Cigarette plain packaging, has it worked on illicit drugs?

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Today Big Prohibition is celebrating its High Court victory over ‘Big Tobacco’ on the issue of plain packaging of cigarettes.  Tobacco companies had challenged the legislation to have all cigarettes sold in drab green packs without logos or company identification on the basis of denial of intellectual and other property rights.

In retrospect, this may have been a mistake as property rights are not a widely respected concept in Australia.  Rural landholders have largely borne the brunt of the assault on private property until now with a myriad of laws restricting their rights to carry out activities, from building right through to weed control.  A quick check with them would have let Phillip Morris know, it was flogging a dead horse on the issue. Continue reading

Johnson campaign faltering; GOP deserves censure.

Media bias and bastardry and Republican cowardice deny the US a great candidate.

Any avid reader of the Ruidoso News is by now aware that the former two term New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson is standing for the Republican Presidential nomination. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of passing references in the Adderville Examiner and a fairly positive Op-Ed in the Galts Gulch Gazette there has been little media coverage of his candidacy. The media has in the main staged a lockout.

While it is unreasonable to expect candidacy to automatically entitle anyone to inclusion in media coverage and a place in the debates, a candidate who meets the requirements should not be excluded. This is what has been done to Johnson. In May CNN blocked him from a debate in New Hampshire, although he qualified as an announced candidate with 2 percent support in three national polls during the month.

Despite being even in polls with Herman Cain and ahead of Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum he was excluded from other debates, which included them. Since then it has been standard practice to omit him from the polls that decide places in the debates. With his campaign now faltering, it seems that media bias and bastardry has denied America a candidate who has the track record and principles to revitalize the nation.  Continue reading

Ron Paul rocks them in debate.

Missed this one but was alerted to it by Angry Exile, who saw it on Trooper Thompson’s blog, where its pointed out that the media seems to have missed it..
Ron performs well under quite aggressive questioning. If he doesn’t get the nomination, perhaps he would be a better Secretary of the Treasury than the current one.

Update: This now seems to play after reloading it.


Trooper also gives links to CNBC cancelling its poll when Ron was well ahead, and how the Guardian avoided mentioning him by name.

All small government people should be outraged at the manipulation of the electoral process by media organizations. The manner in which Governor Gary Johnson has been excluded from the process is bizarre and disgusting. It appears that the ‘mainstream’ press are determined to create a contest between Romney and Obama.

Good analysis of the Middle East situation.

Introduction.

What follows below is one of the best assessments I have encountered of the current events in the Middle East from Daniel Pipes. While most western peaceniks are inclined to lay the entire blame for the dictatorships that are being overthrown at present at the feet of the US, the reality is that Western interference was carried out to counter communist interference.

Much of the Cold War was carried out by proxy, both sides supporting for strategic purposes regimes that in a decent world would be lined up against the wall and shot. The greatest threat of the West to the USSR and its allies was not so much the armed force but the idea of liberty, or what passes for it today.

Both forms of authoritarianism, secular (fascism, communism etc) and theocratic, have reason to fear the idea of their downtrodden seeing the freedom of the west and asking, “Why not here?” Regrettably, with western governments becoming more authoritarian in their efforts to make nanny statism appear to work, we are losing that advantage.

One act of bastardry too many, caused a fruit vendor in Tunisia to self immolate, igniting seething resentment into full-blown revolution. This will probably not free the people from oppressors but will give them new tyrants, this time religious ones. Probably the only bright spot for the west is likely to be Iran where the population has shown a willingness to revolt against their oppressors.

Friendless in the Middle East Continue reading

The libertarian party that roared.

The first paragraph of the article quoted below, which disparages a ‘libertarian political party which represents just 12 per cent of voters and barely 0.2 per cent of the eurozone’s voters’ reminds me of the old movie, “The Mouse that roared,” in which a mini principality goes to war with the US and through a series of unlikely events, wins.

The world is becoming used to the daily round of news of European nations in financial crisis, Greece being the current centre of attention.  There are constant updates on efforts by the more solvent members of the Euro zone to prop up failing members in exchange for financial reforms.  Meanwhile, long-suffering taxpayers are becoming increasingly outraged.

A current effort to expand the European Financial Stability Facility to 440 billion Euros has been blocked temporally by tiny Slovakia.  The ruling coalition there failed to approve the measure when the libertarian orientated Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) Party, voted it down.  The measure is expected to pass with the support of the opposition, probably requiring an early election as a condition.

This should give heart to angry voters across Germany, France, and the rest of Europe: Continue reading

Trampling farmer’s rights to protect farmland from CSG.

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’- 
Ronald Reagan

Several days ago here in a post, “Protecting cropping land from mining, and farmers” I mentioned some of the nasties that were included in a Draft State Planning Policy for Strategic Cropping Land.  A number of normal farming activities would be removed from local control and be subject to central government decisions.

Dale Stiler from ‘Just Grounds’ has sent in a link, which makes it clear that this is a whole lot more serious than the issues raised before. Now it appears that an incredible number of activities that farmers could be expected to carry out in the pursuit of diversification, will be illegal on land that is designated “Strategic cropping land.”

The National Farmers Federation is skeptical as to the degree of protection afforded, and Carbon Sense Coalition chairman Viv Forbes, has found serious problems in the draught: 

Carbon Sense Coalition chairman Viv Forbes said the policy would stop farmers subdividing their land.

“Any other developments on their blighted land will be banned or difficult,” Mr Forbes said.  “Imagine the obstacles should they want to develop a racehorse stud, a feedlot, a new house or a private forest?” he said.

“Farmers will be condemned to be pastoral peasants on cropping land controlled forever, paddock by paddock, by an anti-farming, anti-mining bureaucracy.  Continue reading

BHP demands corporate welfare.

“In retrospect, it becomes clear, that hindsight is definitely overrated!” – Alfred E. Neuman.

With the ink barely dry on the result of the 2010, “There will be no carbon tax under a …,” election, Marius Kloppers, head honcho at BHP Billiton, friend of the mining tax, and compulsive ‘certainty’ seeker, called for a carbon tax, just to give him a bit of certainty, and to put Australia ahead of the pack.

Marius, for some reason was not able to see any certainty in not having a carbon tax so rather than oppose the idea, he opted to go for it.  This can be likened to sending ships to help your enemy invade so you can be sure of what the future holds.  Now he has changed his mind on how good it is going to be and is demanding corporate welfare tart status:

 JULIA Gillard is under mounting pressure to give exporters a special deal under her proposed carbon tax after BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers yesterday became the latest business leader to warn that Australia’s go-it-alone approach would be a “dead weight” on high-polluting industries. Continue reading