Friday, December 31, 2010

Slide into 2011 with a laugh!

The year 2010 has come to an end. In the recent past, I have brought you not so good news. To compensate for that, “Getting Old” should bring at least a smile to your face. We all hope that 2011 will be a better year and hopefully bring peace in the world.
We should also spare a thought for the many flood victims in Central Queensland Australia, where thousands of people have become homeless due to their homes being flooded - those people have really nothing to laugh about.

I would like to encourage everybody who is high and dry to donate generously to the Red Cross flood appeal - if you can. So far more than 8000 people had been evacuated from their homes, and it was stated in the news today that the area flooded in Queensland is bigger than France and Germany combined - a disaster of mammoth proportion.

I wish all my blog visitors a happy and prosperous New Year, but most of all good health, and enjoy the following joke. Werner
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Getting Old.
Two medical students were walking along the street when they saw an old man walking with his legs spread apart. He was stiff-legged and walking slowly.

One student said to his friend: "I'm sure that poor old man has the Peltry Syndrome. Those people walk just like that."

The other student says: "No, I don't think so. The old man surely has the Zovitzki Syndrome. He walks slowly and his legs are apart, just as we learned in class."

Since they couldn't agree they decided to ask the old man. They approached him and one of the students said to him, "We're medical students and couldn't help, but notice the way you walk, but we couldn't agree on the syndrome you might have. Could you tell us what it is?"

The old man said, "I'll tell you, but first you tell me what you two fine medical students think."

The first student said, "I think it's the Peltry Syndrome."
The old man said, "You thought - but you are wrong."

The other student said, "I think you have Zovitzki Syndrome."

The old man said, "You thought - but you are wrong."

So they asked him, "Well, old timer, what do you have?"

The old man said, "I thought it was WIND - but I was wro
ng, too!"
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My quote for today: - Werner
Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.
~Arnold Glasow

Friday, December 24, 2010

Afghanistan, a millstone around our collective necks.

Click on the link below for in-depth and poignant comments by Australian broadcaster Alan Jones, re the plight of the three soldiers charged over an incident in Afghanistan. Jones also interviews Charlie Lynn, MLC, in regards to this.

I believe these comments should be distributed as widely as possible so that as many Australians as possible and the world are made aware of and understand the truth as to what has happened, and the appalling treatment these men received, for serving their country.

It is a sad indictment on our mainstream media and government that they have not come out supporting these three. As Alan Jones says, the traitors (Hicks & others) that served and helped the Taliban got better treatment from our Government and media than these three.

Unfortunately, in war there will be civilian casualties and collateral damage. We are engaged in a futile and unwinnable war that is costly financially and in human lives. We send our soldiers there to fight insurgents, yet when they are attacked and defend themselves and, inadvertently kill civilians, they are hauled over the coals by the army brass. This is an absolute travesty. - Werner

Click here for Alan Jones comments and the interview with Charlie Lynn MLC. Click here to see the fact sheet of what Australia is spending in Afghanistan; one would think that charity should start at home.

My quote for today. - Werner

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Dwight David Eisenhower

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Electricity will soon become unaffordable for many Australians.

I had an e-mail telling me that some elderly people are putting solar lights into their garden and take them inside at night to save electricity. I’m not sure if this will save them much, but it illustrates the desperate measures some people take, in trying to reduce the ever increasing electricity prices. Somebody else said to me that running the generator at night is starting to look a much cheaper option than getting mains power.

Good grief! Where are we heading in this country, and why has electricity suddenly become so expensive? Countries we export coal to produce cheaper electricity than we do. For a lot of people, to live in this once lucky country is starting to become more and more unaffordable. Following is what Viv Forbes of the Carbon Sense Coalition has to say. - Werner
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Green Power just generates Red Ink!
12th December 2010
To read all, you can link to a print friendly PDF of this newsletter here:

The Carbon Sense Coalition has called for an end to all subsidies, mandated markets and sweetheart pricing for solar and wind energy.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that current energy policies were harming the existing power industry and robbing taxpayers and electricity consumers.

Forbes continued:
"It's time to end the mollycoddling of wind and solar energy toys before this stupidity does irreversible damage to Australia’s electricity supply and costs.

"The mindless green dream of producing serious base load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and has had no effect at all on global climate.

"The frivolous wind and solar generators already installed have caused a surge in electricity prices, a bonanza for Chinese manufacturers and well founded doubts about our future ability to keep the lights on.

"Transmission costs are also ignored or under-estimated by green disciples. Because wind and solar are dilute forms of energy, often best developed in remote locations, collectors must sprawl over large areas of land, with each collector needing expensive new power lines to connect to the grid.

"Provision of cheap reliable energy is a basic requirement for modern civilisation and is the engine that lifts people from poverty. It is far too important to be left to green dreamers, anti-industrial zealots, vote seeking politicians, engineering illiterates and guilt-ridden millionaires.

"It is already obvious from Denmark, Spain, California and Germany that subsidising green power creates very little power but much red ink in the accounts. It always causes massive burdens for tax payers, electricity consumers and industry. Tax payers and investors will rue the day they allowed politicians to waste their savings on chimeras.

"Get rid of all the mandated markets, subsidies and tax breaks for all energy generators, and leave power engineers and business managers to work out how best to supply our future energy needs in a free competitive market.

"Subsidised power must collapse under its own dead weight. But every day's delay increases the eventual cost. "
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My thought for today: - Werner
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind' not with it. - Henry Ford

Monday, December 13, 2010

WikiLeaks exposed the other side of our politicians.

News Flash! Here comes the Australian press to the rescue in support of Wikileaks,
defending rights to free speech and democracy. After all, if they are successful in shutting down Wikileaks - who is going to be next? And then they will just have vanilla-brand smooth news censored and filtered by politicians... the propaganda machine. We need freedom of the press to: "Keep the bastards honest." Click on the links below. Things are getting interesting!

Statement from Australian newspaper editors to PM Julia Gillard

See Time Magazine cover - clever:
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Following is an excellent letter, written by Sandy Sanderson from the Gold Coast Qld. Australia, to Qld. Liberal Senator Russel Trood, re his newsletter in which he made some remarks about WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. There would be only a small number of people, if any at all, who would disagree with the content of Sandy’s letter. This letter hits the nail on the head, precisely, and speaks for all of us. What WikiLeaks has exposed is that our politicians treat us like mushrooms, and that is: keep us in the dark and feed us BS. WickiLeaks founder Julian Assange has done us all a favour and proved to us electors that our politicians talk with a forked tongue and cannot be trusted. It is not surprising that the electors have become cynical. - Werner
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To: Senator Trood

Various legal professionals, as well as Kevin Rudd, have publicly pointed out that he is only a receiver of the information other sources in the US government leaked. Fairfax and other newspapers are publishing the same documents in print. Why aren't they branded as 'terrorists'? (Good question, Sandy - Werner)

What has happened to the world that this situation is highlighting, is that world governments are acting as a cartel and becoming centralised, oppressive and censoring because of overuse of government powers to conceal corruption.

The biggest bully in the playground is throwing a temper tantrum because someone 'told on him' and spoiled the charade.

It's about time government representatives started to stand up for truth and justice (yes, I know old fashioned concepts) irrespective of what the bully may do to them in recrimination.

I am heartened that world renowned human rights lawyer (and Australian) Sir Geoffrey Robertson (Click on this link) will be representing Julian Assange. In a sense, it is as though he is representing the whole of humanity by its implications. If justice is not carried out, and an innocent man is taken as political prisoner of the US government, then what hope does humanity have?

What is happening is a gigantic spiritual test to see who stands up fearlessly to defend human rights and the right to be given fair trial according to legal process. This issue is not lost on the general public who see Wikileaks as 'heroes' exposing the truth to protect the public and in the interests of justice. People don't want to be herded into a war footing as is being done. Inevitably they will pay with their lives, their freedom and their taxes. They deserve to know the truth because they are the largest stakeholders.

How quick it has been for our puppet government to jump up in knee-jerk reaction to do US bidding or sacrifice justice in order to appease the bully. We saw it with David Hicks and his torture in detention at 'Gitmo'. In the war crimes tribunals of the future when the US government is called to explain its actions, where will the Australian officials be? Still connected hand-in-glove?

Even the New Zealand government is more protective of its citizens' human rights... Despite its tiny size, it can still roar like a lion.

I am ashamed at such times to be an Australian citizen.

Sandy Sanderson, Gold Coast, Qld. Australia

My thought for today. – Werner

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Friday, December 10, 2010

Former Australian Prime Minister has expressed his opinion about China, now we can see how they look at things in China.

We all know now Kevin Rudd’s opinion on China, thanks to WikiLeaks. They're calling Kevin Rudd tough, now that WikiLeaks shows he told the United States to prepare for war with China. Or as Rudd himself put it, according to a cable from the US State Department, "a brutal realist on China".

Now, let’s see what they say in China. Below is part of a speech by a Chinese top military man, to read the full speech, click here. - Werner

This is the actual text of a speech delivered in December, 2005 by Comrade Chi Haotian –the Vice-Chairman of China’s Military Commission to top officers and generals. Keep in mind that China has for many years advocated deceitful and covert warfare against its enemies. This is their Modus Operandi. There should be little question that a “Bird Flu” Pandemic would deeply excite them. (Don’t forget how they have poisoned thousands of American pets and knowingly placed lead paints on toddler’s toys.)

“Comrades, I’m very excited today,
because the large-scale online survey that was done for us showed that our next generation is quite promising and our Party’s cause will be carried on. In answering the question, “Will you shoot at women, children and prisoners of war,” more than 80 per cent of the respondents answered in the affirmative, exceeding by far our expectations.

Today I’d like to focus on why we asked to conduct this online survey among our people. My speech today is a sequel to my speech last time, during which I started with a discussion of the issue of the three islands [Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands and the Spratley Islands --- Ott] and mentioned that 20 years of the idyllic theme of ‘peace and development’ had come to an end, and concluded that modernization under the saber is the only option for China’s next phase. I also mentioned we have a vital stake overseas.

The central issue of this survey appears to be whether one should shoot at women, children and prisoners of war, but its real significance goes far beyond that. Ostensibly, our intention is mainly to figure out what the Chinese people’s attitude towards war is: If these future soldiers do not hesitate to kill even non combatants, they’ll naturally be doubly ready and ruthless in killing combatants. Therefore, the responses to the survey questions may reflect the general attitude people have towards war ..We wanted to know: If China’s global development will necessitate massive deaths in enemy countries, will our people endorse that scenario? Will they be for or against it?

The fact is, our ‘development’ refers to the great revitalization of the Chinese nation, which, of course, is not limited to the land we have now but also includes the whole world. As everybody knows, according to the views propagated by the Western scholars, humanity as a whole originated from one single mother in Africa.

Therefore no race can claim racial superiority. However, according to the research conducted by most Chinese scholars, the Chinese are different from other races on earth. We did not originate in Africa. Instead, we originated independently in the land of China. Therefore, we can rightfully assert that we are the product of cultural roots of more than a million years, civilization and progress of more than ten thousand years, an ancient nation of thousand years, and a single Chinese entity of two thousand years. This is the Chinese During our long history, our people have disseminated throughout the Americas and the regions along the Pacific Rim, and they became Indians in the Americas and the East Asian ethnic groups in the South Pacific.

We all know that on account of our national superiority, during the thriving and prosperous Tang Dynasty our civilization was at the peak of the world. We were the centre of the world civilization, and no other civilization in the world was comparable to ours. Later on, because of our complacency, narrow-mindedness, and the self-enclosure of our own country, we were surpassed by Western civilization, and the centre of the world shifted to the West.

In reviewing history, one may ask: Will the centre of the world civilization shift back to China? Actually, Comrade Liu Huaqing made similar points in early 1980’s Based on an historical analysis, he pointed out that the centre of world civilization is shifting. It shifted from the East to Western Europe and later to the United States; now it is shifting back to the East. Therefore, if we refer to the 19th Century as the British Century and the 20th century as the American Century, then the 21st Century will be the Chinese Century!! (Wild applause fills the auditorium.) nation that calls itself ‘descendants of Yan and Huang.’

Our Chinese people are wiser than the Germans because, fundamentally, our race is superior to theirs. As a result, we have a longer history, more people, and larger land area. On this basis, our ancestors left us with the two most essential heritages, which are atheism and great unity. It was Confucius, the founder of our Chinese culture, who gave us these heritages. These two heritages determined that we have a stronger ability to survive than the West. That is why the Chinese race has been able to prosper for so long. We are destined ‘not to be buried by either heaven or earth’ no matter how severe the natural, man-made, and national disasters. This is our advantage. Take response to war as an example. The reason that the United States remains today is that it has never seen war on its mainland. Once its enemies aim at the mainland, the enemies would have already reached Washington before its congress finishes debating and authorizes the president to declare war. But for us, we don’t waste time on these trivial things.

My thought for today: - Werner

Fear is that little Darkroom where negatives are developed. Michael Pritchard

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Australia is losing its heart and soul to foreign interests.

We were once called the “lucky” and the “clever country;” ex-cuse me for having a nostalgic vibe. The way things are going, it won’t be long before Australia is owned by foreign interests. When will our politicians take their blinkers off before all our land is in foreign hands and the profits go to their respective countries?

Our federal Independent, Tony Windsor MP, of National Party stock, who helped to get a Labor federal Gover
nment installed, is said to have sold his farm to Chinese interests for 3.3 Million dollars. He is not recontesting his federal seat, so he could easily thumb his nose at his rural electors and avoid the backlash and – is laughing all the way to the bank. One has to wonder when some foreign investors will buy our governments. The following is courtesy of ‘The Weekly Times’. - Werner
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FOREIGN investors have snapped up billions of dollars in prime agricultural land and rural enterprises. Some of Australia's best-known farm brands - including Golden Circle, SPC, Dairy Farmers, CSR Sugar, SunRice and AWB - have fallen into foreign hands.

A Herald Sun investigation shows a swag of government-backed entrepreneurs - including from China, the Middle East and Singapore - are sizing up potential investments as global powers move to secure food supplies. More than $9 billion of prized agricultural assets have been sold to offshore interests in the past two years. And there is more to come - though no one can accurately say how much is for sale.

A Chinese delegation will arrive next month, hoping to acquire farms and other agricultural assets. Tens of millions of dollars are being invested in water licences by American and British investors. Tasmanian real estate executive Betty Kay said she had five Chinese investors hoping to acquire dairy assets -part of the superpower's plan to provide milk to its 1.3 billion population. The investment is good news for depressed local farmers who can no longer make a decent living. But the sell off has raised alarm bells in the bush and Canberra.
MPs from across the political spectrum are worried about unchecked foreign investment and are demanding greater transparency to ensure Australia's food supplies are not jeopardised.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten
has flagged plans to conduct an audit of farm sales and is keen to "further strengthen transparency" of foreign ownership in agriculture. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who will introduce a private member's Bill, argues the present rules
around foreign investment are a "joke.” “No one is even monitoring how much of our farmland we are selling," he said. Australia, with its rich and fertile lands and sophisticated farming techniques, is a key target for some of the world's biggest agricultural enterprises.

Spanish Ebro Foods is bidding $600 million to acquire Sun Rice and Singapore-based Wilmar International won a $1.75 billion bid for CSR's sugar and renewable energy business.

Doug Chant,
ex-president of the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, said foreign interests were seeking freehold farms in western Victoria. "There appears to be interest there and, at the least, the Government should have a register of properties being sold to overseas interests," Mr Chant said. Greens' deputy leader Christine Milne is pushing for stricter controls. She said countries such as China, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia had begun "a massive buy-up". "It is now imperative Australia protects its land and water as part of national sovereignty," she said.
NATIONAL FOODS - SOLD in 2009. Purchase: Australia's largest dairy food and juice company which sells brands such as Pura Milk, Moove, Vitasoy and Berri Juice Buyer: Kirin Holdings took over the company when it took over the Lion Nathan Group in late 2009. Country: Japan. Price: $3.5 billion

AAB GRAIN - SOLD in 2009
Purchase: The Australian Barley Board was Australia's largest agribusiness but was bought out in mid 2009. Buyer: Viterra, an international agribusiness which operates in Western Canada, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Country: Canada. Price: $1.6 billion.

Purchase: One of the largest and oldest dairy manufacturers in Australia, which was first established in 1900.Buyer: Lion Nathan purchased the company in 2008 but was purchased a year later by Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings. Country: Japan. Price: $675 million.

Purchase: 8096ha property for the farming of almonds and with water rights of 90,000 mega litres. Buyer: Olam a Singapore based company purchased the property which represents 45 per cent of the Australian almond crop. Country: Singapore. Price: $288 million

NUFARM LIMITED - STAKE SOLD in 2010. Purchase: The crop protection and fertilisers company recently had to raise cash by selling a 20 percent stake. Buyer: Sumitomo of Japan an insurance company. Country: Japan. Price: $250 million.

Purchase: A Victorian-based meat processor purchased in 2008. Buyer: Swift Australia the nation's largest meat processor expands buying a competitor Tasman Group. Country: Brazil. Price: $150m.

AACO - SOLD in 2009
Purchase: Australia's largest cattle company with 22 properties owns 1.1 percent of the Australian continent. Buyer: Felda Iffco an international conglomerate with ownership in the Middle East and Malaysia now owns 19.9 percent of the company. Country: United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. Price: $70m.

Purchase: Australia's largest exporter of chilled lamb purchased in December 2009 Buyer: Swift Australia, the nation's largest meat processor purchases expands buying the South Australian based company. Country: Brazil. Price: $30m.

ROCKDALE BEEF - SOLD in 2010. Purchase: The feedlots and processing plant was purchased in March 2010. Buyer: Swift Australia the nations largest meat processor purchases the integrated beef cattle feedlot, feed mill, meatworks and farming business. Country: Brazil Price: $28m.This was bought from Kirin Holdings, the Japanese company that owns National Foods and Dairy Farmers.

MURRAY DARLING WATER LICENCES - SOLD. Purchase: Water licences in the Murray Darling. Buyer: Summit Global Management a San Diego-based investment management firm that invests in Hydro commerce. Country: USA. Price: $20m.

MURRAY DARLING WATER LICENCES - SOLD. Purchase: Water licences in the Murray Darling. Buyer: Guinness Peat Group a British Investment Group investing in licences. Country: UK. Price: $35m.

Purchase: The former family business has been operating for almost 20 years. Buyer: Ameropa a privately owned Swiss international grain and fertiliser trader had been in a joint venture with the company for four years when it bought the company in May this year. Country: Swiss. Price: $50m.

AWB LIMITED – APPROVED. Purchase: AWB's profits suffered in the years following the Cole Inquiry. Buyer: The Foreign Investment Review Board this month approved the purchased by Canadian firm Agrium .Country: Canada. Price: $1.2 billion.

Purchase: The major Australian household brand is of one of the world's largest rice food companies and is currently being bought out by a firm out of Spain. Buyer: Ebro Foods is the world's largest producer of rice and the second biggest producer of pasta. Country: Spain. Price: $600 million.

Purchase: The major sugar producer has recently been given permission to go ahead with the sale to Wilmar International by FIRB. Buyer: Wilmar International is Asia's leading agribusiness group and is the largest global processor and merchandiser of palm and lauric oils. Country: Singapore. Price: $288 million. SHENHUA WATERMARK COAL - PENDING APPROVAL.

More than 25 farms have been purchased in around the town of Gunnedah in order for the company to pursue coal mining interests in the area. Farmers are worried about the damage that a mine may do the local aquifer. Buyer: Shenhua Watermark Coal is the world's biggest coal company and is majority owned by the Chinese government.
Country: China. Price: $130 million.

Purchase: The station is the largest irrigation property in the Southern Hemisphere and comes with water licences for 460,000 megalitres. Potential Buyers: Currently in administration but being circled by Swiss-based Western Gulf Advisory and Olam a Singaporean group which already has significant agricultural interests in Australia. Country: Companies from various countries looking at bidding.

QUEENSLAND SUGAR MILLS. Purchase: Following the announcement of the deal over CSR Sugar there is speculation that many of the millsin Northern Queensland such as Mackay Sugar, Maryborough Sugar Factory, Proserpine Sugar Mill and Mossman Mill may be bought. Potential Buyers: The interested parties are believed to include France's Louis Dreyfus, American group Bunge and China's Bright Foods Company. Country: France, USA, China.

Purchase: One of the last Australian Cheese manufacturers this week saw Bega Cheese buy into the company,however Canada's Saputo has also been eyeing the company.

Potential Buyers:
Australian firm Bega Cheese appears to have beaten out its Canadian competitor for the moment however, Saputo appears to remain interested in the company.
Country: Canada.

VICTORIAN AND TASMANIAN DAIRY FARMS. Purchase: Chinese investors are currently looking at a number of Dairy farms in Victoria and Tasmania. Potential Buyers: The buyers are seeking to invest in the farms in order to export milk powder to China. Country: China.
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My thought for today: - Werner Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck. - Donald Horne