PC, the acronym for ‘politically correct’ is a tool of self-elected elitists and ‘progressives’. It is insidiously insinuating their program of nanny-state control, welfare, collectivism, bureaucracy and even Marxism on an unsuspecting population.
The Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, may well be the nation’s highest paid activist. As the president she draws a $417,800 annual salary from taxpayers and spends much of her time advocating for pet political causes, in particular to dismantle the offshore processing element of our border protection regime. Her rhetorical flourishes, emotive posturing and wild claims differ little from those of the vocal activists who campaign for no recompense. Professor Triggs also benefits from the gravitas accorded her views because of her position. Yet, as we have seen again this week, Professor Triggs has a habit of giving misleading evidence to public inquiries and having to change her statements after people draw attention to errors. After more than four years in her role, this habit has diminished her effectiveness and undermined confidence in the AHRC.
For more than a year The Weekend Australian has highlighted concerns about why the AHRC failed to launch an inquiry into children in detention when Professor Triggs first decided it was a pressing issue under the Gillard Labor government in 2012. Instead it waited until almost two years later when the Coalition was in government and the flow of asylum-seeker boats was stopped. The president’s evasions, misstatements and corrections on this issue failed to erase the perception that politics were at play. In the past three years enormous damage has been done to the AHRC’s standing because of this taint of partisanship. The commission also has become embroiled in other controversies such as recommending compensation for a refugee who killed his wife and taking up complaints under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act against this newspaper’s cartoonist Bill Leak and a group of Queensland students who mocked the idea of an Aborigines-only computer room at university.
Incredibly — in the true sense of the word — Professor Triggs has told CNN that it is her freedom of speech that is under threat in this country, not that of the people the AHRC seeks to silence. In the wake of a silly report from the UN Human Rights Council, Professor Triggs told CNN the Australian government was muzzling entities such as the AHRC. “It is essentially a violation of the right to freedom of speech and it has impacts on so many areas of the law,” she said. As far as we know this is one statement she has yet to retract or “clarify”. To borrow a slogan she may remember, it’s time. Even though her term expires before the middle of next year, given Professor Triggs’s latest humiliations she would best protect the AHRC if she were to resign.
The taxpayer-funded political activism that Professor Triggs has come to personify is a deep and broad problem. Four Corners this week continued the ABC’s long-running, jaundiced and deceptive campaign against strong border protection and offshore processing. In its eagerness to demonise government policy, the public broadcaster portrayed Nauruan people and Australian staff on the island in an appalling light. Rather than focus on the obvious toughness and difficulties of the policy and the possible solutions, the ABC — in cahoots with activist groups — is intent on accusing Australia and Nauru of brutalising and even torturing people.
Such campaigning is encouraged by many publicly funded institutions, especially our universities. Refugees, climate change and identity politics have become the defining issues of our age for so-called progressives. By proclaiming progressive positions on these issues, many define themselves as morally superior and are exempted from normal constraints of debate such as facts, reason and tolerating the views of others. Many groups receive public funds or are given tax-free status. We need a diversity of views but it seems occasionally absurd that green groups receive government support to protest against developments governments encourage. Refugee advocacy centres are funded to challenge government policy. And activists at the extremes of gender politics are funded to develop insidious social engineering projects such as Safe Schools. As a society we seem to lack the courage to defend the values and policies that underpin our success. Yet we help groups that undermine policies, projects and institutions that benefit all of us. We need a stocktake.
Australia’s thought police are destroying freedom of speech
First the defenders of 18C came for Andrew Bolt. As Bolt was widely portrayed as a right-winger, too polemical to be taken seriously, people turned their eyes away and preferred not to take a stand. Heaven forbid, the man wrote for a tabloid after all. And hadn’t the judge in his case said that he didn’t like Bolt’s tone? So not enough people did anything to push the politicians and our egregious hate speech law stayed on the statute books.
Then they came for some law students at the Queensland University of Technology. Forced out of an empty computer room for not having any indigenous ancestry (or for not self-identifying as such), the 18C brigade went after these students for comments such as “they’re fighting segregation with segregation”. That’s it.
That’s what gets our Human Rights Commission into action and brings the whole force of a multi-million-dollar bureaucracy and the edifice of the law down on a few uni students.
Some of them choose to pay $5000 just to make the whole thing go away, so afraid of being labelled racists are they. Others choose to fight this patent injustice, even though they’re being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is ruining their lives, and even an ultimate victory in the courts is a loss. The process is the punishment, as author Mark Steyn endlessly reminds us.
Yet still most people look the other way. The politicians, too, turn a blind eye. Heck the Liberals, the party supposedly with John Stuart Mill in its DNA, can’t even bring themselves to indemnify the QUT students’ costs, as the Attorney-General could do any time he wishes. This is the political party that has gone from wanting to repeal this awful law to saying it’s too busy and not lifting a finger to support these students.
Can’t even be bothered to try to change the law. No votes in it, they must figure. Certainly not a single cabinet minister stepped down in protest when the party did its U-turn and opted not to try to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Again, not enough people spoke out and so our “hate speech” law stayed in place.
Now the speech-stifling zealots are using 18C to come after (wait for it) a prominent cartoonist who works for this country’s pre-eminent daily newspaper. I know, it sounds like something out of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four or something that would happen in Russia, not in one of the leading and oldest democracies.
You might think the millions who emoted “Je suis Charlie” for some French cartoonists might summon up the gumption to yell “Je suis Bill Leak” for a man who simply drew a cartoon of the plight of Aboriginal children with one Aboriginal ne’er-do-well and one Aboriginal policeman. No, “that offends me,” cried the zealots as they invoked 18C and brought Leak under the aegis of this abomination of a law.
Of course, before that happened the HRC’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, had gone on Facebook more or less urging people to make an 18C complaint.
Surprise, surprise, when one did the HRC accepted the complaint and is proceeding to conciliation. And did you know that Soutphommasane joined the Labor Party at 15 and worked at one time for Bob Carr (speechwriter) and then Kevin Rudd (research officer) before being appointed to the HRC for five years by Labor just before Abbott won office in 2013? (I mention that, you understand, not to offend or insult the good commissar, nor with any sort of tone Justice Bromberg might dislike, but simply to lay the facts on the table.)
Soutphommasane used to write the Ask the Philosopher column in this very newspaper, so I have a question for him. How is anyone supposed to take the man who effectively solicits complaints remotely seriously as an impartial conciliator or arbiter in all of this?
Since the departure of Tim Wilson I don’t see a single human rights commissioner who seems to care at all for freedom; they are much of a muchness with the same sort of uniform outlook of the international law brigade, as I would characterise it.
And that includes Wilson’s replacement, who unbelievably was appointed by our Liberal Attorney-General George Brandis. You’d be hard-pressed to say that Brandis has been a stalwart in the service of free speech. Or former prime minister Tomy Abbott. Or incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
So now that the thought police have disgracefully come for cartoonist Leak, are enough people going to stand up and fight for the core Western liberal value of free speech, or not? Because now is the time, before it’s too late.
This abomination of a law has to be repealed, as was Canada’s equivalent national hate speech law only a couple of years ago, and without the slightest trace of an effect on their multicultural liberal society.
James Allan is Garrick professor of law at the University of Queensland.
One of the reasons I’m in favour of Hillary Clinton being decisively defeated next month is because a Democrat victory, bolstered by a five-four (or six-three, or seven-two) majority on the Supreme Court, will be disastrous for free speech in the United States.
President Barack Obama has just declared that the “wild wild west” of the internet has to be “rebuilt” to “flow” through “some sort of curating function” — because apparently the ever less subtle filtering of Big Social (the Twitter and Facebook monopolies, the Standard Oil of our time) are no longer enough.
What’s next? As I had cause to remind the Democrats during my Senate testimony, too many prominent members of their party are already wholesale enthusiasts for the criminalisation of dissent — a position that renders politics both irrelevant and impossible.
Think of the most repressive safe-spaced college campus in America: that’s where the whole country’s headed.
In Britain, the Commonwealth and Europe, things are trending even worse. It was a sad day for me when Tony Abbott, the then Australian prime minister; George Brandis, the current Attorney-General; and Julie Bishop, the current Foreign Minister (all of whom had been enthusiastic attenders of my Aussie appearances, and one of whom is a big fan of my book on musicals, Broadway Babies Say Goodnight) abandoned their commitment to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. To me, that disgusting “hate speech” ersatz-law is an utter embarrassment to a supposedly free society; to Abbott’s ministry, free speech was merely an “unnecessary complication”.
Well, it’s certainly “complicating” Bill Leak’s life. The Australian’s cartoonist is the latest to be ensnared by section 18C, for the cartoon that appears on this page.
As a previous target, Andrew Bolt, writes: “First two of my own articles were banned. Then seven Queensland students were sued by a staffer at their university for complaining that Aboriginal-only computers were racist. And now cartoonist Bill Leak is being attacked under this same wicked Racial Discrimination Act. When will the Turnbull government get the guts to at least try to scrap this wicked law?”
Good luck with that. Among the more fatuous observations of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in recent months was this: “It (repealing section 18C) is not going to create an extra job, it is not going to ensure your listeners will get to work, or school, or get around their business any sooner, it’s not going to build an extra road.”
The tinny sound of a hollow pseudo-technocrat unmoored from the core principles of liberty.
One of the more depressing moments of my Australian tour a few months ago was a private dinner with a handful of prominent conservative parliamentarians — by which I mean men and women to the right of Turnbull.
The most eminent among them declared confidently that scrapping 18C was “not a first-order priority”.
We then moved on to discuss what he regarded as the first-order priority, Islamic terrorism in Australia and elsewhere.
I pointed out that one of the reasons the former (free speech) most certainly is a first-order priority is because, without it, the latter (Islam and the west) cannot be honestly addressed.
Theodore Dalrymple a decade ago: “Steyn is right that the main struggle is one of ideas. Unfortunately, political correctness, which is to thought what sentimentality is to compassion, means that the intelligentsia of the West has disarmed itself in advance of any possible struggle.”
Political correctness enforced by state power has castrated public debate on the supposed “first-order priority” of our time — to the point where the Dutch courts prosecute opposition politicians over their election platforms, the French courts prosecute novelists over things their fictional characters said, the British police investigate Twitter jokes … and once free peoples have so internalised these constraints that, even without state intervention, a supposedly free press punishes even the most footling departure from conventional bromides with public humiliation and career derailment.
Free speech is always a first-order priority — because, without it, you can’t truly discuss any of the others.
Dalrymple’s diagnosis — that political correctness is to thought as “sentimentality is to compassion” — applies surely to Australian Aboriginal policy.
Leak’s cartoon arose in the context of a specious ABC expose of ill-treatment of Aboriginal youths that panicked Turnbull in nothing flat into announcing a royal commission to look into it.
Apparently, unlike free speech, this does “create an extra job” — at least for royal commissioners.
Bill Leak’s cartoon in this paper is under attack via the Racial Discrimination Act.
Other than that, the story was a near perfect illustration of the shrivelled, cowed terms in which this issue is framed. Leak’s mistake as a cartoonist was to assume that Australia was still a free country in which one could widen those terms.
But I hope The Australian won’t compound that mistake by vigorously defending the cartoon on its merits. When Maclean’s and I ran afoul of the equivalent Canadian law — Section 13 — over a book excerpt from America Alone, the most important decision we made was not to defend the content of the piece: the facts, the quotes, the statistics, the conclusions, etc.
Our opponents were not disputing our position; they were disputing our right to have a position. Likewise, Leak’s opponents are not attempting to engage him in debate; they’re attempting to close down the debate.
And there’s no point getting in a debate with someone whose only argument is “Shut up — or else.”
In that sense, the Australian “human rights” regime and the Charlie Hebdo killers are merely different points on the same continuum: They’re both in the shut-up business, and they shut you up pour encourager les autres.
They know that, for every cartoonist they silence, a thousand more will never peep up in the first place.
So this isn’t a debate about Aboriginal policy or Islamic imperialism or anything else. It’s a debate about whether we’re free to debate.
I take the view that the Australian state, like the Canadian state, should not be in the shut-up business. And, when they are, it’s they who are the issue, not you. When it’s a contest between a book or cartoon, on the one hand, and on the other a guy who says, “You can’t say that!”, it’s the latter who’s on trial. If you’re on the side that’s saying “Shut up!”, you’re on the wrong side.
In fairness to my tormentors at Canada’s “human rights” commissions, they had the good grace for the most part at least to pretend to be sheepish about the totalitarian powers they wielded.
By comparison, their opposite number Down Under, “race discrimination” commissar Tim Soutphommasane, is an aggressive, in-your-face activist.
For example, at the height of the summer of terror (Orlando, Nice, etc), the co-presenter of Oz’s Dancing With the Stars suggested it might be prudent to restrict Muslim immigration.
Commissar Soutphommasane pronounced: “This stereotyping of Muslims does nothing but breed hate, as @DavidCampbell73 says — let’s speak out against it”.
To which I responded: “Let’s speak out against hack state apparatchiks singling out freeborn citizens for today’s 3min hate #AustraliasWitchfinderGeneral”.
Commissar Soutphommasane’s tweet is not the voice of — to be quaint about it — a civil servant, a public servant, a servant of the Crown. Whichever of those formulations you prefer, you’ll notice the word they all have in common. If commissar Soutphommasane wants to be a social-justice warrior, he should bugger off and do it on his own dime.
He is not an activist; he is a bureaucrat who wields state power. And it is not a small thing when the government of Australia singles out private citizens for Orwellian hatefests.
In the case of Leak, Australia’s Hatefinder-General sent out a general audition call for “victims”. As Tim Blair writes: “ ‘Our society shouldn’t endorse racial stereotyping of Aboriginal Australians or any other racial or ethnic group,’ the Race Discrimination Commissioner told Fairfax Media.
“Fairfax’s report, which appeared online the same day Bill’s cartoon was published, noted Soutphommasane’s belief that ‘a significant number’ of people would agree the cartoon was a racial stereotype of Aboriginal Australians, and also included this line:
“ ‘He urged anyone who was offended by it to lodge a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act.’
“This is extraordinary. The Human Rights Commission is now preparing to sit in judgment in a case clearly already decided by one of the HRC’s most senior officials. As Homer Simpson once asked: ‘Who made you Judge Judy and executioner?’ ”
Yet commissar Soutphommasane does it all the time, dispensing from his cosy sinecure drive-by justice to whoever catches his eye.
When I was in Australia a few months ago, his target was a young lady called Alice Kunek, a basketball player, who went to a fancy-dress party as Kanye West. Because she’s a big fan of Kanye West, not because she’s hoping to quit the basketball business for a touring minstrel show.
Here’s what I had to say when I joined Tarsh, Joe, Carlotta, Jess and Denise on the sofa of Channel Ten’s Studio Ten:
“I’m basically a believer in absolute freedom of speech because I think the alternative is worse.
“This fuss about the basketball player that we’ve had in the last few days, essentially for going to a fancy-dress party: You’ve got a government official — whatever it is, the federal race commissioner — advising Australians on what’s appropriate to go to a fancy-dress party in.
“I think that’s very disturbing for 25-year-old people to be told by the government of Australia that they’re mediating your fancy-dress costumes. So I think the solution is actually worse than the problem.”
I was pleased to see that sitting next to me on the sofa Carlotta, the Queen of Kings Cross, whose costumes have been fancier than most over the years, was nodding vigorously during the above.
How did it become normal for the government of Australia to have a position on what you wear to a fancy-dress party?
And isn’t the idea of this bureaucrat Soutphommasane hectoring a young lady with the full power of the state behind him way creepier than whatever her offence is supposed to be? How did “human rights” become a synonym for arbitrary state power over costume parties?
The likes of commissar Soutphommasane are not interested in a debate with you; they’re interested in eliminating you from the debate, banishing you from public discourse, and shrivelling that discourse to the ever tighter bounds of a state ideology.
I hope Leak and The Australian fight this outrageous system not through narrow lawyerly arguments but out in the open — shining a bright cleansing sunlight on an ugly regime that cannot withstand exposure to the light of day.
A final quote from The Economist, during my own difficulties with this malign travesty of “human rights”:
“Much of Canada’s press and many broadcasters are already noted for politically correct blandness. Some fear that the case can only make that worse. Mr Steyn and others hope it will prompt a narrower brief for the commissions, or even their abolition. As he put it in his blog, ‘I don’t want to get off the hook. I want to take the hook and stick it up the collective butt of these thought police.’ ”
Canada’s Section 13 was eventually repealed. If I can get my hook past Australian Customs, I would be honoured to assist Leak in performing the same service for Australia.
What is the ‘New World Order’, or NWO? Main stream media invariably describe it as conspiracy theory; some weblogs describe scary scenarios. This post examines a range of views that demonstrate the reality and intentions of some world leaders and organisations such as the UN, past and present, as well as a range of articles on the subject.
Scan down to read the latest articles. Links to more articles are at the end of this post.
Did you know that the 9/11 events were perpetrated on the world’s people to cover up high crimes and treason by Americans against their fellow citizens as well as to all people on the planet?
Do you think you know all the facts surrounding 9/11? If so, think again and take time to read this important article that you will want to follow as We the People get busy prosecuting these criminals against humanity. We have no choice. Once you read this article, even if all you can do is scan the headers, you will also see that we can no longer ignore evil in our midst or we will all be exterminated or made into economic slaves.
We ALL need to be fully aware of the depth and magnitude of the crimes that have been committed and do something about it so that all people, from all countries around the world, can be free of the nightmare we have been living for the last one hundred years. The evidence is overwhelming, and it is our patriotic duty as a citizens of the United States to know the horrific DEEP backstory of 9/11 and to demand that these criminals, no matter what illustrious their titles and positions, be put on trial—for the whole world to see.
If you are not a citizen of the U.S., you have also been violated by these criminals and need to demand that crimes against humanity be prosecuted in a world court.
9/11 Investigations are Modern Day Kabuki Theatre to Keep You from Knowing the Real Truth
The 9/11 Commission Investigation was a complete farce run by Robert Mueller, the same person who ran the investigation on the BCCI scandal, the Iran-Contra criminal investigation, and the Noriega-CIA drug investigation.
The Commissioners of the Investigation of 9/11 followed no leads, investigated no banks or brokers, and the case was closed without looking at any evidence, with 28 pages of sealed testimony by Bush and Cheney remaining secret. In the wake of the total destruction of five buildings in the World Trade Center complex by the supposed collision of two airplanes, over 15 investigations into a variety of economic terrorism came to a halt. The culprits of 9/11 have not been caught and the real motives have been displaced on to patsy characters and groups, to name a few, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Linden, radical Islamic terrorism, Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
If you thought 911 was a false flag, then you should be aware of the bigger false flag that preceded the collapse of the WTC.
By now you have seen various puzzle pieces to this crime. You have seen how the U.S. government can legally run false flags against its citizens, how the military industrial complex is used by the warlord banksters to fund their operations, how the markets (stocks, bonds, commodities) are rigged, how the U. S. dollar is on the verge of collapse, and how the global shadow government works through organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and others. (Just put the name Anonymous Patriots into the search engine atwww.themillenniumreport.com to see our articles on any of these topics.)
All of these puzzle pieces are lying on the table in disarray, waiting for a master “frame” so that all the dots can be connected and the picture of TRUTH can be revealed. In this article, we are going to show you the FRAME of the picture so that you will see how each puzzle piece fits together and shows us the horrific picture of EVIL.
Before you get started on this article, you may need a “catch up” on 9/11 and the new world order agenda. We recommend the documentaryInvisible Empire. Two hours. Excellent and better than anything you will watch on MSM tonight.
In this article you will learn:
Who were the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center?
What part did oil cartels, bank cartels, and the CIA play in this attack?
What foreign intelligence agencies were involved?
Did the Saudi’s play a major role in the attacks?
Why was the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Pentagon destroyed by a missile?
When were the WTC and Pentagon attacks devised and what were the major motives?
What was the nature of the FBI investigation that was being conducted by the WTC offices that were bombed?
Hillary an enthusiastic supporter of globalist plan for U.S. cities
The United Nations has cooked up a “New Urban Agenda” coming soon to a city near you.
It was unveiled this week in Quito, Ecuador, at the so-called Habitat III conference.
And part of the plan, enthusiastically embraced by Hillary Clinton, calls for unlimited migration across open borders. Migrants displaced by war, failing economies or other hardships will be seen as having “rights” in nations other than their own. Cities are seen as the key battlegrounds and the U.N. conference in Quito had a lot to say about how your city will be expected to embrace migrants of all types, from all regions of the world.
By now most Americans who follow world events are familiar with the U.N’s plan for global governance as envisioned by its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” approved by some 190 world leaders including President Obama and Pope Francis in September 2015.
This agenda includes 17 goals aimed at ending hunger, wiping out poverty and stamping out global income inequality by “transforming our world” through sweeping changes ostensibly aimed at freeing cross-border “labor mobility,” among other things.
Hillary Clinton, anointed by Obama as his successor, said in a speech to Wall Street bankers she envisions the U.S. as part of a single “hemispheric common market with free trade and open borders,” according to WikiLeaks data dumps.
In another bombshell revealed by WikiLeaks, Mrs. Clinton told Goldman Sachs bankers that Americans who want to limit immigration are “fundamentally un-American.” She has also called for a 550-percent increase in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in America – that’s 550 percent more than Obama’s vastly increased level of more than 12,000 resettled in one year.
In short, Hillary’s agenda for cities sounds an awful lot like the U.N.’s agenda for cities as laid out in the New Urban Agenda document approved this week by world leaders in Quito.
“She’s totally in line with the U.N. agenda, on board with everything they do,” says economist Patrick Wood, author of “Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation.”
Clinton earlier this year announced her $135 billion “breaking every barrier” program to transform America’s cities.
In this plan, she makes 37 pledges promising everything from removal of blight to construction of affordable housing in areas that are currently out of the price range of refugees, immigrants, the chronically unemployed and under-employed. She intends to build on the “successes” of her husband and the Obama administration in using public-private partnerships to transform cities. Obama’s contribution in this area included his Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which forces grant-receiving cities to infuse their low-crime suburban areas, deemed “too white,” with subsidized housing marketed to low-income renters.
This fits right in with the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda.
Wood, an expert on global governance and the technocracy movement, said “She’s making a pre announcement here that she’s going to follow the U.N. agenda. She’s signaling to her fellow globalists that she’s 100 percent on board with their agenda.”
The problem that keeps globalists like Obama and Clinton up at night is how to implement the sweeping changes laid out in the U.N. 2030 Agenda last September at the global sustainability summit in New York.
That’s where Habitat III comes into play. It’s called the U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development or “Habitat III” for short. Its focus is on the world’s cities.
Largest U.N. conference ever
Habitat III was attended by a staggering 50,000 people including more than 200 mayors and another 140 city delegations.
The sole purpose of this conference, held only once every 20 years by the U.N., is to approve a 24-page document called the New Urban Agenda.
“The only purpose of the conference is to rubber stamp this document and elevate it and lift it up to the world,” said Wood. “And right now it looks like they are. Everybody. All the nations.”
In this document lies the globalists’ plans for cities. All cities. Big, small, even tiny cities. Every American who lives in a city will at some point see the fruits of the plan the U.N. has in store for the world, says Wood, an expert on global governance and the technocracy movement.
The Habitat conference convenes only once every 20 years but when it does, it leaves a trail of anti-capitalist, anti-freedom “global standards” in its wake, says Wood. These are the standards by which the U.N. wants each and every city in the world to be operated. They come packaged as “non-binding” and Congress never approves them.
Yet, somehow, the global standards coming out of the major U.N. conferences always seem to filter down to even the smallest American hamlet. How? Through federal grants. Any city that accepts federal grants will at some point be required to implement the practices that the U.N. has declared “sustainable.”
‘Inclusive’ by design, coercive by default
The catch word in the New Urban Agenda is “inclusive” or “inclusivity.” This concept has a long history with globalists.
The definition of “technocracy” as used by the original technocrats back 1938 was “the science of social engineering, the scientific operation of the entire social mechanism, to produce and distribute goods and services to the entire population.” That’s according to The Technocrat magazine.
“They use the word ‘entire’ twice in that definition so I’m really not surprised we see it showing up in these conferences today,” Wood said. “Their intent is to create a net that will catch 100 percent of the people.”
The word “inclusive” or “inclusivity” appear in the New Urban Agenda document no fewer than 36 times.
“There is no exclusion,” Wood says. “If you read the New Urban Agenda document, you’ll find for instance under item 6a, ‘transformative commitments,’ the statement starts out ‘leave no one behind.’”
That same phrase, leave no one behind, is in the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda.
“In fact just about everywhere you go now at the U.N. you’ll find this concept,” Wood said. “It’s a little disturbing.”
Wood says the U.N. is resurrecting an old concept that fizzled in the early days of the technocracy movement, back in the 1930s. Its time hadn’t arrived yet, but now things are different. The world is run by big data and the world is eager to embraced a set of globalized, one-world standards for everything, whether it be Common Core education standards, globalized police standards that Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced at the U.N. last fall in the form of the Strong Cities Network, or global standards for healthcare, ala Obamacare. You name it, the United Nations wants to standardize it.
The next big hurdle in the race to standardize the world is the issue of immigration.
Point 42 on page 7 of the New Urban Agenda talks about cities providing opportunities for dialogue, “paying particular attention to the potential contributions” of women and children, the elderly and disabled, “refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants, regardless of migration status, and without discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.”
Everyone is welcome
Wood notes that, in America, that would mean exactly what John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, has already said — that anyone with a driver’s license should be allowed to vote.
“This is the way I read it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re legal or illegal, wanted or unwanted, jihadists or non-jihadists, sick or healthy. If they show up in your country, they must participate in the affairs of that country immediately, whatever country they find themselves in.”
The preamble to the New Urban Agenda says cities are the “key to tackling global challenges.”
“So these people are viewing cities as the key ingredient right now to implementing sustainable development, and they say this battle for sustainability will be won or lost in the cities.”
And the U.N. document goes on to state that this agenda is “the first step for operationalizing sustainable development in an integrated and coordinated way at the global, national, subnational, and local levels.”
In essence, it’s a roadmap to global governance where American cities will no longer get their direction from elected officials representing them on the city council, or even the state legislature, but the United Nations itself. The local councils will likely not even know that the rules they are following in order to qualify for federal grants are tied to United Nations’ standards for sustainability.
Cities committing to ‘a paradigm shift’
The document talks about cities committing to “a paradigm shift” in the way they “plan, develop and manage urban development.”
“It’s top to bottom,” Wood said. “They’re saying it’s going to be a top-down implementation. But for all the gains that sustainable development have made since 1992, there’s been a complaint that it hasn’t gone fast enough or far enough, and that it’s not inclusive enough, that some pockets have been left out. So, what they’re saying here is that this New Urban Agenda document is really, in their minds, the first step for operationalizing it. First step to making sustainable development completely operational. That’s huge.”
Wallace Henley, a journalist and former aide in the Nixon White House who went on to become a Christian pastor and who has written extensively on globalism, said the U.N. is making a full-on assault against the American system of government, which requires federalism, states’ rights and separation of powers.
“The U.N. is a glaring example of the inevitable course of bureaucracies. Like kudzu in Alabama, a tiny seed will inevitably spread until it controls the whole of a hillside,” Henley told WND in an email.
And he, like Wood, sees Hillary Clinton in the thick of the battle, fighting on the side of the globalists, not America first.
“The leftist-progressive philosophy is the fertilizer. Agencies sprout and grow, and bring forth policy confabs like Habitat III. The conferences then produce white papers that ultimately become the source of policies,” he said. “It is a leftist-progressivist dream.”
“Sustainability” is a code word for regulatory authority, Henley said, and that is the suffocating vine that chokes out everything else.
“This meshes perfectly with the New Globalism and its dream of a world without borders. Anything can be done in the name of a ‘sustainable’ future, including the ‘humanitarian invasion’ of a sovereign state – but only if its leaders embrace the same left-progressive philosophy as the bureaucracies headquartered in New York. This makes a Hillary Clinton presidency even more foreboding,” he said.
And these “progressives” include many in the Republican Party who are now shilling for Clinton, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Arizona Sen. John McCain.
“The true conservative seeks preservation of liberty-nurturing principles, and the sustenance of values that resist the control of the bureaucrats and guarantee freedom from a globalist hegemon in the form of the U.N.,” Henley said
Eric Voegelin’s 1975 book, “From Enlightenment to Revolution,” describes with amazing prescience the “line of progress” according to the revolutionaries who drive what Henley calls the New Globalism, from the local to the global, from the individual to the mass of humanity, from nation-states to a concentrated global power.
“This is the big picture of which Habitat III and its New Urban Agenda is a part.”
Here’s a sequence of events over the past hundred years or so to help put everything in perspective:
1- Following the turn of the new (twentieth) century and the advent of the industrial age a prevailing criminal money-making consciousness picks up steam.
Control freaks with money and riches begin to realize that patenting technology and anything else (e.g. chemicals) you can get your hands on means potentially being eternally rich and powerful.
As a result of this growing money and power consciousness humanity is about to suffer through a long period of darkness and hidden knowledge which we are still in today.
This would turn out to be a long dark 100+ year period where human consciousness gets progressively buried in the occult darkness of ignorance engineered by the ruling elite who from the start felt it was their duty to manipulate the will of the masses (think Edward Bernays, Aldous Huxleyetc) with propaganda, mass mind control and engineered consent.
2- Early on, the ruling elite officially take over the money supply (private Federal Reserve banking scam) and the military, a deadly combination that ensures that wars could now be waged strictly for profit.
It’s no coincident that WWI took place right after the creation of the Federal Reserve debt based criminal banking scheme and it’s no secret that many bankers exponentially increased their riches during WWI.
3- These elite then get their hands on the necessary 20th century technology and resources required to control the human race (TV, radio, communication etc) and make as much money as possible at the same time thereby creating a path by which to fund the enslavement of the masses.
4- The ruling elite also create secret societies where their plans could thrive in an organized manner outside of the prying eyes and ears of the general public.
5- They (the ruling elite) also establish schooling systems to indoctrinate future elitists on how to dominate the species for their personal gain.
6- Similarly, one by one they take over all the major ministries and public sectors (mass media, medical industry, legal system, energy, transportation, agriculture, communications, entertainment etc)
These ruling elite perpetrators of crimes against humanity, however, underestimated the expansion of human consciousness and information awareness that we see today in 2016.
They put all their hopes in mass media deception and propaganda to keep the species deceived and controlled. That plan is now crumbling with every day that goes by as the world sees the propaganda for what it truly is.
We (humanity) are now blessed with free knowledge and information made available by the same technology they (the ruling elite) were hoping to use against us.
They of course have indeed accomplished a lot (mass mind control, depopulation, endless sickness and disease, endless wars, financial enslavement of the masses, unchecked corruption etc).
But on the flip side of things, the ruling elite are continuing to suffer critical losses which threaten their existence forever. They know it and they can only hope their last bit of (corporate media) sorcery and deceit will work on enough people to help them maintain their power.
For this reason we should look no further than elitists like Google (Eric Schmidt), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), Twitter (Dorsey, Glass, Stone and Williams) and Space-X (Elon Musk) among others who are quietly and actively working behind the scenes to control the very information that got the elite in the predicament they are in now.
There is an active effort to not only re-write history but to target and eventually criminalize every person for what they believe and what they say (yes free speech!). The reason being is that the new world order envisioned by the ruling elite is not supposed to have any opposition.
The government and many of these technology companies are thus working hard to control what you see on the internet, a forum which now practically ensures the ruling elite plans will absolutely fail.
This is, my friends, where we are in terms of human history and the notions of information sharing and global political awakening.
Many of us who are awakened to political events around the world wonder, who is still truly believing mainstream media?
Even though we know full well that a lot of people still do, it becomes a little bit more difficult with every day that passes imagining that anyone would still truly trust and believe mainstream media.
Thankfully, if mainstream media’s perceived credibility is a representation of the degree to which people still believe in it, then we must face the reality now that mass awakening is here.
It’s like an dam that is about to burst, we keep waiting and hearing the small cracking sounds knowing full well the burst could come any second.
Once you understand this information war stage we’re in then you can see why the primary function of the corporate media is to maintain the illusion of the current establishment and paradigm that has enslaved humanity for well over one hundred years now.
As the Deutsche banking system faces what many consider an inevitable collapse we’re reminded that the ruling elite’s power, like the value of money is strictly a perception (think about this!).
They know that once a large enough percentage of humanity can consciously distinguish and outline these specific criminals for what they have done to humanity, justice and accountability will prevail as the new dominant form of consciousness and thus the new paradigm which is already in effect.
Lending to the recent wave of culminating energy surrounding the notion of transparency and exposure of corruption are many revelations which any idiot can easily confirm for themselves.
Now that we’ve reviewed the direction humanity is headed in terms of our past, the road to mass wakening and the transformation to a new paradigm let’s review what I call an idiot-proof easily verifiable blueprint of what the ruling elite are doing today, who they are and what their goals are… you know… for dummies.
New world order for dummies
Before we begin our idiot proof breakdown of easily available information let’s get the definition of “new world order” out of the way for anyone new to this information.
The term “new world order” refers to the ruling elite’s plan for a one world government (see Bush H.W. speech) where they can do whatever the hell they want and YOU the non-ruling elite are a meaningless slave whose chip they can turn off whenever they feel necessary.
Chip, you say? The late Aaron Russo will explain that here. Are you part of the US military and do you think you are special because you are brave and willing to fight the “bad guys”?
Actually, for you it’s even worse because Henry Kissinger flat out refers to you as a “dumb stupid animals”. Can any be more insulted than this?
In this new world global order there are no nation states and the rights of the individual exists no longer.
Worship of the planet and holding the individual responsible for damage to the planet (while stripping away essentially all human rights!) is the key to taxing and controlling the individual… globally with the U.N. used as the enforcement arm.
Because this ultimately involves money, riches and greed it is not technically just criminal banking elites in the “United States” involved (thus the reason I’m using the quotes). Not at all. It’s individuals of different nations and interests.
For this reason disinformation agents always look to make it about a certain nation state, religion, political group (right versus left) even race or gender.
That’s because as long as we are blaming a race (e.g. “whites”), a nation (e.g. “US”, “Israel”), a religion (“Muslims”) or other group (e.g. “Zionism“) they (the ruling elite who overlap all of these groups) know that we’ll never zoom in on exactly the people behind this agenda against humanity. Incidentally, if you want to blame any ONE entity in terms of nation states here’s my answer to that.
Ask yourself how many US military bases are there around the world. The answer is well over 1000 despite the often claimed 737 to 800+ bases by many websites (including my own previous articles) and that does not include so called “Lilly pads” or countless not-so-secret special forces secret command bases worldwide (let that sink in!).
Then look around the globe and try to find any country with even .01 percent as many bases. Case closed! Think about that next time you see the US military being worshiped at NCAA college sports arenas and pro-sports games.
The politicians we see on TV including their (big six) corporate mainstream media is just the persuasive mouthpiece of this global cabal.
This is why almost every piece of news put out by the western mainstream media (think CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, FOX, Reuters, NPR, AP, NYT etc) always push the exact same talking points which almost ten times out of ten perfectly contradict the reality of what is happening when you look at ALL sources of news around the world.
The working structure of the hoped-for global order (see images below) is left to the United Nations which is why they refuse to look at the science that entirely debunks the notion of “global warming”. The carbon tax will be a major funding source for the global government.
This is also why the UN’s Agenda 2030 incorporates talk that makes the UN the final god-like authority, makes all of humanity accountable to the UN and its global standards while at the same time the UN pushes for a global medical command center, mandatory dangerous and unnecessary vaccines, global policing and everything perfectly consistent with the ruling elite’s new world order plans.
The goals of the elite and the United Nations is to undermine the ultimate sovereignty of nation states. The enforcement arm of this agenda is the US military, NATO, the CIA and whatever proxy armies they can recruit, train and arm to help get this done (think ISIS, “rebels”, “terrorists” etc).
As alternative media has revealed many times over the course of the past few years since the declaration of the Caliphate, this US-Allies-created, funded and armed proxy army has been used as a tool to create fake terrorism here in the US and throughout Europe.
We now know that anyone who attacks ISIS (think Russia) coincidentally is declared the enemy by the US war machine.
Hmm… We also know that the US terrorist war machine (as clearly outlined in the Neocon global war plans, war crimes manual known as PNAC’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses) needed to make every nation state that they desired to overthrow simply look like the bad guys.
Understanding this long term plan, the creation of US’s ISIS allows any person to then understand everything else happening today including the now irreversible road to world war three we are on. Let’s take a look at other easily verifiable realities of today.
US mass propaganda techniques for dummies
Still don’t clearly see how the elite have done their damage? Realize how propaganda works. The entire US global empire has been built with propaganda tactics.
This single bit of knowledge of how propaganda works is the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding the overall picture and paradigm shift we are in today. Here is how it works.
a- Control the large ministries and sectors of society as we mentioned earlier (the press and media, energy, production, unions, police, military, politics etc)
b- Educate the influential leaders of these ministries and make sure they influence their followers.
c- Specifically control and monopolize the mass media and entertainment for mass mind control and engineered consent.
This is done by propagandizing the public with commercials, slogans, jingles, images, persuasive videos, movies, billboards etc.
In doing this you make the public think that the opinion they have and the decisions they are making are their own decisions when in fact it is engineered by the “invisible” elite whose role as mass manipulators is inherited (so they think).
d- Use this propaganda tactic on other nation states to overthrow elected governments, create civil unrest and insert your puppet leaders… all under the guise of “spreading democracy”.
e- Kill and wage outright war against any nation state that does not succumb to your propaganda. (Syria, Libya etc)
f- Create fund and arm proxy armies and terror groups (as already mentioned earlier- ISIS, Al-Nusra, Al Qaeda, US “special forces”, “Moderate rebels”, Craft International, Blackwater/ XE/ Academy etc) as tools to accomplish this constant strategy of perceived unrest, staged terrorism and tension (Gladio B strategy of tension).
g- Keep lying to the public, maintain military level secrecy with everything you do, label everything “national security” and grind out the lies and propaganda to the bitter end.
We know that many events of the past few years have been staged like the Sandy Hook FEMA capstone event of December 14, 2012 complete with FEMA manual and all even as people all over the world fall for the “but little children died” emotional psyop in the face of zero evidence of the event’s organic reality and even as truth seekers are stalked and harassed in a post Sandy Hook era of underground criminality targeted at truth seekers.
We also know that there is an active plan to federalize and arm the police with military gear, that DHS and even the IRS is stockpiling military grade weapons to defend themselves against the general public. Is this because they know judgment day is coming?
We also know that last year (2015) a software known as JADE (Joint Assistant for Development and Execution) and JADE2 was deployed in what appeared to be simulated combat scenarios (JADE at the HELM).
This appears to have been a real-time deployment of the AI based and highly sophisticated and very complex software whose depth and capabilities as it relates to total domination of the human race most humans cannot begin to fathom.
And that brings us somewhat to where we are today on the eve of potentially a financial collapse, another staged and stolen election and even a nuclear and catastrophic world war 3 scenario with Russia even as the ruling elite are being completely exposed for who they are and what they’ve done begging the critical thinker to wonder if perhaps this is the very reason we are in this scenario to begin with.
The moment of truth is now. Either they will succeed in dominating the entire human race or humanity will overcome this disease and infection of the human race known as the parasitic ruling elite. Too bad this game of life is not fast moving enough.
Although things are literally moving faster than ever, it is in the nature of time and consciousness for things to move at a generally slow steady pace.
Two qualities to remember about this game of life is, it is multidimensional and it moves at the slow gradual pace of perceived time.
It’s also important to realize that many things are always happening at the same time, which lends to notion of confusion regarding the big picture and gives the ruling elite many other distracting things to focus the people’s minds on including the elite weapon of partial truth or controlled opposition.
That’s my current global human paradigm shift for dummies update for today. Taste it, smell it, feel like; look at it and realize it’s staring you in the face because nothing is hidden.
We are living in historic times and everyone should be asking themselves this one question every single day — ask yourself, how am I being fooled today?
As everyone awaits the often talked about “October surprise” realize that we are all being fooled and played in one way or another.
Such is the nature of the information age, a time when the ruling elite are desperately relying on deception, censorship and propaganda to get their new world order done.
As I’ve said many times, today it is healthier than ever to not believe anything you see on mainstream media news. That’s right, zero percent.
More than ever the new application of Occam’s razor dictates that everything mainstream media puts out is a lie even before looking up the facts.
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’.
‘NBC News reports that the CIA is developing scenarios for an electronic attack on Russian leadership. According to sources including current government officials, the intent is to “embarrass” top Russian officials through “clandestine” and widespread hacking.
‘Vice President Joe Biden seemed to be pointing to just such a possibility during an appearance on Meet the Press airing today, when asked by Chuck Todd why America hasn’t responded to Russian attempts to interfere with the Presidential election.
‘“We’re sending a message,” Biden said, with a barely-suppressed smirk. “We have the capacity to do it. He’ll know it. It’ll be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”’
There is a lot of muttering about WW3 in prospect. The Russians and Amerikans seem quite up for it, but the Chinese not so much. There are four things the Chinese would need to do before they even considered taking on the USA in the South China Sea.
Get the Renminbi firmly established as a globally accepted world currency.
Get rid of more of their US dollars.
Get another 1-2,000 tonnes of gold in store.
Complete their 90-day strategic petroleum reserve.
Points 1-3 are in train but what about their oil stocks? We don’t know for sure but they seem to be getting there…
Globalisation has reached its peak for a number of reasons… the first being that geopolitics are becoming fraught after several years of currency wars, post GFC. There is also the breakdown of relations between major powers. But the most important influence is those concerns over the failing global economy and resource depletion… from Seeking Alpha…
““We believe globalization has probably reached its peak,” says a fund manager at Barings. “The market won’t like it.” The team at Barings gets together once a year to discuss its 10-year investment forecast. At the next one, they expect to mull reducing or even eliminating their “globalization premium” from stock price estimates. In more concrete terms, it means directing assets at the margin towards fixed income at the expense of equities. Globalization premium? Barings figures U.S. stocks trade at a P/E ratio one full number higher than they otherwise would have, thanks to this generation’s boom in global trade. At issue now is a slowing in global trade this year – the weakest since 2007 – just as protectionist policies are on the rise and efforts for further open trade treaties have stalled. A continuation of the trend, says MSCI, could lead to near-20% declines in U.S. and European stocks. “Globalization is increasingly coming under siege,” says a senior strategist with Allianz Global.”
There are many signs that the reaction of the powers that be to the coming financial collapse are much more measured as central bankers and politicians have learned something from the GFC. Even if we avoid collapse this year (which now looks more probable), the continuing accumulation of dysfunctional problems within the global financial system suggests continued accumulation of debt and increased fragility. So I will leave probability of collapse by the end of, or during 2017 at 75% for now. Meanwhile, we know the markets are in trouble but the central bank fudging obscures the entire position…
Then again, oil exporters are all suffering as much or more than Saudi Arabia who have a decline in GDPof 13% this year to add to the problems of the previous year – as they go hunting for finance on the world bond markets…
The Saudis are starting to have problems due to the low oil price affecting the Kingdom’s revenues…perhaps they will need to sell more than just a stake in Saudi Aramco as they continue to live beyond their means…
From Money Morning…here is an article by Jim Rickards on the central banks…
“The Fed’s Legacy: Asset Bubbles and
Jim Rickards, Strategist, Currency Wars Trader
For most experts, failure is a learning experience that leads to a search for new methods. That’s not true for central bankers. When their policies fail, they try more of the same in the vain hope that quantity will make up for the lack of quality in their ideas.
In the past seven years, major central banks have created over US$15 trillion of new money, mostly through purchases of government bonds.
These money printing and bond purchase programs have been called QE1, QE2 and QE3 in the US, Euro-QE in Europe and QQE (quantitative and qualitative easing) in Japan.
All of these programs and exotic variations such as ‘Operation Twist’ have failed to achieve self-sustaining growth anywhere near former trends, and have failed to achieve the 2% inflation targets of those central banks.
When investors ask, ‘Where’s the inflation after all this money printing?’ my answer is, ‘Don’t look at the supermarket shelf; look at the stock market’.
In other words, we have not had much consumer price inflation, but we have had huge asset price inflation. The printed money has to go somewhere. Instead of chasing goods, investors have been chasing yield.
Part of this asset bubble inflation has to do with a flawed theory of bond/equity ‘parity’. The theory says that once you adjust for credit risk and term premium, bonds and stocks should yield about the same. Right now, safe ten-year Treasury notes yield about 1.65%.
Many stocks have dividend yields of 3% to 5%. Investors know that stocks are riskier than safe bonds, but how much riskier? Under the parity theory, investors can keep bidding up the price of stocks until their dividend yields get closer to 2%, leaving a small margin over bond yields to cover ‘risk’.
There are many flaws in this theory — including the fact that companies go bankrupt all the time, and boards of directors can and do cut dividends in recessions. But one of the biggest flaws is the complete disconnect between what’s driving bond yields in the first place.
If bond yields are falling because deflation is ruining the Fed’s plans to reflate the economy, is that a reason for stocks to go up? If bond yields are signalling recession, should you really be bidding up stock prices to extreme levels based on a theory of yield ‘parity?’ This behaviour defies common sense and economic history, but it’s exactly what we’re seeing in the markets today.
At some point, probably sooner than later, the reality of central bank impotence and looming recession will sink in and stock valuations will collapse. The drop will be violent, perhaps 30% or more in a few months. You don’t want to be over-allocated to stocks when that happens.
This analysis applies to more than just stocks. It applies to a long list of risky assets including residential real estate, commercial real estate, emerging markets securities, junk bonds and more.
It only takes a crash in one market to spread contagion to all of the others.
The inability of central banks to deal with crisis and the complete loss of confidence by investors in the efficacy of central bank policy.
The last two global liquidity panics were 1998 (caused by emerging markets currencies, Russia, and Long-Term Capital Management) and 2008 (caused by sub-prime mortgages, Lehman Brothers and AIG).
Another smaller liquidity panic arose in 2010 due to problems in Middle Eastern and European sovereign debt — caused by Dubai, Greece, Cyprus and the European periphery. In all three cases, central bank money printing combined with government and IMF bail-outs were enough to restore calm.
But these bailouts came at a high cost. Central banks have no room to cut rates or print money in a future crisis. Taxpayers are in full revolt against more bailouts. Governments are experiencing political polarization and there’s political gridlock around the world. There is simply no will and no ability to deal with the next panic or recession when it hits.
Consumer inflation expectations have fallen to the lowest level since late 2010 — not long after the last crisis — and the trend is clearly down, toward levels not seen since the depths of the panic in 2008: With central banks around the world doing everything possible to cause inflation (QE, ZIRP, NIRP, helicopter money, currency wars, forward guidance, etc.), what does it say about confidence in central banks that inflation expectations are falling, not rising?
The systemic dangers are clear. The world is moving toward a sovereign debt crisis because of too much debt and not enough growth. Declining productivity is the last nail in the coffin in terms of countries’ ability to deal with the debt.
Inflation would help diminish the real value of the debt, but central banks have proved impotent at generating inflation. Now central banks face the prospect of recession and more deflation without any policy options to fight it.
The impact of deflation and the strong dollar have caused a shortage of liquidity around the world.
Since private debt has expanded faster than central bank balance sheets, a dollar shortage has arisen as debtors scramble for dollars to pay back debts. This raises the prospect of a new liquidity crisis and financial panic worse than 2008.
Persistent low rates have not caused inflation, but they have caused asset bubbles, which threaten to pop and unleash a financial panic on their own — independent of tight financial conditions.
When this new panic hits — either from a liquidity shortage or bursting asset bubbles — investors will have no confidence in the ability of central banks to limit the panic. Unlike 1998 and 2008, the next panic will be unstoppable without extreme measures — including IMF money printing, lockdowns of banks and money market funds, and possible martial law in response to money riots.
You should have gold and other hard assets to weather this storm.
But you want to own gold now, before the next crisis strikes. It could be here much faster than you think.
Strategist, Currency Wars Trader”
China may be growing but it is growing debt at a much greater rate…
Bill Bonner puts the net effect as a reduction in the global economy…or de-growth…from today’s Daily Reckoning for those who don’t get it…
“Impoverished by Too Much Money By Bill Bonner in Baltimore, Maryland, US
Author Raúl Ilargi Meijer explains that the ‘entire model our societies have been based on for at least as long as we ourselves have lived is over!’
‘That’s why there’s Trump…
‘There is no growth. There hasn’t been any real growth for years. All there is left are empty, hollow, sunshiny S&P 500 stock market numbers propped up with ultra-cheap debt and buybacks, and employment figures that hide untold millions hiding from the labor force. And most of all, there’s debt, public as well as private, that has served to keep an illusion of growth alive and now increasingly no longer can.
‘These false growth numbers have one purpose only: for the public to keep the incumbent powers that be in their plush seats. But they could always ever only pull the curtain of [The Wizard of] Oz over people’s eyes for so long, and it’s no longer so long.
‘That’s what the ascent of Trump means, and Brexit, Le Pen, and all the others. It’s over. What has driven us for all our lives has lost both its direction and its energy.’
None of this will come as a surprise for Diary regulars… We know nothing makes people poorer faster than too much ‘money’.
The feds provided the economy with an almost unlimited quantity of credit-based funny money. The money was phony. But it bought real resources. And then, with no need to think carefully about how the capital was put to use, the resources were wasted.
Corporate defaults are running at their fastest pace since 2009. Nine out of 10 households have lost income. And tax receipts for the last quarter fell from the same quarter in 2015.
Adjusted for inflation, real growth in the US economy — as measured by actual tax collections rather than the feds’ squirrelly statistics — is falling.
The world economy, too, is slowing. Lambert Strether of the blog Corrente Wire explains:
‘I started following shipping…partly because it’s fun but more because shipping is about stuff, and tracking stuff seemed like a far more attractive way of getting a handle on “the economy” than economics statistics, let alone whatever books the Wall Streeters were talking on any given day.
‘So, what I noticed was decline, and not downward blips followed by rebounds, but decline for months and then a year. Decline in rail, even when you back out coal and grain, and decline in demand for freight cars. Decline in trucking, and decline in the demand for trucks. Air freight wobbly. No Christmas bounce at the Pacific ports.
‘And now we have the Hanjin [shipping company] debacle — all that capital tied up in stranded ships, though granted only $12 billion or so — and the universal admission that somehow “we” invested w-a-a-a-a-a-y too much money in big ships and boats, implying (I suppose) that we need to ship a lot less stuff than we thought, at least across the oceans.’
As we reported last week, China’s exports are falling at a 10% annual rate, in US dollar terms.
If you’re not exporting stuff, you don’t need ships to send it anywhere.
But as the global economy sinks, debt rises, financed by central banks. Bloomberg:
‘The world’s biggest central banks are bulking up their balance sheets this year at the fastest pace since 2011’s European debt crisis to boost lackluster economic recoveries with asset purchases that are supporting stock and bond prices.’
Let’s see… How does this work again?
The world has too much debt and too much capacity. Growth slows. Defaults increase.
So what do central banks do?
They facilitate governments adding to their debts…and they finance more capacity.
The feds used fake money to give the economy fake credit…which was used to buy real resources…which were squandered. Now we have an abundance of claims (debt) against declining future output.
How was that ever supposed to work?
An economy is a moral system, after all. It is not a get-rich system. You get what you deserve, not what you want or what you expect.
Over the long run, the economy punishes waste, error, foolishness, impetuousness, laziness, arrogance, and indiscipline.
Americans now are being punished. Gently, so far.
The lash will sting much more later.
Bill Bonner, For The Daily Reckoning, Australia”
We humans have not lost the ability for mass self-delusion…
So this move from fossil fuels will happen by 2030? Heck by then the Indians and Chinese will still be doing more polluting! Despite efforts to divert funds away from exploration and production of oil, gas and coal, the fact is that demand for all is increasing, but with gas taking over some of coal’s role. But while in the last 15 years we have seen more rhetoric than ever about climate change and the need to reduce CO2 discharges, our CO2 production has increased by 30%. As they say, “Good going Batman! J”. The only things that will slow down growth of fossil fuel production is oilfield depletion hastened by low prices…and that will bring on crash time.
Oil demand continues to rise each and every year. We cannot seem to to hold that back. Yet oil production vaccillates…partly due to depletion and other factors…
The end of sanctions against Iran did not result in the country being able to ramp up oil production as much as some analysts had predicted. They need both capital and US knowhow to get their declining field going and get new ones started….
Unless the mythological EESU can store and hold energy (and we are awaiting the results of polymer trials for this), the lithium-ion electrical energy storage business will grow and prosper.
Strangely, it turns out that two of my investments have substantial lithium leases. Who knows, while I bought the shares for their uranium or gold prospects, one of those shares may surprise me and make a profit? But the EESU that uses CMBT could change all that and yet the lithium players remain blissfully unaware of that possible market disrupting threat. It would sure rain on their parade J….
Even so, the USA seems to be on track to alienate its allies in the Middle East due to the preoccupation of politicians in wanting to fight wars that the American public doesn’t want, without killing or upsetting anyone…
In Sanaa there is civil war. In Yemen, Iraq and in Syria there is civil war. Mosul and Aleppo will result in even bigger civilian casualties… when the allies actually attack Mosul that is…
Meanwhile, two countries on opposite sides in Syria want to cooperate…the relationship between Russia and Turkey is improved by the pragmatism of energy demands… Russia needs to sell, Turkey needs to buy…
Our problem is that because the US dollar remains the world’s primary currency of trade and the reserve currency, the USA just needs to blow its nose and we all catch cold.
Deutsche Bank is trying to raise funds by selling off one of its divisions and also reducing its derivatives exposure…but can they crash dive their assets and liabilities fast enough?…from Seeking Alpha…
“Deutsche Bank is continuing to cut back the size of its derivatives book, which is not as risky as investors may believe, Chief Risk Officer Stuart Lewis told Welt am Sonntag. “The €46T figure sounds gigantic… but reflects only the notional value of the contracts, while the bank’s net exposure to derivatives is far lower, at around €41B. DB -1.8% premarket. “
This IMF decision means that the German Jackboot will continue to be pressed to Greece’s throat…from Seeking Alpha…
“The IMF will not join the Greek bailout program, but will likely accept a special advisory status with limited powers that keeps it at the table, Reuters reports. The Fund has been holding out for more than a year over the terms under which it would participate in any new program, arguing that the financial targets set in the bailout are unrealistic without major debt relief. “
I wonder whether the flash crashes are related in some way to Deutsche Bank manoeuvring?
China’s economy is slowing, debt has blown out and IMF is talking with them about the risks their debt overhang poses for the global economy…is China now starting to address at least one of the bubbles…from al Jazeera…
A hard landing for China is a crash landing for us.
The robust criticism of China’s debt binge by IMF head Christine Lagarde has been left rather late so it now seems to me like just part of the blame game being gotten underway by BIS and IMF. Next it will be ECB, BoJ, BoE and the US Fed blaming failed government policies for the coming depression L.
Meanwhile South Africa has found its own way of turning into the “wild west”, so the Rand is suffering badly…
That suggests they plan to position themselves with some assets bought at the bottom of the market. But greatly reduced domestic spending.
Now for energy storage…the main event.
While we wait anxiously to see what happens to the mythological EESU, Samsung is being destroyed by successive iterations of battery that cause fires in their Galaxy 7. So they have now canned the Note 7. !
better-management-newsletter-2-october-2016 – Syria and Washington’s propaganda, North Korean threats, a world of finite resources, Deutsche Bank fiasco, a trail of bank malfeasance, Property bubbles, the ‘yellow peril’, a shooting war in the South China Sea? Higher productivity means more population.
Better-Management Newsletter, 26 July 2016 – This newsletter will focus on explaining my preoccupation with oil, and a key measure, Energy Return of Energy Input, EROEI. Then onto some important geopolitical factors.
Better-Management Newsletter, 18 July 2016 – Chaos in the US, France and Turkey – martial law coming? / Britain’s new PM is shaking things up / Italy’s banking crisis worsens / Self-driving cars hotting up / Venezuelan fiasco
Better-Management Newsletter, 18 June 2016 – The economy on life support / Geopolitics updates / Energy storage / Australasian property and debt / Water drying up / Oil inventories dropping / Gold going up and up
Better-Management Newsletter, 26 May 2016 – More EU smoke and mirrors / China – ditto / Tayyip Erdogan thinks Germany is stupid / Renewable Energy, some progress / Earth’s surface not so stable / The crooked US banks and DOJ / Water, water not everywhere / Chinese puzzles
Better-Management Newsletter, 8 May 2016 – Compulsory superannuation: the “lucky country” gets it wrong / TPPA: more now realise it’s a big corporation con / Oil: Saudis panicking / Failed and failing states: why? / Activity on the ring of fire: dire forecasts?
Better-Management Newsletter – 20 April 2016 – Oil – the plot thickens / COP21 gave China a free pass to pollute / EU deal with Turkey to return asylum seekers? / Government statistics lie / Central banks destroying the global financial system
Better-Management Newsletter – 17 March 2016 – Fact: the world does need to transition to another form of energy / Our societal complexity and conflicting demands / But do we have the financial resources? / Putting off the evil day
Better-Management Newsletter – 4 March 2016 – Have central banks reached the end of the road? / Everyone is attacking Donald Trump (except most of the voters) / Is global cooling worse than global warming? / Will globalisation continue?
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 February 2016 – Negative interest rate hidden agenda, an admission of defeat / Crash may now be inevitable / Meanwhile banks are already in big trouble / Local steel companies in trouble / Political misdirection in trumps (not Donald…) / Frightening: “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”
Better-Management Newsletter – 11 January 2016 – The nature of the collapse of complex societies / Resource depletion was a source of stress / The depletion of resources / Fossil fuels enabled development / The Chinese economy is already in trouble / Frau Merkel’s problem / The interaction between energy and the global economy
Better-Management Newsletter – 19 December 2015 – Another motive for the Fed rates hike? / Business as usual Stupid! COP 21 revisited / The oil disaster continues / Cyberspace espionage and dodgy ‘multilateral’ internet changes / China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea / Japan isn’t taking Chinese aggression lying down / Global recession – if or when?
Better-Management Newsletter – 12 November 2015 – Will the EU unravel, or will the EU bureaucrats win again? / A growth economy v. a replacement economy / COP21 in Paris: ground hog day / Will the EU unravel, or will the EU bureaucrats win again?
Better-Management Newsletter – 10 November 2015 – Global economy is shrinking / China’s trade shrinking too / How many human workers will the world need? / Oil Companies in survival mode / Gas and coal in trouble too / General Electric, back to core business
Better-Management Newsletter – 7 November 2015 – The economy: oil prices, stocks, down; tech stocks up / When the cult of central banking collapses / Bitcoin bounce / Latin American economic yoyo / Saudi water problems / Fraud and the apostles of AGW / Oil: Obama pontificates
Better-Management Newsletter – 29 October 2015 – Banksters rule the world via CDSs / Chinese coercion – the Spratly Islands / “British Industry” is an oxymoron / Climate Change – COP21 degenerates / USA – budget madness / Oil – who would be mad enough to invest?
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 October 2015 – Collapse in oil prices could trigger next GFC / Even biofuels get hit / USD70/bbl needed to avoid oil supplies crash / Middle East oil – even murkier / European winter of discontent / Chinese hard landing? / Russian public approve of Putin
Better-Management Newsletter – 23 October 2015 – Collapse in oil prices could trigger next GFC / Even biofuels get hit / USD70/bbl needed to avoid oil supplies crash / Middle East oil – even murkier / European winter of discontent / Chinese hard landing? / Russian public approve of Putin
Better-Management Newsletter – 2 October 2015 – Germany’s cheats and banksters / Syria: Russia embarrasses the rest of the world / More USA can-kicking / Will China have a hard landing? / Global economic gloom / Oil exploration grinds to a halt
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 September 2015 – US share market in rarefied territory / The fall is always faster than the rise / Volkswagen fiddles emissions, cops gigantic fine / A sea of red ink / National sovereignty dies / Avian flu hits the USA / Oil field depletion accelerating
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 July 2015 – Still heading in the direction of GD1 / Global trade – an indicator of a global recession / Ukraine, a pawn / Deflation and precious metals / UK’s finances are suffering
Better-Management Newsletter – 18 July 2015– Greece’s impossible task / The rise and fall of the EU – et al / The insolvency lingers on / Don Corleone kept the peace / Disaster scenarios – take your pick / China – all is unclear
Better-Management Newsletter – 15 July 2015 – Greek coup by Germany / When Germany dominated Europe there was war / Iran and their nuclear ambitions / Chinese stock market roller-coaster / The monetary Casino / Large Hadron Collider
Better-Management Newsletter – 1 July 2015 – Greece technically in default? / Solar power, not Obama’s blatant lie / Printing money not the solution / If the next crash happens this year… / Challenges stacking up / Rare earths as investments?
Better-Management Newsletter – 5 June 2015 – He who has the gold makes the rules / Bonds continued their sell off / Shares are over-valued / China and Russia building up resources / Islamic state expanding / Greek can-kicking / Ukraine – fighting escalating / Oil shenanigans
Better-Management Newsletter – 26 May 2015 – Banksters encore / No lifeboats to save the global economy / Plenty of land for farming / Oil price scenarios / Atomic fusion / Ron Paul on the coming crash…aka GD1 / China, brinksmanship / Could Putin be right?
Better-Management Newsletter – 16 May 2015 – Middle Eastern turmoil / Greece needs a political solution / Batteries are extra / UK election victory / Dairy industry depression / China and gold / Economics a bankrupt profession / More energy problems
Better-Management Newsletter – 14 May 2015 – He who has the gold / Shale oil production peaked? / …But no-one will cut voluntarily / US/China brinkmanship / China v India? / Britain opt out of the EU? / Tectonic plates on the move
Better-Management Newsletter – 30 April 2015 – Which New World Order? / The Russians and Chinese are changing the game / The Trans Pacific Trade Partnership / A global arms race has begun / Meanwhile the world is awash with debt
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 April 2015 – The USA is in trouble / Laissez-faire capitalism / The rich make the rules / Russia and China hold the trumps / All is not lost / First debase her currency / Greece et al – Still in trouble
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 April 2015 – Lies, damned lies and oil figures / Even idiots know exponential growth is not possible for ever / Irrational behaviour rewarded / The surplus of energy is falling / A temporary range extender / USA financial sector now 27% of GDP / High energy density scalable batteries / Blindly leading us into a collapse scenario
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 April 2015 – The interconnectedness / USD8 trillion washing around / The hidden cost of debt / China’s place in the sun / The Empire Fights Back / Gold to back the Renminbi / If the derivatives bubble explodes
Better-Management Newsletter – 23 April 2015 – A coming collapse / Greece: grexit delayed / Yemen – even worse / China outmaneuveres Obama / Oil games / We seek innovative solutions / Convert investments to cash? / ‘The curse it is cast’ / When the debt crisis finally has its reckoning / Thirty years of debt drug abuse / When the next crash happens / USD16 trillion secret loans
Better-Management Newsletter – 20 April 2015 – Ready for Grexit contagion / Warfare prep – for what? / USA out-manoeuvred by China / China reinforce the Silk Road / Chinese pollution / The Yemen disaster / Obama’s disastrous reign
Better-Management Newsletter – 11 April 2015 – Gold doesn’t all glister / The games played by big banks / US statistics a national disgrace / Greenpeace caught out / The sun setting on the Euro? / US Fed to raise interest? / Amazing science
Better-Management Newsletter – 8 April 2015 – Energy makes the world go round / Next step in fossil fuel exploitation / Prof Freeman Dyson / Whatever happened to Breton Woods? / The Greeks are squirming / Immigrants get more benefits / Rocky road ahead for dairy?
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 March 2015 – The end of king coal?? / Oil Reserves / Extensive oil storage facilities / Middle Eastern crises are a worry / Netanyahu’s apology / The Middle East powder keg / Cheap oil prices temporary
Better-Management Newsletter – 21 March 2015 – The global economy / Nightmare scenario staring the EU / The China-led Asian bank / A new global reserve currency / Russian politics / World War III predictions / The future of tech miniaturization / Exponentially increased growth / Religious intolerance / GDP growth scam
Better-Management Newsletter – 16 March 2015 – What is Putin real strategy? / The Global Recession deepens / Growth is for the sake of growth now / How are the BRICS tracking? / We must change… / Oil is a finite, master resource / Nuclear back to pre-Fukushima levels / Elections: he who pays the piper…
Better-Management Newsletter – 8 March 2015 Resource depletion / Exponential growth / Deceptive and misleading statistics / Our economies are being re-engineered / Population 7.25 billion and rising / Gaia’s revenge / Increased control by the state / We must save ourselves / How long do we have?
Better-Management Newsletter – 6 March 2015 – Arms race encore / …bankrolled by QE / China builds fortresses / Has Wall Street made a top? / Apple cars and Google phones? / Peak oil end game soon? / Industrial age of oil on the skids
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 Feb 2015 – The new cold war heats up / Putin “…smacks of genocide” / “Cover their eyes, kick-the-can and hope..” / Historic alliances subordinate to US Presidential politics / Superannuation in the Antipodes
Better-Management Newsletter – 26 Feb 2015 – Greece: temporary reprieve / Ukraine stand-off / The implausible Fed / Cutback in drilling rigs / Obama stymies Keystone again / Restraints on militant Islam / When solar energy fails / How good are batteries? / Will new batteries succeed? / Zenn/EESU looks promising
Better-Management Newsletter – 22 Feb 2015 – Ukraine deteriorates / Remember past starvation of millions of Ukrainians / Russia breaches British air space / Greece: keep the party going / Democracy no longer exists in Europe / Potential to collapse the global financial system
Better-Management Newsletter – 18 Feb 2015 – Dynamic equilibrium – Population growth/drop? A new paradigm? “Shale is not even remotely economically viable” – Extreme fluctuations stimulate extreme over-corrections
Better-Management Newsletter – 17 Feb 2015– Business 101 for Germany. The world hasn’t learnt either. Middle East holy war. The angst is peoples against peoples. Hold the culpable people to account. Has China hit the skids? Peakists v. Cornucopians. Low-hanging fruit/oil.
Better-Management Newsletter – 16 February 2015 – $26 Trillion ‘game of chicken’. Ukraine ceasefire?? There are signs of growth about. A slowdown in demand. Baltic Dry shipping index plummets. “Money for nothing and chicks for free”. Our master resource…oil. EIA have never got any forecast right. Debt works very badly if the economy is contracting.
Better-Management Newsletter – 3 February 2015 – The Twin Tower trigger…. and the horrors it triggered. The error of America’s ways. BRICS and the SCO grow stronger. A financial meltdown?? Natural Gas in the USA. Oil trend – up or down? Bitcoin currency – what next? Zenn – a turning point? What is happening in Russia?
Better-Management Newsletter – 1 February 2015 Oil price bottoming? Culture of opting out. Be nice to nerds. Economists lost the plot. Greece was bullied for aeons. Substitute credit for real growth. ‘Business as Usual’ RIP. Where to from here?
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 January 2015 – Greece mandate – for what? Germany prepares. Ex KGB Putin playing Good Cop? Will Russia crash? Oil to stay below USD45/bbl? Shale industry will be suspect. How is Bitcoin travelling? An escape to the Antipodes?
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 January 2015 – Nothing useful has emerged from Davos. Another liquidity crisis? “Economists are stupid”. Few scientists focus on energy storage. Negative returns on new oil wells. Economists and bankers’ solutions: print money to goose GDP. Politicians are pawns to big business?
John’s Newsletter – 21 January 2015 – Swissie repercussions. America’s own Berlin Wall collapsing. Europe in trouble – the EU could soon be toast. Gold still glisters. Oil – future in peril. Obama lying about oil. We need a new vision of the economy. After the big crash. The realities of history.
As you’ve probably noticed, I was pretty “vocal” regarding the coup taking place in Libya. Since I started expressing my opinion, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from you. Most of my readers know what is really happening behind the closed curtains, but I was surprised to see that there are still people who don’t understand what a coup is and what’s the purpose behind it.
Today I will tell you about my first hand experience with a Western-coup. And like all coups, it also received the name of “people’s revolution.”
I didn’t live in Libya under dictator Muammar Gaddafi, but I lived in Romania under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Wars Vs. Coups
Before going any further, please allow me to tell you what the purpose of a coup is.
The human species, unfortunately, has a very bloody history. There was always a war taking place somewhere on our planet. From our distant history, to the modern times, mankind never knew peace. The main purpose of a war is to gain wealth. Long time ago, it was an easy scheme, and Julius Caesar said it best: “veni, vidi, vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Once the war was over, the winner took over the lands and wealth of the defeated.
But things are more complicated in modern times. Wars are not so simple anymore. Weapons are very expensive, the human loss is not easily tolerated by modern society, the motives for an invasion/war must be good (see Pearl Harbor or 9/11), keeping an army abroad is very expensive (for example, the budget for keeping the US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 only, reached $663.8 billions – Wikipedia), not to mention the destruction caused to an invaded country and the social distress.
A more simple and effective solution is for the “conqueror” to place in power a corrupted leader controlled by him. This way, the conqueror controls the entire country and all its wealth, without expenses, destruction or distress.
But things get complicated when the leader of a country is a dictator or an incorruptible patriot. And here is where coups work their black magic.
Examples of Coups
A good example is Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, who in 1999 won the elections for the first time. His opponent was Carlos Perez, a former Venezuelan president, a pro-American and corrupted leader who gave the wealth of his country for personal materialistic gains. He lived and died as a wealthy man in Miami, USA.
Hugo Chavez is an incorruptible patriot, therefore inconvenient to the Western powers who are desperately trying to remove him from power. Chavez speaks of numerous failed assassination attempts (Washington Post). The Bush administration also planned for a coup to take place in 2002, but fortunately it failed because Chavez is very loved by his people.
Steve Kangas wrote:
“CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.”
The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator.
The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be “communists,” but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.”
– the coup to overthrow the democratically elected leader Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran;
– the ouster of democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in Guatemala;
– one coup per year (between 1957-1973) in Laos;
– the installation of the murderous “Papa Doc” Duvalier in Haiti;
– the assassination of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic;
– the overthrow of Jose Velasco in Ecuador;
– the assassination of the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba in the Congo (later Zaire);
– the overthrow of the democratically elected Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic;
– the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart in Brazil;
– the overthrow of the democratically elected Sukarno government in Indonesia;
– a military coup in Greece designed to install the “reign of the colonels” (when the Greek ambassador complained about CIA plans for Cypress, Johnson told him: “F**k your parliament and your constitution”);
– the overthrow of the popular Prince Sahounek in Cambodia;
– the overthrow of Juan Torres in Bolivia;
– the overthrow and assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile;
– the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador, and dozens of other incidents rarely if ever taught in American school history lessons.
As John Perkins (author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man), as a former respected member of the international banking community and National Security Agency economist, told Amy Goodman: “Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring—to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government….
This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men.”
Perkins’ job was “deal-making”:
“It was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan — let’s say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador — and this country would then have to give ninety percent of that loan back to a U.S. company, or U.S. companies, to build the infrastructure — a Halliburton or a Bechtel. These were big ones. Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest families in those countries.
The poor people in those countries would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that they couldn’t possibly repay. A country today like Ecuador owes over fifty percent of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can’t do it. So, we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, ‘Look, you’re not able to repay your debts, therefore give our oil companies your Amazon rain forest, which are filled with oil.’
And today we’re going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they’ve accumulated all this debt. So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It’s an empire. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.”
III. If coups are so repaying, then why are wars still taking place?
Most of the money for these loans, according to Perkins, is provided by the World Bank and theInternational Monetary Fund (Rothischild-owned private bank), the two premier neolib loan sharking operations (it is important to note that the Straussian neocon, Paul Wolfowitz, is now president of the World Bank, thus demonstrating how closely related the neocons and traditional neolibs are).
If the loan sharks are unable to steal natural resources (oil, minerals, rainforests, water) as a condition of repaying this immense debt, “the next step is what we call the jackals.”
“Jackals are CIA-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn’t work, they perform assassinations—or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren’t able to get through to Saddam Hussein… His bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn’t get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq.”
My personal experience: The 1989 Romanian CoupI was in Romania during the 1989 so called “people’s revolution” under dictator Ceausescu. In fact, it was a 100% Western coup, with the sole purpose of looting the country of its wealth!There were hundreds of reasons for the Romanian coup to take place. First of all, Ceausescu was a communist & pro-USSR.- Romania had no external debt + US $2.7 billions in the National Bank + around US $10 billion to receive from other countries from exports (in 1989!). The exports were rapidly increasing.- Romania was mass-exporting cereals, wine, weapons (especially the PKM), ammunition, etc. – while keeping the imports low.- Romania also had oil fields and all the petrol used was internaly produced.- Romania’s gold exploitation gave a $5 billions/year profit and the country’s gold reserve was fairly big (tens of tons). The gold mines were expanding.- All Romanians had jobs, the unemployment was 0%, all had cars, homes and savings in the National bank. Even though the communist state had major expenses (it was building roads, apartment buildings, factories, etc.), the country was getting wealthier each year.
When the coup started, Ceausescu was abroad, negotiating with some Arab countries the establishment of the first European Bank. Imagine that! Romania was about to become a world player. Fairly rich & with a solid economy.
Were the people unhappy?
Yes, but not because they were poor. The social distress had to do with the people’s liberties being restrained by Ceausescu’s Police (Militia) and Secret Services.
Also, the people had money, but there were not too many products to spend them on. Everything was limited and rationalized.
The country was prospering at high speed, but the people were paying the price. Ceausescu was a dictator and oppressor. His intentions might have been good, but the price was too high. And that’s why the coup was successful.
Even so, the Romanians never imagined that removing Ceausescu from power could mean what it actually meant. Most of them thought that his son, Nicu (who was very loved, especially in Sibiu) will step in his father’s place and offer more liberties to the people. That’s all the people ever hoped for, back then.
But the Western powers had other plans. They’ve infiltrated highly trained agents to start a war from the inside. At the same time, their “diplomats” planned a “people’s revolution.” All state’s influence was working against Ceausescu.
The secret agents working for the coup to take place were active everywhere, from those shooting civilians in the streets, to those more subtle spreading disinformation on TV and making the Army fight against the Police and the people. It was a nightmare! It is probable that not even the Army’s Chief of Staff had any clue of what was really going on.
During the coup, there was only one thing shouted everywhere: “the terrorists”! (Please, notice the pattern).
Nobody ever heard of terrorists or terrorism in Romania before, and most people had no idea what the word even meant. Who invented this word and for what purpose?
The civilians received weapons from the Army and asked to call themselves “revolutionaries.” They had been informed that the terrorists are randomly shooting down civilians and that they should respond with fire without questions. Also, they had been warned that the Police was working for Ceausescu and they will shoot them at sight.
Imagine the chaos! The people were shooting each other, while the highly trained foreign agents were conducting guerrilla strikes against the army, police and the people.
A sniper shot at my father-in-law and it was a near miss. He was going home, caring groceries. There was nothing offensive about him, just a random man, arriving home from work. I went and saw the bullet holes and marks in that building. I can only imagine what he went through, knowing that his wife and daughter were in the same building. Then, the sniper begun randomly shooting through the windows of all the apartments. The people were lying on the floor, while the windows were being shuttered apart by flying bullets.
There are thousands of buildings in Romania still baring the marks of those sad days. Thousands of innocent people had been killed or wounded during the coup.
Highly trained special troops operated in Romania. They knew exactly how the Romanian armored vehicles can be taken out with ease. They clogged the exhaust pipes in some light tank models, making the exhaust smoke flood the interior and choke the soldiers inside. Those trying to escape, had been executed outside.
They’ve also infiltrated demonstrators, offering them free alcoholic beverages. It was December and most people drank to get warm. Afterwards, the angry mob was easily controllable. They’ve led them towards governmental buildings and police stations. The drunk mob brutally murdered innocent people, without even knowing why.
Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, were caught and executed by firing squad after a brief and shameful “trial”.
The judge killed himself few years later, when he finally understood that he was manipulated. Nicu Ceausescu, the dictator’s son, was arrested and convicted to prison. He died only few years later, in 1996.
Then, the Economic Hitmen have been sent to do their dirty jobs: rob Romania of its wealth.
22+ years later, Romania is almost economically dead. All its industry died, thousands of huge factories had been closed, millions of workers had been fired. Many of them never found work again.
All the gold mines had been closed and the gold from the treasury moved abroad. Romania received some papers in exchange, called certificates. Fare trade, isn’t it?
American and Canadian companies are taking over Romania’s gold deposits as we speak. “Rosia Montana” is one of the oldest and largest European gold mines.
Romania was banned from exporting cereals in the EU. Other European countries received this task. As a result, agriculture also died in time – except from a handful of mammoth companies which buy their GM corn from Monsanto. I’m expecting Monsanto to knock at the door from time to time and take over the operations entirely, if they haven’t already done it – covertly.
Romania has now enormous external debt (especially towards Rothschild’s International Monetary Fund) and falling deeper in debt with each passing year. The people are against taking any more loans from the IMF, they are protesting each year – but nobody minds them!
The energetic and oil national companies had been sold to Western corporations, who raise the price of energy and gas twice a year. The price for 1 gallon of gas is $8+ in Romania, while the minimum wage is $200+/month (yes, the equivalent of 25 gallons of gas).
The salaries drop periodically, instead of raising, not even keeping up with inflation.
And this is exactly what it will happen in Libya in the years to come. The country will be looted of its fortune and the people will be left to die.
The purpose of this article is to offer a closer-to-the-truth perspective to what is happening behind the scenes and to let everyone know that there is no such thing as the “people’s revolution”, only well-planned coups.
NATO is a huge step towards the one world government, and it’s entirely controlled by the elites.
The Occupy Movement could be the first REAL, People’s Revolution. I only hope for it not to be hijacked from the inside, and turned against us. This is a big part of the secret services’ job — and they are really good at it!
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Systems theorist Buckminster Fuller.
It’s not just the most ideologically empowered nation on the planet… but also a powerful disruptor of the power of the “Deep State.”
Regular Inner Circle readers know that the Deep State and its increasing control over almost every aspect of our lives is one of the biggest themes on our radar.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, the Deep State is the “shadow government” that rules no matter who voters elect.
It’s made up of an ever-expanding circle of unelected “insiders” – from top levels of finance, industry, and government.
I’ve been tracking this story for over a year now. As part of my research, I talked to congressional-stafferturned-Deep-State-whistleblower Mike Lofgren.
You can find the full Q&A of my conversation with Lofgren here. But here’s Lofgren describing what he means by the term:
The Deep State is this hybrid association of elements within government, finance, and industry that actually governs the U.S. The term was first used in Turkey to describe a group of oligarchs, senior military, and intelligence operatives – along with organized crime – that ran the government regardless of who was formally in power. But it’s the same now in the U.S.
It’s a very slow-moving and gradual thing. Most people don’t notice the changes because they happen inside our public institutions… and out of sight. We still have voting. We still have members of Congress and so on.
Lofgren is not a household name. But he should be. Because he’s come closer than anyone else to understanding the true nature of government in the U.S. For 28 years, Lofgren – a self-described “Midwest Republican” – worked on Capitol Hill. He was a congressional staff member and a national defense analyst with top-secret clearance for the House and Senate budget committees. He was walking the corridors of power when House Speaker Newt Gingrich tried to impeach President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky “incident.” He was there when an obscure Islamic fundamentalist group known as al-Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in Africa. He was there when airplanes flew into the World Trade Center in 2001…and for “shock and awe” in Iraq two years later.
Lofgren has seen the inner workings of Washington up close. And his conclusion is shocking. As he describes it in his book The Deep State: [T]he United States has, over the last several decades, gradually undergone a process first identified by Aristotle and later championed by Machiavelli. It’s what journalist Edward Peter Garrett described in the 1930s as a “revolution within the form.” Our venerable institutions of government have outwardly remained the same, but they have grown more and more resistant to the popular will as they have become hardwired into a corporate and private influence network with almost unlimited cash to enforce its will.
Most people naively believe the myth that they can “change” government by pulling a lever in a polling booth once every couple of years. But they’re wrong. The shocking truth is that no matter which candidate sits in the Oval Office next, the Deep State will stay in control.
The same goes for the power structures of almost all advanced and developing nations.
Which is why this week’s dispatch is so important…
You see, there’s a counter-revolution underway – against the Deep State… Big Government… and oppressive state power in all its forms.
It’s led by a small group of libertarians, anarchists, and freethinkers who are reimagining what a truly free and prosperous society might look like. For this week’s issue, I arranged a meeting with one of them.
I travelled to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to meet with Vit Jedli?ka (pronounced “Veet Yed-litchka”) – a burly, blonde, 32-year-old Czech activist.
Last April, Vit literally planted the flag of a new nation, the Free Republic of Liberland, on a small parcel of disputed land along the banks of the Danube between Balkan nations Serbia and Croatia. Liberland, Vit told me, will be a constitutional republic, founded along similar lines to the U.S. It will grant citizenship to like-minded people. And it will use a digital currency similar to Bitcoin as its national currency.
But its core mission is to protect and support the economic and personal freedom of its citizens. And in case there is any doubt about that, the Liberland motto is “To Live and Let Live.”
The ACTU was there at the start of the land rights movement, supporting the walk-off by Aboriginal stockmen at Wave Hill in August 1966, 50 years ago.
And now, at the end, the ACTU is there again. I say at the end because Wave Hill never made it as an economically viable Aboriginal-run property. In fact, it is hard to find a single Aboriginal venture on Aboriginal land that is viable. Fishing trawlers, cattle, tourism, market gardens, carbon farming and myriad others have almost all failed.
The only employment that has ever been “successful” in remote Aboriginal communities is public sector and “bought” jobs. Many public sector jobs minister to people in need who would not be in need if they had a job. “Bought” jobs are those jobs created for those who would not otherwise find employment. Both types are an admission of failure.
The proof is that the commonwealth has run the Community Development Employment Projects scheme, in various guises, since 1977. It is a paint-rocks-white scheme that makes failure look like success. CDEP came about because of a decision by the Commonwealth Arbitration and Conciliation Commission in 1965, at the behest of the ACTU, to include Aboriginal workers in the Cattle Station Industry (Northern Territory) Award 1951. The decision created widespread unemployment among Aborigines in remote areas of northern Australia. The “solution” to unemployment was to grant Aboriginal people access to unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, when access was granted, the absence of realistic work prospects created a disincentive to work. Aboriginal people were paid to “sit down”.
First came equal wages, then the market sorted out the real worth of many Aboriginal workers and created unemployment. Then came sit-down money. Then came the pooling of unemployment benefits for make-work, which was CDEP. CDEP became known as “stand-up” money. Understand?
As for community development, well, that never happened. Instead came family destruction, the likes of which is reported every other day: crime, child abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism. The Abbott government rebadged CDEP as the Community Development Program. There was an interim program between CDEP and CDP, but it was the same deal, masking the failure to thrive of Aboriginal land rights.
The ACTU wants the CDP dismantled. And it is right to do so. Just as it was right to push for equal wages for Aboriginal workers in the 1960s. But the ACTU is like a stopped watch; it’s right twice (a day) but has no clue what the time is. Equal wages had unintended consequences.
Not every worker was worth his keep. Collective rights to non-tradeable land had unintended consequences. Land is worthless without a productive use. I understand that Aborigines derive a spiritual “income” from the land, but that is a matter for Aborigines, not taxpayers who prop up land rights with make-work schemes.
But the ACTU does not want to abolish CDP because it masks the failure of land rights. It wants more workers’ rights. At the announcement last week of a campaign to remove CDP, ACTU indigenous officer Kara Keys said: “This is a program which discriminates on the basis of race and has no place in a modern society.” On the latter she is so right. But when ACTU secretary Dave Oliver says, “These workers labour without the protection of federal OHS standards or workers’ compensation and earn no superannuation,” he is so wrong.
I have observed many such schemes in many communities, and I can report that there is not a lot of labour involved. This is not work, this is welfare. To pretend that welfare is work is typical of the ACTU. Bugger the unintended consequences, just make sure the “worker” gets his due. In this case, the due is a make-believe job in a non-economy. If the ACTU had its way the entire Australian economy would look like a remote Aboriginal community. No economy, but everyone getting their due and claiming compo.
The ACTU is also campaigning for recognition of Aborigines in the Constitution.
I can tell you now, Dave Oliver, it is not going to happen. It has been 10 years since John Howard promised to consider the proposition and still there is no proposal any government could possibly agree to.
Instead, we keep paying for the new CDEP scheme, and to consult Aborigines about the Constitution, only to be told Aborigines would rather have a treaty. A treaty would be like a mega workers’ compensation scheme forever.
The US is currently the dominant world power. But it is failing, for similar reasons the Roman Empire failed, including some last-ditch attempts at hememony. Read the following articles to understand why.
Scroll down to read the most recent articles. Links to previous articles follow.
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on July 11, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote that “the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.”
Today the story of American politics is the story of class struggles. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. We didn’t think we were divided into different classes. Neither did Marx. America was an exception to Marx’s theory of social progress. By that theory, societies were supposed to move from feudalism to capitalism to communism.
But the America of the 1850s, the most capitalist society around, was not turning communist. Marx had an explanation for that. “True enough, the classes already exist,” he wrote of the United States, but they “are in constant flux and reflux, constantly changing their elements and yielding them up to one another.” In other words, when you have economic and social mobility, you don’t go communist. That is the country in which some imagine we still live, Horatio Alger’s America – a country defined by the promise that whoever you are, you have the same chance as anyone else to rise, with pluck, industry, and talent. But they imagine wrong.
The U.S. today lags behind many of its First World rivals in terms of mobility. A class society has inserted itself within the folds of what was once a classless country, and a dominant New Class – as social critic Christopher Lasch called it – has pulled up the ladder of social advancement behind it. One can measure these things empirically by comparing the correlation between the earnings of fathers and sons. Pew’s Economic Mobility Project ranks Britain at 0.5, which means that if a father earns £100,000 more than the median, his son will earn £50,000 more than the average member of his cohort. That’s pretty aristocratic. On the other end of the scale, the most economically mobile society is Denmark, with a correlation of 0.15.
The U.S. is at 0.47, almost as immobile as Britain. A complacent Republican establishment denies this change has occurred. If they don’t get it, however, American voters do. For the first time, Americans don’t believe their children will be as well off as they have been. They see an economy that’s stalled, one in which jobs are moving offshore. In the first decade of this century, U.S. multinationals shed 2.9 million U.S. jobs while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. General Electric provides a striking example. Jeffrey Immelt became the company’s CEO in 2001, with a mission to advance stock price. He did this in part by reducing GE’s U.S. workforce by 34,000 jobs. During the same period, the company added 25,000 jobs overseas. Ironically, President Obama chose Immelt to head his Jobs Council.
According to establishment Republicans, none of this can be helped. We are losing middle-class jobs because of the move to a high-tech world that creates jobs for a cognitive elite and destroys them for everyone else. But that doesn’t describe what’s happening. We are losing middle-class jobs, but lower-class jobs are expanding. Automation is changing the way we make cars, but the rich still need their maids and gardeners. Middle-class jobs are also lost as a result of regulatory and environmental barriers, especially in the energy sector. And the skills-based technological change argument is entirely implausible: countries that beat us hands down on mobility are just as technologically advanced.
Folks in Denmark aren’t exactly living in the Stone Age. This is why voters across the spectrum began to demand radical change. What did the Republican elite offer in response? At a time of maximal crisis they have been content with minimal goals, like Mitt Romney’s 59-point plan in 2012. How many Americans remember even one of those points?
What we remember instead is Romney’s remark about 47 percent of Americans being takers. That was Romney’s way of recognizing the class divide – and in the election, Americans took notice and paid him back with interest. Since 2012, establishment Republicans have continued to be less than concerned for the plight of ordinary Americans. Sure, they want economic growth, but it doesn’t seem to matter into whose pockets the money flows. There are even the “conservative” pundits who offer the pious hope that drug-addicted Trump supporters will hurry up and die. That’s one way to ameliorate the class struggle, but it doesn’t exactly endear anyone to the establishment.
The southern writer Flannery O’Connor once attended a dinner party in New York given for her and liberal intellectual Mary McCarthy. At one point the issue of Catholicism came up, and McCarthy offered the opinion that the Eucharist is “just a symbol,” albeit “a pretty one.” O’Connor, a pious Catholic, bristled: “Well, if it’s just a symbol, to Hell with it.” Likewise, the principles held up as sacrosanct by establishment Republicans might be logically unassailable, derived like theorems from a set of axioms based on a pure theory of natural rights. But if I don’t see them making people better off, I say to Hell with them. And so do the voters this year.
What the establishment Republicans should ask themselves is Anton Chigurh’s question in No Country for Old Men: If you followed your principles, and your principles brought you to this, what good are your principles? Had Marx been asked what would happen to America if it ever became economically immobile, we know what his answer would be: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And also Donald Trump.
The anger expressed by the voters in 2016 – their support for candidates from far outside the traditional political class – has little parallel in American history. We are accustomed to protest movements on the Left, but the wholesale repudiation of the establishment on the Right is something new. All that was solid has melted into air, and what has taken its place is a kind of right-wing Marxism, scornful of Washington power brokers and sneering pundits and repelled by America’s immobile, class-ridden society.
Establishment Republicans came up with the “right-wing Marxist” label when House Speaker John Boehner was deposed, and labels stick when they have the ring of truth. So it is with the right-wing Marxist. He is right-wing because he seeks to return to an America of economic mobility. He has seen how broken education and immigration systems, the decline of the rule of law, and the rise of a supercharged regulatory state serve as barriers to economic improvement. And he is a Marxist to the extent that he sees our current politics as the politics of class struggle, with an insurgent middle class that seeks to surmount the barriers to mobility erected by an aristocratic New Class. In his passion, he is also a revolutionary. He has little time for a Republican elite that smirks at his heroes – heroes who communicate through their brashness and rudeness the fact that our country is in a crisis.
To his more-polite critics, the right-wing Marxist says: We are not so nice as you! The right-wing Marxist notes that establishment Republicans who decry crony capitalism are often surrounded by lobbyists and funded by the Chamber of Commerce. He is unpersuaded when they argue that government subsidies are needed for their friends. He does not believe that the federal bailouts of the 2008-2012 TARP program and the Federal Reserve’s zero-interest and quantitative easing policies were justified. He sees that they doubled the size of public debt over an eight-year period, and that our experiment in consumer protection for billionaires took the oxygen out of the economy and produced a jobless Wall Street recovery.
The right-wing Marxist’s vision of the good society is not so very different from that of the JFK-era liberal; it is a vision of a society where all have the opportunity to rise, where people are judged by the content of their character, and where class distinctions are a thing of the past. But for the right wing Marxist, the best way to reach the goal of a good society is through free markets, open competition, and the removal of wasteful government barriers. Readers of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose will have encountered the word palimpsest, used to describe a manuscript in which one text has been written over another, and in which traces of the original remain. So it is with Canada, a country that beats the U.S. hands down on economic mobility. Canada has the reputation of being more liberal than the U.S., but in reality it is more conservative because its liberal policies are written over a page of deep conservatism.
Whereas the U.S. comes in at a highly immobile 0.47 on the Pew mobility scale, Canada is at 0.19, very close to Denmark’s 0.15. What is further remarkable about Canada is that the difference is mostly at the top and bottom of the distribution. Between the tenth and 90th deciles there isn’t much difference between the two countries. The difference is in the bottom and top ten percent, where the poorest parents raise the poorest kids and the richest parents raise the richest kids. For parents in the top U.S. decile, 46 percent of their kids will end up in the top two deciles and only 2 percent in the bottom decile. The members of the top decile comprise a New Class of lawyers, academics, trust-fund babies, and media types – a group that wields undue influence in both political parties and dominates our culture. These are the people who said yes, there is an immigration crisis – but it’s caused by our failure to give illegals a pathway to citizenship! There’s a top ten percent in Canada, of course, but its children are far more likely to descend into the middle or lower classes.
There’s also a bottom ten percent, but its children are far more likely to rise to the top. The country of opportunity, the country we’ve imagined ourselves to be, isn’t dead – it moved to Canada, a country that ranks higher than the U.S. on measures of economic freedom. Yes, Canada has its much-vaunted Medicare system, but cross-border differences in health care don’t explain the mobility levels. And when you add it all up, America has a more generous welfare system than Canada or just about anywhere else. To explain Canada’s higher mobility levels, one has to turn to differences in education systems, immigration laws, regulatory burdens, the rule of law, and corruption – on all of which counts, Canada is a more conservative country. America’s K-12 public schools perform poorly, relative to the rest of the First World.
Its universities are great fun for the kids, but many students emerge on graduation no better educated than when they arrived. What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor. One study has concluded that if American public school students were magically raised to Canadian levels, the economic gain would amount to a 20 percent annual pay increase for the average American worker. The U.S. has a two-tiered educational system: a superb set of schools and colleges for the upper classes and a mediocre set for everyone else. The best of our colleges are the best anywhere, but the average Canadian school is better than the average American one. At both the K-12 and college levels, Canadian schools have adhered more closely to a traditional, conservative set of offerings. For K-12, a principal reason for the difference is the greater competition offered in Canada, with its publicly-supported church-affiliated schools.
With barriers like America’s Blaine Amendments – state laws preventing public funding of religious schools – lower-class students in the U.S. must enjoy the dubious blessing of a public school education. What about immigration? Canada doesn’t have a problem with illegal aliens – it deports them. As for the legal intake, Canadian policies have a strong bias towards admitting immigrants who will confer a benefit on Canadian citizens. Even in absolute numbers, Canada admits more immigrants under economic categories than the U.S., where most legal immigrants qualify instead under family preference categories. As a result, on average, immigrants to the U.S. are less educated than U.S. natives, and unlike in Canada, second- and third-generation U.S. immigrants earn less than their native-born counterparts. In short, the U.S. immigration system imports inequality and immobility. If immigration isn’t an issue in Canada, that’s because it’s a system Trump voters would love.
For those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder who seek to rise, nothing is more important than the rule of law, property rights, and the sanctity of contract provided by a mature and efficient legal system. The alternative – in place today in America – is a network of elites whose personal bonds supply the trust that is needed before deals can be done and promises relied on. With its more traditional legal system, Canada better respects the sanctity of contract and is less likely to weaken property rights with an American-style civil justice system which at times resembles a slot machine of judicially-sanctioned theft. Americans are great at talking about the rule of law, but in reality we don’t have much standing to do so.
Then there’s corruption. As ranked by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, America is considerably more corrupt than most of the rest of the First World. With our K Street lobbyists and our donor class, we’ve spawned the greatest concentration of money and influence ever. And corruption costs. In a regression model, the average family’s earnings would increase from $55,000 to $60,000 were we to ascend to Canada’s level of non-corruption, and to $68,000 if we moved to Denmark’s level. In a corrupt country, trust is a rare commodity. That’s America today. Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center. Sadly, that is a rational response to the way things are. America is a different country today, and a much nastier one. For politically engaged Republicans, the figure is six percent.
That in a nutshell explains the Trump phenomenon and the disintegration of the Republican establishment. If the people don’t trust the government, tinkering with entitlement reform is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. American legal institutions are consistently more liberal than those in Canada, and they are biased towards a privileged class of insiders who are better educated and wealthier than the average American.
That’s why America has become an aristocracy. By contrast, Canadian legal institutions aren’t slanted to an aristocracy. The paradox is that Canadians employ conservative, free market means to achieve the liberal end of economic mobility. And that points to America’s way back: acknowledge that the promise of America has diminished, then emulate Canada.
Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America and The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.
Obama Warned To Defuse Tensions With Russia, “Unintended Consequences Likely To Be Catastrophic”
A group of ex-U.S. intelligence officials is warning President Obama to defuse growing tensions with Russia over Syria by reining in the demonization of President Putin and asserting White House civilian control over the Pentagon.
ALERT MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: PREVENTING STILL WORSE IN SYRIA
We write to alert you, as we did President George W. Bush, six weeks before the attack on Iraq, that the consequences of limiting your circle of advisers to a small, relatively inexperienced coterie with a dubious record for wisdom can prove disastrous.* Our concern this time regards Syria.
We are hoping that your President’s Daily Brief tomorrow will give appropriate attention to Saturday’s warning by Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova: “If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army, it would cause a terrible, tectonic shift not only in the country, but in the entire region.”
Speaking on Russian TV, she warned of those whose “logic is ‘why do we need diplomacy’ … when there is power … and methods of resolving a problem by power. We already know this logic; there is nothing new about it. It usually ends with one thing – full-scale war.”
We are also hoping that this is not the first you have heard of this – no doubt officially approved – statement. If on Sundays you rely on the “mainstream” press, you may well have missed it. In the Washington Post, an abridged report of Zakharova’s remarks (nothing about “full-scale war”) was buried in the last paragraph of an 11-paragraph article titled “Hospital in Aleppo is hit again by bombs.” Sunday’s New York Times totally ignored the Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s statements.
In our view, it would be a huge mistake to allow your national security advisers to follow the example of the Post and Times in minimizing the importance of Zakharova’s remarks.
Events over the past several weeks have led Russian officials to distrust Secretary of State John Kerry. Indeed, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who parses his words carefully, has publicly expressed that distrust. Some Russian officials suspect that Kerry has been playing a double game; others believe that, however much he may strive for progress through diplomacy, he cannot deliver on his commitments because the Pentagon undercuts him every time. We believe that this lack of trust is a challenge that must be overcome and that, at this point, only you can accomplish this.
It should not be attributed to paranoia on the Russians’ part that they suspect the Sept. 17 U.S. and Australian air attacks on Syrian army troops that killed 62 and wounded 100 was no “mistake,” but rather a deliberate attempt to scuttle the partial cease-fire Kerry and Lavrov had agreed on – with your approval and that of President Putin – that took effect just five days earlier.
In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov deal. We can assume that what Lavrov has told his boss in private is close to his uncharacteristically blunt words on Russian NTV on Sept. 26:
“My good friend John Kerry … is under fierce criticism from the US military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the US Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia (he confirmed that during his meeting with President Vladimir Putin), apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief.”
Lavrov’s words are not mere rhetoric. He also criticized JCS Chairman Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia, “after the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama stipulated that they would share intelligence. … It is difficult to work with such partners. …”
Policy differences between the White House and the Pentagon are rarely as openly expressed as they are now over policy on Syria. We suggest you get hold of a new book to be released this week titled The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War by master historian H. W. Brands. It includes testimony, earlier redacted, that sheds light on why President Truman dismissed WWII hero Gen. Douglas MacArthur from command of U.N. forces in Korea in April 1951. One early reviewer notes that “Brands’s narrative makes us wonder about challenges of military versus civilian leadership we still face today.” You may find this new book more relevant at this point in time than the Team of Rivals.
The door to further negotiations remains ajar. In recent days, officials of the Russian foreign and defense ministries, as well as President Putin’s spokesman, have carefully avoided shutting that door, and we find it a good sign that Secretary Kerry has been on the phone with Foreign Minister Lavrov. And the Russians have also emphasized Moscow’s continued willingness to honor previous agreements on Syria.
In the Kremlin’s view, Russia has far more skin in the game than the U.S. does. Thousands of Russian dissident terrorists have found their way to Syria, where they obtain weapons, funding, and practical experience in waging violent insurgency. There is understandable worry on Moscow’s part over the threat they will pose when they come back home. In addition, President Putin can be assumed to be under the same kind of pressure you face from the military to order it to try to clean out the mess in Syria “once and for all,” regardless how dim the prospects for a military solution are for either side in Syria.
We are aware that many in Congress and the “mainstream” media are now calling on you to up the ante and respond – overtly or covertly or both – with more violence in Syria. Shades of the “Washington Playbook,” about which you spoke derisively in interviews with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg earlier this year. We take some encouragement in your acknowledgment to Goldberg that the “playbook” can be “a trap that can lead to bad decisions” – not to mention doing “stupid stuff.”
Goldberg wrote that you felt the Pentagon had “jammed” you on the troop surge for Afghanistan seven years ago and that the same thing almost happened three years ago on Syria, before President Putin persuaded Syria to surrender its chemical weapons for destruction. It seems that the kind of approach that worked then should be tried now, as well – particularly if you are starting to feel jammed once again.
Incidentally, it would be helpful toward that end if you had one of your staffers tell the “mainstream” media to tone down it puerile, nasty – and for the most part unjustified and certainly unhelpful – personal vilification of President Putin.
Renewing direct dialogue with President Putin might well offer the best chance to ensure an end, finally, to unwanted “jamming.” We believe John Kerry is correct in emphasizing how frightfully complicated the disarray in Syria is amid the various vying interests and factions. At the same time, he has already done much of the necessary spadework and has found Lavrov for the most part, a helpful partner.
Still, in view of lingering Russian – and not only Russian – skepticism regarding the strength of your support for your secretary of state, we believe that discussions at the highest level would be the best way to prevent hotheads on either side from risking the kind of armed confrontation that nobody should want.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you invite President Putin to meet with you in a mutually convenient place, in order to try to sort things out and prevent still worse for the people of Syria.
In the wake of the carnage of World War II, Winston Churchill made an observation that is equally applicable to our 21st Century: “To jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than to war, war, war.”
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Fred Costello, Former Russian Linguist, USAF
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Larry C. Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
John Kiriakou, former CIA counterterrorism officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
Todd Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA, (ret.)
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat
* In a Memorandum to President Bush criticizing Colin Powell’s address to the UN earlier on February 5, 2003, VIPS ended with these words: “After watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Alice in Wonderland
We live in an age when the level of deceit and propaganda is at an all-time high. Joseph Goebbels, Vladimir Lenin, and others did their best to force-feed propaganda to the masses, but they were rank amateurs compared to the spin doctors employed by the political leaders of today. They’re masters at convincing people of impossible things.
Whenever I listen to Americans discuss their country, I find people that are eager for more news and information, yet most, without even knowing it,accept much of the dogma they’ve been fed on a daily basis by their government and the media, even if, to outsiders, the assumptions are preposterous. Only those who make a concerted, ongoing effort to see through the smokescreen seem to keep clear.
Here are six impossible things that many seem to have little trouble accepting as reality…
1) “Yes, the country’s in a mess, but that’s because of opposition-party meddling. If the party I favor could get a majority, they’d sort things out.”
This seems to have been a popular belief for decades. It’s believed by Democrats and Republicans alike. But, in 2001, the Republicans held both houses of Congress, plus the presidency, yet even then they failed to deliver on what they claimed were their party’s fundamental goals. Between 2009 and 2011, the Democrats controlled all three, yet they, too, failed to deliver. If the electorate were to step back and look at the history of who is in power vs. changes in policy, they’d find that the government’s central programme of welfare/warfare continues unabated, regardless of who controls the Congress and White House. The primary policies of the U.S. are determined independently of who has been elected. As American writer Mark Twain stated correctly, “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
2) “We’re on the road to economic recovery. We just have to be patient.”
The U.S. is deeper in debt, by far, than any country ever has been in the history of the world. The level of debt is so great at present that it’s impossible to pay back. The reaction by the U.S. government has been to increase that debt, pumping more heroin into the body of the addict. There’s no possibility for this to end well; all that can be achieved is to postpone the inevitable, thus ensuring that the final outcome will be even worse. The final tab will be picked up, not by the political class, but by the electorate.
3) “I don’t like government bailing the banks out, but if they don’t, the system will collapse.”
Bank failures have existed for as long as banks have existed. Under a laissez-faire system, a bank that’s behaved recklessly with lending, to the point that it becomes insolvent, collapses. Depositors are harmed and sometimes financially ruined. Often, there’s a brief economic downturn, but the culling of the bad bank actually strengthens the economy in the long run. However, in the last century, the major banks in the US have become so powerful with regard to government policy that they can now act recklessly, then be bailed out by the government, then act recklessly again. (Ultimately, this trend will result in a crash of epic proportions – an event that may come quite soon.)
4) “There’s no problem raising the debt ceiling. All that’s necessary is to print more money to pay for it.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Dramatic printing of currency generally leads to higher prices. Inflation robs people of their wealth. Hyperinflation can utterly destroy it. And, as regards foreign debt, trading partners don’t take kindly to having the debtors degrade their debt. At some point, they’re likely to sell back their debt into the debtor’s economy. It would only take a fraction of the U.S. debt held by the rest of the world to be sold back into the U.S. for the U.S. economy to collapse.
5) “I don’t like war, but the attacks on Ukraine and the Middle East are necessary to make the world safe for democracy.”
Since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has regarded itself as the world’s policeman – a role that most of us outside the U.S. consider to be quite an arrogant one for any nation to take. Even more puzzling for us is the general belief in the U.S. that American invasions of countries actually result in democratisation. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Libya (the list goes on), there has been little evidence that U.S. invasions have led to stable, democratic rule. In most cases, they have led to increased chaos. America is seen, not as the policeman, but the world’s foremost aggressor. This is not conducive to long-term American hegemony.
6) “I realize that the U.S. has passed considerable legislation lately that’s taken away my basic freedoms, but it’s been necessary in fighting terrorism.”
Beginning with the Patriot Act of 2001, the U.S. government has gone mad with the passage of a plethora of legislation that has trashed the U.S. Constitution (often regarded by the outside world as the finest founding document that any country has ever produced.) As a result, even many Third World countries now enjoy greater individual freedom than can be found in the U.S.
7) “This is still the best country in the world.”
By almost every standard, this has, over recent decades, ceased to be the case. Before the world wars, the U.K. was the most powerful country in the world. Britons managed somehow to equate this fact to the belief that the U.K. was the “best” in every way. This was never entirely true, but most Brits accepted it anyway. Today, the methadone has finally taken effect and most of us accept that the dew is very much off the vine. This suggests that it will be a long time, possibly generations, before Americans come to realize that the glory days of empire are over and the decline is in process.
Alice had the right idea. As a young person not yet programmed by her government and the media to believe impossible things, she had a greater ability to see the world as it was. The rest of us have to work quite a bit harder to see through the smokescreen that governments and the media create. By the 1960s, it was apparent to the world that Britain had become a shell of its former self, but many Brits weren’t ready to accept that the party was over. (Today, 70 years after the war, the message has sunk in.) Now it’s America’s turn and it will be equally hard for them. For most, the standard of living and quality of life will diminish.
Previous articles: US rise, fall and desperate attempts at hegemony
A treasonous, self-lacerating and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout academia, the press and political class, which funds with taxpayer dollars the very activists and agitators whose goal it is to sow the ideological contagion of shame and self-loathing.
Can the West save itself? Or will it decline and collapse, like all the great civilizations of the past? There are many components of civilizational decline, but one of the most important is demography, involving a plummeting birthrate and a large scale invasion of legal and illegal immigrants, as I pointed out in an earlier Quadrant article, “How Civilisations Die”. This is complemented by another component, which involves the collapse of the culture that sustains the civilization, usually involving the treason of the intellectual and political elites. These become cultural quislings, turning their backs on the very culture that sustains them in their privilege, proudly declaring themselves enemies of their own civilization, and working actively to undermine it, effectively handing over control to the aggressive invaders.
The paradigm for this intellectual treason was established by the Comintern nearly a century ago, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, when Lenin decided that the new Soviet Union slave state would only survive if it was able to foment revolution in the West and could mobilize the intelligentsia to achieve this. The poisonous message these intellectuals were to carry, an ideological contagion, was enunciated vividly by the leading French communist ideologue, Louis Aragon, in 1925:
“We will destroy this civilization that you cherish … Western world, you are condemned to death … We will awaken everywhere the germs of confusion and malaise. We are the agitators of the mind … those who will always hold out our hands to the enemy.”
This treasonous, self-lacerating, and nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout Western academia and it has an ideological stranglehold over political activism, as we see in Australia with the Green-Left. These academics and activists live in a parallel universe where the source of all evil in the world is their own society, in which they posture as reluctantly privileged rebels. Consequently, as Pascal Bruckner observes in The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism(2010), “nowadays all it takes to attack Europe is a bit of conformism” to the all-pervasive hatred of the West that constitutes the intellectual monoculture of our society.
The West must repent continuously and unreservedly for the vast litany of sins for which it is held responsible. Indeed, “from existentialism to deconstructionism, all of modern thought can be reduced to a mechanical denunciation of the West”, which is depicted as “the very figure of Satan”. According to this fashionable nihilism, “we Europeans are born with a burden of vices and ugliness that marks us like stigmata”. Indeed, “a curse is hidden behind our civilization that corrupts its meaning and mocks its grandeur … The whole world hates us, and we deserve it.”
This grotesque vision of their own civilization as a global predator has been systematically promoted throughout academia, the schools, and the media for decades and has poisoned the intellectual atmosphere. Excellent current examples of how this self-lacerating ideology operates at the personal level is the infamous Safe Schools program and the new $22 million ‘respectful relationships’ education program that is also presently being imposed on Victorian school students. It exemplifies Bruckner’s observation that the white male is now a pariah, a monster “genetically determined to kill massacre and rape; he has split himself off from the rest of humanity in order to enslave it”. Consequently, under the new program boys and girls will be taught that males are violent, powerful, and privileged predators:
“Proposed lessons will introduce students to the concept of ‘privilege’, which is described as ‘automatic, unearned benefits bestowed upon dominant groups’ based on ‘gender, sexuality, race or socio-economic class’.”
In particular, boys will be taught in Years 7 and 8 that they enjoy “male privilege” that encourages “control and dominance”, and that:
“Being born a male, you have advantages — such as being overly represented in the public sphere — and this will be true whether you personally approve or think you are entitled to this privilege.”
As with the Safe Schools propaganda, this new program is really just an ideological Trojan Horse dominated by radical ideology, as Kevin Donnelly points out (“Marxist Agenda in Anti-Violence Campaign”), Apparently, whether they are just intellectually thick or utterly cynical, Premier Daniel Andrews and his education minister, James Merlino, are proud to preside over the pedophile grooming, ideological indoctrination, mass brainwashing, and terrorizing of school children.
Nothing however, can trump the all-pervasive anti-Americanism that has an intellectual stranglehold over the Green-Left, academia and the media. For them, as Bruckner explains,
“…evil America condenses in a single place, a single people, and a single system all the abjection of which Europe used to be capable. Parasitical, murderous, arrogant, America seems to bear all the signs by which we recognize the West’s guilt: as rich as it is inegalitarian; dominating, polluting, and founded on a double crime, the Indian genocide and the Black slave trade … it is entirely devoted to the worship of the almighty dollar, the only religion in this materialist country.”
America, in brief, is the global anti-Christ.
The strategy of ideological subversion has proven very effective over the past century, but the cultural demoralization and decline it produces has accounted for many previous major civilizations. In general terms it follows the model of internal cultural disintegration identified by Edward Gibbon in his magisterial Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the comparison is now routinely made, especially with respect to America. https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2008/05/america-as-the-new-rome/
It seems clear however that it will be Europe that will go first, that the ancestral home of Western Civilization will be Ground Zero in the decline of the West. As Mark Steyn observed a decade ago in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (2006), Europe faces the “Four Horsemen of the Eurocalypse”:
“Death—the demise of European races too self-absorbed to breed; Famine—the end of the lavishly-funded statist good times; War—the decline into bloody civil unrest that these economic and demographic factors will bring; and Conquest—the re-colonization of Europe by Islam.”
And, of course, the situation has only gotten worse since then – far worse, in fact, as the never-ending Muslim insurgency and endless jihadi massacres reveal. Indeed, according to Daniel Pipes, writing this week in The Washington Times, “Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe’s Destiny”. And sadly this outcome is because
“some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world [have] willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries.”
Tragically, these interlopers share no heritage whatsoever with the essential values, conventions, institutions, sexual mores, cultural, political, and legal systems that underpin and are integral to the liberal democratic societies that they are so eagerly invading. Even worse, they are neither interested in them nor have any respect for them. To them, these open societies are simply an easily transgressed staging post, a place where they can set up their closed monocultural and theocratic enclaves and grow stronger while living off the largess of the welfare states that so eagerly welcome them. Moreover, their community leadership is guided by a firm belief in Islamic supersessionism, the notion that Islam supersedes, surpasses and must displace all previous religions and the civilizations based on them. As Diana Muir Appelbaum explains:
“Islamic supersession can be understood in two senses, as replacement and as erasure. Going forward, Islam will supplant all other faiths. But Islam also controls the time before the birth of Muhammad; it claims to have preexisted all other faiths with the Qur’an pre-existing all other scripture … The claim that Islam has always existed effectively erases all that went before Muhammad. The notion that Islam is the final, true faith, divinely ordained to rule everywhere, has driven Islamic imperialism for 1,400 years.”
It is simply astonishing that purportedly sophisticated societies would so eagerly embrace such a large, aggressive and religiously-driven mass of invaders, especially when the historical record about the inevitable disastrous outcome is so clear. Indeed, this type of civilizational suicide finds a parallel only with era of the ‘Barbarian Invasions’ that undermined and ultimately destroyed the later Roman Empire. At that time, the ruling elites had become decadent, over-indulged, effete, and crippled by self-doubt, lacking the inclination and capacity to confront the external challenges that eventually overwhelmed them, swept their once great civilization away, and ushered in the Dark Ages, from which it took Europe a millennium to recover. Like many of us, Pipes is bemused at this civilizational death-wish:
“Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many Establishment politicians, most notably Germany’s Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasingly worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead?”
It can lead only to civilizational destruction.
Pipes blames the complacency of the Establishment, pointing out that “what I call the 6Ps (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insist that everything will turn out fine”, when it is obvious that this is an illusion, as the enclaves, alienation, aggression, and welfare costs grow exponentially. Compounding the problem is the iron rule of political correctness that forbids criticism or even questioning of these policies:
“The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe’s civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The Establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists.”
And this torrent of abuse only exacerbates the crisis by forcing rigid postures of militancy and intransigence onto apprehensive people who initially only wanted to have their voices and concerns heard and respectfully regarded.
In Bruckner’s view, the Western intelligentsia has become “the penitential class par excellence”, and intellectuals “officials of original sin”. In academia and government bureaucracies they preside over a vast ideological apparatus designed to ensure that this secular penance is honoured repeatedly with meaningless ceremonies and hollow observances kowtowing to anything non-Western, however vacuous, while the unparalleled glories of that civilization are ignored, scorned, and disrespected. This contrived world of make-believe is protected and reinforced by laws prohibiting freedom of thought and speech, and by aggressive government agencies that monitor and regulate every act and utterance, threatening criminal charges against those who fail fully to embrace self-hatred or adequately abase themselves before all things non-Western.
In this fashion, a vast cultural discourse of guilt, remorse, and repentance has been created and elevated to a supreme status where it lurks like a supernatural presence, with bureaucrats “appointed to maintain it like the ancient guardians of the sacred flame and issue permits to think and speak”, as Bruckner observes.
What of the future? In Europe, Pipes sees some hope in the rise of anti-immigration political parties, which are now typically winning some 20 percent of the vote but could poll over 30 percent if current trends continue. Such a trend could develop in Australia, especially as the state and federal governments continue their kowtowing to minorities while ridiculing and disrespecting a growing mass of mainstream voters. Whether such a bloc would be able to guide effective political change remains unclear, however, especially in Europe and Australia where so much power is now vested in virtually autonomous, anti-democratic, quasi-judicial, regulatory, punitive, and propaganda agencies, all of which are committed to the debilitating guilt-ridden anti-Western ideology.
Sadly, however, Pipes thinks that Europe’s future will be determined not by statesmen (there are none), but by violence. For him, the greatest question facing Europe is whether it is the elitist cultural quislings or the masses that will decide the continent’s future. If the jihadists continue their reign of terror then the political momentum might swing towards the people; if they are suppressed then the Establishment will remain in charge: “Ironically”, he concludes, “the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe’s destiny”.
Bruckner concludes that the battle must continue in the realm of ideas, and that the balance must be restored:
“We must have done with the blackmail of culpability, cease to sacrifice ourselves to our persecutors. A policy of friendship cannot be founded on the false principle: we take the opprobrium, you take the forgiveness. Once we have recognized any faults we may have, then the prosecution must turn against the accusers and subject them to constant criticism as well.”
These are fine sentiments, and the ideological battle must continue to be fought, however one-sided it is. But Bruckner seems excessively optimistic that there is good will on the side of those who seek continuously to undermine the West and seek to exploit the burden of guilt it has so unwisely accepted. In fact, there appears to be little or no good will there at all and absolutely no openness to criticism or compromise. Indeed, since Bruckner wrote the situation has only become more intransigent and unforgiving.
Ultimately, it seems that the West is caught up in a zero-sum game where there can only be one winner. As it has been for the past century, we are engaged in a fight to the finish with external and internal forces that want only to destroy our civilization and build their tyrannies upon the ruins.
The neo-Marxist dictatorship of manufactured minorities
Freethinker Bill Leak is a victim of prejudice so entrenched in our legal and political system it is sparking anti-establishment revolt across the West. It is the conversion of the human rights movement into a bigot rights industry.
The principal victims of bigot rights are heterosexual men of Anglo-European descent whose advocacy of freedom, rationality and reason places them on the Right side of politics in the 21st century. The political repression of freethinkers by the bigot rights movement is calculated. PC bigotry is so comprehensive it engulfs the establishment whose members openly celebrate the structural oppression and public humiliation of those excluded from their state-sanctified system of privilege.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is handling a complaint over the Leak illustration that depicted a drunken man neglectful of his son. Some people have chosen to take offence because the inebriated figure was depicted as indigenous. So too, however, was the sober authority figure of the cartoon, the police officer reprimanding the drunken father. Whether intentional or not, Leak’s illustration revealed a well-documented empirical truth: that some men are alcoholics, some alcoholics neglect their children and some alcoholic men who neglect their children are indigenous.
In a rational world where politics were divested of ideology and politicians invested in truth, complaints about Leak’s cartoon would be dismissed. In the world of the bigot rights industry, however, feelings of offence have superseded empirical truth as the highest standard of Western jurisprudence.
The Racial Discrimination Act classifies acts that people feel offended about as unlawful if they choose to feel offended because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin. Section 18C is anti-enlightenment revolution codified as law. It effects the erosion of truth, rationality and reason as the foundations of Western law by replacing them with ideology, feelings and a consequent culture of unreason.
Following the cartoon’s publication, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane tweeted that people “shouldn’t endorse racial stereotypes of Aboriginal Australians — or, for that matter, of any other group”. Agreed. Nor should they endorse the censorship of truth to please the PC establishment. He wrote on Facebook: “If there are Aboriginal Australians who have been racially offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated, they can consider lodging a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act with the Commission”. A social media storm ensued in which PC bigots vilified Leak as racist.
The AHRC notified The Australian this month of its plans to investigate “allegations of racial hatred under the Racial Discrimination Act” regarding the cartoon. National chief correspondent Hedley Thomas has reported that documents provided by the commission indicate a single complaint alleging a woman has experienced racial hatred and discrimination as a result of the illustration. The AHRC has advised the newspaper that “sections 18C, 18D and 18E of the Racial Discrimination Act appear relevant to the complaint”.
The epicentre of the bigot rights movement is the UN’s human rights office. The founding mission of the UN was to seed global enlightenment by the establishment of universal human rights. It has been replaced by minority rights politics championed by socialists and Islamists.
Contemporary minority politics is the progeny of Herbert Marcuse. As I have demonstrated previously, Marcuse reversed the idea of equality by advocating a politics founded on the principle of “not equal, but more representation of the Left”. In short, the foundational principle of neo-Marxism — the ideology of the 21st century Left — is that inequality engineered to produce the silencing of conservatives is the constitution of equality.
The Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat has been replaced by the neo-Marxist dictatorship of manufactured minorities. It is unsurprising that the perversion of universal human rights by bigot rights activists has been codified in race discrimination and affirmative action laws. In the late 1970s, law schools became ground zero for the neo-Marxist revolution against formal equality and human rights. Critical legal theory emerged as the activist successor to black letter law.
Kimberle Crenshaw, a critical race theorist, recounts that critical legal theory was organised by “neo-Marxist intellectuals, former New Left activists, ex-counter-culturalists”. It emerged, in part, because “civil rights lawyers found themselves fighting and losing rearguard attacks … particularly with respect to affirmative action and legal requirements for the kinds of evidence required to prove illicit discrimination”.
Critical legal theorists attack objective inquiry, empirical truth and logical reasoning as the basis of Western law and evidentiary standards. They decry enlightenment thought and contend instead that subjectivity, feelings and emotions are a valid basis for legal judgment. Thanks to the radical bigotry of neo-Marxists and their determined hostility to reason, we are forced to brook the absurd proposition underlying PC gag law that feeling offended about something indicates an unlawful act has taken place.
Leak is entering a bastion of Left politics engineered to produce his silence. Far from correcting their agenda of inequality, bigot rights activists are pursuing it with increased irrationality and anger. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, recently demonised conservative politicians of eight countries for opposing his agenda. The UN has endorsed a new campaign to classify dissent from its open border policy as “xenophobia” and “intolerance”.
Just as Leak is vilified as racist for depicting truth, so will dissenters from UN ideology be branded xenophobic and intolerant to justify their public humiliation and censorship.
I don’t know what advice to give Leak because he is neither the problem nor the solution. Labor and the Greens will continue to defend 18C because it is their PC bigotry made manifest. So too the minority groups who receive unearned privileges via discrimination law and affirmative action, as well as protection under 18C from ideas that offend them. The governing Coalition should champion free speech and formal equality but it rejected Cory Bernardi’s recent call to amend 18C.
However, there is a growing grassroots movement to return the West to the path of enlightenment — a kind of counter-revolution to restore universal human rights and secure the sovereignty of free world states. Whether you like it or not, Bill, you’re an idea whose time has come.
“A Pretext Is Needed”: A False Flag May Be Imminent To Drag U.S. Into War
With so many bizarre events taking place leading up to the election, few Americans are even grounded in reality any more. Perhaps the powers that be, with new and ready scapegoats – like Donald Trump, ISIS or Russia – think that the populace can again be convinced to surrender their liberties and consent to war if a new attack is staged.
They have done it, and they will do it again. This is standard operating procedure:
All America’s Wars Begin with False Flags (and WWIII Will Too)
The narrative under Hillary Clinton will be terrifying, as she destroys every last safeguard against tyranny this country has left standing. The smell of war is in the air, and every patriot should be on guard for the propaganda and salesmanship of another big lie. What do you think will happen?
Americans are sleepwalking into World War III, and as events in Syria are shaping up it could come any moment as the biggest October surprise ever. At this stage in the conflict, we are one minor event away from all out war between the world’s major super powers, an event which would most certainly result in nuclear war. All that is needed is for the right type of false flag event to serve as provocation.
“In naval warfare, a “false flag” refers to an attack where a vessel flies a flag other than their true battle flag before engaging their enemy. It is a trick, designed to deceive the enemy about the true nature and origin of an attack.” [Source]
1780’s – The Swedish-Russian War of 1788-1790 began when Swedish troops were intentionally dressed up as Russian troops then sent to attack their own border with Finland, effectively tricking the public into believing Russia had attacked, thereby kicking off a war will killed thousands.
1939 – Nazi war engineers dressed up Polish prisoners in Polish military uniforms and directed them to attack a German radio station. They prisoners were shot dead and their bodies left on the scene as evidence of Polish aggression, leading to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, signifying the official start of World War II.
1954 – Operation Susannah was an Israeli effort to convince the British military to continue their military presence in the Suez Canal, in support of Israeli interests. Egyptian patsies were hired to detonate bombs in American and British civilian targets, then blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood.
1962 – “In 1962 the US Joint Chiefs of Staff authored a document called Operation Northwoods calling for the US government to stage a series of fake attacks, including the shooting down of military or civilian US aircraft, the destruction of a US ship, sniper attacks in Washington, and other atrocities, to blame on the Cubans as an excuse for launching an invasion. President Kennedy refused to sign off on the plan and was killed in Dallas the next year.” [Source]
1964 – A U.S. destroyer patrolling the Gulf of Tonkin was attacked by torpedoes, ostensibly by the North Vietnamese, thereby causing President Johnson the authorization of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, thus beginning U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. It is now known that no attack actually occurred and that the NSA was involved in fabricating this event.
1967 – “In June 1967 the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty, a US Navy technical research ship, off the coast of Egypt. The ship was strafed relentlessly for hours in an apparent attempt to blame the attack on Egypt and draw the Americans into the Six Day War, but amazingly the crew managed to keep it afloat. In 2007 newly released NSA intercepts confirmed that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship, not an Egyptian ship as their cover story has maintained.” [Source]
2001 – The 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington were blamed on 19 Al Qaeda terrorists and immediately used the pretext for beginning the Global War on Terror, of which the political doctrine for this was already in place and in play. 15 years later, information about the true nature of the attacks is still surfacing, proving that the 9/11 Commission was a whitewash to help catalyze public support still ongoing wars which were planned prior to 9/11.
“Further, the process of transformation [of the military], even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.” –[Source]
Furthermore, other examples of historical significance demonstrate how minor or ambiguous events are seized on and deliberately used as propaganda to achieve the greater objective of drawing nations into war.
1904 – The sinking of the British ocean liner The Lusitania off the coast of Ireland, which was carrying tons of war materials from America, was blamed on German u-boats, leading to a severe diplomatic row which brought the United States into World War I. Speculation remains as to what exactly happened to the Lusitania, however, the official explanation is highly suspicious, and the event was used to achieve the objectives of war financiers to broaden the conflict.
1933 – A German parliamentary building in the Reichstag was set ablaze one month after Hitler’s election to the office of Chancellor. It is believed that three Bulgarian communists were to blame, however this is contentious among historians. The event was heavily propagandized by the Nazi party to galvanize support for war.
One can also include in this list an ever-growing growing handful of European and American domestic terror attacks such as the London bombings of 2005, and the Bataclan theatre massacre of Paris in 2015. To further expand on the historical precedent of using false flag attacks to propel agendas of state aggression, many instances of assassination and military intervention into the politics of sovereign nations around the world in order create consent for militarism could be included.
As the U.S. continues to aid and support ISIS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations in its ploy to overthrow the Assad government for the primary benefit of Israel, a false flag event signaling the beginning of a direct confrontation with Russia could come at any time. At present it looks as though the most likely scenario would be something along the lines of the USS Liberty attack, which would involve the deliberate targeting of our own forces while creating the perception of a Russian attack on U.S. or NATO components.
The situation in Syria is ripe for exactly this kind of covert, subversive tactic. There is historical precedence to suggest that a Syrian false flag event is imminent, therefore people the world over must prepare to resist and to survive this.
With more than 17 million hectares devoted to growing certified organic produce — more than any other nation — Australia is a “green food” economic powerhouse.
There’s big money being made in organic dairy, fruit, vegetables and processed foods. Australian organics exports more than doubled in value between 2012 and 2014, and the entire industry is worth more than $1.7 billion.
On the surface, it seems like the whole planet gains from this enterprise: organic farming, we assume, is better for consumer health, animals and the planet. As with many assumptions, this one deserves further scrutiny.
An industry report reveals most Australian organics consumers made the switch because they “became aware of the impact food, fibre or cosmetics may have on their health”. Indeed, 16 per cent bought organics “because of a health crisis”.
In this, Australians are not alone. An organic label makes us believe produce is healthier. Consumers in one study were given two sets of identical food items, with one falsely marked organic and one not. They declared the food they believed to be organic to be lower in calories and more nutritious, and were willing to pay 16 per cent to 23 per cent more.
Some may scoff at city-dwellers insisting on organic kale. Where’s the harm? But people often pay more with the expectation that organics will be better for them, and a substantial minority are motivated by genuine health concerns. Their expectations are wrong.
In 2012, Stanford University’s Centre for Health Policy did the biggest comparison of organic and conventional foods. The study found no robust evidence that organics were more nutritious. A new review by Italian researchers published in the journal Food Science & Technology summarises the state of knowledge: “Scientific studies do not show that organic products are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods.”
But health concerns are not the only motivator for Australian consumers. Thirty-seven per cent of organics consumers cite “improved animal welfare”. We have a mental image of organic farms as more caring. Surely the animals must be better off.
This is not the case. A five-year study on dairy farms by Oregon University showed organic “health outcomes (for cows) are similar to conventional dairies”. The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety found “no difference in objective disease occurrence”.
Organic pigs and poultry may enjoy better access to open areas, but this also increases their loads of parasites and pathogens, and vulnerability to predators.
In Denmark, conventionally raised piglets have a mortality rate of 25 per cent, but 33 per cent of organic piglets die; clearly organic is not better for the 8 per cent of extra dead piglets. And the organic regulation against feeding bee colonies with pollen supplements in low-pollen periods, along with regulations against proper disinfection, leads to lower bee welfare.
Many Australians, of course, buy organics out of concern for the planet. Sixty-eight per cent of consumers say it is “environmentally friendly”.
If we think of organics in terms of a field, this claim is true. The largest European study showed that for a single field, organic farming uses less energy, emits less greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide and ammonia, and causes less nitrogen leeching than a conventional field.
But there is a catch. Each organic field produces much, much less produce than a conventional field, and this is true for the developed and the developing world.
So, to produce the same amount of wheat, spinach or strawberries, you need much more land. That means organic produce results in the emission of as many greenhouse gases as conventional produce; and about 10 per cent more nitrous oxide, ammonia and acidification. It leads to 49 per cent more nitrogen leaching. And most damning: to produce equivalent quantities, organic farms need to occupy 84 per cent more land, land that cannot be used for forests or nature reserves.
If US agricultural production were entirely organic it would mean we would need to convert an area bigger than California entirely to farmland, the same as eradicating all parkland and wild lands in the lower 48 states.
But surely organics avoid pesticides? Well, this depends on your definition. Organic farming can use many pesticides, if they’re deemed natural. Australian organics industry marketing material sometimes refers to these as “natural biological and environmentally friendly inputs”.
Pyrethrin is one organic pesticide; it is extremely toxic to fish, highly toxic to bees, and the Journal of Pesticide Reform warns it is “associated with increased cancer risks among farmers”. Copper sulfate is another natural input that is highly toxic to fish, may be poisonous to sheep and chickens at normal application rates and resulted in liver disease in vineyard sprayers in France.
Conventional food, of course, has higher pesticide contamination. But it’s easy to over-estimate the risks. A rough upper estimate by the US Food and Drug Administration’s office of toxicology suggests all conventional pesticide residues may cause an extra 20 cancer deaths a year in America. In other words, deaths caused by pesticides are exceedingly rare; a similar number of deaths each year are the result of Americans being mauled by cows. Translated to here, pesticide residue likely kills fewer than two Australians a year.
Moreover, we should compare this to the impact of organics. The world’s largest study on the costs of ceasing to use pesticides took place in Denmark. This represents only part of the total cost of going organic (since that would also involve abandoning chemical fertiliser, which would be expensive). The total cost was estimated at 3 per cent of gross domestic product.
It’s likely the cost to Australia for a similar organics-only policy would be in the same ballpark, which would mean $50bn annually. That is billions less for schools, hospitals, roads and general welfare.
There’s a direct human toll. Research consistently shows that a reduction in national income means more deaths. People can afford less healthcare, don’t buy a new, safer car as often, and society spends less on safety and prevention.
When a nation becomes $20 million poorer annually, on average it will result in one additional premature death. Losing $50bn means more than 2500 additional, avoidable deaths in Australia, every year. And this is only the cost for going pesticide-free.
Organics is a rich world phenomenon, with 90 per cent of sales in North America and Europe. Despite a fivefold increase in sales on the past 15 years, just 1 per cent of global cropland is organic. That’s because almost half of humanity depends on food grown with synthetic fertilisers, prohibited by organics.
Norman Borlaug received the Nobel prize for leading the green revolution that gave food to the world’s poorest. He pointed out organic farming on a global scale would leave billions starving.
Unpick assumptions about organic food and what is left is the world’s wealthy spending more to feel good. While that is just as valid as spending it on holidays, we should resist any implied moral superiority.
Organics are not healthier or better for animals. Growing produce organically causes more nitrous oxide, ammonia, acidification, and nitrogen leaching. It takes up more land.
When we shop, we are rightly dubious of many advertising claims from big industry. Despite its great PR, organics is really no different. We should approach organic products with a healthy dose of scepticism.
Bjorn Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre.
Like all cults, climate alarmism will fail when its prophecies don’t materialise
Climate alarmism has become a massive and expensive global cult, but before we consider its religious aspects let’s look at the basic science.
Carbon, along with hydrogen and oxygen, is the basic building block of all life on Earth – it is not the “poison” it’s been made out to be.
Animals, including humans, emit CO2 and plants absorb it; this is the biological carbon cycle that underpins all life on Earth.
Atmospheric CO2 has increased due to human activity; this increase has greened the world and is the main reason the planet can support 7 billion of us.
CO2 does warm the atmosphere; but insignificantly, the effect is logarithmic and the infrared absorption bands in which CO2 fits are almost saturated.
In Earth’s deep past, CO2 has been ten times the present concentration and life thrived!
Earth’s climate changes continually and this is normal, with warmer being far better for life than colder; there is no such thing as a climate ‘steady state’.
The oceans are alkaline and are not acidifying, sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age and the effect of man-made CO2 on that process is immeasurably small.
All the alarming predictions are based on computer models that are woefully inadequate to address the complexities of the Earth’s climate systems.
Our sun is the single biggest threat to life on Earth and if it behaved like other similar stars it could wipe us out, literally, in a flash. It is what powers and directs our climate.
Now to the climate cult: the “climate scientists” are the self-appointed high priests; the “climate models” are the all-knowing deity; the “climate predictions” are the prophecies of doom; the “settled science” is the dogma and indisputable truth; “carbon pollution” is the devil and coal from under the ground is his demon army; “climate believers” are the congregation; “climate deniers” are the heretics and infidels; “emitting carbon” is the unavoidable sin for which all must repent.
This cult has followers throughout the media, governments and universities; it seeks to impose its views on all people everywhere; it makes fundamental mistakes with science; it makes alarming predictions for an unknowable future; it is abusive towards its critics; it refuses to debate its dogma; and it continually demands public money to underwrite its self-directed missions.
The cult’s high priests effectively control democratically-elected governments via inside influence and narrow electoral preference margins centred on the votes of its congregation, while the bulk of the population gets little say but are left to pay the bills.
Like all cults, climate alarmism will fail when its prophecies don’t materialise, but in the interim the cost to taxpayers and disruption to the ongoing evolution of our technological civilisation, (the only civilisation that has ever lifted people out of slavery), is immense.
Imagine being a pro-coal activist — or a climate sceptic, for that matter — and enjoying open access to Australia’s schools. Inconceivable, right? But if you’re pushing Oxfam’s green myths and downright lies, there is a welcome mat outside very nearly every classroom.
Officially-encouraged child abuse involves greens’ lobbyists brainwashing primary and secondary-school kids. A leading lobbyist is Oxfam Australia, gearing up for a renewed assault this month on our idealistic and gullible schoolchildren.
Oxfam this Term 4 is pushing “Hunger Banquets” for kids — “a fun, eye-opening (and mouth-watering!) interactive and experiential learning event centred on the issue of global hunger: and particularly food insecurity resulting from climate change.” Principals, teachers and their unions have put out the welcome mat for Oxfam’s zealots and their green-drenched propaganda.As Oxfam says, “The Hunger Banquets project is mapped to the Australian Curriculum (AC) cross-curricular priority of Sustainability. It is also accompanied by a whole heap of classroom resources, linked to AC Geography Yr 9, AC English Yrs 7-10, and AC Health.”
Oxfam Australia, the $110 million local arm of the global $A1.5 billion international charity behemoth, will “help you [teachers] bring social justice into the classroom.”
“Hunger Banquet money box: Download our moneybox template if you’re asking Hunger Banquet participants for a gold coin donation or raising money for Oxfam’s work in other ways. Handy tip: Sticking your printout onto a manila folder or old cereal box will make your moneybox more sturdy.”
It matters not that half our kids’ parents are conservative voters. There is no push-back from conservative politicians: parents have to suck it up. Moreover, Oxfam is hardly the sole green-left-socialist indoctrinator with entrée to classrooms. Come on in, Greenpeace, plus the Australian Conservation Foundation, Youth Climate Coalition, GetUp, teams of Al Gore’s indoctrinators, theAustralian Academy of Science, World Wildlife Fund, Cool Australia– each and every one promoting and cross-promoting students with activist urgings. I asked a Liberal Party tactician what the party could do about all the brainwashed future greens voters emerging from high schools, and he said he had no idea.
Oxfam also throws its weight behind the cross-gender-promoting and Marxist-inspired Safe Schools indoctrination, mandated in Victoria by CFMEUpuppet premier, Dan Andrews. Oxfam says,
We are proud to stand in solidarity with, and state our support for, Safe Schools Coalition Australia … as an ally in working towards a world that is more just, peaceful, harmonious and fair.”
No kid is too young to escape the Oxfam net. Oxfam wants to saturate schools at class-, year- and whole-of-school level, pegging “hunger banquets” in particular to World Food Day , October 16.Oxfam’s Hunger Banquets involve kids sorting themselves into high, medium and low-income groups, corresponding to global regions. Most kids get only a cup of rice and water for the lunch, but the small group of First Worlders win a tummy-filling three courses that includes Italian pasta. Point made. Except that the point is a bucketful of Oxfam bull faeces: “Hungry for a fair climate? Climate change is the single biggest threat in the global fight against hunger.”
The reality is that over the past 50 years of sharply rising CO2, the extra produce grown by farmers runs to roughly $US274 billion for wheat, $US182 billion for maize and $US579 billion for rice. The current value of the carbon dioxide fertilisation effect on all crops is about $140 billion a year. The proportion of yield increases due to CO2 increase is estimated at 51% for cotton, 15% for soybeans, 17% for wheat, and 9% for corn. (Goklany, p19).
Once kids are suitably conditioned by Oxfam’s heart-wrenching videos and dodgy “science”, the charity steers them towards directing email blitzes at local and senior politicians, plus us groupthink nostrums to “make this world hunger-free” and prevent governments and big businesses allowing climate change “to destroy the world we love”.
Email our political leaders telling them you’re looking for someone to step up and lead Australia on climate change.
Get local for climate action! Get your friends together and visit your local Federal MP to talk climate.
Join one of our local climate action teams.
Oxfam ramped up its anti-government campaigning among youngsters during the 2016 federal election campaign. Here’s a few Oxfamsamples:
“The Australian Government has been shirking responsibility and acting in the interests of the big dirty polluters.”
“Our government is still failing the climate leadership test.”
“But while the energy revolution gathers pace, the Australian Government remains stuck down the deep, dark coal mine of the past…Captured by an ailing coal industry and urged on by conservative commentators, our government has delivered a series of bizarre and misleading pronouncements about the future of coal.”
“Dirty polluting companies are causing climate change to worsen, poisoning our clean air, and threatening our food, water and health.”
“Tell the PM [Abbott at the time] to be the Australian leader we need. Demand he goes to New York and commits in person to the new UN ?#?Global Goals for Sustainable Development.”
Take Action also says, below a caricature of Abbott holding an umbrella against a cyclone, and alongside a political petition (sorry, another obsolete link):
“So far, the Abbott Government has absolutely failed the climate leadership test. Email our political leaders now. Tell them you’re searching for someone to step up and lead Australia on climate..
Tell them that Australians want a bold and visionary government that’s prepared to make the right choice. For everyone, not just for polluting vested interests. Take action now!”
Oxfam Australia spends about $4.5 million a year on pushing green political causes and other“public policy and education programs”, including $2 million for “community education”. This propaganda include shutting down Australia’s coal industry and keeping cheap electricity out of reach of the Third World’s poor. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade doled out $29 million in taxpayer funds to Oxfam Australia last year (30% of Oxfam’s revenue), apparently unaware of Oxfam’s mission to kill our $40 billion a year coal-export industry.
Oxfam International’s plan for 2013-19, integrating the 17 national bodies,tilts the charity’s humanitarian work even more towards political agitation:
“The proposed ‘worldwide influencing network’ aims to drive our shared agenda more powerfully within the broader global movement for change…. It marks a trend towards working more on influencing authorities and the powerful, and less on delivering the services for which duty-bearers are responsible.”
Oxfam’s tax-exempt charity status requires it to be politically non-partisan. Rabidly anti-conservative Greenpeace in Canada was defrocked of its tax-exempt status by the Tax Office in 1989, partly because its timber-mill closing campaigns could drive people into poverty.In New Zealand, the High Court in 2011 upheld Greenpeace’s 2010 loss of tax-exempt status, because of too great an involvement in politics and illegal activities, making charity work just a fringe activity. In the UK, Oxfam itself was warned by the Charities Commission about partisan political fusillades against the Conservative government’s austerity drive. UK law requires tax-exempt charities to “remain neutral and should consider working with other parties to help ensure public perceptions of neutrality”. One Tory MP added, “This judgement should make all charities think very carefully about how the use the very generous donations by people when they are in ‘campaign mode’, rather than ‘poverty alleviation mode’.”
As if Oxfam Australia would ever give equal time to representatives of Australia’s 50% conservative-voting public. Indeed, its urgings of kids and others to do green-oriented email blitzes of politicians in the federal election run-up was cut from the same cloth that “appalled” Tory MPs in Westminster.
Our Charities Commission guidelines for tax-exempt status have grey areas in terms of permissible activism. They say that “promoting or opposing a political party or a candidate for political office”cannot be charitable (my emphasis), but that charities can still distribute information or engage in debate about the policies of political parties or candidates, “where these activities must be ways of achieving their charitable purposes.” It also lists a string of motherhood-style legitimate purposes, such as health and environmentalism, but adds, “If your organisation has non-charitable purposes and these do not further its charitable purposes, your organisation is unlikely to be registered as a charity.” In the recent election’s run-up the charities commissioner further defined legitimate advocacy, in did so in ways that suggest, certainly to me, to me that Oxfam’s anti-government rhetoric is borderline illegitimate. Why not let the ATO decide?
India’s federal government of Narendra Modi a year ago deregistered Greenpeace’s 300-staff operation and froze its bank accounts, accusing Greenpeace of sabotaging India’s power development. The courts overturned the ban in an ongoing saga that includes Modi’s de-funding of 9000 other charities.
In Australia, Oxfam’s schools campaigning is financed largely by donations from citizens who imagine the priorities, and their financial gidfs, are prioritised at ending the world’s hunger and want. In fact, one in three Oxfam dollars leaks to fund-raising (20%) and administration (11%). At the top, CEO Helen Szoke was on a tax-concessioned $237,000 last year, significantly more than UK counterpart Mark Goldring ($A218,000 equivalent), who runs a six-times better-funded Oxfam organisation — $A700 million vs $A110m. (As a contrast to Oxfam Australia, the $US950 millionRotary Foundation charity has only an 3.5% admin costs and 7.3% fund-raising expenses, a leakage of only 11% from aid funds).
Apart from the government, our naïve banks and their staff have supported Oxfam only to get Oxfam’s smack in the face. ANZ for example put in $180,000 in 2012. Westpac in the three years to 2012 was a massive Oxfam donor, including $250,000 in 2011 for Pakistan flood relief. Soon after, Oxfam was accusing them of “backing companies that are kicking people off their land, destroying lives and leaving people homeless and hungry.”  The banks by now may have learnt not to finance their political foes.
Oxfam knows the world’s poor need more coal-fired electricity. As Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan put it this week, coal is a critical energy source for developing countries that want to lift their people out of poverty: “If [Third Worlders] decide that the best way to improve the lives of their people is to build coal-fired power stations and provide cheap electricity, I don’t think we’re in a position to deny them that right.”
“Poorer developing countries …will inevitably have to move [develop] more slowly, especially as fossil fuels can play an important role in immediate social and economic needs…Rich nations should support them with public funds.” (My emphasis).
Curiously, Oxfam Australia board member Ann Byrne is a member of the Compliance Committee of BlackRock Investment Management Australia Ltd. The US parent, according to The Guardian a year ago, led the list of asset management companies investing in top-50 listed coal companies ($US24.6 billion worth). BlackRock’s strategy was to go contrarian and invest in “beaten- up natural resources equities as a hedge if US dollar strength fades.” A naughty interpretation is that the green alliance (including Oxfam) beats down the coal industry. Meanwhile, BlackRock invests to cash in on the low coal prices.
Oxfam actually thinks stopping climate change, i.e. global warming, is the world’s number one priority for ending global hunger (much as President Obama thinks climate change is higher priority than ISIS terror. ). Mains electricity, clean water and disease control, fertilizer, education, cheap two-way freight, land and investment security, open markets, women’s equality, freedom from official corruption — these are also-rans in the Oxfam narrative.
Of course, boosting food production requires the expansion of cheap coal-based electric power. Oxfam instead proffers costly and unreliable solar and wind. These power sources have alreadydemonstrated their ability to wreck the South Australian economy, let alone the prospects of third-world peasants in grass huts.
Oxfam’s agenda is a 65% cut in Australian emissions below 2000 levels by 2030, and an economy-bankrupting zero-emissions target (including a 90% coal cut) well before 2050. Australia, Oxfam tells kids, must hand over $1.6 billion a year to Third World kleptocrats and UN corruptocrats as part of the first world’s $100 billion-a-year compensation for our past climatic vandalism.
Believe Oxfam and global warming is already devastating the land. “The warning bells are deafening. Take action now!” Oxfam says. “Smaller harvests mean farmers can’t feed their families or make a living. Even in Australia, climate change has affected the large-scale production of crops like wheat.” Pardon me, Oxfam, but don’t make stuff up. Australian wheat tonnages in the past decade have been around 24 million tonnes a year, far above the average of 1960-2000. (In the 1960s output was only 7-12 million tonnes).
“Climate change is already taking a heavy toll on poorer communities around the world,” says Oxfam, oddly since global warming has involved a mere 0.8degC in the past 100 years, a wholly beneficial emergence from the previous Little Ice Age to 1850. Global fertilisation by increased CO2 has boosted plant growth by an area equal to twice continental USA, greening the deserts, according to new satellite recordings.
“What we can see here is the massive impact of climate change, erosion of sea into what was once land, the impact of the cyclone on areas of this village that are still to be cleared. Why should Vanuatans have to bear the brunt of climate change? Let’s do something and actually make a difference so climate change doesn’t continue to keep people in poverty and ruin their beautiful communities.”
The tide gauge at Port Vila has data for only 21 years, and this shows 25mm of sea rise, or a totally unalarming rate of 12cm (5 inches) per century, less than, say, Fremantle 1897-2010 (15.4cm or 6in). Szoke is making stuff up about these so-called “drowning islands”.
I happened to be off a tourist boat in Vanuatu two year ago, pre-Cyclone Pam, and villagers showed us how, for generations, they have sheltered from similar cyclones inside the base of giant trees.
Similarly, Szoke denies the IPCC science that global warming does not cause extreme weather. The IPCC’s 2012 special report said warming may actually reduce extreme weather in the next 20-30 years.
But Oxfam propaganda runs:
It’s not just the average temperature that is rising. [Satellites show insignificant atmospheric warming for almost two decades, and last year’s El Nino warm spike is reversing with startling rapidity]. With more heat and energy in the atmosphere and oceans, our weather is becoming more extreme and unpredictable. [As if weather was ever predictable, and extreme weather such as US land-falling cyclones have been on a decade-long low trend].
As leading satellite-monitoring scientist Dr Roy Spencer puts it, “There are no obvious changes in global hurricane activity, heat waves, or droughts, and no decrease in snow cover.” 
Oxfam shamelessly shoves at kids its music-enhanced videos of naïve Third World peasants parroting catastrophism. The kids feel the outrage, just as intended. For example, Oxfam quotes a struggling South African woman plot-tiller, a certain Yvette Abrahams, to push the worst-case IPCC scenario, which in her case will allegedly mean her tribal lands will get 4-6 degrees hotter. (The IPCC was actually talking year 2100).
“My family is meeting to discuss moving. We cannot stay… there will be nothing to feed our livestock soon. So the little [land] that we have managed to preserve through slavery, genocide, colonialism and apartheid, we are about to lose to climate change.”
Oxfam bleats that climate change will starve an extra 50 million people in 2050, with rising seas flooding another one billion. In 2009 Oxfam was fibbing to Melburnians via billboards near Flinders Street Station that climate change was creating 50 million climate refugees. By mid-2016 the actual claimants to official climate refugee status total one – Mr Ioane Teitiota from Kiribati, whose claims were debunked by the NZ courts and who was later exposed for domestic violence and assaults.
I have no problem with snake-oil vendors revving up teenagers outside of school gates. That’s democracy. But allowing them to proselytise uncontradicted from state classroom podiums is a travesty of education. Would reps from the Coal Association or the Institute of Public Affairs be equally welcome to harangue primary grades? (That’s a rhetorical question). Some say the horse has already bolted. As one blogger wrote to JoNova last year:
“I am somewhat despairing about what my grandchildren are reporting from school. Their talk is all about the horrors of European and English culture, about how we are destroying the earth through the climate and CO2, how we are to blame and it’s all about white privilege. When I attempt to counter some of it I get a disdainful, “the teachers wouldn’t be allowed to teach it if it wasn’t true.”
Kids might be more suspicious if they realised that teacher inflows now include the barely-literate and barely-numerate dregs of the tertiary cohorts. Of students with below-50 ATAR tertiary-admissions ranking and entering primary and secondary education degrees, the proportion has almost doubled from 7.3% in 2013 to 14.3% in 2016. The Australian Council for Educational Research, blaming cash-cow-seeking university policies, says almost everyone who applies finds a place in a teacher education program.
Some rationalists despair that a mix of pro-and-con lobbyists to schools is now feasible. Instead, children should be taught logic, scientific method and the ability to see through propaganda from all areas of the spectrum. Given teacher standards, this may be whistling in the wind.
Hat-tips: Dennis Ambler, John McLean for help. My previous pieces on Oxfam are here, here andhere.
Tony Thomas’s new book That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available from Connor Court
 Email to local registrants, Looking for an engaging simulation activity? 25/7/16.
 The other two cross-curriculum Trojan horses for Left propaganda are “Indigenes” and “Asia”.
 The 2013-14 Oxfam Australia annual report says more than 20,000 teachers used Oxfam resources to teach 100,000 students. And more than 6800 students in high schools and universities took part in 40 Oxfam workshops to help them become discussion leaders among their peers.
 These “hunger banquets” date back to Hollywood in 1991, when Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Gibson, Desmond Tutu et al skipped a meal.
 Revenue Canada’s charities division says that the Greenpeace Environmental Foundation can’t be considered a charity because its activities “have no public benefit.”
 Oxfam UK had close personnel links with high-ranking Labor figures. The tragically murdered Labor MP Jo Cox was earlier an Oxfam head of policy.
 Oxfam’s third-party fund-raisers cream off 90% or so from the first year of someone’s annual public donation.
 The Youth Climate Coalition smacked down its big-bank donors by campaigning against them on behalf of Bendigo Bank, which doesn’t lend to coal producers.
 Oxfam’s GROW campaign “identifies limiting climate change as the world’s number one priority if we are to end global hunger.”
 Szoke was previously Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner
 “ Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain. For projected changes by the end of the 21st century, either model uncertainty or uncertainties associated with emissions scenarios used becomes dominant, depending on the extreme.” P22-23
 A Guide to Understanding Global Temperature Data, July 2016. P21
 Oxfam Australia also claimed in 2009 that climate crises would harm 375m people by 2015, “threatening to overwhelm the world’s ability to respond”. Anyone notices these 375m?
“The UK not being part of the negotiating mix means there is likely to be less pressure for ambitious targets and ensuring that the EU delivers on its Paris agreement commitments,” says Martin Nesbit, a policy expert at the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London.
But don’t relax, the Clexit movement is needed more than ever
Czech President Dr. Václav Klaus recognises this, and he Monckton, Morano, I and many others from 60 countries have joined the new Clexit movement started by Viv Forbes. Check it out. Brexit gave us a big advantage but we must press it home.
There are lots of reasons Paris may still succeed
The Paris agreement may appear to be struggling with just 22 tin-pot countries (sorry Norway) and 1% of man-made emissions signed up, but watch the pea. We all know if the emissions cuts were supposed to be same for every nation it would never get off the ground, but like the Paris UN convention, it’s all theater – the signing of the “agreement” was just for show. And many ratifications can be too. Not for the West, but for countries like India, China, or Russia — they can ratify their weak promises to do almost nothing. If they do, they will bring their 4%, 20% and 7% of human emissions under the Paris agreement umbrella which will cost those countries little, but be a major PR victory for the UN. It would inflict real pain on the Western nations stupid enough to sign and ratify, but most of the rest of the world would be agreeing to nothing much, and benefiting from competing with a hobbled West. Let’s shut down a few more factories in Birmingham, Adelaide or Austin.
China, India and Russia want to be bought off by the UN. View their protests now as a part of their negotiating ploys to wring more Pork. Few developing countries face much electoral backlash, and all of them have something to gain from the Climate Gravy Train. China, especially, has been getting rich on carbon credits for dams it was going to build, and factories that it made dirty just to get the credits for cleaning up. And there are other non-climate playing cards that any of these countries could be bought off for — consider India, which says it will delay signing the deal, but really wants to get membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) saying: “An early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed us to move forward on the Paris Agreement.”
In other words with a big pot of UN pork up for grabs, the thing stopping the “ratification” of expensive energy and the collective hair-shirt of The West are western voters, specifically, US voters. If Hillary wins the only thing stopping the agreement will be the US congress.
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 elite continue to trample on democracy?
This is the most cynical, politically motivated crime panic in memory.
Has there ever been a crime panic as flimsy, as see-through, as explicitly designed to make political mileage as the post-Brexit hate-crime hysteria? Too many people are nodding along to this nonsense, accepting as hard fact every doom-tinged utterance from the police and evidence-lite statement from the Home Office. They repeat and tweet every claim from officialdom about ‘soaring hatred’ since the 23 June referendum, and hold it up as proof that the vote to leave the EU unleashed the latent xenophobia and even homophobia of Them: those sections of society that are Eurosceptical and therefore evil. Enough. This is a moral panic, plain and simple: a naked example of the kind of ‘crime construction’ by the powers-that-be that liberals and leftists might once have critiqued, back when they were more questioning.
The hate-crime hysteria doesn’t stand up to even the mildest scrutiny. This week, the gay-rights group Galop caused global waves when it claimed homophobic hate crime rose by 147 per cent in the three months after the referendum, due to the ‘toxicity fostered by the EU referendum debate’. How does that work, then? There was no anti-gay sentiment in the Leave campaign. None of the arguments for leaving the EU was related to homosexuality. Yet we’re expected to believe that, somehow, a discussion about the future of a Brussels-based institution led to people thinking: ‘Bloody gays. Let’s get them.’ Who’s buying this?
If you’re buying it, hopefully a glance at Galop’s laughably unsubstantiated report will make you think again. The report claims 2.1million gay people in the UK have experienced hate crime, and many such crimes happened in the three months after Brexit. But these ‘facts’ are based, not on court cases or police investigations or images of bruised bodies, but on one online survey of 467 LGBT people. This survey was distributed through ‘community networks’ of ‘LGBT activists, individuals and professionals’. It asked the 467 self-selected LGBT people if they had ever experienced any kind of hatred relating to their identity. Around 80 per cent said yes. Working from the assumption that there are 2.7million LGBT people in the UK – and, as Galop admits, this is a big assumption, since ‘there are no census figures about LGBT communities’ – Galop extrapolated from the responses of these 467 individuals to say that 800,000 gay men, 500,000 bisexual people, 400,000 trans people and 400,000 lesbians have been the victim of hate crime, with a spike in such crimes after Brexit. I’m going to put my neck on the line and say this is not good science. What we have here are unproven claims, made in surveys distributed by ‘community networks’ that might, just might, have a vested interest in bigging-up the victim status of the gay community; and these unproven claims are then projected on to a gay population at large whose numbers are unknown in order to tell a story about mass hatred for homosexuals that simply isn’t visible in daily life. This isn’t science; it’s hocus pocus.
Yet much of the Remainer lobby bought into this mystical Brexit spike in homophobic crimes, just as they have uncritically accepted every claim of a post-Brexit hate-crime rampage. For months now, politicians and the media have been telling us that Brexit unleashed an ‘epidemic’ of violent spite. Media Remainers latch on to every police statement about spiralling hate crimes as proof that leaving the EU is a disaster, and Britain has overnight turned into a cesspit of backward thinking. Their cloying, uncritical faith in the cops and their figures is touching, but it’s misplaced.
Yesterday, the Home Office issued its annual report on hate crimes. It says there was a ‘sharp increase’ in hate crime after the referendum. In July there were 5,468 hate crimes – 41 per cent higher than the number of hate crimes in July last year. But again, we need scepticism – a lot of it. These 5,468 alleged incidents – I know it’s evil to use the word ‘alleged’ these days, but some of us still believe in due process – have not been investigated, far less tried in a court of law, and therefore there is no hard proof of what happened or whether it happened. This is because these ‘crimes’ (the police and Home Office have given up on the word ‘allegations’) are simply things that have been told to the police, often through their phone or email hotlines. And then the police instantly – instantly – record them as hate crimes, with no need for questioning or investigation of any kind. Every single person who phones a hate-crime hotline is believed. Again, this isn’t science.
For a flavour of how flabby the definition and recording of ‘hate crimes’ has become, consider this stipulation from the Operational Guidance for police forces dealing with such crimes: ‘For recording purposes, the perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident… The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident.’ Got that? In order for an alleged incident to be recorded as a hate crime – that is, for a phoned-in claim to become a hard fact – the victim or any other person simply has to say it was a hate crime and the cops will not challenge them for evidence. Remainers constantly decry the Leave lobby’s ‘post-truth politics’, yet they embrace an explicitly anti-evidence method for crime recording, buying into the hate-crime hysteria despite the fact that hate-crime recording, unlike any other crime, is based entirely on subjective feeling.
There’s something almost pre-modern in this instant belief in alleged victims, in this magical transformation of story into fact. Indeed, it brings to mind the cry of John Proctor in The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem witch trials: ‘Is the accuser holy now?’ In the world of hate crime, yes, the accuser is holy. His claim, his word, is sacrosanct; no one may question it. Politics doesn’t get much more post-reality than this.
The alleged post-Brexit spike in hate crime is likely to be down to both this highly relativistic recording of such crimes and also to officialdom’s active trawling for such crimes. Various wings of the authorities went looking for hate after the referendum. From the widespread Twitter-sharing of the police’s hate-crime hotline to the Mayor of London’s special webpage imploring people to phone or email about ‘hate crimes following the referendum result’ (my italics), the authorities were desperate to get more people phoning, because every single phone call is instantly a hate crime and this bolsters their general belief that Brexit has caused instability. They didn’t neutrally, scientifically observe a hate-crime epidemic; they were convinced one was taking place and they set out to prove that. They proved their own theory. They found what they wanted to find.
The true story here is not that Britain became more hateful post-referendum, but that officialdom, aided by spectacularly uncritical commentators, has developed new ways of cynically constructing crime epidemics. And to what end? To the explicitly political end of demonising the choice made by voters in the referendum and depicting Britain outside of the EU as a dangerous place in which old and ugly views have been emboldened. Rarely has the political motivation behind spreading a crime panic been so obvious, so shrill, as this.
And yet no one on the left or in liberal academia is criticising this madness. This is an extraordinary turnaround. In the 1970s and 1980s, left-leaning sociologists and criminologists devoted much intellectual energy to exposing crime and moral panics. The titles of their books and papers say it all: ‘Panic: The Social Construction of the Street Gang Problem’, ‘Juvenile Crime and the Construction of a Moral Panic’, ‘Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance’. They recognised that the authorities’ handwringing over certain kinds of crime – football hooligans, black muggers, glue sniffers – was often fuelled more by fear than facts. And they argued that such panics were often deployed for explicitly political purposes, to demonise a ‘deviant’ section of society and make the case for the introduction of more authoritarian measures. That so many nominal leftists and liberals are not only buying into the Brexit hate-crime hysteria but are actively promoting it confirms the extent to which this political group has abandoned its scepticism of authority, and is now little more than an unofficial arm of the status quo.
There’s a grim irony. Media Remainers accuse Leavers of being authoritarian populists, longing for more social control, driven by a fear of the Other. Yet the hate-crime hysteria suggests this is more true of Remainers. Indeed, the term ‘authoritarian populism’, coined by left-wing theorist Stuart Hall in the 1980s, was originally used to describe those who pushed crime panics as a means of allowing officialdom to problematise sections of society and police society at large. ‘Authoritarian populism’ was never a very useful phrase, speaking as it did to the 1980s left’s wrongheaded, anti-democratic conviction that the authoritarian impulse emanated from below, from the populace, rather than from the political elite. But today it is better applied to influential Remainers than ordinary Leavers, since it is they who spread crime panic; who ‘Other’ whole swathes of society (dumb, hateful anti-EU whites); and who implicitly invite more authoritarian policing and censorship to deal with their utterly invented tsunami of hate. Post-truth, fact-lite, fearful authoritarian – know thyself.
Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked.
90 Days Later: Still No Signs Of Brexit ‘Doom & Gloom’
The two charts tracked are the GBP/EUR and the FTSE 100. The former is the price of the British pound in terms of euros, and the latter is a major stock index that includes the largest companies listed in London, such as Barclays, Glencore, HSBC, Royal Dutch Shell, or Sainsbury’s.
As expected, both markets have seen some action in the aftermath of the vote to leave. The pound has depreciated in terms of euros, but it is still higher now than it was from 2009-2011 in the post-crisis period. Against the ultra-strong USD, the pound is at decade-lows – but many other currencies are in similar territory as well.
The FTSE 100 is another story. It’s relatively close to all-time highs – and even despite the fears of a potential collapse of Deutsche Bank, it’s climbed over 12% since the initial Brexit slump.
In both cases, the action was partly underscored by the Bank of England, which announced a new stimulus program (QE) after its August meeting, while cutting rates from 0.5% to 0.25%.
While there’s been movement in the currency and equity markets, other economic indicators have been status quo or better for the UK so far.
Retail sales beat in July and August, and unemployment remains at 11-year lows. Purchasing manager indices dropped temporarily, but jumped back up.
The economists that predicted that the sky was falling? They’ve been forced to revise growth expectations back up, at least on a short-term basis. It’s been dubbed the “Brexit Bounce” by The Spectator, a conservative magazine based in London.
While there is likely still going to be some long-term fallout from the Brexit decision, many “experts” blew it on this one.
Will Brexit survive this dismaying contempt for voters?
Remember Brexit? It is exactly two months since 17.4million people voted for the UK to leave the European Union – far more than have ever voted for anything before in British political history. And never before have so many voices been effectively silenced so quickly by so few.
In those two months since the 23 June referendum, it seems that nothing has really happened to implement the will of 52 per cent of those who voted. Yet a lot has been said and done to defy the result and try to deny that it ever happened.
The Europhile, demosphobic political and media elites have done their worst to declare the vote null and void. The High Court has been asked to rule against the government implementing Brexit by triggering Article 50, while over 1,000 top lawyers have signed a petition insisting that the referendum was only ‘advisory’, and that parliament must vote on (ie against) Brexit. They offer this (entirely misleading) legal advice free out of the goodness of their hearts because, in the noble words of Philip Kolvin QC, ‘In times of crisis people often turn to lawyers to ask them how we should behave in society’. Of course we do.
Meanwhile back in parliament, a cross-party clique of MPs – including Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith – has been manoeuvring for a second referendum to reverse the first one, while in the House of Lords unelected peers led by Tory Baroness Wheatcroft have been plotting to block Brexit by the backdoor.
Against this background, new Conservative prime minister Theresa May’s assurance that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ might make her sound like a principled democrat. Yet May’s words mean nothing, since she refuses to do the only thing that would make Brexit mean anything – trigger Article 50 and fulfil the pledge, spelled out in its pre-referendum propaganda, that ‘the government will implement what you decide’ (no mention of ‘advisory’ there).
All that prime minister May – a ‘Remain’ campaigner, of course – has promised is to begin the process by the time of the next General Election, due in a mere four years’ time. Meanwhile, the Remainer Guardian gleefully reports that ‘leaving the EU may not happen any time soon given that civil servants charged with the task don’t yet have an office and hold meetings in Starbucks’. As the Remainers-at-heart running the government seek to eke that cup of coffee out as long as possible, speculation has already begun as to whether they ever intend to press the button on Article 50.
We are now faced with what looks increasingly like a very British bloodless coup against the democratic vote for Brexit.
Leave voters have been not so much sold out as rubbed out, their clear, pencilled-in crosses on the ballot paper erased from the political debate. Yet to judge by UK media coverage this week, you might imagine that only three of those 17.4million voters are seriously concerned about the lack of progress towards Brexit. And worse, that those three are Iain Duncan Smith, Norman Tebbit and Katie Hopkins – a motley crew whom few might trust to steer the ship through stormy political waters towards Brexit.
In the Daily Telegraph, former Thatcherite hardcase Lord Tebbit observed this week that ‘The vast forces of the anti-Brexit elite are already reforming’. Over in the Mail, professional loudmouth Katie Hopkins complained that ‘Article 50 is about as triggered as a student in a Safe Space… We are in a state of paralysis… Thrombosis is setting in.’ While in the Sun on Sunday, former Tory leader and recently resigned cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith warned against the attempt by influential forces ‘to turn this referendum result into a “neverendum”’.
These signs of dissent in Tory ranks might be dismissed as the grumblings of a few fringe reactionaries. But there are good reasons why those of us who usually have little in common with the likes of Tebbit, Hopkins and IDS need to try to break the ‘neverendum’ impasse. Because the ongoing bloodless coup against Brexit puts more at stake than the UK’s relations with the EU. The future state of British democracy itself is on the line.
The referendum vote for Leave represented a mighty rebuff to the British political class and its international allies. A majority of UK voters showed that they would not be told what was good for them, or frightened into doing as they were told, despite the desperate fear-mongering efforts of the leaders of every mainstream political party, the governor of the Bank of England, the chancellor of Germany, the president of the United States, Old Euro-Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
Leave voters seized a rare opportunity to make their voices heard and bring popular democracy to life. Some of us on the left were delighted with that result. Many others were, and remain, bitter about it. But, either way, we should recognise that there are now even bigger issues at stake, as the political class seeks to rewrite recent history and ride roughshod over the express wishes of the majority.
The supposedly liberal champions of Remain, who feel far more comfortable dealing with suave Eurocrats and judges than vulgar British voters, have seemed least able to disguise their contempt for democracy in the aftermath of the referendum. Their attitude was captured by the self-styled leading humanist-scientist Professor Richard Dawkins, who soon after the result revealed his true feelings about that 52 per cent of humanity as ‘stupid, ignorant people’, protesting that ‘it is unfair to thrust on to unqualified simpletons the responsibility to take historic decisions of great complexity and sophistication’.
Anybody tempted to dismiss this sort of thing as mere hissy fits in the immediate aftermath of a heated battle might note the Guardian’s new official anti-Brexit t-shirt, bearing the slogan ‘Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups’. They wear their demosphobia with pride.
This shrill culture war against the masses risks lending the appearance of liberal legitimacy to the elite’s bloodless coup. If they succeed, the result will not only be to derail Brexit from the undemocratic shadow of the EU. It could also empty democracy of any remaining meaning in the UK.
To make a difference, democracy must be more than a fine word to which we all pay obligatory lip service. Like its close ally freedom of speech, if democracy is to have any meaning it has to be brought alive by people who feel that they have a political choice and that their voice matters. The referendum result was a rare moment when that happened in recent UK politics. If we allow it to be trashed now, disillusionment with democracy can only get worse.
No doubt there are some understandable qualms about finding ourselves on broadly the same side as a Lord Tebbit or an IDS in demanding the will of the majority be done (although even these principled Tories favour delaying Article 50 in practice). But we should recall that greater democracy has always been a key demand of the British left, from the Levellers through the Chartists to Tony Benn. That was why Benn, hero of the Labour left, was always against the EU; and why, in the 1975 referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community, he campaigned for a ‘No’ vote despite finding himself on the same side as arch-right-winger Enoch ‘rivers of blood’ Powell.
Another left-wing veteran who always opposed EU membership was, of course, Jeremy Corbyn – until he became Labour leader, bowed to the pressure to conform, and became a ‘reluctant Remainer’ for the duration of the referendum campaign. Corbyn has since apparently rediscovered his principles and (quietly) demanded that Article 50 be triggered at once. Those who want to see the Labour leadership campaign make a difference in political life could press him to make that stand a central plank of his platform.
As our moribund political order appeared to be unraveling in the wake of the referendum result, there was much astounded talk along the lines of ‘Never mind a week – 15 minutes is now a long time in politics!’. Two months on, it is time to take a stand against those who are trying to stop the political clocks.
Nick Giambruno: Doug, you predicted the fall of the European Union a few years ago. What has changed since then?
DougCasey: Well, what’s changed is that the entire situation has gotten much worse. The inevitable has now become the imminent.
The European Union evolved, devolved actually, from basically a free trade pact among a few countries to a giant, dysfunctional, overreaching bureaucracy. Free trade is an excellent idea. However, you don’t need to legislate free trade; that’s almost a contradiction in terms. A free trade pact between different governments is unnecessary for free trade. An individual country interested in prosperity and freedom only needs to eliminate all import and export duties, and all import and export quotas. When a country has duties or quotas, it’s essentially putting itself under embargo, shooting its economy in the foot. Businesses should trade with whoever they want for their own advantage.
But that wasn’t the way the Europeans did it. The Eurocrats, instead, created a treaty the size of a New York telephone book, regulating everything. This is the problem with the European Union. They say it is about free trade, but really it’s about somebody’s arbitrary idea of “fair trade,” which amounts to regulating everything. In addition to its disastrous economic consequences, it creates misunderstandings and confusion in the mind of the average person. Brussels has become another layer of bureaucracy on top of all the national layers and local layers for the average European to deal with.
The European Union in Brussels is composed of a class of bureaucrats that are extremely well paid, have tremendous benefits, and have their own self-referencing little culture. They’re exactly the same kind of people that live within the Washington, D.C. beltway.
The EU was built upon a foundation of sand, doomed to failure from the very start. The idea was ill-fated because the Swedes and the Sicilians are as different from each other as the Poles and the Irish. There are linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and big differences in the standard of living. Artificial political constructs never last. The EU is great for the “elites” in Brussels; not so much for the average citizen.
Meanwhile, there’s a centrifugal force even within these European countries. In Spain, the Basques and the Catalans want to split off, and in the UK, the Scots want to make the United Kingdom quite a bit less united. You’ve got to remember that before Garibaldi, Italy was scores of little dukedoms and principalities that all spoke their own variations of the Italian language. And the same was true in what’s now Germany before Bismarck in 1871.
In Italy 89% of the Venetians voted to separate a couple of years ago. The Italian South Tyrol region, where 70% of the people speak German, has a strong independence movement. There are movements in Corsica and a half dozen other departments in France. Even in Belgium, the home of the EU, the chances are excellent that Flanders will separate at some point.
The chances are better in the future that the remaining countries in Europe are going to fall apart as opposed to being compressed together artificially.
And from strictly a philosophical point of view, the ideal should not be one world government, which the “elite” would prefer, but about seven billion small individual governments. That would be much better from the point of view of freedom and prosperity.
Nick Giambruno: How does the recent Brexit vote affect the future of the European Union?
Doug Casey: Well, it’s the beginning of the end. The inevitable has now become the imminent. Britain has always been perhaps the most different culture of all of those in the European Union. They entered reluctantly and late, and never seriously considered losing the pound for the euro.
You’re going to see other countries leaving the EU. The next one might be Italy. All of the Italian banks are truly and totally bankrupt at this point. Who’s going to kiss that and make it better? Is the rest of the European Union going to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to make the average Italian depositor well again? I don’t think so. There’s an excellent chance that Italy is going to get rid of the euro and leave the EU.
Nick Giambruno: Why should Americans care about this?
DougCasey: Well, just as the breakup of the Soviet Union had a good effect for both the world at large and for Americans, the breakup of the EU should be viewed in the same light. Freeing an economy anywhere increases prosperity and opportunity everywhere. And it sets a good example. So Americans ought to look forward to the breakup of the EU almost as much as the Europeans themselves. Unfortunately, most Americans are quite insular. And Europeans are so used to socialism that they have even less grasp of economics than Americans. But it’s going to happen anyway.
Nick Giambruno: What are some investment implications?
DougCasey: Initially there’s going to be some chaos, and some inconvenience. Conventional investors don’t like wild markets, but turbulence is actually a good thing from the point of view of a speculator. It’s a question of your psychological attitude. Understanding psychology is as important as economics. They’re the two things that make the markets what they are. Volatility is actually your friend in the investment world.
People are naturally afraid of upsets. They’re afraid of any kind of a crisis. This is natural. But it’s only during a crisis that you can get a real bargain. You have to look at the bright side and take a different attitude than most people have.
Nick Giambruno: If you position yourself on the right side of this thing, do you think you’ll be able to make some big profits on the collapse of the EU?
DougCasey: Yes. Once the EU falls apart, there are going to be huge investment opportunities. People forget how cheap markets can become. I remember in the mid 1980s, there were three markets in the world in particular I was very interested in: Hong Kong, Belgium, and Spain. All three of those markets had similar characteristics. You could buy stocks in those markets for about half of book value, about three or four times earnings, and average dividend yields of their indices were 12–15%—individual stocks were sometimes much more—and of course since then, those dividends have gone way up. The stock prices have soared.
So I expect that that’s going to happen in the future. In one, several, many, or most of the world’s approximately 40 investable markets. Right now, however, we’re involved in a worldwide bubble in equities. It can go the opposite direction. People forget how cheap stocks can get.
I think we’re headed into very bad times. Chances are excellent you’re going to see tremendous bargains. People are chasing after stocks right now with 1% dividend yields and 30 times earnings, and they want to buy them. At some point in the future these stocks are going to be selling for three times earnings and they’re going to be yielding five, maybe ten percent in dividends. But at that point most people will be afraid to buy them. In fact, they won’t even want to know they exist at that point.
I’m not a believer in market timing. But, that said, I think it makes sense to hold fire when the market is anomalously high.
The chaos that’s building up right now in Europe can be a good thing—if you’re well positioned. You don’t want to go down with the sinking Titanic. You want to survive so you can get on the next boat taking you to a tropical paradise. But right now you’re entering the stormy North Atlantic.
A few months after the stunning Brexit vote, there’s even more turmoil ahead for the European Union… with potentially severe consequences in the currency and stock markets.
Doug Casey and his team just released a new video that reveals how a financial shock far greater than 2008 could strike America on December 4, 2016, as Italian voters decide the fate of the European Union itself. Click here to watch it now.
How the financial troika destroyed Greece’ economy
James Galbraith’s articles and interviews collected in his book Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice trace his growing exasperation at the “troika” – the European Central Bank (ECB), IMF and EU bureaucracy – which refused to loosen their demand that Greece impoverish its economy to a degree worse than the Great Depression. The fight against Greece was, in a nutshell, a rejection of parliamentary democracy after the incoming Syriza coalition of left-wing parties won election in January 2015 on a platform of resisting austerity and privatization.
The world has seen the result: In contrast to the support given to countries with right-wing regimes, the ECB and IMF tightened their financial screws on Greece. The incoming finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis – who had been Galbraith’s faculty colleague at Austin, Texas – asked Galbraith to join him in February to help develop an alternative to the austerity being demanded. They were optimistic that reason would prevail: an awareness that the creditors’ program of “cutting wages and income without providing any relief from private debts (such as fixed mortgages) merely deepens debt burdens and forces people into bankruptcy and foreclosure.”
This book reflects Galbraith’s disappointment at how matters turned out so disastrously. In early June, a month before the July 5 referendum in which Greek voters rejected ECB-IMF demands by a heavy 61.5 percent, he thought that the government would fall if it capitulated. “So this option is not a high probability.” But that is just what did happen. Tsipras surrendered, prompting Varoufakis to resign the next day, on July 6.
A week earlier Galbraith had spelled out what seemed to be the inherent logic of the situation: Tsipras “could not yield to the conditions being demanded. So then the onus will be back on the creditors, and if they choose to destroy a European country, the crime will be on their hands to all to see.”
Tsipras did yield, and the Greece’s economy was destroyed by the Eurozone getting its way and imposing insolvency within the euro, not by forcing it out of the euro and leaving it bankrupt resorting to anti-Cuba or anti-Iran-type sanctions. Galbraith’s book presents the prosecutor’s case for what ensued. By May 3, he wrote to Varoufakis that he found “no prospect for development inside the current economic structures of the Eurozone.”
The essays in this book present Greece’s experience as an object lesson for other countries seeking to free themselves from right-wing financial control. The IMF and ECB do not even consider their destruction of Greece’s economy to be a failure. They continue to impose an austerity doctrine that was shown to be fallacious already in the 1920s.
The EU Constitution imposes debt deflation and austerity
Galbraith expressed his “epiphany” already in 2010 that a “market-based” solution was a euphemism for anti-labor austerity and a reversal of political democracy. “In a successful financial system, there must be a state larger than any market. That state must have monetary control – as the Federal Reserve does, without question, in the Untied States.” That was what many Europeans a generation ago expected – for the EU to sponsor a mixed public/private economy in the progressive 20th-century tradition. But instead of an emerging “European superstate” run by elected representatives empowered to promote economic recovery and growth by writing down debts in order to revive employment, the Eurozone is being run by the troika on behalf of bondholders and banks. ECB and EU technocrats are serving these creditor interests, not those of the increasingly indebted population, business and governments. The only real integration has been financial, empowering the ECB to override national sovereignty to dictate public spending and tax policy. And what they dictate is austerity and economic shrinkage.
In addition to a writeoff of bad debts, an expansionary fiscal policy is needed to save the eurozone from becoming a dead zone. But the EU has no unified tax policy, and money creation to finance deficit spending is blocked by lack of a central bank to monetize government deficits under control of elected officials. Europe’s central bank does not finance deficit spending to revive employment and economic growth. “Europe has devoted enormous effort to create a ‘single market’ without enlarging any state, and while pretending that the Central Bank cannot provide new money to the system.” Without monetizing deficits, budgets must be cut and the public domain sold off, with banks and bondholders in charge of resource allocation.
As long as “the market” means keeping the high debt overhead in place, the economy will be sacrificed to creditors. Their debt claims will dominate the market and, under EU and ECB rules, will also dominate the state instead of the state controlling the financial system or even tax policy.
Galbraith calls this financial warfare totalitarian, and writes that while its philosophical father is Frederick Hayek, the political forbear of this market Bolshevism is Stalin. The result is a crisis that “will continue, until Europe changes its mind. It will continue until the forces that built the welfare state in the first place rise up to defend it.”
To prevent such a progressive policy revival, the troika promotes regime change in recalcitrant economies, such as it deemed Syriza to be for trying to resist creditor commitments to austerity. Crushing Greece’s Syriza coalition was openly discussed throughout Europe as a dress rehearsal for blocking the Left from supporting its arguments. “Governments from the Left, no matter how free from corruption, no matter how pro-European,” Galbraith concludes, “are not acceptable to the community of creditors and institutions that make up the European system.”
Opposing austerity is called “contagion,” as if prosperity and rising living standards are an economic disease, not national bankruptcy being enforced by the ECB and EU bureaucracy (and the IMF). To prevent Podemos in Spain and similar parties in Portugal and Italy from mounting a recovery from eurozone austerity, these financial institutions support right-wing governments while tightening the screws on Left governments. That is what happens when central banks are made “independent” of democratic electoral politics and parliamentary control.
Galbraith’s month-by-month narrative describes how the IMF and ECB overrode Greek democracy on behalf of creditors and privatizers. They sought to undermine the Syriza government from the outset, making Greece an object lesson to deter thoughts by Podemos in Spain and similar parties in Portugal and Italy that they could resist the creditor grab to extract payment by a privatization grab and at the cost of pension funds and social spending. By contrast, conciliatory favoritism has been shown to right-wing European parties in order to keep them in power against the left.
On the surface, the troika’s “solution” – paying creditors by bleeding the economy – seems obviously self-defeating. But this seeming failure appears to be their actual aim: foreclosure on the assets of the indebted economy’s public sector under the banner of its version of R2P: Responsibility to Privatize. For Greece this means its ports, islands and tourist centers, electricity and other public utilities.
The ECB and IMF accelerated Greece’s economic collapse by demanding a rise in the VAT from 23 percent, making tourism in the islands more expensive. “The plain object of the creditors’ program is therefore not reform,” Galbraith points out. Instead of helping the economy compete, “Pension cuts, wage cuts, tax increases, and fire sales are offered up on the magical thought that the economy will recover despite the burden of higher taxes, lower purchasing power, and external repatriation of profits from privatization.” Privatized public utilities are turned into “cash cows” to enable buyers to extract monopoly rents, increasing the economy’s cost of living and doing business.
The European Union’s pro-creditor policies are “written into every European treaty from Rome to Maastricht,” overriding “the vision of ‘sustainable growth’ and ‘social inclusion’” to which they pay lip service. Reinforcing the ECB’s monetary austerity is the German constitution, imposing fiscal austerity by blocking funding of other countries’ budget deficits (except for quantitative easing to save bankers).
The financial warfare being waged by the ECB and IMF
This is not how the EU was supposed to end up. Its ideal was to put an end to the millennium of internecine European military conflict. That was fairly easy, because warfare based on armed infantry occupation was already a thing of the past by the time the EU was formed. No industrial economy today is politically able to mount the military invasion needed to occupy another country – not Germany or France, Italy or Russia. Even in the United States, the Vietnam War protests ended the military draft. Warfare in today’s world can bomb and destroy – from a distance – but cannot occupy an adversary.
The second argument for joining the EU was that it would administer social democracy against corruption and any repeat of right-wing dictatorships. But that has not happened. Just the opposite: Although the European Union treaties pay lip service to democracy, they negate monetary sovereignty. The IMF, ECB and EU bureaucracy have acted together to collect the bad debt left over from their reckless 2010 bailout of French, German, Dutch and other bondholders. In behaviour reminiscent of Allied demands for unpayably-high German reparations in the 1920s, their demands for payment are based on predatory junk economic theory claiming that foreign debt of any magnitude can be paid by imposing deep enough austerity and privatization sell-offs.
So the arena of conflict and rivalry has shifted from the military to the financial battlefield. Along with the IMF and ECB, central banks across the world are notorious for opposing democratic authority to tax and regulate economies. The financial sector’s policy of leaving money and credit allocation to banks and bondholders calls for blocking public money creation. This leaves the financial sector as the economy’s central planner.
The euro’s creation can best be viewed as a legalistic coup d’état to replace national parliaments with a coterie of financial managers acting on behalf of creditors, drawn largely from the ranks of investment bankers. Tax policy, regulatory and pension policies are assigned to these unelected central planners. Empowered to override sovereign self-determination and national referendums on economic and social policy, their policy prescription is to impose austerity and force privatization selloffs that are basically foreclosures on indebted economies. Galbraith rightly calls this financial colonialism.
The asset grab promoted by the IMF and ECB is incompatible with reviving Greece or other southern European economies (not to speak of the Baltics and Ukraine). The theory is unchanged from that imposed on Germany after World War I – the theories of Jacques Rueff, Bertil Ohlin and the Austrians, controverted by Keynes, Harold Moulton and others at the time. Their victorious role in this debate has been expurgated from today’s public discourse and even from academia. What passes for economic orthodoxy today is an unreformed (and incorrigible) austerity economics of the 1920s, pretending that an economy’s debts can all be paid simply by lowering wage levels, taxing consumers more, making workers (and ultimately, businesses and government) poorer, and selling off the public domain (mainly to foreigners from the creditor nations).
Galbraith contrasts economists to doctors, whose professional motto is “Do no harm.” Economists cannot avoid harming economies when their priority is to save bankers and bondholders from losses – by bleeding economies to pay creditors. What the IMF calls “stabilization programs” impose a downward spiral of debt deflation and widening fiscal deficits. This forces countries to sell off their land and mineral rights, public buildings, electric utilities, phone and communications systems, roads and highways at distress prices.
At first glance the repeated “failure” of austerity prescriptions to “help economies recover” seems to be insanity – defined as doing the same thing again and again, hoping that the result may be different. But what if the financial planners are not insane? What if they simply seek professional success by rationalizing politics favored by the vested interests that employ them, headed by the IMF, central bankers and the policy think tanks and business schools they sponsor? The effects of pro-creditor policies have become so constant over so many decades that it now must be seen as deliberate, not a mistake that can be fixed by pointing out a more realistic body of economics (which already was available in the 1920s).
Given the eurozone’s mindset, Galbraith asks whether Greece may be better off going it alone, away from the IMF/ECB “hospice” and its financial quack doctors. Saving the economy requires rejecting the body of creditor demands for austerity by central planners at the IMF, ECB and other international institutions.
Any sovereign nation has the right to avoid being impoverished by creditors who have lent sums far in excess of the amount that can be paid without being forced to engage in privatization selloffs at distress prices. Such demands are akin to military attack, having a similar objective: seizure of the indebted economy’s land, natural resources and public infrastructure, and control over its government.
These demands are at odds with parliamentary democracy and national self-determination. Yet they are written into the way the eurozone is constructed. That is why withdrawal from the current financial regime is a precondition for recovery of economic sovereignty. It must start with control over the money supply and the tax system, followed by control over public infrastructure and the pricing of its services.
The future of Europe’s Left
What led governments (although by no means all voters) to accept a supra-national pan-European authority was the trauma of World War II. It seemed that nation-states were prone to making war, but a United States of Europe would not fight – at least, not internally. But the authority that has been put in place is financial, pro-creditor and anti-labor, empowered to impose austerity and turn the public domain to into privatized monopolies.
The EU cannot be “fixed” by marginal reforms. Greece’s treatment shows that it must be recast – or else, countries will start leaving in order to restore parliamentary democracy and retain what remains of their sovereignty. The financial sector’s ideal is for economies centrally planned by bankers, leaving no public infrastructure unappropriated. Privatized economies are to be financialized into opportunities to extract monopoly rent.
The gauntlet has been thrown down, posing a question today much like that of the 1930s: Will the alternative to austerity, debt deflation and the resulting economic breakdown be resolved by a pro-labor socialist alternative, or will it lead to a victory by anti-European right-wing parties?
What makes the situation different today is the remarkable extent to which today’s European parties calling themselves Socialist, Social Democratic or Labour have accepted privatization and opposition to budget deficits. This shift reverses what they urged at their origins more than a century ago. So the problem is not only to resist the right wing of the political spectrum; it is to reconstruct a real European left.
Galbraith’s book has important implications for the policies needed to save the eurozone from being turned into a dead zone along the lines of Latvia’s disastrous oligarchic “success” story. (Drastic emigration and declining after-tax wages are the “Baltic Miracle” in a nutshell.)
If European Left does not succeed in creating an alternative to eurozone austerity, right-wing nationalists will lead a withdrawal campaign. Golden Dawn in Greece, France’s National Front, along with Hungarian, Austrian and Polish nationalist parties and Britain’s UKIP are moving to fill the vacuum left by the absence of a socialist alternative to financialization under ECB and IMF dirigisme.
We are accustomed to looking at Europe’s woes in a purely financial context. This is a mistake, because it misses the real reasons why the EU will fail and not survive the next financial crisis. We normally survive financial crises, thanks to the successful actions of central banks as lenders of last resort. However, the origins and construction of both the the euro and the EU itself could ensure the next financial crisis commences in the coming months, and will exceed the capabilities of the ECB to save the system.
It should be remembered that the European Union was originally a creation of US post-war foreign policy. The priority was to ensure there was a buffer against the march of Soviet communism, and to that end three elements of the policy towards Europe were established. First, there was the Marshall Plan, which from 1948 provided funds to help rebuild Europe’s infrastructure. This was followed by the establishment of NATO in 1949, which ensured American and British troops had permanent bases in Germany. And lastly, a CIA sponsored organisation, the American Committee on United Europe was established to covertly promote European political union.
It was therefore in no way a natural European development. But in the post-war years the concept of political union, initially the European Coal and Steel Community, became fact in the Treaty of Paris in 1951 with six founding members: France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. The ECSC evolved into the EU of today, with an additional twenty-one member states, not including the UK which has now decided to leave.
With the original founders retaining their national characteristics, the EU resembles a political portmanteau, a piece of assembled furniture, each component retaining its original characteristics. After sixty-five years, a Frenchman is still a staunch French nationalist. Germans are characteristically German, and the Italians remain delightfully Italian. Belgium is often referred to as a non-country, and is still riven between Walloons and the Flemish. As an organisation, the EU lacks national identity and therefore political cohesion.
This is why the European Commission in Brussels has to go to great lengths to assert itself. But it has an insurmountable problem, and that is it has no democratic authority. The EU parliament was set up to be toothless, which is why it fools only the ignorant. With power still residing in a small cabal of nation states, national powerbrokers pay little more than lip-service to the Brussels bureaucracy.
The relationship between national leaders and the European Commission has been deliberately long-term, in the sense that loss of sovereignty is used to gradually subordinate other EU members into the Franco-German line. The driving logic has been to make the European region a protected trade area in Franco-German joint interests, and to protect them from free markets.
It was not easy to find the necessary compromise. Since the Second World War, France has been strongly protectionist over her own culture, insisting that the French only buy French goods. Germany’s success was rooted in savings, which encouraged industrial investment, leading to strong exports. These two nations with a common border had, and still have, very different values, but they managed to conceive and set up the European Central Bank and the euro.
In Germany, the sound-money men in the Bundesbank lost out to industrial interests, which sought to profit from a weaker currency. This was actually in line with her political preferences, and it was the political class that controlled the relationship with France. In France the integrationists, politicians again, defeated the industrialists, who sought to insulate their home markets from German competition.
When a common currency was first mooted, two future problems were ignored. The first was how would the other states joining the euro adapt to the loss of their national currencies, and the second was how would the UK, with her Anglo-Saxon market-based culture adapt to a more European model. It wasn’t long before the latter issue was met head-on, with the withdrawal of sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner of the euro, in September 1992.
The euro was eventually born at the turn of the century. The Franco-German compromise led to the appointment of a Frenchman, Jean-Claude Trichet, as the ECB’s second president. All was well, because the abandonment of national currencies and the gradual acceptance of the euro meant that states in the Eurozone were able to borrow more cheaply in euros than they ever could in their own national currencies.
Bond risk was measured against German bunds, traditionally the lowest yielding bonds in Europe. It was not long before the spread between bunds and other Eurozone debt was commonly seen as a profitable opportunity, instead of a reflection of relative risk. European banks, insurance companies and pension funds all benefited from the substantial rise in the prices of bonds issued by peripheral EU members, and invested accordingly. In turn, these borrowers were only too willing to supply this demand by issuing enormous quantities of debt, in contravention of the Maastricht Treaty. Bank credit expanded as well, leaving the banking system highly geared.
The control mechanism for this explosion in borrowing was meant to be the Exchange Stability and Growth Pact, agreed in Maastricht in 1993. This laid down five rules, of which two concern us. Member states were bound to keep their national budget deficits to a maximum of 3% of GDP, and national government debt was limited to 60% of GDP. Neither Germany nor France qualified on the debt criteria, without rigging their national accounts, and the only reason that deficits came within the Pact was a mixture of dodgy accounting and fortuitous timing of the economic cycle. The control mechanism was never enforced.
So from the outset, no nation had any sense of responsibility towards the new currency. The rules were ignored and the euro became a gravy-chain for all member governments, spectacularly brought to public attention by the failure of Greece.
The Eurozone’s banking system, incorporating the national central banks and the ECB, bound together in a bizarre settlement system called TARGET, became the means for member nations to buy German goods on credit. Very good for Germany, you may say, but the problem was that the credit was supplied by Germany herself. It is the same as lending money to the buyer of your business in a rigged transaction. This flaw in the system’s construction is now a rumbling volcano ready to blow at any moment.
The Germans want their money back, or at least don’t want to write it off. The debtors cannot pay, and need to borrow more money just to survive. Neither side wishes to face reality. It started with Ireland, then Cyprus, followed by Greece and Portugal. These are the smaller creditors, which Germany, led by its Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, managed to crush into debtor submission and are now economic zombies. The real problem comes with Italy, which is also failing and has a debt-to-GDP ratio estimated to be over 133% and rising. If Italy goes, it will be followed by Spain and France. Herr Schäuble cannot force these major creditors into line so easily, because at this stage the whole Eurozone banking system will be in deep trouble, as will the German government itself. German savers are also becoming acutely aware that they will pick up the bill.
The first line of defense, as always, will be for the ECB as lender of last resort to keep the banks afloat. The only way it can do this is to accelerate the printing of euros and to monopolise Eurozone debt markets. Whether or not the ECB can hold the currency with all these liabilities on board its own balance sheet, and for how long, remains to be seen.
For the moment, the euro stands there like a Goliath, seemingly invincible. It represents the anti-free-market European establishment, which no one has dared to challenge. This surely is the underlying reason the ECB can impose negative interest rates and get away with it. But serious cracks are appearing. First we had Brexit, likely to be followed by other small states wanting out. The Italian banking crisis is almost certain to come to a head soon, and an Italian referendum on the constitution next month is also an important hurdle to be overcome. The politicians are in panic mode, reassuring everyone there is nothing wrong more integration and a new army won’t cure.
Meanwhile, the overbearing attitude of the European Commission and the refugee crisis are undermining public support for the status quo. Angela Merkel, hitherto regarded as invincible, has lost her public support in Germany. Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National and who wants France to leave the EU, led the opinion polls recently for France’s next President, due to be elected next year. The strongmen of Europe are on the back foot.
All the elements for a mighty political and economic smash are now there. Whether or not it will be the trigger for, or itself be triggered by external events remains to be seen. Either way, the Eurozone’s crisis time-line now appears to be measured in months.
The market effect, besides being a severe shock to all markets, is likely to be two-fold. Firstly, international flows will sell down the euro in favour of the dollar. Given the euro’s weighting in the dollar index, this will be a major disruption for all currency markets. Secondly, Eurozone residents with bank deposits are likely to increasingly seek refuge in physical gold, as signs of their currency’s impending collapse emerge, because there is nowhere else for them to go.
Whichever way one looks at it, it is increasingly difficult to accept any other outcome than a complete collapse of this ill-found political construction, originally promoted in US interests by a CIA-sponsored organisation. The euro, being dependent on political cohesion instead of original market demand, will simply cease to be money, somewhat rapidly.
The Dow fell 1% on concerns over a possible rate hike and lower oil prices. And the real fear is central banks may have decided to throw in the towel on QE. The prospect of markets standing or falling on their two feet was enough to take some money off the table last night.
The market’s fears are unfounded.
Central banks, for all their talk about it being time for governments to do the heavy lifting with fiscal policy, are secretly addicted to their experiment.
They oh so desperately want their theories to work.
In central banker land (a far off and distant place inhabited solely by economic PhDs with fairy wings and pixie dust) the thinking goes something like this: All we need is more time, more money, even more negative interest rates, the abolition of cash and, if that still isn’t enough, to have the power to command the military to threaten people at gunpoint to borrow and spend. Then the world will see we were right all along.
The world watches their every move. They’ve had a taste of real power. The celebrity status that’s accorded to them is feeding egos. Heads of government court them. Central bankers are not about to go quietly into the night. You can bet your bottom dollar (and that’s all some people will be left with when this is over) the central bankers will continue their experiment until the bitter end.
The warnings on debt overload have come thick and fast in the past week.
First we had the ‘better late than never/continually adjusting growth projections downward’ IMF (and no, it is not an acronym for Idiots, Morons and Fools) telling us — surprise, surprise — the world has an unsustainable level of debt.
Shock horror…we never saw that one coming.
The Guardian’s coverage of the ‘big’ announcement ran with the headline: ‘IMF urges governments to tackle record global debt of $152tn’.
McKinsey Global Institute published a report in February 2015 (21 months ago) titled: ‘Debt and (not too much) Deleveraging’. In the report, McKinsey identified the world had added another US$57 trillion in debt since 2007. According to McKinsey, the total debt pile as at 2014 was US$200 trillion. The IMF reckons it’s at US$152 trillion.
My money is on McKinsey being closer to the mark.
Anyway, when you’re that far in the red, we can put the difference down to a rounding error.
Back to The Guardian article:
‘The International Monetary Fund has urged governments to take action to tackle a record $152tn debt mountain before it triggers a fresh global financial and economic crisis.
‘Warning that debt levels were not just high but rising, the IMF said it was vital to intervene early in order to mitigate the risks of a repeat of the damaging events that began with the collapse of the US sub-prime housing bubble almost a decade ago.
‘It said that new research in its half-yearly fiscal monitor covering 113 countries had shown that debt was currently 225% of global GDP, with the private sector responsible for two-thirds of the total.’
Does the IMF seriously think this is some sort of revelation? If they do, what hope have we got?
Brace for impact folks.
What makes me laugh is the line, ‘Warning that debt levels were not just high but rising…’
Of course debt levels are rising.
What do you expect the outcome will be when the cost of borrowing is zero or, if you’re lucky, investors will actually pay you for the privilege of lending you money? Go figure, debt levels are rising.
Even our own RBA acknowledged the borrowing incentive provided by low interest rates.
Up until recently, the RBA’s monthly statement on the cash rate included this sentence: ‘Monetary policy has been accommodative for quite some time.’
That’s central banker speak for ‘We are keeping interest rates low for long enough to make borrowing money — to stimulate growth — look like a no-brainer’.
The RBA have dropped this sentence from recent statements…perhaps they got sick of stating the obvious.
Given this accommodative policy, it comes as no surprise that the head of S&P Sovereign Ratings Committee issues a warning earlier this week over our foreign debt levels.
According to The Australian on 10 October 2016:
‘Australia’s foreign debt has hit “extreme” levels that match the worst in the world, according to a startling warning from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s that will intensify the dispute over budget repair after years of political deadlock on major savings.
‘The global S&P executive who signs off on Australia’s credit rating has rung the alarm over the nation’s debt, suggesting the Turnbull government will need to find substantial new savings to avoid losing its coveted AAA rating.’
Foreign debt is money we’ve borrowed from overseas investors to fund our lifestyles.
We are living well beyond our means, but, what the heck; we’re the envy of the world.
‘Mr [Scott] Morrison attended the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington last week.’
‘“There is not an economy in the G20 or otherwise that would not want to be Australia at the moment and would not want to have the strong financial and banking system that ensures that we can have the resilience to ensure we underpin jobs and growth in this country,” he told parliament on Monday [9 October 2016].’
— Yahoo7 News
They said the same about the Spanish economy in 2007. Look how that debt-financed property bubble economy turned out.
In the blue corner we have the IMF and S&P Ratings saying ‘whoa, time to rein in the debt’; in the red corner we have central banks and governments saying ‘we need to keep rates lower to accommodate more borrowing so we are the most envied economy in the world’.
Imagine the four parties sitting around a table; the conversation would go something like this:
CB and Govt.: We need more debt to grow the economy. IMF and S&P: We have too much debt already in the economy. They all ask: Then, how do we grow the economy? CB and Govt.: We need more debt to grow the economy. IMF and S&P: We have too much debt already in the economy. They all ask: Then, how do we grow the economy?
This is the bind we are in.
For far too long, debt has been the sole economic driver in the global economy.
We are utterly dependent on it for a statistical measurement of ‘growth’.
The creaks and groans of the world’s debt load are becoming so loud even the IMF can hear it in their soundproof Washington DC offices.
The last time the system took a break from shouldering more debt was in 2008/09. Here’s the Federal Reserve chart on total US debt since 1945. That minor, teeny-weeny disruption in the extrapolating debt trend resulted in the greatest economic upheaval since the Great Depression. That’s a serious dependency issue. Since 2008, the only thing additional debt has bought us is a stay of execution.
We are literally living on borrowed time.
When the debt load collapses under its own weight, envy is going to turn to pity.
Pity those poor Australians (literally) who believed their own BS about being recession-proof, who have borrowed to the max to fund lifestyles well above their pay grade.
Our total national debt (public, corporate and private) is $6 trillion — four times the size of our economy. We have never been more exposed to an external shock. This could get real ugly.
When the authorities — ratings agencies and the likes of the IMF and Bank of International Settlements — start issuing warnings, while at the same time government ministers strut around like peacocks telling us ‘how good we are’, you know it will have gone past the point of no return.
That’s why central banks will plumb new lows to keep the whole thing upright for as long as possible.
The end result will be the US share market going to new highs — the classic suckers’ rally awaits.
It is not solvency, or the lack of capital – a vague, synthetic, and usually quite arbitrary concept, determined by regulators – that kills a bank; it is – as Dick Fuld will tell anyone who bothers to listen – the loss of (access to) liquidity: cold, hard, fungible (something Jon Corzine knew all too well when he commingled and was caught) cash, that pushes a bank into its grave, usually quite rapidly: recall that it took Lehman just a few days for its stock to plunge from the high double digits to zero.
It is also liquidity, or rather concerns about it, that sent Deutsche Bank stock crashing to new all time lows earlier today: after all, the investing world already knew for nearly two weeks that its capitalization is insufficient. As we reported earlier this week, it was a report by Citigroup, among many other, that found how badly undercapitalized the German lender is, noting that DB’s “leverage ratio, at 3.4%, looks even worse relative to the 4.5% company target by 2018” and calculated that while he only models €2.9bn in litigation charges over 2H16-2017 – far less than the $14 billion settlement figure proposed by the DOJ – and includes a successful disposal of a 70% stake in Postbank at end-2017 for 0.4x book he still only reaches a CET 1 ratio of 11.6% by end-2018, meaning the bank would have a Tier 1 capital €3bn shortfall to the company target of 12.5%, and a leverage ratio of 3.9%, resulting in an €8bn shortfall to the target of 4.5%.
When Citi’s note exposing DB’s undercapitalization came out, it had precisely zero impact on the price of DB stock. Why? Because as we said above, capitalization – and solvency – tends to be a largely worthless, pro-forma concept. However, when Bloomberg reported today that select funds have withdrawn “some excess cash and positions held at the lender” the stock immediately plunged: the reason is that this had everything to do with not only DB’s suddenly crashing liquidity, but the pernicious feedback loop, where once a source of liquidity leaves, the departure tends to spook other such sources, leading to an outward bound liquidity cascade. Again: just ask Lehman (and AIG) for the details.
Which then brings us to the $64 trillion (roughly the same amount as DB’s gross notional derivative exposure) question: since DB is suddenly experiencing a sharp “liquidity event”, how much liquidity does Deutsche Bank have access to as of this moment, to offset this event? The answer would allow us to calculate how long DB may have in a worst case scenario if we knew the rate of liquidity outflow.
For the answer, we go to a just released note by Goldman Sachs, which admits that it is now facing “crisis” questions from clients, among which “can a large European bank face a liquidity event” to wit”
Deutsche Bank stands at the center of the European financial system – it is a major counterpart of all relevant European banks, and broader. Recent reports of potential litigation hits have compounded capital concerns, and raised the overall level of market anxiety.“Crisis” questions are being asked: “is there risk of a financial crisis re-run” and “can a large European bank face a liquidity event”?
So what is the answer: how much liquidity does Deutsche Bank have access to? The answer is two fold, with the first part focusing on central bank, in this case ECB, backstops in both $ and €.
Goldman starts with an overview of said back-stops, summarized below. These facilities are available to all Eurozone banks (and, naturally, also to Deutsche Bank) – they are generous in terms of volume (full allotment), price (fixed rate at 0%) and tenure (from short term, all the way to 4-years). These ECB facilities are key to ensuring the bank’s long-term funding stability, in Goldman’s view, and were put in place following the funding market fallout in 2007, in order to contain the effects from the Lehman crisis. They were further bolstered to contain the Eurozone sovereign crisis in 2011-12. All of the liquidity provisions remain in place, and broadly, they fall into the following two categories:
Regular market operations: 1-week Main Refinancing Operations or “MRO” (priced @0%), and 3-month Long Term Refinancing Operations or “LTRO” (@0%);
Non-standard measures, which split between € funding facilities with 4-year Targeted LTROs (@0%, with the option to fall to -0.4% if lending targets are met) and the emergency liquidity assistance to solvent financial institutions and a US$ funding facility: 1-week US$ MRO (@0.86%).
Stepping away from the ECB – because if Deutsche is forced to come crawling to Draghi and beg for central bank liquidity assistance to continue as a going concern, the outcome may be just as dire (recall the stigma associated with US banks using the Fed’s Discount Window) especially since unlike Lehman, DB has nearly €600 billion in deposits which are susceptible to a retail depositor run – what about Deutsche Bank’s own liquidity position? It is this which appears to be concerning the market most, because as Goldman writes, following the Bloomberg report that hedge fund clients have pulled excess cash, the market has reacted aggressively (ADR down 6.7%), indicating concerns have moved from DBK’s equity to question the resilience of the banks’ funding position.
Below, Goldman provides an overview of DBK’s liquidity position, noting that its last reported liquidity reserve stood at €223 bn or ~20% of its total assets. DBK’s high quality liquid assets (or HQLA) balance stood at €196 bn or 16% of its total assets; its liquidity coverage ratio (“LCR”) stood at 124%. DBK’s LCR is above that of many largest European banks (BNP 112%), as well as US banks (Citigroup
Here is the breakdown:
Liquidity reserve: €223 bn, or ~20% of total assets. In total, DBK’s liquidity reserve stood at €223 bn, representing ~20% of the banks total net assets (where assets are US GAAP equivalent). The 2Q16 level of liquidity reserve compares to €65 bn in 2007, showing that DBK has grown its liquidity reserve by 3.4x from pre-crisis levels.
Cash: €125 bn. The liquidity reserve breaks down between €125 bn of cash and cash equivalents, and €98 bn of securities, available for use at the central banks. As highlighted in Exhibit 2, the € portion of the securities can be used to obtain liquidity of varied duration (between O/N to 4-years) at a cost of 0% (and as low as -40 bp, if lending benchmarks are met).
LCR: 124%. DBK’s Liquidity Coverage ratio stood at 124%, which is ~1.5x the current regulatory minimum, and a cut above the 2019 fully-loaded requirement of 100%. This compares favorably to, say, Citigroup (121%), BNP (112%). Other US banks (e.g. JPM, BofA) do not disclose their LCR other than to say that they are “compliant”, suggesting LCR is at or above 100%.
Where does this liquidity come from? Exhibit 3 above examines DBK’s funding composition – this is relevant in the context of media reports highlighting a decline in prime brokerage balances (Bloomberg, September 29). These include:
Lowest volatility funding: 57%. Lowest volatility sources of funding – retail deposits, transaction banking balances (corporate and institutional deposits from corporate banking relationships) and equity account for 57% of total funding. Over half of the groups’ funding therefore, stems from this source.
Low volatility funds: 15%. Debt securities in issue account for 14% of total funding. Together with the previous category, “lowest” and “low” volatility funding accounts for 72% of total funding.
Other customers – this includes prime brokerage cash balance – 7%. The total amount of “other customer” funds, which includes: fiduciary, self-funding structures (e.g. X-markets), margin/Prime Brokerage cash balances (shown on a net basis(see DBK 2015 annual report, p178). Importantly, this represents ~7% of total funding, and is 3.1x covered with the liquidity reserve.
Other parts of funding – unsecured wholesale, secured funding – account for the residual.
In other words, all else equal, even in a worst case Prime Brokerage situation, one where all €71 billion in “other customer” funds flee, DB should still have about €152 billion of the €223 billion in liquidity reserve as of June 30, once again assuming there have been no other changes. Stated simply, if the hedge fund outflow accelerates and depletes all the liquidity at the Prime Brokerage division, DB would part with about a third (just over €70 billion) of its €220 billion liquidity reserve.
Some other observations: even if one assumes the full loss of PB balances, DB would still have a Liquidity coverage ratio (“LCR”) of 124%. The LCR is equivalent to HQLA/net stressed outflows over 30 day period. This ratio shows the banks’ ability to meet stressed funding conditions over a period of 1 month. For Deutsche bank, the LCR stood at 124% with the ratio composed of:
High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLAs) of €196 bn. These include Level 1 assets (the most liquid securities which include cash and equivalents, bonds issued or guaranteed by a government and certain covered bonds); Level 2A assets, which are subject to a haircut (third country government bonds, bonds issued by public entities, EU covered bonds, non-EU covered bonds, corporate bonds) and Level 2B assets (high quality securitisations, corporate bonds, other high quality covered bonds).
The net stressed outflows: €158 bn as of 2Q16 (YE15 €161 bn). DBK’s net stressed outflows amounted to €161 bn at year-end 2015, and include an assumption of loss of prime brokerage deposits. As per Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/61 “Deposits arising out of a correspondent banking relationship or from the provision of prime brokerage services shall not be treated as an operational deposit and shall receive a 100 % outflow rate.”
The minimum level is 100% (effective 2018) and is phased in gradually from 2015; the 2016 requirement is 70%.
Of course, the “stressed outflow over a 30 day period” is an assumption, one which can accelerate rapidly, especially if the stock price of DB continues to fall crushing what is any bank’s most critical asset: counterparty confidence, either from retail investors or institutional peers.
Still, what the above calculations reveals is that the Bloomberg report suggest that while substantial, the Prime Brokerage outflow would not be, on its own, deadly. But therein lies the rub: since any bank’s collapse is a procyclical event in which liquidity flees in all directions, with a speed that is usually inversely proportional to the stock price, the lower the price of DB goes (and the higher its CDS), the more dire its liquidity situation.
However, as noted above, the biggest threat to DB is not so much its hedge fund client base, whose damage potential is limited, but the depositor base. Again: while Lehman failed, it did so as a result of its corporate counterparties suffocating the bank by rapidly pulling out their liquidity lines. Lehman, however, was lucky in that it didn’t have retail depositors: it death would have likely come far faster as the capital panic was not limited to institutions but also included a retail depositor bank run.
This is where Deutsche Bank is very different from Lehman, and far riskier, because if the institutional panic spreads to the depositor base, which as the table below shows amounts to some €566 billion in total, and €307 billion in retail deposits…
… then all bets are off.
Which is why it is so critical for Angela Merkel to halt the plunging stock price, an indicator DB’s retail clients, simplistically (and not erroneously) now equate with the bank’s viability, and the lower the price drops, the faster they will pull their deposits, the quicker DB’s liquidity hits zero, the faster the self-fulfilling prophecy of Deutsche Bank’s death is confirmed.
Which ultimately means that DB really has four options: raise capital (sell equity, convert CoCos, which may results in an even bigger drop in the stock price due to dilution or concerns the liquidity raise may not be sufficient), approach the ECB for a liquidity bridge (this may also backfire as counterparties scramble to flee a central bank-backstopped institution), appeal for a state bailout (Merkel has so far said “Nein”) or implement a bail-in, eliminating billions in unsecured claims (and deposits) and leading to a full-blown systemic bank run as depositors everywhere rush to withdraw their savings, leading to a collapse of the fractional reserve banking mode (in which there is only 10 cents in physical deliverable cash for every dollar in depositor claims).
Which of the four choices Deutsche Bank will pick should become clear in the coming days. Until it does, it will keep the market on edge and quite volatile, because as Jeff Gundlach explained today, a “do nothing” scenario is no longer an option for CEO John Cryan as the market will keep pushing the price of DB lower until it either fails, or is bailed out.
Organized crime. This phrase is now a precise synonym for big-banking in the United States. These Big Banks commit big crimes; they commit small crimes.
They cheat their own clients; they swindle outsiders. They break virtually every financial law on the books. What do all these crimes have in common?
The Big Banks commit all these crimes again and again and again – with utter impunity.
These fraud factories commit their serial mega-crimes, year after year, because the Big Banks know that they will never, ever be punished. On rare occasions, their crimes have been so egregious that U.S. ‘justice’ officials could no longer pretend to be oblivious to them.
In such cases, there was a token prosecution, there was a settlement where the law-breaking banks didn’t even have to acknowledge their own criminality, and there was a microscopic fine – which didn’t even force the felonious financial institutions to disgorge all of their profits from these crimes.
Criminal sanctions, by definition, are supposed to deter criminal conduct. The token prosecutions against U.S. Big Banks didn’t deter Big Bank crime, they encouraged it.
But even these wrist-slaps were becoming embarrassing for this crime syndicate, so they dealt with this problem. The Big Bank crime syndicate told its lackeys in the U.S. ‘justice’ department that they were not allowed to prosecute one of its tentacles, ever again.
The lackeys, as always, obeyed their Masters, and issued a new proclamation. The U.S. ‘Justice’ Department would never prosecute a U.S. Big Bank ever again – no matter what crimes it committed, no matter how large the crimes, no matter how many times the same Big Banks committed the same crimes.
Complete, legal immunity; totally above the law. A literal culture of crime.
What happens when you create a culture of crime in (big) banking? Not only the banks break laws – with impunity – their bank employees do so as well.
Case in point: Warren Buffett’s favorite Big Bank – Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo employees came up with a good idea for boosting their salaries: stealing money directly out of the accounts of the bank’s clients. Consider how large this crime became, in just one of these tentacles of organized crime:
L.A City Attorney Mike Feuer announced a $185 million settlement reached with Wells Fargo, after thousands of bank employees siphoned funds from their customers to open phony checking and savings accounts raking in millions in fraudulent fees. [emphasis mine]
Thousands of bank employees stealing millions of dollars from bank customers, in tiny, little increments, again and again and again. But the story gets much worse. Why was a lowly city attorney involved with the prosecution of this organized crime?
So where is the FBI? Where is the Department of Justice? How about California Attorney General Kamala Harris? Too busy campaigning for the Senate to notice? How about L.A. District Attorney Jackie Larry?
Only City Attorney Mike Feuer took action, and he only has the authority to prosecute misdemeanors…
There are only two ways in which the non-action of the U.S. pseudo-justice system can be explained:
All of the layers of “justice” above the City Attorney, are completely bought-off, and refuse to prosecute one of the corporate fronts of their (real) Masters.
All of the layers of “justice” above the City Attorney considered this systemic crime by Wells Fargo’s employees to be nothing more than a misdemeanour.
Take your pick. The U.S. pseudo-justice system is used to seeing so many multi-billion dollar mega-crimes being committed by these fraud factories that the systemic crime at Wells Fargo (which was ‘only’ in the $millions) didn’t even attract their attention.
Or, the entire U.S. pseudo-justice system is completely bought-off and corrupt – and they refuse to prosecute Big Bank organized crime.
A culture of crime:
It gets still worse. Thousands of Wells Fargo employees stole millions of dollars, from countless clients. They were caught. But not even one banker was sent to jail.
In a real justice system, systemic crime of this nature would/could only be prosecuted in one of three ways.
Either every Wells Fargo criminal would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (given the egregious nature of the crime), or
Wells Fargo management would be prosecuted – because they would have/should have known about this crime-wave. Or
Bankers stealing money, directly and brazenly, right out of customer accounts, but no one goes to jail? A culture of crime.
Understand that endemic, cultural changes of this nature don’t originate at the bottom of the corporate ladder. They originate at the top.
In the case of the Wall Street crime syndicate; we already know that their management personnel are criminals, because they have admitted to being criminals.
If the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes were to go out with his lantern in search of an honest man today, a survey of Wall Street executives on workplace conduct suggests he might have to look elsewhere.
A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK [New York and London], 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful… [emphasis mine]
One-quarter of Big Bank management admitted that they “need” to commit crimes. A culture of crime. More needs to be said about the rampant, disgusting criminality among upper management in the Big Banks of the U.S. (and UK).
A known whistleblower was conducting a public survey, asking known criminals how many of them were engaging in criminal behavior. What percentage of respondents would lie when answering such a survey? Three-quarters sounds about right.
One-quarter of Wall Street executives admitted that committing crimes was a way of life. The other three-quarters lied about their criminal acts.
Monkey see; monkey do. The lower level foot soldiers see their Bosses breaking laws, with impunity, on a daily basis. Their reaction, at Wells Fargo? “Me too.”
Most if not all of the Wall Street fraud factories conduct detailed “personality testing” on their bank personnel.
Are they looking to weed-out those with criminal (if not psychopathic) inclinations? Of course not.
They conduct this personality testing to find which employees have no reservations about engaging in criminal conduct – so they can be fast-tracked for promotion.
There is no other way in which the systemic criminality of senior banking personnel can be reconciled with the detailed personality-testing in which they participated, in order to reach that level of management.
The Wall Street fraud factories look for the most amoral criminals which they can find. And with the exorbitant, ludicrous “compensation” they award to these criminals for their systemic crimes, they end up with (literally) the best criminals that money can buy.
A culture of crime:
As a final note; the U.S. system of pretend-justice already has a powerful weapon in its arsenal to fight organized crime: the “RICO” act.
This anti-racketeering statute was created for one, precise purpose: to not merely prosecute/punish organized crime, but to literally dismantle the crime infrastructure which supports the organized crime.
Not only does the statute confer strong (almost limitless) powers in gathering evidence of organized crime, it also permits mass seizures of assets – anything/everything connected to the organized crime of the entity(ies) in question.
In the case of the Big Bank crime syndicate, where all of its operations are directly/indirectly tied into criminal operations of one form or another, if RICO was turned loose on these fraud factories, by the time the dust had settled there would be nothing left.
Oh yes. If the U.S. ‘Justice’ Department ever went “RICO” on U.S. Big Banks, lots and lots and lots of bankers would go to prison, for a very, long time.
Author: Jeff Nielson is co-founder and managing partner of Bullion Bulls Canada; a website which provides precious metals commentary, economic analysis, and mining information to readers and investors. Jeff originally came to the precious metals sector as an investor around the middle of last decade, but with a background in economics and law, he soon decided this was where he wanted to make the focus of his career. His website is http://www.bullionbullscanada.com.
Previous Financial Crime, Poker and Incompetence articles
This new post provides scientific and historic information that you mostly will not read in official sources. You may wonder why ‘they’ are keeping it a secret? Better to evaluate it objectively yourself – but you’ll need to keep an open mind and ignore a life-time of indoctrination.
It is perhaps the most convoluted puzzle to ever exist, a timeline which pits some of today’s most dominant dogmas, whether scientific or theological, in an unrelenting war against one another.
The history of human civilization and evolution. Today most would refute the Christian story of Genesis, dubbing it a fictional parable clouded by fantasy and nonsense.
Infamous proponents of Evolution Theory or natural selection, such as Richard Dawkins, are keen on discrediting the creationist theory, yet even with the powerful backing of the science community evolutionists fall short to provide us with the proper narrative that explains our leap from Homo-erectus (our ape-like ancestors) to Homo-sapiens (modern man). The missing link – our biggest conundrum.
Today there exists many alternative theories that aim to explain mankind’s speedy evolution. The Ancient Astronaut Theory is perhaps one of the most controversial of the bunch.
This theory takes researchers back in time to the cradle of civilization in the Middle-East, the ancient land of Mesopotamia. The Sumerian Cuneiform tablets, uncovered in the 17th century, provide modern man with a new understanding of our history.
This lost knowledge has been slow to make its way into mainstream thought and is just now beginning to air on television on both the History and Discovery Channels.
Accurately decoding the complicated language of the past has taken archaeologists many decades, but fortunately today these ancient scriptures have come to light for all the public to view.
Was there an extra-terrestrial presence in ancient times which seeded modern man?
Access to scripts such as the Book of Enoch, the Nag Hamadi Gospels, the Book of Jubilees, among other historical texts help to broaden our knowledge base relative to the writings in the Canonical Bible; many of these documents predate the Canonical Bible by thousands of years, shedding light on the origins and influences of the familiar stories told therein having an immense influence on Western thought.
Many would be shocked to discover the great Deluge hero Noah was actually a Sumerian King. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the longest known stories involving the King of a Sumerian city called Uruk, Noah is visited by a King and told of the coming cataclysm, the great flood.
Sadly, the funding for early archaeological inquiries was closely controlled and channeled by early church authorities, in particular the Roman Catholic Church.
A mandate was issued to fund only the archaeological explorations that perpetuated the story told in the canonical Bible, established by the same institution at the Council of Nicea, 343 CE.
Due to the majority who were uneducated in the past, the task of knowing the truth was often delegated to authorities.
Fortunately, today, knowledge and information distribution is rampant among the internet, and the power is now left in our hands as the efforts of past decoders is finally being disseminated to the world.
Mankind’s forbidden history: Clay tablets, dating 2000 years before the Canonical Bible, from Ancient Mesopotamia, tell the story of the Anunnaki — an ET species of humanoids who arrived on Earth in flying ships and genetically modified the human species
When one realizes that the God from the Old Testament Yahweh, was none other than the local deity of the Sumerian city of Ur, Enlil, the truth is revealed. Enlil and his various relatives were venerated as gods in various temples from Nineveh to Assur to the Sumerian city of Ur to name just a few.
Similarly, his brother Enki and his children Nannar and Innana also had temples in prominent cultural and trade portals within the region. More importantly, Enlil was not acting alone, but rather in consort with others referred to as the Anunnaki.
Enlil and his brother, Enki, are mentioned in the Genesis and the more historical Clay Tablets as participating in genetic trials to produce a primitive worker, Homo sapiens.
The Sumerian records reveal that “Adam” and “Eve” were not created by “God”,
but rather they were genetically engineered by an advanced race
of extra-terrestrials, called the Anunnaki.
A very detailed account is provided of a clinical trial that results in the archetype for the human race, “Adam,” being birthed. The trial was conducted by Enlil’s half-sister, Ninmah, and his half-brother Enki, in an African laboratory.
The historical records appeal to even the most scrutinizing scientist who readily recognized the threshold of knowledge required to discuss a topic such as genetic engineering in a document almost 5000 years old which provides a more detailed account of the creation of man, one that makes sense technically and historically versus the précis version provide by the Bible, although in many cases complementary.
This would perhaps explain the age of Noah, who was said to be 600 years old at the time of the great flood. Noah was the son of a “deity” according to the Bible. Could this father “deity” really be an extra-terrestrial being which gave rise to Noah’s lengthy lifespan?
Various deities in Sumerian and Egyptian records had also known as (AKA) names which seemed to span long periods of time and were found throughout various ancient texts. For example, the Akkadian god Sin was also known as the moon god Nannar, son of Enlil.
His sister, Inanna also sported the symbol of the crescent moon and had temples throughout Mesopotamia. She was known as Ishtar to the Akkadians.
Interestingly, many deities from other cultures such as the Greeks and Egyptians
were alternate versions of original Sumerian “gods”.
The Egyptian goddess Ishtar was really the Sumerian deity Inanna,
who according to Sumerian text was a high ranking member of the Anunnaki.
The Greek historian Herodotus lived in the 5th century BCE and hailed from Ionia; he delineated the Egyptian civilization into three dynasties and the model is still used by Egyptologists today.
Mantheo, the Egyptian priest-historian agrees with the three dynasties, except adds one more dynasty which was ruled by the “gods” alone.
He states the first dynastic rulers of Egyptian gods ruled for 12 300 years . It is interesting to note that in the Sumerian texts, Enki was assigned the regions of Egypt and Africa by his father Anu, on or before 3760 BCE.
It just so happens that the Jewish calendar, whose origins are from the Sumerian city of Nippur, begins its count in 3760 BCE as well.
The two royal Anunnaki brothers held animosity for one another,
causing ancient wars often referred to as the “great wars in heaven”
in the Christian dogma.
The Sumerians claimed that all aspects of civilization were taught to them by the deities that were worshiped in the temples of Mesopotamia.
Detailed knowledge about the Earth’s orbital plane, tilt axis, spherical shape, and precession behavior of its equinox were known by the Sumerian deities, who were also credited for the construction of the Zodiac.
6,000 years old Sumerian cylindrical seal shows an accurate depiction of our solar system.
Modern science didn’t knew this until very recently. Other texts describe the colors of
Uranus and Neptune, which modern science has only very recently discovered.
Contrast this detailed level of knowledge in Sumer with that possessed in Europe during the Middle-Ages.
Scientists and church authorities in Europe were at odds whether the Earth was round or flat while the people of Sumeria and the surrounding region had advance mathematics, metallurgy, law codes, and produced many civilization first inventions and advanced achievements. 
The correlation between the God of the Old Testament and the Sumerian god are apparent; the Sumerian storm God, Enlil, can be considered the God of wrath and vengeance in the Old Testament.
When discussing religious truth, there is what the ruling party or superpower believes and what the subordinated cultures believe which is given a derogatory label as pagan or occult.
An example of this is taking place and manifesting presently in the Middle East where religious factions representing Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are waging war in the ancient land of Canaan, near Mount Megiddo located south of Israel. Warring factions whose genealogy originates from Sumer are still in conflict today.
The devotees of Enlil, AKA Yahweh the God of the Old Testament, stand toe to toe with the followers of Enki, still at odds with each other of the domination of the Earth.
Could the conflicts involving the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel be a result of the past wars that took place between the “gods” Enlil and Enki and their offspring as written about in “War of Gods and Men” by Zecharia Sitchin?
According to Sumerologists, the term AN.UNNA.KI literally is interpreted as those who from “heaven to Earth came.” The key point to note early on is the affiliation of the term “heaven” with the claimed planet of Anunnaki origin, namely Nibiru as detailed in “The 12th Planet” by Sitchin.
Additionally, from the list of characters detailed as “deities” in Mesopotamian literature we know that the head of the Anunnaki council of 12 was chaired by Anu, the father of the two key players and half-brothers Enlil and Enki.
NI.BI.RU is composed from the now digitized cuneiform script, listed in Unicode as 1224C, 12249, and 12292. Thus, a more accurate interpretation of the word Anunnaki is those who from Anu to the Earth came or were sent.
Equating the planet Nibiru with the word Heaven, as used in the Bible, is an important detail when re-examining prayers like “Our father who art in Heaven…,” shining a whole new light on who the Father in Heaven actually was, namely Anu (ruler of the Anunnaki and father of Enlil and Enki). Thus, the prayers must have originated from Anu’s extra-terrestrial children on Earth.
What was the reason the Anunnaki left Nibiru to come to Earth? According to Sitchin and other authors on the subject, Nibiru, located beyond Pluto, is trapped in a 3600 year retrograde elliptical orbit around our Sun.
According to Sumerian maps and reports from 1983 IRAS Naval Observatory by Dr. Harrington, discovery of a large planet in the region Nibiru was reported to reside near where the Sumerians indicated, beyond Pluto. In short, the Anunnaki home planet is real and inbound to perihelion circa 1400 years from now.
Brown dwarf planets, as we know, do not receive significant solar radiation to keep the surface temperature habitable. The atmosphere on Nibiru was generated either artificially or from gases and released steam from the geothermal heated planet.
According to Sitchin’s published history timeline  approximately 450,000 years ago, life on Nibiru was facing extinction due to a deteriorating atmosphere and the subsequent exposure to radiation, especially at close Perihelion with the Sun.
One of the leaders of Nibiru traveled inwards and landed on Earth, discovering Earth’s surplus of gold. Because of their advancements in technology, the Anunnaki could use gold to save the failing atmosphere of Nibiru by dispersing the ionized particles into the planet’s atmosphere.
“Tree of Life”, depicted an object which closely
resembles the Egyptian sun-disk. This ancient symbol has many theorized meanings,
including the Sun and enlightened knowledge held and passed down
by the royal lineage for millennia.
Anu and his two sons Enlil and Enki eventually came to excavate Earth for the gold as well, however, Enlil and Enki kept their distance due to a rivalry. According to Niburian inheritance rules, Enlil was the rightful heir due to his position as son of Anu and Anu’s Sister.
Enki was only son of Anu, his mother wasn’t of royal blood. The female contribution to genetic material includes mitochondrial DNA which the male does not. Enki was assigned mining operation in Africa, Enlil in Mesopotamia, and a granddaughter named Inanna was given the Indus Valley region. The division took place and was finalized in 3760 BCE.
To increase efficiency, the higher ranking members of the Anunnaki brought several subservient workers to help with gold mining labor (known as Watchers or Igigi). The Igigi worked hard for some time, but inevitably grew tiresome of their slave conditions and revolted against the Anunnaki.
This forced the Anunnaki to establish a new plan, one that developed a hybrid being, a primitive worker, to replace the Igigi gold diggers. The Homo-sapiens.
The Formation of Our Solar System According to Sumerian Text
The following is a summary of the formation of our solar system according to the Sumerian epoch, Enuma Elish. According to the text, told in an allegory of celestial warriors, ten planets composed our solar system.
Earth was not yet formed, as it was then part of a larger planet called Tiamut, which eventually crashed into Nibiru during the initial formation of the planet’s orbits, leaving behind an immense trail of debris from which the Earth formed, along with the asteroid belt.
During this cataclysm the mass of the forming Earth also captured Nibiru’s moon. It is theorized that this initial disaster transferred the original seeds of life to Earth, a form of accidental Panspermia.
The significance of the Sumerian’s Epic of Creation specifies one additional planet in our solar system, the Anunnaki’s home planet Nibiru, who’s aphelion is positioned beyond Pluto in a 3600 year retrograde orbit around the Sun.
Dr. Robert S. Harrington, chief of the U.S. Naval Observatory used an infra-red satellite, IRAS, to locate a large planetary body which was causing wobbles in the orbital paths of Uranus and Neptune.
The IRAS produced results indicating a large brown dwarf, four times larger than the size of Earth, had been located without question. Harrington and Van Flandern of the Naval Observatory, published their findings and opinion that a tenth planet had been located in our solar system, even calling it an intruder planet. 
Harrington met with Sitchin to correlate the IRAS findings with the Babylonian Epic of Creation, the Enuma Elish. Given the evidence reported by IRAS, other space probes like Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager, and the corroborating orbital path, planet size, and retrograde characteristics of the tenth planet, Harrington agreed with Sitchin that it was Nibiru. 
As so, the passage of a tenth planet the magnitude of Nibiru between Mars and Jupiter would certainly have a noticeable impact every 3600 years.
With this in mind, it is highly probable that Nibiru’s passage may be responsible for pole shifts and reversals, changes in the Earth’s precession about its axis, and potentially dangerous meteors and space debris drug along from the asteroid belt inbound to Perihelion.
Could Nibiru’s Perihelion 3,600 year orbit be the cause of the great cataclysms discussed in ancient texts?
Unusual artifacts found around the world, those that seem to contradict the know abilities of the civilization under analysis, are not hard to find. Examples include hieroglyphs from the Egyptian temple of Abydos, depicting rockets, airplanes, submarines, and even an advanced helicopter.
There is also an Iraqi battery find, precision stone masonry and architecture using megalithic stones. Of all the material accessible to a culture, why use the most difficult material as possible? Massive 1000 ton blocks.
Findings from around the world to include model airplanes, incredibly sophisticated solar and lunar temples aligned to solstice and equinox alike, along with tens of thousands of advanced beings teaching civilizing technologies to indigenous peoples points overwhelmingly to the fact that the Anunnaki were here on Earth.
Sitchin was instrumental in getting the Sumerian details about the Anunnaki records for the world to see. It has taken over 100 years for the information to be accepted thus far. Tablets are now digitized for translation speed and accuracy. 
An important point to mention is that the Sumerian flood account was clearly copied and modified to create the Genesis account, written by Hebrew priests being held captive in Babylon, where they had access to the true story of the great flood but chose to placate Enlil as their chosen monotheistic ancient astronaut god.
After all, they were scared to death of Enlil’s wrath. Genesis 6 describes the background scene to the great flood, leaving out all references to the other members of the Anunnaki council in the Torah narrative.
According to Sumerian records, the wrathful “God” in the Christian Epic “Genesis”
was in fact an Anunnaki king named Enlil, who was weary of the his brother Enki’s
genetic creation of mankind. Enlil worried that humanity would grow and eventually
revolt against him, and so, Enlil ordered the destruction of
mankind by disease and natural disasters.
Genesis 6:1-8 (NIV)
‘When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.’
Enlil (God in the Hebrew Genesis) did not create man, but rather, his half-brother Enki and their sister Ninmah were more so involved in the genetic manipulation, as evidenced in the Atrahasis, predating the Genesis account by 1700 years.
Enlil apparently wiped out man because of their incessant noise, although this motive seems bleak, and considering the animosity between Enlil and Enki, one must only consider that Enlil’s motive behind wiping out mankind had something to do with the fact that Homo sapiens were seeds of Enki and thus had the potential to rise up against Enlil.
Enlil was a ghost writer of the Bible, and consequently the truth was distorted to benefit the latter.
Furthermore, the “plant of knowledge of good and evil”, the “forbidden fruit”, was present in Enki’s first outpost city of Eridu.
Enlil (AKA Jehovah/God) tells Adapa (Adam) in Eridu’s Garden of Eden that if he eats the fruit he will die. Enki counteracts this lie and tells Adapa he will surely not die but instead become “like one of us, the gods”.
Thus, there seems to be a transformational effect produced by this plant that changes human consciousness. In any event, Enki tells the truth and is demonized and symbolized as a snake, while Enlil lies, and promotes himself as God.
This lie, the fact that Adam did not die but rather became aware of his nakedness, attests to not want the plant of the knowledge of good and evil consumed. It was about controlling the access to higher consciousness, frowned upon by Enlil.
Mankind was Enki’s proud creation with the help of his relative Ninharsag, which successfully alleviated the Anunnaki’s toils of gold mines just as he promised. Enlil said he was tired of man’s noise, and wanted Enki to release some form of disease to wipe them out.
Of course, Enki defied his brother and offered guidance and protection of man. Enlil continued to order the death of the Homo sapiens, and afflicted man with sickness, headaches, and other disease. 
To finalize the death of man, Enlil orders Enki to conjure up a great flood. Enki refuses, and the tension continues to build between the two brothers.
Although the Anunnaki had the technological means to manipulate the weather, it is unclear whether the great flood to come was caused by the Anunnaki themselves or by the gravitational forces wrought by Nibiru’s passing of Earth, enroute to a 3600 year solar perihelion.
Regardless of the cause, Enlil took credit to establish his perceived power to punish. Hence the correlation to the Old Testament’s God of Wrath and Enlil’s genocidal attributes.
Before the pole shift, Enki warned one of his sons, Ziusudra, about the coming disaster,
helping him create a boat atop a mountain.
The Biblical tale of Noah was taken from the Sumerian record.
Enki decided to modify an oath made to withhold knowledge of the impending watery disaster from the people, and instructs his son Atrahasis to build a boat. Enki helps Atrahasis relocate the boat to Mr. Ararat.
Also important to note, the idea that Noah housed a number of animal species on the boat is a misconception. It was animal DNA that was collected and saved. 
Thus, Atrahasis is the biblical Noah. Also noted, Ninharsag is later to be called “Isis” in ancient Egypt.
According to Sumerian records, one of Enki’s sons, Thoth, was the creator of and key proponent of mankind becoming the “Sons of God” through the awakening of the energy bodies (chakras) and subsequent consciousness, which he designed to be sensitive to the various frequencies affiliated with the radial distance and frequencies caused by a spherical resonator, i.e., the Earth.
One can read the Emerald Tablets to get a sense of the advanced energy knowledge Thoth possessed. Also, as evidenced by his staff the Caduceus, he was an adept geneticist.
Enki designed primitive workers with highly scientific abilities: genetic functional mappings with a human energy body composed of 7 chakras. The chakras provide access to an evolutionary means that allow mankind to continue on its path of conscious expansion.
These seven quantized energy states were intentionally designed by Enki providing mankind an interface for future evolution of consciousness.
Enki did not seem comfortable accepting the concept of slavery versus creating a primitive worker that just got a genetic jumpstart with the potential of becoming one of the gods. To the Anunnaki, the mechanism of evolution of consciousness was highly classified.
Could the Sumerian Narrative be the Answer?
Extensive, detailed, and controversial, the Sumerian Creation Epic stands as both an opponent and an adversary to theories of modern science as well as today’s most prominent religious doctrines, a subject of volatile discourse.
These ancient writings help to broaden our knowledge of the origin of mankind while challenging the well-established account told from the Bible.
The Ancient Astronaut Theory may test the beliefs of the majority, as depictions and dramatizations of extra-terrestrial beings in mainstream culture have stifled people’s understanding of the latter, yet one cannot deny the enigma that surrounds the innovations and knowledge that the Sumerians possessed.
Moreover, evolution’s biggest puzzle has yet to be completed – the miraculous leap from Homo-erectus to Homo-sapien. However, the Sumerians offer detailed scientific clarification on this matter.
The fact that numerous indigenous cultures world-wide built monuments which looked to worship the sky, and shared similar stories of “gods” ascending from the “heavens” should beg the question of an extra-terrestrial presence during those times.
There is an uncanny correlation between the stories and knowledge-base of the ancient cultures and the timeline in which they acquired a deeper understanding of astrology, technology, biology, and spirituality, subjects which only gained proper comprehension in the last few centuries.
The Sumerian records stand as one of mankind’s most important collections of history to date. With proper analysis, these writings not only offer insight into our humble beginnings, but they also offer answers about our ultimate fate as human beings.
It’s called quantum entanglement, it’s extremely fascinating and counter to what we believe to be the known scientific laws of the universe, so much so that Einstein himself could not wrap his head around it.
Although it’s called “quantum entanglement,” though Einstein referred to it as “spooky action at a distance.”
Recent research has taken quantum entanglement out of the theoretical realm of physics, and placed into the one of verified phenomena.
An experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the university of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function. (source), (source), and this is just one example of many.
They did this by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, and testing whether measurement of it in one laboratory would actually cause a change in the local quantum state in the other laboratory.
In doing so, researchers were able to verify the entanglement of the split single photon. Researchers have since replicated this experiment over and over again, with results of entanglement seen at kilometres of distance.
“Space is just the construct that gives the illusion that there are separate objects” – Dr. Quantum
Sure, there are a lot of philosophies regarding what all of this stuff actually means, but, as Dr. Elizabeth Rauscher puts it, it’s a pre-curser to realizing that everything is connected, and that everything in the universe is one. What happens in what we call reality, is effecting something else in that same reality, it’s all “touching.” (source)
What’s happening here is that, either we are witnessing the transfer of ‘information’ at a speed far greater than the speed of light, or even better, something completely instantaneous.
If all points in space are connected, that means vast distances between places are simply an illusion. Furthermore, quantum entanglement challenges Einsteins theory of relativity, but theories are developed to be tweaked and changed. Unfortunately, our world is plagued with secrecy, and you can learn more about that in an article about the black budget linked at the bottom of this article.
The Lockheed Executives Comments On Space Travel
Rich was the second director of Lockheed Skunkwork’s from 1975-1991. He’s been called the Father of Stealth, having overseen the development of the stealth fighter, the F-117A nighthawk. Before his death, Rich made several shocking open statements about the reality of UFOs and extraterrestrials.
“We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects, and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do it.” (1)
“We now have technology to take ET home. No it won’t take someone’s lifetime to do it. There is an error in the equations. We know what it is. We now have the capability to travel to the stars.” (1)
“There are two types of UFOs — the ones we build and the ones ‘they’ build.” (1)
Where Quantum Entanglement Comes In
When Rich was asked how UFO propulsion worked, he said, “Let me ask you. How does ESP work?” The questioner responded with, “All points in time and space are connected?” Rich then said, “That’s how it works!”
Interesting to think about, isn’t it? Perhaps the vast distances that exist between planets, solar systems and more isn’t really as much of a barrier as we thought it was.
What Are The Sources For These Quotes?
One of the sources is aerospace journalist, James Goodall, who wrote for publications such as Jane’s Defense Weekly, Aviation Week and Space Technology, and Interavia.
He is an accomplished speaker specializing in the history, development, and operations of the world’s only Mach 3 capable, manned air breathing aircraft, the SR-71 family of aircraft. (1) (source), (source), (source)
He is also an author, as well as the Associate Curator at the Pacific Aviation Meseum, HI. He was also the restoration manager at the Museum of Flight in Paine Field, Everett, WA.
Goodall interviewed many from the classified black budget world (read more about that world here.) He claimed that some of his contacts told him that “we have things out there that are literally out of this world, better than Star Trek or what you see in the movies.” (1)
From his work alone, James Goodall knew Ben Rich 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 the 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 the Lockheed Skunk works. What have they been doing for the last eighteen or twenty years? They’re building something.’” (1)
Another source comes from John Andrews, who was a legendary Lockheed engineer. He had written to Rich, stating his own belief in UFOs, both manmade and extraterrestrial.
Andrews has asked Rich if his own beliefs covered extraterrestrial as well as manmade UFOs. Rich’s reply was as follows:
“Yes, I’m a believer in both categories. I feel everything is possible. Many of our man-made UFOs are Un-Funded Opportunities. There are two types of UFOs, the ones we build, and the ones they build.” (1)
In Rich’s reply, he underlined the U, F, and O in “unfunded opportunities.”
Thirdly, 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, discusses a talk Ben gave some time ago.
On March 23rd, 1993 at a UCLA School of Engineering talk where he was presenting a general history of Sunk Works, he said this:
“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.” (1)
It’s quite remarkable how many verified statements we have regarding UFOs (unidentified flying objects) and extraterrestrials from people who have held the highest positions possible within the government, military, academia, politics and more.
To be honest, it’s overwhelming, and when you put all of those statements together with all of the previously classified documentation that has been released over the past few years, it paints a startling picture.
Anybody who has done even a fair amount of research, and adheres to the philosophy of “condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” would not be able to deny this, and I have yet to come across someone who has done the research that still subjects this topic to the “conspiracy theory” realm.
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.
It is suggested too that an article by Ron Paul in the section Rise and Fall of the US Empire is complementary, and very worthwhile reading – http://better-management.org/?p=2526. Ron Paul, a US Senator who ran for the presidency on three occasions, presents a unique perspective based on fundamental principles and an in-depth assessment of the US governance. His details can be viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul
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.
This post presents a chronology of issues and events relating to Cairns Port development. Scroll down for more background and sections 1 – 7.
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. https://www.facebook.com/messages/1059953612
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.”
One policy which seems to have escaped scrutiny during this election campaign is Labor’s commitment to increase the Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030. I am surprised because it is a proposal that has enormous ramifications for economic growth and living standards, and disproportionate impacts on traditional Labor constituencies.
The problem we have in Australia is when we talk renewable energy we are talking wind and solar only — low value, expensive, unreliable, high capital cost, land hungry, intermittent energy.
According to the Department of Industry and Science wind currently generates 4.1 per cent and solar 2 per cent of Australia’s electricity. But even this is highly misleading because it is such low value power. You could close it down tomorrow (which it regularly does by itself) and it would make no difference to supply.
If we talk about total energy, as opposed to just electricity, wind and solar represent 1 per cent of Australia’s energy consumption. This despite billions of dollars of investment, subsidies, creative tariffs, mandates, and so on.
Solar and wind simply don’t work, not here, not anywhere.
The energy supply is not dense enough. The capital cost of consolidating it makes it cost prohibitive. But they are not only much more expensive because of this terminal disadvantage, they are low value intermittent power sources — every kilowatt has to be backed up by conventional power, dreaded fossil fuels. So we have two capital spends for the same output — one for the renewable and one for the conventional back-up. Are you surprised it is so much more expensive, and inefficient, and always will be? So wind and solar, from a large scale electricity point of view, are duds. Now I know that will send the urgers into paroxysms of outrage. But have you ever seen an industry that so believed its own propaganda. Note, when they eulogise the future of renewables they point to targets, or to costly investments, never to the real contribution to supply.
Let’s look overseas where many countries have been destroying their budgets and their economies on this illusion for longer and more comprehensively than we in Australia. The Germans are ruing the day they decided to save the world by converting to solar and wind. Germany has spent $US100bn on solar technology and it represents less than 1 per cent of their electricity supply.
Energy policy has been a disaster. Subsidies are colossal, the energy market is now chaotic, industry is decamping to other jurisdictions, and more than a million homes have had their power cut off.
It is reported electricity prices in Germany, Spain and the UK increased by 78 per cent, 111 per cent and 133 per cent between 2005 and 2014 as they forced additional renewable capacity into their electricity markets. Sunny Spain used to be the poster boy for renewables in Europe — photovoltaic cells and wind turbines stretching on forever. Now they are broke, winding back subsidies, even the feed-in tariffs which were guaranteed for 20 years. But wait, what about the green energy jobs that everybody gushes about? Spain has an unemployment rate of 21 per cent with a youth rate of 45.5 per cent.
Britain is little better. Subsidies are being wound back, and a Department of Energy report points out that in 2013, the number of households in fuel poverty in England was estimated at 2.35 million representing around 10.4 per cent of all households.
It is no better in the US either. States with renewable energy mandates are backtracking faster than Sally Pearson can clear hurdles. Ohio has halved its mandate level (it was 25 per cent by 2025) because of high costs. West Virginia has repealed its mandate because of high costs, and New Mexico has frozen its mandates. Kansas was repealing its mandate which reportedly would save ratepayers $171m, representing $4367 for each household, and so the dismal story goes on. The US Department of Energy has found electricity prices have risen in states with mandates twice as fast as those with no mandate. As of 2013 California was the only state to adopt a feed-in tariff for solar power. It was immediately dubbed a failure by the renewable energy community because it offered only 31 cents per kWh, only five times the rate for conventional base load power.
Ah, but Asian countries are jumping on the bandwagon. Maybe. China built one new coalfired power plant every week in 2014, and India’s coal-powered investment in that same year equalled the total electricity capacity of NSW and Queensland. To summarise — with all of the trillions spent worldwide on wind and solar, wind currently represents 1.2 per cent of global consumption of energy, and solar 0.2 per cent.
The good news, it is possible to reduce fossil fuel use in electricity generation — through hydro-electricity and nuclear fuel. Plenty of countries have done it — Canada 60 per cent hydro and 15 per cent nuclear; Sweden 45 per cent hydro and 48 per cent nuclear; Switzerland 54 per cent hydro and 41 per cent nuclear; France 11 per cent hydro and 79 per cent nuclear.
But Australia has zero tolerance of these two workable alternatives to fossil fuels. At least we are consistently inconsistent.
So where does that leave us? On the basis of evidence everywhere we could easily double the price of electricity and get nowhere near the 50 per cent target. What would that mean?
First, it means rapidly disappearing blue collar jobs in high energy industries like manufacturing, car and ship building, smelting and refining, steel making and food processing. There may be still some construction jobs, but they will largely be assembly only, as all of the components will come from those countries more interested in growing the economy and eliminating poverty than stoking the warm inner glow. Make no bones about it, a clean green economy has no place for high-vis shirts.
Second, rapidly rising electricity prices and the subsequent increase in the cost of living, disproportionately affects those at the bottom of the income scale.
Policies like this are OK for the Greens. They can keep their virtue intact because they never have to deliver. As Gough Whitlam once said, only the impotent are pure.
Mainstream parties don’t have that luxury. They need to look at the true costs, and benefits, of all policy proposals.
Keith DeLacy is a former Labor treasurer of Queensland.
“Sustainability” is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world. To the unsuspecting, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word really marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations.
This report is the first in-depth critical study of the sustainability movement in higher education. The movement, of course, extends well beyond the college campus. It affects party politics, government bureaucracy, the energy industry, Hollywood, schools, and consumers. But the college campus is where the movement gets its voice of authority, and where it moulds the views and commands the attention of young people.
The sustainability movement has distorted higher education
While we take no position in the climate change debate, we focus in this study on how the sustainability movement has distorted higher education. We examine the harm it has done to college curricula and the limits it has imposed on the freedom of students to inquire and to make their own decisions. Our report also offers an anatomy of the campus sustainability movement in the United States. We explain how it came to prominence and how it is organized.
We also examine the financial costs to colleges and universities in their efforts to achieve some of the movement’s goals. Often the movement presents its program as saving these institutions money. But we have found that American colleges and universities currently spend more than $3.4 billion per year pursuing their dreams of “sustainability” at a time when college tuitions are soaring and 7.5 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and another 46 percent underemployed. In addition to the direct costs of the movement, we examine the growing demands by sustainability advocates that colleges and universities divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies without regard to forgone income or growth in their endowments. What makes “sustainability” so important that institutions facing financial distress are willing to prioritize spending on it? In this report, we examine that question.
The belief that the world is experiencing catastrophic warming
Because the idea of “anthropogenic global warming”—or “climate change”—is so closely interwoven with the sustainability movement, we devote a chapter early in the report to laying out the arguments on both sides of this debate. The appeal of the sustainability movement depends to a great extent on the belief that the world is experiencing catastrophic warming as a result of human activities that are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Is this belief warranted? We are neutral on this proposition, but we stand by the principle that all important ideas ought to be open to reasoned debate and careful examination of the evidence. This puts us and others at odds with many in the sustainability movement whose declared position is that the time for debate is over and that those who persist in raising basic questions are “climate deniers.” The “debate-is-over” position is itself at odds with intellectual freedom and is why the campus sustainability movement should be examined skeptically.
A hardening of irrational demands
We support good stewardship of natural resources, but we see in the sustainability movement a hardening of irrational demands to suspend free inquiry in favor of unproven theories of imminent catastrophe. And we see, under the aegis of sustainability, a movement that often takes its bearings from its hostility towards material prosperity, consumerism, free markets, and even democratic self-government.
We offer ten recommendations under three categories:
Respect Intellectual Freedom
Create neutral ground. Colleges and universities should be neutral in important and unresolved scientific debates, such as the debate over dangerous anthropogenic global warming. Claims made on the authority of “science” must be made on the basis of transparent evidence and openness to good arguments regardless of their source.
Cut the apocalyptic rhetoric. Presenting students with a steady diet of doomsday scenarios undermines liberal education.
Maintain civility. Some student sustainability protests have aimed at preventing opponents from speaking.
Stop “nudging.” Leave students the space to make their own decisions about sustainability, and free faculty members from the implied pressure to imbed sustainability into the curricula of unrelated courses.
Uphold Institutional Integrity
Withdraw from the ACUPCC. Colleges that have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment should withdraw in favor of open-minded debate on the subject.
Open the books and pull back the sustainability hires. Make the pursuit of sustainability by colleges financially transparent. The growth of administrative and staff positions in sustainability drives up costs and wrongly institutionalizes advocacy at the expense of education.
Uphold environmental stewardship. Campuses need to recover the distinction between real environmental stewardship and a movement that uses the term as a springboard for a much broader agenda.
Credential wisely. Curtail the aggrandizement of sustainability as a subject. Sustainability is not a discipline or even a subject area. It is an ideology.
Equalize treatment for advocates. Treat sustainability groups on campus under the same rubric as other advocacy groups. They should not enjoy privileged immunity from ordinary rules and special access to institutional resources.
Examine motives. College and university boards of trustees should examine demands for divestment from fossil fuels skeptically and with full awareness of the ideological context in which these demands are made.
The sustainability movement has become a major force in American life that has largely escaped serious critical scrutiny. The goal of this report is to change that by examining for the first time the movement’s ideological, economic, and practical effects on institutions of higher education.
‘Sustainability’ is “a leading-edge issue”, which means no one has a clue what it is, not even Wikipedia. The best it can manage is that sustainability is “a multi-faceted concept” and “a matter of ongoing argument”. So much for the wisdom of crowds.
Even the judges of the Global 100 awards were forced to admit that “determining which companies are ‘sustainable’ and which are not is challenging enterprise”.
It is not enough just to stay in business for 197 years, keep the capital-adequacy ratio respectable and return a stonking great profit. Westpac had to score against “a set of quantitative and clearly defined key performance indicators” determined by “a rules-based construction methodology”. It couldn’t be clearer than that.
The green-collar Oscars
For those who missed the live coverage of the green-collar Oscars, however, we will run through the main categories again.
Leadership diversity. It goes without saying that women run more sustainable corporations than men and, with chief executive Gail Kelly in the big chair, this one was Westpac’s to lose.
Horizontally integrated remuneration framework. To achieve a perfect score in this category, the CEO’s salary should match the company’s average wage. Since Kelly took home $5.6 million last year, Westpac did not quite get 10 out of 10, but since all bankers get paid pretty handsomely, it was presumably good enough.
Percentage tax paid. It may be counterintuitive to suggest that sustainable corporations pay more tax but that’s what the rules say. In the weird world of Davos, the percentage of profits paid as tax is regarded as a measure of corporate virtue rather than government vice.
Westpac could teach BHP Billiton a thing or two here. The banker’s profit was only a third of the miner’s, but its carbon footprint was 250 times smaller. Clearly BHP needs to start thinking about recycling its printer cartridges.
The clean capitalist utopia as pictured by the economic romantics in Davos is, it turns out, unsustainable since it rewards those in comfortable offices who buy and sell money rather than those in fluoro who actually make it.
The fetish for paying taxes transfers money from the private to the public sector, and there is nothing remotely sustainable about that.
In these historically incurious times, it is worth reminding ourselves that business did not always operate this way.
As Adam Smith once noted, the baker, the butcher and the brewer used not to provide our dinner out of the goodness of their hearts “but from their regards to their own interest”.
Business’ new mandate
Nowadays, however, we like our businesses to be socially responsible, environmentally aware, ethically orientated, big-hearted Arthurs.
Thus the corporate sector has surrendered to the dispiriting dogma of sustainability, the heresy that took hold among the hippies in the late 1960s and mutated into a misanthropic, deep green movement in the 70s.
Today it wears a pinstriped suit and sits in the boardroom signing off on the most egregious muddle-headed nonsense in the name of corporate responsibility.
Sustainability may present itself as harmless mumbo-jumbo that helps build a brand, but its underlying philosophy is antithetical to freedom and to enterprise.
Ayn Rand warned us
“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow,” Ayn Rand wrote in 1972. “They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other until one day they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”
Four decades later, her prophecy has been fulfilled. Sustainability is one of the three priority themes in the new Australian curriculum, polluting everything from algebra to zoology.
“The sustainability priority is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action,” the curriculum says.
Students are encouraged to consider “that unlimited growth is unsustainable; sustainability – that biological systems need to remain diverse and productive over time; and rights of nature – recognition that humans and their natural environment are closely interrelated”.
Sustainability is Malthusianism
Sustainability is Malthusianism for the 21st century: the fallacy that population is growing faster than the available resources and that ruination is just around the corner.
The world viewed through the prism of sustainability is a deeply depressing place in which dreams are discouraged, imagination is restricted and the spirit of progress frowned upon.
Sustainability means never having to say sorry. In 1990 the World Hunger Project calculated that the ecosystem could sustainably support six billion people, and then only if they lived on a vegetarian diet.
More than two decades later, with 7.1 billion people living on the planet, global beef production has increased by 5 per cent per capita, pork by 17 per cent and chicken by 82 per cent, and that’s not counting the eggs.
The World Food Programme estimates that there are 170 million fewer malnourished people than there were in 1990.
The inconvenient prosperous truth
The inconvenient prosperous truth is that the human beings have, since the dawn of time, created more than they used on average over the course of a lifetime.
The happy by-product of an expanding population ever more interconnected is that the sum total of human knowledge grows exponentially.
The energy crisis, the one that is supposed to lie just around the corner, has been creating anxiety since the 1600s when Britain began to run out of firewood. Scarcity spurred the development of coal. The great whale oil crisis of the 1840s stimulated the search for oil. Time after time the coming catastrophe is postponed through abundance, and the inherent dishonesty of sustainability is exposed.
Human ingenuity is an infinitely renewable resource. Prosperity comes from seizing the elements of nature and rearranging their form.
“Wealth does not exist as a fixed, static quantity,” wrote Rand. “It is the creation of a dynamic, boundless mind. And it has no inherent limitation.” ‘
This post reviews books that add substantially to the understanding of business, economics, politics and what may happen in the future.
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
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.