Friday 24th of May 2024

Richard Tonkin's blog

Another Alexander Downer Fraud

When Australia announces that it will lease uranium to India, the deceptiveness and misleading nature of our Foreign Minister will again be revealed

Mr Downer appeared to be sticking to his principles last week when he issued a statement that Australia would not be selling uranium to India.  In attempting to repudiate a story in the Australian claiming that a nuclear transaction would take place regardless of whether India signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  "Officials have told me that that's not correct" Mr Downer intoned.

Australia To Become International Nuclear Waste Dump...Now For India

One of the main reasons for the Halliburton-built Adelaide to Darwin Railway now becomes apparent.  If the Australian Government's mooted plans come to fruition, trains of imported nuclear waste trundling to repositories in the Australian outback will soon become a reality.

Halliburton have had a dual role in Australia, creating the tracks and providing environmental impact date for nuclear waste facilities.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is expected this week to discuss "uranium leasing" with US President Bush.   Under the plan, Australia's 40% of global uranium supplies would not be sold, but "hired out" to users, the waste returning to the Australian point of origin.

Beyond The "Halliburton SurvivaBall"


So. First of all, let's define our words: what do we mean when we say "safety"? Well, for us in the corporate world, the most essential form of safety is simply the safety to achieve what we need, as we need it, and how we need it.

Whether I'm in reconstruction, energy, manufacturing, or insurance, if I'm taking a risk, I want the government's hand to be pulling me safely over the obstacles, not laying obstacles in my way. I want to be safe
to minimize the risk to my investments as I see fit, without being told
what's right and what's wrong.

Insurance firms are also concerned with safety, another form of it, a special-case definition: the safety of people. Because their own safety depends so much on that special form of safety, insurance has become quite worried about some grave new dangers to people that we're seeing in the world around us. I'm talking about climate change and the "natural" disasters it brings.

Indeed, the numbers could look frightening. In the 1950s insurance had to pay 4 billion dollars per year for disasters. Now it pays about 40 times that, or $150 billion each year. [*]
And it's getting worse; Munich Reinsurance has written that "climatic change will lead to natural catastrophes of hitherto unknown force and frequency" triggering losses of "many hundreds of billions of dollars per year."

To make things worse, there are some who believe that this is only the start. In nature, things often change very suddenly, and scientists feel that the things we've seen so far may be minor compared to what could happen.

For example, Arctic melt has slowed the Gulf Stream by 30% in just the last decade; if the Gulf Stream stops, Europe will become just as cold as Alaska.

Or it could go the other way - methane released from melting permafrost could cause a heating cycle making human life unliveable outside air-conditioned hotels like this one.

Or, as
the oceans heat up and expand, ice sheets could slip off Antarctica - meaning most of the earth's major cities will flood!

Even if none of this happens, some scientists tell us the changes we're likely to see could greatly increase disease and migration, and could exacerbate growing tensions within our societies possibly to the point of civic unrest or even war.

This sort of thinking has even influenced some insurers. Lloyd's of London has stated that climate change could easily bankrupt the entire insurance industry, and Munich Re suggests it could topple global capital markets as a consequence. [*]

Given the science, these worries cannot be called unreasonable. But panicking isn't the answer.

If we panic and try to stop climate change, 70% of carbon emissions will have to stop. That'll be a huge blow to our way of doing business: government intervention will become the rule, and we'll have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

To remain profitable in a macroscopic loss situation, we must integrate disaster into our global business vision, and not allow immediate dangers to interfere with our general, longer-term concept of safety.

We at Halliburton, for example, assure our safety not despite, but via the
ambient danger - in reconstruction, relocation of refugees, peacekeeping. These arenas are synergistic: where there's conflict, there's reconstruction; where there are refugees, there's conflict;
where there's conflict or reconstruction, there are bound to be
refugees.

Sometimes danger presents broad new opportunities. In New Orleans, for example, Katrina pruned the city, removing people from economic black holes and allowing a redevelopment process that's gratifying for all of us.
Although real estate values plummeted immediately following the disaster, much commercial real estate is already over its pre-storm values.

While we don't suggest that everyone make climate change the core of their business plan, I can personally guarantee you that level heads will always be able to turn lemons into lemonade.

Consider the Black Plague, an unspeakably rotten event in which one third of
Europe's population died in great agony. No one would wish such a thing on any civilization. Yet without the Black Plague, the
old business models of medieval Europe would never have been overturned by the entrepreneurs of the Renaissance. What would the world be without the Mona Lisa?

Or closer to home, how about the Great Deluge? This world-ending disaster was surely seen as a terrible catastrophe by Noah's contemporaries, and even by Noah
himself. Yet Noah was ready to seize the day, and at the end of that day, not only was there a whole new world, but Noah found himself with a monopoly of the animals. Not a bad deal!

Unfortunately, things aren't as simple for us as they were for Noah. God isn't telling us what kind of an ark we should build, nor how to deploy it - but  uckily Science can fill in the blanks, and Science tells us that what we're doing in the world today will lead to much more flooding,
drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, or even worse, with consequences including epidemics, human migration, civic unrest and even war.

But as Warren Buffet, the oracle of Omaha, so astutely said: you must follow “the Noah rule: predicting rain doesn't count, building arks does.

Pine Gap New Pearl Harbour?

What if Al Qaeda
deemed Pine Gap a threat to their operations and send a team through
the fence.

Here's a little from a piece posted on Webdiary by Brian Law last Decemberr:

[extract

Again we climbed through and realised all the power of the greatest
empire in history could not stop two untrained, unfunded, unarmed
Christian pacifists from entering one of their most important and
secure bases - even after we had told them we were coming.

Pine Gap Guides Missiles To Osama

Australia's Pine Gap base was used to send 32 cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden.

The missiles failed to kill the Al Qaeda leader as he had left the target site approximately twenty minutes earlier.

International affairs commentator and policy advisor Mr Keith Suiter said on  Adelaide radio this morning that the US surveillance installation at PIne Gap assisted in monitoring Bin Laden's satellite phone call to his mother and pinpointing his location for the missile attack.

Speaking on ABC 891 Mr Suiter said that one of the problems with the plan was that many of the missiles destroyed each other while attempting to strike the same target.

Hicks Blair Citizenship Appeal Rejected

He's a step closer.. David Hicks right to British citizenship has been upheld by the UK courts.

A final appeal against Hick's eligibility has been rejected, clearing all legal barriers against Hicks claim.

The application for UK citizenship was made after a chance remark made by the Adelaide-resident Guantanemo inmate to his military lawyer, while discussing the Ashes cricket game in London, that his mother was British.

David's father Terry said from Adelaide today that the only real barrier for his son now was that it would be difficult for him to take the citizenship oath while being held in Guantanemo.

Did You Meet Scott Parkin While He Was In Australia? You Can Help Him

Parkin , to refresh your memory, was the Halliburton protester deported because ASIO knew that the Pentagon had a file on him.  Embarrasingly for ASIO the file was of Parkin handing out peanut butter sandwiches as a means of protest.

Parkin's Australian legal team and his support group want to hear from those who met the man while he was here.  Your written testimony that Parkin acted non-violently during his sojourn here wiould help to prove his innocence.

Parkin was detained at a Melbourne coffee shop while on his way to help present a workshop on passive non-violent resistance techniques.  The Federal Police and Immigration officers placed him in solitary confinement, then flew him to Los Angeles in the company of two Australian Immigration officers.

Australain Entertainment Venues Now Terror Targets, Say Attorney General And Intelligence Chief

I'm feeling vindicated in getting the "heebie jeebies" in the casino the other night now that I know that ASIOs worried about terrorist attacks on Australian restaurants. 

Why would I think that a casino atop a railway, adjacent to a Parliament House, might not be a great place to hang around?  Let's look at what our attorney general and our chief of Intelligencehad to say today:

[from The Age

ASIO has warned that terrorists could carry out attacks on
hotels and restaurants in Australia.

Australia Goes Nuclear

In today's Australian,

PROMINENT scientist Tim Flannery has called for an end to the
uranium debate, saying all alternative energy sources to fossil fuels
must be considered in the fight against climate change.

The author of The Weather Makers and director of the South Australian
Museum said yesterday he had softened his view on nuclear power.

Dr Flannery said the nation could not afford to get "bogged
down in a debate about the three mines policy" or nuclear power and
instead should develop a cohesive response to global warming. "People
say we can't have uranium mining because there's a danger of
proliferation and that's true," Dr Flannery said. "But we have to weigh
all of this stuff and deal with this in the context of threat to
climate change and that's why people are getting away with rubbish
about wind and uranium.

A President Against War

 This piece is an edited and reordered version of Nine New's David Brent's account of an interview with the President of Costa Rica, a country with no army and, according to Brent, " one of the highest levels of literacy and healthcare in the world.  There is much more to read here- I edited only to emphasise certain points, endeavouring nott to change the piece's sentiment.

Australia and the world could soon be hearing a lot more from Oscar Arias because he says he'll intensify his fight against nations increasing their defence budgets when he is inaugurated as his country's president next week.

Agonies Of A "Conspiracy Theorist"

I'm having an ethical crisis. Over the last couple of years I've been looking in shadows for details, and now I'm wondering if it's a current-affairs equivalent of a meerschacht test.. you know, when a pychologist shows a patient ink-blobs and analyses their interpretation.

I'd read, seen and heard things and added them to pieces of information I knew, and become convinced that the answer I came up with was correct. In blind faith I've looked for proof of my "deductions" and broadcast my fears to the best of my abilities.

Explosion In Downtown Adelaide

 Parts of Adelaide's city centre are closed today after an explosion struck a building over night.

The explosion occurred in the heart of the city at 3 am this morning.in  Pirie St, in the very centre of the city.

ABC News said the three storey building has been "destroyed"

Snr Contable Mick Turnbull "It's going to take a while for us to sift through here and see what's actually happened here"

 SA Premier Mike Rann, from  the scene of the incident said that he wa "shocked
by what's happeneed here in the middle of Adelaide nd I'm shocked by
the extent of the damage.  When  you look at this from above the damage
goes back quite a long way"

A Horrible Feeling Of Dread

Not my favourite place to visit, I was dragged into the Adelaide Casino last night. After an hour I left because I didn't feel safe  Two hundred people dancing in a venue three stories up from our central railway station didn't seem like a good place to be.

Even though the rubbish bins were taken out of the station two years back because of similar fears.  I couldn't help thinking of the psychological impact on local culture that an attack on such a place would cause.

I didn't want to be fighting my way to an unavailable exit while the floor collapsed beneath me.  Given that the casino's interior was recently re-engineered  by Halliburton/KBR I would assume that expert consideration of such a situation would have necessitated the incorporation of contingency plans.  However, all I could visualise was people jumping of balconies, clawing past each other on the escalators, dodging falling chunks of marble debris... I tried to force myself to stay, but felt compelled to get as far away as possible.

You Can't Have A War Without A Hero

 As the Australian Prime Minister's opinion polls sag from the mud of a
bribery scandal, a flag-draped Australian hero is brought home to be
honoured on our annual day of war remembrance.....

It was bad luck that I was re-watching "Wag The Dog" while reading
about the death of the Aussie sniper... maybe otherwise I wouldn't have
been feeling so cynical. For those who don't know the movie, it's about
the media staging of a war to save the US President's election
campaign. Anyway, I was listening to Dustin Hoffman uttering the words
in the title as my eyes fell on this Melbourne Herald-Sun paragraph:

Is The Australian Ambassadorship A Tobacco Kickback?

As Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage sticks up for the
Howard Government again, I start to wonder about him. Armitage, who has
ties to the company that provided the commercial torturers working in
Abu Graibh (including the one from Adelaide)
has attempted to draw a curtain over the Howard Government's
negligences revealed in the AWB Inquiry. Armitage says that nobody in
the USA gives a damn about Australian Government corruption.

Wow, they are just like us Aussies after all

Syndicate content