Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter/ANZAC Day Break

Hey to my followers,

I've been a bit inactive leading up to Easter/ANZAC 5 day long weekend here in Australia. I just want you all to know that I haven't abandoned my blog.

Many updates to come!

Wishing you all a fun filled and safe Easter :)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Western Australia (WA) Government made aware of ‘legal intoxicant’ people enjoy

News Source:

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The Western Australian Government in Australia is supposedly considering banning so-called “synthetic cannabis” according to news sources.

The reports suggest that the ban is a response to “prevalent use at WA mines”.

Use AT WA mines? Well that’s what the report says. Is this a case of poor wording or are mine workers lighting up on site? In any case the heavy handed outcome of the Government banning the substance would be one that is ignorant, arrogant, naïve and a total abuse of power – Not to mention earning the reputation as being a faction that likes to ruin the enjoyment its people.

Everyday ‘regular’ cannabis has been a hot topic for many people for years, and yet the Australian Federal Government does not even allow for discussion on the matter, instead they opt for the outdated ‘traditional’ option of forbidding it in every shape and form and policing it at the cost of many taxpayer dollars and at the cost of many peoples lives.

I digress…The report continues on to say that the substance in question is called ‘Kronic’, which is again inaccurate. ‘Kronic’ is a brand name for a blend of different substances – Suggesting this ban were to apply only to ‘Kronic’ would be no different to ban Coca-Cola because the powers to be want people to stop liking caffeine in soft drinks.

The report continues on to suggest that there is “widespread evidence” of the products potency and popularity…although the report itself provides no figures on the number of units sold over a specific time frame, in fact they don’t give any figures at all.

The report reads almost as though it is criticizing the WA Government for delaying any ruling on the matter because the Government is seeking further information. Does this news journal seriously expect the Government to act immediately on this without establishing all the facts?

 The premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett stated:

"If it is harmful and has the same harmful effects as cannabis, which includes all sorts of physical and mental effects, then we would look at whether it should be available for sale here… If this substance has the same damaging effects, then we will act"

Depends what your definition of ‘IT’ is…right Premier Barnett? It seems Colin currently does not like cannabis and goes as far as saying that cannabis has “all sorts” of “harmful effects” both physically and mentally.

Well it seems Premier Barnett won’t be reviewing the relaxation of regular cannabis laws in WA…in case you were wondering the man is a Liberal MP and was sworn into office back in 2008. Maybe he is looking for a matter to make him look as though he is making a difference. Could this be it? Fun also to note is that Colin was a senior research officer at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Let’s hope this matter undergoes serious research.

In the past Premier Barnett campaigned to make homosexuality a crime for anyone under the age of 18, and according to Wikipedia:

“In October 2009, Barnett announced a series of new policies relating to drug legislation including a repeal of the Cannabis Control Act 2003. The previous laws were formulated by Geoff Gallop's drug summit, taking input from experts such as academics, police, social workers, lawyers, medical professionals and members of the public.”

“Barnett has stated it is his intention to overturn these laws because of his beliefs and stated that the drug summit members made a mistake introducing them and that cannabis was a "gateway drug".”

“To help with the enforcement of this new policy, Barnett also supported legislation to give police the power to search and seize property without any suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed. A Liberal parliamentarian, Peter Abetz, voiced support for these laws in parliament by drawing reference to the work Adolf Hitler did to bring security to Nazi Germany. Barnett stood by Abetz's statements, saying he was making a valid point.”

  1. Barnett rejects expert opinion from Police, Social Workers, Lawyers, Medical Professionals, Academics, and members of the public
  2. Barnett expects the entire WA population to do what he wants them to because he has ‘beliefs’
  3. Barnett believes in the tired old “gateway theory” which is applied to cannabis
  4. Barnett wants police to be able to harass whomever they want; with no reasoning…how can you oppose this? It worked in Nazi Germany!

ChemCentre is cited in the report as the Governments laboratory and as the only laboratory capable of detecting the presence of ‘Kronic’. Oh really? Did they design, build and protect the only device in the world with this capacity? Well that’s impressive.

The news report continues on saying that ChemCentre’s own forensic toxicologist Robert Hansson stated that “it was selling "hand over fist" at Perth shops”

I direct your attention back to the fact that no data has been provided on how many units have been supplied from…well anywhere, including shops in Perth. Where is this guy getting his information from and how trustworthy is it? The man has a clear conflict of interest as he is employed at the only company that provides a laboratory capable of testing for ‘Kronic’. Isn’t it in his best interest to make this product out to be bad so it can be banned and subsequently the company for which he works for can make money for testing for it? This gentleman is touted as a forensic toxicologist, perhaps he should be asked how many investigations of crimes involving a victim have a link to the use of ‘Kronic’, I mean seriously. I don’t think I have to point this out but no reference to this was made in the news report, either.

Mr. Hansson admits that long term effects aren’t known…even to him and his evident know-it-all-ism.

Mr. Hansson makes reference ‘Kronic’ utilizing the JWH-strain of chemicals which “mimic TCB, the active substance in cannabis”.

What is TCB? This supposedly ‘active substance’ which is in cannabis? I’ve read about the subject of cannabis for over 10 years and have never heard of TCB. I believe the news report should have said that JWH mimics the psychoactive chemical THC which is found in cannabis. A fun fact is that JWH-133 is a medication used to prevent Alzheimer's disease, so now more than before this comes a matter of what is the Government investigating, and why? Back we go to the news report…

The Drug and Alcohol Office's Gary Kirby said users suffered short-term fatigue, dehydration, nausea and headaches.

Wow, I’m so glad they included this information…that it makes people tired, thirsty and might make them nauseous and/or develop a headache. I don’t know about others but this reads like the symptoms of alcohol use…am I right?

Mr. Kirby also said “other countries reported that it caused agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting and disorientation”, and that “it was banned in some countries”.

So simply speaking…it gets the user high? Who cares that it is banned in “some countries” this is Australia, a highly developed Country that doesn’t want and doesn’t require constant rules and requirements from its Governments.

This news report ends rather abruptly giving quick points about the response of the mining industry and police. Of course the opposition party expects the government to make a decision quickly, so they can criticize whatever that decision is.

A date for the decision has not been set, perhaps it will be pulled out from nowhere like the Federal Australian Governments announcement of the Carbon Tax…

For me this whole thing is like watching a circus act. What should be a private matter now becomes a matter which determines whether or not you are considered a criminal in the eyes of the law. Occupation Health and Safety law already exists; drug testing exists for random and targeted screenings of workers (including testing for alcohol), and ‘Kronic’ promotes the safe use of its products – Is banning these substances really in the best interests of anyone?

As far as I am concerned, this is something that ought NOT be banned in WA, or in Australia for that matter.

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When authorities restricted JWH products in the U.S there were pre-ban sales. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why it sucks to be an Aussie gamer

Every time I see video games being advertised, or discussed online, or in a news story I cringe a little. Why? Because gamers in Australia are discriminated against. 

I have played video games for over 20 years (and I'm younger than 30) but the problems have only started to show themselves in recent years.

You might have guessed it...CLASSIFICATION. That's right, the stereotype of the Australian Government ruling a nanny state proves true yet again (in addition to gun laws, web filtering, and too many taxes).

It seems if a game contains adult material fitting to an R18+ (e.g. violence, sex, drugs) it has to be exempted from classification because we don't have an R18+ rating, the exemption is basically a banning as it is a refusal to classify the game adequately, because the rating simply does not exist - I know, it's stupid and makes no sense.

The counter argument is that 8 year olds will be enabled to play games unsuitable for them and they will go out on a crime spree...

The following link provides details on video games banned (not classified) in Australia

The thing is about this rule is that developers are forced to censor their creation (like telling Picasso to redo his art so it fits in better with traditional works) or loss out on the entire Australia market. 

I don't know about other people but these "forbidden" games just want me to check them out to see what the fuss is all about (and usually be totally disappointed).

Another thing about gaming in Australia is the major differences in cost between us and other nations. To illustrate this post I am providing information about the release date and price of the new Nintendo device, the 3DS (figures provided by Wikipedia)

--Nintendo 3DS release DATES--

Japan February 26, 2011
Europe March 25, 2011
North America March 27, 2011

AUSTRALIA March 31, 2011

--Nintendo 3DS release PRICES--

¥25,000 (Approx $287 AU$)
US$249.99 (Approx $237 AU$ currently)
£/€ - Set by individual retailers


...As you can see Australia got the device after Japan, Europe and North American gamers did and if that wasn't bad enough we are forced to pay between $60-112 extra for it. Why?!?

I have an old magazine from the early 90's that states that, even back then, that this problem existed, that they were aware of it, and that it was going to change. Well it hasn't.

In early 2011 major Australian retailers pressured the government to impose charges on overseas online retailers that offered cheaper products than major "bricks and mortar" (physical) stores.

Gerry Harvey (of Harvey Norman) was subjected to public which Mr. Harvey responded by suggesting everyone misunderstood what he was saying which only upset the public more with his arrogant suggestions that people didn't understand his motives.

Joining in on bringing big greedy business down to size was a memorable moment for me. I even came up with the following graphic which was received well by the twitter community. 

The "Dear Gerry" campaign lasted for days and lives on at

Thanks for visiting and reading, you are welcome to follow and comment as you please :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Australian Federal Labor Party...Moving forward? At what cost?

There are speculative figures of a $20 per tonne tax for emitting CO2 pollution.

The Australian Government's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (super-mega department) gives the following figures for emmissions from the tail pipe for different fuel types:

CO2 Tailpipe Emissions/Litre of Fuel Consumed

Fuel Type CO2 Emissions

Petrol 2.3 kg
LPG         1.6 kg
Diesel 2.7 kg

Based on these figures, a vehicle running on 'petrol' would have to use, roughly, 435 litres of 'petrol' to generate 1 tonne of CO2 pollution...which, where transportation is included in the carbon tax policy, would result in paying $20 to the Australian Government (yay bills!)

The Australia Labor Government have been criticized for repeating slogans, the most fitting one to illustrate my message is the constant use of saying that their party will 'Move forward' or 'Move Australia Forward' and other variants.

Considering $20 could buy someone just under 13.5L of petrol if it were to cost $1.50 per litre, that would be enough fuel to get most cars to travel at least 100km. Instead that money might yet be taken from you by force and given to someone else for God knows what purpose! *cough* they're giving it to the "low to middle income working families *cough cough*

By taking that $20 away from motorists the Government is effectively slowing them down and making them fall short of their destination...hardly "moving forward" right?

The numbers don't look too bad when you consider before you are forced to pay the $20 carbon tax you would have to have spent  $652.50 on fuel, again at $1.50/L prices...HOWEVER at a fuel economy of 9L/100km this would generate 20.7kg of CO2...or allow for 48 100km trips (at 9L/100km economy) before you created the 1 tonne of CO2/earnt yourself a $20 debt.

Take this into account, supermarket Oranges here come from the USA and are exempt from General Sales Tax (GST) of 10%. Where fuel is included in the Carbon Tax produce like this will have to be transported over hundreds of kilometres to some remote areas (It's a BIG COUNTRY, AUSTRALIA).

Going into logistics of this, as you can probably tell already, is a massive task. Proposing this tax without having asked these same questions and come up with workable answers was a mammoth mistake...and it's showing on the polls.

There remains so many unanswered questions about this whole issue that those trying to make sense of it simply can't.

M.I.A 2011

Sorry it's been a few days since my last blog entry - I currently don't have a phone line connected at my home so the only internet I can get there is mobile broadband, which  I can't justify the cost of using.

Anyway, I noticed shortly after revealing that I would be sharing my live music experiences with you all that I left one of my favorite artists off the list....M.I.A.

I saw M.I.A. at the 2011 Big Day Out Festival in Sydney on Australia Day where she performed in the boiler room.

I don't remember how I first discovered M.I.A. but believe her songs 'Galang' and 'Sunshowers' would have been how I first learnt of her. According to Wikipedia it was a combination of college radio broadcasts, local clubs and file sharing (Gasp!) that got M.I.A. and her music recognized...I wonder if she'd speak out in favor of file sharing?

I like M.I.A.'s music because it is unique, catchy and...real?

I absolutely love 'paper planes' and hear it (usually unexpectedly) in clubs, which seems, are filled with other people that like the song.

Another thing I like about M.I.A. is her style, the clothes she wears and how she represents herself - She doesn't appear to be someone that is hung up on how others see or think of her, she just is.

When I saw M.I.A. live it was 11pm at night in a large makeshift dance hall with thousands of other people. M.I.A. was wearing what I would describe as Mother Teresa's clothes with an attached was awesome.

Up on stage were tonnes of strobe lights that went off at different intervals, which was seriously trippy. With so many people in a dark structure with short bursts of light, it seriously played with ones head...especially if you tried to walk anywhere - I can't describe it, besides it wasn't unpleasant :)

I'm really glad I got an opportunity to see M.I.A. and I can't believe I forgot to mention her on my earlier list, especially seeing as she was so good live and that it wasn't all that long ago that I saw her.

Highlights were her songs 'Galang', 'Boyz', 'Born Free' and, of course, 'Paper Planes' which was pure delight to share with a whole bunch of other fans, old and new alike.

Just on M.I.A. the most I'd heard about her leading up to this event was that her 'Born Free' music video was booted off YouTube (which made seeing it that little bit more rewarding), and that her and the Mars Volta bickered at the 2006 Big Day Out festival where M.I.A. stole the Mars Volta's champagne and wrote on their wall "thanks" to which they responded by throwing all M.I.A. and her acts stuff out during her performance writing on her wall "don't mention it".

Whilst I'm speaking trivia I always believe that Rhianna borrowed a lot from the 'Galang' music video for her own video for 'Rude Boy' - Check them both out and let me know what you think.

Since it was dark and crowded I regrettably didn't obtain a good photo of M.I.A myself, but because I like this blog to have a bit of photo-tainment I have lifted one from a Google image search, have mercy on my soul.

Thanks for reading, please keep an eye on this blog as I will be going through my original list, as well as providing usual blog entries as I feel the need :)