy guidelines” drawn up under “international treaty obligations” and other global agreements that most Australians have never heard of. Concurrrent with this is pressure from environmentalist groups ranging from the high-powered Pew Foundation in America to Greenpeace and others pushing the globalist Agenda 21 program.

But international law and UN treaties cannot override our inherent rights and freedoms. They only have force when legislated into place with the consent of the people through their elected representatives – and even then they must not override the will or the welfare of the people in what we loosely call a democracy.

Some claim that parliaments in the west have supreme power (parliamentary supremacy) to legislate whatever they want. This is a half truth. Under the Westminster parliamentary tradition they can indeed legislate what they want but the people can also judge and overrule the statute law they make if that statute law is unjust or destructive or violates the rights of the people. They can also vote the politicians out.

D’Oudney further writes in Democracy Defined: The Manifesto: “Naturally, people have the moral responsibility, the right and the duty to resist and suppress injustice wherever it occurs, and by whomsoever it is perpetrated, governments notwithstanding. By definition and in practice, Democracy and Justice require that the People at all times retain the Supreme Power to annul injustices and the bad laws made by fallible politicians … According to legem terræ* common law, it is the jurors’ duty in Trial by Jury to judge the justice of the law and every act of enforcement and acquit any persons
accused under an arbitrary, unjust or apocryphal statute, regulation or prosecution.” (pp 2-3)

Mr d’Oudney and his fellow researchers Astrid and Joanna d’Oudney, have devoted themselves to reawakening all people – not just those who live under the Westminster system and English law – to this principle that power in a free society resides with the people and their ability to judge the law. 

D’Oudney cites, among others, Harlan F. Stone, US Chief Justice 1941-1946, on the Juror’s Duty in the authentic Trial by Jury, as follows:

“If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant’s natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law. That juror must vote Not Guilty regardless of the pressures or abuses that may be heaped on him by any or all members of the jury with whom he may in good conscience disagree. He is voting on the justice of the law according to his own conscience and convictions and not someone else’s. The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided.” (p.3)

Today, in Australia, that is a radical concept as state governments and their supposed public servants wage war on any activity deemed to be some sort of threat to the environment or a threat to the big commercial interests that have rigged rules and regulations within legislation to serve their own interests.

The commercial fishing community has tried to co-operate with the politicians and public servants. They are protesting the most dangerous of the regulations but have made little progress. Their role, according to current “corporate management” fads, is merely to comply. “Compliance” has become a part of corporate management systems that operate within the public service.

Kenn d’Oudney further cites the case ruling of United States v. Moylan; U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F. 2d 1002 as an example of how true democracy should work.  “If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognise the undisputed power of the jury to acquit even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.”

It should be noted that the United States and Australia both share that English common law tradition and US case law can be used in Australian courts.

Is it not time for a jury to judge whether the NSW government is imposing unjust and harmful statute laws and regulations upon the state’s commercial fishermen, its farmers and its greyhound breeders?

Without doubt it is time, as the government of NSW (and most if not all others in Australia) has not only put in place tyrannical regulations that endanger life and take away liberty, but has brazenly defied the will of people who it is elected to serve.

Just as the American colonists decided that their English king and his government had become oppressors and tyrants, perhaps it is time to declare the same about governments in Australia and separate the right from the wrong. It is time to restate the principles upon which free societies and free peoples operate. We can leave the last words with the American colonists and their Declaration of Independence:

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription2
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


  1. d'Oudney, Kenn. DEMOCRACY DEFINED: The Manifesto (p. 5). SCORPIO RECORDING COMPANY (PUBLISHING) LTD.. Kindle Edition.
  2. The US National Archives and Records Administration
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/print_friendly.html?page=declaration_transcript_content.html&title=NARA%20%7C%20The%20Declaration%20of%20Independence%3A%20A%20Transcription


Friday, July 29, 2016

Why Hillary must absolutely not be president


"I WAS there in the beginning, inside the Clinton machine. I saw it all happen. From the corrupt to the absolutely corrupt, and that's when I thought about my father who was dying of lung cancer, and what he'd do if he knew the man I'd become. And then I thought about my daughter. What if the cocaine they were bringing in ended up being used by her. I hit my knees that day and asked God to forgive me." - Former Clinton political aide and whistle-blower Larry Nichols, The New Clinton Chronicles (2015).


People who don't know the history of Bill and Hillary Clinton might understandably support her presidential campaign against the abrasive, shoot-from-the-lip billionaire and political outsider Donald Trump. After all, Hillary is a lawyer and former First Lady of Arkansas and the White House, a senator for New York state and a Secretary of State in the Obama administration. She's tough, plucky, intelligent, eloquent, "charming" even. But Hillary has a serious problem - her and husband Bill's very dark history that is littered with all manner of criminal allegations and, in Bill's case, convictions.

Bill Clinton's serious character problems are now well known, but were identified decades ago by his political fixer Larry Nichols, who helped recruit him for his successful run for Governor of Arkansas. In the 2015 video (referenced above) Nichols tells of his time with Bill in a restaurant during that recruitment process on behalf of Witt Stephens, founder of Stephens Inc, the Arkansas financial services company. "I said to Mr Witt ... 'this guy is a sexual predator. He's not just a womaniser. I tell you, this guy's sick and a pathological liar'. And I told Mr Witt 'I couldn't even make him tell the truth and when he came to something that he could tell the truth on that was harmless to him - he still couldn't tell the truth'."

But should Hillary be condemned for her husband's flaws? No. Perhaps she's just a strong woman holding her family together at all costs. It would be nice to think such a thing. She could indeed be called a noble, selfless woman if that were the case. Unfortunately for the want-to-be first woman US president, the facts don't stack up for such a conclusion. Nichols says Hillary is in fact the driver behind Bill.

Did their history really involve drugs? Yes, a drug-running operation did go on at Mena airport in Arkansas under the noses of Governor Bill and First Lady Hillary. But the governor did assure the press he and Hillary had nothing to do with the reputed $100 million-a-month drug running operation linked to the Iran-Contra arms scandal and involving George H.W. Bush (a long-time Clinton family friend). Perhaps they weren't directly linked to it, but Bill did attend parties with jailed drug user Dan Lasater where young women were freely supplied with cocaine. Bill's half-brother Roger was also jailed for his role in a cocaine dealing ring. So who do we believe? Former Arkansas Supreme Court judge and former senator Jim Johnston said of President Clinton: "He can accommodate any situation that comes up because he's not hemmed in by the truth. I've never felt that Clinton, consciously or unconsciously, was hemmed in with morality." (The Clinton Chronicles).

The long-running rumours about Clinton administration corruption began to be confirmed when Nichols investigated the books of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority - an entity officially set up to provide state-backed, low-interest finance for schools and churches. Nichols had been appointed ADFA's marketing president. His investigations not only showed ADFA funds were going to Clinton's close friends, his election campaigns and to Hillary's Rose Law Firm, but appeared to be part of a money laundering operation. His attempts to prosecute the racket were simply ignored by the media and dismissed by the local courts.

Further investigations would allege links between the AFDA and the notorious drug money-laundering Bank Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), shut down in 1991. Nichols states in The Clinton Chronicles: "ADFA, until 1989, never banked any money in Arkansas. What they would do is ship the money down ... to a bank in Florida, which later would be connected to BCCI. They would ship money to a bank in Atlanta, Georgia, which by the way was later connected to BCCI. They would ship to Citicorp in New York, which would ship the money overseas. There was an interesting one, a bank in Chicago, and that bank is partially owned by Dan Rostenkowski (the prominent, now deceased Democrat politician jailed for mail fraud)."

Nichols goes on to explain that the Clintons' friend Dan Lasater became the broker for the bonds and would transfer money back to ADFA. "You never saw (unclear) a bond. The money would then leave ADFA, go into one of the various banks for a specific bond loan and they would zero it out. And when they were zeroing it out they would give it back to Lasater, less their handling fees."

ADFA was structured so that decisions were made in secret and applications for funding were handled by Rose Law Firm - at a cost of $50,000 each. Nichols says he asked the AFDC comptroller Bill Wilson how the loans were repaid. "He looked at me and said 'they don't'. He thought I knew!"

"So it was just another corrupt government," a cynic might say. Well, it's much more than the odd paper bag stuffed with notes. How many politicians today with some sense of proprietary would stand down if such allegations surfaced around them? Not the Clintons. And their story gets much worse.

There was a growing list of people who were offside with Clinton administrations were ending up dead from unnatural causes. Some or even most of those deaths might well be the genuine suicides and mishaps (e.g. plane crashes) that investigators said they were. But what's undeniable is that there are suspicious deaths around the Clinton political circle. One online mini-documentary puts the numbers of dead, formerly close Clinton associates in the high 40s. Some say the number of victims of "Arkancide" is 150.


Snopes.com tries to dismiss the allegation superficially: "Bill Clinton has quietly done away with several dozen people who possessed incriminating evidence about him. False." That's not necessarily what's being claimed. Various lists have been circulating since the damning Clinton Chronicles documentary. There is no way that Snopes.com, an outfit that specialises in defending establishment narratives, can suggest that none of the deaths around the Clinton political machine are genuinely suspicious. Take the alleged death by suicide of Vincent Foster, Hillary's former Rose Law Firm associate - also said to be her lover. The Wikipedia official account of Foster's suicide is seriously at odds with other accounts, particularly that of Larry Nichols. Nichols has publicly confessed on radio that he carried out "hits".

So, after all of this, have the Clintons been convicted of any serious crime? Not Hillary, but in Bill's case he was convicted (and later acquitted) for perjury and obstruction of justice. Both have also been the subject of a number of serious criminal investigations, the most notable being the Whitewater scandal. In that event 15 Clinton friends and associates were convicted of 40 federal crimes. But for the Clintons and their supporters, Whitewater is just more water under the bridge.


During their time in the White House there were also the Travelgate and Filegate scandals. Bill was found guilty of contempt of court in the case alleging he sexually harassed Paula Jones, and was subsequently impeached as president by the way. Jones technically lost her case but Clinton had to pay her $850,000 in compensation.  We also know about Hillary's role as Secretary of State in the Benghazi (Libya) Affair, and her infamous comment "what difference at this point does it make?" in relation to the deaths of US government employees there at the hands of terrorists. As Secretary of State she appeared to have ignored repeated pleas by the late Ambassador Stevens to increase security there. There's also her use of a private email server as a government employee and how she is sidestepping that possible crime with the help of the Obama administration. Again, a background of such controversy would force most politicians to quietly step down - but not Hillary Clinton, who seems to regard herself as untouchable. Indeed, she seems to thrive on controversy.

Larry Nichols, unlike the Clintons, admits he "wasn't a good person". He worked in "special operations" in Central and South America and "did a lot of bad things". But now Nichols, battling lung cancer, has vowed to do everything he can to stop Hillary Clinton going to the White House. "I just want to see (them) brought to justice and get their just dues ... and put where they belong, in jail," he says in The New Clinton Chronicles, and updated version of the earlier documentary.

To simply dismiss the most serious allegations of crime and corruption around the Clintons as mere political mudslinging is disingenuous and denial of facts. They say mud sticks, but the Clintons are masters of chutzpah. They walk through these fires to emerge like the risen phoenix bird. How appropriate that Hillary sometimes wears a gold phoenix bird brooch. The bird is venerated in occult circles and Mr Nichols and others believe the would-be president has long-standing connections with those circles. Prominent Republican Ben Carson drew attention to the same matter at the 2016 Republican National Convention, noting that the young Hillary Rodham's political mentor, the US communist Saul Alinsky, wrote of Lucifer as "the original radical who gained his own kingdom". Hillary's senior thesis was on Alinsky. Whether the Lucerferian connections are valid or not, she is well schooled in the far-left politics of subterfuge, subversion and deception.

Like her husband, Hillary consistently shows she is not bound by conventional morality. She was recently accused from several quarters of lying under oath to the Congress at the investigations into the Benghazi affair.  But Clinton obviously knows the technicalities of the law and that she can get away with it, as explained on Law Newz. It's par for the course for Hillary.


This same "liberal champion of women's and minority causes" considers babies in the womb not to be "persons" i.e. living, breathing beings. She is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood (the abortion provider) and its philosophical founder Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist who advocated exterminating the Negro population and actually supported the Klu Klux Klan. Clinton accepted the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood and went on to defend Sanger when questioned on the issue.

Hillary Clinton's behaviour away from the cameras has been described variously as obscene and racist by a number of former associates such as former US Secret Service agent Gary Byrne. In a book titled "Crisis of Character" he describes her "obscenity-laced tirades thrown at staff members" in the White House. There were also "volcanic" fights between the couple. Byrne says she, like Bill, is "habitually dishonest" and unfit to lead America.

And then there's the multi-billion-dollar Clinton Foundation that gathers donations from businesses and governments worldwide for various charitable projects in developing nations. But we've heard a story like that somewhere before. Donations include an estimated $25 million from Saudi Arabia, a nation notorious for violations of women's and minority rights - or generally any kind of justice except Wahhabist beheadings and hand chopping. Even the Clinton-backing New York Times acknowledges there are conflicts of interest with the foundation, such as multinational corporations being able to "buy" US government policy.

First woman president of the United States might well be a noble aspiration, but for Hillary Clinton it is her ultimate grab for power. Drug running, financial scandals, sexual scandals and suspicious deaths are nothing to her but inconvenient obstacles on the path of power. Nichols believes she will promote her husband to UN ambassador and between them and their fabulously wealthy Clinton Foundation wield vastly more power than any US presidential family ever did. If Hillary and her husband Bill have no shame about their past, the mind boggles as to what she and her circle will be capable of when and if  they take over (God forbid) the US presidential reigns once more. 


* A Wikipedia summary states: "As a consequence of his conduct in the Jones v. Clinton civil suit and before the federal grand jury, President Clinton incurred significant administrative sanctions. The Independent Counsel considered seven non-criminal alternative sanctions that were imposed in making his decision to decline prosecution: (1) President Clinton’s admission of providing false testimony that was knowingly misleading, evasive, and prejudicial to the administration of justice before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas; (2) his acknowledgement that his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Arkansas Supreme Court; (3) the five-year suspension of his license to practice law and $25,000 fine imposed on him by the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Arkansas; (4) the civil contempt penalty of more than $900,000 imposed on President Clinton by the federal court for violating its orders; (5) the payment of more than $850,000 in settlement to Paula Jones; (6) the express finding by the federal court that President Clinton had engaged in contemptuous conduct; and (7) the substantial public condemnation of President Clinton arising from his impeachment."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Privacy? What's that? Doesn't the government deserve to know everything about us?

GRANT Hall is one of a small number of activist-authors who fight for the cause of privacy.
Why is privacy so important? Privacy is essentially respect for the sovereignty of the individual being. Collectivism - communism, socialism and fascism - are rampant in the world including in the so-called 'democratic international community'. These are systems of political control that suppress the individual, usually in the name of fighting crime or terrorism.
Grant Hall's website asks: "
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Great Southern Escape from Queensland




PHOTOS:


Left: Seals on the Otago Peninsula.

Right: Keiran Dooley at his inner city Arc Cafe. Below: Art deco 1920s-40s flats; retro collector Fritz at Purple Rain; the ornate Dunedin Railway Station and surrounding buildings; Victorian facade meets stark 60s.









MARCH 16, 2009: The New Zealand South Island city of Dunedin is the ultimate contrast to the Gold Coast. For tourists it’s a transition from the brash beachfront of high-rise glitz to a sedate, civilized provincial city of some 118.000 people. Where the Gold Coast boasts glassy residential towers, Dunedin parades one of the richest displays of Victorian (and more recent) architecture anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The Otago Railway Station and nearby hotels (above left) are punctuated by examples of some not so pretty styles as seen in the distinctive but garish 60s office building (right) adjoining a Victorian frontage. A steep city centre street (above right) also feature art-deco 20s-era apartments. A couple of ultra-mod examples are Otago University's Centre for Innovation and the Information Services Building.
Getting to Dunedin from Australia meanwhile, is not so easy over winter. Air New Zealand plans to suspend flights between Dunedin and Sydney from April 16 to October 24 2009, but the Brisbane link will stay open. That’s a good thing for people from balmy Queensland, who still have the opportunity for not only the popular Aussie jaunt to the South Island snowfields in winter, but to escape the summer humidity for some refreshing Otago weather. Mind you, Otago records some of New Zealand’s hottest summer temperatures with brief bursts into the mid 30s. In such circumstances, a quick dip at a Dunedin beach or in one of the high country lakes will very quickly remind you you’re in southern latitudes.
Dunedin, perhaps like Adelaide, likes to defy its own staid image. Fed by the annual intake to Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest institution of higher learning, the city naturally has a vibrant youth culture. Dunedin bands claim their own particular sound – although descriptions of that hometown sound are a bit vague. Students do get a bit out of hand in March at the start of the academic year. We negotiated dozens of them clad in caveman outfits surging across the road towards town. The annual toga parade turned a little ugly and vile this year and a few years ago there was a real riot in the student quarter. But don’t fear, it’s mostly all good fun. Dunedin’s cold snaps cool off the worst hotheads and send you scurrying into one of the many cosy internet cafes and pubs around The Octagon in the city centre, graced with a statue of the Scottish poet Robert Burns.
A couple of nights later on a quiet Monday night we chanced upon the spacious Arc Café, looking for some internet time. As a local death metal band thrashed away at practice in the adjoining live music venue, café proprietor Kieran Dooley most generously obliged with some $2 brewed coffee as a ‘swap’ for some free PC use. Kieran likes everything organic and his chocolate covered banana cake was superb. The city also has a great range of secondhand and antique stores on Princess St that my wife and daughter couldn’t resist. One example is Odds ’n’ Ends run by a charming elderly gent with a long white beard. He specializes in cups and saucers. The jam-packed place could keep you busy for hours. Across the road is the trendy Purple Rain run by a Dutch-Kiwi man by the name of Fritz (top left) who has tapped into some great supplies of quality retro such as his beloved Wurlitzer juke box and a big old booming cathode tube radio that recalls an exceptional and long-lost AM sound. Fritz (upper right), like other Dunedinites, seems to appreciate the city’s past. There’s no fretting over the height of the next high rise project, although a proposed new $190 million sports stadium to replace the famous ‘House of Pain’ rugby stadium at Carisbrook is raising some hackles. Speaking of rugby, there’s a great rugby shop on busy George St and a pub on the northern side of the Octagon is also dedicated to the game. There’s also a Scottish shop with kilts – a rarity indeed – and haggis. Scots, of course, founded the fair city. They were laymen from the Free Church of Scotland, invited by the New Zealand Company to establish a new settlement at a whaling station at the head of Otago Harbour. It all started in 1847.
Today the car brings the city, harbour and surrounding hills all within easy reach. In the city centre the spectacular architecture of the railway station, university and cathedrals gives way to the charming Otago Peninsula, where narrow, winding roads take you across almost mountainous sheep farms to Larnach’s Castle, wild ocean beaches graced by seals and penguins and placid harbourside bays adorned with compact settlements. We bought two good-sized sole (flounder) at one of the Saturday markets for $6. Back in town there’s a Cadbury’s chocolate factory open for tours most days. And don’t forget Baldwin St in North Dunedin, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s steepest street. Great exercise to work off the chocolate.



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Globalisation on the march eating up Australian farms


A SPECIAL investigation by Tracey Spicer of the Daily Telegraph (March 07, 2009) has revealed the stark reality of globalisation, but without pointing to the big issue itself. Spicer points out something that might shock the 'average Australian' who uses television as their only means of information: Hasan Mohammad Bin Laden - one of Osama's brothers - is the head of the Middle-East Foodstuff Consortium and is eyeing off millions of hectares of farmland around the world to use as Saudi Arabia's "rice barn" and next on his hit list is Australia! Shock horror Tracey, welcome to the global economy.
Spicer reveals Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait want to buy buy more than $1 billion worth of Aussie farmland in a 21st century land grab. "Their mission is to own Australian cropping land to feed their own people. The big legal question is: Who owns what if there is a global food crisis?" "Everyone knows it's been going on," Suzanne Laing from the Australian Grain Growers Association said. "But we don't want to make any political comment."
Spicer's report notes that the National Farmers Federation supports the sell off. "We have no concerns at all," NFF president David Crombie said. "Foreigners bring in new dollars; it's good for Australian agriculture."
But Crombie and the NFF say it's all about 'free trade'. What they don't tell us is that its trade controlled by a global bureaucracy called the World Trade Organisation and a few global corporations like Monsanto, who admit they want total control of the world food supply.
Spicer tells us China is the most aggressive foreign land buyer, acquiring two million hectares overseas since 2007. But Spicer doesn't mention the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement, which virtually allows a Chinese takeover of Australia.
Spicer goes on to quote an anonymous staff member of Coffey International, one of the firms facilitating the deals. This person says 'foreign companies have been covertly buying up adjacent farms in Australia for the past year. Most are under the $100 million mark, so they don't have to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board'.
Spicer goes on to report that GRAIN, 'an international sustainable-agriculture group', as identifying at least five global firms acting on behalf of their governments who are trying to buy or lease Australian farms. They are China's Suntime International Techno-Economic Co-operation Group, India's Ministry of External Affairs, Abu Dhabi's Al Qudra Holding, the Qatar Company for Meat and Livestock Trading (Mawashi) and the Bahraini company TRAFCO. A fortnight ago, Australia's biggest beef cattle company, AAco, sold a $67.4 million stake to a foodstuffs conglomerate from the United Arab Emirates.
The report also refers the sale of the rights to a 550 million-tonne mine run by the Shenhua Energy Company near Gunnedah in north-west NSW.
And surprise, surprise, 'the UN and World Bank cautiously supported this trend - until they realised offshore farms are all about locking up food supplies, not helping the local farmers'.
Spicer also quotes a former UN environmental bureaucrat Lester Brown who now runs the Earth Policy Institute. Brown talks of the 'dangerous politics of food scarcity' and 'neo-colonialism'. Brown is right on the mark there, despite his role in promoting globalisation through environmental scare-mongering.
The report continues: "Strong increases in food prices and land scarcity are driving the corporatisation of Australian farms," said Audrey Riddell from market research firm IBISWorld.
So what happens in the event of a food shortage and subsequent riots, similar to those seen last year in Haiti?
"The international corporations have all the rights of a property owner," said lawyer Stephen Keim SC. "They can decide to whom they sell their food."
The report confirms the Federal Government's support for selling of land to foreign corporations: "Australia has a well-developed set of guidelines against which particular foreign investments are screened," the Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke said. "Outside of those guidelines, there are no plans to further restrict when and to whom farmers sell their own properties."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bushfires: DSE policy puts trees before people

FEB. 9, 2009 (updated Feb. 10): Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environmentwill is on the defensive with its spin doctors on full alert, trying to douse any suggestion that their 'environmental policies' that cover almost every square metre of Victoria may have contributed to the worst ever Australian bushfire disaster. And watch the DSE try to deflect the Royal Commission of Inquiry away from its 'save vegetation at all costs' policy. The DSE's own regulations as outlined in a 'Practice Note' from the DSE website: "Trees overhanging a dwelling: This exemption allows the lopping or removal of any part of a tree overhanging a dwelling or other building used for accommodation. Under this exemption only that part of the tree which is overhanging the building and which is necessary for fire protection can be removed or lopped. Native vegetation within 30 metres of a dwelling This exemption allows the removal of native vegetation within 30 metres of a dwelling or other building used for accommodation provided: at least 50 percent of native shrubs are retained; and native grasses are kept to at least a height of 100 millimetres. This exemption does not apply to trees."

The DSE regulation, totally ignoring private property rights going back to Magna Carta, considers property owners and occupiers require 'special dispensation' to cut back a 'tree' which they appear to consider sacred. And only that part of the tree overhanging the dwelling can be cut. This regulation may have cost Victorian lives and homes. This anti-human, deep green insanity has must stop, but is there a politician who would dare stand up? Wilson Tuckey is one of few such such politicians. Tuckey says it's time governments woke up to the fact that current forest 'management' practices, based on locking up forests and allowing leaf litter to accumulate, are misguided and lethal. Most of the land surrounding Kinglake and other towns wiped out in the bushfires is in fact 'managed' by DSE and Parks Victoria.
Perhaps it's time for another national tree chop day as organised by NSW farmers and SOS News last year in protest against environ-mentalist lunacy in government.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bushfires kill 180 Victorians - worst ever bushfire toll


February 8, 2008 (updated Feb. 10): Wildfires in Victoria have this last weekend killed at least 181 people and destroyed 700 homes, most of them in the heavily forested hill country northeast of Melbourne. Queenslanders' sympathy goes out to the victims. Please give to the appeals such as Red Cross on 1800 811 700. The towns including Kinglake and Marysville, have been virtually destroyed in the latest fire.
As much as this tragic time right now is one for grief and solidarity and not one for issuing blame, the questions must again be asked about how the management or mismanagement of the Australian landscape contributes to fires. An ABC news report stated: "And hard questions will be asked of Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) about whether it has done enough to manage the state's forests."
When summer weather turns extreme, protected eucalypt and other native trees become lethal firebombs. The Kinglake Fire Brigade website reveals what is happening in our countryside across the nation: "Today the farming community is shrinking with the growth of rural-residential properties (5 acres or less) and the forests around the area are now either national parks or protected/controlled areas under the control of the DSE (Department of Sustainability and Environment) or Parks Victoria."
The Victorian DSE must take responsibility for much of the latest devastation just as the ACT Government was held accountable the devastating fires there in 2003. It's time for governments to think more rationally about trees when they present a fire threat to a community. Currently in municipalities Australia-wide, trees have 'sacred cow' status. Council environment departments have no qualms about sending property owners bankrupt (or even jailing them) if they destroy a tree. One Sydney waterfront property owner was fined $180,000 for the 'crime' of removing trees on his own property. What if those trees became fuel in a bushfire? In NSW and Queensland, beachfront property owners have their views blocked by screens when trees are poisoned or cut down. The screens carry messages accusing the people in the area as likely 'environmental criminals'. But again, what if that tree became fuel in a wildfire?
Mal Davies' SOS News website, a forum for rural activists fighting city-based bureaucracies, has bitterly attacked the ACT government for failing to understand forests and fire risks by simply locking up more and more land without fire management.
http://www.sosnews.org/newsfront/
Snowy Mountains scientist Noeline Franklin had this to say about the environmental devastation after the 2003 Canberra tragedy: "What a celebration of chronically incompetent government management of public land and assets, Canberra is still surrounded by incinerated mountains,sun bleached boulders and bare fire-baked sub soil protruding like the skeleton of a dinosaur form the vista west of every suburban house window, with still silent bush turned from old growth forest to old ghost forest as rampant fire deformed scrub is devouring any chance of run off ... Water catchment was deprived cool fire fuel load hazard reduction, selective logging of major fuel load reduction, mixed species grazing animals deliberately fed to packs of wild dogs by the Government. Wildlife were on lands taken on the pretext of “biodiversity conservation.” Fed and bred exotic dingo mongrels! So much for the credibility of political propaganda."
http://www.sosnews.org/newsfront/?p=311#more-311