This post comprises reviews books that add substantially to the understanding of our world, economics, politics, history and geopolitics, and what may happen in the future. Scroll down to read all reviews.
They’re conning you! By Peter Senior, Senior Consulting
1984 – Nineteen Eighty Four. George Orwell’s 1950 classic
Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Death of Money, James Rickards
American Betrayal, Diana West
From Third World to First, Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew by Graham Allison
They’re conning you!
Who are ‘they’? And what are ‘they’ planning? This is the REAL story of our past, present and possibly future.
They’re conning you! By Peter Senior, Senior Consulting
They’re conning you! is only available on Amazon Kindle because it includes hundreds of vital Internet links that would be far too tiresome to type in from a paper book.
They’re conning you! presents information that is likely to cause ‘cognitive dissonance’ as it examines in depth a wide range of evidence that demonstrates much of what thought we knew is, in fact, wrong. The subjects discussed cover a wide spectrum from aliens and UFOs to asking where the technologies used to construct ancient structures come from, whether ancient civilisations waged nuclear wars against each other, to financial treason.
‘Consciousness’ is examined, as is what are we made of and how did this come about? Could it be that aliens modified our DNA, which may have come from the outer Cosmos anyway?
We are accustomed to overt and covert PC education, indoctrination and media ‘fake news,’ but do we realise how this is turning us into zombies? Servants of the State? Many scientific bodies, government departments and corporations often distort and lie about what is assumed to be ‘science.’ Even nastier things are being exposed such as paedophilia and Satanism.
Some ‘deep state’ government departments with-hold information that would enable free energy and the consequent massive improvement to most peoples’ lives and countries’ economies in order to protect their secrets as well as the massive oil and associated industries valued at $500 trillion.
There is compelling evidence that US President John F Kennedy was assassinated by covert government people because he planned to share US’ knowledge of aliens and UFOs with Russian President Khrushchev, as well as expose massive corruption.
The book presents frightening information about the two events that changed our world most in the last 55 years: JFK’s assassination and ‘911’, the demolition of the Twin Towers and Tower 7 on 11 September 2001 by covert government-controlled actions.
The subject of who ‘they’ are is discussed in depth, in particular with regard to plans for a New World Order (NWO), and who is orchestrating this.
The US is mimicking the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, whilst Europe is gradually transitioning into a bureaucratic dictatorship. The world’s financial systems are being manipulated for the benefit of their controllers, all underpinned by the ‘deep state’ which has been shown to have syphoned off at least $21 trillion through covert Pentagon misappropriations. Globalisation has expanded trade around the world, but it is now being manipulated by global corporations.
Compelling evidence demonstrates the US and other ‘deep state’ governments have secret space programs that have grown since the first UFO sightings and capture during and shortly after WWII. Imagine what 70 years of ‘reverse engineering’ from captured UFOs would yield, together with alien contact?
Several potential future scenarios are presented with assessments of each. Readers are invited to decide which seems more likely based on what they now know after reading this book and, hopefully, carrying out much more in-depth research.
A review of They’re conning you! by highly-regarded executive journalist Julian Tomlinson, based on 24 years’ experience, notes:
‘This book will appeal to the firm believers in so-called “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy facts”, as well as those with a curiosity and even the firm non-believers. The author combines painstaking research from innumerable sources and combines bland shreds of information into a compelling narrative. Readers will feel they are sitting there actually talking to the author as he manages to convey a sense of wonder, concern and excitement in every sentence, effortlessly flicking between known pre-history, the Roman period and modern times in a manner that’s easy to follow.
If you are in the “conspiracy camp” this book expertly summarises everything you do know and want to know into one, easy-to-read volume. If you are not in the camp, you’ll at least gain an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of “conspiracies” and why they exist. You may even start to believe. Well worth a look.’
They’re conning you! is available from Amazon Kindle: www.amazon.com – search for: they’re conning you
Seven further reviews by Indie Book Reviewers are highly complimentary, and recommend the book should be read by everyone:
This is a powerful, very well-written and highly informative book! I have read several books on different types of hidden ‘truths’ and conspiracy theories… what is really going on in our world and what the future might hold, and sometimes I get the sense that most are just recycling old information or things we’ve all already heard before. For this book it seems like I read a lot of new ideas presented in a way that makes a great deal of sense, even if might be perceived as somewhat “controversial”. The content was mostly new to me and laid out in a coherent way that is easy to follow, but is meticulously researched and supported with solid evidence. Peter Senior uses facts and present-day conditions as well as real-life examples to share his perspectives and ideas, Fast paced, informative, and easy to read, I recommend this book, “They’re Conning You!” to everyone who wants to know what is really going on, from aliens to secret societies, shadow governments and 9/11 and so much more. (5 stars) John Goldman– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
Peter Senior has a great ability to take complex ideas, concepts and put them in the simplest terms for all to understand easily. He covers many different points of society – past, present and future—and holds nothing back in the way of exposing information that many people might not be aware of. The media and governments do a great job of distorting reality and manipulating truths so that the average person has no idea what is really happening. Mr. Senior has compiled so much interesting research and documentation on a variety of hot-button topics and gives straightforward, convincing arguments that demand to be heard and studied further. Nicely crafted and I liked how it was formatted/broken down into individual chapters that focused on different elements. Made for easier reading and retention. Near flawless editing (formatting is a little wonky at times) and I walked away feeling like I really learned something from reading this book and am inspired to do more reading and research on my own. (4 stars) Leo Gregory– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
Funny how few books there actually seem to be on so many of these topics… and this is such important information! I am still in college and it’s just not normally the type of book that I gravitate to for ‘fun’, but I thought there might be something useful I could learn anyways and I was so right! It is eye-opening and very compelling – it is clear that the author knows what he’s writing about and has done in-depth research (and has detailed and comprehensive appendices at the end to prove it). Provocative and bold, this book is not just for academics or scientists or political gurus, but for anyone who wants to know what is REALLY going on ‘behind the scenes’ and how different it is from what “they” are telling you. Everything from the JFK assassination to Twin Towers to Extra-Terrestrials, Antarctica and “Deep State” governments… Peter Senior has created an impressively comprehensive body of research and theories that can definitely get people’s attention, whether you are a ‘skeptic’ or a ‘believer’. I could definitely see the truths behind much of what he was saying. The main concern I had was that while he presented lots of great information and shocking revelations, I was left with the feeling of like “okay, now what am I supposed to do with this info?” So in that regard it is a little frustrating, but I guess it is better to know than to not know. I like that it challenged the traditional narrative and put things into new perspective. (4 stars) James Masters– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading “They’re Conning You” by Peter Senior, as I’m not normally one to read about things like this. But surprisingly enough I found the straight-forward and engaging narrative style to be quite fascinating and down-to-earth. I liked how Mr. Senior uses his vast and well-researched knowledge ‘story-style’ to make his points and relate his ideas in ways that we all can fully and easily grasp. Each chapter/section/topic gives valuable information, examples and supporting links or sources for further research/reading. The whole thing just flowed so well and I hope people pay attention to as it is clear that the author knows what he is talking about, and that he is an excellent writer. I have found that many times reading philosophy/political or ‘conspiracy’ theory books can either be too ‘highbrow’ and esoteric, or they just don’t present the material in a way that I feel I can relate to (or its condescending), but this definitely was not the case here at all. My only very small complaint was that I wish there were more in-text citations for sources (footnotes or direct links), because while the author does provide a very thorough appendices/references at the end, there were a few times I would’ve preferred to see the sources cited in text. A very minor thing, though. Recommended read. (4 stars) Cale Owens– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
I think a lot of these types of books get a bad rap sometimes, as a lot of times they are all theory and ‘talking in circles’ but don’t really bring anything ‘new’ to the table or make the information credible and or relevant. But I have to say in this case I feel like the author did a solid job of getting his message out and doing so in a very digestible manner. I was unaware of so many things discussed in this book, and I consider myself to be fairly well educated and worldly. I’m not exactly sure who the right target audience for this would be, as it almost seems something almost anyone could (and should!) read. I admit I am not all that sure what to do with this information, but if nothing else I enjoyed learning more about certain things I was unaware of before, and I have ALWAYS had an interest in knowing more truths with aliens/ET and their contributions to our planet and advancing civilizations. The pacing is pretty even and overall it is an impressive effort by Mr. Senior and worth serious thought and discussion. (4 stars) Carla Biggins– Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
In “They’re Conning You…” Peter Senior lays out his ideas is a way that encourages the reader to think ‘outside the box’ and question the ‘reality’ that is often presented to the masses. Whether you believe in conspiracy theories or facts or not, there is enough detailed examination of ‘controversial’ subjects here to entice the pickiest of readers. His narrative is easy to follow, even if some of the concepts were admittedly a little ‘out there’ at times. I still feel like I gleaned some valuable information – actually a lot that I didn’t know before. While not exactly a ‘mainstream’ sort of book, in a way that is exactly what makes it so good –This book is intelligent and thought-provoking – opens your eyes and provides a necessary paradigm shift. Some parts pull the rug out from under you – others will pull the wool from your eyes and expose truths, sometimes uncomfortable, that we all need to at least hear about, even if you chose not to believe it. At least you can decide for yourself when given the bigger picture. I liked how many outside sources he references, so many links, videos, articles and books… I will definitely be reading more! Recommend. (4 stars) Cody Brighton – Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
Warning – when starting “They’re Conning You…” make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off with an intriguing beginning pulling us into this provocative world and ideas, and just keeps going with one interesting topic after the next. I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author Peter Senior managed to create where it felt intimate, like a friend is telling me this really cool, strange story that I didn’t want to stop listening to. Loved the energetic tone and the fact that he has his opinions, but the book doesn’t feel overly ‘biased’ or judgmental… This went much deeper than that, and I was truly impressed with the author’s literary and research skills. I actually feel like I learned a lot, all while being ‘entertained’. I’ve always had a fascination with many of these subjects (esp. aliens and secret societies), but they are usually presented in such an eye-rolling, unbelievable way It was great to read something so intelligently constructed with impressive research and complex connections that all come full circle. Suitable for mature teens on up. (5 stars) Essie Harmon—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy –Updated version
Note: this review is copied from the Amazon/Kindle website.
Now in a new edition updated through the unprecedented 2016 presidential election, this provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state” that influences and often opposes official U.S. policies. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott begins by tracing America’s increasing militarization, restrictions on constitutional rights, and income disparity since World War II. With the start of the Cold War, he argues, the U.S. government changed immensely in both function and scope, from protecting and nurturing a relatively isolated country to assuming ever-greater responsibility for controlling world politics in the name of freedom and democracy. This has resulted in both secretive new institutions and a slow but radical change in the American state itself. He argues that central to this historic reversal were seismic national events, ranging from the assassination of President Kennedy to 9/11.
Scott marshals compelling evidence that the deep state is now partly institutionalized in non-accountable intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, but it also extends its reach to private corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC, to which 70 percent of intelligence budgets are outsourced. Behind these public and private institutions is the influence of Wall Street bankers and lawyers, allied with international oil companies beyond the reach of domestic law. Undoubtedly the political consensus about America’s global role has evolved, but if we want to restore the country’s traditional constitutional framework, it is important to see the role of particular cabals—such as the Project for the New American Century—and how they have repeatedly used the secret powers and network of Continuity of Government (COG) planning to implement change. Yet the author sees the deep state polarized between an establishment and a counter-establishment in a chaotic situation that may actually prove more hopeful for U.S. democracy.
Everything You Need to Know, by David Icke, 14 February 2018
David’s latest book is reviewed in a recent post by Freedom Article, as follows: ‘This book sprinkled throughout with David’s humor, e.g. when discussing transhumanism poster boy Ray Kurzweil of Google, David remarks “I wouldn’t trust him to tell me the date in a calendar factory” or when discussing the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist (eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ), David remarks that mainstream religion is “Satanism lite.”
Here are 2 key quotes from the book:
“If you want to control the dream you must control the perceptions of the dreamer and that’s the global conspiracy to enslave humanity in a single sentence.”
David uses the same quote from Einstein twice in the book, since it’s so important:
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can’t help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
Therein lies the grand solution. The solution to all these problems, to the entire New World Order, comes down to some very simple principles. Remember who you are. Identify with the depth of your spirit, not the shallowness of your form. Life is a mirror: whatever you put out, you receive. Change your perception and your change everything. The universe matches your vibration with an experience or situation, so if you change your vibration, you change your experience, and your entire life. If enough of us do it, we change the entire world.
Everything You Need To Know But Have Never Been Told is the kind of book that can change your life. Get a copy, read it, let it inspire you with knowledge and courage, and let the astonishing amount of dot-connecting sink in and give you a perceptual reboot.’
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
Despite a treasure-trove of new information having emerged over the last forty-six years, there are many people who still think who killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and why are unanswerable questions. There are others who cling to the Lee Harvey Oswald “lone-nut” explanation proffered by the Warren Commission. Both groups agree, however, that whatever the truth, it has no contemporary relevance but is old-hat, history, stuff for conspiracy-obsessed people with nothing better to do. The general thinking is that the assassination occurred almost a half-century ago, so let’s move on.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as James Douglass shows in his extraordinary book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (Simon & Schuster, 2008). It is clearly one of the best books ever written on the Kennedy assassination and deserves a vast readership. It is bound to roil the waters of complacency that have submerged the truth of this key event in modern American history.
It’s not often that the intersection of history and contemporary events pose such a startling and chilling lesson as does the contemplation of the murder of JFK on November 22, 1963 juxtaposed with the situations faced by President Obama today. So far, at least, Obama’s behaviour has mirrored Johnson’s, not Kennedy’s, as he has escalated the war in Afghanistan by 34,000. One can’t but help think that the thought of JFK’s fate might not be far from his mind as he contemplates his next move in Afghanistan.
Douglass presents a very compelling argument that Kennedy was killed by “unspeakable” (the Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s term) forces within the U.S. national security state because of his conversion from a cold warrior into a man of peace. He argues, using a wealth of newly uncovered information, that JFK had become a major threat to the burgeoning military-industrial complex and had to be eliminated through a conspiracy planned by the CIA – “the CIA’s fingerprints are all over the crime and the events leading up to it” – not by a crazed individual, the Mafia, or disgruntled anti-Castro Cubans, though some of these may have been used in the execution of the plot.
Why and by whom? These are the key questions. If it can be shown that Kennedy did, in fact, turn emphatically away from war as a solution to political conflict; did, in fact, as he was being urged by his military and intelligence advisers to up the ante and use violence, rejected such advice and turned toward peaceful solutions, then, a motive for his elimination is established. If, furthermore, it can be clearly shown that Oswald was a dupe in a deadly game and that forces within the military/intelligence apparatus were involved with him from start to finish, then the crime is solved, not by fingering an individual who may have given the order for the murder or pulled the trigger, but by showing that the coordination of the assassination had to involve U.S. intelligence agencies, most notably the CIA. Douglass does both, providing highly detailed and intricately linked evidence based on his own research and a vast array of the best scholarship.
We are then faced with the contemporary relevance, and since we know that every president since JFK has refused to confront the growth of the national security state and its call for violence, one can logically assume a message was sent and heeded. In this regard, it is not incidental that former twenty-seven year CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, in a recent interview, warned of the “two CIAs,” one the analytic arm providing straight scoop to presidents, the other the covert action arm which operates according to its own rules. “Let me leave you with this thought,” he told his interviewer, “and that is that I think Panetta (current CIA Director), and to a degree Obama, are afraid – I never thought I’d hear myself saying this – I think they are afraid of the CIA.” He then recommended Douglass’ book, “It’s very well-researched and his conclusion is very alarming.” 
Let’s look at the history marshaled by Douglass to support his thesis.
First, Kennedy, who took office in January 1961 as somewhat of a Cold Warrior, was quickly set up by the CIA to take the blame for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. The CIA and generals wanted to oust Castro, and in pursuit of that goal, trained a force of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. Kennedy refused to go along and the invasion was roundly defeated. The CIA, military, and Cuban exiles bitterly blamed Kennedy. But it was all a sham.
Though Douglass doesn’t mention it, and few Americans know it, classified documents uncovered in 2000 revealed that the CIA had discovered that the Soviets had learned of the date of the invasion more than a week in advance, had informed Castro, but – and here is a startling fact that should make people’s hair stand on end – never told the President.  The CIA knew the invasion was doomed before the fact but went ahead with it anyway. Why? So they could and did afterwards blame JFK for the failure.
This treachery set the stage for events to come. For his part, sensing but not knowing the full extent of the set-up, Kennedy fired CIA Director Allen Dulles (as in a bad joke, later to be named to the Warren Commission) and his assistant General Charles Cabell (whose brother Earle Cabell, to make a bad joke absurd, was the mayor of Dallas on the day Kennedy was killed) and said he wanted “to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” Not the sentiments to endear him to a secretive government within a government whose power was growing exponentially.
The stage was now set for events to follow as JFK, in opposition to nearly all his advisers, consistently opposed the use of force in U.S. foreign policy.
In 1961, despite the Joint Chief’s demand to put troops into Laos, Kennedy bluntly insisted otherwise as he ordered Averell Harriman, his representative at the Geneva Conference, “Did you understand? I want a negotiated settlement in Laos. I don’t want to put troops in.”
Also in 1961, he refused to concede to the insistence of his top generals to give them permission to use nuclear weapons in Berlin and Southeast Asia. Walking out of a meeting with top military advisors, Kennedy threw his hands in the air and said, “These people are crazy.”
He refused to bomb and invade Cuba as the military wished during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Afterwards he told his friend John Kenneth Galbraith that “I never had the slightest intention of doing so.”
Then in June 1963 he gave an incredible speech at American University in which he called for the total abolishment of nuclear weapons, the end of the Cold War and the “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war,” and movement toward “general and complete disarmament.”
A few months later he signed a Limited Test Ban Treaty with Nikita Khrushchev.
In October 1963 he signed National Security Action Memorandum 263 calling for the withdrawal of 1,000 U. S. military troops from Vietnam by the end of the year and a total withdrawal by the end of 1965.
All this he did while secretly engaging in negotiations with Khrushchev via the KGB , Norman Cousins, and Pope John XXIII , and with Castro through various intermediaries, one of whom was French Journalist Jean Daniel. In an interview with Daniel on October 24, 1963 Kennedy said, “I approved the proclamation Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will go even further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we will have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.” Such sentiments were anathema, shall we say treasonous, to the CIA and top generals.
These clear refusals to go to war and his decision to engage in private, back-channel communications with Cold War enemies marked Kennedy as an enemy of the national security state. They were on a collision course. As Douglass and others have pointed out, every move Kennedy made was anti-war. This, Douglass argues, was because JFK, a war hero, had been deeply affected by the horror of war and was severely shaken by how close the world had come to destruction during the Cuban missile crisis. Throughout his life he had been touched by death and had come to appreciate the fragility of life. Once in the Presidency, Kennedy underwent a deep metanoia, a spiritual transformation, from Cold Warrior to peace maker. He came to see the generals who advised him as devoid of the tragic sense of life and as hell-bent on war. And he was well aware that his growing resistance to war had put him on a dangerous collision course with those generals and the CIA. On numerous occasions he spoke of the possibility of a military coup d’etat against him. On the night before his trip to Dallas, he told his wife, “But, Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it.” And we know that nobody did try to stop it because they had planned it.
But who killed him?
Douglass presents a formidable amount of evidence, some old and some new, against the CIA and covert action agencies within the national security state, and does so in such a logical and persuasive way that any fair-minded reader cannot help but be taken aback; stunned, really. And he links this evidence directly to JFK’s actions on behalf of peace.
He knows, however, that to truly convince he must break a “conspiracy of silence that would envelop our government, our media, our academic institutions, and virtually our entire society from November 22, 1963, to the present.” This “unspeakable,” this hypnotic “collective denial of the obvious,” is sustained by a mass-media whose repeated message is that the truth about such significant events is beyond our grasp, that we will have to drink the waters of uncertainty forever. As for those who don’t, they are relegated to the status of conspiracy nuts.
Fear and uncertainty block a true appraisal of the assassination – that plus the thought that it no longer matters.
It matters. For we know that no president since JFK has dared to buck the military-intelligence-industrial complex. We know a Pax Americana has spread its tentacles across the globe with U.S. military in over 130 countries on 750 plus bases. We know that the amount of blood and money spent on wars and war preparations has risen astronomically.
There is a great deal we know and even more that we don’t want to know, or at the very least, investigate.
If Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to the intelligence community, the FBI and the CIA, then we can logically conclude that he was not “a lone-nut” assassin. Douglass marshals a wealth of evidence to show how from the very start Oswald was moved around the globe like a pawn in a game, and when the game was done, the pawn was eliminated in the Dallas police headquarters. As he begins to trace Oswald’s path, Douglass asks this question: “Why was Lee Harvey Oswald so tolerated and supported by the government he betrayed?” After serving as a U.S. Marine at the CIA’s U-2 spy plane operating base in Japan with a Crypto clearance (higher than top secret but a fact suppressed by the Warren Commission), Oswald left the Marines and defected to the Soviet Union. After denouncing the U.S., working at a Soviet factory in Minsk , and taking a Russian wife – during which time Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union – he returned to the U.S. with a loan from the American Embassy in Moscow, only to be met at the dock in Hoboken, New Jersey by a man, Spas T. Raikin, a prominent anti-communist with extensive intelligence connections, recommended by the State Department. He passed through immigration with no trouble, was not prosecuted, moved to Fort Worth, Texas where , at the suggestion of the Dallas CIA Domestic Contacts Service chief, he was met and befriended by George de Mohrenschildt, an anti-communist Russian, who was a CIA asset. De Mohrenschildt got him a job four days later at a graphic arts company that worked on maps for the U.S. Army Map Service related to U-2 spy missions over Cuba. Oswald was then shepherded around the Dallas area by de Mohrenschildt who, in 1977, on the day he revealed he had contacted Oswald for the CIA and was to meet with the House Select Committee on Assasinations’ Gaeton Fonzi, allegedly committed suicide. Oswald then moved to New Orleans in April 1963 where got a job at the Reilly Coffee Company owned by CIA-affiliated William Reilly. The Reilly Coffee Company was located in close vicinity to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and Office of Naval Intelligence offices and a stone’s throw from the office of Guy Bannister, a former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Bureau, who worked as a covert action coordinator for the intelligence services, supplying and training anti-Castro paramilitaries meant to ensnare Kennedy. Oswald then went to work with Bannister and the CIA paramilitaries.
During this time up until the assassination Oswald engaged in all sorts of contradictory activities, one day portraying himself as pro-Castro, the next day as anti-Castro, many of these theatrical performances being directed from Bannister’s office. It was as though Oswald, on the orders of his puppet masters, was enacting multiple and antithetical roles in order to confound anyone intent on deciphering the purposes behind his actions and to set him up as a future “assassin.” Douglass persuasively argues that Oswald “seems to have been working with both the CIA and FBI,” as a provocateur for the former and an informant for the latter. Jim and Elsie Wilcott, who worked at the CIA Tokyo Station from 1960-64, in a 1978 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, said, “It was common knowledge in the Tokyo CIA station that Oswald worked for the agency.”
When Oswald moved to New Orleans in April 1963, de Mohrenschildt exited the picture, having asked the CIA for and been indirectly given a $285,000 contract to do a geological survey for Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier, which he never did , but for which he was paid. Ruth and Michael Paine then entered the picture on cue. Douglass illuminatingly traces in their intelligence connections. Ruth later was the Warren Commission’s chief witness. She had been introduced to Oswald by de Mohrenschildt. In September 1963 Ruth Paine drove from her sister’s house in Virginia to New Orleans to pick up Marina Oswald and bring her to her house in Dallas to live with her. Thirty years after the assassination a document was declassified showing Paine’s sister Sylvia worked for the CIA. Her father traveled throughout Latin America on an Agency for International Development (notorious for CIA front activities) contract and filed reports that went to the CIA. Her husband Michael’s step-father, Arthur Young, was the inventor of the Bell helicopter and Michael’s job there gave him a security clearance. Her mother was related to the Forbes family of Boston and her lifelong friend, Mary Bancroft, worked as a WW II spy with Allen Dulles and was his mistress. Afterwards, Dulles questioned the Paines in front of the Warren Commission, studiously avoiding any revealing questions. Back in Dallas, Ruth Paine conveniently got Oswald a job in the Texas Book Depository where he began work on October 16, 1963.
From late September until November 22, various Oswalds are later reported to have simultaneously been seen from Dallas to Mexico City. Two Oswalds were arrested in the Texas Theatre, the real one taken out the front door and an impostor out the back. As Douglas says, “There were more Oswalds providing evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald than the Warren Report could use or even explain.” Even J. Edgar Hoover knew that Oswald impostors were used, as he told LBJ concerning Oswald’s alleged visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. He later called this CIA ploy, “the false story re Oswald’s trip to Mexico…their ( CIA’s) double-dealing,” something that he couldn’t forget. It was apparent that a very intricate and deadly game was being played out at high levels in the shadows.
We know Oswald was blamed for the President’s murder. But if one fairly follows the trail of the crime it becomes blatantly obvious that government forces were at work. Douglass adds layer upon layer of evidence to show how this had to be so. Oswald, the mafia, anti-Castro Cubans could not have withdrawn most of the security that day. The Sheriff Bill Decker withdrew all police protection. The Secret Service withdrew the police motorcycle escorts from beside the president’s car where they had been the day before in Houston; took agents off the back of the car where they were normally stationed to obstruct gunfire. They approved the fateful, dogleg turn (on a dry run on November 18) where the car came, almost to a halt, a clear security violation. The House Select Committee on Assasinations concluded this, not some conspiracy nut.
Who could have squelched the testimony of all the doctors and medical personnel who claimed the president had been shot from the front in his neck and head, testimony contradicting the official story? Who could have prosecuted and imprisoned Abraham Bolden, the first African-American Secret Service agent personally brought on to the White House detail by JFK, who warned that he feared the president was going to be assassinated? (Douglass interviewed Bolden seven times and his evidence on the aborted plot to kill JFK in Chicago on November 2 – a story little known but extraordinary in its implications – is riveting.) The list of all the people who turned up dead, the evidence and events manipulated, the inquiry squelched, distorted, and twisted in an ex post facto cover-up – clearly point to forces within the government, not rogue actors without institutional support.
The evidence for a conspiracy organized at the deepest levels of the intelligence apparatus is overwhelming. James Douglass presents it in such depth and so logically that only one hardened to the truth would not be deeply moved and affected by his book.
He says it best: “The extent to which our national security state was systematically marshaled for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains incomprehensible to us. When we live in a system, we absorb and think in a system. We lack the independence needed to judge the system around us. Yet the evidence we have seen points toward our national security state, the systemic bubble in which we all live, as the source of Kennedy’s murder and immediate cover-up.”
Speaking to his friends Dave Powers and Ken O’Donnell about those who planned the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, JFK said, “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong.”
Let’s hope for another president like that, but one that meets a different end.
 http://consortiumnews.com/print’2009/091309a.html [This link appears to be too old to still work. Unlike the print age, the digital age loses references, another way that memory and history are stolen.]
 Vernon Loeb, “Soviets Knew Date of Cuba Attack,” Washington Post, April 29, 2000
 See James K. Galbraith, “Exit Strategy,” Boston Review, October/November 2003
Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
The Cosmic War, by Dr Joseph P Farrell
A review from Amazon of this extraordinary and compelling ‘must read’ book, The Cosmic War:Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics, and Ancient Texts: A Study in Non-Catastrophist Interpretations of Ancient Legends,Author Dr Joseph P Farrell.
Farrell’s foray into ancient antiquity is scholarly in it’s precision and thought-provoking in its ramifications. Oxford educated researcher Dr. Joseph P. Farrell unleashes a reverberating hypothesis regarding ancient history whose echoes will be forever heard.
Cosmic War is an extremely intriguing incursion into the possibility of a very ancient war in high antiquity. Dr. Farrell’s hypotheses of an Ancient Interplanetary War is argued in an in-depth, precise and reasonable approach. The extensive evidence Farrell collates and synthesizes will leave the reader aghast with the possibilities.
Intriguingly, many ancient cultures stated that the ‘Wars of the Gods’ were quite real. Predictably, even though there’s extensive evidence for advanced physics, advanced weapons, ancient [millions and BILLIONS of year old artifacts found by reputable sources], the establishment has painted all over ancient history with myth.
Regarding this very issue, Jim Marrs in his book Our Occulted History, sets his cross hairs on this very issue: “The term mythology stems from the Greek word mythos, simply meaning words or stories reflecting the basic values and attitudes of people. In past ages, when the vast majority of humans were illiterate, easily understood parables were used to educate people about history, science, and technology. During the Dark Ages, when most of people were taught that the Earth was flat, the word mythology was changed by the Roman Church to mean imaginative and fanciful tales veering far from truthfulness. This small change in semantics has caused untold damage in current perceptions.”
Ironically enough, there is starting to be more and more evidence of ‘myths’ now turning out to be fact. As Chris Hardy Ph.D remarks in her poignant book DNA Of The Gods: “…let’s remember that, before the discoveries of loads of ancient tablets written in the pictographic Sumerian language (Late Uruk period, fourth millennium BCE), the kingdom of Sumer was believed to be a myth. We had already discovered Akkad and deciphered Akkadian, and still archaeologists wouldn’t give credence to the numerous carved references, within historical dated records, to a line of kings whose title was “King of Sumer and Akkad”.
Or how about the “myth” of Troy: “This myth collapsed in 1865 with archeologist Frank Calvet’s discovery of the historic ruins of not only one city of Troy but nine layers of it! The city, whose siege is recounted in Homer’s Iliad, is only Troy VII, the seventh level underground, dating to the thirteenth century BCE.”
The gatekeepers, for many reasons, want to keep established history in a nice little box. Fortunately, as anyone who has extensively research these topics know, there’s more than ample evidence that shows that at minimum history isn’t what we have been told.
In any case, Cosmic War covers wide ranging but pertinent topics such as Van Flandern’s exploded planet hypothesis, an analysis of plasma in relation to weapons that employ scalar physics, petroglyphs which show plasma instability glyphs that were recorded by ancient cultures, remnants of giants in ancient history, optical phase conjugation, the story of the ‘gods’ as related through ancient texts, pulsars, generational charts of the ‘gods’, the scarring of The Valles Mariners being possibly from a weapon, Iapetus and its hexagonal craters, and a LOT more.
The ramifications of this book abound, and filter in all aspects of our lives. Dr. Farrell gives compelling reasons [coupled with countless others in his other trenchant books] as to why we need to give history, particularly ancient history, a very long and thorough look.
In its totality, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is scholarly in precision, and thought-provoking in its ramifications. This book is a must read for anyone interested in ancient history, ancient civilizations, and any of the topics there-in. There is more than enough information to make the reader curious about our past in more ways than they can really imagine.
David Icke’s “Phantom Self”: A Book Review from Freedom Articles
Phantom Self, the latest book of researcher David Icke, takes conspiracy research to a new depth with the idea of a primal virus that has hacked Life itself.
(Editor’s note: this book is amongst the most fascinating, timely and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. I strongly recommend setting aside all prejudice and past learning – what we were taught, and so believed – then reading it with an open mind. And then thinking deeply.)
Phantom Self is the latest book of famous researcher and free-thinker David Icke. Just as in his previous book The Perception Deception, David takes his research to a new level of depth with a comprehensive display of dot-connecting that will leave many in awe of his knowledge – but more importantly awaken people to the real dire straits humanity is in. Like many of his books, it ends with a positive message and the ultimate solution to all of humanity’s problems; however, most of the book is devoted to exposing the current reality of planet Earth, often in horrifying detail. This is an essential part of David’s message, for without the true knowledge of what is really going on – and the capacity to feel the horror of it – we will not muster the courage and motivation to change it. Part of the reason humanity is so stuck deep in the conspiracy is that it is engaged in massive collective denial, which it prevents it from acting decisively to quash and transform the evil (or unconsciousness as I prefer to call it). A hallmark of Phantom Self is that it takes a step further down the rabbit hole – past the reptilians and Archons – and looks at the controlling force behind them, which David says resembles some kind of computer virus that has hacked life itself.
George Orwell’s classic 1950 novel is very worthwhile reading (again for most people). It is frightening to review how much of what Orwell wrote is happening today, albeit is somewhat different guise. Recall Orwell was a member of the Fabian Society, where he learnt of their plans before resigning. He used novels as a practical was to publicise the plans he learn about from other Fabian members. The Amazon website – – explains much about the book, and presents several perceptive reviews – this is one of the 4,613:
George Orwell’s classic was incredibly visionary. It is hardly fathomable that this book was written in 1948. Things that we take for granted today – cameras everywhere we go, phones being tapped, bodies being scanned for weapons remotely – all of these things were described in graphic detail in Orwell’s book. Now that we have the Internet and people spying on other people w/ webcams and people purposely setting up their own webcams to let others “anonymously” watch them, you can see how this culture can develop into the Orwellian future described in “1984.” If you’ve heard such phrases as “Big Brother,” “Newspeak,” and “thought crime” and wondered where these phrases came from, they came from this incredible, vivid and disturbing book. Winston Smith, the main character of the book is a vibrant, thinking man hiding within the plain mindless behavior he has to go through each day to not be considered a thought criminal. Everything is politically correct, children defy their parents (and are encouraged by the government to do so) and everyone pays constant allegiance to “Big Brother” – the government that watches everyone and knows what everyone is doing at all times – watching you shower, watching you having sex, watching you eat, watching you go to the bathroom and ultimately watching you die. This is a must-read for everyone.
Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.
Editor’s note: this book should be considered essential reading by anyone who has an interest in Islam as well as everyone who is or may be effected by Muslims (that means just about everyone!). The book is very comprehensive and, unlike most other books on the subject, provides not only a wide-ranging background and analyses based on her own experience, but some thought-provoking solutions. After scanning numerous reviews of this excellent book, the following written by ‘Helpful Advice’ on Amazon is more or less what I would have written.
After ‘Infidel’ and ‘Nomad’ worldwide known, equally hated and adored Ayaan Hirsi Ali is back on literary (and considering the topic inevitably political) scene with her new and probably the most controversial book so far she wrote – ‘Heretic’.
A book that will certainly be subject of numerous texts, quoted or despised, she raised the question of some key Islam teachings incompatibility with the values of modern or free society for which the majority (or at least we think so maybe) people in the world stands for.
It seemed that comparing to some other major religions, Islam somehow proved immune to changes in the new world we are living, characterized by enormous speed of information exchange and the development of human rights. There were some attempts such as Arab Spring that tried to challenge traditional thinking, ingrained prejudices or facts about the Muslim world. But with the simultaneous proliferation of Islamic fundamentalism and even its acceptance in certain circles of the population in the West, according to the author it seems that it is time for some radical actions that must be implemented by the very Muslims, not someone else from outside.
So, what Ali proposes needs to happen for Muslims to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have already been proposed, some of them deployed, though it seems that all these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.
Therefore she calls for a Muslim Reformation—a revision of Islamic teachings, alignment of modern society with traditional religion doctrine, that seems difficult, but not unfeasible due to the rejection of extremist behavior among the majority of Muslims around the world.
She reminds that such reformation has been called for since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate, but instead of general phrases and generalized objectives she precisely pointed out five key precepts that have made Islam resistant to historical change and adaptation. And only when the harmfulness of these ideas will be recognized and as result they will be rejected, a true Muslim Reformation would be possible.
Although to comment each of them would require writing essays, I’ll just list all five of them:
• Removing of Muhammad’s semi-divine status, putting him into the history context as important figure that united the Arabs in a pre-modern time that cannot be copied in the 21st century. And consequently also recognizing the fact that Quran is the book made by human hands.
• Emphasizing that life is more important than something that comes after it will reduce the appeal of martyrdom.
• Appreciation of modern laws that need to be put in front of Shariah legislation that is violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
• The abolition of the individual’s right and so called religious police to enforce the law, something for Muslim community is unfortunately particularly known
• And most important, Islam must become a religion of peace removing the imperative to wage holy wars against infidels
Once again this author must be admitted undeniable courage to tackle the dangerous subjects in a world where because of the drawn cartoons you can easily lose a life. Her theses are clear, her objectives are fully explained, her mission to change the Islamic world from the inside continues, causing the happiness and satisfaction of all civilized Muslims worldwide.
Therefore high recommendations for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, this brave author who after fighting for the rights of women engages into even greater battle with the hope that one day we will be able to say that books like these changed the world. For the better.
The Death of Money
The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System. 8 April 2014. By James Rickards.
James Rickards, author of the other best seller, Currency Wars, has gone even further in The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, in telling it like it is (and will be, so prepare yourself!). Jim’s all-facts, straightforward approach is peppered with just enough analogy and anecdotal wit to make sophisticated economic/mathematical/political concepts understandable to the (educated) layperson. His clarification techniques serve the book well by making sure the content never gets watered down or condescending. For anyone interested in knowing what is going on behind the scenes, how the dollar is being systematically devalued by The Fed (and why), what a rigged sham our banking system is, and how things are likely to play out in the very near future, read The Death of Money!
The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character by Diana West (May 28, 2013). Diana West’s newest book “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on our Nations Character” is a highly researched, blockbuster of a story taking 356 pages to tell with 29 pages of notes. Whilst not directly about ‘management’, this book is packed with information that any successful manager should understand, in particular regarding communications (propaganda?) and planning. It’s the most thought-provoking, worrying, disillusioning book I’ve ever read. I’ve attached a couple of reviews of the book from Amazon.com. American Betrayal, Diana West, May 2013. Reviews that give you a glimpse of what it’s about. John, of John’s Newsletter fame, noted: ‘American Betrayal explains what many already know about the creation of the soviet monster by the FDR administration, stacked with communist spies and the author of the cold war from as early as 1942. How FDR’s lackeys could give the USSR the atomic bomb via Lend Lease is fascinating and unfortunately true. It is clear that powerhouse though she may be, America has been ungovernable since the outset…Just too big, too complex and too full of leaks and confused ideologies. America is now, as a reaction, on the road to becoming a police state. Folk who have read the book called “The Open Society and Its Enemies” by Karl Popper will understand how the USA came to this pretty pickle and the realities behind this scandalous state of affairs. Horrific though her anecdotes are, I have seen independent corroboration elsewhere of Diana’s central themes and accept them as factual – when asserted as such. This book is too disturbing for general consumption.’
From Third World to First
The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew (Oct 3, 2000). Note: although older, it is useful to read this book before the Grand Master’s Insights book, below. Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee Kwan Yew had a clear vision, set himself clear goals…. Above all, what led to his success is his execution skills…. Although Singapore is a free market economy, its philosophy concerning workers and employees are caring and genuine, unlike in the United States….His views regarding leadership and a wide range of management issues are profound….. Read this book to be inspired.
Lee Kuan Yew
The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World by Graham Allison et al., 1 Feb. 2013. Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee excels in pithy evaluations of regional and national strengths and weaknesses. At his best, the man is a cross between Confucius and Machiavelli. (Washington Times)……..”I found myself engrossed this week by the calm, incisive wisdom of one of the few living statesmen in the world who can actually be called visionary. The wisdom is in a book, “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World,” a gathering of Mr. Lee’s interviews, speeches and writings…He is now 89, a great friend of America, and his comments on the U.S. are pertinent to many of the debates in which we’re enmeshed.” — Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal.
For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security.
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. Previous instalments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com.
Cohen begins by putting the current bipartisan Senate campaign to impose new, “crushing” sanctions on Russia in historical context. Broadly understood, sanctions have been part of US policy toward Russia for much of the past 100 years. During the Russian civil war of 1918–20, President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to fight against the emerging Soviet government. Though the “reds” were clearly the established government of Soviet Russia by 1921, Washington continued to deny the USSR diplomatic recognition until President Franklin D. Roosevelt established formal relations in 1933. During much of the 40-year Cold War, the United States imposed various sanctions on its superpower rival, mainly related to technological and military exports, along with periodic expulsions of diplomats and “spies” on both sides.
Congress’s major political contribution was the 1975 Jackson–Vanik Amendment, which denied Moscow privileged trading status with the United States, primarily because of Kremlin restrictions on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. Indicative of how mindlessly habitual US sanctions had become, Jackson–Vanik was nullified only in late 2012, long after the end of the Soviet Union and after any restrictions on Jews leaving (or returning to) Russia. Even more indicative, it was immediately replaced, in December 2012, by the Magnitsky Act, which purported to sanction individual Russian officials and “oligarchs” for “human-rights abuses.” The Magnitsky Act remains law, supplemented by additional sanctions leveled against Russia as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and particularly Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
Looking back over this long history, there is no evidence that any US sanctions ever significantly altered Moscow’s “behaviour” in ways that were intended. Or that they adversely affected Russia’s ruling political or financial elites. Any pain inflicted fell on ordinary citizens, who nonetheless rallied “patriotically” around the Kremlin leadership, most recently around Russian President Vladimir Putin. Historically, such sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things even worse, than to real policy-making.
Why, then, Washington’s new bout of sanction mania against Moscow, especially considering the harsh official Russian reaction expressed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who called the Senate’s proposed measures “a declaration of economic war” and promised that the Kremlin would retaliate?
One explanation is an underlying, astonishing assumption recently stated by Michael McFaul, the media-ubiquitous former US ambassador to Moscow and a longtime Russia scholar: “To advance almost all of our core national security and economic interests, the US does not need Russia.” Such a statement by a former or current policy-maker and intellectual is perhaps unprecedented in modern times—and manifestly wrong. US “core” interests “need” Russia’s cooperation in many vital ways. They include avoiding nuclear war; preventing a new and more dangerous arms race; guarding against the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction; coping with international terrorists (who are in pursuit of such materials); achieving lasting peace in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; fostering prosperity and stability in Europe, of which Russia is a part; promoting better relations with the Islamic world, of which Russia is also a part; and avoiding a generation-long confrontation with a formidable new alliance that already includes Russia, China, Iran, and other non-NATO countries. If McFaul’s assumption is widespread in Washington, as it seems to be, we are living in truly unwise and perilous times.
A second assumption is no less myopic and dangerous: that the Kremlin is weak and lacks countermeasures to adopt against the new sanctions being advocated in Washington. Consider, however, the following real possibilities. Moscow could sell off its billions of dollars of US Treasury securities and begin trading with friendly nations in non-dollar currencies, both of which it has already begun to do. It could restrict, otherwise undermine, or even shut down many large US corporations long doing profitable business in Russia, among them Citibank, Cisco Systems, Apple, Microsoft, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., and even Boeing. It could end titanium exports to the United States, which are vital to American civilian and military aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing. And terminate the sale of rocket engines essential for NASA and US satellite operations. The world’s largest territorial country, Russia could charge US airlines higher tariffs for their regular use of its air space or ban them altogether, making them uncompetitive against other national carriers. Politically, the Kremlin could end its own sanctions on Iran and North Korea, alleviating Washington’s pressure on those governments. And it could end the Russian supply transit to US troops fighting in Afghanistan used since the early 1990s.
None of this seems to have been considered by Washington’s sanction zealots. Nor have four other circumstances. Sanctions against Russia’s “oligarchs” actually help Putin, whom the US political-media establishment so despises and constantly indicts. For years, he has been trying to persuade many of the richest oligarchs to repatriate their offshore wealth to Russia. Few did so. Now, fearful of having their assets abroad frozen or seized by US measures, more and more are complying. Second, new sanctions limiting Moscow’s ability to borrow and finance investment at home will retard the country’s still meager growth rate. But the Kremlin coped after the 2014 sanctions and will do so again by turning away even more from the West and toward China and other non-Western partners, and by developing its own capacity to produce sanctioned imports. (Russian agricultural production, for example, has surged in recent years, now becoming a major export industry.) Third, already unhappy with existing economic sanctions against Russia, European multinational corporations—and thus Europe itself—may tilt even farther away from their capricious “transatlantic partner” in Washington, who is diminishing their vast market in the East. And fourth, waging “economic war” is one impulsive step from breaking off all diplomatic relations with Russia, this too actually being discussed by Washington zealots. Such a rupture would turn the clock back many decades, but in an era when there is no “globalization,” or international security, without Russia.
Finally, what reason do Washington extreme Cold Warriors themselves give for imposing new sanctions on Russia? Most of them are in the US Senate, historically a body with at least several independent-minded distinguished statesmen, but no longer, with the apparently solitary exception of Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has demonstrated considerable wisdom in regard to US-Russian relations. Their professed reasons are various and nonsensical. Some say Russia must be sanctioned for Ukraine, but those events happened four years ago and have already been “punished.” Others say for “Russia’s aggression in Syria,” but it was Putin’s military intervention that destroyed the Islamic State’s terrorist occupation of much of the country and ended its threat to take Damascus, to the benefit of America and its allies, including Europe and Israel. Still others insist the Kremlin must be sanctioned for its “nerve agent” attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK several months ago. But the British government’s case against the Kremlin has virtually fallen apart, as any attentive reader of articles in David Johnson’s Russia List will understand.
Ultimately, though, the new bout of sanction mania is in response to Russia’s alleged “attack on American democracy” during the 2016 presidential election. In reality, there was no “attack”—no Pearl Harbor, no 9/11, no Russian parachuters descending on Washington—only the kind of “meddling” and “interference” in the other’s domestic politics that both countries have practiced, almost ritualistically, for nearly a hundred years. Indeed, whatever “meddling” Russian actors did in 2016 may well have been jaywalking compared to the Clinton administration’s massive, highly intrusive political and financial intervention on behalf of the failing Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s reelection campaign in 1996.
We are left, then, with the real reason behind the new anti-Russian sanctions effort: to thwart and even punish President Donald Trump for his policy of “cooperation with Russia.” And Putin too for having met and cooperated with Trump at their Helsinki summit in July. This bizarre, also unprecedented, reality is more than a whisper. According to a New York Times “news analysis,” as well as other published reports, a “bipartisan group of senators, dismayed that Mr. Trump had not publicly confronted Mr. Putin over Russia’s election meddling, released draft legislation” of new sanctions against Moscow. “Passage of such a bill would impose some of the most damaging sanctions yet.”
Leave aside for now that it is not Russian “meddling” that is delegitimizing our elections but instead these fact-free allegations themselves that are doing so. (How many losing candidates in 2018 will claim their victory was snatched away by Putin?) Consider instead that for doing what every American president since Eisenhower has done—meet with the sitting Kremlin leader in order to avoid stumbling into a war between the nuclear superpowers—in effect both Trump and Putin are being condemned by the Washington establishment, including by members of Trump’s own intelligence agencies.
If so, who will avert the prospect of war with Russia, a new Cuban missile–like crisis, conceivably in the Baltic region, Ukraine, or Syria? Certainly not any leading representative of the Democratic Party. Certainly not the current Russophobic “bipartisan” Senate. Certainly not the most influential media outlets, which amplify the warmongering folly almost daily. In this most existential regard, there is for now only, like it or not, President Donald Trump.
Stephen F. Cohen – Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.
How to restore Australia’s status as the ‘Lucky Country’
Senator ANNING (Queensland) (17:06): Thank you, Mr President. I am pleased to advise that this is finally my first speech.
On 6 February 1890, Sir Henry Parkes, the man who was to become the ‘Father of our Federation’, spoke to assembled delegates at the Federation Conference in Melbourne. He said:
And, in this country of Australia with such ample space, with such inviting varieties of soil and climate … and with a people occupying that soil unequalled in … nation-creating properties, what is there that should be impossible?
… … …
… we know the value of their British origin. We know that we represent a race … for the purposes of settling new colonies, which never had its equal on the face of the earth.
… … …
The crimson thread of kinship runs through us all.
The founding father of our Federation knew that it was not simply a bounteous land that makes a nation, but the common threads of inherited identity that unite its people. And what he was telling delegates and, through them, us today was that a great nation can only be the consequence of the people it comprises.
I come from the bush, born to a cattle-grazing family in far north-west Queensland. I went to school in Brisbane and then returned to the bush where I met and married the love of my life, Fiona, the girl next door—200 kilometres away! We subsequently had two beautiful daughters who, with their husbands and now our two grandchildren, live in the United States, and we miss them. Although my family had been graziers for over one 100 years, having settled in the Charters Towers area in the 1860s before there was a Charters Towers, in my early 20s, drought and predatory banks drove my wife and I off the land. Thereafter, Fiona and I spent our working lives as our children were growing up in and around regional towns over the years covering the length and breadth of the state. I’ve been a grazier, a builder’s labourer, a pilot, a light aircraft manufacturer, a gas industry worker and a hotelier. Most recently, before entering the Senate late last year, my family and I ran a hotel in Gladstone.
Like most blokes from the bush 40 years ago, I was a committed National Party supporter. I was always a Joh man and, to this day, I regard the Joh era as Queensland’s golden age. It was only the fact that the National Party abandoned Joh’s legacy and moved to the left 25 years ago that led me to switch to One Nation. But that didn’t work out so well. I am consequently very happy to have joined Katter’s Australian Party, a genuinely democratic party in which senators and members get to vote first and foremost in accordance with their conscience and their constituents’ wishes.
KAP to me represents a continuation of the conservative values, commitment to rural and regional development, opposition to migration without assimilation and a focus on economic nationalism of the Joh era Nationals, which strongly reflects my own beliefs. It is a party in which loyalty isn’t a one-way street and where leadership is more than a cardboard cut-out.
As a conservative Christian, I strongly support traditional social values, but, as an Australian nationalist, I also believe in Australia and Australians first. I believe in low taxes and personal responsibility and in the virtues of hard work and thrift, reward for effort and the freedom to do and say what you think. I also believe in the right of people to raise their kids in accordance with their own values, without a bunch of nanny state meddlers and cultural Marxists trying to re-engineer them.
I believe that the key role of government is to provide laws for the enforcement of contracts, to provide physical security for businesses and individuals and to build infrastructure. I believe that the priority for government expenditure is not obligation-free handouts but nation building: providing the facilities and infrastructure which businesses and farmers need to develop and grow, which then provides for secure, well-paid jobs. I believe that ordinary working people have the right to expect a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, to keep what they have worked for, to get ahead and have a decent life, to be able to provide for themselves in old age, and to have enough to help their kids have an even better life than themselves. I believe that the unfettered ownership of private property and the right to own and use firearms, including for self-defence, are the God-given rights of free people everywhere. And I believe, as the American revolutionaries did, that government is usually the problem not the solution and that, in order for people to be free, the power of government needs to be constrained.
I remember Queensland as it was in the sixties, seventies and early eighties, when working blokes could get good, well-paying jobs actually making products for us to buy; when people could start small businesses and not be strangled by red tape; when car rego, stamp duty and rates were affordable; when electricity was the cheapest in the world; when, through statutory and orderly marketing, farmers were not bled white by rapacious corporations or forced to sell to Chinese carpetbaggers; when you could say what you thought without being charged with a crime; and when we could all enjoy our leisure time without all the nanny state restrictions and prohibitions.
Fifty years ago, Australia was a cohesive, predominantly Anglo-Celtic nation. Most people thought of themselves as Christian of some sort, although most of us didn’t go to church all that often. Everyone, from the cleaners to the captains of industry, had a shared vision of who we were as a people and our place in the world. Until the late 1960s, prior to the rise of Whitlam in the Labor Party, there was a broad consensus between the Liberal and Labor parties on the kind of society we were and what we should be in the future.
In the 1960s, both Liberal and Labor parties reflected a common framework of Judeo-Christian values, supporting the family as the basic unit of society. They both supported the principle that marriage was a union between a man and woman, and both parties recognised the sanctity of the lives of the unborn. Both major parties agreed that people should be free to live their own lives and say what they thought without fear of state sanction. Both sides of politics recognised the importance of our manufacturing industries as well as our farming and mining. Both parties recognised the importance of our predominantly European identity.
A key part of this great pre-Whitlam consensus was bipartisan support from both Liberal and Labor for a European based immigration program. The great Labor statesmen Ben Chifley, John Curtin and Arthur Calwell all strongly supported an immigration program that actively discriminated in favour of Europeans. Australia’s greatest conservative, Sir Robert Menzies himself, said:
I don’t want to see reproduced in Australia the kind of problem they have in South Africa or in America or increasingly in Great Britain. I think—
a European based immigration program has—
… been a very good policy and it’s been of great value to us …
This continued until 1973 when Whitlam and his hard Left cronies adopted Soviet inspired UN treaties on discrimination and banned preferential selection of migrants based on their ethnicity.
Yet the end of the pre-Whitlam consensus between the Labor and Liberal Parties has been much more than a political sea change. It has allowed the cultural conquest of our nation. A tectonic shift has occurred in which the previously agreed social and political order has been overthrown in an insidious silent revolution.
To understand fully what has happened to our country, I believe that we must look to the work of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci’s insight was to see revolution in cultural rather than economic terms, with ‘cultural hegemony’ as the key to supposed class dominance. The Marxist state, Gramsci argued, could be achieved by gradual cultural revolution—subverting society via a long march through the institutions. The tactics of latter-day Gramsci-inspired radicals were to disguise degeneracy as liberation and tyranny as compassion. Free speech could be eliminated by appeal to not ‘offending’ or ‘saying things that were hurtful’. This, of course, subtly creates a subjective test by which all criticism of the cultural Marxist agenda can be silenced.
It is my understanding that Gramsci himself coined the term ‘political correctness’ to describe obedience to the will of the Communist Party. However, he made clear that its final purpose was to force concurrence with those things which individuals knew to be false. If an individual could be induced to agree and state to others something they knew to be utterly false such as black being white, then the party had achieved total moral and ethical surrender in the subject. Thus, to describe the so-called ‘safe schools’ and ‘gender fluidity’ garbage being peddled in schools as ‘cultural Marxism’ is not a throwaway line but a literal truth.
Given that everyone knows there are only two genders, if you can be persuaded to agree to and advocate in support of the false claim that there are ‘an infinite number of genders’, then, without realizing it, you have surrendered your political soul. Today, with so many unwittingly in lock-step, marching to the cultural revolutionaries’ tune, options to oppose them politically are increasingly limited. So that’s why I joined Katter’s Australian Party, the only political force that seeks a return to the pre-Whitlam consensus. I want to see the defeat of the cultural Marxists and their ilk and a rolling back of the subversion of Australian culture and values that they have wrought.
In terms of specifics, my political goals are:
to break the oligopoly power of the banks;
to get a better deal for working families and farmers,
to achieve major infrastructure development in Far North and Western Queensland;
to reduce immigration levels and restrict entry to those who will best assimilate;
to restore personal freedom and free speech;
to make affordable homeownership a national priority;
to counter the growing threat of China both outside and within Australia;
to slash runaway government spending and, with it, taxes on productive enterprises;
to build coal-fired power stations to return us to the cheapest power in the world;
to slash the regulatory burden that is crippling the general aviation industry; and
to take back our culture from the left-wing extremists.
My most immediate concern is saving agriculture in this country. Only this morning, we heard the appalling personal stories of 40 farmers and others whose family businesses were stolen and who were ruined by the criminal behaviour of the major banks. This is the reason that I fought, along with my colleague Barry O’Sullivan, for a royal commission into banking. However, it has quickly become clear that the terms of reference are far too narrow and the ability of the commission to hear evidence far too limited. That is the reason that I moved earlier today to increase the time and resources of the royal commission, extend the terms of reference and consider dispute resolution processes. Those lenders and particular liquidators, receivers and administrators who have behaved contrary to any acceptable moral standard must be exposed and made to pay for their crimes. I’m happy to report that that motion got up.
An incident having occurred in the gallery—
The PRESIDENT: Order in the gallery! There’ll be an opportunity to congratulate Senator Anning later on.
Senator ANNING: However, this is only the first step. I also want to see a permanent end to the scourge of usury in rural lending. The banks’ criminal treatment of so many farmers, which has led to the loss of family farms—owned for generations—and waves of rural suicides, must be ended once and for all.
I believe that the solution is the re-establishment of rural redevelopment state banks, along the lines of the former Queensland Industry Development Corporation established by Sir Leo Hielscher, the internationally respected former Queensland Treasury undersecretary and the architect of Queensland’s Joh-era prosperity. Like the QIDC, a rural development and reconstruction state bank would not be subject to APRA lending guidelines and would be able to make lending judgments based on long-term rural property viability and not just short-term variations of commodity prices or rainfall, just like old country bank managers used to do. The RDRSB would also be empowered to buy up existing so-called ‘distressed’ loans from banks, saving tens of thousands of farmers from hardship and ruin. In this way, the scourge of usury in rural lending can be ended for all time.
In terms of rebuilding rural incomes, the abolition of statutory marketing boards 20 years ago has generally not seen any meaningful reduction in prices for consumers, just a net wealth transfer from farmers to middlemen and giant supermarket chains. This has driven many farmers to ruin and even suicide. I would like to see the re-establishment of orderly marketing of agricultural products via grower co-ops to allow collective bargaining by farmers for the sale of their produce. This would return to the farmers greater control of their own industries and a greater share of the retail value of their products. Collectively, these measures would go a long way to rebuild our crucial rural industries.
My next biggest concern is rural infrastructure development. First and foremost, my priority is water. Thanks to grossly inadequate water capture and storage, less than one per cent of the rainwater that falls on this continent is captured and used. Nowhere is this infrastructure failure more acute than in the bush. I want to remedy this. My first solution is to build the Bradfield scheme. In 1938, JJC Bradfield, the same civil engineer who designed both the Sydney Harbour and Story bridges, proposed a massive irrigation plan to turn the far northern rivers inland to irrigate vast areas west of the dividing range. The scheme involved diverting water from the upper reaches of the Johnson, Tully, Herbert and Burdekin rivers, which, fed by the annual monsoon, currently flow out into the ocean. Envisaged was the construction of a series of massive dams in north and western Queensland. It would also include raising the wall of the existing Burdekin Falls Dam by 14.6 metres, as intended in the original Joh-era plan, which would increase its capacity by nearly five times and droughtproof Townsville for the next century. Water accumulating was then proposed to be diverted through a tunnel under the Great Dividing Range.
When completed, the Bradfield scheme would be the greatest nation-building project this country has ever seen, totally dwarfing the Snowy scheme, and would, at a stroke, ensure the prosperity of Australia for many generations to come. This would provide employment for many tens of thousands of people and would not only ensure our own food requirements are met but also provide food for many hundreds of thousands in other countries as well. To imagine the benefits of the Bradfield proposal, we only need to see what has been achieved in places like Israel and California, both places in which virtual deserts have been transformed into enormous food bowls which help drive their respective economies.
My second infrastructure priority is ports. A key issue in determining the profitability of exports of mining and primary products is the distance they have to be carried to reach a port. In the UK, there is a port every 65 kilometres. In the most productive parts of India, its 57 kilometres. But in Queensland, it’s 1,000 kilometres. Rather than taking the product to the port, the solution is to take the port to the product. Microports constructed along the Queensland coast every 60 to 80 kilometres would greatly increase the viability of exports.
And it goes without saying that I’m an enthusiastic supporter of mining, including coalmine development in the Galilee Basin. I strongly support government building the required railway to allow mining in this area to proceed. It would be the salvation of Townsville. Of course, to more effectively manage our resources with regard to proposals like the Bradfield Scheme, multiple microport construction, Galilee Basin coalmines et cetera, we have to have the political will to remove the obstacles put in the way of progress by extreme left-wing Luddites. Only by following the example of true nation-building leaders like Ben Chifley, Bob Menzies, John Curtin and Joh can we hope to provide for the security and prosperity of generations to come.
The next critical problem that we need to address is immigration. Australia currently has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world. Last Tuesday, Australia’s population hit 25 million—22 years ahead of previous government predictions. That means that since 1971 the population of Australia has doubled, with immigrants now around one-third of our population. The huge numbers of people allowed to flood into Australia in recent years are unsustainable, with immigration quotas apparently set by successive governments on a whim and without any regard for the necessary infrastructure that these people would require or the ability of those that came here to assimilate.
Ethnocultural diversity, which is known to undermine social cohesion, has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs. In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm. I believe that immigration to our country should be a privilege, not an obligation-free right provided to anyone from the Third World who demands it.
First, 457 visas, which simply steal jobs from Australians, should be abolished unless expressly approved by the immigration minister. This will create more jobs for Australians and end the massive rorting of these for backdoor permanent immigration. Second, ‘family reunion’ must be restricted to the husband or wife and/or dependent children within a family. Third, student visas should be drastically reduced in number. This will create more university places for Australians, whose parents have actually paid for the universities with their taxes in the first place. Those studying here who decide to apply to immigrate should be required to return to their country of origin after their qualification and to apply as part of the general migration program. Fourth, net immigration must be reduced to a level which can be supported and, therefore, must be set following detailed modelling and planning for the associated necessary accommodation, facilities and infrastructure. Fifth, but most important of all, diversity should be managed to remain compatible with social cohesion and national identity. We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European Christian composition of Australian society and embrace our language, culture and values as a people.
In order for us to remain the nation that we are now, those who come here need to assimilate and integrate. Those who are most similar to the mainstream majority in terms of ethnicity, culture, language and values most readily do so. Historically, however, the one immigrant group here and in other Western nations that has consistently shown itself to be the least able to assimilate and integrate is Muslims. The first terrorist act on Australian soil was in 1915, when two Muslim immigrants opened fire on a picnic train of innocent women and children in Broken Hill—and Muslim immigrants have been a problem ever since. To paraphrase the words of Sir Winston Churchill:
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power …
… … …
The influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those that follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.
I believe that the reasons for ending all further Muslim immigration are both compelling and self-evident. The record of Muslims who have already come to this country in rates of crime, welfare dependency and terrorism is the worst of any migrants and vastly exceeds any other immigrant groups. A majority of Muslims in Australia of working age do not work and live on welfare. Muslims in New South Wales and Victoria are three times more likely than other groups to be convicted of crimes. We have black African Muslim gangs terrorising Melbourne. We have ISIS-sympathising Muslims trying to go overseas to fight for ISIS and, while all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims. So why would anyone want to bring more of them here?
Finally, it should go without saying that, as a nation, we are entitled to require that those who come here not only have useful work skills and qualifications but also the commitment to work and pay taxes. In truth, it appears that many of those who claim to be asylum seekers are actually just welfare seekers who only come to Australia to live on welfare in public housing at the expense of working Australians. In the days of Menzies, immigrants arriving here were not allowed to apply for welfare and that attracted exactly the right sort of hard-working people this country needed. We should go back to that and ban all immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive.
The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here. Whitlam didn’t ask the Australian people whether they wanted wholesale non-European migration when he introduced it and neither has any subsequent government. Who we allow to come here will determine what sort of nation we will have in the future, so therefore this isn’t the right of any one government to decide. It’s too important for that. Instead, we need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims or whether they want to return to the predominantly European immigration policy of the pre-Whitlam consensus. I for one will be very happy to abide by their decision.
My next political objective is affordable home ownership. Home ownership is a vital social good. It not only steadily improves the net wealth of Australians but provides for a comfortable and secure retirement. It also provides an asset for us all to pass onto our children. However, thanks to foreign property speculators and spiraling demand from excessive immigration, housing prices have been absurdly inflated and, as a result, Australian home ownership levels are starting to fall. Today, first homebuyers see the dream of home ownership receding like a mirage. This disastrous state of affairs must be reversed. I would like to see a return to the policy of earlier decades in which those who were not permanent residents or Australian citizens were barred from buying residential property. In addition to a drastic immigration cut, I want to see a statutory cap on state government fees and charges, which currently make up 50 per cent of land cost, reducing them to no more than 25 per cent.
In industry, I would like to see the re-establishment of Australian manufacturing via a collaborative relationship between pro-business unions and business leaders, as occurred in Germany in the aftermath of World War II. Konrad Adenauer’s post-war German economic miracle, which ultimately led to both high wages and high profits for companies, is a model for the re-industrialisation of Australia and a means to return to widespread employment in secondary industry. While Australian wages mean that we cannot compete on price with Third World slave labour manufacturers, we should not need to. First, products of high quality and value can already be produced and sold successfully despite paying reasonable wages. A classic example of this is RM Williams. Second, to help re-establish Australian manufacturing, import restrictions on certain classes of goods should also be considered, following the example of Taiwan, which successfully transitioned from a rural tea-growing province to a manufacturing dynamo with high wage levels. As Australian icon Dick Smith has asked: are Australians prepared to pay a bit more for manufactured goods if it means that their kids will have a job? I think so. That is what I’m asking the Australian people to do so that we can rebuild our manufacturing industries and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing.
I also have fiscal objectives. I’d like to see a drastic cut in government spending and borrowing, but, with around 50 per cent of the budget now consumed by welfare, no spending reform is possible without welfare reform. The age pension should be quarantined from any cuts, however. Instead, reform needs to begin with working-class income replacement welfare. We constantly hear that Australia has less than six per cent unemployment when, in fact, this is simply false. If we count the legions of professional freeloaders who are of working age and have settled into a life without work, on pensions, we actually have around 20 per cent paid unemployment in this country. Welfare needs to be a safety net for those of us who are temporarily in need of income support. If people of working age receive a pension from the state, then they have opted out of the workforce permanently and expect everyone else to carry them for life. I believe this is unsustainable and totally un-Australian. Unless we are going to follow the path of Greece, we need to stop finding new ways to give handouts and start increasing workforce participation. The best form of welfare is a job, and massive investment in nation-building infrastructure is the first step to helping to create jobs.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, I want to see a cultural counter-revolution to restore a central role for traditional values, to redefine our national identity and to create a new social contract between the governing and the governed. So many of the anti-democratic controls on our liberty, on the restriction of free speech, on our ability to decide who comes to this country and on the outpouring of foreign aid have been driven by the gross abuse of the external affairs powers in section 51 of the Constitution. Since Whitlam—and clearly contrary to the intent of our founding fathers—the external affairs powers given to the Commonwealth to sign treaties with other nations has been abused to overrule other provisions of the Constitution and override other laws made by our own democratically elected representatives. I do not only want to withdraw from these UN treaties but want to counter the dictatorial intent of the successors of Whitlam with an amendment to section 51 of the Constitution. This needs to specifically prohibit the signing of any treaty contrary to any other provision of the Constitution or existing Australian laws.
More broadly, however, what we need is a cultural reconquest of our own country to take back Australia from Gramsci-inspired left-wing elites that have subverted the very basis of our society, for in the end what is Australia? What makes Australia a nation is not the happenstance of shared geography but what unites us: our common history, values, language and ethnicity, our common culture and our shared vision of our future as a people. Ethnicity is not just skin-deep. More than anything else, it is our ethnoreligious identity that defines us and shapes our national identity.
Few nations are fortunate enough to have so condensed their national character in so short a space of time that, 60 years after Federation, all who lived here, from children to old men, from paupers to Prime Ministers, could have a shared understanding of who we were that crossed the political divide. But today all that is rapidly unravelling, and we stand now at the turn of the tide. The great cohesive vision of our nation’s founding fathers, all that those who came before us struggled to build, all that our fathers and grandfathers fought wars to defend, stands at hazard as the stranglehold of the Gramsci-ite elites on our institutions, political organisations and the media continues to tighten.
Now, on the brink of irreversible change, it is time for us to decide whether we as a people will rise up against this, hold fast to the crimson threads of kinship that define and unite us and strive once more for the light on the hill or concede the field to enemies of Western civilization and see all that we were and all that we might yet have become fall away to ruin.
The question dominating the Australian corporate world is how did four of our top 10 ASX companies – they happen to be banks – make such a hash of running their operations?
Worse still, most of them tried to conceal their mistakes. To the banks we can add two more ASX top 10 companies who’ve made fundamental errors: Woolworths, with its Masters hardware business, and Wesfarmers, with Bunnings UK. That’s six out of 10. Something is clearly wrong in Australia.
That’s a euphemism for the massive repair job needed to fix the wanton vandalism state Coalition and ALP politicians did to our electricity and gas systems, which pushed up prices and endangered energy security.
To get green votes, like the banks and the churches over pedophilia, New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian politicians concealed their vandalism with grossly misleading statements.
As I have written many times before, there was nothing wrong with having renewable energy targets. But they had to be accompanied with a back-up facilities and network changes. Plonking down solar and wind farms without a proper plan meant families and industry paid through the nose.
There are no simple answers as to how our corporate and government decision-making ran off the rails.
But let me advance a few reasons, albeit in a list that probably will not be complete.
I reckon the rot actually started in Canberra around 1999, when the Howard government changed the public service policy.
Until that time public servants, like executives, were required to give “frank, fearless and honest” advice to ministers, as executives were to boards.
That was changed to demanding that public servants conform and comply with the will of ministers.
And to ram home the change, two wonderful public servants, defence chiefs Paul Barratt and Gary Jones, were sacked for giving advice in the old fashioned way.
What followed was two decades of many appalling defence decisions, made to conform to the will of ministers.
At the same time, a red alert went around the public service. So over time it became deskilled, because good people saw there was limited scope in the public service, and so went elsewhere. Huge ministerial staffs were assembled – usually “yes” men and women – who became cocoons around ministers. A culture of misleading the community with spin soon developed. Trust in politicians both at the state and federal levels has predictably nosedived.
In the corporate area, remarkable similarities developed, again with disastrous results.
In a well-running corporation, people should be encouraged to try new things and aggressively run operations. But systems have to be in place so that errors are discovered quickly, before they can do damage. There should be active debate between executives in front of the board.
Instead, we have curbs on innovation and a culture designed to beat institutional profit forecasts, with the threat of the sack if you fail.
Part of the problem is that analysts prepare detailed estimates and when something goes wrong share prices are slashed. Then there is pressure for the CEO, and those who were around the parts of the business that fell short to be sacked. They are human beings, so at lower level the mistakes are often buried in the hope they can be fixed. Meanwhile the huge salaries can be enjoyed for another year or so. Some executives bail out before the error is discovered.
The job of the chief executive of a large corporation is becoming extremely difficult to perform.
CEOs are supposed to be strategists. Yet boards are no longer just concerned with strategy, but instead get involved in management detail via committees which absorbs huge amounts of time. CEOs must be across all decisions of these huge enterprises and every person wanting contact with the company, from politicians, journalists to institutions, wants to talk with the CEO. And there are many more tasks.
Some can do it well. Too many stumble.
Let’s look at the bank stumbles. They all went into wealth management business. CBA bought Colonial and NAB bought MLC.
The culture of wealth management was high commission and heavy selling. Banks charged their fees in a different ways and the synergies were hard to achieve. NAB let MLC run itself and until very recently MLC banked with Westpac rather than NAB. When NAB took over the running, it bad things but tried to fix them over time instead of undertaking a huge write down which would have trashed the share price and caused major sackings.
It’s fascinating that bank boards spend a day at each board meeting ticking governance boxes which we now know are totally useless. The directors would be better spending the day touring operations alone or working on long-term strategies. As we go forward companies are going to have to take bigger risks as they make greater use of technologies including artificial intelligence.
Their costs will be slashed but their mistake levels will rise. They will need to pick mistakes early and tell shareholders quickly, not follow the currently widespread practice of concealing them. And Woolworths and Wesfarmers need to tell the world that when you make a major play into new fields, experiment first and learn from your mistakes while they are small.
Directors need to determine whether their CEO is a person who has assembled a team of “yes men and women” as distinct from an active self-questioning team. At least one of the top four banks went the “yes” route and paid the price.
And our universities and management schools have got to start training executives who can adapt to the new environment.
But if there is one thing we can learn from the royal commissions and corporate and public service disasters like the Australian Taxation Office – we have got to stop misleading, internally and externally. If it means the share price gets trashed, then so be it.
This post presents a chronology of issues and events relating to Cairns Port development. Scroll down for more background and sections 1 – 7.
Letter published in the Cairns Post, 8 august 2018
Questions over spoil site
Re: Hedley’s $10.8m spoils (CP,8/8), taxpayers would like Ports North to answer the following questions:
What would be the alternative costs to place the bulk of the dredging spoil on the state-owned East Trinity site? The existing bund walls on this site would need minor upgrades, the site is closer to the planned dredging and the spoil would fix the serious and costly acid sulphate soil problems caused by the State ignoring CSIRO advice.
Would the East Trinity site involve less overall environmental issues?
If the spoil is pumped to Hadley’s quarry, could the raised area be suitable to convert later to industrial land?
The East Trinity site was evaluated in Ports North’s 2015 draft EIS report for the dredging project.
A submission to the Coordinator General noted serious flaws in the report’s assumptions.
Cairns Post readers back dredging for bigger cruise ships
THE dredging of Trinity Inlet is shaping up to be a multimillion-dollar windfall for former Cairns pub baron Tom Hedley.
The former high-profile developer is the owner of Northern Sands, the Holloways Beach quarry where 1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil is proposed to be dumped, as part of the Cairns Shipping Development Project.
Development applications for earthworks associated with the $120 million project — to widen and deepen the city’s shipping channel to accommodate larger cruise ships — were lodged last week with Cairns Regional Council.
The plans detail the first phase of the project, involving the construction of the “Northern Sands Dredge Material Placement Area” on land within the Barron Delta, containing Mr Hedley’s sand quarry, waste disposal and processing facility.
New bunds would be built at the quarry, which would be used alongside the placement of soft clay dredge material from Trinity Inlet.
The dredge spoil is to be delivered from the inlet into the area as a slurry through a 7.5km pipeline.
Ports North’s revised environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project shows site acquisition for the land placement of the dredge spoil will cost $10.8 million.
Compensation costs to other land holders may also be part of the site acquisition costs.
Mr Hedley declined to comment yesterday, citing a confidentiality agreement with the port authority.
Cairns Post, survey results, July 2018
IF POLITICIANS are waiting for a mandate to ramp up dredging in Trinity Inlet, they have it now.
No change in opinion.
The Cairns Post’s recent Your Say on the Far North Reader Survey asked if the current dredging program should be expanded to allow bigger ships full of tourists to dock.
An overwhelming 80 per cent of respondents backed the idea, in almost perfect synchrony with previous independent appraisals.
Compass Research conducted a random survey ahead of the 2016 local government elections and discovered 82.5 per cent of residents supported deepening the shipping channel.
A couple of years earlier, another Compass survey commissioned by Ports North found 78 per cent of people supported dredging.
The key difference this time is that dredging has been approved – subject to a protracted business case from Building Queensland – but not to a satisfactory degree for Far Northerners.
Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning believed politics, not economic and environmental realities, had triggered the current scaled-down 1 million cubic metre dredging plan.
The 2014 study for the Newman government’s since-abandoned 4.4 million cubic metre proposal found dredge spoil could be placed at a depth of 28.7m with basically no dispersal – even in cyclonic conditions.
“Dredge material deposited at that level does not move,” Cr Manning said.
“Here’s a case where the doctor says this is the diagnosis but we’re not going to treat you accordingly.”
Cairns Shipping Development Inc spokeswoman Emma Thirkell hoped Building Queensland was taking so long on the business case because it had realised the current proposal to cap cruise ships at 300m in length would be a wasted opportunity.
“I hope they might be allowing a redesign of the channel so they can get the Voyager class in,” she said.
“They’re up to 320m long.
“To tack on a bit more doesn’t have to be expensive.
“We would still work on getting the Reef 2050 Plan amended because of what that does to investor confidence.
“But at least it becomes less urgent.”
Proponents for a return to the original, quadrupled-in-scale project say the Federal Government is not free of blame, with its Reef 2050 plan banning placing capital dredge spoils at sea.
“It has to be amended,” Ms Thirkell said.
“It’s due for revision in 2019, and we will be advocating on behalf of the city to get it changed – you just can’t put this economic cap on the city.”
Freight boss calls for Admiralty Island port expansion for Cairns
THE boss of Australia’s biggest privately-owned shipping company says Cairns has three options – expand the port, cap the population or let future generations starve.
Sea Swift CEO Fred White has outlined a proposal to transform Admiralty Island into Northern Australia’s premier logistics hub, complete with road and rail access and a fuel tank farm removed from the mainland.
The idea has been bandied about for decades, only now undergoing a resurgence amid Trinity Inlet dredging’s awaited start and predictions of the region’s population doubling to 500,000 by 2050.
Mr White dared politicians to stake a claim for the future or watch jobs float away to centres willing to dream big.
“The hub incorporates a railhead, major road access realignment, laydown areas, and to remove the current constraints limiting existing port operations,” he said.
“Importantly, this concept provides certainty and optimism for current and prospective operators and users and will encourage private sector investment.
Sea Swift CEO Fred White has outlined a proposal to turn Admiralty Island into a new port precinct for Cairns called the Northern Australian Logistics Hub. PICTURE: CAIRNS POST
“There are too many constraints in the current port land use configurations, which impact on efficiencies and increased costs.”
Port land is facing death by a thousand cuts, with concepts like the State Government’s global tourism hub casino-resort expected to remove another valuable bank of potential growth land.
Even the approval for Hemingways Brewery to take over Wharf One raised questions over the State Government’s long-term vision for the port.
Mr White said the lack of an overarching strategic plan to 2050 meant piecemeal developments such as Mourilyan Harbour upgrades or shoe-horning cramped infrastructure into the existing Cairns port would occur sporadically.
Even then, the available land may have a rapidly approaching shelf life.
Cairns only imports fertiliser and fuel by ship, but the scenario will be very different once this century is half exhausted.
Mr White said containerised imports would be necessary once the population reached a critical mass unable to be served solely by road.
Royal Australian Navy, Boarding Party personnel demonstrate a search on a simulated suspect vessel during the Live Exercise demonstration at the Proliferation Security Initiative, Exercise Pacific Protector, 17 held at HMAS Cairns on September 9.
Like Sea Swift, he said major freight firms like Toll and Linfox would want to invest in a state-of-the-art logistics hub on Admiralty Island.
“We’re not quite there yet, but that population is coming and it’s coming at a rate of knots,” he said.
“That’s why we need to start thinking about this and planning for it.”
Sea Swift faces a battle getting the proposal considered by government, with major environmental and cultural concerns about developing the island, particularly considering the volume of dredge spoil necessary to reclaim the land.
Mr White said he was ready for that conversation, noting Portsmith was swampland until dredge spoil made it usable.
“You move it once and it’s future-proofed,” he said.
“It allows foreshore development, but more importantly it allows a working port future.
“We need to reinvest in Cairns and start treating this issue seriously as one of strategic importance to keep our operators here and to attract new ones.”
Enterprise North president Kevin Byrne. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Byrne backs Sea Swift proposal
ENTERPRISE North has taken aboard Sea Swift’s proposed Northern Australia Logistics Hub as one of its key infrastructure policies.
The fledgling regional advocacy group’s president Kevin Byrne said the time was right to get Ports North, Cairns Regional Council and the State and Federal governments to the table.
He said the concept needed to be integrated into the council’s strategic plan, as well as “agile thinking and innovative funding” from all levels of government.
“Marine-based activities will play a decisive role in our future economic fortunes, providing for employment and domestic and international trading opportunities,” he said.
“We have oodles of land, deep water off Admiralty Island, and we are at the end of the northern rail line and the Pacific Highway.
“These are important strategic advantages and we need to capitalise on them.”
The possibility of moving HMAS Cairns was discussed but not deemed make-or-break, given existing operators’ shift would open up new Defence land in Portsmith.
Representatives from all three tiers of government have received informal presentations on the proposal, along with several marine operators who have showed varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Mr Byrne said the next steps were to work through the details and arrive at a general agreement about progressing the various and staged components of the plan.
“We have the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility here available to support these sorts of projects provided that there is the agreement between Federal and State governments,” he said.
“We create an additional industrial land bank, we relocate the fuel tanks farm to a new and more appropriate location on Admiralty Island, and free up and value-add land within the city in close proximity to the CBD.
“We can look at the growth of HMAS Cairns through a new set of eyes and provide some real impetus behind the mooted Cairns Marine Maintenance Precinct.
“What a wonderful opportunity now to do this.”
Cairns MP Michael Healy is not yet convinced Admiralty Island is the right solution. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.
Questions over the need
THE only way Cairns MP Michael Healy sees the Admiralty Island pitch gaining traction is if Defence opts to shift HMAS Cairns across the inlet.
“If the Federal Government wanted to build a Defence facility at Admiralty Island, then the Federal Government would have the legal right to do so,” he said.
That foray could set the ball rolling for further development, but Mr Healy (above) was not ready to back the proposal without proper scrutiny.
“I think it’s fabulous that we’ve got a significant marine operator in our area that thinks they should be expanding to other areas,” Mr Healy said.
“The authority that is charged with the ongoing development and future needs of our port is Ports North.
“Ports North is made up of a board of selected individuals, the majority of them have been influential locals.
“I would see it as their responsibility to project growth in that area and where we need to be by 2030 and 2050.”
Mayor Bob Manning says working port land should be sacrosanct. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Inevitability slowly marches forward
MAYOR Bob Manning hoped developing the untouched island between Cairns and East Trinity will not be necessary, but said it may be inevitable if the working port keeps losing space to expand.
“When the City Port masterplan was passed by the Cabinet, it defined the boundary between the City Port and the working port,” he said.
“There was never to be any stepping over the line into the working port.
“You don’t build an airport
and then use it as a parking lot.”
Cr Manning (left) said Cairns’s shipping potential was going backwards, despite multimillion-dollar promises of investment from governments.
“The port has probably the highest density of people of any part of the city,” he said.
“It (Ports North) is there to protect, preserve and provide for the future port needs of Cairns.
“It’s not there to shut these businesses out.
“That should be sacrosanct.”
Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch and Minister for Defence Marise Payne visits HMAS Cairns to speak about expansion plans to the Navy base. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Defending the port’s future
SHIFTING HMAS Cairns off the mainland has Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch’s wholehearted support – and he says the scheme is nothing new to Ports North.
“The Port Authority has already done a concept plan, and the base fits perfectly over there,” he said.
“The fact is, Defence has already committed close to $750 million for upgrades over the next 10 years.
“I’ve already raised it as a prospect the Defence Department needs to look at.”
Mr Entsch (left) said a letter of support from the State Government would help shore up the proposal’s legitimacy in the Federal Government’s eyes.
“We could start looking at some sort of land exchange,”
“They might be a bit nervous, but the State Government really needs to be on board with this, otherwise we’ll be going nowhere.”
The last of the Mt Emerald wind farm blades arrived at the Port of Cairns on December 19, 2017, in a shipment delivered from Houston in the United States. CREDIT: PORTS NORTH
Masterplan under review
PORTS North is due to create a new development masterplan over the coming 12 months.
“Since 2006, trade demand has been consistent with the masterplan, and the existing infrastructure does not constrain any of the port operations,” a spokeswoman said.
“As part of normal practice Ports North will be undertaking a review of the existing masterplan and developing a new masterplan for the future commencing during this financial year.”
The work will include “significant stakeholder and port user consultation”.
Norship Marine operating with all cylinders firing in February 2016 with maintenance, refits and restoration underway two Armidale Class patrol boats, one Cape Class patrol boat, one Pacific patrol boat, one Freemantle Class patrol boat, two Bay Class patrol boats and 30 commercial vessels (not all pictured). PICTURE: SUPPLIED
Comment: Time to knuckle down
THE term lingchi refers to the ancient Chinese “lingering death” torture and execution process, whereby tiny portions of a person’s body are gradually sliced away until the sweet release of death finally arrives.
Port land in Cairns is slowly but surely going the same way as those poor tormented souls – a finger lopped here for an admittedly lovely brewery, a big toe there for a “global tourism hub” casino.
We can survive on what we’ve got now, but eventually a critical mass will be reached where we need major port growth to allow imports as well as exports, just to keep us fed, clothed and employed.
Cairns has the biggest locally-based commercial marine fleet in the state with 1600 vessels – more than Brisbane’s 1200 and way above the 600 on Townsville’s books.
According to the 2016 census, it boasts the greatest employment in marine activities in Northern Australia, and the region’s population is also the fastest growing in the North.
Unless we take off the blinkers and look far ahead to 2050 and beyond, places like Darwin will catch us with our dacks down.
Turning Admiralty Island into a logistics hub may or may not be the answer, but it is at the very least a strong prospect that will become inevitable if this death by a thousand cuts is allowed to continue.
The benefits are obvious, but the cultural and environmental concerns cannot be ignored and will be a bloody minefield to negotiate.
Leases on the fuel farms in Portsmith start expiring from 2024, and the Federal Government is talking about spending $750 million over a decade on the marine industry with little detail on where it will go.
It’s time to start the discussion.
Cairns Post article, 14 June 2018
FUNDING for the dredging of Trinity Inlet is not expected to start flowing at least until next financial year.
The Palaszczuk Government has been criticised for not including any new funding for the Cairns Shipping Development Project in the 2018-19 State Budget.
The only mention the project receives in budget papers is a commitment to “progress approvals” for the widening and deepening of the city’s main shipping channel.
A spokesman for Transport Minister Mark Bailey said $60 million towards the project was already committed in the 2017-18 budget, subject to the business case stacking up and all relevant environmental approvals being obtained.
“That commitment, of course, remains,” he said.
“As identified in Budget Paper 2, the Port of Cairns is continuing to progress regulatory approvals.
“The Port is currently awaiting Federal approval of their EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), and the business case for the project is being finalised.
“The State’s funding will flow, and will be reflected in future budget documents, once all relevant approvals have been obtained.”
The initial project involved the removal of 4.1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from Trinity Inlet, to allow larger cruise ships to berth at the port.
The project’s scope was reduced last year to allow 1 million cubic metres of spoil to be dredged, for better environmental and economic outcomes.
Cairns Port Development president Ron Crew, whose group has been fighting to have the channel dredged since the early 2010s, said it sounded like the project had stalled.
“I’m really disappointed in it not getting the green light,” he said.
“I am aware that Townsville Port has received about $1.6 billion, where we were promised $120 million.
“It’s almost laughable that we get left out of it.
“I just can’t believe that we’re not getting the money, and getting it in a hurry.”
Letter to the Cairns Post Editor following the Coordinator General’s evaluation report, 24 March 2018:
The Coordinator General’s evaluation report on the environmental impact statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project is now available.
Two requirements stated in the project’s Environmental Impact Study report Terms of Reference were to provide ‘descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal,’ and ‘sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.’
The Coordinator General’s report covers a massive range of environmental considerations, but is silent on these two points.
Options for placement of spoil at East Trinity in the 2015 draft EIS had major errors noted in submissions to the CG. East Trinity is not even mentioned in the CG report.
The 2012 Ports North proposal included 10.5 million cubic metres of spoil; the 2015 plan had 4.3 million and the current proposal is ‘less than 1 million’.
Until Ports North presents a full benefit-cost assessment that demonstrates the current plan is the best option, no one, including the CG, should accept the present plan is optimal for the Cairns Region. It doesn’t even pass the ‘pub test’.
Letter published in Cairns Post, 25 July 2017
The Cairns Post article ‘Port must dig deeper’ (24/7) notes Federal Minister Matt Canavan ‘has promised to take up the fight for a more extensive plan…’.
After 5 years and over $8m preparing reports, the revised EIS report is at best a temporary fix; only a quarter of the dredging previously proposed. But current legislation would prevent any further ‘capital’ dredging projects for two decades.
It is vital that the current proposal be extended to be just the first phase of a longer-term project.
The current proposal to pump all spoil into sand pits by the Barron River is preferred to the alternative location at East Trinity. However, the report’s reasoning comprises mostly subjective assessments and a few unconvincing quantitative comparisons.
The next immediate step should be preparation of a detailed cost/benefit plan for a long-term phased dredging plan that includes credible comparisons with an alternative to place immediate and future spoil at East Trinity.
Calls for Cairns Port dredge spoil to go to East Trinity
DREDGING supporters have dusted off calls for East Trinity to be transformed into a new residential suburb built atop huge amounts of spoil scooped from the bed of Trinity Inlet.
Members of the Cairns Port Development group took Senator Matt Canavan and the Cairns Post on a helicopter tour of the city to point out potential sites where dredge spoil could be dumped.
Well-known authority on the issue Norm Whitney rejected the notion East Trinity was an environmentally important natural wetland, pointing to a photos from 1988 showing it was covered by cane farms, grazing land and a healthy melaleuca forest.
Hundreds of those trees now stand dead and leafless in artificial stagnant ponds.
“Compare that to the present environmental mess we overlooked where the now former high-and-dry farming land is overgrown with secondary growth vegetation and weeds and is a habitat for feral pigs and other vermin,” Mr Whitney said.
A CSIRO study found the lower sections of East Trinity were 1.4m lower than the original land level.
The group appealed to Mr Canavan to use his political influence to have Cairns classed as a priority port and the original 4.4 million cubic-metre capital dredging plan to be reinstated rather than the current scaled-back version.
A dead melaleuca forest now sits in stagnant water at East Trinity.
“The port has to be determined to be a strategic port and the dredging be able to continue as necessary,” Mr Whitney said.
“The present dredging program must only be classified as Stage 1 of the total project.”
Maintenance dredging is already undertaken annually but Down Under Cruise and Dive managing director Peppi Iovanella said it barely touched the surface.
He pointed out yachts and small boats actually avoiding the path set by floating leads directing users to the supposedly safest channel to the port, despite maintenance dredging being carried out just last week.
“It’s a joke. It’s not really dredging and it’s not safe. It’s not even maintenance dredging. It’s negligible,” he said.
“Forget the cruise ships, even the local operation is a problem. I don’t totally blame Ports North. All their money goes down to Brisbane.”
The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre and Ports North could not be reached for comment.
PLEDGE TO ACT
FEDERAL Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan has pledged to take up the fight for a more comprehensive dredging scheme and further development of Port of Cairns.
“The port development is crucial to the future of the Cairns economy, especially to ensure it builds a diverse and resilient economy,” he said.
“I will take up the issues raised by Cairns Port Development with the Queensland Government and Ports North.”
Cairns Post, 16 February 2017
Dredge delays veiled in secrecy
Note: click on the thumb print if article does not show.
A letter published in the Cairns Post, 17 February, from this website’s editor summed up the reaction from all but the more extreme green/left community: ‘The continuing delays to deepening Trinity Inlet are a disgrace (‘Dredge delays veiled in secrecy’, 16/2) – what you would expect in a third-world dictatorship. I recall a meeting with Mayor Bob Manning nearly two years ago to discuss the port deepening and major associated benefits. I was dismayed at Bob’s explanations, and said so. Having led or advised on many far larger projects overseas, I know how projects can be completed rapidly, particularly when the benefit-cost calculations are very positive, as is the case with the port deepening. Now I realise that the main driver of FNQ infrastructure projects is politics, and offer my apologies to you, Bob, for my naivety. The latest explanation from Ports North for not completing a comprehensive project plan after some five years, and spending over $8 million dollars of our money, is pathetic and appears to assume we locals are idiots.’
22 June 2016. Excellent news that Cairns Port development seems to be back on track. The Cairns Post, 22 June, reported ‘PORTS North will zero in on two possible locations to dump one million cubic metres of dredge spoil from Trinity Inlet.The Cairns Post yesterday revealed dredging of the Cairns shipping channel would be fast-tracked to allow cruise ships up to 300-metres long to dock at the city’s port. City leaders welcomed the revival of the project, which would have a total cost of about $120 million. Ports North chairman Russell Beer said the organisation would work hard over the next 12 months to complete a rigorous environmental impact statement and “turn that into an approval”.’ Some background: After Ports North presented a practical plan in 2012, something happened causing their plans to veer off course. Was this applying fashionable ‘green’ ideology? Over $5 million dollars spent on consultants produced a draft EIS, checked by the Coordinator General and passed to Treasurer Pitt who pronounced the port development far too expensive at $365 million. This draft EIS was shown to have major flaws. Now different consultants indicate dredging only 1 million cubic metres of spoil – 23% of the previous 4.4 million – will enable larger cruise ships up to 90,000 tonnes and full fuel and sugar cargo ships to navigate the harbour. The proposal includes innovative ideas such as pumping the spoil to an underwater location in a sand pit, so no expensive treatment will be needed. Also, an East Trinity site is favoured – presumably to cover the small highly polluted area, as recommended by CSIRO in 1999. Hopefully the new plan, costed at $120 million, will now be expedited. It seems fair for the cost of this essential infrastructure be shared equally by the Federal and Queensland State governments.
8 June, the Cairns Post included an impressive 20-page supplement that presented a wide range of articles explaining the issues and benefits available from widening and deepening the Trinity Inlet. The lead-article was an open letter to the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Queensland Premier asking for their support to expedite the port development project. The supplement is complimentary to the March 1 report to the Premier Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers.
1 June 2016: Advance Cairns, the peak independent non-government Advocacy and Economic Development Organisation for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), advised on its new website: ‘RECOMMENDATION –Prioritise Cairns port infrastructure as a strategic investment in the regional economy enabling long-term sustained growth for tourism, Navy, port and service industries. Commit to this $1B industry by supporting the EIS process and implementing the CSDP’ (Cairns Shipping Development Project). The announcement continued: ‘Project Timelines – The final cost will be assessed as part of the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with expenditure in 2017-20. EIS commenced and extended until June 2017′. This very welcome announcement appears to override Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce previous submission to the Coordinator General which concluded ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure’. http://www.advancecairns.com/project/shipping-development/ and Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.
The Cairns Post editorial, 17 May, noted the state government’s record of blatantly ignoring the results of it’s own consultation. ‘First there was the public hearing regarding dredging the Trinity Inlet…Business people presented a great case to have Cairns included as a “port of significance” that would allow large-scale dredging…They were so successful that the people hearing the arguments recommended the Government include Cairns on that list. ‘ The result? The Labor State Government kowtowed to the Greens and ignored the recommendation of it’s own committee. So much for democracy! (Click on editorial graphic to expand).
The following article in the Cairns Post, 6 May, written by Queensland State Treasurer’s about Cairns Port deepening, comprised a mix of facts and misleading information (click on graphic to expand). A letter published on 7 May explains some of the more egregious points: ‘State Treasurer Curtis Pitt writes ‘Still room to move in the inlet’ (6/05). The most worrying aspect is that readers may think this is a reasonable assessment. Just a few of the shortfalls are noted below. Pitt states the Ports North proposal included ‘land-based options around $365m’. He formed this view based on the DRAFT EIS, ignoring the correct process to await public submissions, one of which explained the costs were grossly exaggerated, ignored optimum technology solutions, and should cost less than $250m. Pitt explains simulations have enabled a few of the large cruise ships to berth at the CBD cruise terminal. He does not mention that the majority will still have to anchor off Yorkeys Knob. Pitt wrote ‘we’ve seen a good environmental and economic outcome..’, but does not mention the many cargo ships that arrive and depart half full because the channel is too shallow, resulting in far higher costs. Pitt notes Ports North ‘will also be allowed to remove … up to 150,000 cubic metres in any four-year period.’ That rate would take 120 years to deepen and widen the channel as proposed.’
Cairns Post’s InvestCairns magazine, April 2016, Loss of Cruise Control, include several quotes from ‘renowned economist Bill Cummings’ such as “While small to medium-sized cruise ships can be home-ported in Cairns, the city will only fully realise its potential to become a cruise shipping h um if deepening and channel widening takes place – something that will also result in efficiencies for Cairns as a cargo and naval port.”
A letter from Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Chief of Staff, John Humphreys (Qld Treasurer reply 120416), 12 April included: ‘Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North) requested an extension to the EIS deadline to allow it further time to review target vessel sizes and channel improvements options, include the latest survey and field information on revised channel designs, undertake simulations to verify the size of cruise ships and access of reduced upgrade channel and a tidal window analysis. This request was approved by the Coordinator-General in December 2015 and the project lapse date has been extended to 30 June 2017.’
A letter published in the Cairns Post, 5 April, summed up the current impasse: ‘I refer to the Cairns Post story “Make Aquis Happen – Stop mucking around’ (26/03). “A Cairns business leader is warning Queensland Government to stop playing politics with … Aquis”. Then on page 23 “Cairns a jobless hotspot – Cairns was still 2.1% above the state average.” (7/3) I also recall the article “HMAS Cairns major expansion to make it key northern defence base. The confidential documents, obtained by The Cairns Post, reveal a new role for the city that includes dredging the inlet and expanding the base to accommodate 3000 personnel in an estimated $2 billion boon to the local economy.” Since then, it has been a deafening silence. Also, a recent report sent to the Premier and ministers explained how the reasons given for delaying Cairns Port development have been overcome. The report (see www.better-management.org)recommended the State government should expedite completion of a “shovel-ready” project plan. The total inaction suggests the rumours after the State election that the Greens did a deal with Labor to prevent large-scale projects in Cairns were true. Sorry Cairns, you’ve been dudded by your Governments.’ Note: The report can be downloaded from Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers. The report includes: ‘An independent group of specialists should be contracted as soon as possible to deliver a ‘shovel-ready’ plan to complete the port development, including a full benefit-cost analysis. Suggested terms of reference for this assignment are at Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.
CPDI presentation to Coordinator General – Cairns Port Development Inc. made a presentation to the Queensland State Coordinator General from a high-level suite near the Trinity Inlet on 8 December 2015. The venue allowed the presenters to point out the CoG the major developments in Cairns that had been achieved over half a century using spoil dredged from the inlet. The presentation described the many issues relating to the proposed port development proposal, including several errors in the Ports North draft EIS such as the exaggerated costs. The major benefits the Cairns Region would gain following the proposed development were explained, together with tables showing the calculations. The Power Point presentation can be downloaded from: CPD Inc. Presentation to the Coordinator General, update.
The Cairns Post Editorial, 22 January, heading Public input just ignored, compared the Labor State Government’s parliamentary hearing concerning the reduced nightclub opening hours with the previous hearings regarding the Cairns port “priority port” status. In both instances, it is clear the supposed ‘consultation’ was a sham. Even when the government’s own priority port committee recommended, without dissent, that Cairns should have priority port status, the Labor masters in Brisbane ignored their committee’s recommendation; an expensive con more worthy of a communist state. The Editorial concludes: ‘To invite guidance from the public is fair and right, to then ignore it is the height of hubris and conceit – something the Queensland electorate has shown contempt for.’ The complete editorial below makes compelling reading:
A letter from Peter Campion, Tolga, in The Cairns Post, 2 January, summarises the current deplorable status: ‘Doctor Fanny Douvere, the marine program coordinator at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, does not expect the Abbot Point port expansion to hurt the Great Barrier Reef. Yet here in Cairns, the State Labor Government, using dodgy legislation and its fully-owned company Ports North, is continuing to delay the much-needed improvement of our port. Our local “environmental experts” at CAFNEC help the ALP’s anti-Cairns cause by spreading blatant falsehoods about our port, including that dredging it will kill the Reef. Science has proven our anti-port minority wrong at every step and now even UNESCO agrees dredging is not a problem. For Far North Queensland to be truly sustainable, we need our port to be fully functional. It’s now clear that to return our port to full efficiency we need to expose CAFNEC’s propaganda and to dump the ALP at the next election.’ Note: responding to a letter criticising this letter (09/01), Campion replied (CP letter 07/01): ‘(The writer) has been conned by CAFNEC and the anti-Cairns ALP and seems unaware of local history’, followed by supporting evidence.
The Cairns Post Editorial, 1 January 2016: ‘Tourism the way ahead…..With such a bright outlook for a tourism-related economic boost, it is timely for our city leaders to consider adopting a stronger stance on dredging Trinity inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock. As the Australian dollar stays relatively low, more and more foreigners will add Australia to their travel lists, and the Far North and Great Barrier Reef are highly likely to be on the itinerary. In light of UNESCO’s tacit approval of recently announced wholesale dredging of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, surely that opens the door for the same in Cairns. Dredging opponents and federal and state government have used UNESCO’s threat to downgrade the Reef’s status as a reason to ban large-scale dredging in the inlet. But the world environmental watch dog barely gave a whimper after the Abbot Point dredging plan was revealed. As the inlet’s Environmental Impact process drags on, Abbot Point has now made itself a compelling precedent….’
An article was published in the Cairns Post business section, 23 November: ‘Benefits of dredging impossible to ignore’:
The article above followed the Cairns Post article by Nick Dalton, 19/12/15: Call to get big ships into port, reproduced below with additional comments in Italics:
Treasurer and acting State Development Minister Curtis Pitt has instructed Ports North to focus on ways to increase the size of ships entering the city’s port.
The Government has granted the authority an 18-month extension to an environmental impact statement. The final Terms of Reference for the Cairns Shipping Development Project were released by the Coordinator General in September 2012. Ports North announced they had commissioned consultants ARUP to complete the EIS in April 2013. Ports North stated the draft EIS report would be provided in May 2014, then a delay to September 2014. Ports North said changed conditions required further work and had delayed the report. In fact, the Terms of Reference had not changed, and the ‘changed conditions’, ie government ruling against dumping dredge spoil at sea, required far less work rather than more as the TOR always required assessment of options to place dredging spoil on land. The draft EIS was finally released in April 2015. Rather than waiting for submissions and a final EIS (a key requirement of the CoG’s assessment process), Mr Pitt announced ‘on the basis of the draft EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging’ – he later explained the $365m cost calculated in the draft EIS was unacceptably high. A submission to the CoG demonstrated the draft EIS had grossly exaggerated the project costs (Submission to Coordinator General.)
While full-scale dredging has been ruled out, Mr Pitt said dredging the mouth or approach channel to the Trinity Inlet shipping waterway and the swing basin was expected to be included in the EIS. Rather than ‘expected’, the EIS TOR required this inclusion.
Wholesale dredging has been ruled out on the grounds of cost (estimated at $100m) and a ban on dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Marine Park. The terms ‘full-scale’ and ‘wholesale’ dredging have not been defined, so are meaningless. Again, the draft EIS described options for on-land placement of spoil, albeit at a grossly exaggerated cost.
The dredging was to allow larger ships, particularly cruise liners, to navigate the channel.
The Government wants the port to look at dredging parts of the channel and the swing basin so bigger ships can enter and turn around. This is precisely what the draft EIS was directed to do.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project is able to proceed under the transitional arrangements as part of the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 passed in the November 12 Parliament sitting. So the Sustainably Port Development Act 2015 was a complete red herring as far as Cairns Port is concerned – a massive distraction from the main event.
“The scope of the project includes capital dredging of the swing basins and Trinity Inlet and deepening of the approach channel to the port”, Mr Pitt said. Mr Pitt said previously the Reef 2050 report, on which the agreement signed by Federal Minister Greg Hunt with UNESCO is based, precludes ‘capital dredging’ in Cairns Port, which Mr Pitt said the Cairns Shipping Development Project would require. In fact, the Reef 2050 report states ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for newchannels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’ (Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) The Cairns Shipping Development project requires ‘maintenance dredging, defined as ‘to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility’.
Mr Pitt said the Coordinator-General had allowed Ports North until June 30 2017 to re-submit an EIS for the project. Ports North contracted their consultants in April 2013 to produce a draft EIS report that covers everything Mr Pitt says he wants. The draft EIS did not adequately cover two key requirements of the TOR: ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’.And ‘The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’ Competent specialists could complete these two requirements in a few months if they were directed to do so. An extension of 18 months, when there has already been a delay of more than 12 months, is completely unnecessary, and can only be deliberate procrastination.
“Granting this extension gives Ports North more time to develop a project that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the expansion of Cairns Port”, he said. Nothing additional to the requirements of the original EIS TOR has been requested. It must therefore be concluded that Mr Pitt’s announcements can only be a deliberate means of delaying the port deepening and subsequent benefits to the Cairns Region even longer.
“We can strike a balance that protects the environment and supports economic development, jobs and future trade growth.” This is exactly what the CoG’s TOR for the EIS required.
Perhaps, as The Cairns Post Editorial, 3 September, noted:‘The decision by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham to consign Cairns’ port to second-tier status should [has] cause[d] outrage throughout the Far North.’
The editorial Cairns Post editorial, EIS backflip a big query, 220815 explains the main problem:‘If the revised EIS suddenly comes back with a favourable opinion of increased dredging, surely this raises suggestions the government is advising its consultants what outcome they should find rather than merely letting the science do the talking.’ Not only the ‘science’, but assessing and describing in more detail the major benefits the Cairns Region will gain after the port deepening has been completed (See Cummings Economics submission Cummings Economicssubmission).
It is highly unlikely that the Government will direct Ports North to produce a full plan for deepening the port that would be necessary for logical related decisions to be made, and so most unlikely Ports North will direct their consultants to produce such a plan. This plan should be produced by a new group of independent consultants as soon as possible, including a full benefit-cost analysis based on best-practice methods. Terms of Reference for such an assignment have been drafted: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115
A summary of the Cairns Port deepening saga
Cairns Region will gain major benefits from port deepening, estimated at $5 billion over 25 years, including business growth and many job opportunities. See Cummings Economicssubmission.
Australia’s long-established defence programs need Cairns Port naval base as a fully-operational strategic port for regional and coastal operations.
Spoil from major dredging programs will not be discharged offshore in future, irrespective of scientific reports. Why? Because government agreements and public perceptions and reactions preclude this.
…… HERE’S HOW
Dredging spoil has been put on land to develop Cairns city and its economy for many decades, and can be again – e.g. Portsmith.
So a new report is needed ASAP to present the most cost-effective plan and quantify the resulting benefits.
Government dredging decisions, including those following negotiations with UNESCO, have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’ Reef 2050 plan excerpts.
Port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed.
…… AND IF PORT DEEPENING IS NOT EXPEDITED?
The whole Cairns Region will suffer major economic, business and job losses, and Australia will not have a strategic port’ in the far north.
The miniscule coven of green/Labor extremists will have won their covert battle to impose their anti-growth ideology on the Cairns Region.
The State Labor Government can expect to lose the four local seats at the next election if the LNP demonstrate credible support for expediting port deepening.
Cairns Region Councillors that don’t support expediting port deepening can expect to be replaced at the election next year by Councillors that do.
SO WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NOW? ‘PLAN B’?
Qld State Treasurer Curtis Pitt was reported in the Cairns Post on 15 May saying. “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent, can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal.’
Dr Anthony Lynham, Qld Minister for State Development said on 11 November ‘The (Ports North draft) EIS proposal is respected by the government as being in place before this (the Port Sustainability Bill)….The Bill has nothing to do with the EIS….The Coordinator General (who controls the EIS process) is independent but has to abide by the government policy but on decisions such as extending EISs, he is independent…..I can’t tell him what to do….Maintenance dredging is for maintaining the existing channel. It is not for widening channels….Unfortunately the strategic designation (instead of the Bill’s category of Priority Port) doesn’t come under UNESCO or the Bill. That would be quite difficult to throw in another category now after all the negotiation with UNESCO.’
BUT…recall the Reef 2050 report, which formed the basis for Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s negotiations with UNESCO states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’ The Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015, Schedule 1 subsequently modifiedthe Reef 2050 definition to: ‘Capital dredging – (a) means dredging or enlarging a channel, basin, port, berth or other similar thing; or’……. (b) does not include dredging to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility.
Surely ‘effective ongoing operation of a port facility’ includes the ability for large cruise, cargo and naval ships to use the port?
The Ports North proposal was submitted well before the Bill, and the EIS deadline has been extended to the end of March 2016. Minister Lynham said it is up to the CoG as to whether this deadline is extended, noting the only time an extension was not granted after a reasonable request was when the EIS was not completed after 7 years and the company had ‘folded’.
The State Government has given Ports North another $350,000 (on top of the previous $5.1m) for its consultants to review the draft EIS – presumably expecting different conclusions.
The latest technologies and methodologies should underpin the modified draft EIS, and result in different conclusions, including far lower costs (see Submission to Coordinator General).
The modified draft EIS could satisfy all requirements: lower cost dredging of the existing channel and all spoil put on land rather than at sea (thus complying with the Reef 2050 report, although possibly a problem with the Bill’s modified definition); meeting environmental requirements; complying with Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s agreement with UNESCO to not de-list the reef; meeting Australia’s naval strategic requirements; and last but not least, enabling the Cairns Region to benefit from the major economic benefits when the next stage of port deepening is completed.
How to ensure Ports North’s modified draft EIS results in expediting the requisite port deepening ASAP?
In a nutshell, the Coordinator General needs to ensure Ports North interpret the EIS Terms of Reference (TOR) correctly so the modified draft EIS provide: ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’; and ‘The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’ (See Cairns Shipping Development EIS TOR Nov 2012.)
These points were not covered adequately in the current draft EIS. The approach suggested in the following document would ensure the modified draft EIS provides all the information necessary for the relevant authorities to decide to expedite the port deepening:Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115
Recent progress and events
The Cairns Post, 18 November article noted: SUPPORTERS of dredging Trinity Inlet will meet the state’s Co-ordinator General and lobby Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure deepening and widening activities suffer no further setbacks. Dredging restrictions are in place after the state’s Sustainable Ports Development Bill passed with bipartisan support on Friday…. The State Opposition has defended its stance in voting against exempting Cairns and Mourilyan from restrictions. “The two major parties’ collusion has put the Port of Cairns back 50 years.” …. Cairns Port Development Inc. spokeswoman, Emma Thirkell, said members would lobby federal politicians to place greater weight on scientific evidence supporting dredging, its lack of impact on the Reef and the positives for business that dredging offered. “Agreement is in place for us to meet the Co-ordinator General and we hope to update Cairns Regional Councillors on the present situation and the possible repercussions of this bill,” she said. See full article at: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-port-development-inc-takes-trinity-inlet-dredging-proposal-to-federal-politicians/story-fnjpusyw-1227612935494
Cairns Post articles, 4 and 5 November, spell out the State Government’s latest restriction on dredging limits for Cairns Port. At 150,000 cubic metres in 4 years, this would mean completing the 4.5 million cubic metres proposed to deepen the channel in 120 years. Weirdly, Advance Cairns CEO is quoted saying this: “provides for the ability for the port to grow as our city grows”. This is in line with the Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce submission to the Coordinator General regarding the Ports North draft EIS, which states: ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure to support the growth of the regional economy.’ Over 120 years? Listen to John MacKenzie discussing this conundrum with Peter Senior on 4CA radio talkback. Several other callers raised similar points with John, including a member of Cairns Chamber complaining that members had not been consulted, and she totally disagreed with the stance, as presented in today’s update ‘A workable solution for Cairns. We have some very exciting news to share with you…’:
28 October, 4CA Talkback: Federal Senator Warren Entsch discussed with Peter Senior the overall port deepening issue; in particular the point noted above that the proposed port deepening is defined as ‘maintenance dredging’ in the authoritative Reef 2050 report, as such is allowed and should go ahead – if only the local State Members would support what is clearly in the best interests of the Cairns Region. This is essential listening:
22 October. Senators Ian Macdonald and Bob Katter talked with John Mackenzie on 4CA Talkback about deepening Cairns Port to enable large naval, cruise and cargo ships to use the port and facilities. Both Senators noted deepening is essential, should be expedited, and will bring major benefits to FNQ. Naval access is also an essential Australian defence requirement. Senator Macdonald said: “The Qld Government really has to ignore the minority greens groups who will make up any story to stop any sort of development in Cairns or anywhere else and get some sensible advice…”. Everyone should listen carefully to these comments:
A letter from Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, 16 October 2015 stated: ‘The government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan… However, any future development must be consistent with the government’s commitment to protect the GBRWHA and its ban on sea based disposal of port related capital dredge material.’ See Minister Lynham letter 161015. As noted above, the Reef 2050 report states:‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas’ (see Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) Given that the proposed port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; and IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed, it seems the Minister is approving port deepening as further maintenance dredging, particularly if the dredging spoil is disposed of on land.
6 October, the second cruise ship anchored at Yorkeys Knob in so many weeks is unable to get passengers ashore for trips – passengers express great disappointment; Cairns reputation sullied; tour companies lose big $$$$$.
1 October, new Chairman of Ports North announced by State Labor Government Minister. Cairns Post article heading ‘Chairman confident of port progress’ only aligns with recent State actions if ‘progress’ means towards boutique port status. Noted on Facebook: Yes, another Labor stooge. If Labor wasn’t sure he’d follow their directives, he wouldn’t have been appointed. The sorry fact is, Government funds many activities in Cairns, and directs these operations through their well-paid bureaucrats that also mostly lean to the green/Left. What an unholy alliance! Labor’s recent decisions prove they intend financing Townsville expansion and downgrading Cairns Port to boutique status, irrespective of contrary evidence. If Cairns Port deepening supporters continue to play by the Brisbane-controlled Labor rules, we’ll lose – for sure. Go figure…
18 September: the Ports Sustainability Bill has been postponed.
The Cairns Port Development Inc. petition signature sheets were handed to the Queensland Parliament at 7.28 AM on 15 September. The 4,099 written signatures plus the 2,017 online signatures totalled 6,116 – one of the largest petitions ever from the Cairns region.
As a reminder, the petition reads: TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland. Queensland citizens draw to the attention of the House the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 does not include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as priority ports. If capital dredging is discontinued, new larger passenger, naval and cargo ships will not be able to enter the ports. The estimated earnings foregone may be more than $5Bn over the next 25 years, compounding the record high youth unemployment rates. Your petitioners request the House to amend the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 to include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as ‘priority ports’ allowing the ports to carry out vital capital works dredging NOW and always. We also request that an independent project be commissioned to assess and recommend the lowest cost environmentally acceptable dredging solution. Revitalize our economy, restore confidence and save many businesses from the brink of bankruptcy.
Six months out from the local government election, Cairns lawyer Jim Brooks on Friday announced the arrival of his Connect Cairns teamin front of supporters, including Cairns MP Rob Pyne. Brooks, Pyne and CAFNEC are joining forces to oppose deepening the Port and stymie the huge economic benefits the Cairns region would gain.
The Cairns Post 3 Sept. noted: ‘Minister shuns committee report into developing Port of Cairns’ and ‘A WIDE-reaching inquiry by a Queensland parliamentary committee has found that excluding the Port of Cairns as a priority port would have a “detrimental impact” on the growth of the region and have negative impacts on employment and tourism, and on business. ‘However ‘Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, who dismissed the committee’s findings just hours after they were released. “I appreciate the committee’s consideration of the Bill and their report will be considered in full and in detail,” he said in a statement. “However, the Government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan.’http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/minister-shuns-committee-report-into-developing-port-of-cairns/story-fnjpusdv-1227509909212
An allied issue is flagged in the Cairns Post editorial, 27 August, ‘THE State Government must act immediately or we can all watch the Aquis ship and its bounty sail out of the (undredged) Trinity Inlet….the stench of bureaucracy-induced failure… If the Fungs walk away from Cairns, heads should roll in the halls of state parliament.’CP Editorial re Aquis 270815.
Terms of reference for a new assignment to produce a Cairns Port Deepening Plan respond to Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s requests to: ‘recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal’; and put another option ‘on the table.’ This plan would provide essential information to enable State and local governments, Cairns business leaders and the Cairns community to understand fully and make informed decisions on deepening and widening the Trinity Inlet and basin. Terms of reference for this assignment have been prepared: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.Any related decisions made before this or a similar project is completed, including public disclosure, are likely based on conjecture and/or ideology.
Cairns Post 4 August, article by State Treasurer Curtis Pitt: ‘Where we differ from the previous government is that its proposal for capital dredging in Trinity Inlet never stacked up on any measure and couldn’t proceed – the volume of dredge spoil and costs over $360 million were uneconomic….The EIS is a live process and will be used as a vehicle to put in an overarching plan for expansion works.’ The $360M has been shown to be very and deliberately exaggerated, and surely ‘expansion works’ does not suggest the proposed vital major port deepening project?
The Ports Bill Committee public hearing at Cairns, 29 July, was a great success for supporters of dredging the Trinity Inlet and basin as far as conveying our message to the Committee and emphasising the width and depth of Cairns’ public support. But will it be effective? The Cairns Post front page heading DON’T SINK OUR PORT, editorial, cartoon and double-page spread describe overwhelming support, demanding major changes to the Ports Bill, and action from Federal and State Governments to expedite the dredging. Failure will lead to Cairns’ economy slowly sinking. http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/state-government-urged-to-rethink-ports-bill-for-far-north/story-fnjpusdv-1227462332057. The numerous calls to John MacKenzie’s 4CA Talkback were equally supportive.
Cairns Post poll, 24 July:‘Do you support increased dredging of Trinity Inlet’. Result in Monday 27th edition: YES 73%.
Friends of the Port of Cairns submission to the Qld Coordinator General responded to the Ports North draft Environment Impact Report (EIS):Submission to Coordinator General. The submission summary concludes: ‘We request the Coordinator General recommend to the Government that a more comprehensive study be undertaken of placement options in consultation with the Cairns community with a view to developing a lower cost and environmentally acceptable solution to enable the project to proceed as soon as possible.’
Cummings Economics submission to the Qld Coordinator General,Cummings Economicssubmission, presents a compelling case for the dredging. Conservative calculations of the benefits to Cairns total $1.35 billion NPV – $5 bn in cash terms over 25 years, or at least $200 million each year. Who is stalling these benefits?
Adam Gowlett, Branch President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia talked with John MacKenzie on 4CA radio talkback, 21st August, explaining how the Qld State Labor Government is short-changing Cairns in favour of the South East, and Townsville in particular where $65m has just been allocated to dredge and expand their port plus more major expenditure: .
Local developer Ken Frost’s submission presents an exciting approach for Cairns long-term needs – EIS submission KF
A brief submission from Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce equivocates, noting ‘Ports North will need to be able to continue to undertake incremental development projects…’:Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.
East Trinity for future urban growth and more vital benefits for Cairns were described in an article in the Cairns Post, 6 June (click on picture below to expand).
Radio 4CA July 23, 2015. John MacKenzie speaks with Peter Senior from Cairns Port Development Inc. and Tim Nicholls MP for Clayfield and shadow minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Small Business and Trade 23rd July 2015 about progressing the dredging of Cairns Harbour.
Talkback host John MacKenzie discussed Friends of the Port of Cairns’ submission with Peter Senior on 3 June:
Ports North $5 million draft EIS can be downloaded in sections from:.Click here to see the draft EISExecutive Summary.
An aerial photograph of East Trinity, Trinity Inlet and the Cairns CBD in 1942 is shown below, with points of interest flagged (click on graphic to expand). Note the area some ‘greens’ insist should be ‘restored’ to wetlands never was wetlands – it was saltpan, grassland and woodland.
…. and this is a recent photo of the Southern end of the East Trinity property. Note the dead Melaleuca trees as a result of flooding by sea water – which CSIRO strongly recommended against.
The next 7 sections explain the convoluted steps that resulted in the current dismaying situation.
For the latest in the long-running saga concerning dredging the Trinity Inlet at Cairns and reclamation at East Trinity, check the Facebook site, Friends of the Port of Cairns – https://www.facebook.com/PortofCairns.
The Facebook site includes a petition you may want to send to the Coordinator General: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-port-of-cairns.html – it only takes a couple of minutes to read, then send if you agree. As at 4 June, 1,298 have ‘liked’ the site, and 170 almost-all local people have sent the petition.
Check this Post for more background information and proposals.
The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement report was released on Saturday 18 April. State Government Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the DRAFT EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging. Listening to callers on radio talkback shows, the overwhelming overall reaction is extreme dismay.
Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne added to the dismay, as described in the Cairns Post Editorial, 25 April (see full text in Section 3): ‘Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician… Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy… He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly…”.
Cairns Post article, 27 April (full text is in section 3) included: Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider theeconomic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion. CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14. Ms Abel said. “… Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.”
Cairns Post, 30 April, article (see details in section 3): BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet.
This post suggests a practical and cost-effective way to avoid dumping the dredging spoil at sea as well as reclaiming the degraded State-owned area at East Trinity. Many related issues are discussed, media coverage is presented and relevant background is explained.
The report, Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214, presents a proposal to dredge Cairns Trinity Inlet channel; and reclaim the State-owned degraded East Trinity property; and gain major short and long-term benefits for Cairns community and businesses……AT NO NET COST to taxpayers. Imagine a residential suburb at East Trinity:
2. Another option: a phased approach
Note: This section has not been updated since the draft EIS was released. Some of the assumptions and figures used in the draft EIS are in serious doubt, as are some of the conclusions. It is expected that further checking by different specialist engineers will identify substantially different conclusions that may be more in line with the proposal outlined in the Phase 1 proposal described below.
Another variation on Phase 1 (call it Phase 1b) could be, if both the State and Federal Governments are persuaded to allow capital dredge to be placed offshore (currently very unlikely), then the State could sell their 944 ha property at East Trinity to pay all dredging costs, with the proviso that the developer must resolve the current pollution problems on parts of this property.
Responding to comments by the previous State Member for Parliament, Gavin King, that East Trinity could not be developed for many years until the dredged spoil has settled, an alternative option is now presented.
Pending release of the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) report, it was stated that ‘500 hectares’ of East Trinity land will be required to place the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil. Given the fact that the State-owned property at East Trinity is 943.6 ha, the residual 443.6 ha of property could be available for development immediately, noting 168 ha of this part is raised, affording grand views across the inlet to the CBD and hills beyond.
The original report has been updated to include a Phase 1 where half of the residual 443.6 ha is sold to one or more developers for a nominal sum, on the condition that the developer(s) pay all the costs of dredging, spoil treatment and associated costs, which the original report estimated at $125m. However, as it is understood the Ports North EIS estimates these costs as between $200m and $250m, a midway figure of $225m is assumed. The changes to the original report are shown in red. An alternative with the same effect would be for the state to sell the land outright and use the proceeds to pay for the dredging and spoil treatment. Phase 1 is estimated to produce a profit of $7m, although more land could be available which could enable the level of profit to be increased. The updated report can be downloaded from Dredging and East Trinity opportunities, phased, 230115.
Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan
The Federal Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, released on 21 March 2015, includes the intention to: ‘mandate the beneficial reuse of port-related capital dredge spoil, such as land reclamation in port development areas, or disposal on land where it is environmentally safe to do so; [and] to establish a maintenance dredging framework which identifies future dredging requirements, ascertains appropriate environmental windows to avoid coral spawning and protect seagrass, and examines opportunities for beneficial reuse of dredge material or on-land disposal where it is environmentally safe to do so.’ Unfortunately the report becomes suspect when it introduces climate change alarmist ‘PC’ phrases such as ‘ocean acidification’, which are not included in the ‘glossary of commonly used terms’ and is an oxymoron anyway – all oceans are alkaline (PH about 8.1); it is physical impossibility for oceans to become acid, i.e. less than neutrality, about PH 7. Recent government dredging decisions have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging,necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’ Port deepening: is NOT a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed. SeeReef 2050 plan excerpts.
During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report. Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has applauded the government’s move to ban the dumping of any capital dredge spoil in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters, but says it shouldn’t be news to Ports North in regards to their Port of Cairns dredge proposal.
Warren Entsch: “dredging critical for growth”
An article in Dredging News Online, 20 March, noted: ‘Entsch says land-based disposal “dredging critical for growth”. “I congratulate Environment Minister Greg Hunt for this decision, it’s something that I’ve been arguing for forever – even in regards to maintenance dredging going into the waters,” Mr Entsch said. “I’ve always said that we have an obvious opportunity on East Trinity, it’s the perfect site for disposing of the dredge spoil. “It provides us with an opportunity to bring the next stage of the development of Cairns closer to the CBD by developing a site that is only five minutes across the water.” Mr Entsch said he couldn’t see why the option hasn’t already been factored in by Ports North. “Greg Hunt has indicated for a long time that his preferred option for disposal is on land, and I have certainly conveyed this message to Ports North with every meeting I have had with them. So I don’t see any reasons why there would be delays as they have already considered a number of land-based options.” Mr Entsch said it was critical that the dredging of Trinity Inlet take place. “Just look at the expansion of the cruise ship industry, which has been phenomenal. One of the large cruise companies is looking at Cairns as a home base, but that may never happen without dredging. “While undoubtedly a land-based option will be more expensive, what needs to be factored in is the environmental benefits of taking the pressure off hill slopes as our city grows, and the economic benefits of reducing ribbon development as we head south past Gordonvale. “Originally the plan was for 25,000 people at East Trinity, this can be expanded further to the adjoining land west of the Yarrabah road, allowing a significant increase in our population base. It also gives us a genuine second access to Cairns and would significantly improve connectivity between the Yarrabah community and the city.” Mr Entsch said he understood that it would be several years before any dredge spoil at the site would have settled enough to be developed. “However there’s an opportunity to develop the adjoining areas in the meantime, and encourage private investment,” he said. “The end result is that it would significantly expand capacity close to our CBD and contain the city to a much smaller footprint. “There’s been more than enough time for EIS to be assessed. I’d urge the new Queensland government to release it as soon as possible, so that the Cairns community can talk about the options.”
Achieving a failed promise at no cost to the taxpayer
One would imagine that achieving a failed promise made by the previous LNP Government at no cost to the taxpayer would be viewed very favourably by the new State Treasurer, Curtis Pitt (who has inherited a very serious budget deficit) as well as the new MP for Cairns, Rob Pyne. Regrettably, complications arising from current charges relating to the State Government member for Cook, Billy Gordon, may delay the long-awaited release of the EIS report for public viewing.
Why the delay?
Consider the statement by The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Ex Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government on John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23rd January, a week before the State election:
‘…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done. Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen….. (details and context below).
Note: the Liberal National Party (LNP) was swept from power in a rout at the Queensland State election on 31 January 2015, to be replaced by Labor (ALP) in a coalition with an independent member and Katter party members. To date, in addressing the dredging EIS, the four local Cairns region Labor candidates said only that they will await the EIS release before making any related decisions. It may be relevant that the Labor Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, is the local Mulgrave member and won his seat comfortably. So, back to all in limbo, but with different people in charge! It may also be relevant that the previous Cairns Member, Gavin King, who consistently spoke in almost sycophantic support of Ports North’s plans, lost his seat in a landslide.
Surely the general public has a right to know exactly what these ‘roadblocks’ noted by David Crisafulli are; not just hinting at dark secrets that sound more like a conspiracy. Hopefully all will be revealed shortly by the new Labor Government and its four local members.
Who gains by delaying the EIS?
It would probably be quicker and easier for Ports North to dump the dredged spoil in the proposed extended area at the end of the Trinity Inlet Channel (if some-one else pays). However, this is at odds with the Labor State Government’s view as well as Federal Government and the previous LNP State Government views and directives.
Both the Cairns Regional Council and all those involved in the sudden recent announcement of the major residential development at Mount Peter would likely be very averse to competition from another residential development a few kilometres away at East Trinity.
Last year (2014) the CRC Mayor, Bob Manning, expressed his belief that the spoil should be placed at sea, and that the State-owned land at East Trinity should not be involved in the dredging project at this time.
There is a general rule that invariably assists resolution that first came to prominence in All the President’s Men (1976), Deep Throat: ‘Just follow the money trail.’ The three points above give rise to further questions:
Who are the ‘road-blockers’ that David Crisafulli (see above) refers to?
Exactly what ‘roadblocks’ would detractors be likely to put up?
Are there significant connections between the un-named ‘road-blockers’?
How much would genuine competition from an additional residential development improve related outcomes for future residents?
What will a Labor Queensland State Government do, given that three local members are now Labor (the fourth, Billy Gordon is now independent but likely to align with Labor), including the likely Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, who has the residual of the previous Labor Government’s massive budget deficit to tackle? Note: It is the Coordinator General’s role to assess the EIS, but it seems likely that the outcome will now be influenced by Labor’s plans and may be less influenced by current ‘road-blocks’ (see John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23 January, below).
Will new Cairns State Member, Rob Pyne, be able to fulfil his intention to expedite release of the EIS (see article in Cairns Post, 3 January, below)?
“It’s just unaffordable …”
Gavin King, previous Member of Parliament for the Queensland state seat of Cairns, commented on the TV7 news on 15 August: “It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term. Unless either the private sector or the Feds come across with some dollars.”
Both proposals (see links above to download the reports) respond to Gavin King’s comment: The private sector could ‘come across’ with all the costs for the dredging by buying the dredging spoil, a valuable resource, as part of the overall development of East Trinity. Unless there are material errors in the reports assessments, they both demonstrate the dredging:
Could be ‘affordable’;
Could be achieved at no net cost to taxpayers;
Could avoiding widespread concerns about dumping huge amounts of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef; and
Would make a major contribution to Cairn’s economy including allowing large cruise and other ships to enter Cairns port.
3. Articles and letters in the Cairns Post
TWO senior State Government ministers are not ruling out developing the Port of Cairns, including dredging. Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt and State Development Minister Anthony Lynham are calling on Ports North to re-examine their Environmental Impact Statement on dredging Trinity Inlet shipping channel. Dredging has been ruled out on economic and environmental grounds by the government, with sea dredge spoil dumping estimated to cost $100 million and land based $365 million. “What we’ve said is that this EIS doesn’t rule out future port development, what it does is say the options that are on the table … are not viable options,” Mr Pitt said. “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal. CONDITIONS: State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said any dredging of Trinity Inlet would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost. “It could mean that they need to change focus from being on large cruise shipping to ensure they can look at a suite of works that may need to happen in terms of future port expansion.” He said that might include expanding the Reef Fleet terminal, a barge ramp or a wharf expansion. Dr Lyneham said any dredging would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost. The Cairns Regional Council has called on the government to defer a final decision on channel dredging and to re-examine the proposal. Ports North declined to comment. Royal Caribbean International commercial director Sean Treacy, who was in Cairns yesterday preparing for the visit of the giant Legend of the Seas cruise ship next month, would not be drawn on the dredging issue. He said the company would continue to work with governments and ports on the best way for their ships to visit. Mr Treacy said the practise of using tender boats to transport passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob was common for the company throughout the world.
A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: Mr Hitchcock’s letter, 9-5, stated ‘Peter Senior’s opinion piece (2-5) is very misleading’. This letter responds to some points in his letter. Far from being misleading, I have provided credible evidence for every point I made in my opinion piece. Warren Entsch, in his article also on 9-5, congratulated me for my ‘very considered contribution’.
Mr Hitchcock is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. For instance, a 1942 photo on Warren Entsch’s office wall shows the East Trinity site, far from being ‘largely rehabilitated wetlands’, was mainly salt-pans and grasslands, similar to Portsmith.
Mr Hitchcock had attended last December’s meeting of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade, he would have heard the overwhelming support for the dredging and East Trinity reclamation – except, of course, from the CAFNEC attendee.
If Mr Hitchcock and his colleagues had not strong-armed Peter Beattie’s government into cancelling the approval for the proposed world-class Royal Reef Resort at East Trinity, which included resolving all pollution problems, then Beattie’s Government would not have had to pay $10m of tax-payers money to NatWest Bank, plus the continuing maintenance costs.
A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: ‘For the Queensland Government and Ports North not to reconsider immediately their policy decision not to dredge Trinity Inlet and allow continuing expansion of the Port and the economic development of our City defies all logic. Overwhelming evidence in the draft EIS giving scientific advice that an alternative off shore dump site is suitable and would not be damaging to the Great Barrier Reef and the environment. Alternatively the EIS preferred site for on shore disposal area, a section of the 10 sq km East Trinity freehold property owned by the State Government, must be given greater consideration. This is more important following the reported statements from the highly qualified Engineer and Consultant, Peter Senior published on Saturday last where he detailed the potential revenue to the State from development of that property could cover the entire cost of the dredging operation and secure a future suburban growth area for the City only one km from the CBD.’
An article in the Cairns Post was heavily edited from the submitted copy. The article below shows words as-published in black, with the words edited out in red:
The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement draft report (EIS) was released on Saturday 18 April.
State Government Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the draft EIS, the state government had decided against approving the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging.
The overwhelming reaction of numerous callers on Cairns’ radio talkback was extreme dismay and disillusionment.
Most Cairns people are now thoroughly confused. Little wonder as there are so many conflicting views and reports.
This article presents a summary of the main factors relating to the proposed dredging and draft EIS, then proposes a way forward.
The economic analysis presented in the draft EIS report indicates the dredging project has a very strong benefit-cost ratio, with additional income benefits to Cairns over 25 years estimated in present values, with future benefits discounted at 7% per annum, totalling $1.3 Billion.
The $4.2m draft EIS is just that: a ‘draft’. Proper process requires a draft EIS to be published, inviting submissions to the Coordinator General’s office for consideration, then a final EIS. The Coordinator General then required by law to send[s] a recommendation to the government. No final EIS exists, so presumably the Government has not received the recommendation. What then is the government’s decision based on? Many articles in main stream media focus on alarmist reports and views. For example, TV7 local news often shows a video with brown water around a dredge.
This video, provided and paid for by ‘green’ organisations, clearly suggests pollution.
The major objectors to the proposed dredging comprise four broad groupings:
People who believe the scaremongering, many of whom genuinely care about the environment, some with almost religious fervour;
A few shrill extreme environmentalists who are anti-development (recall their attempts to prevent Skyrail);
Unelected organisations with other agendas such as the UN, WWF and Greenpeace (UNFCCC’s Christiana Figueres said: “We are setting ourselves the task.. to change the [world’s] economic development model”);
Several government departments such as GBRMPA (GBRMPA’s alarmist GBR 2014 report largely blamed climate change for their dire forecasts concerning the Great Barrier Reef, mentioning ‘climate change’ 365 times).
The draft EIS estimates off-shore sea disposal would cost about $100m. [Some] Reports based on scientific evidence conclude disposal near shore would not be harmful or environmentally damaging.
The EIS Terms of Reference includes: ‘Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.’ And ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.’
The report selects the 964.3 ha state-owned East Trinity site as the preferred option for land-based spoil disposal. Most of that area was in continual agricultural production since the first survey in 1894.
CSR purchased the property in 1971 and expanded it by constructing a bund wall, then re-contouring the area into productive cane fields. [But when] Cane production [became] was uneconomical, so the land was sold to developers.
The report notes ‘In the early 1990s a proposal to develop a satellite city on the site attracted community attention, but failed to gain approval. In 2000, the Queensland Government purchased the site.’ More accurately, the Royal Reef Resort proposal for this site was approved in 1995.
But the Labor State government succumbed to persuasion from green pressure-groups and overrode the approval.
The developer went into receivership. National Westminster Bank commenced legal action against the State, resulting in a $10m out-of-court settlement.
The draft EIS assesses placing spoil on 518 ha of low land at East Trinity.
This area is highly degraded, costing about $500,000 for annual maintenance that has failed to fix the degradation.
CSIRO advice to cover this area with spoil was ignored. The report’s benefit-cost of developing this 518 ha concludes development would be uneconomical.
The whole site comprises 518 ha plus partly-raised 428 ha. The latter could be developed immediately, but the report ignores this option.
Applying figures from the report to developing the 428 ha area indicates sufficient profit to pay for all the dredging and treatment costs, leaving the 518 ha to be developed later. The report also ignores related benefits such as providing work for Yarrabah people, and funding potential tourist trails on adjacent wetlands.
It seems the State and Federal governments is unlikely to be convinced that evidence-based science concludes responsible near-shore dumping of spoil would not be detrimental to the reef – political factors appear to outweigh evidence.
Cairns now urgently needs a credible and visionary leader to assemble a well-respected team to develop as soon as possible a new proposal to achieve the many benefits to Cairns that will accrue when the dredging is completed.
Optimising port operations and tourist potential is critical to Cairns’ future. Surely an option that meets environmental standards and is self-funding, or requires minor taxpayer funding, would be acclaimed by our state government?
Crawford backs dredging on Trinity Inlet. BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet.He says the widening and deepening of the channel to accommodate larger cruise ships may not happen in the short term, but needs to happen eventually – as long as the Queensland Government has the money to fund it. “I would like to see it happen. What’s restricting us at the moment is certainly the finances for it,’’ he said. The Palaszczuk Government dumped the Cairns Shipping Development Project about two weeks ago, saying there was no economic or environmental case for it. The draft environmental impact statement for the project stated the minimum cost would be $100 million, but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. It would cost an estimated $365 million for land-based disposal options. The LNP had committed $40 million for the project. Mr Crawford believed the dredging of the port could still go ahead, if more research was done on the income generation associated with the cruise industry. “The projection for cruising in Cairns is certainly good, pushing out into 2025, that sort of thing,’’ he said. “We don’t have to do this thing this year, and we certainly don’t have to do this sort of thing next year. “This is not a situation right now where if we don’t dredge the inlet right now, we’re going to miss the boat totally on these sorts of things. “We’ve got a window, so in time, hopefully we can get what we need. At the moment, the restriction is money.” He said he had faith the Labor Cabinet had made the right decision to knock back the proposal. “Coming into the campaign with this government, there was a lot of election commitments given by all sides and a lot of discussion with all groups about financial management and debt reduction and all things like that,’’ he said. “Now we’ve got a Treasurer who’s working on that and obviously trying to make sound financial decisions. “Throwing $365 million at dredging the inlet tomorrow probably wouldn’t be one of his best financial decisions. So I trust him in that, but I do want to see this done at some point in the future, when it’s right.” Treasurer and Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt said since the EIS was announced, he’d made it clear alternative proposals for port expansion and other initiatives to support the cruise ship industry in Cairns may be considered. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates invited Mr Crawford to contact the centre to be told about the potential environmental impact of the dredging.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning responds to Rob Pyne’s dredging Facebook rant. Share. FIGHTING WORDS: Cairns mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda. CAIRNS mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released draft EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda.Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”. He later stood by the comments and said health and education services should take priority. But Mr Manning took a swipe back, warning such statements could be unpopular with the electorate. “When you get involved in any form of political life people will judge you,” he said. “The saying is the public always gets it right and in three years they will make their decision.” Mr Manning has already called for the $40 million slated for the project to remain in Cairns. But Mr Pyne said yesterday he was unaware the money was even available. “Is there $40 million? If there is of course I want it spent in Cairns,” he said. “But if there is $40 million I want it spent on a special school, I want it spent on a unit for brain injuries.” Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”. The public have been given until June 1 to respond to the EIS and Mr Manning said it was vital people were aware of its conclusions. He said he would never support anything that put the Great Barrier Reef or rainforest in jeopardy and believed the study affirmed neither were in trouble. Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider the economic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion. CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14. “Here is an industry that wants to bring tourists and their spending to Far North Queensland in large numbers,” Ms Abel said. “Having recently returned from our key international trade event, Cruise Shipping Miami, the message is very clear that Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.”
Rob Pyne’s rant against business is unfounded.Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician. CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician.The ALP member has been elected to represent everyone in the community – to single out a sector that employs tens of thousands of workers is foolish, if not naive and inflammatory. Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy as well as lucrative taxes and other government fees this administration desperately needs. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Advance Cairns have called for the original $40 million promised for the work to be quarantined and even be used for a smaller dredging project. But Mr Pyne wants none of that. He prefers the money to be spent on health, something that is needed, but an area that does not create as many new jobs or generate money. He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly. It does not stack up and it will not happen”. He then goes on to say that he is only interested in improved health, education, training, disability, community and sporting opportunities for the “ordinary people” of Cairns. Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, but Cairns MP Rob Pyne believes it will only suit “the big end of town”. Mr Pyne singles out “Tories” (conservatives) and says he will only deal with health board chairman and conservative Bob Norman. The post also contains a photo of a man lighting a cigar with an American banknote. Mr Pyne’s criticism is sure to alienate a large section of the community and appears to show he is not concerned about business, the sector which employs the most people in his electorate and produces the billions of dollars needed to keep the economy humming. It’s no secret that the city’s economy continues to struggle and still needs a major project such as Aquis or the Aspial towers to start as soon as possible. Fortunately his colleague, Mulgrave MP and State Treasurer Curtis Pitt, has a far better grasp of what makes this city tick and will achieve a lot more than Mr Pyne’s list of priorities. At least our business leaders have shown the sense not to react to his surge of illogical rage.
LNP spent $4.2 million on failed Cairns Trinity Inlet dredge study. DREDGE DIFFICULTY: A huge amount of money was spent on finding out dredging Trinity Inlet is not feasible. TAXPAYERS forked out $4.2 million for a study which strongly found against the dredging of Trinity Inlet. [Editor’s note: these first two paragraphs are totally incorrect.] The State Opposition’s infrastructure spokesman Tim Nicholls yesterday revealed how much the Newman government contributed to the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which was knocked back by Labor on Friday. The long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the widening and deepening of the city’s shipping channel was released on Friday, showing there was no environmental nor economic case for the project. The 3000-page report stated the minimum cost of the project would be $100 million – but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. Both parties have committed to preventing dredge spoil from being dumping within Great Barrier Reef waters. The LNP promised $40 million towards the project in 2012 as an election commitment. In a statement yesterday, Mr Nicholls said it was disappointing the Palaszczuk Government was “pandering to the Greens” with no thought or plan on how it would open up tourism or boost the economy and jobs in the Far North. “The money spent on this project is an investment in the future of Cairns and unfortunately the Treasurer has dismissed this project too quickly without looking at all the options or considering funding partnerships with the private sector,’’ he said. The former Queensland treasurer said with the ever-increasing size of new cruise ships, it was essential the port was positioned to respond. “Dredging Trinity Inlet would have provided access for larger cruise ships, boosting economic and tourism benefits for the region,’’ he said. “It is now on Labor to detail what their plan is to bolster and support industry, tourism and create jobs in Cairns.” He said the report was not released before the election as the Co-ordinator-General had to take into account the changing Federal Government position on dredge spoil dumping. His spokeswoman did not respond when asked if the LNP would still push for the dredging of Trinity Inlet. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project was never necessary, never environmentally responsible, and did not represent a good use of taxpayers’ money. “The fact is that there is no need to expand the port for larger cruise ships, which continue to visit Cairns transporting passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob,’’ he said. “We have welcomed the State and Federal governments’ commitment to put a stop to new dredge spoil dumping offshore in the Great Barrier Reef marine park. “This ban should be extended to all World Heritage areas to address dumping elsewhere in Queensland.” He said while the Government had ruled out funding the project and released the EIS for legal reasons, it was still important for people to have their say on the project.
JCU Trinity Inlet dredge report tells of damage. RULED OUT: Increased dredging of Trinity Inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock in Cairns has been quashed by a number of sources. An independent study into the economic benefits of cruise shipping has revealed the industry would be of little-to-no benefit in Cairns. The findings have been released after an unrelated State Government review rejected a plan to grant extra dredging permits for Trinity Inlet to allow “mega” cruise liners to dock in Cairns. James Cook University’s report into the economic opportunities and risk of cruise tourism in Cairns, which will be released today, concludes that even if every person onboard a major cruise liner made a day trip to the reef or Kuranda, the net benefit for local companies would be negligible. The $10,000 study was commissioned by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). “The price of a shore excursion purchased onboard is typically marked up between 70 per cent to 200 per cent, with less than half that amount paid to excursion operators,” the report states. “The swift arrival and departure of high volumes of cruise passengers can put pressure on local tourism capacities, degrade the natural resources upon which they depend, and lower the overall level of tourist satisfaction.” The report states the average spend of an international cruise passenger in Cairns is about $200 a day, 66 per cent higher than domestic tourists. It comes just days after the Palaszczuk government released a 3000-page scientific report showing that dredging the inlet would do untold environmental damage. AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Felicity Wishart said the report showed dredging was not necessary for the Cairns tourism economy to access the benefits of the cruise industry. “Dredging … could result in serious damage to the environment – which is the reason people want to come here in the first place,’’ she said. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews, who read the government’s EIS yesterday, said there was no consideration of the impact of ships not being able to offload passengers at the current facilities at Yorkeys Knob due to bad weather. “The researcher has not spoken to any of the cruise lines,’’ he said. “Their information is taken from annual reports, they acknowledge that some of their data cannot be verified.” Ports North chairman Brett Moller said dredging could only proceed if it was fully funded by government and “the Queensland Government has indicated that it will not be funding the project.” Cairns Chamber of Commerce CEO Deb Hancock still backed expansion of Trinity Inlet to attract larger vessels. “While the Government’s decision is not to proceed with the port expansion project, the allocated funds should be used to develop portside or other infrastructure for our future economic development.”
Trinity Inlet dredging canned after Environmental Impact Statement raises issues. CAIRNS’ potential as a mega-cruise ship and navy hub is sunk after the State Government used environmental and financial factors to stop the required dredging of Trinity Inlet.The move is sure to anger business leaders hoping for more cruise passengers in Cairns. Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. “The $40 million the Newman Government committed to the project in 2012 was politically cynical and misleading because it was never enough to make the project viable,” he said. “The proposal, which includes dumping dredge spoil at sea, would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options about $365 million.” Releasing the document is a legislative requirement but the Newman administration refused to make it public prior to the January election. LACKING BENEFIT: Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement into dredging Trinity Inlet, which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. Mr Pitt said he wanted Queenslanders to have an accurate understanding of the economic costs and environmental impacts of dredging. “This EIS highlights the Newman government’s reckless disregard for the one of Queensland’s most valuable assets, the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “It was never fully funded and anyone who looks at the proposal and its environmental and economic impacts can see why the government is not proceeding with it. “The Palaszczuk Government opposes the recommended option in the draft EIS to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.” Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles accused the LNP of having “complete disdain for Queensland’s environment” and putting election pledges ahead of sound economic policy. “We’re not going to waste $40 million subsidising a dredging project which has now been exposed as environmentally and economically unsustainable,” he said. “The money the LNP wanted to waste on this unviable project would be far better spent on frontline services or job-generating projects, including initiatives in Far North Queensland.” HOPES DASHED: Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE Source: News Corp Australia. The Great Barrier Reef supports about 70,000 full time jobs and contributes $5.7 billion a year to the Australian economy. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said on that basis alone the dredging proposal had no merit. “When people look at the EIS they will see why the only option is to discontinue the project,” he said. “That’s why the government, in line with its election commitment, has decided to withdraw the money allocated by the Newman government. “The Great Barrier Reef needs to be protected not only as a unique natural wonder, but also because of its economic importance.” Copies of the EIS will be available at the Cairns City Library from April 20 to June 1. Electronic copies can be ordered by phoning 4052 3888. To lodge a submission on the draft plan, click here.
A Letter to the Editor in the Cairns Post 20 March: The article ‘Port EIS release delayed – Labor tardiness questioned’ (18-03) is very worrying. The Cairns Post is to be congratulated for requesting a copy of the draft EIS under the Right to Information laws, subsequently denied by the Coordinator General. The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose this multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded EIS. Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne notes this denial is “undemocratic”. The delay and denial are also disgraceful and completely unacceptable. It appears that a tiff between Ports North and the Coordinator General has somehow managed to delay progressing this project and the major economic benefits it will bring to Cairns. The question must be asked: who is running our government? A few unelected bureaucrats, or our elected representatives? Hopefully this denial will be a catalyst to force immediate progress of this vital project.
An article in the Cairns Post 20 March:
An article in the Cairns Post 19 March: A REPORT into the potential dredging of Cairns Port is expected to be publicly released “within weeks”. Cairns MP Rob Pyne has spoken with Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham about the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which has been locked away by the government since late last year. The Minister’s department blocked the release of the taxpayer-funded document after it was requested under Right To Information laws by the Cairns Post. Mr Pyne said Dr Lynham gave him an undertaking the 3000-page report would be released publicly after an upcoming Cabinet meeting. He could not say, however, how soon that would be, instead saying he would be “disappointed” if it was any longer than the next two months. “All I can say is it’ll be tabled over coming weeks and discussed by Cabinet, and then made public,’’ he said. Mr Pyne had previously questioned the department’s transparency but said the latest development had restored his faith in the Labor Government. He said the Far Northern community needed the report to inform the debate about whether Trinity Inlet should be widened and deepened to attract larger cruise ships to the region. “We need to look at the report and look at whether it actually stacks up,’’ he said. “I think the report will tell us if such expenditure would be supported or such an investment would stack up, in terms of benefits to the Cairns community. “It will, very importantly, look at any environmental costs as well.” Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator-General and the Federal Government’s Department of Environment late last year. The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre director Angelika Ziehrl welcomed the EIS finally being made public. “CAFNEC is looking forward to this finally being released so the public and CAFNEC can comb through it,’’ she said. Green groups have raised concerns the large quantity of sediment generated by dredging could impact the marine environment.
Two Cairns Post articles, 18 March: Cairns MP Rob Pyne questions government decision to block port study from public release. THE transparency of the Queensland Government has been questioned by one of its own Labor MPs after it blocked the release of the report into the proposed dredging of Cairns Port. The Department of State Development has denied The Cairns Post’s request under Right to Information laws for a copy of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project. The long-awaited report was due to be released for public comment late last year but is still under consideration by the Co-ordinator General. The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose the taxpayer-funded EIS, which the Co-ordinator General needs to be satisfied adequately covers the terms of reference. “The information was received in circumstances which would make it unacceptable conduct for the receiver to disclose the information in a way the giver has not authorised,’’ a departmental officer wrote. Once the Co-ordinator approves the EIS, it will be released for public and state government advisory agency consultation for six weeks. The Newman Government committed to fully funding the EIS as part of its $40 million investment in the project. Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne said for the department to deny the document’s release under RTI was “undemocratic.” “These things need to be transparent and the document should be released for people to talk about,’’ he said. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said it was in the region’s best interests to see the report, to have a way forward for the dredging project. The Office of the Co-ordinator General did not respond to questions about when the report would be released.
Future in the balance. Far Northern leaders are adamant the region’s economic future hinges on a plan to develop the Cairns Port. The Cairns shipping Development Project promises to inject $634 million of 25 years into the local economy and create more jobs by dredging the Trinity Inlet to accommodate large cruise ships. But complete bans on sea dumping proposed by the state and federal government could jeopardize the project. Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said a land site must be found for dredge spoil, no matter what the cost. Cairns Mayor Bob Manning was confident port development and a healthy reef could co-exist. “It’s inevitable that our region is going to grow and it’s inevitable the port will need to grow”, he said.
Cairns Post article, 11 March: ‘New bid to release Inlet EIS. The time for talking about releasing the Trinity Inlet Environmental Impact Study into dredging is over, according to Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews. And Cairns MP Rob Pyne agrees. Both have been in discussions for release of the document which is stuck in the Coordinator General’s office. “As an organisation we have been calling on government to release the EIS and get on with it,” Mr Matthews said. “We asked for that in our early engagement with government and in my first meeting with Rob, so we expect that will be forthcoming.” Mr Pyne has been applying what political pressure he can and insists he won’t be stone-walled. “I wrote, emailed and phoned requesting its release last month and I’ll do that again today,” Mr Pyne said. “Some people have foregone conclusions about what they want to see happen in the inlet, but I want the EIS released so those people who are thoughtful can read it and base their opinions on something that has rigorous content.” Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator General and the Federal Government’s Department of environment in November last year. The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election. The new Labour Government is yet to make a move on the document.’
A letter in the Cairns Post on 9 March noted: ‘Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has stated that strategic assets will be retained, but ‘assets such as unused land and vacant buildings will go under the hammer.’ Perhaps Ms Trad includes the 946.3 ha (that’s nearly 10 square kilometres) State-owned unused land at East Trinity? The proceeds from this sale could well pay all the costs of dredging the Trinity Inlet Channel as well as providing land to place the dredging spoil. It appears that only about 500 ha will be required for the spoil, so there is ample land left to sell to developers to pay for the dredging. Perhaps this is what Jackie Trad is flagging?’
Cairns Post article, 27 February: Still no word on Cairns port Environmental Impact Statement. The release of a long-awaited study into the dredging of Cairns’ port has been further stalled by the new Queensland Government. It’s now been five months since the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cairns Shipping Development Project was last expected to be made public. The state’s Co-ordinator General has now delayed the report’s release, citing the Palaszczuk Government’s policy on dredging within the Great Barrier Reef marine park needs to be taken into account. Prior to the state election, the ALP committed to preventing dredge spoil associated with the project being dumped within the marine park. A Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman said the 3000-page document would not be released at this stage. “The implications of the new State Government’s policy statements and position on the project need to be taken into account,’’ he said. “In particular, the Co-ordinator General is seeking the advice of the proponent on how it intends to meet the government’s commitment of no sea-disposal.” Cairns MP Rob Pyne, who previously vowed to make the report public, said he would continue to push for the study’s release. “As we speak I’ve emailed the minister requesting its release and awaiting reply,’’ he said. “How can you have an intelligent public discussion if this information isn’t made public?” Widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet will allow the city to accommodate larger cruise vessels in its main channel. Ports North has proposed to remove 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land. One of the sites under consideration for dumping the sediment is inside the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Steven Miles, said the Co-ordinator General was assessing if the EIS was “adequate and suitable” for public release. “The Government was elected on a platform of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, which I know is important to many Cairns residents and the Cairns economy,’’ he said. “Consequently, the Government will not support any proposal that involves the dumping of dredge spoil offshore. “I would expect that the Ports North EIS has included a land-based disposal option (Editor’s note: assessment of land-based options is a requirement of the EIS Terms of Reference – see below). “When the EIS is released for public comment my department will assess the project and provide advice to the Co-ordinator-General.” Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project should be shelved.
An article in the Cairns Post, 3 February: CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne has vowed to publicly release a study into the dredging of Trinity Inlet – as long as he has the power to. The former Cairns Regional councillor has cemented Labor’s commitment to preventing 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the Cairns Shipping Development project from being disposed within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Mr Pyne also said if his party formed government he would endeavour to publicly release the long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement – which despite being completed late last year, has yet to see the light of day. “If I have the power to make it public, I will make it public,’’ he said. “The public paid for (the report).” He said his opinion of the project, to widen and deepen the city’s main shipping channel, was that it still “needed to stack up”. Ports North has proposed to remove dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land. Sites under consideration for dumping of the material include East Trinity, Admiralty Island, on cane land in southern Cairns near the inlet, along the Esplanade and near the Cairns Airport. Five offshore sites were also under consideration, including areas within the marine park. Queensland’s former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney late last week blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing the project’s EIS, which was initially expected to happen in September. In a brief statement yesterday, Ports North chairman Brett Moller said the authority had submitted the draft EIS to the Queensland Co-ordinator General last year.
30 January 2015
An article in the Cairns Post, 28 January: ‘DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney has blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing a study into the potential dredging of Trinity Inlet. The Environmental Impact Statement, which will determine whether the deepening and widening of Cairns’ port should proceed, has still not been made public by the government. The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September after being submitted to the Co-ordinator General. Mr Seeney, who visited the Tableland yesterday on the election trail, told The Cairns Post he did not know when the EIS would be released. The Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning said Ports North had not yet addressed Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s new regulations to ban dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef marine park. “The Federal Minister took a decision in relation to offshore disposal,’’ he said. “So we had to go back to the proponents and say, well the Federal Minister has said this is the situation and you have to address that situation in your application.” He said the EIS did not need to be rewritten, only one particular section of the report. “That section of the EIS that deals with the disposal of the material now needs to look at other disposal options, be it further out to sea or on land or whatever,’’ he said. He could not say when the report would be completed or released. Ports North refused to answer questions yesterday about whether it had resubmitted its EIS, and what – if anything – it needed to change in the report to address the Federal Government’s new regulations.’
28 January 2015
A letter to the Cairns Post Editor, 28 January, noted: ‘Dear Editor, ‘Resort project promised all help Newman can give’ (24-01). Good one, Premier! Most Cairns people are very frustrated about yet another delay of the dredging EIS. The LNP will lose many votes if they tell us nothing before the election except that we’ll just have keep waiting. Most Cairns people support ruling out dumping spoil at sea. In any case there is a much better alternative: pump the spoil on to the lower 500 ha of the State-owned property at East Trinity, and sell some of the residual 446 ha to pay for the dredging and treatment costs. This will also enable fixing the pollution there, as recommended by the CSIRO.’
‘How about two more promises, Premier? Commit to supporting pumping the dredging spoil on to the State-owned property at East Trinity if the final EIS recommends this, and repeat your previous promise to fund up to $90 million dollars if necessary.’
12 January 2015
An article in the Cairns Post, 12 January, noted: ‘Business leaders blast delay in vital dredging report.A DECISION to delay the release of the long awaited Environmental Impact Statement for the dredging of Trinity Inlet to widen and deepen the shipping channel has been savaged by two leading business groups in Cairns. Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce have blasted the State Government for holding back its release until after the January 31 election. Originally it was earmarked for a September release last year but has been dogged by hold-ups. Dredging of the channel was an LNP election promise in 2012 with $40 million pledged towards the cost. At issue is whether to dump the spoil at sea, which is cheaper, or on land. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Co-ordinator General was currently considering the Trinity Inlet EIS. “As the Co-ordinator General adheres to caretaker conventions, the EIS will not be released during the election campaign,” he said. Advance Cairns chief executive Mark Matthews said the delay was frustrating. “While we appreciate the assessment process and the conventions of a caretaker government, it is disappointing to see that the only key election promise for Cairns made by the government prior to the previous election has yet to be fulfilled,” he said. “We have no entertainment precinct, no shipping development. Is the government serious about growth and prosperity in the north? “And if so, then let’s see a clear commitment and action to deliver major infrastructure projects for our region.” Chamber chief executive Deb Hancock said the decision was “very disappointing”. “It’s very convenient to hide behind the conventions of a caretaker government,” she said. Ms Hancock said the government would have known when the election was to be called and “made a conscious decision not to release the information”. “It was an election promise (in 2012) and they have failed the community,” she said. “We would like to hear how the LNP government will continue economic growth, particularly in the shipping area.” She said the LNP had three years to honour the promise, which included a $40 million funding commitment. “They have taken no action with regard to implementation and even to make a decision,” Ms Hancock said. Tourism Tropical North Queensland declined to comment.’
6 January 2015
Another article in the Cairns Post, 6 January, noted: ‘THE Queensland Government has been urged to release a study into the potential dredging of Cairns Port before the State election is called (Editor’s note: the election was called for 31st January later that same morning), or shelve the project completely. The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September (Editor’s note: the first release date promised was May 2014, then September, then ‘the end of the 2014’ – after missing all 3 promises, no date has been announced since). In a statement yesterday, however, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the report was still being assessed by the Co-ordinator General. “The EIS process is rigorous, thorough and undertaken without political interference,’’ he said. Before the 2012 election, the Newman Government committed to dredging Trinity Inlet so larger cruise liners could enter and dock at the Port of Cairns. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said the LNP had yet to honour its commitment. “I think it’s beyond the time,” he said. “If it can’t go, it can’t happen, then let’s say it can’t happen and let’s get on with it. “The dragging on of this whole process causes a lot of confusion.” ‘
6 November 2014
Another article in the Cairns Post (6-11-14) was very supportive of expediting dredging the Trinity Inlet. The article covering the visiting National Geographic MV Orion, with about 100 passengers disembarking, noted: ‘One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies is willing to bring more of its fleet to Cairns if the city’s shipping channel development goes ahead. ….. Australian business development director, Jeremy Lindblad, said if Trinity Inlet could be widened and deepened the company would look at bringing more of its vessels to Cairns.’
11 November 2014
Another article in the Cairns Post (11-11-14) reported: ‘Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler vows to stop dredge spoil dumping on Great Barrier Reef off Cairns. FEDERAL Labor has committed to preventing dredge spoil from entering Great Barrier Reef waters if the Cairns Shipping Development project goes ahead. The ALP announced yesterday, if re-elected, it would impose a ban on capital dredge spoil being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Federal Opposition’s environment spokesman Mark Butler, in Cairns yesterday with his Queensland counterpart Jackie Trad, said 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet could only be dumped onshore.’
15 November 2014
More from the Cairns Post, 15 November: ‘Secrecy shrouds Cairns Inlet dredge report release.…. Despite the office of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt being uncertain about whether dredge material from the channel expansion was included in a proposed ban, Mr Entsch said there was clarity on the policy. “We can be absolutely definitive that there is a new position on dredge spoil disposal,” Mr Entsch said. “Any new proposals will be subject to this and the Federal Government is currently setting out the legal frameworks and legislative instruments to accompany it. “We can be crystal clear on this….In addition, I’ve spoken to Minister Hunt about it many times and he is well aware that I am vehemently opposed to water-based disposal – it will happen over my dead body.” ’
23 April 2014
Another Cairns Post article, 23 April, spelt out The Federal Government’s thinking, preceding Labor environment spokesman, Mark Butler’s, similar announcement above: ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships. “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said. He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah. Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this, I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.”
Cairns Post G20 magazine, September 2014
The Cairns Post G20 magazine, WORLD OF INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES, reproduced the double-page photo with the superimposed new residential area at East Trinity, as above, on pages 52-53 in an article describing a future vision of Cairns:
An inside source revealed that the authors of this article were ‘strongly ticked off’ for including this photograph, and were directed to remove this and associated photos from the newspaper’s library. The source did not know who made the initial complaint, or why Cairns Post reacted this way, but it is interesting to speculate when considering the ‘road-blocks’ noted above.
4. John MacKenzie’s radio talkback show
A 22-minute interview with Peter Senior can be listened to at Note: if necessary, copy the address and paste into your internet link box.
John MacKenzie kicked off over two hours of non-stop discussion on the State Government’s decision to turn down the dredging proposal with an interview with Cairns Regional Council Mayer Bob Manning. Bob explained at length how this was a shocking and altogether wrong decision for many reasons. Bob noted that all ‘the science’ showed there would be no problems if the proposed dredging spoil was placed in the proposed area at the North East end of the Trinity Inlet. A later caller added that internationally-recognised reef experts, Dr Walter Starck and Professor Bob Carter, endorsed this view, noting all the inner areas between the land and reef already have some one metre of spoil at the bottom of the shallow sea from centuries of sediment drained for the land. Other callers noted: the $365m cost stated in the draft EIS was excessively high, and ignored the potential for selling some or all of the excess State-owned land at East Trinity to pay for the dredging and treatment costs. Several references were made to the two proposals linked at the start of this post. Every caller presented additional information in dismay, and in some instances, disgust, that the State Government had made this decision before even waiting for submissions on the DRAFT EIS report. The overall view was that Cairns leaders and the general public must make their views known to the State Representatives to dissuade them from this fundamentally wrong decision. The following day’s show continued the theme for nearly two hours as well.
During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report.
23 January 2015
The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government said: ‘…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done. Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen….. My role in the next Government will be work with blokes like Trout, like King, like Kempton to strike a balance for our part of the world.’
Would David, had he still been Minister, have succeeded in changing Gavin King’s views, as quoted below? And how will the new Cairns Member, Rob Pyne address these points now Gavin King is no longer in a position to ‘road-block’?
‘It would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed’ – thousands of other reclamations started development within a few years, including Portsmith and Trinity Park.
‘It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term…’ – Gavin continues to ignore the potential for revenue gains from development.
‘A bridge would be required’ – not necessary, noting it is faster to drive from East Trinity to the CBD in rush-hour than from Palm Cover.
‘The change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea caused Ports North to carry out considerably more assessments which had caused the delay’ – Not so; the final Terms of Reference were released in November 2013 requiring all land-based options to be fully assessed. This was 4 months before Ports North let the EIS contract to ARUP.
Portsmith reclamation: ‘That was a century ago’ – Portsmith reclamation was completed in the late 70s; many of the current buildings were completed in the 80s.
20 January 2015
A conversation between Queensland State Minister for the Environment, Andrew Powell, and Michael Trout, Member for Barron River and Peter Senior covered the following points:
Peter asked why Gavin King had said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed, then noting there was ample land currently available for development that would not be required for spoil placement, further noting such development could pay for all the costs of dredging and spoil treatment. Andrew said they were aware of such options but it was necessary to wait for the EIS report.
Peter asked why the EIS report was delayed so much past it’s original promise of May 2014, given the Terms of Reference had not changed since the original TOR published in November 2013, requiring full evaluation of all land-based options. Responses from Andrew and Michael did not really address the question, noting again the need to await the Coordinator General’s completion of the EIS assessment.
15 January 2015
A conversation between Gavin King and Peter Senior covered the following points:
Gavin said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed. Peter noted that ‘only’ about 500 ha of the 946.3 ha of State-owned land at East Trinity was apparently required to place the spoil. So the other 446.3 ha could potentially be available for development immediately, including the 168 ha of raised land at the North East end.
Gavin said a bridge would be required. Peter noted this was costed by GHD in the late 90s at $400m, so about $800m could be realistic now. But a bridge is not needed, noting it takes longer to drive from Palm Cove to the CBD in the rush hour now than it takes to drive in from East Trinity. A small, regular fast passenger ferry from East Trinity across the 1 Km of water to the Pier marina would probably attract considerable numbers of residents for work and pleasure.
Gavin twice said that the change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea had caused Ports North to carry out considerable more assessments which had caused the delay. Peter pointed out that the project Terms of Reference had not changed after the November 2013 update that was the basis for the ARUP contract. Full assessment of all potential land options were a requirement of the original terms of reference, so nothing has changed.
Gavin said Peter should talk with Ports North, as he had previously offered to arrange. At that point, John MacKenzie terminated the discussion due to shortage of time. Peter had been about to tell Gavin that Norm Whitney and he had three long meetings: first on 18/o4/13 with the Mayor and executives from Ports North; then 3/9/13 with Ports North executives plus ARUP consultants; then a month later with the ARUP environmental consultant at East Trinity; then 3/6/14 Peter met with the Mayor to discuss progress – we agreed, politely, to disagree on most points. Ports North clearly indicated at the three meetings they considered on-land disposal would be a far more costly option with no benefit.
An earlier conversation on this talkback show between Gavin and ‘Bill’ concerned the issue of Portsmith having been successfully reclaimed. Gavin said this was ‘a century ago’. In fact filling at Portsmith was mainly carried out during 1960’s and completed in late 1970’s. Buildings at Portsmith, especially around Aumuller street and Redden Street, were constructed mainly during 1980’s.
5. TV7 News
During an interview on the TV7 Bold Report on 16 November, the Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party stated: ‘I have been involved in some detailed discussions about the Great Barrier Reef and Australia is committing to world best practise in the conservation and preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, and last week we ann0unced there would be no dumping of capital dredge waste in the marine park’. How much clearer can the Federal Government be?
6. Background and history
The report at Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214 presents details and several photographs that tell the story of East Trinity. Then you will be able to compare this proposal with the Ports North EIS report when it is released by the Coordinator General.
Ports North originally stated the EIS report would be presented to the Coordinator General last May, some 8 months ago. Release to the general public would be authorised by the Coordinator General at a later date, expected to be announced in the Cairns Post. Further information is noted below in.
Terms of Reference for the EIS
The Coordinator General’s Terms of Reference for the EIS report include the requirement for Ports North to present:
An outline of the alternative options considered and reasons for selecting the proposed development option.
Detail the criteria used to determine the alternatives and provide sufficient detail to convey why certain options or courses of action are preferred and why others are rejected.
Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.
Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.
The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.
The EIS should therefore include full responses to the five points above with regard to the East Trinity option without the need for further extensive investigation.
Ports North initially stated the report would be delivered in May 2014. Later the delivery date was stated as September 2014. In an article in the Cairns Post, 9 August 2014, Brett Moller, chairman of Ports North, wrote: ‘After 18 months of studies, the project EIS is due for submission to government later this year’. A later statement from Ports North noted an ‘October’ completion. On 6 November Chairman Moller told John MacKenzie on his radio show the report would completed ‘by the end of this year’. The report will be available for public release when the Coordinator-General’s office authorise this.
Options East Trinity
Other approaches could be suited to the East Trinity property such as a large marina, residential and commercial properties, and a large resort with a golf course, as was proposed then approved by Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie’s government in 1995 (this proposal is described at the end of this post). Imagine the now-familar depiction of the amazing Aquis resort superimposed on the graphic below:
The issues were captured brilliantly in a cartoon in the Cairns Post, 16 August 2014:
Cairns is a small idyllic city on the North-East coast of tropical Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef, rain forest and glorious tropical weather are just three features that attract visitors from across Australia and the rest of the world.
Many cruise ships visit Cairns, docking at the cruise terminal adjacent to the central area with its many restaurants, entertainment facilities and the lagoon by the marina. Larger cruise ships have to anchor a few kilometres North of Cairns off Yorkeys Knob. Passengers come ashore in tenders. A Channel 7 TV News item on 28 November 2012 interviewed several passengers who were dismayed at the long boat trip to get ashore, then the lack of welcome, unlike other ports they visited that have music, gifts of flowers and shelter. Queensland State MP, Gavin King, suggested putting up a welcome sign. It was dismaying to hear a cruise director from the Celebrity Solstice, visiting Yorkeys Knob on 4 December 2012, tell me: ‘It’s like a dead city; no welcome, no taxis for my passengers…’.
Almost 2 years later, on 19 November 2014, the Cairns Post announced the ‘Yorkeys Knob’s newly upgraded $2.2m cruise liner facilities will host its first cruise this morning. Passengers from luxury P&O vessel Pacific Dawn are expected to arrive ashore at Half Moon Bay Marina from 9.30 this morning. A two-year joint venture between Ports North, Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the State Government, the upgraded facilities include a reconfigured car park with a large covered area, an improved jetty, resurfacing and lengthening of the boat ramp and a new floating walkway.’ A temporary shade tent was again erected on the nearly-sealed area for waiting passengers.
Proposal to dredge the channel
Ports North propose to dredge the Trinity Inlet channel to provide sufficient depth of water for all except the largest mega-cruise ships to navigate the channel and dock at the central cruise terminal – clearly a major advantage for cruise passengers, and certain to attract more cruise ships. This dredging project has many implications and potential major benefits in addition to attracting more cruise ships. The downside is that Ports North plan to dump the massive amount of spoil – 5+ million cubic metres initially plus ongoing maintenance – from the dredging in an extended area near the Great Barrier Reef (click on diagram of Cazalys Stadium for clearer definition).
It is important to note that, whilst most local public opinion is against dumping this spoil at sea, and State and Federal legislation currently prevents ‘capital’ dredging spoil being dumped at sea, many credible technical explanations and assessments have demonstrated that such dumping at sea would not harm the reef providing it is done in a controlled manner. Much of the negativity about dumping dredging spoil at sea has been stirred up by both extreme environmentalists and organisations, including some government departments, that have been seduced by bodies such a the UN that promote very dubious and ideological aims. The key factors are explained well in an article by Professor Bob Carter, The Australian, 29-12-14: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/great-barrier-reef-a-shore-thing-muddied-by-misconceptions/story-e6frg6zo-1227168703706
What 5+ million cubic metres looks like
The Queensland Coordinator-General issued draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the dredging project assessment; submissions were invited so anyone could comment on the draft TOR. The deadline was 29 October 2012. One submission presented can be viewed at Submission for Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Terms of Reference, Peter Senior, 291012. This submission canvasses the key issues and presents several suggestions, in particular noting that dredging spoil could be used as a valuable resource for several land-based projects such as bulk-fill to assist fixing the environmental disaster at East Trinity.
Revised Terms of Reference
It was very gratifying that the Coordinator-General’s considerably revised Terms of Reference document included a well-balanced approach that requires rigorous assessment of a range of land-based solutions for the use of Trinity Inlet dredging spoil.
On 25 September 2012, the Queensland Government declared the project as a “significant project for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required”, following the submission of an Initial Advice Statement. The Queensland Coordinator-General is managing the State’s assessment process and Terms of Reference (TOR) for the project are available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/cairns-shipping-development-project.
Ports North provided a submission to the Federal Government to determine if the project is a controlled action, which means it has to be assessed for environmental impacts under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The project was declared a “controlled action” on 5 October 2012 and will therefore require the preparation of an EIS that addresses Federal Government guidelines. Information on the Federal EIS process and guidelines can be found on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website www.environment.gov.au
The Cairns Regional Council’s 12th December 2012 meeting considered the Great Barrier Reef Ports Strategy, a succinct and relevant paper which includes requests for submissions by 14th December:
A ‘Deputation’ to the Cairns Regional Council was planned to be presented to the full Council on 27 February 2013. This was cancelled hours before the scheduled start time because several people felt strongly that the presentation would be counter-productive at that time. Here is the Power Point presentation that was planned for the deputation: Trinity Inlet dredging proposal (2.8 MB).
Ports North announced on 22 April 2013: ‘The Cairns Shipping Development Project took another step forward today announcing Arup in partnership with BMT WBM as the Lead Consultants who will work with Ports North to deliver a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet the requirements of both the State and Commonwealth Governments.’ As at 3 September 2013 the consultants were making good progress towards completion of the draft EIS report.
Many Cairns local business people and community members look forward with great interest to reading what the report has to say, and what the Queensland Co-ordinator General’s departmental response is, regarding the EIS terms of reference points (as listed above).
Meeting the consultants
A meeting with Ports North and their consultants on 3 September 2013 demonstrated the consultants were on track to prepare a draft EIS report for Ports North to make available for public consultation starting in May 2014. At this meeting, the following points were re-iterated:
It is likely the lowest direct cost of the total dredging project will be to dump the spoil in an extended area by the current dumping area. This solution also appears to fulfil the Ports North objectives. A primary concern remains that there may be major benefits for the Cairns community, economy and environment through managing this massive amount of dredging spoil as a valuable resource that could contribute towards several important on-land projects – ‘may be’ because no significant investigation or cost-benefit studies have ever been undertaken in the past to address this issue.
Also the EIS appears to extend well outside the formal role and objectives of Ports North, and moves towards a much wider mandate. To this extent Ports North is in a difficult position in determining just how far they are required to go outside the Port’s mandate to fulfil the EIS. Recalling that the most obvious location to place the dredging spoils is over the environmentally-devastated East Trinity area, two close neighbours of that area, Brigadier Mansford and Norm Whitney, noted that, under the management of QASSIT (Queensland Acid Sulphate Soil Investigation Team) and other government bodies, this area has become a major health and environmental hazard. For instance, destruction of an entire new forest of melaleucas – a 2013 photo:
Yet landowners face stiff penalties for such vandalism. A range of signs, community concern, media articles and reports such as the SKM’s ‘Improved Dredge Material Management for the Great Barrier Reef Region’ suggest dumping dredging spoil at sea off the Queensland coast has a very limited life.
The 1988 aerial photo
The 1988 aerial photo below shows a light-brown area, lower-left where the developers purchased dredging spoil from the harbour board to test the effect of placing spoil on the land. It is recorded that the trial was successful. It is instructive to compare this area now with satellite photos on Google Earth
LNP’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue
The Liberal National Party’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue, has an article (pages 24 – 27) in Issue 6 describing the history of the East Trinity property: LNP Dialogue magazine, A Sustainable East Trinity, that concludes: ‘Wise decision-makers, unafraid of disinformation from a very small but vocal minority, need to act now. The environmental catastrophe at East Trinity can be resolved and the property made available for the City’s future growth. The land, and potentially another four square kilometres, could become an urban residential development area very close to the CBD, as advocated by town planners. A bonus would be that valuable agricultural land presently earmarked for residential development would remain productive, extending the viability of the sugar industry and the associated jobs. Surely that is a win-win for the environment as well as most Cairns stakeholders.’
The fundamental issue is this: is it better for the Cairns community to place this massive amount of spoil in an extended area close to the Great Barrier Reef, with possible attendant dangers, or to manage this spoil as a potentially valuable resource that may enable the large East Trinity area – only 2 kilometres from Cairns’ CBD – to be reclaimed and become part of Cairns future development. The EIS report is required to address this issue.
Earlier letters to the Cairns Post
A letter published in the Cairns Post on 17 February 2014 posed the question:‘The dredged material need not be an off-shore disposal problem. Instead this valuable resource could enable creation of more land of a similar size to Portsmith only 2 kilometres from the CBD. Our city’s forefathers chose to create Portsmith using dredging spoil from Trinity Inlet. Will our current city leaders be as wise?’
Another letter in the Cairns Post on March 11 2014, written by Brigadier Mansford addressed the issue of short-term expediency over long-term planning and benefits: ‘If the impending report on dredging Cairns Port advises that dumping at sea is safe, then do it as an interim measure. However, given the long-term needs for continued expansion of port facilities it would be stupid to consider it a permanant solution. The region’s future should not be determined by controversial and questionable treatment costs. Government must pursue and determine innovative and economical methods to use the spoil on degraded land and convert it into assets that will contain future infrastructure, abundant green open space and environmental corridors on the very perimeter of the CBD that any city would envy. The past history of reclaiming many areas of degraded land in Cairns should be part of the research to determine fact from fiction. We need to be more positive. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and find ways to do what we can and must do, as opposed to assuming it’s all too difficult.’
Meeting the consultants, 31 October 2013
Stepping back a few months, a meeting on 31 October 2013 with one of the consultants at a property adjacent to the Queensland State-owned East Trinity area in question demonstrated at that stage the consultants had minimal knowledge of the current and past status and events that lead up to the state of this ‘disaster area’. Several previous reports about the area were passed on to the consultant, together with detailed explanations of related past events.
CAFNEC public meeting
The Cairns Post published an article on 5 April 2014 noting the draft EIS report is now expected in September rather than May. (Click on graphic below to enlarge). Much of the article describes the views of the local miniscule extreme environmental group, CAFNEC, who organised an event on Sunday 6 April protesting dumping dredging spoil ‘near out reef’ (as several banners read) Other banners and T-Shirts had messages including:
Don’t stop our fishing
Our reef is already sick
i-care about our environment – www/acfonline/org.au
Save the Turtles
Save the Great Barrier Reef
Dump on Abbott, not our reef
Big Coal is killing Nemo
Sea Shepherd Australia
Fish are my friends
CAFNEC’s views for many years have been consistently against any development (recall they were strongly against the superb and world-acclaimed Skyrail project). Their argument against dumping spoil at sea is quite widely supported by Cairns’ locals. Their other argument concerns the dredging spoil ‘…so the obvious solution of using it as fill for building really isn’t an option in this case because of the nature of the sediment’. They fail to point out that the real issue is the cost of treating and compaction, which of course CAFNEC do not address, nor how this spoil from the same area was successfully used over many decades to cover then develop much of Portsmith. Note too there have been major advances in spoil management technology and equipment for preloading and compacting since Portsmith was created, including for the forthcoming Abbotts Point project. Perhaps CAFNEC’s ‘obvious solution’ is indeed both practical, economic and would provide a range of major benefits for most Cairns residents and businesses. Ports North chairman Brett Moller sensibly noted: ‘Ports North are not prejudging the outcome of the EIS in relation to the relocation of dredge material ….‘. That was, of course, before the 11 month delay – and counting…..
4,000 ha is available…
A potentially overriding aspect of the issue of where to place the dredging spoil was summarized in a letter published in the Cairns Post on 12 April 2014: ‘Several recent letters and articles raise concerns about future housing and rental affordability if the huge Aquis development goes ahead. For instance ‘Affordability key to fate of Aquis’ (10-04). Perhaps it’s time to dust off proposals from the 1990s to develop housing on land at East Trinity? There are over 4,000 hectares of land largely wasted at East Trinity that could become available for residential development. This land could provide housing for at least 60,000 people, would avoid using other valuable agricultural land further South and fulfils modern town planners’ recommendations for urban development to be close to the CBD. This option to accommodate Cairn’s certain population growth appears to have much merit. Perhaps Cairns Regional Council have this on their drawing boards as one of several options for assessment?’
Ruling on land-based disposal
A further update of the Federal Government’s thinking was spelt out in a Cairns Post article, 23 April 2014: ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships. “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said. He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah. Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this, I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.”
The deadline for the project’s environmental impact statement was extended to September to allow for further water-quality studies. Earlier this month, hundreds of residents rallied in Cairns to protest port developments near the Great Barrier Roof, including the Trinity Inlet proposal.
Legal personality for the reef
The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland is campaigning to grant the reef a legal personality so it can be defended in court. It was prompted by a Great Barrier Roof Marine Park Authority decision to allow three million cubic metres of dredging spoil to be dumped in the marine park as part of the Abbot Point coal port expansion, north of Bowen. An online petition for a referendum to award the reef legal rights has attracted more than 600 signatures. Mr Hunt yesterday dismissed the campaign: “The reef already has a legal personality, the GBRMPA is there to represent the reef, it defines the area of the reef, it does a tremendous job. “The GBRMPA is an independent executive agency, it is one of the world’s leading marine park agencies, if not the world’s leading marine park agency,” he said.’
These views were reinforced in a Cairns Post article, Committee fears for Reef, 24 July 2014: ‘Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, however, said both he and Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s preferred disposal site was on-land. “Greg Hunt had already made it publicly clear that he wants the dredging on land,” he said. “I have made is very publicly clear that I want it on land, at East Trinity. It won’t be a blow-in from Tasmania who will influence a decision to have it there.” He said depositing the dredge spoil at East Trinity would also provide land for the city’s future population growth.’
The plan that was prevented when Peter Beattie’s Labor government withdrew its approval to appease environmental activists, resulting in Cairns losing what would have been a fine development, and paying the National Westminster bank what is rumoured to have been many millions of dollars to avoid being sued. The Royal Reef AIS and EIS reports (respectively 1992 and 1995), two exceptionally comprehensive 40 mm thick reports produced by a team of specialists led by Brannock Humphreys, Town Planning Consultants, describe the proposal in detail. Section 10.0 CONCLUSIONS notes: ‘There will be no major detrimental impacts to the environment as a result of the proposed development which has been modified to be generally in accordance with the Trinity Inlet Management Plan.’ A selection of diagrams from the report are below: a hotel and beach, a plan of the whole resort and a location plan.
It seems The Cairns Post is the only ‘leader’ pushing a vision for Cairns on a range of issues including many articles describing the manifest benefits that would result from dredging the Trinity Inlet. One example was published in the Cairns Post in May 2012: Cairns Post front page 08-05-12Cairns Post follow-on 08-05-12. Hopefully Cairns’ civic leaders will take up the challenge soon.
Labor Premier Beattie turns a blind eye
It also seems no-one showed former Labor Premier Peter Beattie all the evidence that had been provided to his departments, or informed the Cairns City/Regional Council on related matters. A letter from Peter Beattie dated 4 February 1999 included: “In relation to the acid sulphate and sewerage issues you raise, this Government has seen no evidence which would indicate there is an acid sulphate problem at East Trinity, while matters pertaining to solid waste disposal are primarily the responsibility of the Cairns City Council and, as such, should be raised directly with this authority.”
Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.
“We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone …
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
My son is studying George Orwell and we chatted about Nineteen Eighty-Four over breakfast this week. If he chooses to look, this book is jumping to life all around him. Books are cleansed of words that must not be said. Books by Enid Blyton, mind you. And Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn,too.
Speaking at university has become dangerous if you don’t repeat orthodox thinking. Comics have given up playing to snowflake student audiences. Words such as sexual assault and sexual harassment are being defined down to include the telling of a bad joke. At his school, boys were told not to use the word moist because it could offend girls. The cleansing of language and ideas has become disturbingly quotidian.
And this week’s live-streaming of Nineteen Eighty-Four comes to us from Australia’s biggest social laboratory where the Andrews Labor government has a tighter grip on thought crimes than on it does on marauding South Sudanese gangs. On Thursday, Victorian Minister for Transport (and censorship) Jacinta Allan banned Sky News from television screens at Metro Trains stations because one host conducted one interview with far-right ratbag Blair Cottrell last Sunday. Sky News apologised and leading Sky names such as David Speers rightly condemned giving a platform to a moron who likes Hitler. But the Labor government banned an entire news organisation so that train commuters “can see something they may be a bit more comfortable with”, to quote Allan, who maybe hasn’t spent much time perusing her portfolio platforms. The Cottrell interview was not part of the Sky News feed that plays at train station screens.
Allan has snookered herself with her hysterical over-reaction. The Transport Minister can’t switch platform TVs to an ABC news feed or the Seven Network or Ten because all of them have aired or tried to air Cottrell. Perhaps a 24-hour stream of E! News and Kimmy K will keep commuters “comfortable”. When the state decides to censor for comfortable ideas, we have reached a deeper level of trouble for our liberty.
Victoria’s Nineteen Eighty-Four moment a week earlier involved the state’s Department of Health and Human Services telling public servants what pronouns to use, with the first Wednesday of each month set aside as “They Day”.
A video for public servants made by public servants features enforcement officer Naomi Shimoda and others talking about the need for inclusive gender-neutral pronouns. It allows people to “self-define” and to “make space so their pronouns are legitimate and respected.”
Some will say that people should be able to choose whatever pronoun they want and that it is only polite that others respect that choice. Others will say “blah, blah, blah” and wave the kerfuffle away as just another episode of nutty political correctness by busybody social activists. The sceptics know to be beware of the blah, blah, blah because the battle over gender-neutral pronouns in other countries is a hint of where we may be headed. Not for nothing, the self-appointed pronoun police behind the “They Day” video included an enforcement officer. Silly-sounding nonsense has a habit of attracting enforcers, be they vigilante-style citizens or bureaucrats and legislators, who tell us what we are allowed to say, read, watch, even laugh at. And inevitably, what we are allowed to think. It is the death of liberty by a thousand cuts.
Language police in the ACT Labor caucus want to do away with references to Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms in the ACT parliament. No more Madam Speaker. And it is Member Smith instead of Mr Smith. The Bolsheviks wanted to do away with gender too, so why not just call him Comrade Smith, source some bleak-coloured Bolshevik uniforms and declare victory?
Labor’s proposals are not about respecting diversity. This is an agenda to force the same grey and genderless linguistic uniform on everyone. Cleansing gender from pronouns is about killing difference. Being polite is one thing; but political correctness moved beyond civility long ago, if that was ever the aim. When the cleansing of language is backed by directives, regulations or laws, it compels us to speak in one particular way. By stopping us from speaking freely, the aim is to stop us thinking freely. And that is antithetical to freedom in a liberal society.
An obscure Canadian psychologist became a cultural rock star because he explained, in a calm and reasoned manner, why he would not be forced to use speech prescribed by the state. Nor would he stop using words proscribed by the state. Less than two years ago, Jordan Peterson took a stand against Canada’s proposed Bill C-16, which effectively compels the use of gender-neutral pronouns by adding legal protection to “gender identity” and “gender expression”.
Peterson was on to something long before the rest of us. Within six months of the bill becoming law, Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, was called into a university administrator’s office and condemned by professors for showing a clip that was “threatening” and “transphobic”. Her professorial accusers said it created a “toxic climate” for students and was the equivalent of “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler”. She was accused of breaching C-16 laws. Shepherd’s crime was to show her students — during a tutorial on how language affects society — a televised debate between two people with different views about gender and pronouns. One of the speakers was Peterson.
We know the details because a teary Shepherd recorded the meeting, which could be slotted seamlessly into chapter 5 of Nineteen Eighty-Four just before Winston discusses with Syme, a specialist in Newspeak, how the dictionary of approved language is progressing. C-16 has weaponised gender-neutral pronouns in the hands of human rights bureaucrats and complainants, and that is a chilling threat to freedom.
Ten years ago, the Alberta Human Rights Commission investigated a complaint brought against Ezra Levant for publishing the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The complaint was dropped, but not before a bureaucrat questioned Levant about his intention in publishing the cartoons. The interrogation reminded Levant of Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil”.
“No six-foot brown shirt here, no police cell at midnight,” he wrote. “Just Shirlene McGovern, an amiable enough bureaucrat, casually asking me about my political thoughts, on behalf of the government of Alberta. And she’ll write up a report about it, and recommend that the government do this or that to me … I had half-expected a combative, missionary-style interrogator. I found, instead, a limp clerk who was just punching the clock … In a way, that’s more terrifying.”
O Canada! How it has made a mockery of being “The True North, strong and free”. A free society is curtailed by stealth when out-of-sight bureaucrats investigate the free expression of words, ideas and cartoons. And freedom lost is not easily reinstated. An Australian law compelling us to use certain pronouns may not be far off because we have followed Canada before. We picked up Canada’s gift to the world, multiculturalism. And just as the Canadian Human Rights Commission has gone awry, accused by founder Alan Borovoy for falling into disrepute, our own Australian Human Rights Commission has wrecked its reputation, too. When was the last time the AHRC focused on core human rights such as free speech or property rights? Instead, it is a bloated bureaucracy whose enforcers protect hurt feelings, not human rights.
And dob-in-a-dissident was sanctioned when Race Commissar — oops, Commissioner — Tim Soutphommasane touted for business when The Australian’s Bill Leak drew a cartoon that threw into sharp relief the complex issues of individual responsibility and the dismal plight of indigenous children. Yet Soutphommasane had nothing to say about a dance performance in Melbourne this year where white people were told to wait in the lobby while the performance began inside the theatre. His departure is a blessing for anyone committed to genuine human rights.
The AHRC’s wretched handling of complaints against three Queensland University of Technology students who posted on Facebook about the absurdity of racial segregation only confirmed its role as an anti-human rights bureaucracy. The career epitaph of former commission boss Gillian Triggs should read: “Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home.”
Examples abound of bureaucracies that have run amok when armed with social engineering laws that were once seen as innocuous nonsense. Applauding the recent decision of the US to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council, Liberal MP Julian Leeser has pointed out that this council is not some harmless bureaucracy.
Delivering the 2018 B’nai B’rith Human Rights Address, Leeser said that human rights had often been hijacked and “in the (UN) Human Rights Council we see a blatant attempt by those who oppose liberal democratic ideals to commandeer the apparatus of human rights so that they might hide and obstruct its abuses”.
“We read Orwell as a warning; they read Orwell as a textbook,” he said. The young MP then took aim at the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, established by Kevin Rudd’s Labor government. Leeser, who has served on the committee for two years, called for its abolition on the grounds that it is not really a committee of the parliament.
“It is a bureaucracy that has appropriated the name of the parliament. The committee is about bureaucrats judging parliament, rather than the parliament judging human rights.” And just about every report attacks the government’s legislative agenda “in the form of rehashed talking points from left-wing and social justice groups that have no connection to ‘real’ human rights”.
In 1994, before he became prime minister, John Howard warned about the rise of cultural McCarthyism in this country. Talk about mission creep. Who could have foreseen their reach and influence? Short of securing legislative wins, social engineers understand that getting, holding and extending their power through unelected bureaucracies is critical to the pursuit of creating public-free zones where real power vests, far away from prying democratic processes. No one knows how the current batch of social experiments will end. But history shows that something that sounds harmless, like a friendly video about gender-neutral pronouns put out by bureaucrats, can end up curtailing our liberty.
Forces of reason fight back against the PC brigade
There’s no doubt the cultural Left’s political correctness movement is all-pervasive and dominates our universities, schools, businesses, the media (especially the ABC and Fairfax), politics and way of life.
Almost daily there are examples: “safe spaces” and “sensitivity tool kits” in universities; Qantas and defence force manuals abolishing “he” and “she” in preference to gender-neutral pronouns such as “they”; junior sports abolishing score-keeping because it’s wrong to have winners and losers.
I first wrote about political correctness in 1993 when I discovered an American book titled The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook. It was satirical and lighthearted, and included examples such as “personnel access structures” for manholes and “chemically inconvenienced” instead of alcoholic.
Today, it’s clear that political correctness is no longer a laughing matter. Instead it represents an insidious and invasive ideology imposing censorship and groupthink in areas such as multiculturalism, race, the environment, gender and sexuality, capitalism, and the benefits of Judeo-Christianity and Western civilisation.
Dare to question multiculturalism, and you are labelled racist and a white supremacist. Criticise Islam and you are Islamophobic. Argue against the Safe Schools gender and sexuality program, and you are attacked as heteronormative, homophobic and transphobic.
Defend Western civilisation and our Judeo-Christian heritage, and you are Eurocentric, binary, guilty of privileging whiteness and, worst of all, Christian.
Attacks on former tennis champion Margaret Court for opposing same-sex marriage prove the PC movement refuses to tolerate disagreement and open debate. Those who question or criticise Aboriginal culture are especially at risk. This was evidenced during a lecture by University of Sydney academic Fiona Martin in which she attacked the work of The Australian’s former cartoonist Bill Leak — who died in March last year — before saying: “may he rest not in peace”.
Such is the dire nature of the situation that American feminist Camille Paglia says: “We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of groupthink.”
One of the foundations of Western civilisation is an education system based on rationality and reason, but even here the political correctness movement has spread its infection. A rainbow alliance of theories including neo-Marxism, radical feminism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, and gender and postcolonial theories dominate the academy.
British academic Michael Young said knowledge was simply a social construct employed by those more powerful to dominate and control so-called victim groups. French Marxist Louis Althusser said education was a key part of “the ideological state apparatus” without which capitalism could not survive.
Not only do those committed to deconstructionism deny the referential quality of language, thus making reasoned, impartial debate impossible, but radical feminists denounce reason and rationality as a phallocentric, binary concept designed to enforce male dominance and control.
Notwithstanding the unparalleled benefits of Western civilisation, politically correct academics argue a liberal view of education must be overthrown as it promotes whiteness. Omid Tofighian from the University of Sydney says whiteness leads to “different forms of domination and marginalisation — such as racism, sexism, classism, historical injustice and prejudice based on religion”.
As a result of universities teaching “postmodernist gruel”, Paglia says, we have reached a situation where “history is a narrative; every narrative is a fiction; objectivity is impossible, so who cares what’s real and what’s not?”.
Author and Sinologist Pierre Ryckmans, who taught at the Australian National University and Sydney University, went as far as saying that, as a result of postmodern theory, universities were “doomed to founder in the shallows of farce and incoherence”.
Given recent events that prove the dominance of the political correctness movement and the success of the cultural Left’s long march, it might be reasonable to conclude all is lost.
Fortunately, that is not the case. Such is the bizarre and doctrinaire nature of political correctness that there is a growing groundswell of opposition based on the belief that reason and sanity are preferable to ideology and indoctrination.
The Institute of Public Affairs’ Western Civilisation Program, the PM Glynn Institute at the Australian Catholic University and the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation provide evidence of a resurgence in acknowledging and defending a liberal education within the Western tradition.
Seminars exploring the significance and importance of Western civilisation organised by the Perth-based Dawson Society and Mannkal Foundation also illustrate that all is not lost.
Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of How Political Correctness is Destroying Australia (Wilkinson Publishing).
The party is over for plastic straws, declared The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday as Hungry Jacks followed Macca’s and Ikea in banishing the evil tubes from its counters.
The speed with which corporations and governments have surrendered to this eccentric campaign is a triumph for slacktivism, the one-click, cost-free way to take a stand for humanity or the planet.
Eighteen months ago, plastic straws were merely a cheap, efficient and effective way of pumping milkshake into kiddies. Now they’re hunted down by just about every petty government regulator on the planet.
Milk bar owners in Seattle face a $US250 ($336) fine for issuing straws or plastic utensils to customers; Toowoomba Regional Council wants them banished from the mountain; Adelaide City Council is debating the issue tonight in response to a motion from Deputy Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor.
“It sends a very strong message about Adelaide,” Verschoor told the ABC, as indeed it does.
It is difficult to find a rational explanation for the rise in public anxiety over plastic, the ubiquitous and versatile mainstay of modern manufacturing and distribution that delivers unrivalled functional properties at low cost.
Plastic food packaging cuts waste and significantly extends shelf life, making fresh food cheaper. It is strong, safe and exceptionally light. It reduces transport costs, warehouse back injuries and fuel emissions.
Having made a noble contribution to modern life, plastic can be given a decent burial as odourless, toxin-free, compacted landfill, where its stabilising and anti-leaching qualities make it the tip manager’s best friend.
Despite our best endeavours, however, some plastic waste escapes to the ocean, where its impact on the marine environment is poorly understood.
A Senate inquiry on the threat of marine plastic two years ago acknowledged that waste was a growing problem, but it was restricted in making firm recommendations by vast “knowledge gaps” in marine and waste science.
Knowledge gaps present the kind of opportunity that scaremongers thrive on. Unknown and unquantifiable threats are their stock in trade; all they need is an everyday object to which to apply them.
It is unlikely that banning plastic straws and single-use bags will make a noticeable difference to the amount of plastic in the ocean. Government estimates suggest that only 2 per cent of single-use plastic bags end up as litter, and only a quarter of those make their way to the sea.
A submission by one non-government organisation to the Senate inquiry found that plastic bags and other plastic wrapping accounted for less than one in 20 items of plastic waste collected from beaches.
On a global scale, the impact of Australian plastic waste is insignificant. A study published in Science in 2015 found that more than a quarter of the 12.7 million tonnes of plastic washed into the ocean comes from China.
Australia contributed less than 0.08 per cent.
The moral panic about plastic says more about us than the state of the oceans. It reflects a heightened susceptibility to fear in an uncertain world, a phenomenon examined by sociologist Frank Furedi in an instructive book published last month.
Moral panics are not new. The witch-hunts in early modern Europe, the 19th-century fear of airborne diseases emanating from city slums, and the syphilis scare that took hold between the wars are prime examples.
The question Furedi tries to answer is why seemingly irrational fears are so prevalent in a world we like to imagine is ordered by science and why moral panic grips people who consider themselves more sophisticated than their ancestors.
In Furedi’s view, the culture of fear is driven by a lack of agreement about how to make sense of threats to the social order. During periods of social disruption, fear can break free from institutional control and acquire an unpredictable dynamic. Communities respond by seeking refuge in simplistic solutions, like banning plastic bags, building windmills or taxing sugar, even though the effectiveness of such measures is highly contested.
Justification is sought in science, but the empirical basis for the fears, and the measures that are demanded, is often flimsy, to say the least.
Social reformer the Reverend Charles Kingsley drew attention to the dangers of “blind fear” in a speech on superstition in 1866.
Rational fear is natural and wholesome, said Kingsley, and stemmed from the instinct for self-preservation. Blind fear, however, “fear of the unknown, simply because it is unknown”, leads to terrible follies.
Kingsley warned of the tendency to “erect … superstitions into a science”, as people struck by blind fear attempt to impose order on the unknown.
The science adopted by the anti-plastic movement is questionable to say the least. The UN Environment Program claims that “51 trillion micro-plastic particles — 500 times more than stars in our galaxy — litter the seas”, costing “at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems”.
“According to estimates,” UNEP says without so much as a footnote, “by 2050, oceans will have more plastic than fish if present trends are not arrested.”
Common sense tells us these are guesstimates at best, hunches dressed up as facts to give coherence to an irrational fear about the coherence of modernity.
The same unfounded, unknowable and unverifiable assertions are repeated time and again by the slacktivist entrepreneurs who compete for our attention, and our dollar, in a world saturated by worthy causes.
They repeat the fatuous claim that “seemingly small daily decisions” like rejecting plastic bags and renouncing plastic straws, have “a dramatic effect on our oceans”.
Dramatic? Hardly. We are not supposed to argue, however, but simply to comply.
The faux science of marine plastic, like the faux economics of a sugar tax or the false promises of renewable energy can no longer be questioned. Scepticism itself is cast as a reason for fear.
“Fear itself has become a perspective through which life is interpreted,” writes Furedi.
“A palpable sense of intolerance towards freedom, particularly towards free speech, is intimately connected to the working of the culture of fear.”
How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century, by Frank Furedi, is published by Bloomsbury Continuum.
Nick Cater is executive director of the Menzies Research Centre.
The US was the dominant world power, but has been failing, compounded by desperate plans for hegemony and appalling errors and lies over a long period. Will President Trump overpower the Deep State and restore the US in a unipolar world, perhaps in conjunction with President Putin and Chairman Xi?
Scroll down to read the most recent articles. Links to previous articles follow.
In today’s United States, the term “espionage” doesn’t get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans’ own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term “intelligence.” This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.
First of all, US “intelligence” is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.
In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, common sense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps. In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as “Al Qaeda.” There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.
Most recently, British “special services,” which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their “secret” lab in Porton Down doesn’t work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).
There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don’t add much value.
A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method—treason—can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.
Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it’s been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn’t have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.
Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: “61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state.” Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.
That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn’t have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where’s the gratitude? Where’s the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?
Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign. In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don’t they understand?
The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage—“intelligence” in US parlance—which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US “intelligence” is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply “make shit up.”
The “intelligence” the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful—be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden—because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.
The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: “moderate” terrorists and so on. One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.
Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:
“What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven’t lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task.”
A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:
“The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact.”
And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:
“The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal.”
But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS—an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.
The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that’s your bill so far for the various US intelligence “oopsies.”
The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their “mistakes” have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.
There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.
First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.
Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts—the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of “intelligence,” I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of “treason”: something better than “a sceptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars.”
Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning
The fact that the US is facing a profound crisis, possibly the worst one in its history, is accepted by most observers, except maybe the most delusional ones. Most Americans definitely know that. In fact, if there is one thing upon which both those who supported Trump and those who hate him with a passion can agree on, it would be that his election is a clear proof of a profound crisis (I would argue that the election of Obama before also had, as one of its main causes, the very same systemic crisis). When speaking of this crisis, most people will mention the deindustrialization, the drop in real income, the lack of well-paid jobs, healthcare, crime, immigration, pollution, education, and a myriad of other contributing factors. But of all the aspects of the “American dream”, the single most resilient one has been the myth of the US military as “the finest fighting force in history”. In this new book, Andrei Martyanov not only comprehensively debunks this myth, he explains step by step how this myth was created and why it is collapsing now. This is no small feat, especially in a relatively short book (225 pages) which is very well written and accessible to everyone, not just military specialists.
Martyanov takes a systematic and step-by-step approach: first, he defines military power, then he explains where the myth of US military superiority came from and how the US rewriting of the history of WWII resulted in a complete misunderstanding, especially at the top political levels, of the nature of modern warfare. He then discusses the role ideology and the Cold War played in further exacerbating the detachment of US leaders from reality. Finally, he demonstrates how a combination of delusional narcissism and outright corruption resulted in a US military capable of wasting truly phenomenal sums of money on “defense” while at the same time resulting in an actual force unable to win a war against anything but a weak and defenseless enemy.
That is not to say that the US military has not fought in many wars and won. It did, but in the words of Martyanov:
Surely when America fought against a third-rate adversary it was possible to rain death from the skies, and then roll over its forces, if any remained by that time, with very little difficulty and casualties. That will work in the future too against that type of adversary—similar in size and flimsiness of Iraqi Forces circa 2003. But Ledeen’s Doctrine had one major flaw—one adult cannot continue to go around the sandbox constantly fighting children and pretend to be good at fighting adults.
The main problem for the US today is that there are very few of those third-rate adversaries left out there and that those who the US is trying to bring to submission now are either near-peer or even peer adversaries. Martyanov specifically lists the factors which make that kind of adversary so different from those the US fought in the past:
Modern adversaries have command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities equal to or better than the US ones.
Modern adversaries have electronic warfare capabilities equal to or better than the US ones
Modern adversaries have weapon systems equal to or better than the US ones.
Modern adversaries have air defenses which greatly limit the effectiveness of US airpower.
Modern adversaries have long-range subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles which present a huge threat to the USN, bases, staging areas and even the entire US mainland.
In the book, all these points are substantiated with numerous and specific examples which I am not repeating here for the sake of brevity.
One could be forgiven for not being aware of any of these facts, at least if one considers the kind of nonsense written by the US corporate media or, for that matter, by the so-called “experts” (another interesting topic Martyanov discusses in some detail). Still, one can live in an imaginary world only as long as reality does not come crashing in, be it in the form of criminally overpriced and useless weapon systems or in the form of painful military defeats. The current hysteria about Russia as the Evil Mordor which is the culprit for everything and anything bad (real or imaginary) happening to the US is mostly due to the fact that Russia, in total contradiction to all the “expert” opinions, not only did not crash or turn into a “gas station masquerading as a country” with her economy “in tatters”, but succeeded in developing a military which, for a small fraction of the US military budget, whose armed forces are in reality far more capable than the US forces.
I realize that this last statement is quite literally “unthinkable” for many Americans and I submit that the very fact that this is so literally unthinkable greatly contributed to making this possible in the first place: when you are so damn sure that by some kind of miracle of history, or God’s will, or Manifest Destiny or any other supernatural reason, you are inherently and by definition superior and generally “better” than everybody else you are putting yourself in great danger of being defeated. This is as true for Israel as it is for the US. I would also add that in the course of the West’s history this “crashing in of reality” in the comfy world of narcissistic delusion often came in the form of a Russian soldier defeating the putatively much superior master race of the day (from the Crusaders to the Nazis). Hence the loathing which western ruling elites always had for everything Russian.
In this book, Martyanov explains why, in spite of the absolutely catastrophic 1990s, the Russians succeeded in developing a modern and highly capable combat force in a record time. There are two main reasons for this: first, unlike their US counterparts, Russian weapons are designed to kill, not to make money and, second, Russians understand warfare because they understand what war really is. This latest argument might look circular, but it is not: Russians are all acutely aware of what war really means and, crucially, they are actually willing to make personal sacrifices to either avoid or, at least, win wars. In contrast, Americans have no experience of real warfare (that is warfare in defense of their own land, family and friends) at all. For Americans warfare is killing the other guy in his own country, preferably from afar or above, while making a ton of money in the process. For Russians, warfare is simply about surviving at any and all cost. The difference couldn’t be greater.
The difference in weapons systems acquisition is also simple: since US wars never really put the people of the US at risk, the consequences of developing under-performing weapons systems were never catastrophic. The profits made, however, were immense. Hence the kind of criminally overpriced and useless weapons system like the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship or, of course, the fantastically expensive and no less fantastically vulnerable aircraft carriers. The Russian force planners had very different priorities: not only did they fully realize that the failure to produce an excellently performing weapons system could result in their country being devastated and occupied (not to mention their families and themselves either enslaved or killed), they also realized that they could never match the Pentagon in terms of spending. So what they did was to design comparatively much cheaper weapons systems which could destroy or render useless the output of the multi-trillion dollar US military-industrial complex. This is how Russian missiles made the entire US ABM program and the US carrier-centric Navy pretty much obsolete as well as how Russian air defenses turned putatively “invisible” US aircraft into targets or how Russian diesel-electric submarines are threatening US nuclear attack subs. All that at a tiny fraction of what the US taxpayer spends on “defense”. Here again, Martyanov gives plenty of detailed examples.
Martyanov’s book will deeply irritate and even outrage those for whom the US narcissistic culture of axiomatic superiority has become an integral part of their identity. But for everybody else this book is an absolute must-have because the future of our entire planet is at stake here: the question is not whether the US Empire is collapsing, but what the consequences of this collapse will be for our planet. Right now, the US military has turned into a “hollow force” which simply cannot perform its mission, especially since that mission is, as defined by US politicians, the control of the entire planet. There is a huge discrepancy between the perceived and the actual capabilities of the US military and the only way to bridge this gap are, of course, nuclear weapons. This is why the last chapter in the book is entitled “The Threat of a Massive American Military Miscalculation”. In this chapter, Martyanov names the real enemy of both the Russian and the American people – the US political elites and, especially, the Neocons: they are destroying the US as a country and they are putting all of mankind at risk of nuclear annihilation.
The above summary does not do justice to Martyanov’s truly seminal book. I can only say that I consider this book as an absolutely indispensable “must read” for every person in the US who loves his/her country and for every person who believes that wars, especially nuclear ones, must be avoided at all costs. Just like many others (I think of Paul Craig Roberts), Martyanov is warning us that “the day of reckoning is upon us” and that the risks of war are very real, even if for most of us such an event is also unthinkable. Those in the US who consider themselves patriots should read this book with special attention, not only because it correctly identifies the main threat to the US, but also because it explains in detail what circumstances have resulted in the current crisis. Waving (mostly Chinese made) US flags is simply not an option anymore, neither is looking away and pretending that none of this is real. Martyanov’s book will also be especially interesting to those in the US armed forces who are observing the tremendous decline of US military power from inside. Who better than a former Soviet officer could not only explain, but also understand the mechanisms which have made such a decline possible?
Tomorrow, July 4, 2018 is the 242 anniversary of the date chosen to stand as the date the 13 British colonies declared independence. According to historians, the actual date independence was declared was July 2, 1776, with the vote of the Second Continental Congress. Other historians have concluded that the Declaration of Independence was not actually signed until August 2.
For many living in the colonies the event was not the glorious one that is presented in history books. There was much opposition to the separation, and the “loyalists” were killed, confiscated, and forced to flee to Canada. Some historians explain the event not as a great and noble enterprise of freedom and self-government, but as the manipulations of ambitious men who saw opportunity for profit and power.
For most Americans today the Fourth of July is a time for fireworks, picnics, and a patriotic speech extolling those who “fought for our freedom” and for those who defended it in wars ever since. These are feel good speeches, but most of them make very little sense. Many of our wars have been wars of empire, seizing lands from the Spanish, Mexicans, and indigenous tribes. The US had no national interest in WW 1 and and very little in WW 2. There was no prospect of Germany and Japan invading the US. Once Hitler made the mistake of invading the Soviet Union, the European part World War 2 was settled by the Red Army. The Japanese had no chance of standing up to Mao and Stalin. American participation was not very important to either outcome.
No Fourth of July orator will say this, and it is unlikely any will make reference to the seven or eight countries that Washington has destroyed in whole or part during the 21st century or to the US overthrow of the various reform governments that have been elected in Latin America. The Fourth of July is a performance to reinforce The Matrix in which Americans live.
When the Fourth of July comes around, I re-read the words of US Marine General Smedley Butler. General Butler is the most highly decorated US officer in history. By the end of his career, he had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of only three men to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
Butler served in all officer ranks that existed in the US Marines of his time, from Second Lieutenant to Major General. He said that “during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
Butler says he was a long time escaping from The Matrix and that he wishes “more of today’s military personnel would realize that they are being used by the owning elite as a publicly subsidized capitalist goon squad.”
“WAR is a racket. It always has been.
“It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
“A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
“A few profit — and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.
“The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nation’s manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation — it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.”
In November, 1935, Butler wrote in Common Sense magazine:
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period . . . I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
The military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned Americans 57 years ago, adroitly uses the Fourth of July to portray America’s conflicts in a positive light in order to protect its power and profit institutionalized in the US government. In stark contrast, by the end of his career General Butler saw it differently. Washington has never fought for “freedom and democracy,” only for power and profit. Butler said that “there are only two things we should fight for. One is the defence of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.”
Today the anti-gun lobby and militarized police have made it very difficult to fight for the defence of our homes, and the War on Terror has destroyed the Bill of Rights. If there could be a second American revolution, maybe we could try again.
As the “British Exit (Brexit)” stalls in the UK, Italy picks up the torch of resistance…
June 4, 2017
“Here’s a great idea, boys. Gather around. We’re going to build, on top of every national government on the European continent, another government, bigger, more bloated, more corrupt, more powerful. Who’ll notice? Who’ll care?”
“Terrific. Love it. But ultimately we’ll need to destroy all those separate countries and rule the whole continent as one entity. We can do that, yes. We’ll open all borders and let in a massive flow of immigrants and erase national identities. Terror attacks will multiply. We’ll put a lid on talking about immigrants as the cause of the terror. Call it hate speech. We’ll train the population of Europe to accept terrorism as part of the glorious future. It makes no logical sense, but so what? No top-down ideology ever made sense. We’ll preach unlimited tolerance and love. We’ll be a de facto Church of sorts. We’ll hypnotize the whole continent…” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
As I was writing this article, multiple terror attacks were launched in London. To say the human destruction “once again raised the question of immigration” would be a vast understatement.
In the run-up to the Brexit vote in 2016, immigration came to the fore as the key issue. But of course, the European Union has a policy of opening borders of all member countries.
The EU wants one continent, no separate countries—and the way to achieve that is by creating a massive flood of migrants. Destroy traditions and cultures that define countries. In the process, accept terrorism as “inevitable.” Don’t talk or write about the actual effects of immigration. That would be “hate speech.” Keep eyes and mouth shut, and march straight ahead into a future of one European continent ruled from above by the EU.
Ever since the UK vote to leave the unelected, terminally corrupt, and rotting edifice known as the European Union, stall tactics and threats have been launched at Brits.
First it was, “It’s going to take a long time to untangle the UK from the EU, it’s very complicated.” Actually, that tactic was predated by Prince Obama traveling to England to warn the population they’d stand at the back of the line in forming separate trade deals with the US, if they left the EU. It’s called interfering in the political affairs of another nation. Now it’s the EU and Queen Merkel beating the UK to the punch by plotting trade deals with India and China, in order to leave the British out in the cold.
But the basic question is, Is Britain a nation? Does it exist? It’s a question citizens are supposed to answer. Not Merkel, Obama, or the EU.
This issue, in case it’s unclear, is all about Globalism. According to that totalitarian political philosophy, of which the EU is a standard bearer, there are no nations. There are only mega-corporations and banks.
As the recently departed guru of the Rockefeller Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wrote in 1969, “[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”
This is not only a political and economic statement, it’s a prescriptive piece of psychological advice: Stop thinking of yourself as a citizen of a country; you’re a global citizen; you exist and function at the pleasure of a new collaborative international order.
And the new order will triumph. Bow your heads and accept it.
Unless people get up on their hind legs and say no, which is what happened in the 2016 Brexit vote.
Defection. Decentralization. Independence.
Hideous words to the ears of Globalists.
Their basic strategy, since the end of World War 2, has been to spin a highly complex network of political and economic relationships, from one end of the world to the other—a labyrinth—from which escape is seen as virtually impossible.
Trade deals like NAFTA, CAFTA, and GATT are only part of this system. The EU itself keeps churning out thousands of rules, regulations, and laws.
Build the maze; put national governments and populations in the maze.
Then more or less claim the planet would collapse without the maze.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker just issued a “maze statement” to President Trump after Trump rejected the Globalist Paris Climate (non-) Treaty: “Europe’s duty is to say: it’s not like that. The Americans can’t just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr. Trump believes that [he can] because he doesn’t know the details…We tried to explain that to Mr. Trump in Taormina in clear German sentences. It seems that our attempt failed, but the law is the law, and it must be obeyed. Not everything which is law and not everything in international agreements is fake news, and we have to comply with it.”
Supremely arrogant, Juncker was winging it and writing his own script, because, in fact, the US didn’t sign on to a treaty in Paris. Obama tried to unilaterally bind the US to the climate pact, when a two-third’s vote by the US Senate is actually required for such international agreements. And no Senate vote was taken.
But this is the EU’s preemptive attitude toward defection, decentralization, and independence.
In the case of Brexit, climate change wasn’t the issue. Immigration was. The EU tried its best to chastise England for daring to insist unlimited numbers of migrants might be too many. “You’re in the maze, stay in the maze.”
And there is another vector of attack being launched at England: reminders the nation is evil for its colonial practices, which can never, ever be erased. But the covert leaders in that propaganda effort, the EU and its Globalist bosses, feel entitled in their own attempt to colonize the whole planet. “Your colonizing was bad, ours is good.”
With an annual budget in the vicinity of $100 billion, the EU is intractably corrupt and incompetent. It’s estimated that $5 billion a year is stolen from that budget. As for the other $95 billion, what is it for? Nations can govern themselves. The EU could disappear tomorrow and no one would catch a cold. The entire bloated structure, employing between 30 and 50 thousand people (depending on how far the count is extended) is a vast boondoggle.
It’s astonishing that anyone in the UK would feel a sense of loyalty to the EU.
There is nothing strange about Brexit at all. It’s a natural reaction: One day, a house pet goes outside and wanders off into the woods and never comes back. Who is really surprised?
The “system” called the EU insists that terrorism is somehow a price the British people must pay for entering “a better future for all.” Don’t ask what that future looks like. Don’t think about it. The UK doesn’t have the right to set its own immigration policy.
The chaos and destruction that result from open borders are simply an “adjustment period,” after which things will settle down. A new and better England and Europe will emerge. Diversity will triumph. How? Don’t worry about that, be happy.
You see, diversity is a high-minded principle, and by definition it implies a more humane society. Therefore, there is no counter-evidence. Facts are unimportant.
The latest London attacks are a message to the British people: You may have exited from the EU, but the EU policy on immigration still stands.
No it doesn’t. Britain is free to set its own policy.
To do so, politically correct speech will have to be jettisoned. Facts will have to be widely expressed. Lies will have to be widely exposed.
The EU will need to be named as a driving force in immigration, and the results of migration will need to be laid at its door.
The EU sees immigrant terrorism as its ticket to greater control over Europe.
The London attacks are a challenge thrown in Britain’s face. Bow down and accept; or rebel.
Leaving the EU means LEAVING the EU.
How many times must British citizens witness these attacks and watch police come in after the fact? How long before leaving means LEAVING?
How long before the British people realize that the flood of migrants is not simply “a refugee crisis” created by the US and its allies, whose imperialist policies of Empire and wars in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, initiate “blowback?”
How long before they see numbers of these “refugees” are just military-age young men who arrive with destruction on their minds?
How long before they see England is riddled with EU agents who are “forwarding a humane immigration policy,” come hell or high water?
One continent, under no liberty and no justice, with suffering and slavery for all.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
Sesto San Giovanni, a town on the outskirts of Milan, used to be one of the industrial capitals of Italy.
With around 200,000 inhabitants (45,000 blue collar workers, and a robust middle class), it was the headquarters of some of the most dynamic Italian companies, including Magneti Marelli, Falck, Breda and many more.
Today Sesto is an industrial desert – the factories are gone, the professional middle class has fled, many stores have shut down, and the city is trying to reinvent itself as a medical research center.
Twenty-three kilometers (14 miles) to the north of Sesto, the town of Meda was the seat of various symbols of Italian excellence: Salotti Cassina and Poltrona Frau, both of which exported high-quality furniture all over the world and employed tens of thousands of workers and designers. They fed a number of small family-based companies providing parts and highly qualified seasonal labour. Today both companies are gone.
Montezemolo: Public enemy
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, a former chairman of Ferrari, Fiat and Alitalia, and now a public enemy because of his dismissal of the “Made in Italy” label, acquired both companies and moved them to Turkey, choosing profit over quality—and Italian jobs. Montezemolo, of aristocratic background, is a champion of Italian neoliberalism, having founded the influential “free market” think tank Italia Futura (Future Italy) in 2009.
Another victim is the town of Sora, with a population of 25,000, 80 km. (50 miles) east of Rome. Until recently Sora was an affluent commercial city, with medium-sized paper factories and hundreds of shops. Today, all of the factories are gone and 50 percent of shops have closed.
All over Italy, the neoliberal policies that led to the economic crisis and resulting social decadence have accelerated in the wake of the financial collapse of 2007.
Once The Stalingrad of Italy
Sesto San Giovanni used to be known as ‘the Italian Stalingrad’, due to the strength of its working class and the Communist Party receiving over 50 percent of the vote. Now the strongest party in town is the Lega (The League), a right wing, xenophobic party. This has been accompanied by a demographic shift, as Sesto has lost almost one third of its population, but acquired tens of thousands of immigrants, which today constitute almost 20 percent of its population.
The Italian Communist Party, once the strongest in the capitalist world, has in the meantime disappeared, together with the working class. There is also the destitution of a dwindling middle class accompanying the breakdown of the social fabric with rampant corruption. All the traditional political parties have been wiped away.
Sesto San Giovanni: Once the Italian Stalingrad
They have been replaced by the so-called ‘populists’: TheLega and the 5 Star Movement, undisputed winners of the latest elections in March, who are now in the process of trying to form a new government. The Lega expresses the frustrations of the north of Italy that is still productive (fashion, services and some high quality products), and demands lower taxes, as Italian taxes are among the highest in Europe. They also want a parallel national currency, a reduction in circulation of the Euro (which slows down exports, especially to Germany) and limits to immigration.
The 5 Star Movement, which is partly considered to be the heir of the former Communist Party but with a different social base consisting of an undifferentiated lower class replacing the disappearing working class. It advocates a moralization of the political parties and a universal basic income of 750 euros per month ($875) for the poorest to reduce the effects of the social disaster which took place in the south of the country in the last 10 years: 20 percent unemployment, affecting 40 percent of young people, making the mafia and organized crime the biggest ‘employers’ in the most critical southern regions.
This is the new Italy. The old one, the Italy of Fiat, Cassina, small family-run businesses, the Italy of the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party and vibrant working-class culture is no more.
Open letter to EU boss Jean-Clause Juncker: yes, break up America!
“There is a line that governments cross. When they reach a certain size, and when they are exerting enough control, they turn around and tell their citizens, ‘We love you and we care about you and we help you. In return, all we ask is that you do whatever we tell you to do, no matter what the consequences are. That’s fair, isn’t it?'” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Here is a piece I wrote in March of 2017. It was prompted by an outburst from European Union (EU) boss, Jean-Claude Juncker. “The Junk Man” is quite a piece of work. To put it nicely and politely, he’s an unelected gas bag:
The Express (March 30, 2017): “European Union boss Jean-Claude Juncker this afternoon issued a jaw-dropping threat to the United States, saying he could campaign to break up the country in revenge for Donald Trump’s supportive comments about Brexit.”
“In an extraordinary speech the EU Commission president said he would push for Ohio and Texas to split from the rest of America if the Republican president does not change his tune and become more supportive of the EU.”
Dear Jean-Claude, You unfathomable twit, we love you! Come to America soon and help a few of our states secede from the US. Our country is far too big. The federal government is a titanic engorged bureaucracy. The idea of a limited Republic is dead. The people are too distant from their ruling government—exactly the situation in which the people of Europe find themselves, with their unelected swollen overseers—of which you are the present leader.
You and your cronies and minions make the laws, and there is no recourse. You’re a useless barnacle on the European continent. So come here and help Texas and Ohio secede. It’ll be a party. You might learn something.
I would suggest you begin with California. The state government presently has $440 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities stretching into the future. Perhaps you could help California cancel the unsolvable problem. “We’re free! We don’t owe anybody anything! It was all an illusion.”
Perhaps you could convince the new nation of California to take in 30 or 40 million more immigrants. “New citizens are good for the economy.” You know, use the same tactics you’re using in Europe. Prosecute anyone who speaks out against immigration. People need repressive fascism. It’s good for them.
I suggest New York City and Chicago should become countries. Why not? They’re big enough. Let them rise and fall on their own. That would be a sight to see. Chicago is the major trafficking hub for Sinaloa Cartel drugs. Chicago could come right out in the open and announce itself as Heroin Cocaine Central. “These are our products! This is what we sell! This is how we thrive!” New York is the world center for News. “Buy our fake stories! They’re limitless!”
Here’s another strategy you could promote. Link all 300 US sanctuary cities and colleges together as one nation. “We want to be the home for EVERYBODY from EVERYWHERE.” I think some kind of theocracy would work for this emerging nation. A Pope who favors infinite kindness. Citizens would be income-taxed at a rate of 80% to fund the grand altruistic program. Hollywood celebs would be appointed cardinals and bishops.
But here is a dire prediction. Somewhere along the line, as you carry out your plan for secessions, a US state that becomes a nation is going to pop up with a truly dangerous idea: SELF-SUFFICIENCY.
O the horror. That state is going to turn down all outside funding. It’s going to institute a robust free market, in which anyone can sell any non-harmful product or service, absent red tape. For example—a hundred different forms of natural-health treatments. On the other hand, a company that pollutes the landscape with poisonous chemicals and doesn’t immediately fix the problem will see its executives sent to prison for long terms. The people of this state will do their best to produce what they need from inside their own borders. Speaking of which, the state will do its best to keep out people who refuse to subscribe to hard work, earning their own way, and free speech. No political correctness. No triggering. No safe spaces. No need for them.
This could be your Waterloo, Jean-Claude. Suddenly, that state (a new nation) would be setting a shining example for other emerging nations to follow.
People would wake up to the life they’ve always wanted. Wouldn’t it be interesting to watch you try to put that genie back in the bottle? You, the great defender of top-down arbitrary rule by Globalists. You, the entitled buffoon, who wants One Europe. You, the arrogant parasite on your throne.
Come to the US, Jean-Claude. We need many new Republics springing up across the land. Help us. Liberate the buried spirit of America. Perhaps you’ll feel your blood moving through your calcified veins again.
Well, perhaps not. You’re dedicated to the Big Bloat. In your gluttonous mind, the citizenry is suffering from a deficiency of bureaucracy, and you’re the prescribing doctor.
The EU employs 46,000 people. My God, that’s not nearly enough, even though each member nation already has its own federal government. Here’s an idea. Automatically make every migrant who comes to Europe an EU employee. What would they do? Promote and facilitate more immigration! Perfect!
Anyway, we’re waiting for you to come to America and help states secede from the Union. I’m ready to provide you with talking points. But first, I suggest you read an old dusty document called the US Constitution. You’ll find a trove of ideas there for newly minted nations like California and Texas.
If you really want to push a subversive destructive agenda in the US, and raise the ire of our federal government, wave the Constitution around and start citing sections of its corrosive doctrines. You’ll cause a great deal of trouble, I guarantee it.
You’ll probably land in jail. But we’ll back you. We’ll make you a hero.
FREE JUNCKER! FREE JUNCKER!
You’ll love it.
And when they shut down your budding Twitter account and You Tube Channel, we’ll take to the streets!
The modern environmental, or ‘green’, movement has shifted from overt care for the environment towards activist and economic damage, self-serving agendas and covert promotion of more sinister agendas, often supported, even driven, by politicians. But opposition grows by the day as evidence and common sense start to prevail.
Scroll down to read the most recent articles; links to previous articles follow.
Australia’s emissions reduction policies are in response to what has always been an ideologically charged, fashionable flight of fancy, writes Maurice Newman.
Once upon a time, politics was referred to as the art of the possible. It was less about what was right or best than what could be achieved politically.
Today, the political class has refined that dark art and, like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, has decided that “imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality”.
It removes the constraints of inconvenient truths and unpalatable facts. For the doubters, “experts” can always be enlisted to validate even the wildest fantasies.
Take the government’s latest national energy guarantee contrivance. Even though it requires significantly more wind farms than now and a much increased demand for gas (despite the constraints on its extraction), some pundits say it will allow Australians to have their cake and eat it, too. It will allow us to meet emissions reduction commitments, to deliver reliable electricity supplies and make energy use more affordable. Imagine that. South Australia tried something similar and ended up with the highest retail electricity prices in the world.
Yet, notwithstanding the vagaries of ageing coal-fired generators, the addition of the expensive Snowy Hydro 2.0 and an increased reliance on intermittent sources, we are assured that this time it’s different.
Australia’s emissions reduction policies are in response to what has always been an ideologically charged, fashionable flight of fancy: the imagined danger that industrial “greenhouse” gas emissions lead to catastrophic global warming. Somehow, across time, this became politically accepted “settled science”.
It spawned an industry of crony capitalists and other taxpayer-dependent rent-seekers. But it didn’t stop Mother Nature, independent scientists and scandal exposing the hollowness of the narrative. Rather than withdraw from economically crippling and socially impoverishing emission abatement schemes, the political class just doubles down.
Rational thinkers may ponder what it will take for policymakers to recognise reality. It clearly takes more than the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s 40-year satellite data, which to date has recorded no increase in Australia’s atmospheric temperature.
Likewise, NASA’s recently released global data, which recorded average temperatures for the two years to February this year, shows the biggest two-year drop in the past century. That cooling brought the worst British winter in 42 years, and the related deaths of 48,000, mainly elderly, Britons.
Perhaps this and last year’s Greenland melt season, which was the lowest since 1996, are just aberrations. But then what about the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest of the Antarctic ice shelves, which, contrary to scientific predictions, continues to expand? If sea levels are rising dangerously, why are 80 per cent of reef islands in the South Pacific and Indian oceans stable or growing? And why do the longest continuous Australasian records at Fremantle and Auckland reflect a tendency towards a general slowing in the rise of mean sea level? Perhaps the fact polar bears were listed as endangered in 2008 but have increased in number by more than 30 per cent since 2005 can pass without comment today. But there was a time when this was promoted as emblematic of global warming.
Albert Einstein told us: “Knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world.” Well, we know a lot more than we did 40 years ago.
Climate change advocates may say individual data points are simply isolated weather events, but collectively the evidence is mounting and no longer should be denied. Yet it is. The political class remains unfazed and seems determined to ensure that whatever the latest science may prove, ideology, not economics, will prevail.
It is no mean feat to take a country from being among the cheapest energy markets to one of the most expensive. Confirming the collapse of the low-cost market-based system, in nine years retail prices in the National Electricity Market are up 80 per cent to 90 per cent and wholesale prices have risen 120 per cent since 2015.
The economic cost of emissions abatement policies can be observed in increasing layoffs, relocations and industry closures. The cumulative effect has yet to be felt, but it will be significant and deep, consistent with experience overseas, where higher energy prices have led to many more job losses in the broader economy than have been created in the renewables space.
So where to from here? With the range of renewable energy subsidies paid for by consumers, and state, territory and federal taxpayers running at more than $4 billion a year and likely to remain in force to at least 2030, the outlook is bleak.
With financial inducements and priority to the grid, intermittent energy progressively will crowd out fossil fuel generators. In such distorted markets, new investment in reliable coal-fired power will be uneconomic. Subsidies to would-be clean-coal investors will distort the market further.
Perhaps after 27 years of uninterrupted growth, policymakers are as dismissive of the laws of economics as they are of inconvenient scientific evidence. Going from a virtual debt-free position 10 years ago to a half-trillion dollars and counting is alarming enough. But when the debt is hypothecated to unrealistic expectations of an endless demand for Australian exports, the risks magnify.
Add to this the Bank of International Settlements’ recent observation of record household debt, static real wages, rapid rises in non-discretionary household expenditure and potential interest rate hikes and Australian families have rarely been more exposed to an economic downturn than now.
There is no quick fix. Australia’s manufacturing base has been hollowed out and the mortgage belt is running on empty. This is an ideological mess of monumental proportions and the likelihood of returning the electricity market to some form of normality may well be beyond the political courage of today’s politicians.
Still, as Ayn Rand reminds us, “We can ignore reality but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”
New Zealand is killing its economy by green zealotry
There are just over 20 days left to send the Government a message that you are not prepared to accept the economic consequences of their Zero Carbon Bill.
The consultation documents accompanying the Bill show the policies come at a very high economic cost to all New Zealanders. Their modelling forecasts that by 2050, the economy would be at least a quarter smaller, that the burden will fall disproportionately on lower income households, and that the output of emissions-intensive industries such as sheep, beef, and dairy farming, will be halved.
With that economic prospect ahead it’s no wonder Winston Peters tried to distance himself from the future when he announced his choice of the new Government: “We in New Zealand First believe that an economic correction, or a slowdown, is looming…”
While he said he was foreshadowing the downturn so as not to get blamed when it arrives, the reality is that he is very much to blame. Winston Peters is only political leader in our country’s history to have allowed the radical agenda of the Greens to become law. All other political leaders, who have been in a position to choose a coalition, have elected to leave the extremist Greens out of any Ministerial line up. Winston Peters, however, ignored the risk when he crowned Labour and opened the door to the radical Greens.
The reality is that the ideologically driven Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who is on a moral crusade to save the planet, is blind to the economic harm his policies will inevitably cause.
At no time during the election campaign did Labour or the Greens attempt to outline the full details of the wealth cost of their Carbon Zero policy. Even now, when the policy implications are being disclosed and the costs are becoming clear, they are continuing to down-play the cost and claim benefits when there are none.
No party has the right to introduce policies to destroy a country’s economic future without clearly spelling out their intentions during an election campaign.
Since Labour and the Greens did not do that, their Zero Carbon Bill should be rejected in the strongest possible way.
James Shaw announced the consultation on his Bill using his typical weasel words.
In spite of there being no real-life evidence that dangerous man-made global warming exists, James Shaw continues to attribute all manner of natural events to global warming: “But the frequency and the severity of storms, coastal and river flooding, droughts and wildfires is increasing, and will continue to increase as long as we and the rest of the world keep putting greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere… Sea level rise alone puts at risk, five airports, 46 kilometres of railway, 1,100 kilometres of road and nearly 70,000 buildings, with a replacement cost of $19 billion.”
His exaggerated claims have no basis in fact, and are no better than the sensationalist predictions from United Nations’ climate models that have proven to be grossly inaccurate for over twenty years – models used by former US Vice President Al Gore and the UN Environmental Programme to claim that sea level rise would engulf cities around the world and create 50 million climate refugees by 2010!
James Shaw is not only dishonest with his fear-mongering predictions of gloom, he is also dishonest about the economic benefits of de-carbonisation, which he claims will provide “an extraordinary opportunity to upgrade our economy, not just to be ‘clean and green’, but also more productive and better paid”.
But rather than quantifying the benefits, he refers to “the costs if we do nothing”. The truth is there is no rational argument in support of his policy position. It’s a policy built on fear.
James Shaw’s ‘clean’ and ‘green’ economy doesn’t exist – it’s a false prophecy. Wind and solar power, which he heralds as the clean green saviours of the future, depend on mining and smelting. A 3 metre wind turbine contains over 300 tonnes of steel, 5 tonnes of copper, 1200 tonnes of concrete, 3 tonnes of aluminium and 2 tonnes of rare earths – where mining one tonne of rare earths produces 200 cubic metres of acid waste water. Solar panels contain arsenic, aluminium, boron, cadmium, copper, gallium, indium, molybdenum, phosphorous, selenium, silica, silver, steel, tellurium, and titanium.
California’s obsession with sustainable energy has led to escalating power prices and massive power cuts, while Spain’s love affair with renewable energy has also ended badly, failing to provide affordable power or security of supply, despite decades of government subsidies.
James Shaw wants 95 percent of cars and 50 percent of trucks electrified by 2050, but has yet to provide any details – including how New Zealand is expected to generate sufficient clean green energy to power all of the batteries. Will he force people to comply with his world view by raising the carbon levy on each litre of petrol from the present 4.7 cents to over 55 cents – as predicted by the Productivity Commission – or will he do it by increasing the annual registration levies on petrol and diesel vehicles.
To see the folly of ‘clean green’ policies, one needs look no further than the government’s disgraceful decision to ban future oil and gas exploration. With domestic supplies of natural gas dwindling, and without the ability to discover new reserves – New Zealand’s importation of natural gas from distant overseas markets will eventually lead to an overall increase in emissions.
Labour exposed its reckless approach to governance when it dictated that the industry would close – without any prior warning, any costings, or any consultation – just so the Prime Minister could look decisive on the world stage. It remains one of the key reasons why Kiwi businesses cannot trust this government and why business confidence is declining.
So why would James Shaw, Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters impose ideological policies onto New Zealand that have failed overseas? Why would they put our future at risk for a theory – for that’s all man-made global warming is?
To reiterate, there remains no real-life evidence that dangerous man-made global warming exists. The weather events that James Shaw likes to highlight as being proof of runaway climate change are not outside the bounds of natural variability.
During the Medieval Warm Period, the earth was far warmer than it is today, and during the Little Ice Age, far cooler. Carbon dioxide levels have been far higher than now, and far lower. Species continue to evolve as they always have, with some dying out and others adapting and flourishing. Storms have been fiercer and more frequent than the present, as have floods and every other adverse weather event. The climate is chaotic, but no more, nor less, than it’s ever been.
Furthermore, while carbon is classed as “pollution” by some, it remains essential for life on earth. Although the actual level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is miniscule, it plays an essential role in the food chain. All plants and animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, but through photosynthesis in the presence of green chlorophyll and water, plants are able to capture the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide and store them as food, releasing oxygen in the process.
Yet Green socialists, intent on destroying economic growth and prosperity, have convinced politicians around the world that carbon dioxide is their enemy.
There is no doubt that at some stage in the future, sanity will again prevail and the current climate extremism will be relegated to the dustbin of history.
But in the meantime, how do we stop the politicians from destroying our economy and undermining our living standards?
One practical step is to encourage everyone who shares these concerns to express their views through the Zero Carbon Bill consultation. It’s open until 5pm on the 19th of July, and feedback can be provided through the website questionnaire HERE – or by directly emailing the Climate Change Team at ZCB@mfe.govt.nz.
The Zero Carbon Bill will create a vast bureaucracy: A Climate Change Commission, ‘emissions budgets’, climate change adaptation plans, and emissions targets.
The Bill presents three options for emissions targets for 2050. The first would regulate only carbon dioxide, the second carbon dioxide and methane, and the third carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and any other gases they can find.
The second and third options are designed to target farmers, as environmental extremists want to see stock numbers reduced and farming limited as an economic activity.
While most methane in New Zealand is produced by ruminants digesting food, it is not the problem the activists are making it out to be. Soil scientist, Dr Doug Edmeades, explains:
“Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere. It hangs around for about 10 years before it is converted to CO2. For every unit of carbon the animal emits as CH4 it must ingest the same amount of carbon from its plant-based feed source, which, comes initially from the CO2 in the atmosphere. The animal is both the source of the carbon in methane and it is also the sink for the equivalent amount of carbon in CO2. In this sense the carbon-methane cycle – methane-to-CO2-to-forage-plants-to-animals-to-methane – is a closed cycle. The animal is CH4-carbon neutral.”
Dr Edmeades is right – and his finding illustrates only too clearly why climate science, like all science, is never ‘settled’, with new discoveries continually improving our knowledge and understanding.
Since livestock are carbon neutral, methane from agriculture should not be included in emissions targets. Without methane, New Zealand would have one of the smallest greenhouse gas emissions profiles in the developed world.
In fact, no gases should be included in emissions targets, because just like the Emissions Trading Scheme, James Shaw’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill will create a costly nightmare of red tape and bureaucracy that will waste time and money, drag down the economy, and destroy businesses and jobs – all for no benefit.
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell, who shares his analysis of the economic modelling that has been carried out on the Zero Carbon Bill. He also expresses astonishment at what is actually being proposed:
“I guess these targets are advocated by zealots, but even the zealots surely recognise that what New Zealand does is not going to change the climate, and that many countries already richer and more productive than we are are proposing adjustments that are materially less costly or demanding than what the New Zealand government is proposing here. I am not suggesting we can or should do nothing – there is some minimum effort probably required to ward off the threat of trade sanctions – but surely on any reasonable cost-benefit assessment of the interests of New Zealanders, we would be confronting these costs – the wilfully given up opportunities for our kids and grandchildren – and pulling back?
“I would be surprised if ever before in history a democratic government has consulted on proposals to reduce the material wellbeing of its own people by up to 25 per cent. Wars, of course, come at a very considerable cost – and sometimes are worth fighting – but again, I doubt any democracy (or perhaps even any tyranny) ever entered a war thinking that as a result of doing so they would be so much poorer 30 years on. It is simply a breathtaking proposition – the more so in a country that at the moment struggles to achieve any material productivity growth at all.”
So, what should we, the people, do?
We need to push-back against the Bill and James Shaw’s moral crusade. Anyone who cares about New Zealand and our economic future should say no to emissions target. Doing nothing is not an option.
Regrettably, instead of taking a lead and standing up against the extremist madness of the Greens and this Bill, National’s new leader Simon Bridges has decided to support it. And without a Donald Trump – who had the courage to reject climate scaremongering and threats and put the wellbeing of his country and its people first – it’s up to us! Don’t forget, submissions close July 19.
Officially, Professor Peter Ridd was axed from James Cook University for allegedly mocking of its reputation as a home to serious scholars and research — a handy way to avoid addressing his very specific charge that Reef scientists are playing fast and loose with facts.
The firing of Professor Peter Ridd by James Cook University for making public his concerns about the ongoing and highly dubious environmental claims of some university researchers regarding the Great Barrier Reef has unleashed a strong surge of public response in his favour. The position taken by the JCU administration has been characterised by a complete avoidance of the actual substance of Professor Ridd’s concerns and a blanket denial of anything improper while ignoring and obscuring the actual concerns with a smokescreen of procedural obfuscation.
Supporters of the university’s action are few in number and, predictably, have taken an evidence-free approach. Ridd, remember, raised specific concerns about research. The university has countered with appeals to authority, personal denigration and waffle about procedural matters. Coverage by the mainstream news media has been noticeably muted, which is hardly surprising. When your editorial policy is steeped in catastropharianism, as is the case with both the ABC and Fairfax, stories which might ruffle the narrative are studiously ignored.
To better understand what is really going on, a bit of background.
“…Of most concern is that Professor Ridd was sacked primarily for an alleged breach of confidentiality and insubordination. To summarise the University’s apparent position, Professor Ridd was required to keep quiet about the formal censure he received last year.
That censure was the result of a misconduct process that management ran about his comments on the science pertaining to the Great Barrier Reef and scientific method used to underpin that science. They said that those comments were made inappropriately and disrespectfully. They said his comments denigrated his colleagues. They said that the findings and the censure were confidential.
It is ironic in the extreme that JCU management appear to have been trying to protect the reputation of the University and bodies like the Australian Institute of Marine Science…”
The 1980s saw a blossoming of marine research in Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef as a national icon received a great deal of attention. Most of this work was basic research. That is, it was aimed at simply trying to better understand the Reef, not at trying to develop it or to “save” it. For a short while it was a golden age for pure research and a quite a lot of new knowledge was produced. However, an ongoing expansion of universities plus the ever-increasing role of grants in their funding was making grant-getting a major factor for status in the academic hierarchy. Things in the academy became a lot more competitive. At the same time, environmental concerns were beginning to gain much more public and political attention. Grant-seekers found that suggesting a proposed study might enhance understanding of some possible or purported environmental threat greatly increased the likelihood of funding approval.
This proved to be a very slippery slope and the descent soon went from suggesting possible eco-threats, to having to defend them, to the need to find more threats and thence to manufacturing them. Then came the mother of all such threats: Global Warming, which after a few years morphed into the even more inclusive Climate Change. Now we have a whole generation of researchers whose entire training and experience of the Reef has been in the context of studying and investigating environmental threats to it
The fact that reefs are highly varied, variable and dynamic communities exhibiting large differences from reef to reef, place to place and time to time has afforded a cornucopia of hypothetically possible “threats” needing study by grant-seekers programmed to see ever fluctuation of nature as evidence of some human-caused “impact”. Better still, it is all out there over the horizon and beneath the sea, where the reality is safely out of sight and claims by researchers are likely to be accepted without much dissent.
The crusade to “save the Reef” has enjoyed huge popularity. To researchers it is a perennial $100 million-plus font of funding that is ever increasing and with all-expense-paid Barrier Reef holidays as a fringe benefit. To the news media it is an ongoing source of dramatic, attention-getting stories of threats to a national icon and wrong-doers to be identified. To activists it is a spectre of dire threats to generate healthy contributions. To politicians it affords a cheap non-controversial appeal for greenish votes. And, for anyone who chooses, it affords an enticing opportunity for virtue signalling at no personal cost or effort with a delicious serving of moral righteousness thrown in.
As the preeminent university in the GBR region, JCU has enjoyed a prominent seat on the “Save the Reef” bandwagon — and the institution has not failed to hitch this onto the even bigger and more luxurious Climate Change gravy train. A few years ago, a survey was conducted to rate the leading climate change research institution in accord with the number of citations of their studies in scientific journals. The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the UK, with it’s close links to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was rated number one. Number two, though, was a surprise. It was the modestly titled Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at JCU, which studies reefs, not climate change and doesn’t employ any climatologists. This was achieved by leveraging the global iconic status of the GBR with alleged dire threats to it health from climate change, plus vigorous hype fed to a gullible media by the JCU PR department.
A few more relevant facts to consider:
JCU has a dozen senior executives on the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy or Pro Vice-Chancellor level. For example and comparison, Manchester University in the UK has two such persons for about twice the number of students, staff and budget.
JCU is funded almost entirely by government and the salary of the Vice-Chancellor is near twice that of the Prime Minister or even the President of the United States.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies brings about $6 million per annum into JCU coffers for hosting it.
The director of the ARC Centre is credited with an extraordinary 43,000 citations for his research, with Climate Change heading the list of his interests. In comparison this is over five times more than for the director of ARC’s own much larger Centre of Excellence for Climate Science. Understandably, JCU might wish to protect such a valuable cash cow and its attractive publicity.
The well-founded and unrefuted criticisms by Professor Ridd included specific mention of the ARC Reef Centre and its director.
JCU Has Form in Not Addressing Concerns About Research Integrity
For a more detailed insight into the dubious claims of the reef salvation, academics and how they deny, deflect and ignore any questioning of their claims, but never address the substance of any of the points raised, a link is provided below to a .pdf file of a dozen relevant documents. These pertain to some 40 false or misleading claims I identified in a 2010 publication authored by some 21 reef researchers and generously self-described as comprising, “…a ‘who’s-who’ of Australian coral reef scientists….” A dozen students and staff from JCU and/or the ARC Reef Centre were involved and the portion of the file pertaining to JCU runs from pages 34 through 40. However, the file — the link in red below — is worth reading from the beginning to appreciate the full extent and nature of the falsehoods involved as well as the complete refusal by all of the responsible authorities to address any of the specific concerns set forth. It may also be worth noting that for legal purposes an unrefuted claim must be treated as proven, and that my claims remain unrefuted. It is further worth noting that my exchange with JCU on this was with the same Vice-Chancellor who has presided over the firing of Professor Ridd.
It is clear from both my own experience with JCU and Professor Ridd’s that the administration has shown no interest in addressing any evidence of malpractice in their domain.
So, where is all this going?
The empirically based, objective, rationally consistent approach to understanding on which science is based has been by far the most potent intellectual tool in human history. With the boom in science following the Second World War the traditional liberal arts core of academia was in danger of being eclipsed in prestige and funding and the so-called social sciences briefly tried to become more scientific. However, it soon became apparent that to do so would require discarding too much of the established beliefs and reputations. This was found unacceptable. The liberal arts establishment soon came up with the idea that some truths are so self-evident they cannot be disputed, that even to question them was unethical. Thus, was born the notion of political correctness and it’s expansion into a postmodern philosophy. In this view the whole empirical, objective, truth-seeking ideal of science is a dangerous delusion and the only ethical path to understanding is through the inherent truth on which all right-thinking persons agree and recognize as indisputably correct. There are numerous academics of the highest authority who stand ready and willing to tell us what we should think.
To a large degree they have been successful. The teaching of how to think was made subordinate to that of what to think. Then, with a liberal arts degree becoming an increasingly necessary qualification for a career in the media and entertainment industries, the capture of public forums by PC has been completed. Although engineering, medicine and the core natural sciences of physics, chemistry and geology have managed to retain some adherence to the scientific ethos, PC values have made deep inroads across the sciences. This is especially so in environmental studies where “noble cause corruption” has so heavily infected the ethos that in some areas the evidence-based approach has all but disappeared in preference to computer modelling which can be “optimised” until it produces a desired outcome and is effectively closed to independent examination. For those occasional instances when empirical data may be needed to plug into the models this has also been solved by “homogenisation” and other “adjustment” to yield preferred outcomes. This data-diddling also has been largely unexplained and made inaccessible to independent examination.
There is now a very real and present danger of a debilitating corruption of the credibility of science as well as the entire academic system. It also comes at a time when it is critically needed in dealing with the unprecedented complexities and rate of change with which our advancing technology is confronting us. This is now happening on every level, from the personal through the family, local, national and global realms with massive socio-political, environmental and economic impacts.
As currently conducted, scientific research is largely free of any clearly defined and widely established code of ethics or standards of practice and there is no formal consideration of such in scientific training. Such things are simply assumed to be absorbed from the prevailing scientific culture. Unfortunately, what tends to be absorbed, along with varying bits and pieces of the classical scientific ethos, is a thorough indoctrination in a decidedly unscientific postmodern philosophy. This is heavily slanted to the liberal academic Left and strongly critical of most productive activity and the productive sector of our society.
In the absence of any clear code of ethics or standards of practice for science these vary greatly between individual researchers and different institutions, as does the experience of individual students. Although it is common for research institutions to make claims to “world standard” or even “worlds best practice”, there are in fact no such standards and the claims are self-awarded. In today’s world and the one into which we are headed, a clear well-defined and widely accepted code of ethics and practice for science is badly needed. The call by Professor Ridd for the establishment of a formal process to critically examine and verify any research claims that are to be used as a basis for decision making by government is also badly needed.
Although there are many honest researchers who will acknowledge in private the corruption of science that is taking place, it is rare for any to be willing to do so publicly and the treatment of Peter Ridd proves why. His is a rare stand on principle. There has been nothing in it for him but grief and he deserves every bit the public support he has received. As for the JCU administration responsible for his dismissal, they have grossly violated the fundamental intellectual principles a university should stand for and indeed of basic justice and human rights as well. It is they who fully deserve dismissal along with a thorough examination of the concerns raised by Professor Ridd.
‘Sustainability’ is a modern buzz-word, a fashion, a vital tool for preservation and all-to-often a cover for dangerous covert agendas, not the least being the danger of related policies returning electrical power delivery to third-world status.
If our worst enemies abroad were given one evil wish to destroy our economy they probably would look to curse perhaps our greatest natural advantage: access to almost unlimited cheap energy.
Yet, as if to prove that fact is stranger than even this madcap fiction, this is a hex we are visiting upon ourselves.
If a prosperous nation decided to burden its people with expensive and unreliable power, imposing hardships including job losses, costs on struggling families, reduced profits and missed investment opportunities, to create a more benign environment for all the people of the world, it would be truly altruistic. But if it were inflicting pain on its citizens and handicapping future generations for no discernible benefit, then it would be an act of sheer madness.
Yet here we are. We are in a self-imposed energy crisis. No one disputes the urgency — Coalition and Labor politicians, state and federal, agree prices are too high; they are spending on diesel generators, large-scale batteries and stored hydro to find a way through; companies are having power cut or being paid to reduce demand; consumers and industries fear dire consequences; regulators sound alarms about lack of supply; and policymakers float a raft of possible solutions.
Yet it is all our doing. By mandating renewable energy targets, committing to global carbon dioxide emissions-reduction goals, subsidising wind and solar generation including by domestic consumers, toying with emissions trading schemes and imposing (for a time) a carbon tax, we have up-ended our electricity market, forced out some of the cheapest and most reliable generation and made our power more expensive and less reliable. The lion’s share of investment across a decade — upwards of $30 billion — has gone into the sure bet of subsidised renewable energy that has a guaranteed market but that cannot be relied on to meet peak energy output at any given time. Billions more have been spent on government payments and grants. All this money is recouped in the end from consumers, who are paying enormous sums to go backwards.
Since 1999, average spot prices per megawatt hour have leapt from $50 to $110 in South Australia and from less than $25 in NSW and Victoria to $80 and $95 respectively. Electricity costs for manufacturers have increased 79 per cent since 2010 and in that period there have been net job losses of about 140,000 in the sector. Price rises have squeezed family budgets, created hardship for pensioners and forced companies to cut jobs or shut down.
South Australia was plunged into darkness for hours and the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that without remedial action, even in NSW where cheap and reliable coal-fired power has been abundant, there will be supply vulnerability in the coming years that could lead to 200,000 homes going without power during peak summer demand. The closure of NSW’s Liddell coal-fired power station in a few years will make the situation worse.
This month AEMO warned again that the “unprecedented transformation” of our electricity system means Australia “does not have the energy reserves it once had to lean on” when we need it. This is deplorable.
We are the world’s largest coal exporter. We will soon be the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. We are the third largest exporter of uranium.
Australia powers the economic and manufacturing powerhouses of northeast Asia, and other parts of the world, with cost-effective and reliable energy supplies. But we decline to do the same for ourselves.
We may as well feed the people of the world with our wheat and sheep exports while our own people go hungry. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Politicians from both major parties and the Greens pretend — surely they are feigning because they must know the facts — that this is our contribution to global efforts to combat global warming. This is fraudulent.
We need to do what the climate activists constantly implore of us: back the science. All the facts tell us that, scientifically, Australia’s climate action is doing nothing to improve the global environment. We are putting ourselves through extended economic pain, with deep social consequences, for nothing more than climate gestures. This is the hard edge of gesture politics: national virtue-signalling, with the poorest citizens and jobless paying the highest price.
Don’t take my word for it; listen to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, who the government tasked with revising policy. He confirmed before a Senate estimates committee hearing a year ago that Australia’s carbon emissions amounted to 1.3 per cent of the global total (that proportion is shrinking as world emissions grow). Finkel was asked what difference it would make to climate change if all of our nation’s emissions were cut — pretend 25 million of us left Australia idle — so that world emissions dropped by 1.3 per cent. “Virtually nothing,” was his reply.
But wait. Our contribution is much less significant even than “virtually nothing” because we will not eliminate all our emissions. We aim to reduce them by 26 per cent — so our best impact may be a quarter of virtually nothing. Wait again; we become even more irrelevant. Global emissions are on the rise. Led by China (growing by up to 4 per cent so far this year) world CO2 emissions are increasing at close to 2 per cent. So, more science, more facts. China’s annual emissions are about 30 times higher than ours and in any given year the increase alone in China’s emissions can be more than double what we plan to cut by 2030. While global emissions rise our piddling cuts do zip. We are emitting into the wind. Our price rises, blackouts, job losses, investment droughts, subsidies and energy system dilemmas are all for nothing.
Anyone with a pulse must understand this. Why they persist with proposing or backing costly climate policies is the question. They want to display their commitment to the cause. They want to associate themselves with protecting the planet. It is earth motherhood, dictated by political fashion and a reluctance to go against the zeitgeist. What a sad indictment on our political/media class — indulging its progressive credentials for social and diplomatic acceptance at the expense of struggling families, jobless blue-collar workers and our economic competitiveness.
The Coalition is starting to tear itself apart again; led by Tony Abbott, those who understand mainstream concerns are rising up against those stuck in commercial, media and political orthodoxy. Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg’s national energy guarantee is a retrofit mechanism to encourage some investment in dispatchable electricity.
As they negotiate for a bipartisan position they could be left with a stark choice: satisfy Labor and its premiers or placate the Coalition partyroom. It may be impossible to do both — the partyroom may at least demand a plan to extend the life of Liddell — and another political short-circuit may be in the offing.
The national energy system is so badly distorted by a decade of renewable subsidies and the threat of future carbon prices that there is no easy solution. All sides of the debate propose expensive government interventions. Investors in anything but renewables are wary.
If we had done nothing on climate action we might have had plentiful and cheap coal and gas power on the back of private investment. But we killed that goose. There is bound to be a reckoning; eventually we will reclaim the energy advantage we export to other nations. And if we ever need a zero-emissions future, we will embrace the silver bullet of nuclear energy. The only question is whether it takes us three years or three decades to come to our senses — and how many political careers will be hoist with this petard in the interim.
Australia’s power policies are killing its economy
You couldn’t make it up if you tried. Australia is a huge exporter of energy as coal, LNG and uranium, yet it has unreliable and expensive electricity. South Australia has achieved a first for Australia: it has the most expensive electricity in the world. A short time ago it had cheap coal-fired power.
Australia remains the only G20 country with no nuclear power yet has 30 per cent of the planet’s in-ground uranium, mainly in South Australia. Victoria has banned drilling for onshore gas in its two gas-rich basins yet suffers a gas shortage.
Australia’s energy crisis is based on a flawed fundamental. Global human emissions are only 3 per cent of total annual emissions. It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. If it were shown, it would also have to be shown that the 97 per cent of emissions from natural processes such as ocean degassing, volcanoes, natural chemical reactions and exhalation don’t drive global warming.
In the geological past, Earth’s atmosphere had hundreds of times the CO2 content of the modern atmosphere yet there were no carbon dioxide-driven catastrophes. The past shows that climate change is normal, that warmer times and more atmospheric carbon dioxide have driven biodiversity and that cold times kill.
Ice core drilling shows that 800 years after natural warming, the atmosphere increases in carbon dioxide. The zenith of the Little Ice Age was 300 years ago and since then we have slightly warmed and cooled during a long-term warming trend. Instrumental temperature measurements over the past 150 years show no correlation between human emissions of CO2 and temperature. On all timescales it can be shown that there is no correlation between CO2 emissions and global warming. Without correlation, there can be no causation.
The worldwide temperature record has been changed. Cooling trends have been “homogenised” to warming trends. In the corporate world, if a loss is “homogenised” to a profit, it is fraud. Why is climate science different?
No genuine environmentalist could honestly support subsidised wind turbines that despoil the scenery, slice and dice birds and bats, damage human health and spread toxins. This is not environmentalism. It is power over people by unelected activists, often funded from outside Australia.
Unless the laws of physics are changed, solar power cannot be made more efficient. Solar facilities result in the clearing and environmental degradation of huge acreages and depositing of toxins.
Construction and maintenance of wind and solar facilities release far more carbon dioxide than they are meant to save over their working lives and they need to be supported 24/7 by coal-fired generators. The Spaniards invented a way of producing solar power at night without changing the laws of physics. Diesel generators with floodlights illuminated solar panels. Subsidies were so generous that profits could still be made at night. No wonder Spain went broke.
Australia’s CO2 emissions are only 1.3 per cent of global human emissions, which are 3 per cent of the total global emissions. To reduce Australian emissions will have absolutely no effect on the planet’s temperature. The only effect will be a rapid reduction in jobs as electricity prices skyrocket.
Those who signed the Paris Accord actually believed they can twiddle the planetary dials to minimise warming to less than 2 Celsius yet seemed blissfully unaware that whatever humans do, they cannot change Earth’s orbit and radiation released from the sun that drive climate. Australia’s signed a suicide note yet didn’t seem to notice that China, India, Indonesia and the US did not commit to reducing their large carbon dioxide emissions.
The grasslands, crops, forests and territorial waters of Australia absorb more carbon dioxide than Australia emits. Australia should demand the Paris Accord shell out some of the billions sloshing around in the climate business.
The subsidies for wind and solar power and the must-take mandate have attracted all sorts of dodgy enterprises, lickspittles and carpetbaggers to the renewable energy honey pot. The National Energy Market was the nail in the coffin and, after 40 years of falling electricity costs and a reliable grid, Australia now has energy poverty and destruction of businesses. Electricity is not a luxury; it is a necessity for any civilised society.
The solution requires political courage. Cancel the renewable energy target, large-scale RET, renewable energy certificates, clean energy target and any funding that subsidises renewable energy. Cancel funding for climate research institutes, climate conferences, carbon capture schemes and jaunts for signing suicide notes.
If any energy company provides electricity to the grid, decree that it must have 90 per cent availability 24/7 and get rid of the must-take mandate. Cancel the charitable status of feral activist groups like Greenpeace. Change the Corporations Law such that green activists, environmentalists, unionists and lobbyists abide by the same conditions of probity as company directors.
Because investment confidence in energy in Australia has been destroyed, governments must build modern coal-fired and nuclear power stations. Australia needs a nuclear industry that could start by using modular reactors for isolated mines and towns before growing a vertically integrated nuclear industry.
Only elections can change the madness but no major political party has nation-building leaders and a coherent policy to cut electricity costs and increase reliability. Politicians fiddle around the edges. As soon as the words emissions, climate change and Paris are used, you know you are being conned and that the world’s biggest scam will continue.
Australia’s energy policy is based on the fallacious assumption that human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. This underpins the Finkel and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reports, the Paris Accord and political quick-fix solutions. Renewable energy has become ruinable energy, thanks to green ideology.
I fear there will be years of increasing pain before there is enough political courage to bring Australia to what it had in the past: cheap, reliable employment-generating electricity.
Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer’s Climate Delusion and The Great Electricity Rip-off (Connor Court) has just been published.
Australia’s electricity is far too expensive and unreliable
There’s an app for everything these days, even one that tracks in real time the startling cost of Australia’s ludicrous energy policy.
We are indebted to PocketNEM for informing us that the spot price of electricity on the National Energy Market shot above $150 a megawatt hour in the eastern states late on Sunday afternoon, hitting $365 in the windmill-powered dystopia known as South Australia. During a largely overcast and windless winter weekend, SA and Victoria sucked up megawatt after megawatt of coal-generated electricity from NSW and Queensland, stretching the interconnectors to their limits.
To whom will the cost of these expensive buy-ins be charged? To the customer of course — you, me and the business we rely on to provide jobs, goods and services.
When the dust settles, the 33,000 gigawatt-hour renewable energy target will prove to be the costliest legacy of the Rudd and Gillard governments. Sure, there are plenty of other multi-billion-dollar blunders to choose from — the cost blowout to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, for example — policies that, like the RET, were implemented with noble intent but vacant attention to detail.
Yet on the scale of bureaucratically orchestrated disasters they are dwarfed by the RET, a Soviet-scale exercise in market intervention that is unravelling before our eyes, presenting Malcolm Turnbull’s government with a diabolical policy challenge that cannot be deferred.
How quickly the world has changed. Barely nine months before Turnbull became Prime Minister the Australian Energy Market Commission, which is supposed to know about these things, predicted that scrapping the carbon tax, falling electricity demand and increased capacity would cause retail electricity prices to fall.
The AEMC’s latest forecast presents a very different picture. Household electricity bills will rise acutely, particularly in South Australia and Victoria. The closure of SA’s brown-coal-fired Northern power station 13 months ago, followed by the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station this year, means that for the first time in at least a half-century there is a shortage of active generation capacity.
Last December, the AEMC calculated that the closures would increase the cost of wholesale energy by 55 per cent in Victoria and Tasmania and 41 per cent in SA by the next federal election.
The Turnbull government will get only one shot at fixing this mess before rising power prices start to bite, and it will steady its aim this Friday with the release of Alan Finkel’s review of the National Electricity Market.
It is a chance to rescue energy policy from the sectional interests that want the renewable energy gravy train to keep running, and to frame it to serve the national interest. The ideologues, aided and abetted by the self-interested renewable energy lobby, will try to make this a debate about “sustainability” in the hope of deflecting attention from our demonstrably unsustainable energy policy. We must ignore their soft-headed nonsense and focus on securing what we really need: a reliable supply of affordable energy within our carbon emission targets.
The review is unlikely to recommend, nor is the government willing to countenance, the abolition of the RET, attractive as that may seem to energy market rationalists.
It should, however, help us recognise that putting most of the burden on the electricity grid to deliver Australia’s promised carbon emissions reduction was a ghastly mistake. It has neither assisted the reduction of carbon emissions nor encouraged the development of new technology.
Even Ross Garnaut, the Rudd government’s professor of choice, called for it to be phased out. The RET “does not necessarily encourage the lowest cost means of reducing emissions”, he wrote in 2011, “nor does it encourage innovation: it favours the lowest cost established technologies that are eligible within the scheme”,
In fact, it can cost up to $100 a tonne to abate carbon emissions through large-scale wind and solar, and up to double that amount using small-scale domestic solar panels.
Meanwhile another arm of government, the Emissions Reduction Fund, can do the same job for less than $12 a tonne. Allowing thermal generators to offset emissions by purchasing credits from the ERF instead of renewable energy certificates at eight or nine times the price may give them a fighting chance.
The review also presents the opportunity to end the sacred treatment of wind and solar and to share subsidies, if subsidies there must be, with low-emission thermal energy production such as gas and clean coal. It would not fix the gas shortage but at least it would give the owners of mothballed gas plants a little more confidence of a return on investment.
If common sense is allowed to intrude, we will no longer pay subsidies of about $85 a megawatt hour for the fitful supply of unstable energy using subprime technology of windmills.
Renewable energy suppliers have little incentive to improve the reliability of their product since it is the public, not they, who are forced to pick up the bill for buying in thermal power at the spot price when the blades stop tuning.
The energy market as currently constructed is a classic example of moral hazard where one party decides how much risk to take, while another bears the cost when things go wrong. If renewable energy companies were made to shoulder all, or at least part, of the cost of their failure to provide electricity at 50 hertz for 24 hours a day, they might invest more in the development of storage.
What could go wrong? After all, Alan Kohler assured us in his column in The Weekend Australian that wind and solar are at the point of becoming cheaper than coal and gas, and batteries are just around the corner. We are about to see a flood of renewable investment that will spell the end of coal.
A clear-headed readjustment of the RET will allow us to test that somewhat brave assumption. Oh, and help us keep the lights on.
Nick Cater is executive director of Menzies Research Centre.
What will Brexit mean, both short and long-term? Could it lead to more countries’ rank and file voters deciding to take back control from the elitists who denigrate the hoi polloi? Or will the elitist establishment continue trampling on democracy?
Explain why white men accused of pedophilia are allowed to be photographed and questioned by reporters on court steps, while Pakistani Muslims are not. Explain why a police force that took three decades to start dealing with Muslim rape gangs was able to arrest and incarcerate a journalist within a few scant hours. Explain why a man can be arrested for breaching the peace when no violence has taken place. To the British government: explain your actions, or open Tommy Robinson’s cell and let him walk free.
The rule of law is fragile, and relies on the self-restraint of the majority. In a just society, the majority obey the law because they believe it represents universal values – moral absolutes. They obey the law not for fear of punishment, but for fear of the self-contempt that comes from doing wrong.
As children, we are told that the law is objective, fair and moral. As we grow up, though, it becomes increasingly impossible to avoid the feeling that the actual law has little to do with the Platonic stories we were told as children. We begin to suspect that the law may in fact – or at least at times – be a coercive mechanism designed to protect the powerful, appease the aggressive, and bully the vulnerable.
The arrest of Tommy Robinson is a hammer-blow to the fragile base of people’s respect for British law. The reality that he could be grabbed off the street and thrown into a dangerous jail – in a matter of hours – is deeply shocking.
Tommy was under a suspended sentence for filming on courthouse property in the past. On May 25, 2018, while live-streaming his thoughts about the sentencing of alleged Muslim child rapists, Tommy very consciously stayed away from the court steps, constantly used the word “alleged,” and checked with the police to ensure that he was not breaking the law.
Tommy yelled questions at the alleged criminals on their way into court – so what? How many times have you watched reporters shouting questions at people going in and out of courtrooms? You can find pictures of reporters pointing cameras and microphones at Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter, who were accused of similar crimes against children.
Tommy Robinson was arrested for “breaching the peace,” which is a civil proceeding that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Was imminent violence about to erupt from his reporting? How can Tommy Robinson have been “breaching the peace” while wandering around in the rain on a largely empty street sharing his thoughts on criminal proceedings? There were several police officers present during his broadcast, why did they allow him to break the law for so long?
Was Tommy wrong to broadcast the names of the alleged criminals? The mainstream media, including the state broadcaster, the BBC, had already named them. Why was he punished, but not them?
These are all questions that demand answers.
Even if everything done by the police or the court was perfectly legitimate and reasonable, the problem is that many people in England believe that Tommy Robinson is being unjustly persecuted by his government. The fact that he was arrested so shortly after his successful Day for Freedom event, where he gathered thousands of people in support of free speech, strikes many as a little bit more than a coincidence.
Is the law being applied fairly? Tommy Robinson has received countless death threats over the years, and has reported many of them. Did the police leap into action to track down and prosecute anyone sending those threats?
If the British government truly believes that incarcerating Tommy Robinson is legitimate, then they should call a press conference, and answer as many questions as people have, explaining their actions in detail.
As we all know, there has been no press conference. Instead of transparency, the government has imposed a publication ban – not just on the trial of the alleged child rapists, but on the arrest and incarceration of Tommy Robinson. Not only are reporters unable to ask questions, they are forbidden from even reporting the bare facts about Tommy Robinson’s incarceration.
Why? British law strains – perhaps too hard – to prevent publication of information that might influence a jury, but Tommy’s incarceration was on the order of a judge. He will not get a jury trial for 13 months imprisonment. Since there is no jury to influence, why ban reports on his arrest and punishment?
Do these actions strike you as the actions of a government with nothing to hide?
Free societies can only function with a general respect for the rule of law. If the application of the law appears selective, unjust, or political, people begin to believe that the law no longer represents universal moral values. If so, what is their relationship to unjust laws? Should all laws be blindly obeyed, independent of conscience or reason? The moral progress of mankind has always manifested as resistance to injustice. Those who ran the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves get from America to Canada were criminals according to the law of their day. We now think of them as heroes defying injustice, because the law was morally wrong.
The inescapable perception that various ethnic and religious groups are accorded different treatment under the Western law is one of the most dangerous outcomes of the cult of diversity.
Diversity of thought, opinion, arguments and culture can be beneficial – diversity of treatment under the law fragments societies.
The blind mantra that “diversity is a strength” is an attempt to ignore the most fundamental challenge of multiculturalism, which is: if diversity is a value, what is our relationship to belief systems which do not value diversity?
If tolerance of homosexuality is a virtue, what is our relationship to belief systems that are viciously hostile to homosexuality? If equality of opportunity for women is a virtue, what about cultures and religions which oppose such equality?
And if freedom of speech is a value, what is our relationship to those who violently oppose freedom of speech?
Diversity is a value only if moral values remain constant. We need freedom of speech in part because robust debate in a free arena of ideas is our best chance of approaching the truth.
You need a team with diverse skills to build a house, but everything must rest on a strong foundation. Diversity is only a strength if it rests on universal moral values.
Is Tommy Robinson being treated fairly? If gangs of white men had spent decades raping and torturing little Muslim girls, and a justly outraged Muslim reporter was covering the legal proceedings, would he be arrested?
We all know the answer to that question. And we all know why.
Diversity of opinion is the path to truth – diversity of legal systems is the path to ruin.
If the arrest and incarceration of Tommy Robinson is just, then the government must throw open the doors and invite cross-examination from sceptics. Honestly explain what happened, and why.
Explain why elderly white men accused of pedophilia are allowed to be photographed and questioned by reporters on court steps, while Pakistani Muslims are not.
Explain why a police force that took three decades to start dealing with Muslim rape gangs was able to arrest and incarcerate a journalist within a few scant hours.
Explain why a man can be arrested for breaching the peace when no violence has taken place – or appears about to take place.
To the British government: explain your actions, or open Tommy Robinson’s cell and let him walk free.
Stefan Molyneux is the host of Freedomain Radio
The British Lords and the Left unite to fight democracy
‘Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.’ So, allegedly, wrote 18th century Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot. With the subsequent political tumult of the 1789 French Revolution, Diderot’s supposed words became popularised as ‘Hang the last aristocrat with the guts of the last priest!’. The people’s enemies were the tyrannical Ancien Régime and its apologists in the church hierarchy.
More than 200 years later, in the struggle over Brexit, we are faced with different enemies seeking to reverse the democratic revolt by 17.4million Leave voters. Members of the House of Lords leading the reactionary backlash against Brexit are not old-fashioned aristocrats, but an unelected club of former, failed and sometimes fraudulent politicians. And the Remainer elites’ loud cheerleaders are to be found, not among church traditionalists, but in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and on the left.
It seems we need a new version of that old revolutionary slogan. Perhaps something like ‘Hang the last Remainer Lord with the guts of the last Brexit-betraying leftie’! Though, in these more temperate times, we should only wish to see them throttled in a figurative, political sense, of course.
This week the House of Lords inflicted yet more defeats on the Tory government over its EU Withdrawal Bill. By 335 votes to 294, peers passed an amendment which would give parliament the power to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal, or force prime minister Theresa May (or her successor) to return to the negotiating table if they didn’t like the exit agreement.
If upheld by MPs in the House of Commons, this amendment would effectively tie the government’s hands. It could mean the UK only leaves the EU on terms acceptable to Brussels and the hardcore anti-Brexiteers back home. That would mean Remain by another name.
Of course, the lords insist they are only defending parliamentary democracy and sovereignty against government diktat. But this is a mockery of democracy. They never seemed concerned about UK parliamentary sovereignty while imposed EU rules rode roughshod over it for 40 years. Yet suddenly they want to defend it against the demand for popular democracy and sovereignty expressed in the EU referendum result. Those 335 unelected, unaccountable, ermined lords have appointed themselves as champions of democracy against the ‘tyranny’ of 17.4million Leave voters.
How times change. After the anti-Brexit votes, the lords came under fierce attack from the sort of conservative politicians and newspapers that might once have been expected to defend the traditions of parliament’s upper house. Tory trade secretary Liam Fox warned peers were trying to ‘thwart the will of the British people’; the Suncalled the Lords ‘a cancer eating away at our democracy’; the Daily Mail dubbed it ‘a house of unelected wreckers’; former UKIP leader Nigel Farage echoed spiked’s call for a referendum on abolishing the House of Lords.
Yet on the other side, the democracy-subverting Lords were praised by leaders of the Labour Party and the left who always claim to be supporters of radical change. Labour’s (anti-)Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said the vote marked a ‘hugely significant moment’ in the fight to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal acceptable to Remainers – more significant, apparently, than the small matter of the referendum vote to do just that.
Leading left-liberal voice the Guardian, a longstanding advocate of radical Lords’ reform, made space for an article by arch-Remainer Lord Bilimoria (no doubt we must ensure that such disenfranchised minorities as peers of the realm have a voice). Looking down from the moral high ground, his lordship informed us that, by trying to stop Brexit, the Lords is simply doing what’s best for the British people, whether we know/like it or not: ‘Rather than being at war with the nation, we are its very custodians.’ Or Guardians, perhaps.
Further left, a senior writer at New Statesman magazine, Labour’s house journal, praised the House of Lords as ‘the left’s new best friend’. Even fanatical Corbynista website the Canary suggested that Labour supporters ‘wishing to remain in the EU may find unlikely heroes in their unelected peers’. With ‘best friends’ and ‘heroes’ like the Lords, who needs enemies?
In the battle over Brexit, the Lords and the Labour-supporting left have united to fight democracy. In this unholy alliance against the people, the Lords at least is only doing its job. But the left has betrayed all it claims to stand for.
The role of the upper house in Britain’s modern political history has been to restrain democratic reform and guard the state against the danger of ‘too much’ democracy.
Over the past two centuries of political struggle, the balance of power has shifted away from the Lords towards a House of Commons, elected by an increasingly wide franchise; universal adult suffrage was finally achieved in 1929. Seventy years later, when Tony Blair’s New Labour government removed almost all hereditary peers from parliament, it surely should have sounded the death knell for the unaccountable power of peers.
Yet today, the Lords, leftover rubbish of the Middle Ages, is back at the forefront of the battle over democracy and sovereignty. With more than 800 unelected members (200 more than before the hereditaries were ousted), the House of Lords is now the largest chamber in any democracy – albeit one without a shred of democratic legitimacy. The fact that the misnamed Liberal Democrats, reduced to a rump of a dozen elected MPs, now has more than a hundred appointed peers swanning about in the Lords captures the unaccountable essence of that den of cronies.
Abolishing the House of Lords remains the unfinished business of Britain’s democratic revolution. That was why the left, from the Levellers of the 17th century to the Chartists of the 19th, always despised the anti-democratic institution that Thomas Paine described as the ‘remains of aristocratic tyranny’. As late as the early 1980s, under left-wing leader Michael Foot, the Labour Party backed abolition. Even in 2007, when the House of Commons debated various options for Lords reform, a sizeable minority of 163 MPs voted to do away with it altogether.
Yet now, Labour praises the Remainer elites in the Lords as champions of democracy, while the left hails the revolting peers as its ‘new best friends’ and ‘unlikely heroes’. There could hardly be a more telling illustration of the left’s historic shift away from the demos, the people, towards the unaccountable institutions of the state and the EU. Or of Labour’s abandonment of traditional working-class Leave voters in the rush of the ‘People’s Party’ to become the party of the metropolitan Remainer middle classes.
The Lords and its radical fan club might claim to be acting in defence of parliamentary sovereignty. Yet what does representative democracy really mean when no national political party represents the 52 per cent who voted Leave, and every party in parliament – bar Northern Ireland’s small and much-maligned Democratic Unionists – is led by Remainers?
Those who think of ourselves as left democrats have always defended parliamentary democracy against infringement by unaccountable powers, be that a king, the courts or the European Commission. But allow a distorted version of parliamentary sovereignty to be used as an elitist garrotte, to throttle the popular democratic demand for Brexit? Hang that.
Mick Hume is spiked’s editor-at-large. His new book, Revolting! How the Establishment is Undermining Democracy – and What They’re Afraid of, is published by William Collins. Buy it here.
Unelected British peers are engaged in an elitist revolt against the masses
In voting to stay in a customs union after Brexit, against the wishes of the elected government and its Brexit Bill, the House of Lords has ‘inflicted an embarrassing defeat’ on Theresa May, says the Independent. Actually, the Lords has inflicted a defeat on democracy. On the public will. On the 17.4million people who voted for Brexit. On us, the people. In 2018, unelected lords, these appointed experts and holy men and ageing, failed politicians whom not a single ordinary Briton ever voted on to the red benches of the second chamber, have defied a government voted for by 13.6million people and a course of action voted for by 17.4million people. This is an act of true elitism, an insult to democracy, an archaic abomination that has no place in a modern society that values the views and beliefs of the populace.
The Lords, who have been bristling at Brexit and the plebs who voted for it for almost two years now, voted today to add an amendment to the Brexit Bill stipulating that the UK will stay in a customs union with the EU after Brexit. That is, they want to force the elected government to do something it doesn’t want to do. They want it to defy its own voters and the electorate at large who voted in historic numbers to ‘take back control’ from the EU, including control of our trade, which a customs union would make impossible. And some people are celebrating this. Media people, the Twitterati, supposedly ‘liberal’ Remainers – all are whooping the fact that the posh and pompous unelected chamber is heaping pressure on the Commons to go against the wishes of the commoners who voted for them and who voted to cut ties with the EU. And still these people moan when we call them enemies of democracy! If it walks like an enemy of democracy and quacks like an enemy of democracy…
The Lords’ vote and the response to it explodes many of the myths in contemporary British politics. It shatters the increasingly grating claim to victimhood of the Remoaner set, who far from being brave, plucky insurgents taking on The Man are in truth backed by virtually every wing of the establishment, from the business elite to the academic world to most of the political class to the Lords itself, that dusty, ghostly hangover from the old, virulently anti-public wing of the establishment. It destroys the idea that Remainer agitation is not about stopping democracy and might even help to re-energise democracy: please, what could be more anti-democratic, more destructive to mass political decision-making, than cheering as the Lords lecture the elected and the people? And it lays to waste the Corbynistas’ claim to be radical. That party and many of its members are delighted with the Lords’ haughty assault on democracy. Corbyn’s (anti-)Brexit secretary Keir Starmer says MPs must heed their Lords. ‘Bow before your betters’, in essence. Please, everyone, stop referring to Corbynistas as firebrands. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is in truth becoming the most reliable defender of the technocratic, people-suspicious status quo.
This vote captures what is at stake in the Brexit era: democracy, the right of ordinary people, whatever their station, their background or their educational achievements, to have a hand in shaping the future of society. The EU weakened our ability to do that, and now the Lords is trying to do so, too. The Brussels establishment and those sections of the British elite who are wary of trusting the public to make important political decisions are two cheeks of the same anti-democratic arse. The question of our time is this: who should determine the destiny of a nation – everyone, all of its adult inhabitants, or those who by dint of their education or connections or heritage think they know better than the rest of us? The cry for Brexit says, ‘Everyone’; the elitist rage against Brexit says, ‘Us, the more clued-up, the Oxford grads, the lords, experts, lawyers and do-gooders. We should have a greater say because we better understand the needs of the nation.’ This vile idea, and it genuinely is vile, finds expression today in the Lords’ elitist revolt against the masses.
It is understandable that ‘our’ lords should hate Brexit. They instinctively recognise the rebellious, highly democratic spirit in the people’s huge vote against the EU. And they know that if we are willing to throw out the technocrats of Brussels, we might just throw out their lordships, too. We should be given the opportunity to do precisely that. We’ve had a referendum on the EU and now we need a referendum on the Lords so that the democrats among us can say, ‘Abolish this perverse and archaic institution’. In the meantime, the elected Commons must reject the Lords’ amendment and put these petty tyrants back in their box.
Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked. Follow him on Instagram: @burntoakboy
Who is planning a ‘New World Order’ (NWO), in what form, and what progress so far? Is reality different from the propaganda? Are you being programmed? And critically, what is being done to stop these plans?
Scan down to read the latest articles. Links to more articles are at the end of this post.
Several months ago, one of the early pioneers of Facebook and its first President Sean Parker, voiced his regret regarding helping create social media in the form we know it today, saying:
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…
”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments.
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said.
“The inventors, creators?—?it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people?—?understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
Later on, another former Facebook executive opened up about the same concerns.
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said.
“No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem? – ?this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
Palihapitiya then expressed the feeling of guilt, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds?—?even though we feigned this whole line of, like, there probably aren’t any bad unintended consequences. I think in the back, deep, deep recesses of, we kind of knew something bad could happen. But I think the way we defined it was not like this.”
“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“
Unapologetically American” Green Beret Explains “Why We…
Almost 40,000 people have “liked” an by UFC Middleweight Tim Kennedy.
Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”
Then he goes on to express some really strong sentiments:
“Bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything you want. It’s a bad, bad state of affairs. And we compound the problem. We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up. And we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short term and that leaves you even more, and admit it, vacant and empty before you did it. Because it forces you into this vicious cycle about what’s the next thing I need to do, because I need it back. And think about that compounded by two billion people.”
“Everybody else has to soul-search a little bit more about what you’re willing to do,” he said.
“Because your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you’re willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.”
He finishes this up by warning the audience not to think they’re too smart to fall for the implications of social media, and stated that those who are best-and-brightest are the most likely to fall for it, “because you are fucking check-boxing your whole Goddamn life.”
Now this is some really strong stuff, especially coming straightforward from Frankenstein’s mouth.
This is the first in a new series of talks called New World Awakening by my new favorite personality on the Alternative Media scene, Thomas Paine, aka Douglas Gabriel, PhD. In this one talk, he covers all or most of the themes I’ve been writing about on FKTV for the past 7 years and he offers solutions and actual signs that some of these seemingly intractable problems have been solved.
Dr. Gabriel is retired from a full career in education as a headmaster, administrator and teacher at various Waldorf schools, which are based on the work of Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner. Prior to this, he was a Trappist monk and a Jesuit priest and prior to that, he was drafted into the Army, where he worked as a cryptographer and systems analyst in signals intelligence at NSA. Presumably, this where he gained the firsthand insights and contacts that inform his work on the American Intelligence Media YouTube channel, AIM4Truth.org and in several other interrelated websites and YouTube channels. He is married to Tyla Gabriel, aka “Betsy Ross,” who is equally devoted to the Christian mysticism which they espouse in other venues.
I mention all of this due to the pseudonyms and due to the slight mystification around the persona of Thomas “Paine in the ass of the Globalists” – but as he himself says, “All of history is a series of biographies. It is not a series of events. It is not a series of ideologies; Communism, Fascism, Marxism. It is about individuals – and that’s what we’re trying to tell you, in every one of our broadcasts.”
Naming names, Baby! More importantly for Douglas Gabriel, the geopolitical is spiritual. This is an idea with which many may agree, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Below are some of the many salient points made by “Thomas Paine” in this talk about the challenges we face, as well as some positive developments. Many will be surprised to hear that Trump has reinstated the right to religious and philosophical exemption to vaccines. (They were putting people in prison in California in the last year for that!)
Paine says, We’re currently seeing “Not only a revolution in geopolitics but a revolution in science and technology, in consciousness and religion; in all aspects of life…what we need to remember is it’s consciousness that is really evolving.”
Greatly underreported is how George Soros gave $6 billion to the DNC over the past few elections. In other words, one person basically bought the Democratic National Party. The rest of the $18 billion of Soros’ money was put into the 184 Non-Governmental Organizations that Soros supports or what he calls his foundations. Paine alleges that Soros created these NGOs so that the money couldn’t be seized from him and that these $18 billion are going to drive the Far Left agenda for years to come.
Over the past year, he says this money has been driving George Soros’s Purple Revolution or the attempted regime-change of a duly elected US President, which we’ve seen playing out in the Mainstream Media – and at our dinner tables.
Douglas Gabriel and his “conclave” are part of what he calls the Second American Revolution, which is helping a small group of people in the Alternative Media to start a revolution that not only counteracts George Soros’ Purple Revolution, but also stops the erosion of the Republic, stops the undermining of our US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights.
What’s happening today has been happening since the earliest days of this country. The revolution against King George and the British was only part of the story. The US was then being fought over by the imperialistic forces of the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company and the revolution against those same imperialistic forces continues to this day. Now they’re now called Globalism and Transnationalism. International companies are given carte blanche to commit any crime they wish, such as selling weapons to both sides of the same war.
The following are the three aspects of the CIA: 1) The “Rogue CIA,” which is people who have left the CIA or using CIA methods for their own personal gain; 2) The gold-backed CIA. After World War II, the gold taken from World War I was put into the Bank for International Settlements. That gold was then stolen by the CIA (the OSS, as it was then known). The gold from Japan that had been stolen from China and countries in the East and stored in the Philippines was also added to the CIA stash, giving them immense leverage through certain corporations in world markets, such that they seem to have ultimate control of the military-industrial complex; 3) International Corporatism. The CIA has been the military branch of Corporatism and Imperialism from the beginning. Subversion, espionage, sabotage and indoctrination. That may come as a shock to some and Paine says it was a shock to President Trump, when he realized the depth of this and how far it goes. These people were an inch away from completing the overthrow of the US Republic via Federalism and Corporatism when Trump had his surprise victory, winning despite the election being rigged in so many ways.
The complete debasement of the US Government began when George Bush Senior was Vice President. The Rogue CIA had turned the White House into a mafia. Since that time, we have seen nothing but the CIA’s perversion of the Executive Branch of our government. The Federal Government that is led by the Executive Branch is made up of 4.5 million people who are completely a product of CIA. There has been absolute lawlessness in the last few Administrations and we see that coming out every day.
Under George Bush Senior, the United Nations went to war with Iraq because of a UNresolution. In other words, Bush bypassed Congress to go to war and he stood before the United Nations and said, “When we are successful, and we will be, we have a real chance at this New World Order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the UN’s founders.” Paine says that’s when Globalism banner was raised and it wasn’t lowered until Trump was elected as President.
Paine says we should pull out of the UN completely. We should also pull out of the World Bank, which is part of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization which is also part of the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, because these organizations have control over the US economy, under the guise that the UN is spreading Democracy, which is complete nonsense. The United Nations has never spread Democracy anywhere!
There was previous attempt to set up the UN after WWI called the League of Nations was but it could not be ratified by Congress. So the same group of Robber Barons behind that started the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Paine says the CFR ran the US until the day Trump was elected. CFR members are the warlords, the rich bankers, brokers and warhawks from the military.
The CFR has had about 13,000 members, over the years. They continue Henry Kissinger’s plot, which is the “Clash of Nations”: the theory that we must always keep other nations in a condition of war in order for the US to keep its supremacy. This is the “counseling” of the Council on Foreign Relations. It couldn’t be any more evil. It couldn’t be any less American. It couldn’t be any more Globalist, Transnationalist or Internationalist, Paine says.
In 1913, one of the worst things ever happened to our economy, with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank by the same Central Bankers who have done this throughout the world. The “Fed” is not Federal, it is not a reserve and it does not belong to the United States. It is a corporation that has a dozen central banks in it and they basically have the right to print money for us and charge us interest and we can never ever pay back that interest in time.
The US Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation but there is a part that is public. Every few years, we give them around $20 billion and they break it up and give it to their dozen central banks and they give it to their stockholders. “Their shareholders. Yes. That’s right. US Tax Payer money goes to pay foreign interests who bought into the US Federal Reserve from the beginning and it is the one thing that continues to take us down.”
Little-known is that US Federal Reserve does not create US financial policy. That is done by the Exchange Stabilization Fund. The Bank for International Settlements was set up in 1930 and in 1934, a mysterious part of the US Treasury was set up that controls all markets, called the Exchange Stabilization Fund. It is a completely fraudulent system that’s been eroding our democracy through economic terrorism. There are about 127 central banks in the world and 84 of them are owned by the Rothschilds. It is not a “conspiracy” to say that these warlord bankers in fact control the US debt.
Some good things that Trump has done, according to Paine is he stopped $26 billion going to the UN Refugee Program. He stopped the US’ strong association with the UNWorld Bank and with the UN World Trade Organization. Trump pulled our money out of UNESCO, pulled our money from the UN World Health Organization, pulled it away from the “Peacekeeping Troops”, because they’ve been found to be pedophiles, creating horrible, horrible crimes wherever they go. Trump is also decreasing our association with the International Monetary Fund.
Paine claims that his conclave suggested to Trump that the US Government audit and seize the assets of the US Federal Reserve and the 12 central banks and then simply default on the debt (!) The contract with the Fed expired in 2013 and Paine claims the US Government can end it at any time and further, we do not owe the debt. Trump could make over $20 trillion in one day without an act of Congress or any Washington DC lobbying.
People are souring on the Silicon ValleyTech Lords, who Paine calls “the cardboard cut-outs,” who were put in those positions by DARPA and In-Q-Tel. With former Facebookexecutives and others recently coming forward, we’re learning that that they knew from the beginning that this gadgetry would in fact create illnesses, social diseases and all kinds of physical illnesses. It is a social experiment gone bad.
When we think about the Internet, we cannot forget that it was created for military purposes by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the CIA’s incubator In-Q-Tel.
When we talk about the tech warlords, we have to understand, we are in a battle not just for humanity but for our own sake, for own children’s sake. Are we going to let the illnesses that these devices create pervade all of our lives, our children’s? Billions of coherent electromagnetic frequencies, Wi-Fi, microwave frequencies and milliwaves are going through our bodies at all times.
We need to end the tech monopoly. Paine says that Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos were being presented our future Presidents when Trump said, “Antitrust.” He said, “Monopoly” – and now neither one of them seemed to be running for President anymore! Paine says the Silicon ValleyTech Lords who gave Obama $2 billion for his library are on the run and they don’t seem to think that Trump likes them very much and that’s the reason why his economic council completely dissolved.
In the medical field, the revolution is happening in our bloodstream and in agriculture, same kind of thing. Why are GMO products allowed? Why do we allow Monsanto Round-up and these poisons in our agriculture?
Paine says we need to dismantle corporate intelligence in the government and stop sharing our staff with that industry. 800,000 people have Top Secret security clearances. He says his conclave pointed this out and General Michael Flynn’s program stopped corporate intelligence. “Let the people who are doing these things for us have treason as their punishment held over their head. That’s what it is, when you’re in the military. That’s the reason so few people who were really in the military turned bad in that way.” Perfect examples of what goes wrong with corporate intelligence are James Clapper, James Comey and Robert Mueller.
Paine says we need to end all us covert military operations with ISIS and al-Qaeda and h says that has happened, that Trump did that.
He says we need to rewrite the National Defense Authorization Act and we need to close its agent, the CIA. “When John F Kennedy tried to close to CIA, Allen Dulles was averse to that and they got into a big argument and JFK fired him. It didn’t stop him. He still planned for two years through the CIA to assassinate JFK.
“We need to make sure that the CIA doesn’t exist anymore and all counterintelligence agencies, whether it’s the National Counterterrorism Center whether it is the Department of Justice National Security Division, which we’ve found out has been completely compromised or whether it be the counterintelligence division of the FBI, we need to end all of those. The fact that bureaucrats in these agencies order and maintain offices of Black Ops and Black Budget activities should be illegal. There should be no such thing but I assure you there are more offices and there are more Black Ops operations than anyone can count in the United States Government.
“Only the President should know of any counterintelligence activities. Only the President should order something that is so Top Secret that it has to do with National Security.”
The Deep State Institutions That Make Up The ‘Secret Government’
The Deep State refers to a coordinated effort by career government employees and other individuals to influence state policy without regard for democratically elected leadership.
Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea.
“Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of of us.” – Gavin Nascimento
He went on to state that “its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumour is printed, no secret is revealed.”
Before both of these two, 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson revealed:
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something.
They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
Perhaps one of the most revealing statements from modern history by a president comes from the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, when he explained how little people know of how government really operates: ‘Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.’
What these presidents did, as many others have done, is reveal the existence of a government within the government that has infiltrated the United States.
It’s no secret that government policy is largely dictated by corporations, and the financial institutions that sit above them. We no longer live in a democracy, but rather, a “corporatocracy.” This is easy to see if you simply follow the money.
“As difficult as it was for me, I’ve come to an inescapable and profoundly disturbing conclusion. I believe that an elite group of people and the corporations they run have gained control over not just our energy, food supply, education, and healthcare, but over virtually every aspect of our lives; and they do it by controlling the world of finance. Not by creating more value, but by actually controlling the source of money.” – Foster Gamble
It has been this way for many years, as so many presidential candidates, like Dr. Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders, have exposed. This organized power completely controls politics, and they do not care who you vote for.
Our perception of politicians and presidents largely comes from mainstream media, not our ability to think critically about what is going on. If mainstream media praises a candidate, like Hillary Clinton, that’s who the masses prefer. Their power to influence us is tremendous.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump has been vilified, he’s actually taken more action against this powerful group of elite and their interests than most, but it’s hard for people to see this because these corporations (who own the mainstream media, incidentally) continue to slander him — not that he hasn’t made it easy for them.
One great example is the terror war industry, and the presence of a supposed “Islamic Threat.”
This perceived threat is maintained through false flag terrorism, a concept that even the mainstream has acknowledged, particularly since multiple politicians and academics have revealed it to the world.
He, along with many others, also called out the United States and their allies for funding terrorists organizations. In his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump did the same.
The term “terror war industry” comes from FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds, who referenced it during an appearance on RT news. She is a former FBI translator and the founder of the National Security Whistle-blowers Coalition (NSWBC).
She gained a lot of attention in 2002 after she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals, which included serious security breaches and cover-ups, alluding to intelligence that was deliberately suppressed.
The Deep State institutions involved with this include the arms industry and the oil industry, among others.
The federal reserve is a privately owned central bank system in the United States disguised as a government owned system.
“The federal reserve is an independent agency and that means basically that, there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take.” – Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve (source)
Henry Ford said, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
No matter who you vote for, the banking system remains the same. These people have the ability to print money in a way that keeps them protected, and bleeds everybody else dry. As the quote above from Alan Greenspan illustrates, it’s an independent agency that can make decisions no other branches of government can oppose.
The people that control the money control the government, and the presidency. If an institution like the federal reserve isn’t considered a Deep State institution, I don’t know what is.
Every four years we look to somebody to spark change, but perhaps that whole process is meant to distract us. Perhaps we are looking for change in the wrong places.
Former Republican Congressional Aide Mike Lofgren, who retired in 2011 after spending 28 years as a congressional staffer, defines the Deep State as follows:
It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department.
I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street.
The military industrial complex is huge, and full of private contractors, intelligence agencies, and other defence agencies that have, just as Eisenhower warned us, amassed a great deal of power.
The crazy thing about it is, nobody knows what’s going on in here, not even the President. If the President and the United States Congress doesn’t even have access to this information, just ask yourself, who does?
We’re talking about Special Access Programs (SAPs), in which we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as “Deep Black programs.”
A 1997 U.S. Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.” Welcome to the world of secrecy.
These programs don’t change, regardless of who you vote for. These are the institutions, agencies, and ongoing programs that are above the law, beyond scrutiny, and operating in near total secrecy.
Business Insider reports that the U.S. intelligence community consists of 17 discreet agencies that operate with enormous budgets and incredible secrecy, bringing total surveillance and total information awareness to bear on the people of Earth.
The United States has had a history of government agencies existing in secret for years.
While the National Security Agency (NSA) was founded in 1952, its existence was hidden until the mid-1960s. Even more secretive is the National Reconnaissance Office, which was founded in 1960 but remained completely secret for 30 years.
If Voting Doesn’t Make A Difference, What Will?
“This is the way the system works, it’s a rotten system, and I see elections as so much of a charade. So much deceit goes on… whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat president, the people who want to keep the status quo seems to have their finger in the pot and can control things.
“They just get so nervous so, if they have an independent thinker out there, whether it’s Sanders, or Trump, or Ron Paul, they’re going to be very desperate to try to change things… More people are discovering that the system is all rigged, and that voting is just pacification for the voters and it really doesn’t count.” – Dr. Ron Paul, three-time presidential candidate (source)
Voting is simply the illusion of choice. As former New York City Mayor John F. Hylan stated:
‘The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation… The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties…’.
These Deep State institutions have been in place for a long time, and remain in place regardless of who votes. So what changes things? Let’s take a look at some examples.
Take Genetically Modified Foods, for instance, an issue for which activism and awareness alone have created ground-breaking change. One example would be the fact that a federal lawsuit forced the U.S. government to share disturbing facts about genetically engineered foods.
As a result, a number of countries have since completely banned GMOs and the pesticides that go with them.
This is where change comes from: us, not them. If we constantly look to one person, who is usually part of the “1 percent,” to make significant changes, nothing will ever change.
Politics seems like one big distraction, a place for powerful people to play games with the population and keep our attention. It’s become more of an entertainment platform as opposed to a real platform for change.
But there is a massive shift in consciousness occurring. The veil that blinds the masses in so many ways is becoming transparent. Our thoughts and feelings about our world are changing, and as a result, we are beginning to manifest a new one.
We are definitely living in a time where new information and evidence will conflict with long-held belief systems
Seeing through this Deep State and the institutions that really call the shots is a key step. We must create more awareness about these issues and speak up about them instead of just giving all of our power over to one individual, hoping that they can make some sort of change for us. We have to do it.
Conspiracy theory, Wikipedia Link to Wikipedia, 21 Feb 2015 – Wikipedia has a remarkably comprehensive list of most ‘theories’ and issues relating to a New World Order, including 91 references and much ‘further reading’.
This week’s global share market bloodbath was “a small tremor before the big earthquake” as the world moves “ever closer to economic Armageddon”, a former Australian government economist has warned.
John Adams, a former Coalition policy adviser who last year identified seven signs that the global economy was heading for a crash — later warning the window for action had closed — believes the US$4 trillion wipe-out was just the opening act of his apocalyptic prophecy playing out.
“When the economic earthquake hits, don’t be surprised to see soaring interest rates, massive falls in asset prices [like] shares, real estate and bonds, higher unemployment and widespread bankruptcies,” he said.
Adding to previously identified economic indicators such as household debt and record low-interest rates, Mr Adams has expanded his list of warning signs to 10, including rising inflation — fear of which had a hand in the latest sell-off.
“Against a whole range of economic and financial metrics, the Australian and international bubble which I warned about in 2017 has continued to grow larger over the past 12 months,” he said.
“Australian household debt has never been higher — now at nearly 200 per cent as a proportion of disposable income — household savings have slumped, the US share market is now in a bigger bubble than 1929, risky derivatives are now being sold in significant quantities and global debt is $US80 trillion more than it was in 2008.”
Adams said those born after 1973 — people under the age of 44 — had never experienced a major economic downturn as a working adult and hence needed to ensure they didn’t succumb to “normalcy bias”.
“Australians should be concerned about what lies ahead for themselves and the country as a whole,” he said, predicting a collapse likely to be more severe than the 1991 recession and which may potentially rival both the 1890 and 1929 depressions.
Those concerned can take some precautions for hard economic times, he added, by reducing their personal spending, increasing savings and having more cash on hand, paying down debt, reducing their exposure to risky or overvalued assets and managing the risk of rising prices, including interest rate payments.
“We all must assume personal responsibility and take pre-emptive action to ensure that we are able to ride out harsher economic times that are coming to our shores.”
SIGN 1: RECORD HOUSEHOLD DEBT
“According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian household debt as a proportion of disposable income continues to soar and reached an all-time high in September 2017 of 199.7 per cent as the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently included debt from self-managed superfunds into this statistic,” Adams said.
This has parallels in the local market, where New Zealand national debt topped half a trillion dollars at the end of last year, up 7.3 percent from a 12 months earlier.
The Reserve Bank figures (for the year to April 30) show household debt has topped $250b, driven by rising property prices and an increase in consumer borrowing.
That’s an increase of more than 60 per cent in 10 years.
SIGN 2: DECLINING HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS
“Coinciding with the rise in household debt, Australian household savings have fallen to their lowest level since the 2008 GFC,” Adams said.
“According to the ABS, the Household Saving Ratio (seasonally adjusted) has fallen from a high of 10.1 per cent in the December quarter of 2008 to 3.0 per cent and 3.2 per cent in the June and September quarters of 2017 respectively.”
Comparatively, New Zealanders have fared better in this regard with improved savings helping to offset total volume of debt.
However, the risks remain high.
For New Zealand households, the ratio of debt to income has now reached a record – 168 per cent, well above the pre-financial crisis peak of 159 per cent.
SIGN 3: CONTINUED RECORD LOW INTEREST RATES
“Despite foreign central banks raising interest rates, the RBA has continued to keep the official cash rate at 1.5 per cent,” Adams said.
“However, in December 2012 former RBA Governor Glenn Stevens warned that interest rates kept too low for too long would prove macroprudential controls ineffective in controlling systemic financial risk as people would be driven to over borrow given the cheap rates.”
Last week, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) held the official cash rate steady at 1.75 per cent, saying monetary policy will “remain accommodative for a considerable period”.
However, following the market uncertainty over the last seven days, acting Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer warned that there could be more volatility to come.
SIGN 4: GROWING HOUSING BUBBLE
“Concentration of credit in the Australian housing market continued to grow by 7.23 per cent from June 2016 to June 2017. As of June 2017, Credit to Housing as a proportion of Australian Gross Domestic Product reached a 26-year high of 95.33 per cent compared to 21.07 per cent in June 1991,” Adams said.
“Over the same period, credit which has been directed at the business sector or to other personal expenses have remained relatively steady as a proportion of GDP.”
New Zealand has benefitted from a cooling housing market (particularly in Auckland), which saw the rate of credit growth ease last year.
In terms of housing credit growth, things “have definitely improved”, Spencer told the Herald last year.
SIGN 5: CONTINUED INCREASE IN GLOBAL DEBT
“Global debt continues to grow, driven especially by rapid growth of debt in emerging economies,” Adams said.
“According to the Institute for International Finance’s January 2018 Global Debt Monitor Report, global debt reached a record high of $US233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 or 318 per cent of global GDP, representing growth in global debt of 8 per cent through the first three quarters of 2017.
“Global debt is now $US80 trillion higher than the end of 2007 with current interest rates substantially lower relative to the pre-GFC period.”
SIGN 6: MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ASSET BUBBLES KEEP GROWING
“The past 12 months has seen significant growth in major asset class values (particularly shares) across the world which has been fuelled by the significant increase in global debt,” Adams pointed out.
“For example, according to the PE Shiller Index, the US share market (as measured by the price of a company’s share relative to average earnings over the past 10 years for US companies in the S&P 500) is now at its second highest valuation level in history at 32.62, with the highest being the 1999 dotcom bubble.”
According to the PE Shiller Index, Adams said, the bubble in US share market is now bigger than the peak reached in September 1929 which was 32.54.
SIGN 7: INCREASING INFLATION
“In late 2017, inflation started to emerge in developed economies, beating the targets set by national governments and central banks,” Adams said.
“This emerging inflation was driven in part from rising global oil prices which increased by 51 per cent, along with increases in other commodities, over the past seven months.”
This has had a significant impact on a number of developed economies int he world.
“In 2017, the US Producer Price Index hit an annual rate of 3.1 per cent (a six-year high) and the US Consumer Price Index grew by an annual rate of 2.1 per cent whereas in the UK, inflation reached an annual rate of 3.1 per cent. In both the US and UK cases, inflation as measured by the CPI is above the stated 2 per cent target of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.”
The impact stretches well beyond the US and the UK, Adams warned.
“Other developed countries such as Canada and Japan also saw a notable pick-up in inflation during 2017. Higher rates of inflation will put pressure on the value of bonds and currencies, placing countries that do not deal with inflation through higher interest rates at a competitive disadvantage as investors make lower returns.”
SIGN 8: TIGHTENING MONETARY POLICY AND RISING GLOBAL INTEREST RATES
“Many foreign governments in the past year have been tightening monetary policy (either through reducing or ending quantitative easing or through ‘quantitative tightening’) as well as raising interest rates,” Adams said.
“During late 2016 and all of 2017, interest rates were raised in both developed economies such as the US (four times, or 1 per cent), Canada (three times, or 0.75 per cent), or the UK (one time or 0.25 per cent) as well as smaller and emerging economies such as the Czech Republic, Mexico, Malaysia and Romania.”
Adams added that interest rates are expected to continue to rise in 2018 as global economic growth and inflation continue to rise.
“Higher interest rates will make the ability to service global debt increasingly more difficult.”
SIGN 9: INVERTED AND FLATTENING YIELD CURVES
“The US Government bond yield curve has continued to significantly flatten over 2017. In early 2018, the difference between the two-year and the 10-year bond yield reached approximately 0.5 per cent, which is the smallest difference since 2007.
“The Chinese bond yield curve (i.e. the difference in interest rates between the five-year and the 10-year bond) briefly inverted twice in 2017 and is now approximately less than 0.1 per cent.
“Inverted yield curves (i.e. where long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the same credit quality) are known as a market predictor of a coming market crash or broader economic recession.”
SIGN 10: RETURN OF RISKY DERIVATIVES
“According to the Bank for International Settlements, the value of the over-the-counter derivatives market (notional amounts outstanding) remained high between June 2016 and June 2017 to stand at $US542 trillion,” Adams said.
“Many of these derivatives contracts (which are agreements that allow for the possibility to purchase or sell some other type of financial instrument or non-financial asset) are concentrated on the balance sheets of leading global financial and banking institutions, are bought and sold privately, involve significant complexity and carry significant counter-party risk that many institutions and government regulators struggle to understand.”
Adams’ concern is supported by research out of a major bank.
“In November 2017, a research report from Citibank reported that ‘Synthetic Collateral Debt Obligations’, which were one of the main financial instruments responsible for the 2008 GFC, were now back and are being sold to investors in significant quantities and is expected to top $US100 billion by the end of 2017, up from $US20 billion in 2015.”
The Greatest Bubble Ever: Why You Better Believe It – Part 1 & 2
During the 40 months after Alan Greenspan’s infamous “irrational exuberance” speech in December 1996, the NASDAQ 100 index rose from 830to 4585or by 450%. But the perma-bulls said not to worry: This time is different—-it’s a new age of technology miracles that will change the laws of finance.
It wasn’t. The market cracked in April 2000 and did not stop plunging until the NASDAQ 100 index hit 815in early October 2002. During those a heart-stopping 30 months of free-fall, all the gains of the tech boom were wiped out in an 84% collapse of the index. Overall, the market value of household equities sank from $10.0 trillionto $4.8 trillion—-a wipeout from which millions of baby boom householdshave never recovered.
Likewise, the second Greenspan housing and credit boom generated a similar round trip of bubble inflation and collapse. During the 57 months after the October 2002 bottom, the Russell 2000 (RUT) climbed the proverbial wall-of-worry—-rising from 340to 850or by 2.5X.
And this time was also held to be different because, purportedly, the art of central banking had been perfected in what Bernanke was pleased to call the “Great Moderation”. Taking the cue, Wall Street dubbed it the Goldilocks Economy—-meaning a macroeconomic environment so stable, productive and balanced that it would never again be vulnerable to a recessionary contraction and the resulting plunge in corporate profits and stock prices.
During the 20 months from the July 2007 peak to the March 2009 bottom, the RUT gave it all back. And we mean every bit of it—-as the index bottomed 60% lower at 340. This time the value of household equities plunged by $6 trillion, and still millions more baby-boomers were carried out of the casino on their shields never to return.
Now has come the greatest central bank fueled bubble ever. During nine years of radical monetary experimentation under ZIRP and QE, the value of equities owned by US households exploded still higher—-this time by $12.5 trillion. Yet this eruption, like the prior two, was not a reflection of main street growth and prosperity, but Wall Street speculation fostered by massive central bank liquidity and price-keeping operations.
Nevertheless, this time is, actually, very different. This time the central banks are out of dry powder and belatedly recognize that they have stranded themselves on or near the zero bound where they are saddled with massively bloated balance sheets.
So an epochal pivot has begun—-led by the Fed’s committment to shrink its balance sheet at a $600 billionannual rate beginning next October. This pivot to QT (quantitative tightening) is something new under the sun and was necessitated by the radical money printing spree of the past three decades.
What this momentous pivot really means, of course, is ill understood in the day-trading and robo-machine driven casinos at today’s nosebleed valuations. Yet what is coming down the pike is nothing less than a drastic, permanent downward resetof financial asset prices that will rattle the rafters in the casino.
This time is also very different because there will be no instant financial market reflation by the central banks. And that means, in turn, that there will be no fourth great bubble, either. Here’s why.
As we explained in Part 1, the most dangerous place on the planet financially is now the Wall Street casino. In the months ahead, it will become ground zero of the greatest monetary/fiscal collision in recorded history.
For the first time ever both the Fed and the US treasury will be dumping massive amounts of public debt on the bond market—upwards of $1.8 trillionbetween them in FY 2019 alone—and at a time which is exceedingly late in the business cycle. That double whammy of government debt supply will generate a thundering “yield shock” which, in turn, will pull the props out from under equity and other risk asset markets—-all of which have “priced-in” ultra low debt costs as far as the eye can see.
The anomalous and implicitly lethal character of this prospective clash can not be stressed enough. Ordinarily, soaring fiscal deficits occur early in the cycle. That is, during the plunge unto recession, when revenue collections drop and outlays for unemployment benefits and other welfare benefits spike; and also during the first 15-30 months of recovery, when Keynesian economists and spendthrift politicians join hands to goose the recovery—-not understanding that capitalist markets have their own regenerative powers once the excesses of bad credit, malinvestment and over-investment in inventory and labor which triggered the recession have been purged.
By contrast, the Federal deficit is now soaring at the tail end (month #102) of an aging business expansion. And the cause is not the exogenous effects of so-called automatic fiscal stabilizers associated with a macroeconomic downturn, but deliberate Washington policy decisions made by the Trumpian GOP.
During FY 2019, for example, these discretionary plunges into deficit finance include slashing revenue by $280 billion, while pumping up an already bloated baseline spending level of $4.375 trillionby another $200 billionfor defense, disasters, border control, ObamaCare bailouts and domestic pork barrel of every shape and form.
These 11th hour fiscal maneuvers, in fact, are so asinine that the numbers have to be literally seen to be believed. To wit, an already weak-growth crippled revenue baseline will be cut to just $3.4 trillion, while the GOP spenders goose outlays toward the $4.6 trillionmark.
That’s right. Nine years into a business cycle expansion, the King of Debt and his unhinged GOP majority on Capitol Hill have already decided upon (an nearly implemented) the fiscal measures that will result in borrowing 26 cents on every dollar of FY 2019 spending. JM Keynes himself would be grinning with self-satisfaction.
Moreover, this foolhardy attempt to re-prime-the-pump nearly a decade after the Great Recession officially ended means that monetary policy is on its back foot like never before.
What we mean is that both Bernanke and Yellen were scared to death of the tidal waves of speculation that their money printing policies of QE and ZIRP had fostered in the financial markets. So once the heat of crisis had clearly passed and the market had recovered its pre-crisis highs in early 2013, they nevertheless deferred, dithered and procrastinated endlessly on normalization of interest rates and the Fed’s elephantine balance sheet.
So what we have now is a central bank desperately trying to recapture lost time via its “automatic pilot” commitment to systematic and sustained balance sheet shrinkage at fixed monthly dollar amounts. This unprecedented “quantitative tightening” or QT campaign has already commenced at $1o billionof bond sales per month (euphemistically described as “portfolio run-off” by the Eccles Building) during the current quarter and will escalate automatically until it reaches $50 billionper month ($600 billion annualized) next October .
Needless to say, that’s the very opposite of the “accommodative” Fed posture and substantial debt monetization which ordinarily accompanies an early-cycle ballooning of Uncle Sam’s borrowing requirements. And the present motivation of our Keynesian monetary central planners is even more at variance with the normal cycle.
To wit, they plan to stick with QT come hell or high water because they are in the monetary equivalent of a musket reloading mode. Failing to understand that the main street economy essentially recovered on its own after the 2008-2009 purge of the Greenspanian excesses (and that’s its capacity to rebound remains undiminished), the Fed is desperate to clear balance sheet headroom and regain interest rate cutting leverage so that it will have the wherewithal to “stimulate” the US economy out of the next recession.
Needless to say, this kind of paint-by-the-numbers Keynesianism is walking the whole system right into a perfect storm. When the GOP-Trumpian borrowing bomb hits the bond market next October we will already be in month #111 of the current expansion cycle and as the borrowing after-burners kick-in during the course of the year, FY 2019 will close out in month #123.
Here’s the thing. The US economy has never been there before. Never in the recorded history of the republic has a business expansion lasted 123 months. During the post-1950 period shown below, the average expansion has been only 61 monthsand the two longest ones have their own disabilities.
The 105 monthexpansion during the 1960s was fueled by LBJ’s misbegotten “guns and butter” policies and ended in the dismal stagflation of the 1970s. And the 119 monthexpansion of the 1990s reflected the Greenspan fostered household borrowing binge and tech bubbles that fed straight into the crises of 2008-2009.
Yet the Trumpian-GOP has not only presumed to pump-up the fiscal deficit to 6.2% of GDP just as the US economy enters the terra incognito range of the business cycle (FY 2019); it has actually declared its virtual abolition. Ironically, in fact, on December 31, 2025 nearly all of the individual income cuts expire—-meaning that in FY 2026 huge tax increases will smack the household sector at a $200 billion run-rate!
But not to worry. The GOP’s present-day fiscal geniuses insist that the current business expansion, which will then be 207 months old, will end up no worse for the wear. The public debt will then total $33 trillion or 130% of GDP—even as the US economy gets monkey-hammered by huge tax increase.
Alas, no harm, no foul. The business expansion is presumed to crank forward through FY 2027 or month #219.
Needless to say, the whole thing degenerates into a sheer fiscal and economic fairy-tale when you examine the data and projections. But that hasn’t deterred the GOP’s fiscal dreamers.
Not only have they implicitly embraced an out-of-this-word 219 month business cycle expansion, but they have also insisted it will unfold at an average nominal GDP growth rate that has not been remotely evident at any time during the 21st century.
As shown in the chart below, the 10-year CBO forecast of nominal GDP (yellow line) is already quite optimistic relative to where GDP would print under the actual growth rate of the last ten-years (blue line). In fact, the CBO forecast generates $16 trillion ofextra GDP and nearly $3 trillionmore Federal revenue than would a replay of the last 10-years—and notwithstanding the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus during that period.
Still, the GOP/Trump forecast (grey line) assumes a full percentage point of higher GDP growth on top of CBO and no intervening recession and resulting GDP relapse.
Accordingly, the GOP assumes $30 trillion of extra GDP over the coming decade or nearly 23% more than would be generated by the actual growth rate (blue line) of the last decade; and consequently, $6 trillionof extra revenue.
That’s right. An already geriatric business cycle is going t0 rear-up on its hind legs and take off into a new phase of growth in the face of an epochal pivot of monetary policy to QT and a public debt burden relative to GDP that is approaching a Greek-style end game.
(Note: Figures in the box are inverted. First line should be 2006-2012 redux and third line should be Trump forecast.)
Stated differently, fiscal policy has descended into the hands of political mad-men at the very time that monetary policy is inexorably slouching toward normalization. Under those circumstances there is simply no way of avoiding the “yield shock” postulated above, and the cascading “reset” of financial asset prices that it will trigger across the length and breadth of the financial system.
As usual, however, the homegamers are the last to get the word. The unaccountable final spasm of the stock market in 2017 will undoubtedly come to be seen as the last call of the sheep to the slaughter. And owing to the speculative mania that has been fostered by the Fed and its fellow-traveling central banks, it now appears that the homegamers are all-in for the third time since 1987.
Indeed, Schwab’s retail clients have never, ever had lower cash allocationsthan at the present time—not even during the run-up to the dotcom bust or the great financial crisis.
But this time these predominately baby-boom investors are out of time and on the cusp of retirement—if not already living on one of the Donald’s golf resorts. When the crash comes they will have no opportunity to recover—-nor will Washington have the wherewithal to stimulate another phony facsimile of the same.
The GOP-Trumpian gang has already blown their wad on fiscal policy and the Fed is stranded high and dry still close the zero-bound and still saddled with an elephantine balance sheet.
That is, what is fundamentally different about the greatest financial bubble yet is that there is no possibility of a quick policy-induced reflation after the coming crash. This time the cycle will be L-shaped—– with financial asset prices languishing on the post-crash bottom for years to come.
And that is a truly combustible condition. That is, 65% of the retirement population already lives essentially hand-to-month on social security, Medicare and other government welfare benefits (food stamps and SSI, principally). But after the third financial bubble of this century crashes, tens of millions more will be driven close to that condition as their 401Ks again evaporate.
That’s why the fiscal game being played by the Donald and his GOP confederates is so profoundly destructive. Now is the last time to address the entitlement monster, but they have decided to throw fiscal caution to the winds and borrow upwards of $1.6 trillion (with interest)to enable US corporations to fund a new round of stock buybacks, dividend increases and feckless, unproductive M&A deals.
Then again, what the GOP has not forgotten is the care and feeding of its donor class. That mission is being accomplished handsomely as it fills up the deep end of the Swamp with pointless, massive defense spending increases and satisfies K-Street with a grotesquely irresponsible tax bill that was surely of the lobbies, by the PACs and for the money.
At the end of the day, however, the laws of free markets and sound finance will out. The coming crash of the greatest bubble ever will prove that in spades.
The only other times in our history when stock prices have been this high relative to earnings, a horrifying stock market crash has always followed.
Will things be different for us this time? We shall see, but without a doubt this is what a pre-crash market looks like. This current bubble has been based on irrational euphoria that has been fueled by relentless central bank intervention, but now global central banks are removing the artificial life support in unison. Meanwhile, the real economy continues to stumble along very unevenly. This is the longest that the U.S. has ever gone without a year in which the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and many believe that the next recession is very close. Stock prices cannot stay completely disconnected from economic reality forever, and once the bubble bursts the pain is going to be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.
If you think that these ridiculously absurd stock prices are sustainable, there is something that I would like for you to consider. The only times in our history when the cyclically-adjusted return on stocks has been lower, a nightmarish stock market crash happened soon thereafter…
The Nobel-Laureate, Robert Shiller, developed the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio, the so-called CAPE, to assess whether stocks are likely to be over- or under-valued. It is possible to invert this measure to obtain a cyclically-adjusted earnings yield which allows one to measure prospective real returns. If one does this, the answer for the US is that the cyclically-adjusted return is now down to 3.4 percent.
The only times it has been still lower were in 1929 and between 1997 and 2001, the two biggest stock market bubbles since 1880. We know now what happened then. Is it going to be different this time?
Since the market bottomed out in early 2009, the S&P 500 has been on a historic run. If this rally had been based on a booming economy that would be one thing, but the truth is that the U.S. economy has not seen 3 percent yearly growth since the middle of the Bush administration. Instead, this insane bubble has been almost entirely fueled by central bank manipulation, and now that manipulation is being dramatically scaled back.
And the guys on Wall Street know what is coming. For example, Joe Zidle says that this bull market is now in “the ninth inning”…
Joe Zidle, of Richard Bernstein Advisors, is arguing that the bull market has entered the bottom of the ninth inning.
“This is a late-cycle environment,” Zidle said on CNBC’s “Futures Now” recently.
“In innings terms, they’re not time dependent. An inning could be shorter or they could be longer. It just really depends,” the strategist said.
This bubble has lasted for much longer than it ever should have, and everyone understands that a day of reckoning is coming.
In fact, earlier today I came across an article on Zero Hedge that contained an absolutely remarkable quote from Eric Peters…
“We are investing as if 1987 will happen tomorrow, because it will,” said the CIO. “But we need to be long, or we’ll be out of business,” he explained, under pressure to perform. “So we construct option trades that are binary bets.” Which pay X profit if stocks rally, and cost Y if markets fall. No more and no less.
“What you do not want is a portfolio whose losses multiply depending on the severity of a decline.” That’s what most people have today. “At the last stage of the cycle, you want lots of binary bets. Many small wins. Before the big loss.”
“Are we at the start or the end of the ‘Don’t know what I’m buying’ cycle?” asked the same CIO. “No one knows.” But we’re definitely within it.
“When their complex swaps drop 40%, and prime brokers demand more margin, investors will cry ‘It’s not possible!’ But anything is possible.” The prime brokers will hang up and stop them out.
In case you don’t remember, in 1987 we witnessed the largest one day percentage decline in U.S. stock market history.
When it finally happens, millions upon millions of ordinary Americans will be completely shocked, but most insiders know that the other shoe is going to drop at some point.
In particular, watch financial stock prices very closely. Last month, Richard Bove issued a chilling warning about bank stocks…
One of Wall Street’s most vocal bank analysts is troubled by the rally in financials.
The Vertical Group’s Richard Bove warns that the overall market is just as dangerous as the late 1990s, and he cites momentum — not fundamentals — as what’s driving bank stocks to all-time highs.
“If we don’t get some event in the economy or in politics or in somewhere that is going to create more loan volume and better margins for the banks, then yes, they would come crashing down,” Bove said Monday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “I think that the risk in these stocks is very high at the present time.”
It isn’t going to take much to set off an unstoppable chain of events. Our financial markets are even more vulnerable than they were in 2008, and the right trigger could unleash a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern American history.
Unfortunately, most Americans keep getting fooled by the artificial boom and bust cycles that the central banks create. Right now most people seem to have been lulled into a false sense of security, and they truly believe that everything is going to be okay.
But every time before when the market has looked like this a crash has always followed, and this time will be no exception.
* * *
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
Most people refuse to believe shocking news, even in the face of clear evidence. Francis Shure explains why.
“My government couldn’t possibly do that – no way!”
Frances’ focus is on the Twin Towers tragedy on 9 September 2001 (911), and the disbelief most people display when presented with the awful evidence that the ‘official’ version is riddled with anomalies.
However, in varying degrees the rationale explained by Frances can be applied to explain people’s reactions to many things they do not want to hear, for any number of reasons. You may or may not be interested in the facts – highly disturbing as they are – about the horrendous 911 events. But you certainly will benefit from a better understanding of why people may reject your clear and lucid explanations.
The first article is presented below; there are links to all 21 parts at the end of this post, the latest is a ‘must-read’: Part 21: The Role of the Media: Act I – Whatever Happened to Investigative Journalists? Frances poses the critical question: ‘What is wrong with the Western media? Why have they not jumped at the opportunity to cover the scoop of the century — the wealth of crystal-clear evidence that proves the government has been lying about the attacks of September 11, 2001, for the past sixteen years?’ Frances then presents a comprehensive answer – which is very disillusioning. Read the full article at:
Editor’s Note: Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” The resulting essay, to be presented here as a series, is comprised of a synthesis of reports on academic research as well as clinical observations.
Ms. Shure’s analysis begins with recognition of the observation made by the psychology professionals interviewed in the documentary “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who cite our human tendencies toward denial in order to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. Indeed, resistance to information that substantially challenges our worldview is the rule rather than the exception, Ms. Shure explains. This is so because fear is the emotion that underlies most of the negative reactions toward 9/11 skeptics’ information. Ms. Shure addresses the many types of fear that are involved, and how they tie into the “sacred myth” of American exceptionalism.
Through the lenses of anthropology and social psychology, Ms. Shure focuses on diffusion of innovations; obeying and believing authority; doublethink; cognitive dissonance; conformity; groupthink; terror management theory; systems justification theory; signal detection theory; and prior knowledge of state crimes against democracy and deep politics. Through the lens of clinical psychology, Ms. Shure explores viewpoints described in the sections on learned helplessness; the abuse syndrome; dissociation; and excessive identification with the United States government. Two sections on brain research provide astonishing insights into our human nature.
Finally, the sections entitled “American Exceptionalism,” “Governmental Manipulation and the ‘Big Lie,’” and Those Who Lack Conscience and Empathy” contain valuable information from an amalgam of the disciplines of history, social psychology, clinical psychology, and brain research. The final sections address how we can communicate about 9/11 evidence more effectively, and our human need for awareness and healing. Ms. Shure concludes by quoting poet Langston Hughes in an inspiring epilogue, which asks: “Is America Possible?”
This month’s installment begins with Ms. Shure’s Preface and Introduction. Succeeding segments will continue the journey that explores contributions of Western psychology in answering the pressing question, “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—about 9/11?”
The following essay is not meant to persuade anyone of the theory that elements within our government were responsible for the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. Rather, this paper is addressed primarily to the 45% of Americans1—and those people in other parts of the world—who already believe a new investigation is needed, as well as those who simply have had their doubts about the official account of 9/11 but have not explored the issue further. This paper is also addressed to psychology professionals and social scientists who may wish to consider the question in the title in greater depth.
Furthermore, this essay should be helpful to anyone who encounters resistance to any paradigm-shifting idea about which he or she may be communicating, since the same dynamics and research would apply in all such cases.
This work was not crafted entirely alone. I am grateful to the Writing Team of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth who suggested I write an article in the first place—thus the seed was planted. Once the seed began germinating, it was nurtured by substantial suggestions from Marti Hopper, Ph.D., Sheila Fabricant Linn, M.Div., Dennis Linn, M.Div., Daniel K. Sage, Ph.D., Dorothy Lorig, M.A., Earl Staelin, J.D., Joseph Lam, Gregg Roberts, John Freedom, C.E.H.P., Danielle Duperret, Ph.D., Paul Rea, Ph.D., Tim Gale, Sonia Skakich-Scrima, M.A., and by the care taken by proofreaders Nancy Hall and Dennis McMahon. I am profoundly indebted and grateful for their enthusiastic help.
In addition, this work could not have been written without contributions from the people named and quoted in the document. I have drawn from wherever I found research, credible observations, or inspiration that seemed to apply. I hope others will become inspired to add to this synthesis of research and observation to further help answer the question, “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?”
“If what you are saying is true, I don’t want to know!” exclaimed a young male visitor at our 9/11 Truth booth at the Denver People’s Fair. He was referring to the evidence of controlled demolition of the three World Trade Center (WTC) skyscrapers on September 11, 2001.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because if what you are saying is true, I would become very negative. Psychologically, I would go downhill.”
With gratitude, I responded “Thank you!”
Surprised, he asked, “Why are you thanking me?”
“Because it’s rare to hear such raw truth. Thank you for being so honest.”
Softened by our exchange, the young man chatted with me a while longer before taking his leave. I have never forgotten him; he has likely never forgotten me. We both felt it. Paradoxically, deep truth had been shared.
Forceful resistance from our listeners
We who work to educate the public about 9/11, and about false flag operations,2 are puzzled by the often forceful resistance from our listeners. Yet, many of us in the 9/11 Truth Movement also once vigorously resisted this challenging evidence. We have our own stories to document this. What drives those negative reactions?
Before continuing, I would like to clarify that people who continue to resist the evidence that indicates 9/11 was a false flag operation are no more mentally healthy or unhealthy than those of us who question the official account. Both groups consist of folks who span the mental health spectrum.
No need to pathologize
So, there is no need to pathologize those who currently do not see what is now so clear to us, just as those of us in the 9/11 Truth Movement should not be dismissed and maligned as “conspiracy theorists”—the latter being an obvious defense and a not so obvious offense.3
The psychology professionals interviewed in the documentary 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth clearly speak about our human tendencies toward denial in order to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. They speak compassionately about all of us. There is no sophisticated name-calling (diagnosing) as can sometimes be popular among the members of this profession. This is indeed refreshing.
In this spirit, and in the spirit of beginning a conversation—for we humans are complicated creatures—I will share my thinking as to why some of us defend ourselves from information that is troubling.
Vigorous resistance to paradigm shifts
History tells us that to determine reality, even scientists, whom we stereotypically view as objectively and open-mindedly looking at data, rather than at belief, often vigorously resist paradigm shifts. Gregor Mendel’s experiments and resulting theory of genetic inheritance, for example, was resisted by scientists from the time of its announcement in 1865, and was only rediscovered in 1900 by three other European scientists. Resistance to information that substantially challenges our worldview, we find, is the rule rather than the exception.4 Fortunately, change does occur, consensus reality does shift, sometimes rapidly, sometimes excruciatingly slowly.
To reiterate what I said in the film 9/11: Experts Speak Out, fear is the emotion that underlies most of the negative reactions toward 9/11 skeptics’ information: fear of receiving information that will turn our world upside down, fear of being overwhelmed by our own emotions, fear of psychological deterioration, fear our life will have to change, fear we’ll discover that the world is not a safe place, fear that our reputation will be tarnished or that we’ll lose our jobs, fear of being shunned or banished by friends and family, and fear of looking like a fool because we bought the official account so thoroughly.
This last reason may be true especially for intellectuals who often identify strongly with their intellect. None of us, however, like to feel bamboozled, as this often threatens our very identity and brings us very close to feeling betrayed. Carl Sagan noted:
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.5
Social psychologist and scholar Laurie Manwell tells us that one of her professors said that he could sum up human behavior with this statement: “People liked to be liked, they like to be right, and they like to be free—in that order.” Thus, most people will give up their need to be right or free if their need to be liked is threatened.6 Why is this?
The fear of banishment is surely among the greatest fears we humans harbor, albeit often unconsciously. We are social creatures. We need others in order to survive, and we need to have a sense of belonging. To have some sense of wholeness and well-being, we need to feel connected to others, to love and to be loved. This is the reason that ridicule and shaming are such potent strategies used—consciously or unconsciously—to censor those with views that diverge from a culture’s sacred mythology.
A “sacred myth”
A “sacred myth” is a special story, found in every culture, whether true, untrue, or partially true, that tells us who we are and why we are doing what we are doing.8
What is our American sacred myth? It goes something like this:
We are a truly exceptional nation with exceptional forefathers. We rebelled against tyranny and established a democratic republic, a model that the world has largely accepted and imitated. Our country is the purveyor of democracy and freedom around the world and our interventions in other countries are benevolent actions. On September 11, 2001, we were caught off-guard when al Qaeda terrorists in a sneak attack, similar to that at Pearl Harbor, succeeded in flying commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the most significant wound to our homeland to date. However, true to the American spirit, we immediately rose to the challenge to militarily smite the world of terrorists who hate us because of our freedoms. This is why we have an unending Global War on Terror.
Fear of severe repercussions
If we can set aside this belief in our sacred myth, look at the evidence, and recognize that 9/11 was a false flag operation, then we may also fear severe repercussions from corrupt authorities if we should speak out. As one person told me, “I appreciate everything you all are doing with this 9/11 issue, but I hope you understand, I have children; I can’t get involved with this.”
Fear is an integral part of the human condition; and yet, if we are committed to psycho-spiritual growth, we do not let fear dictate what we do—or do not do. We can be aware of the fear while not letting it rule our lives.
Most of us were traumatized9 by watching the horrifying destruction of the Twin Towers, knowing there were thousands of our fellow humans beings killed in that moment. Some of us were again deeply shaken when we discovered evidence indicating that 9/11 might be a false flag operation.
Why do some of us embrace the evidence and its implications and get active, while others feel powerless in the face of this evidence or react with apathy? And why do others get defensive and stay defensive—sometimes vehemently? Why, indeed, upon hearing the evidence that contradicts the official account of 9/11, do good people become silent, or worse?
Intellectually contorted measures
What is the difference? How, for example, can some people watch World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC7)10 implode and collapse into its own footprint and not see what is right in front of them—even when they know about its free fall acceleration and the other characteristics of controlled demolition? These people may feel compelled to intensify their resistance with intellectually contorted measures to convince themselves and others that this was not controlled demolition. Others will content themselves with shaming anyone who wants to investigate the 9/11 evidence that contradicts the official sacred myth.
There is a worldview that is being seriously challenged. What is it? In essence, it was described well by words from a journalist whom I met at a street action: “I am aware that our government does bad things, but not this! Not those towers! They would not be that evil.”
Government is supposed to protect us
So we assume our government—which is supposed to protect us but sometimes does bad things—would never commit acts this heinous. A man said to me during a public presentation, “I find your statement that our government orchestrated 9/11 very disturbing and offensive.” “I believe I said the evidence trail leads to elements within our government, not the government,” I replied. He retorted, with great seriousness, “It makes no difference. There is no way you can state this that is going to make me feel any better!”
Many of us unconsciously relate to our governmental leaders as parental figures on whom we project our (often unmet) needs for a protective parent. We even agree culturally to the term “our founding fathers.”
Disciplines that belong to our Western culture
The disciplines of Western psychology and anthropology have much to offer toward understanding human behavior, but we must remember that these disciplines, as impressive as they are, are ultimately disciplines that belong to our Western culture only. In the East and in some tribal societies, for example, people may use the philosophy of the transmigration of souls to explain human behavior; and the Sufis, the mystical branch of Islam, use the nine personality types of the Enneagram to explain our disparate human propensities.
Remember the proverbial five blind men, each touching one part of an elephant? Each man draws a conclusion as to what the object is, depending on which part he is touching. The result? Five partial and laughably inaccurate descriptions of reality.
The more lenses we look through, therefore, the greater is our capacity to see a clearer—a more dimensional—picture of our human tendencies. Nonetheless, within the overlapping viewpoints of the rich disciplines of Western psychology, anthropology, brain research, and history, we can find several lenses that shed much light on the conundrum of why information that contradicts our worldview is so difficult for us to receive.
The next sections
Through the lenses of anthropology and social psychology we will find helpful information in the sections below entitled Diffusion of Innovations; Obeying and Believing Authority; Doublethink; Cognitive Dissonance; Conformity; Groupthink; Terror Management Theory; Systems Justification Theory; Signal Detection Theory; and Prior Knowledge of State Crimes Against Democracy and Deep Politics.
Through the lens of clinical psychology we will explore viewpoints described in the sections on Learned Helplessness; The Abuse Syndrome; Dissociation; and Excessive Identification with the U.S.A.
The two sections on Brain Research provide us with astonishing insights into our human nature. Finally, the sections entitled American Exceptionalism; Governmental Manipulation and the Big Lie; and Those Who Lack Conscience and Empathy, contain valuable information from an amalgam of the disciplines of history, social psychology, clinical psychology, and brain research.
Let me emphasize that this paper will be a synthesis of reports on academic research as well as clinical observations. None of the sections will fall neatly into one category or another, but they will overlap each other, as any rich and complicated subject will tend to do.
Let’s begin our journey with an anthropological study…
Note: scroll to the end for links to the next sections………
2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag_operation.3 Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press, 2013). DeHaven-Smith analyzes the history of the development of the derogatory nature of the term “conspiracy theory,” tracing it to a CIA propaganda campaign to discredit doubters of the Warren Commission’s report. In this light, the use of this pejorative term can also rightly be seen as an offensive tactic to shame, and thus censor, those who question official governmental accounts.
4 Earl Staelin, J.D., “Resistance to Scientific Innovation: Its Causes and How to Overcome It,” a paper delivered at the Intercept 2001 Conference, July 6–9, 2001, Laughlin, Nevada, sponsored by the Kronia Group. A further insight from Earl Staelin is that most of us also experience psychological inertia when presented with a new theory that we firmly believe is not true, and we must be convinced that it is worth our time to be open to the new theory.
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
See also http://www.scribd.com/doc/13481854/Resistance-by-Scientists-to-Scientific-Discovery-Barber-1961.
5 Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Random House Publishing Group, 1996).
It’s hard to know where to begin when writing on a subject that seems to top the Google search engine charts year after year. It’s no secret that the world is fascinated with the idea that intelligent extraterrestrial life did, and currently could be, visiting our planet, and regularly.
The unfortunate part about the phenomenon is that the world rarely sees evidence for it presented in a credible way. Nearly all mainstream media outlets, news anchors, and journalists do more harm than good, discrediting a topic that has plenty of proof behind it. Either it’s not discussed at all, or it’s done through ridicule.
Yet the very first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flat out told the New York Times in 1960 that, “behind the scenes, high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs, but through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.”
I’m led to wonder whether the connections we’ve written about in the past between the CIA and the media included official disinformation campaigns pertaining to the UFO/extraterrestrial subject, and if so, whether that’s still happening today.
You can explore these connections, and a few of the actual documents straight from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in the articles linked below:
Today, there are hundreds of people and documents that have shown, beyond a doubt, that UFOs exist, and that some of them could be extraterrestrial, and others, our own advanced technology.
The documents show objects traveling at unattainable speeds, and performing maneuvers that no known aircraft can perform. Here is a great example, out of thousands, detailing one such encounter.
Here’s one regarding an encounter over Antarctic military bases describing red, yellow, and green “flying saucers” that were spotted hovering for more than two hours.
As far as people, we have high ranking military personnel, politicians, astronauts, and academics from different fields flat out telling us that we are not alone, and that this is known at the highest levels of government, or those who puppet the government.
Whether it be a former Chairman of the Royal Navy telling us that “there is a serious possibility that we are being visited, and have been visited by people from outer space,” a former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee telling us that “I do know that whatever the Air Force has on the subject is going to remain highly classified,” or an Apollo 14 astronaut saying that “there have been crashed craft, and bodies recovered,” we have no shortage of high ranking insiders attesting to the reality of this phenomenon.
For decades, as General Carlos Cavero told the world in 1979, “everything” has been “in a process of investigation both in the United States and in Spain, as well as the rest of the world.” On a global scale, “the nations of the world are currently working together in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon” and there is “an international exchange of data.”
This is why so many academics, like Harvard professor and Pulitzer prize winner John E. Mack, believe that “it’s both literally, physically happening to a degree; and it’s also some kind of psychological, spiritual experience occurring and originating perhaps in another dimension.”
Perhaps his most astonishing investigation came from more than 60 schoolchildren in the town of Ruwa, Zimbabwe. You can read more about that here.
Former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer also went on record stating that “visitors from other planets” came here decades ago.
This all raises so many questions in so many branches of human knowledge. Take physics, for example. Jack Kasher, Ph.D, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Nebraska, points out that “there is another way, whether it’s wormholes or warping space, there’s got to be a way to generate energy so that you can pull it out of the vacuum, and the fact that they’re here shows us that they found a way.”
So, as you can see, if you’re a believer in the extraterrestrial hypothesis for a possible explanation for the already verified UFO phenomenon, you’re not alone, and you are in good company.
“Intelligent beings from other star systems have been and are visiting our planet Earth. They are variously referred to as Visitors, Others, Star People, ETs, etc. . . . They are visiting Earth NOW; this is not a matter of conjecture or wistful thinking.” – Theodore C. Loder III, Phd, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire
Extraterrestrial Reproduction Vehicles
Well-known aerospace journalist James Goodall, an accomplished speaker who specialized in the history, development, and operations of the world’s only Mach 3 capable, manned air breathing aircraft, who also wrote for for publications such as Jane’s Defense Weekly, Aviation Week & Space Technology, and Intervavia, interviewed many people from the classified black budget world. He did all of this while being the Associate Curator at the Pacific Aviation Museum.
According to him, and the people he has spoken to, “we have things out there that are literally out of this world, better than Star Trek or what you see in the movies.”
He also claims to have known Ben Rich — the second director of Lockheed Skunkworks — very well. In a video interview, Goodall stated that he spoke to Rich approximately 10 days before he died:
“About ten days before he died, I was speaking to Ben on the telephone at USC medical center in LA. And he said, ‘Jim, we have things out in the desert that are fifty years beyond what you can comprehend. They have about forty five hundred people at Lockheed Skunkworks. What have they been doing for the last twenty years? They’re building something.”
Another source for Ben Richs’ comments come from Jan Harzan, a senior executive with IBM, along with Tom Keller, an aerospace engineer who has worked as a computer systems analyst for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They discuss a talk Ben gave some time ago.
On March 23, 1993, at a UCLA School of Engineering talk where he was presenting a general history of Sunk Works, he said:
“We now know how to travel to the stars. There is an error in the equations, and we have figured it out, and now know how to travel to the stars and it won’t take a lifetime to do it. It is time to end all the secrecy on this, as it no longer poses a national security threat, and make the technology available for use in the private sector. There are many in the intelligence community who would like to see this stay in the black and not see the light of day. We now have the technology to take ET home.”
There are multiple sources for statements coming from Ben Rich, but I’ll stop there. Below is a video of Jan telling the story.
This brings us to the next point, the alien reproduction vehicle. This concept was introduced by Mark McCandlish, an internationally-recognized artist who has specialized in aviation and conceptual art within the defense and aerospace industries for three decades. His father was a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, which is where he developed his love for the subject.
He has gone on record stating his belief that carefully protected technology has been co-opted by an as-yet-unknown group, and the sequestration of this technology has provided this organization a great deal of leverage in global politics, finance, and international conflicts over the past five decades.
Below is a clip from 2001, where hundreds of former military personnel gathered at the National Press Club to share their experiences and information. In the clip below, he speaks of the alien reproduction vehicle and how he came across it, and also mentions his interest in UFOs due to a sighting over a nuclear weapons storage facility.
Here is a more recent talk by McCandlish at a conference discussing the secret space program, where he goes into more detail regarding the feasibility of interstellar travel.
Before we get to the vehicle you see in the picture above, it’s important to note that there is evidence showing this type of exotic technology that dates back prior to the Second World War.
A classic example would be the CIA keeping tabs on developments in Germany, as explained by this document, which looked into “a German newspaper” that “recently published an interview with George Klein, famous engineer and aircraft expert, describing the experimental construction of ‘flying saucers’ carried out by him from 1941 to 1945.”
Here’s another document that goes on to mention an experiment described by Klein:
The “flying saucer” reached an altitude of 12,400 meters within 3 minutes and a speed of 2,200 kilometers per hour. Klein emphasized that in accordance with German plans, the speed of these “saucers” would reach 4,000 kilometers per hour.
One difficulty, according to Klein, was the problem of obtaining the materials to be used for the construction of the “saucers,” but even this had been solved by German engineers toward the end of 1945, and construction on the objects was scheduled to begin, Klein added.
Below is a clip from Dr. Steven Greer’s film Unacknowledged, now available on Netflix. He is the one who brought fourth 400 hundred verified, high ranking former military witnesses, some of whom testified at the National Press Club along with McCandlish, as you saw in the video above.
It was also held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and saw a number of professors, historians, scientists, and high ranking political and military personnel gathered to elaborate on the ongoing reality of the UFO phenomenon to several former Congresspeople.
Dr. Greer also released a previous film, titled Sirius, where he revealed having had high level meetings within the Pentagon regarding the UFO/extraterrestrial topic. This was verified by Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo 14 astronaut who accompanied Greer on his meetings.
The “Sneak Peak.”
The Secret Space Program
Although there are still many people who would dismiss you for even considering there’s any truth to a secret space program that has reversed engineered extraterrestrial technology, it comes from a place of innocent ignorance on their part.
It’s easy to condemn something without ever really looking into it, and this is a result of a small group of people and the corporations they run controlling all major media networks, painting whatever picture they’d like us to perceive about our world, and using it to their advantage.
Just to reiterate that you are in the presence of good company, I thought I’d use yet another example. According to Herman Oberth, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, “Flying saucers are real and… they are space ships from another solar system.
I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our Earth for centuries.” (Oberth, Hermann: “Flying Saucers Come from a Distant World,” The American Weekly, October 24, 1954) (source 1)(source 2)
Here’s another great clip, taken from the Thrive documentary, of a former NASA astronaut and Princeton physics professor. I’ve been using it for years, so my apologies if you’ve come across it already.
UFO don’t necessarily equate to extraterrestrial, but in some cases, they might.
The programs doing this exotic work exist and are known as Special Access Programs (SAP). From these we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’
A 1997 U.S. Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.”
I just wanted to provide a little bit of background information about the “secret space” program and what could be going on in it. For a deeper look into the subject, below is a great lecture given by researcher Richard Dolan.
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror
In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:
(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found:
“Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….”
(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked several attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. The staged attacks included:
The German radio station Sender Gleiwitz [details below]
The strategic railway at POSunka Pass (Jab?onków Incident), located on the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia
The German customs station at Hochlinden (today part of Rybnik-Stodo?y)
The forest service station in Pitschen (Byczyna)
The communications station at Neubersteich (“Nieborowitzer Hammer” before 12 February 1936, now Kuznia Nieborowska)
The railroad station in Alt-Eiche (Smolniki), Rosenberg in Westpreußen district
A woman and her companion in Katowice
The details of the Gleiwitz radio station incident include:
On the night of 31 August 1939, a small group of German operatives dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content of the message). The Germans’ goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs.
To make the attack seem more convincing, the Germans used human corpses to pass them off as Polish attackers. They murdered Franciszek Honiok, a 43-year-old unmarried German Silesian Catholic farmer known for sympathizing with the Poles. He had been arrested the previous day by the Gestapo. He was dressed to look like a saboteur, then killed by lethal injection, given gunshot wounds, and left dead at the scene so that he appeared to have been killed while attacking the station. His corpse was subsequently presented to the police and press as proof of the attack.
(3) The minutes of the high command of the Italian government – subsequently approved by Mussolini himself – admitted that violence on the Greek-Albanian border was carried out by Italians and falsely blamed on the Greeks, as an excuse for Italy’s 1940 invasion of Greece.
(4) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goeringadmitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.
(5) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchevadmitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsinagreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.
(6) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachevall admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.
(7) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews who were Holocaust survivors attempting to flee to safety in Palestine right after World War II, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, this and this).
(8) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).
The U.S. Army does not believe this is an isolated incident. For example, the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies said of Mossad (Israel’s intelligence service):
“Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”
(9) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950?s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.
(10) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.
Starting in the 1950s Turkey’s deep state sponsored killings, engineered riots, colluded with drug traffickers, staged “false flag” attacks and organised massacres of trade unionists. Thousands died in the chaos it fomented.
(11) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.
(13) In 1960, American Senator George Smatherssuggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]”.
A U.S. Navy HSS-1 Seabat helicopter hovers over Soviet submarine B-59, forced to the surface by U.S. Naval forces in the Caribbean near Cuba (October 28–29, 1962) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
(14) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.
(15) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
(16) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.
(17) The U.S. Department of Defense also suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States:
“The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”
(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.
(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained:
“In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.”
In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.
(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:
The Agency maintains liaison in varying degrees with foreign police/security organizations through its field stations ….
[CIA provides training sessions as follows:]
Providing trainees with basic knowledge in the uses of commercial and military demolitions and incendiariesas they may be applied in terrorism and industrial sabotage operations.
Introducing the trainees to commercially available materials and home laboratory techniques, likely to he used in the manufacture of explosives and incendiaries by terrorists or saboteurs.
Familiarizing the trainees with the concept of target analysis and operational planningthat a saboteur or terrorist must employ.
Introducing the trainees to booby trapping devices and techniques givingpractical experiencewith both manufactured and improvised devices through actual fabrication.
The program provides the trainees with ample opportunity to develop basic familiarity and use proficiently through handling, preparing and applying the various explosive charges, incendiary agents, terrorist devices and sabotage techniques.
(21) The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.
(22) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist transmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.
(23) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing.
(24) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).
(25) In 1993, a bomb in Northern Ireland killed 9 civilians. Official documents from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (i.e. the British government) show that the mastermind of the bombing was a British agent, and that the bombing was designed to inflame sectarian tensions. And see this and this.
(26) The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces – updated in 2004 – recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars“. And see this.
(27) Similarly, a CIA “psychological operations” manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a “martyr” for the cause. The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government. The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other news coverage that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:
At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.
(28) A Rwandan government inquiry admitted that the 1994 shootdown and murder of the Rwandan president, who was from the Hutu tribe – a murder blamed by the Hutus on the rival Tutsi tribe, and which led to the massacre of more than 800,000 Tutsis by Hutus – was committed by Hutu soldiers and falsely blamed on the Tutsi. [GR Editor: This government report is contested. The alleged role of foreign powers in the shoot down is not acknowledged]
(30) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).
(31) As reported by the New York Times, BBC and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that in 2001, the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”. They lured foreign migrants into the country, executed them in a staged gun battle, and then claimed they were a unit backed by Al Qaeda intent on attacking Western embassies”. Specifically, Macedonian authorities had lured the immigrants into the country, and then – after killing them – posed the victims with planted evidence – “bags of uniforms and semiautomatic weapons at their side” – to show Western diplomats.
(32) At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying “iron bars inside the police station”. Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.
Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheneysaid that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction.
Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).
(Additionally, the same judge who has shielded the Saudis for any liability for funding 9/11 has awarded a default judgment against Iran for $10.5 billion for carrying out 9/11 … even though no one seriously believes that Iran had any part in 9/11.)
(34) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country. And see this.
(35) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
(36) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.
(38) In 2003, the U.S. Secretary of Defense admitted that interrogators were authorized to use the following method: “False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him.” While not a traditional false flag attack, this deception could lead to former detainees – many of whom were tortured – attacking the country falsely blamed for the interrogation and torture.
(39) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoosuggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launchfake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
(40) Similarly, in 2005, Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School – a renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of ‘netwar’ – called for western intelligence services to create new “pseudo gang” terrorist groups, as a way of undermining “real” terror networks. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Arquilla’s ‘pseudo-gang’ strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon:
“Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists…
The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls ‘action teams’ in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. ‘Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?’ the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. ‘We founded them and we financed them,’ he said. ‘The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.’ A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon’s commando capabilities, said, ‘We’re going to be riding with the bad boys.’”
(41) United Press International reported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
(42) In 2005, British soldiers dressed as Arabs were caught by Iraqi police after a shootout against the police. The soldiers apparently possessed explosives, and were accused of attempting to set off bombs. While none of the soldiers admitted that they were carrying out attacks, British soldiers and a column of British tanks stormed the jail they were held in, broke down a wall of the jail, and busted them out. The extreme measures used to free the soldiers – rather than have them face questions and potentially stand trial – could be considered an admission.
(43) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.
(44) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).
(45) A 2008 US Army special operations field manual recommends that the U.S. military use surrogate non-state groups such as “paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political ‘undesirables.’” The manual specifically acknowledged that U.S. special operations can involve both counterterrorism and “Terrorism” (as well as “transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.”)
He should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior … infiltrate the movement with agents provocateurs inclined to do anything …. And after that, with the strength of the gained population consent, … beat them for blood and beat for blood also those teachers that incite them. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly, of course, but the girl teachers yes.
(47) An undercover officer admitted that he infiltrated environmental, leftwing and anti-fascist groups in 22 countries. Germany’s federal police chief admitted that – while the undercover officer worked for the German police – he acted illegally during a G8 protest in Germany in 2007 and committed arson by setting fire during a subsequent demonstration in Berlin. The undercover officer spent many years living with violent “Black Bloc” anarchists.
(48) Denver police admitted that uniformed officers deployed in 2008 to an area where alleged “anarchists” had planned to wreak havoc outside the Democratic National Convention ended up getting into a melee with two undercover policemen. The uniformed officers didn’t know the undercover officers were cops.
(49) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.
(50) The oversight agency for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted that – at the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010 – undercover police officers were arrested with a group of protesters. Videos and photos (see this and this, for example) show that violent protesters wore very similar boots and other gear as the police, and carried police batons. The Globe and Mail reports that the undercover officers planned the targets for violent attack, and the police failed to stop the attacks.
(51) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.
(52) Austin police admit that 3 officers infiltrated the Occupy protests in that city. Prosecutors admit that one of the undercover officers purchased and constructed illegal “lock boxes” which ended up getting many protesters arrested.
(53) In 2011, a Colombian colonel admitted that he and his soldiers had lured 57 innocent civilians and killed them – after dressing many of them in uniforms – as part of a scheme to claim that Columbia was eradicating left-wing terrorists. And see this.
(54) Rioters who discredited the peaceful protests against the swearing in of the Mexican president in 2012 admitted that they were paid 300 pesos each to destroy everything in their path. According to Wikipedia, photos also show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence.
(55) On November 20, 2014, Mexican agent provocateurs were transported by army vehicles to participate in the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping protests, as was shown by videos and pictures distributed via social networks.
(56) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.
(57) Two members of the Turkish parliament, high-level American sources and others admitted that the Turkish government – a NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and falsely blamed them on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.
(58) The former Director of the NSA and other American government officials admit said that the U.S. is a huge supporter of terrorism. Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinskiadmitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets. The U.S. and its allies have been supporting Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups for many decades, and providing them arms, money and logistical support in Libya, Syria, Mali, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries. U.S. allies are also directly responsible for creating and supplying ISIS.
It’s gotten so ridiculous that a U.S. Senator has introduced a “Stop Arming Terrorists Act”, and U.S. Congresswoman – who introduced a similar bill in the House – says:
“For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
(59) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.
(60) Speaking of snipers, in a secret recording, Venezuelan generals admit that they will deploy snipers to shoot protesters, but keep the marksmen well-hidden from demonstrator and the reporters covering the events so others would be blamed for the deaths.
(61) Burmese government officials admitted that Burma (renamed Myanmar) used false flag attacks against Muslim and Buddhist groups within the country to stir up hatred between the two groups, to prevent democracy from spreading.
(62) Israeli police were again filmed in 2015 dressing up as Arabs and throwing stones, then turning over Palestinian protesters to Israeli soldiers.
(63) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.
(64) The CIA has admitted that it uses viruses and malware from Russia and other countries to carry out cyberattacks and blame other countries.
(65) U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants.
(66) German prosecutors admit that a German soldier disguised himself as a Syrian refugee and planned to shoot people so that the attack would be blamed on asylum seekers.
(67) Police frame innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:
In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.
Perez, himself a former [Los Angeles Police Department] cop, was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from police evidence lockers. After pleading guilty in September, he bargained for a lighter sentence by telling an appalling story of attempted murder and a “throwdown”–police slang for a weapon planted by cops to make a shooting legally justifiable. Perez said he and his partner, Officer Nino Durden, shot an unarmed 18th Street Gang member named Javier Ovando, then planted a semiautomatic rifle on the unconscious suspect and claimed that Ovando had tried to shoot themduring a stakeout.
As part of his plea bargain, Pérez implicated scores of officers from the Rampart Division’s anti-gang unit, describing routinely beating gang members, planting evidence on suspects, falsifying reports and covering up unprovoked shootings.
(As a side note – and while not technically false flag attacks – police have been busted framing innocent people in many other ways, as well.)
(68) A former U.S. intelligence officer recently alleged:
Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.
(69) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags.
(70) The Director of Analytics at the interagency Global Engagement Center housed at the U.S. Department of State, also an adjunct professor at George Mason University, where he teaches the graduate course National Security Challenges in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology, a former branch chief in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and an intelligence advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security (J.D. Maddox) notes:
Provocation is one of the most basic, but confounding, aspects of warfare. Despite its sometimes obvious use, it has succeeded consistently against audiences around the world, for millennia, to compel war. A well-constructed provocation narrative mutes even the most vocal opposition.
The culmination of a strategic provocation operation invariably reflects a narrative of victimhood: we are the victims of the enemy’s unforgivable atrocities.
In the case of strategic provocation the deaths of an aggressor’s own personnel are a core tactic of the provocation.
The persistent use of strategic provocation over centuries – and its apparent importance to war planners – begs the question of its likely use by the US and other states in the near term.
(71) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the “benefits” of of false flags to justify their political agenda:
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin
Postscript 1: It is not just “modern” nations which have launched false flag attacks. For example, a Native American from one tribe (Pomunkey) murdered a white Englishwoman living in Virginia in 1697 and then falsely blamed it on second tribe (Piscataway). But he later admitted in court that he was not really Piscataway, and that he had been paid by a provocateur from a third tribe (Iroquois) to kill the woman as a way to start a war between the English and the Piscataway, thus protecting the profitable Iroquois monopoly in trade with the English.
Postscript 2: On multiple occasions, atrocities or warmongering are falsely blamed on the enemy as a justification for war … when no such event ever occurred. This is more like a “fake flag” than a “false flag”, as no actual terrorism occurred.
The NSA admitsthat it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reportedthat the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 … and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq. And see this and this
Time magazine points outthat the claim by President Bush that Iraq was attempting to buy “yellow cake” Uranium from Niger:
had been checked out — and debunked — by U.S. intelligence a year before the President repeated it.
Everyone knewthat Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. More
The entire torture program was geared towards obtaining false confessionslinking Iraq and 9/11
This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, is the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass)
Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but he learned from his interaction with the CIA and Joint Chiefs that the military/security complex had an agenda that was self-interested and a danger to humanity. He began working to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union. His rejections of plans to invade Cuba, of the Northwoods project, of a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and his intention to withdraw from Vietnam after his reelection, together with some of his speeches signaling a new approach to foreign policy in the nuclear age (see for example, https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx ), convinced the military/security complex that he was a threat to their interests. Cold War conservatives regarded him as naive about the Soviet Threat and a liability to US national security. These were the reasons for his assassination. These views were set in stone when Kennedy announced on June 10, 1963, negotiations with the Soviets toward a nuclear test ban treaty and a halt to US atmospheric nuclear tests.
The Oswald coverup story never made any sense and was contradicted by all evidence including tourist films of the assassination. President Johnson had ro cover up the assassination, not because he was part of it or because he willfully wanted to deceive the American people, but because to give Americans the true story would have shaken their confidence in their government at a critical time in US-Soviet relations. To make the coverup succeed, Johnson needed the credibility of the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to chair the commission that covered up the assassination. Warren understood the devastating impact the true story would have on the public and their confidence in the military and national security leadership and on America’s allies.
As I previously reported, Lance deHaven-Smith in his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, shows that the CIA introduced “conspiracy theory” into the political lexicon as a technique to discredit skepticism of the Warren Commission’s coverup report. He provides the CIA document that describes how the agency used its media friends to control the explanation.
The term “conspiracy theory” has been used ever since to validate false explanations by discrediting true explanations.
President Kennedy was also determined to require the Israel Lobby to register as a foreign agent and to block Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. His assassination removed the constraints on Israel’s illegal activities. http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html
Memorial Day is when Americans honor those in the armed services who died serving the country. JFK fell while serving the causes of peace and nuclear disarmament. In a 1961 address to the United Nations, President Kennedy said:
“Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race – to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.”
Kennedy’s address was well received at home and abroad and received a favorable and supportive response from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but it caused consternation among the warhawks in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US led in terms of the number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and this lead was the basis for US military plans for a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. http://prospect.org/article/did-us-military-plan-nuclear-first-strike-1963 Also, Many believed that nuclear disarmament would remove the obstacle to the Soviet Army overrunning Western Europe. Warhawks considered this a greater threat than nuclear armageddon. Many in high military circles regarded President Kennedy as weakening the US viv-a-vis the Soviet Union.
The assassination of President Kennedy was an enormous cost to the world. Kennedy and Khrushchev would have followed up their collaboration in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis by ending the Cold War long before the military/security complex achieved its iron grip on the US government. Israel would have been denied nuclear weapons, and the designation of the Israel Lobby as a foreign agent would have prevented Israel’s strong grip on the US government. In his second term, JFK would have broken the CIA into a thousand pieces, an intention he expressed to his brother, Robert, and the Deep State would have been terminated before it became more powerful than the President.
But the military/security complex struck first, and pulled off a coup that voided all these promises and terminated American democracy.
The KiS report – “Keep it Simple” – Government for the silent majority.
The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file: KiS full report 100316 The report summary and table of contents are provided below.
The KiS report describes an Australian government the ‘silent majority’ of voters would likely have elected – if they had the choice.
Why? Because because it would benefit them far, far more than any recent governments which have evolved since federation over a century ago. Many would say most if not all aspects of government have gone downhill ever since. Like a corporation that is failing badly, the Australian Government needs a fundamental restructure – a ‘root and branch’ rebuild based on the needs of 2016 and the future.
The report includes assessments of, and proposed solutions to, key factors voters expect their governments to lead and manage appropriately on their behalf such as: finance, debt, defence, environment, law and order, energy availability, pollution regulations, immigration, taxation, healthcare, recreational drugs, education, infrastructure and related planning approaches.
Please note this report was written nearly 5 years ago and is in dire need of updating in some areas. However, the substantive points remain valid, and the overall proposed solution will not change significantly in the update. A few areas such as the system for taxation will be modified, as will aspects of foreign relationships.
Whilst the report is focused on the Australian government, much of the report could be applied to most governments in democratic countries.
The report Table of Contents, then the Summary, are below:
KiS Report – Table of Contents
2.01 There are glimmers of hope
2.02 Check the roadmap first
3. Issues Influencing KiS Government
3.01 Democracy evolution
3.02 The modern nation-state
3.03 Cargo Cult mentality
3.05 Freedom of speech
3.06 Trade unions, labour laws and productivity
3.07 Standards, regulations and intrusion
3.08 ‘Carbon pollution’ v. weather
3.09 The ‘green mafia’
3.10 Water management
3.11 Energy management
3.12 Global governance
3.13 NGO influence
3.14 Bureaucracy and convoluted government management
3.15 Levels of government
3.17 Economics and financial management
3.18 The modern politician
3.19 Human imperfections and differences
4. KiS Issue Summary
5. KiS Philosophy
6. KiS Vision for Australia
7. KiS Management
7.01 Management 101 delivers optimum results
7.02 A starting point to improve on
8. KiS Government Organisation
8.01 KiS national government objective
8.02 KiS national government law process
8.03 National Government structure
8.04 Two levels of government
9. KiS Government management
9.01 Criminal Justice
9.02 National and local service fees
9.03 Excise tax and royalties
9.04 Financial management
9.05 Commercial and financial oversight
9.06 Citizenship and Visas
9.07 Infrastructure and the environment
9.08 Labour laws and productivity
10. Implementing KiS Government
10.01 Transition plan
10.02 KiS government activities and resources
10.03 Planning and plans
10.04 International agreements and foreign aid
10.05 Asset ownership
10.06 Process and regulation simplification
10.07 Culture and values tests
10.08 Guardian group and freedom of speech
10.09 Communicating KiS changes
11. Would the Silent Majority Vote for KiS?
11.01 Are the silent majority of Australian voters sufficiently fed up?
11.02 Boiling frog syndrome
11.03 An about-turn by politicians as well as the silent majority?
A. Australian immigration history
B. The Greens’ agenda
C. ‘Carbon Pollution’ in the UK
D. The Silent Majority (1): Australian divorce
E. The Silent Majority (2): ‘I’m tired’ (US)
F. The Silent Majority (3): What good people do
G. ‘The Australian Government beat me to it’
KiS Report Summary
Surveys, ‘pub-talk’ and media comment indicate that most Australians are very dissatisfied with their Government. Few voters believe that current political parties can fix the plethora of problems which arise from the government itself – and politicians tend to exacerbate problems rather than fixing them.
Voter frustrations include: excessive governmental intrusion and bureaucracy; financial regulator failures; abysmal government management of risk, building, health, water, energy and immigration; ineffective criminal justice; ‘carbon pollution’ taxes and waste; the ‘green mafia’; variability of freedom of speech; covert influence from some NGOs; inadequate employment laws; and the regularity of politicians’ breaking of promises.
No democratic government in the world is widely viewed as very successful, so there is no ideal model to copy. The complexity of government and the depth of related problems are too entrenched for incremental improvements to be effective. A keep-it-simple policy could provide the best solution. KiS is a completely different way of democratic government, starting with a ‘clean slate’ and applying the best management practices. Key components of a KiS government would include:
Recognition that competent and diligent governmental staff are often thwarted by excessive complexity and by covert agendas of power brokers and ideologues.
Government structure comprises two levels: national and local. States have figurehead roles only. Local governments have wider roles including health and education boards.
House of Representatives and Senate member numbers are reduced to a total of 100. Members demonstrate excellent competencies and comply with fiduciary duties of care.
All taxes are replaced by ‘flat rate service fees’ introduced over 3 years: 20% on individual incomes and 10% on business expenditure. Compliance is simple.
Businesses such as mining companies using natural resources pay economic rents which enable fair profits and encourage investment and growth, including overseas investment.
Recreational drugs are not illegal. Excise duties are charged on alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs at rates that cover all related costs with rigorous auditing and penalties.
Government processes, systems and regulations are reviewed using ‘clean slate’ methods that optimise efficiency and effectiveness, and, if necessary, are modified or replaced.
All government departments have audited plans that conform to guidelines reflecting best practices, and which include preparation for such contingencies as catastrophic weather.
The criminal justice system focuses first on full compensation of all victims’ losses and all related judicial costs, then on the rehabilitation of criminals. When appropriate and possible, custodial sentences consist of home detention – prison is a last resort.
Government asset ownership is retained only if no better alternative be available.
Commercial and financial oversight is strengthened to ensure that GFC-type greed and excesses are not repeated. Net government debt is eliminated as soon as practical.
All government funding relating to ‘carbon pollution’ ceases. Related actions are reviewed after rigorous assessments and recommendations from a Royal Commission.
Immigrant assessments are completed and decisions made within three months. Immigrants sign contracts agreeing to abide by Australian law and to support Australian culture and values. Major transgressors are evicted from Australia.
A Guardian group investigates concerns about covert influence and behaviour.
Implementation is gradual over several years; each step builds on the last success.
KiS solutions focus on the concerns and wishes of the ‘silent majority’ of voters — the antithesis of political power-brokers, ideologues and rent-seekers. KiS proposals are not intended to be definitive; rather they provide a basis for improvements and further reforms.
Are the ‘silent majority’ of voters so fed up with existing governments that they would vote for radical change such as KiS? Would sufficient candidates with the requisite competence and credibility stand for KiS and promote it, or would an existing political party adopt KiS policies if it became clear a growing movement of voters demand change? Failure to implement radical change soon will result in Australian politics and government descending even further into complexity, intrusion and waste with little hope of real reform.
Modern society growth is proportional to available energy, so the availability of cost-effective energy for everyone is clearly critical. This post presents a range of issues with regard to the science, views and potential for free energy and so-called renewable energy.
Scroll down to see additional articles at the end of the post.
The technology for ‘free’ (over-unity) energy has been demonstrated beyond doubt to be known by some ‘black’ government departments and subcontractors, but is currently kept secret.
Numerous crimes have been committed by deep state government groups and associated military/industrial organisations to protect their industry and advantages.
The technologies for ‘free energy’ include zero-point (sub-atomics / quantum) as well as received electro-magnetic energy.
‘Science’ has made fundamental errors, deliberate and otherwise, including defining energy systems as ‘closed’.
Open experiments to produce ‘free’ energy have to date been suppressed covertly by energy industry leaders.
Access to ‘free’ energy will eventually enable massive improvements throughout all parts of the world, far greater than the industrial revolution.
Modern society growth is proportional to available energy, so the availability of cost-effective energy for everyone is clearly critical. This post presents a range of issues with regard to the science, views and potential for free energy and so-called renewable energy.
Of the seven largest markets in the world; energy, agriculture, telecoms, auto, chemicals, packaged foods, and pharma, the energy market surpasses all others by a minimum margin of $3.3 trillion dollars per year. The growing demand for energy drives market size projections to $10.4 trillion per year by 2020, helping energy maintain its dominant position in the world markets. The 2013 world GDP was USD75.59 trillion, so energy comprised about 15%.
Numerous organizations are working flat-out to develop low-cost devices that could provide almost-free energy that potentially could destroy or replace most of the current energy industry. Question: how do you think energy industry leaders are reacting? Read banker J P Morgan’s reaction to Nicola Tesla’s inventions below, and view Thomas Bearden’s videos, also below.
However, most of the official scientific views of ‘free energy’, Tesla’s demonstrations, zero-point energy and the like are dismissive. But then, recall everyone ‘knew’ the sun went around the earth, and peptic ulcers were caused by stress and acidity – until 2 doctors, who had been scoffed at for 20 years – proved these ulcers were caused by bacteria, and won Nobel prizes. Science has an alarming history of ‘getting it wrong’. As Einstein said, it only takes one person to prove I’m wrong’.
There is considerable evidence that some US ‘black’ government departments have been aware of the ability to produce ‘free’ energy for many decades. This is discussed below, in particular by Dr Greer.
The reader is advised that most of what is presented in this section is very different from what he/she is likely to have been taught, read and viewed. Rather than scoffing, which is a natural reaction, it would be better to maintain an open mind and consider the degree that past information on this and allied subjects may have been manipulated for entirely different ends.
A broad introduction to subject of ‘free energy’ is presented by the Sirius project. Dr Carol Rosin interviews Dr Steve Greer to discuss an update on Sirius Disclosure (34 mins intro, implementation at 77 mins, ends 94 mins) – audio interview. Note: there are many more later presentation covering major progress. Also the following video interview with Dr Carol Rosin: Von Braun’s legacy – 34 min 2013 YouTube
Recent article (170930) explaining the current situation and issues surrounding ‘free energy’. Note in particular the third video. ZPE / ‘free energy’ has been demonstrated for over a century, but bankers (J P Morgan / Nicola Tesla), the international energy industry (estimated to be worth well over $200 trillion) all conspire to steal the technologies, experiments etc. and prevent the world from getting free energy.
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bearden, US Army, PhD, probably THE world guru on the subject, explains how energy can be extracted from the ‘zero points field’, the ‘dipole’ effect and how and why this form of free energy has been buried by various black government, financial and industrial operations as well as the scientific community and non-availability of patents for ‘perpetual motion machines’. A 2013 video presents the science, issues and economics in fairly simple language. An earlier similar video below. The third bullet provides Tom Bearden’s incredible CV.
Another video recorded around 2002, but similarly valid in now, presents a similar series of issues. The main difference is that his point regarding ‘money-printing’ has extended his forecasted deadline – 47 minutes
The history of free energy, suppression, economic cartels in energy preventing free energy, assassination etc. and how it works – over-unity power systems, Lt Colonel Thomas Bearden note quotes etc. This old video ~2003 – predicts the world will be into mass war in 2007/08 or sooner if new energy generation is prevented – his logic remains, but the various institutions, cartels etc. have managed to delay free energy for another decade since. By Eugene Mallove RIP.
Science skeptic and writer, Martin Gardner has called claims of such zero-point-energy-based systems, “as hopeless as past efforts to build perpetual motion machines.” Perpetual motion machine refers to technical designs of machines that can operate indefinitely, optionally with additional output of excessive energy, without any cited input source of energy, which is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics.
But technical designs to harness zero-point energy would not fall into this category because sub-atomic zero-point energy is claimed as the input source of energy’. The issue is, what boundaries comprise the overall system in which the energy resides?
‘Science’ considers all energy systems are ‘closed’; that is, no energy can come in or out of them. Closed system thermodymamics is taught as gospel by conventional academics and forms the foundation of our civilization and all current technologies. The problem is, there is no such thing as a closed system. All systems have varying degrees of interaction with their environments, both macro, micro, nano and sub-atomic (quantum). ZPE, for instance, considers energy from sub-nuclear ‘fields’. Electro-magnetism comes in and goes out from everywhere in the universe (albeit in rather small amounts after applying the cube rule to distant sources).
Another key factor is those who control all energy in the world are less than keen on experiments with above-unity power system, so they do everything they can to stop them (e.g. JP Morgan and Tesla).
‘Science’ appears to have made a colossal mistake in simplifying Maxwell’s equations (see Tom Beardon’s article) and losing a key component that provided for over-unity power generation. But science in universities etc. get all their funding from governments who stick with the PC view, including science.
However, there are cracks appearing in the armor. One article noted ‘As to whether zero-point energy may become a source of usable energy, this is considered extremely unlikely by most physicists, and none of the claimed devices are taken seriously by the mainstream science community. Nevertheless, SED interpretation of the Bohr orbit (above) does suggest a way whereby energy might be extracted. Based upon this a patent has been issued and experiments have been underway at the University of Colorado (U.S. Patent 7,379,286).’
There are many other views and experiments to develop over-unity power system (the system generates more power than it consumes) deploy various electro-magnetic forces, often based on Tesla’s experiments. Some have been demonstrated to be successful, but without full explanations are to how or why they work. There are many examples of these experimenters being either bought off or possibly assassinated. It is assumed those controlling various aspects of the power industry are responsible for such repression.
A Device to Harness Free Cosmic Energy Claimed by Nikola Tesla: “This new power for the driving of the world’s machinery will be derived from the energy which operates the universe, the cosmic energy, whose central source for the earth is the sun and which is everywhere present in unlimited quantities.” It is not clear how or whether this related directly to zero-point energy. It is fully documented that banker JP Morgan believed it would work and preclude his profiting from selling energy; he sabotaged Tesla’s progress and stole Tesla’s patents. Acknowledged as the greatest inventor ever, as a result, Tesla died a pauper. First a long interview with Tesla from ~1900, with a link to a 1916 interview.
The ‘science’ of frequencies, and their relevance. Nikola Tesla, the great genius and father of electromagnetic engineering, had once said, “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would hold a key to the universe”. The 3, 6, and 9 are the fundamental root vibrations of the Solfeggio frequencies. Albert Einstein stated: “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” All matter beings vibrate at specific rates and everything has its own melody. The musical nature of nuclear matter from atoms to galaxies is now finally being recognized by science.
Tesla: his background, genius and how his advances were stolen. To what effect now?
Dr Steven Greer (also covered in part below in Extra-terrestrials and UFOs)
Steven Greer, re new/free energy/East Trinity summary 2009.
Greer video, 16 mins, in which he explains a conversation with a billionaire who would not back Greer’s free energy device because GM already had this, but an executive who was planning to release it to produce free-energy cars was murdered 2 weeks after he presented his plans. The 85-year old billionaire said he was not afraid for himself, but for his family. NB this is the fifth video in a 5-part series.
The potential for ‘free energy’ is discussed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy – Utilization Controversy section. Zero-point energy, also called quantum vacuum zero-point energy, is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanicalphysical system may have; it is the energy of its ground state. Despite the scientific stance to typically discount the claims, numerous articles and books have been published addressing and discussing the potential of tapping zero-point-energy from the quantum vacuum or elsewhere. See 44 references with links.
The RET Scheme, a monstrous mis-allocation of resources, continues to make Australia poorer for no good reason. Those who concocted and voted for it seem determined to hobble the nation’s prospects while slipping some $5 billion every year into the pockets of rent-seeking saboteurs
One Senate inquiry is addressing Australia’s drift towards a fuel crisis, a sin of omission on the part of the Rudd/Gillard government and the current Liberal one. Another Senate inquiry is investigating a sin of commission that started under John Howard’s watch and continues to this day, namely the proliferation of wind turbines under the RET Scheme.
Submissions to the latter inquiry are online here. I commend submission Number Five by your humble correspondent. It is reproduced below:
No electric power producer would take power from a wind turbine operation if they had the choice. All the wind turbines in Australia have been forced upon the power companies that take their output.
Why do we have wind turbines?
So the question has to be asked, why do we have wind turbines in the first place?
Wind turbines are commonly considered to produce renewable energy. This is distinct from energy sources that are once-through and thus finite. The rationale for renewable energy is that its use reduces the consumption of fossil fuels by substitution. The rationale for that, in turn, is that fossil fuels contribute to the warming of the atmosphere through the greenhouse effect. This last rationale goes to the source of the wind turbine problem. So it is apposite to examine that claim.
While climate change is real in that the climate is always changing, and the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide is real, the effect at the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is minuscule.
The greenhouse gasses keep the planet 30°C warmer than it would otherwise be if they weren’t in the atmosphere. So the average temperature of the planet’s surface is 15°C instead of -15°C. Of that effect, 80% is provided by water vapour, 10% by carbon dioxide and methane, ozone and so on make up the remaining 10%. So the warming provided by carbon dioxide is three degrees.
The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 286 parts per million. Let’s round that up to 300 parts per million to make the maths easier. You could be forgiven for thinking that if 300 parts per million produces three degrees of warming, the relationship is that every one hundred parts per million produces a degree of warming. We are adding two parts per million to the atmosphere each year, which is 100 parts per million every 50 years and, at that rate, the world would heat up at a fair clip.
The relationship is logarithmic
But the relationship isn’t arithmetic, it is logarithmic. The University of Chicago has an online program called Modtran which allows you to put in an assumed atmospheric carbon dioxide content and it will tell you how much atmospheric heating that produces. It turns out that the first 20 parts per million produces half of the heating effect to date. The effect rapidly drops away as the carbon dioxide concentration increases.
By the time we get to the current level in the atmosphere of 400 parts per million, the heating effect is only 0.1°C per one hundred parts per million. At that rate, the temperature of the atmosphere might rise by 0.2°C every one hundred years.
The total atmospheric heating from carbon dioxide to date is of the order of 0.1°C. By the time humanity has dug up all the rocks we can economically burn, and burnt them, the total heating effect from carbon dioxide might be of the order of 0.4°C. This would take a couple of centuries. A rise of this magnitude would be lost in the noise of the climate system. This agrees with observations which have not found any signature from carbon dioxide-related heating in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide level is dangerously low
The carbon dioxide level of the atmosphere is actually dangerously low, not dangerously high. During the glacial periods of our current ice age, the level got as low as 180 parts per million. Plant growth shuts down at 150 parts per million. Several times in the last three million years, life above sea level came within 30 parts per million of extinction due to a lack of carbon dioxide. The more humanity can increase the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the safer life on Earth will be.
Further to all that, belief in global warming from carbon dioxide requires a number of underlying assumptions. One of these is that the feedback loop of increased heating from carbon dioxide causes more water vapour to be held in the atmosphere which in turns causes more heating, a runaway effect. And that this feedback effect only starts from the pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – not a higher level or a lower level, but exactly at the pre-industrial level.
Some estimates of the heating effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide are as high as 6.0°C for a doubling of the concentration from the pre-industrial level. For this to be true, atmospheric heating of at least 2.0°C should have been seen to date. In the real world, there has been a temperature rise of 0.3°C in the last 35 years, as measured by satellites. This is well short of what is predicted by global warming theory as practiced by the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and others.
This is also a far more plausible reason for the warming of the planet during the current Modern Warm Period which followed the ending of the Little Ice Age in 1900. The energy that keeps the Earth from looking like Pluto comes from the Sun and the level and make-up of that energy does change. The Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th century than it had been in the previous 8,000 years. As shown by the geomagnetic Aa Index, the Sun started getting more active in the mid-19th century and the world’s glaciers began retreating at about the same time.
It is entirely rational to think that a more active Sun would result in a warmer Earth, and this is borne out by empirical observation. To wit, the increased Antarctic sea ice cover observed during the satellite period.
Arctic sea ice extent retreated for the last 20 years of the 20th century. That is compatible with global warming for any reason. At the same time, Antarctic sea extent increased by an amount similar to the Arctic sea ice loss. This is not possible if we accept that global warming is due to carbon dioxide. It also means that global warming due to carbon dioxide did not cause the bulk of the warming in the rest of the planet because carbon dioxide’s effect was overwhelmed in Antarctica by some other force.
Increase in Antarctic sea ice extent
The increase in Antarctic sea ice extent is entirely consistent with increased global temperatures due to high solar activity, as explained by Henrik Svensmark’s theory, which holds that high solar activity produces a lower neutron flux in the lower troposphere from intergalactic cosmic radiation, in turn providing fewer nucleation sites for cloud droplet formation and, thus, less cloud cover. Sunnier skies over Antarctica in turn mean that more solar radiation is reflected by high-albedo snow and ice instead of being absorbed in the cloud cover. Thus Antarctica has cooled.
The rest of the world has enjoyed the best climatic conditions, and thus agricultural growing conditions, since the 13th century. But what the Sun gives it can also take away. Solar physicists have been warning for over a decade that the Sun is entering a prolonged period of low activity similar to that of the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1710. Most recently, Livingstone and Penn have predicted a maximum amplitude for the next solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, of 7. By comparison, the previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, had a maximum amplitude of 120.
The longest temperature record on the planet is the Central England Temperature Record from 1659. Using the solar-based forecasting model developed by Dr David Evans and the Livingstone and Penn estimate of Solar Cycle 25 amplitude of 7, a prediction can be made of the effect on the Central England Temperature out to 2040. The reduction in solar activity now being observed will result in temperatures returning to the levels of the mid-19th century at best, with the possibility of revisiting the lows of the 17th and 18th centuries. Peak summer temperatures may not change much but the length of the growing season will shorten at both ends, playing havoc with crop yields.
The notion of global warming
The notion of global warming has resulted in an enormous mis-allocation of resources in some Western societies, but we can be thankful for one thing. If it had not been for the outrageous prostitution of science in the global warming cause, then the field of climate would not have attracted the attention that has determined what is actually happening to the Earth’s climate. Humanity would otherwise be sleepwalking into the severe cold period in train.
As demonstrated above, there is no moral basis for Australian society’s investment in wind turbines if the purpose of that investment is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through a form of renewable energy. Global warming due to carbon dioxide is of no consequence and the world is cooling anyway.
WIND TURBINES may lack a moral purpose, but might there be some other good involved? Let’s examine the claim that wind turbines provide renewable energy, thus reducing our depletion of finite energy resources.
Wind turbines are made using energy from coal at about 4 cents per kWh and provide energy thought to cost of the order of 10 cents per kWh. In effect, they are machines for taking cheap, stable and reliable energy from coal and giving it back in the form of an intermittent and unpredictable dribble at more than twice the price.
That is one thing. But what stops wind turbines from being renewable is that the making of wind turbines can’t be powered using energy from the wind turbines themselves! If power from wind turbines costing 10 cents per kWh was used to make more wind turbines, then the wind turbines so produced would make power at something like 25 cents per kWh. The cost would compound away and any society that attempted to run itself on wind energy would collapse. Wind energy as a component of a power system relies upon transfer of energy at its inception from another source. It is not renewable energy. It is no consolation that solar power from photovoltaic panels is much worse in this respect.
That wind energy is renewable energy is the second lie on which the RET scheme is based, the first being that renewable energy is a palliative against global warming.
There is not much more that needs to be said. The RET Scheme is a monstrous misallocation of the nation’s resources and continues to make the Australian people poorer for no good reason. Those who concocted it and voted for it have sold the Australian people into the servitude and oppression of rent-seekers to the tune of $5 billion per annum. The science and economics it is based on are no better than voodoo and witchcraft. The wind turbines scattered around the Australian countryside are a physical manifestation of the infestation of the body politic by the self-loathing, millenarian cult of global warming.
The RET Scheme draws resources from better schemes
Unfortunately, the RET Scheme and its ilk have drawn resources from the development of energy sources that would power Australia cheaply, efficiently and with enough of a return on energy invested to maintain Australia’s high standard of living into the next millennium.
The same kind of intense interest from the wider scientific community that determined what is really happening with climate has also determined that the optimum nuclear technology for society to adopt is the thorium molten salt reactor. Any middle-ranking industrial power, such as Australia, could develop this technology, and should do so.
Much time and treasure has been lost chasing the phantom menace of global warming. The sooner the RET Scheme is put to rest, the sooner that the nation’s efforts can be properly directed towards our security and welfare in developing the best possible energy source if the nation is to survive and prosper.
David Archibald is a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC where his research interest is strategic energy policy. The Institute is a graduate school for US security agencies, State Department and Department of Defense. He has published several books and a number of papers on climate science. He has lectured on climate science in both US Senate and Congressional hearing rooms. His most recent book is Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)
Energy plan puts public service before public good
by Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation, Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) March 14, 2014
THE energy white paper under preparation proclaims that government has a role in the energy industry. But it is one that is best limited to controlling natural monopoly elements within the industry. It is certainly not to provide some blueprint for the future.
A history of public ownership
Energy has an ongoing history of public ownership, at least in part stemming from misplaced notions that it is a natural monopoly and a necessity requiring government interventions. The outcome has been deleterious and has been compounded by a determination of governments to use the industry to accommodate its social, environmental and industry policies. This has transformed an inherently low-cost industry into one that now has among the world’s highest prices.
A worrying feature of the review is a prominent role given to the supposed need to maintain analytical capability within the government. This appears to be a priority to protect departmental personnel jobs that sits badly with the market-driven industry the white paper claims to be championing. The priority may be partly due to an excessive number of goals that the white paper’s “issues paper” specifies. These encompass supplying and using energy:
To put downward costs of business and households.
To grow exports.
To promote low emissions energy technologies.
To encourage the more efficient use of energy.
Whatever may be said of the first two of these stated goals, the third and fourth are in conflict and have spawned the egregious interventions in energy policy that have created a need for a white paper. The fourth also adopts the discredited hubris: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
Markets develop from the interactions of consumers with businesses, which seek to sell their goods, access inputs and reduce risks. Government’s role is to allow these processes to be pursued and to uphold the law.
A plethora of goals
Rather than a plethora of goals, the white paper should have a single focus: to allow the market to bring about efficient production of energy with interventions limited to addressing natural monopoly situations. Anything beyond that will perpetuate the weaknesses presently evident.
Energy is a vital factor in the direct wellbeing of consumers.
More important still for Australia, it is a key component of economic development. Our minerals and agricultural processing industries are natural fits to the resource endowment that Australia has and cheap energy is both part of that endowment and crucial to its development.
Irresponsible government actions
Irresponsible government actions have impaired the value of our energy resources. This can be seen in four key areas:
Retaining ownership of energy businesses in networks where such ownership is verifiably inefficient and always likely to remain so.
Placing taxes and regulatory imposts on energy suppliers to force them into costly measures in pursuit of government-determined efficiency, consumer consultation and greenhouse-reducing measures.
Impeding access to land for gas exploration and development.
Suppressing prices to certain customer groups, thereby weakening incentives to supply and maintain industry resilience.
Policies to rectify these impairments often entail government action, which are the cause of the problems in the first place.
In the past, as with the post-Hilmer competition policy payments, governments were rewarded (and occasionally punished) with regard to an agreed set of principles.
But the use of government to combat government deficiencies is oxymoronic.
Indeed, if a previous commonwealth government had attempted more forcefully to exert pressure on states to promote a goal it favoured, energy saving measures, the outcome would have been even more perverse than that which has eventuated.
The white paper’s aforementioned issues paper continues to promote market interventions in many places associated with green energy and energy efficiency.
It also has to be said that providing incentives for governments to do things that are in the interests of their own consumers is logically questionable.
A useful starting point
A useful starting point for policy, in line with the government’s deregulation initiative, is to announce the early sun-setting of all regulatory measures and discriminatory charges and taxes on energy supplies at the commonwealth level. This would be accompanied by an invitation to state governments to adopt similar programs. In the absence of such a measure the best that can be hoped for is to have the process unveil costs of poor decisions in the past as counsel for future decision-makers.