The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Thou shalt not kill

The hasty execution of Saddam Hussein is an obesenity – as is the spectacle of so-called Christian leaders like Bush and Howard welcoming and applauding the event. Whatever happened to the first commandment? Or is that now non-core?

With Hussein’s execution he cannot be tried for far greater crimes such as the gassing of the Kurds. But that’s the whole point – the US didn’t want to be called as witness to confirm that they supplied the chemical WMDs used by Hussein, or that they funded his regime during many of his atrocious crimes against humanity.

Couldn’t have that now, could we? After all, it’s always been about the fact that Iraq has the world’s second largest oil reserves, and the US has always acted to ensure that its government is friendly to US investors and consumers.

The US set up Hussein to secure access to Iraqi oil. When he no longer wanted to play ball, they took him out with the notion of replacing him with a regime/democracy calulated to be more accommodating to US interests.

The rest is spin and deceit.

Filed under: Politics

We’d be crazy to go nuclear

John Howard’s hand-picked ‘give us a report which recommends that we develop a nuclear power industry’ committee comes up with a report which recommends we develop a nuclear power industry. Unsurprisingly, Howard reckons we’d be crazy not to.

This fits nicely with the fundamental tenet of the Liberal Party – the inalienable right of big business to take a lazy cut of the action in what is passed off as clever free-market entrepreneurial capitalism at its finest, benefiting us all with untold wealth and easy access to consumer goodies on endless and growing foreign credit.

If only this were the case, then we could truly be relaxed and comfortable. Howard’s free-market energy model will only result in heavily subsidised corporate monopolies exploiting centralised, intensive and highly inefficient energy distribution systems.

In the 10-15 years it will take to launch a nuclear energy industry, it would be better to have government policy encourage consumer uptake of locally efficient alternative energy sources such as solar and wind which can offset demand for centralised mains energy by as much as 60% in an otherwise highly electrically dependent household.

There would be no need for expansion of centralised systems of power generation, such as coal, it would be more environmentally sustainable, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and simulate a free-market frenzy of employment and export generating regional small businesses which provide the conditions for healthy and sustainable communities. All good and desirable stuff.

But no, apparently we’d be crazy not to go nuclear. How else are those unimaginative dullards we call big business in Australia gonna make an easy buck in the finest tradition of commission-taking, coupon-clipping middlemen that passes for capitalism in this fine land.

Filed under: Economics, Environment, Politics

We need a National Forest Guard

Driving to Geelong late yesterday afternoon from Lorne felt surreally like some kind of biblical end time. Almost all trace of green has gone from the parched landscape and dams are mostly cracked and dry – made all the more eery by the reddish-tinged smoke haze blowing in from the east of the state and the blood-red sun looking like an alien planet.

On the late night news I saw footage of the bushfires in Victoria and Tasmania – some seriously out of control situations. We can only expect more to come as the driest summer on record progresses and our society seems to produce more and more morons who think lighting grass and bushfires is a good idea.

Some blog commentators have suggested that we need a more proactive approach to controlling bushfire. So here’s a policy idea for Rudd and the federal ALP – look into setting up a National Forest Guard – kinda like a coast guard. Invest government resources in satelite monitoring technology, aerial surveillance, staff and equipment for quick response swat teams.

It just doesn’t make sense to respond reactively when hundreds of thousands of hectares are burnt each summer. It will only get worse as climate change continues. The cost of bush fire destruction must now be sufficient to justify investing in a national scheme to help protect the bush. It’s issues like these where the free-market fails – it needs government coordination and funding. By the time the markets get around to realising the cost of bushfire is having a negative impact on the economy, most of it will have long burnt down.

Filed under: Economics, Environment, Politics

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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