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by John Pratt on July 24, 2008 - 7:24am

Shell Australia is questioning why some petrol stations have not slashed prices following a corresponding drop in world oil prices.

Shell said it had lowered its wholesale fuel price early this week and had expected its retail outlets, which include Coles Express, to follow suit.

The claim comes as the profiteering, telling News Limited on Wednesday that prices should be $1.35 a litre.

Instead of declining, the average price across Sydney remained steady at $1.55 a litre, with some outlets selling at a heavily inflated $1.69.

With the price of world oil dropping the price of petrol should be $1.35 a litre. Who is making a profit out of Australia's suffering motorists? It seems the retailers are quick to raise prices but very slow to drop them when the price falls.

David R: well, except that the NRMA is completely wrong. The oil price now is the same as it was in mid-June, having gone up a lot and down a lot since then. In mid-June the petrol price was in the $1.55 region, which was where it was round here yesterday. It never actually went up to the levels that the $147 barrel would justify, so to expect it to come down with the fall from that level is just misleading motorists.

by John Pratt on July 24, 2008 - 7:06am

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June 2008 was 60.8 degrees F, which is 0.9 degrees F above the 20th century mean of 59.9 degrees F.

For those who still believe the Earth is cooling, don't let the truth get in the way of your fantasy.

by John Pratt on July 24, 2008 - 6:51am

“What should the Americans do before leaving Iraq? Iraq has been destroyed by your army, so what should you do before leaving? You broke it and you have to fix it.”

The country has been destroyed. More than a hundred thousand people were killed, the infrastructure was obliterated and the country became an open battlefield for terrorists from everywhere to settle their scores with the Americans. We never heard of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia before, but now they are there. We never heard of car bombs or I.E.D.s, but they are still killing us every day. There is no horrible way of death that we haven’t seen since 2003, and for what?

If Obama is elected and goes ahead with his promised removal of all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months, all members of the invasion force will have a huge responsibility to fix up the mess they have left behind. The war will look cheap compared to the repair bill.

by Paul Walter on July 24, 2008 - 5:09am

John Pratt's post concerning Dr Bob Birrell, who I know very little of personally, apparently concerns the relationship between "growth", rapid immigration and population increase, and the environment.

Is Birrell connected with Sustainable Population Australia or any other dry-green groups?

Am in dispute with an amigo over whether or not population increase is sustainable, given the mess the country seems to have put into following the ascendancy of "growth" at any cost economics. Would rather see something serious (finally) done to fix environmental and social and education infrastructures first, rather than blundering into yet more population increase on the verge of a recession and before sustainability has been assessed, beyond its significance to "developers", Macbanks, construction companies and bent politicians.

Reason I write this is, got into strife some years ago when I mistook the refugee crisis for an underhand neo-lib attempt at increased migration by stealth, to keep unemployment high and wages and conditions down for the majority. My argument then, as now, is get the preconditions fixed first, then worry about bringing appropriate numbers out after things are set up to accommodate them.

I believe the savage demolition of Australian environment by greedy, moronic "developers", has compromised this country's capacity for radical population growth in the future.

Which is not to say that we could not fulfil our humanitarian obligations to the third world poor in a more efficient way, actually, by radically upping targeted, genuine aid for places like Timor L'Este and New Guinea, say (rather than just aid as just means for exploitation of poor countries).

If some folk thus think me a "racist", because I think the life boat shouldn't be overloaded to the point of capsizing, then so be it.

by Paul Morrella on July 24, 2008 - 2:06am

David Roffey: "And, if you aren't too hot on truth, you can say that this shows a cooling trend, even though you're still talking about most of the hottest years on record, and the rolling average goes steadily up from 1998 on."

It's, a fair question, though, one would think. I mean, manmade emissions certainly have grown since 1998. If one is to believe the warmists this should result in continual rising temperatures. It clearly hasn't.

People are asking Australians to accept a diminished lifestyle. The least they could do is point out the truth of what this will mean for most of them. They could also point out the truth that Australia's efforts may result in nil achievement globally - or even make things worse - and that's certainly not going to save the Australian landscape if indeed warmists are to be believed.

If the climate change people were for real or at least want doubts taken away, they should concentrate on cutting "pollution" - something only a complete cretin could disagree with. My contention is they don't do this because it changes the debate away from enforced government stand-over tactics, and away from enforced poverty. Wealthier nations demand higher standards of lifestyle - this means less pollution - no rich person ever wants to live in a toxic swamp - and let's face it, they don't.

A society can only be "rich" with economic growth - it cannot come about any other way - that's why the need for "global apocalyptic doom" exists. The spin in fact is no different to that put into use by multitudes of religious cults over thousands of years.

PS. If Mr Duncan is planning a political campaign he is on the right track understanding that people's monetary living conditions don't need to be destroyed to have a cleaner country. In fact their monetary living conditions can (and should) be improved and the country still be cleaner - people in fact will demand that very thing. The tide is turning, and it will only turn quicker, as more of this insane scheme moves into common understanding.

by Angela Ryan on July 24, 2008 - 1:14am

Hi Malcolm, and to think I nearly married a Frog once. Phew.

Now does SWMBO understand your views upon this along with SHMBL?

Now come on Malcolm , think of the tabloid media if it was (not criminalised) open to civil suits for damages to the harmed one of either sex and the kids. At least an Xbox in it .Add a bit of rock throwing(for those with clean slates only of course) if it needs punitive measures and a regular community event better than NRL might be held on each Saturday. And no discrimination – same sex partners in there too. And then the Federal government can add the thought crime to it ...

Actually, I think some find it cathartic to help them out of windows, as seen recently. Windows, train tracks, between parking buses, hydrofoil undercarriages, naked in Martin Place chained, thrown on stage at a Uni review (or lion taming act if preferred), Simpson's Desert with just radiator fluid, a swim at Glenelg with a meat apron(Kathy Lette naughty naughty), left at the bottom of the 10th T-bar at Perisher when the lifts have just shut (fell in the river there myself negotiating where home actually was), all sweet alternatives should the legal means fail. French beware – we are now watching you.

Actually my grandparents were on the front page of a paper from a seedy divorce issue but as usual then he won and she went from riches to poverty and isolation, even from the kids, never seen again. And he was the one who should have had hydrofoil treatment with his whore, sorry , mistress.

And as for merchandise, does that include life-size replicas of crucified Jesus, still attached to the cross, as long as they don’t have the WYD slogan that others had ie "I asked my son for a T-shirt but all I got this for the hallway".

It was nice of them to wear pro-mulesing T-shirts with those little lambs and a cross on as my country friend initially thought. And orange?? When on earth are we going to wear orange cassocks, what were they thinking?? At least black would have been slimming. Is it the plastic cups with pontiff waving, or the lit-up War memorial with "Rat Rules" paper weights? And as we in NSW paid for much of the event surely we actually have some entitlement to the royalties? Ah well, must be a licence.

And who reaped the whirl wind, now gone back to school?


by Richard Tonkin on July 24, 2008 - 12:51am

Didnt take you the wrong way. Will respond further tomorrow... toothache giving me shits. Made it onstage to accept 2nd AHA Best SA Venue award in two years though.  Now trying to sleep.

Panadol and pain make for peculiar dreams, I must say.  Must write them down.

by Angela Ryan on July 24, 2008 - 12:42am

Look Richard, not sure about you not  thinking  it is appropriate for the pope to apologise for mistreatment by his member (what is its predecessor?), or what happens in any congregation.

And how few jokes we heard, just Claude's dad's usual unlimited wit but no Chaser, and  just the usual Eliot gaffes. Ah sigh.

Here is a late night (warning for those who take offence , shut your eyes now) story.

My horse racing mate and I were latte-ing last Sunday and he asked me “do you know why it had to be at Randwick Race Course?" Wow, the inside tip, I thought, and it was indeed. "No, why?" "Apparently it is the only course IN THE WORLD where you can ride a three year old." It actually took me ages to realise what he said. Imagine that at Randwick, why DO the other courses have such limits – and does it apply to members?

And I was surprised the popemobile didn’t get a speeding ticket down there through the crowd.

But at least Rat looked healthier than when I last saw him – must have done him good that first bit of Rand R. Horse for courses.


by Angela Ryan on July 24, 2008 - 12:31am

Never mind Eliot, another confusion for you, well it is all such a euphoricevent.

Kathy, condoms are known to be inadequate for HPV as it is on the vulva and around the male bits, hence contact during sex of these areas will produce infection. HIV is different as it is transmitted via semen, and particularly if there is a current infection on the cervix such as herpes. Transmission is blocked by condoms. Despite what the Roman bishops have said and lied, yes sadly lied, HIV does not go through condoms.

The pregnancy failure rate that you quoted (10-20 percent) is different again. the usually quoted 10 percent includes all who use condoms as contraception whether or not they actually put one on each time at all, or put it on properly. Thus it gauges convenience and reliable use as compared to OCP use and other methods of contraception.  The risk of transmitting HIV at a single sexual encounter is remarkably less than pregnancy if a condom is not used.

Faithful may work for you , to your credit, but it is not a behaviour that is reliably instigated into a previously polypartner population, particularly one with female subjugation. Yes, the fewer partners the better, but even within marriage condoms are necessary  for the women as shown by the HRW article.

Realities are unfortunately what one must face when dealing with public health policies, and these must not be manipulated by religious dogma as has happened with what appears to be disastrous consequences in Africa.

CCC is a very simplified version of the original Ugandan program (which I linked) before the US got to it and removed condoms. The original program, as you rightly say Kathy, was condoms free, sex education, reduce partner number and raise the age of first intercourse (statistics same as here apparently, by the way!), and easy access to health tests and medications without stigma. That program was what brought the prevalence down . Now they have a problem but at least they have drug company HIV medication and licence to produce generics. I wonder if that was part of the deal. Northern Uganda is a real disaster from what I’ve heard from those on the ground with WHO. Not the place for a sex holiday.

When religion and science mix there is so often a problem. When the dogmatic proscribe health policy it becomes a human rights issue. Both Iran and the US vote as a bloc in the Women’s Health International meetings and that in itself should ring some warning bells.

The next AIDS disaster for Africa is the ridiculous plan for circumcision for adult men based upon loose studies with erroneous and simplified conclusions.  Funny how the gays in NewYork are not lining up for it. Although it probably does encourage a dramatic initial reduction in promiscuity ... any volunteers?


by Angela Ryan on July 24, 2008 - 12:06am

How sad these right wing think tanks are still published after all the disgraceful pro-war whore activity they have done – no surprise that they fear a Human Rights Council that is voted for by the Assembly rather than the "SC plus 5" little cabal.

Surprise surprise, there are nations there that are never given a voice in the usual MSM whitewash of American and Israeli actions. And so the Hudson Institute writes and Eliot links. Nooooo surprise.

Hi Eliot, when you say Human Rights Commission, do you mean the Human Rights Council? And the Human Rights High Commissioner did indeed warn China recently (pdf) about clamping down too forcefully in Tibet (March 17 2008).

And the Human Rights Council did indeed criticise China as seen in this official publication where the events in China were openly debated etc.

All the same, any article by that far right wing Hudson Institute is something to regard with scepticism for hidden spin rather than linking to it to support any argument or point of view – unless one is unaware of the Hudson Institute’s nefarious right wing credentials and its relationship with those who conspired illegally to wage war of Aggression and invade Iraq, Afghanistan and now in (?)two weeks (threat threat etc etc on and on) Iran. Little wonder the Hudson Institute writes hit stooge pieces against human rights organisations.

And as for criticising the formation of the Human Rights Council, why not have a look at the vote of nations supporting it and who was with the USA?

Note that one of the requirements apparently being self examination by the council on a rotating base. There are some interesting publications to come and, perhaps, real progress. Here is the vote on the formation of the UNHRC:

Vote on Human Rights Council

The draft resolution to establish the Human Rights Council (document A/60/L.48) was adopted by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 4 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

Abstain: Belarus, Iran, Venezuela.

Absent: Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru....

So who, again, were the four – only four – naysayers to a Human Rights Council? Palau, eh? Didn't want the UN Human Rights Council having too close a look – maybe a little site for those Abramoff free trade slave factories – yep, is like the Maranos islands, CFA, hmm. We all know the Marshall Islands, where human rights mean you glow with US manna. Both US attachments.

I guess new contestants for the "I'm so wonely” song competition ... and with their threatening to use nuclear weapons against a nonnuclear state, then both Israel and the USA are awarded the Dr Strangelove award too. So many awards, so little time...

Nice and pally wally the US (John-refused-appointment-by-US-Senate-but-an-awful-moustache-and-still-hanging-around-Bolton) and Israel ....but no-one else. Wonely.

On the Human Rights "Out" at present perhaps? or is some big conspiracy – “they hate us because of who we are" blahblahblah. Ho-hum. "And the dead shall cry out...."

So, Eliot, do you have a reference to the actual report or do you just believe what Madam Spin spews out from the Hudson Institute, eh? It seems they have criticised China, so what else is she a little disingenuous about? Maybe a little hit piece? Heaven, imagine if there was accountability! Hitpiece hitpiece...

And do you think, Eliot, that Israel and US do not have a case to answer regarding human rights violations? If so, what does one have to do to have a case?

I wonder just what the complaints against Australia were. Any one have a record? Domestic or international?

Here is a record of the UNHR Council press releases.

When one reads the reports one can see there is wide coverage of many human rights issues. Interestingly there is a theme where certain blocs cover certain countries, kind of a theme develops. The self-examination of member states is particularly interesting.


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