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March 2011 NEWS

Thursday 31 March 2011

usa USA Roundup
  • New Republic - "We Aren't Going to Stop Buying Gas".
    In the short run this might be true, but if gas prices are high due to demand, wars or taxes then in the long run, people will use less gas.

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Garden State Parkway to crack down on toll cheats who are costing the state millions a year"   New Jersey - "Garden State Parkway to crack down on exact change toll lane violators" comments   Florida - "State To Consider Putting Tolls On Nonhighway Roads".
    "Ohio River Bridges project timeline could be cut in half"   "New Ohio River Bridges study to be done in about a year" comments   Connecticut - "Highway Tolls Needed To Pay For Infrastructure"   Connecticut - "Area Lawmakers Mixed on Plan to Bring Back Toll Booths".
    Florida - "Is Senate tollroad takeover a bail-out for Bo’s Bridge?"   "Trans Texas Corridor: Here We Go Again"   Florida - "Suit filed over toll booth detentions".

    britain" chimaera Labour Lord pushing roads privatisation
  • Mail - "Road pricing would create demand in economy, says Labour peer".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • More on the political ball passing on removal of bridge toll - Metro - "Political debate delays N.B. toll removal"   CBC - "Saint John toll impasse continues"   Telegraph-Journal - "Bridge battle intensifies"   Telegraph-Journal - "Reveal legal fees: candidates"   Telegraph-Journal - "Stop delaying S.J. bridge deal"   Telegraph-Journal - "Bridge battle intensifies"   Chronicle-Herald - "Political wrangling leaves Saint John tolls removal in limbo".

  • More on the suggestion that there should be more tolls so that everyone suffers rather than a few - North Shore News - "Bridge tolls are inequitable".

    switzerland Swiss "tolls" increase
  • Geneva Lunch - "Bye-bye CHF40 road tax, as Bern opts for higher tolls".

    south More on new tolls
  • IoL - "Savrala decries R4.7bn admin cost of tolls".

    australia Money machine
  • Herald Sun - "CityLink put heavy toll on drivers".
    With increasing numbers of people crowded into the cities of Oz, the toll concessions are an easy way to make money - at least in those areas where drivers have no choice other than to use the toll road.

    earth Libyan war
  • BBC - "UK questions Libyan foreign minister".
    London has been entertaining some odd people. Apart from Mr Koussa, this week Choe Thae-bok (one of the North Korean leaders) was here, though you will find it hard to find any reference to his visit. North Korea, of course, has no oil and does really have WMD.
    It seems likely that America and Britain will now send further special forces and operatives into Libya. The reason is that it is difficult to attack a car or truck from the air when you can't be sure whether it belongs to the Government forces or the rebels. Though perhaps they could just bomb everything travelling east?   NY Times - "C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels"

    earth Pop
  • Daily Telegraph - "Limit Australian families to two kids, says Dick Smith".
    Trying to encourage smaller families will make little difference if there is still large scale immigration. It is also unlikely to happen, as there are too many vested interests who want cheap labour and customers for the tolled roads!

    earth AGW
  • Possible answer to the mystery of the Gulf Stream - Watts Up.. - "Warm water, cold winters". (The mystery perhaps should really be why so many people believe that the Gulf Stream warms western Europe, though it flows past the cold eastern seaboard of US before crossing the Atlantic.)

    Wednesday 30 March 2011

    europe Latest EU Tolls Ueber Alles plan
  • Toll systems are to be standardised and "The long-term goal is to apply user charges to all vehicles and on the whole network" (para 62 of report) - Europa - "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" full White Paper as pdf   Europa - "Summary Of The Impact Assessment" pdf.
    Most news reports seems to believe that the plan is to ban cars from cities, (though the plan is not to ban them, but to reduce use of carbon fuelled cars in urban areas and to charge tolls on all vehicles on all roads to cover costs of climate change, congestion and accidents) - Smart Planet - "How will the EU eliminate cars from cities?"   BBC - "UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on petrol cars"   Telegraph - "EU to ban cars from cities by 2050"     Telegraph - "The EU’s tyrannical transport plan will stifle economic growth and cost British and European taxpayers trillions "   Express - "Radical Eu Transport Plan Unveiled".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • More on removal of bridge toll - CBC - "Saint John bridge tolls debate stalls"   Telegraph-Journal - "On eve of toll removal, debate continues to rage over bridge costs"   Telegraph-Journal - "Premier blames Liberals for holding up removal of tolls".

  • But another toll is increasing - Metro - "The buck will soon be stopping here at two bridges".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • Politics Web - "Gauteng tolls to generate R300m per month - Minister"   Times Live - "Ndebele: Tolls will employ locally" comments   Fin24 - "Ndebele boasts of jobs created by tolls" same story, different comments   ITWeb - "JRA backtracks on M1, M2 e-tolling".

    britain" Grand larceny
  • BBC - "'Teaser interest rate' warning for Isa savers".
    Warning savers is a waste of time. The whole financial system is designed to rip off savers and the watchdogs who are supposed to prevent this only look the other way. The chance of real reform is nil as the Government and their spiv and banker friends are the main gainers.

    earth Libyan war
  • Government force have halted the rebels' advance - BBC - "Obama not ruling out arming Libya rebels".
    At yesterday's London conference of the world versus Gaddafi, control of the Libyan oil was handed to Qatar. No one seemed to think it was odd that Qatar is an absolute monarchy, and that the current ruler seized power. Though the assumption is that ultimately the control of the Libyan Government owned "National Oil Corporation" will pass into American hands who have provided the lion's share of the bombing raids (60 per cent) and missile launches (90 per cent).
    It does not appear to have been mentioned at the conference, but Italy will also probably receive a substantial windfall. Italy had recently agreed to pay about five billion dollars as compensation for what it had done during the occupation by fascist forces. As Italy is the main Coalition base for bombing of Libya, it seems unlikely that the money will ever be paid.

    earth AGW
  • BBC - "China tops global clean energy table".
    China has some of the worst pollution in the world - China Hush - "Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China", and investment in "low-carbon energy" will have no net effect in reducing real pollution.

  • UN says that cities face doom due to "climate change" - BBC - "UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril".
    The real problem of cities is that the Earth's population is growing and that of cities is growing faster than average. The solution to this is not the richer nations giving more money to the poorer ones to salve their CO2 conscience.

    Monday 28 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Hall of Fame - NY Daily News - "Top three E-ZPass scofflaws owe Port Authority a combined $130,000"   Statesman (Texas) - "Swift justice? Not for toll scofflaws"   Maine - "Unpaid Tolls" video   St Petersburg Times (Florida) - "The jig is up for scofflaws on the Selmon Expressway".

  • Oregon proposes tolling to save the planet from the deadly CO2 - Portland Tribune - "State greenhouse gas goals could increase driving costs".
    It is amazing how few people wonder why tolls are better than fuel taxes at reducing fuel use.

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "Drivers in Md. to see toll increases starting in October"   "Tolls may make comeback in Connecticut".

    australia usa Road rage?
  • Sydney Morning Herald - "US motorists rage against Macquarie toll".
    Oddly this "rage" is not reported in DC / Virginia papers. "Atlas Roads" is the vehicle for the more toxic toll assets (such as the M6Toll) of Macquarie, so perhaps they would be quite glad if the Americans bought this road back!

    japan Confirmation of Earthquake tolls
  • It has been confirmed that the trolls have persuaded the Government to abandon moves towards no tolls, using the excuse of the earthquake - Reuters - "Japan delays road toll cap to help fund rebuilding".

    earth Libyan war
  • BBC - "Libya raids hit Gaddafi hometown".
    Bombing and missile attacks by America, France and Britain have virtually eliminated any Government organised opposition to the rebels as communications will be largely destroyed and the Libyan military will have abandoned most of their larger hardware for fear of the effects of the bombing. A major uncertainty is what is happening and will happen inside the string of towns between the capital of Tripoli and the main rebel base of Benghazi. The market traders however seem to be certain that the rebels will hang on to the oil areas and that dissent in the Gulf will be successfully supressed - Wall Street Journal - "OIL FUTURES: Crude Falls As Libyan Rebels Retake Key Oil Towns".

    Saturday 26 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another arch criminal nabbed - Seacoast Online - "Maine man charged after driving pike 200 times without paying".

  • More on what looks like a setback for the the trolls in West Virginia - Land Line Mag - "WV Parkways Authority shelves U.S. 35 toll plan"   Point Pleasant Register - "Area reacts to U.S. 35 project hold".

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey - "We need snow removal but not road tolls" letter.

    thailand Bit more on Thai Government removing tolls during holiday to improve traffic flow
  • ScandAsia - "Thai Cabinet Approves Waiving Toll Fees".
    We had assumed that the idea was to stop queues at toll booths, but it seems that the main purpose is to take traffic from congested roads onto the empty toll roads.

    zimbabwe Update on the new Zimbabwe tolling "system"
  • Financial Gazette - "Goche accuses Harare of misappropriation".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Bit more on removal of bridge toll - Telegraph-Journal - "Toll removal going ahead".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • A business group has the novel idea that instead of tolling, the Government should use the fuel levy "to pay for new roads, maintenance and upgrades" - All Africa - "Busa wants govt to review tolls".

    britain" Government appears to have discovered PM10s
  • Telegraph - "Parking permit surcharge to force diesel cars off the roads".
    As with most of what the Government and local authorirties do, the cure is bonkers. A car will be charged the same no matter how much diesel it burns in a year, and no matter how cleanly the fuel is burnt.

    earth Libyan war
  • The rebels have retaken the important oil town of Ajdabiya after British and other Western planes destroyed the Libyan tanks which seemed to be defending the roads around the town - Mail - "Libyan rebels regain Ajdabiya after RAF Tornado jets wreak havoc on Gaddafi's heavy units".
    Western attacks on Libyan forces will make it easier for the rebels to take the towns sprung out along the coast road, particularly as food and other supplies to the Government held cities may be choked off. But sooner or later, the rebels will come to a city where they will need to fight in the streets, and even if they have been bolstered by SAS etc, the rebels advance could grind to a halt. Libya may then be divided into two, but with the West controlling most of the oil.

    Friday 25 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • New Maryland toll road almost empty - Arbutus Patch - "Commuters Flee Intercounty Connector After Toll Charges Begin".

  • It looks like the trolls in West Virginia have suffered a defeat, but they are unlikely to give up - Charleston Gazette - "U.S. 35 tolls on indefinite hold"   Point Pleasant Register - "Mattox asks Parkways to refrain from taking action on U.S. 5".

  • New Jersey toll collectors worried about their jobs - north - "Toll collector union files suit to delay vote on privatization".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Toll Authority Having Trouble Finding Out-of-Staters" video   Washington State - "Tolls on 520: Will newer Americans, minorities be surprised?"   Washington State - "Tunnel opponents: Killing project would save $700 million"   Florida - "Bill would abolish local expressway authority"   "R.I. House panel hears proposal on highway, bridge tolls".

    portugal Bit more on toll protests in Portugal
  • Portugal News Online - "Thousands of drivers join ‘slow march’ against Algarve tolls".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Bit more on removal of bridge toll - Telegraph-Journal - "Seal the deal on Harbour Bridge".

    south Business reaction to new tolls
  • All Africa - "Business Speaks Out on Gauteng Tolls"   fin24 - "Business warns on cost of tolls".
    There is a suggestion that the tolls could be challenged in court - ITWeb - "Legal downfall for e-tolling?".

    indonesia Bit more on Jakarta Con
  • Berita Jakarta - "ERP Regulation should Be Accelerated Quickly".
    Perhaps rather than accelerating tolls, they should try and decelerate the city's population growth. In 1960 it was just over one million, it is now ten million.

    earth Libyan war
  • BBC - "Nato takes over Libya no-fly zone".
    It is difficult to see how NATO involvement will clarify what the Western forces are doing. Another bizarre report yesterday was that the French had shot down a Libyan Air Force plane. The French later said that the plane had been shot "down" by an air to ground missile after it had landed at Misurata. As the Western forces are shooting and bombing Government forces around that city, it was a suicidal place to fly to.
    Meanwhile oil prices have levelled out - Oil Price (moving mouse changes display between month, quarter, year and five years), implying that the markets expect that in Libya, the Government will quickly fall and the Western powers take over, and that in the Gulf the sheikhs will continue to rule.

    Thursday 24 March 2011

    britain" Bit more on Fuel tax sleight of hand
  • The Chancellor denies that fuel prices will go up because of the extra two billion pounds tax on oil production - BBC - "Budget 2011: Oil firms warn jobs will go after tax hike".
    If the tax is not passed on to drivers, then it will affect the North Sea oil industry. As we mentioned on the 11th March, under "Old Lady continues to ignore Inflation", North Sea Oil makes a difference of about 50 billion pounds to Britain's trade deficit due to exports of crude and refined oil and reduction in oil imports. So anything which inhibits investment in the North Sea could turn out to be counter productive.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Maine politicians want to use more tolls to pay for buses - Sun Journal - "Turnpike Authority resists proposed L-A bus expansion".

  • Sundry stories - "Florida GOP Eyes a Major Merger"   Connecticut - "Tolls could fund certain highway work"   Texas - "Signed, sealed, delivered: County, NTTA reach agreement on Outer Loop"   "North Carolina DOT defends road project to ease Charlotte congestion against group's claims"   N Carolina - "Drivers may take different route due to higher tolls" video   N Carolina - "Local businesses prep for toll increase" video   W Virginia - "Route 35 Contract Deadline Nears, Thursday's Meeting Canceled".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Removal of bridge toll seems to be on track - CBC - "PCs assure Saint John bridge tolls coming off"   Telegraph-Journal - "Bridge transfer bill introduced in legislature".

    south More on new tolls
  • ITWeb - "E-tolling talks begin".

    Wednesday 23 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Grist - "The latest battle in the nonexistent ‘War on Cars’"   Texas - "Compromise would cap NTTA's fines at $200 per invoice for unpaid tolls"   Washington State - "Legislators can't agree on extension of Route 167 HOT lanes"   Washington State - "Price tag to kill tunnel: More than $1 billion".

    japan Earthquake tolls
  • It is reported that because of the recent problems, there will be more Japanese road tolls rather than less. This will please the corrupt trolls, but a more sensible measure would have been to use fuel taxes to encourage fuel economy and reduce Japan's reliance on oil imports. Removal of tolls would also make it a bit easier if you needed to get away in a hurry.

    britain" Budget Day - Fuel tax sleight of hand
  • This morning we pointed out that taking fuel duty and VAT together, last May the total tax on a litre of fuel was 75.36 pence, and prior to today's Budget the total tax had already gone up to 81.78 pence a litre. The tax (after adding on the VAT) was due to go up by another 4.5 pence in April. We thought that most of this price increase would go ahead, but instead the Chancellor has cut fuel duty by one penny (1.2 pence including VAT). There is however a catch.
    The Chancellor has adopted a trick that Gordon Brown used, in that instead of raising fuel duty, he is increasing the tax on oil production by two billion pounds. Drivers use about 50 billion litres of fuel a year, so if the oil companies pass all of the tax on to drivers, then prices at the pump (including VAT) will rise by about 4.5 pence a litre!
    The Chancellor is calling his version of Gordon's trick "a fuel tax regulator" - when oil prices are low, then there will be extra fuel duty, when oil prices are high then there will be extra tax on oil production.

  • The rest of the Chancellor's budget contained little to make any difference - BBC - "Osborne's Budget 'to fuel growth'" (inc link to full budget docs). But the Government has confirmed how mad it is by wasting more money on uneconomic energy spending and carbon taxes - BBC - "Budget paints in green and brown".

    indonesia Bit more on On/off Jakarta Con
  • Berita Jakarta - "Can Central Govt. Run ERP Next Year?".

    south More on new tolls
  • City Press - "DA wants details on tolls".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • "Progressive" Conservatives pushing for tolls in New Brunswick - Daily Gleaner - "Decision on highway tolls to be made in next 6 months"   Times & Transcript - "N.B. tolls to be further examined".

  • Bit more on the claim from the architect of the infamous 407 sell off - Toronto Life - "Former Queen’s Park insider has a billion-dollar 407 secret that he’ll share for only millions of dollars".

  • Bit more on call for more tolls (so that all are hurting rather than a few) - CTV - "Toll North Shore bridges, Langley mayor says" video.

    britain" Minutes of the Committee to create inflation
  • BBC - "No new Bank of England policymakers vote for rate rise"   BofE - "Minutes Of The Monetary Policy Committee Meeting 9 And 10 March 2011" pdf.

    britain" Budget Day
  • BBC - "Budget 2011: Osborne to raise income tax threshold".
    A few predictions -
  • As usual, some significant changes to tax and allowances will not be mentioned in the Chancellor's speech.
  • The Chancellor will do nothing to reduce inflation and may well introduce measures to further increase RPI.
  • There will be no significant reform to the tax system, and in particular the Chancellor will ignore the recommendation to fully merge Income Tax and NI.
  • There will be "a penny off" fuel duty, though with the other changes since last May, the Chancellor will still be getting a lot more tax for each litre sold -

    # At the General election on the 6th May, the duty (following an increase in the April) was 57.19 pence a litre. The average price of fuel was 122 pence, so drivers were also paying 18.17 pence in VAT, giving Alistair Darling a total tax of 75.36 pence a litre (indirectly there will be other tax effects, but for simplicity these are ignored.)

    # On the 1st October the duty increased to 58.19 pence. On the 4th January it increased to 58.95 pence. There are scheduled to be more increases in April each year - based on RPI plus an extra penny each April up to 2014. These increases were the intention of the Labour Government and have so far been followed by the Coalition.

    # The changes that were not anticipated are that the Coalition increased the VAT rate to 20 per cent from January, and the pre tax price has gone up. So before the budget, the price of fuel is about 137 pence, which includes VAT of 22.83 pence, giving George Osbourne a total tax of 81.78 pence a litre.

    # So drivers are currently paying about 15 pence more for fuel than in May, of which about 6.5 pence is due to tax increases. If the Chancellor goes ahead with the indexation increase but foregoes the extra penny increase, then fuel duty would still increase by about 3.7 pence, which adding on VAT gives an increase in the pump price of nearly 4.5 pence.

    # So the Chancellor can win applause from the Tory press by cancelling the penny increase, but still be getting eleven pence a litre more in tax compared with a year ago.

    Tuesday 22 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • One view of the Lexus lanes - Dagblog.

  • Connecticut editor sells tolls as better than gas taxes - The Day - "Dedicated tolls" comments.

  • Sundry stories - W Virginia - "Council to vote tonight on raising Chesapeake Expressway tolls" video   California - "Revenue From I-680 Express Toll Lanes Falls Short Of Expectations" video   Connecticut - "State Rep. Scribner votes `no' on toll proposal".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Call for more tolls - News1130 - "Langley mayor: consider North Shore bridge tolls".

  • Architect of the infamous 407 sell off says that he can get tolls reduced - Star - "McGuinty is ‘all ears’ to plan to get $1 billion back from Hwy. 407"   The Spec - "Hwy. 407 insider says $1 billion can be recovered for Ontarians"   Star - "Hwy. 407 insider says $1 billion can be recovered for Ontarians".

    thailand Thai Government to remove tolls during holiday to improve traffic flow
  • Bangkok Post - "Cabinet approves waiving toll fees".

    britain" Leicester considering a Con for lorries
  • Leicester Mercury - "Drivers could pay price if vehicles not fuel efficient".

    britain" But York rules out a Con
  • Yorkshire Post - "Congestion charge ruled out in blueprint for city’s traffic".

    ireland Irish FOE want no new roads and lots and lots of tolls
  • Irish Times - "Group says cancelling motorways will save billions".

    m6toll Official opening
  • BBC - "Hard shoulders opens on busy M6 by Birmingham".
    Though the new Roads Minister is taking the credit for this scheme, it was started under the previous Goverment, and the new one could not have stopped it. Though it is a bit surprising that the scheme ever started, as it increases the capacity for part of the stretch of motorway that provides an alternative to the toll.

    britain" Government inflation success
  • BBC - "UK inflation rate rises to 4.4% in February"   ONS - "Consumer price indices February 2011" pdf.
    At one time RPI inflation of 5.5 per cent would have been bad news for the Government, because interest rates and wage rates would rise. But now the situation is that the higher inflation is the better it is for Governments and their rich friends, because they know that the Governor of the Bank will ignore inflation and keep interest rates low, and because most workers and unions are virtually powerless and thus wages will fall in real terms.

    britain" Another stealth tax
  • BBC - "Ofcom launches next-generation 4G consultation".
    Governments can usually rely on MPs and the news media as being innumerate. So they will not understand that when the Government gets twenty billion pounds from the mobile phone operators then in a free market it can only mean higher prices for consumers - unless the sell off is structured so that new spiv firms pay a far lower price than the current operators, in which case the Government is effectively levying a tax on the owners of the existing firms.

    earth More on Libyan war
  • BBC - "US warplane crashes in eastern Libya".
    A few bizarre items -
    # The only planes that seem to have been downed over last 4 days are a rebel plane that was shot down by rebel anti aircraft fire and this US plane which came down over rebel territory. Even before the "no fly" zone, the Libyans appeared to be unable to make much use of their air force.
    # One of Gadaffi's sons is claimed to have been killed by a pilot from the Libyan air force making a kamikaze attack. Such a pilot, if they exist, would have had to have been bonkers, firstly to attempt to take off and fly when the airspace is controlled by Western forces and secondly to believe that a suicidal crash would succeed in killing any particular person.
    # The Western forces are mainly using Italian air bases. As Libya was an Italian colony and Mussolini executed by hanging the Libyan resistance leader - Omar Mukhtar - the West must be assuming that the Arabs have short memories.
    # There have been a lot of unfortunate slips of the tongue during interviews where "Iraq" and "Afghanistan" have been mixed up with Libya.

    earth AGW
  • "International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project" uses the official figures to cast doubt on the top ten AGW claims - Ice Cap - "Ten Major Failures of Consensus Science" (1 to 5) pdf   Ice Cap - (6 to 10).

    Monday 21 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Ohio - "Gov. Kasich mulls leasing turnpike to private company"   Maryland - "Want to know why tolls are going up?".

    britain" Chancellor asked to stop one scam
  • Accountancy Age- "Chancellor urged to abolish Channel Island VAT relief".
    It will be interesting to see which is stronger - the Government's need for money or its inclination to protect the spivs.

    bulgaria More on "new" Bulgarian tolls
  • It seems that the Bulgarians are introducing road tolls to accord with EU policy - Focus-Fen - "Bulgarian parliamentary committee chair says tolls to be introduced for transit corridors first". These tolls were announced as far back as 2004, so perhaps drivers need not be alarmed.

    britain" The real culprits
  • BBC - "Ofgem to tackle 'complex and unfair energy bills'".
    After privatisation, the system was that there was only one supplier for gas (nationally) and one for electricity (within a region). A regulator set the prices, and those cost elements that were volatile such as the wholesale price of gas were "pass-through costs". That simple system was replaced with an artificial market where the winners are the spiv suppliers whose sales staff tell the biggest lies to the confused consumers. But the biggest culprits are the politicians who construct these crazy systems. This latest change will create more spivs and more confusion.

    Sunday 20 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on attempt to retoll Connecticut - Stamford Plus - "‘Quick fix’ takes a serious toll on Connecticut roads"   CBS - "Limited Highway Tolls Bill Passes Connecticut Committee"   Daily Stamford - "Molgano Objects to Bill Bringing Back Tolls ".

  • Other stories - Maine - "LePage: Use MTA tolls for non-turnpike projects".

    earth Libyan war
  • BBC - "Gaddafi vows 'long war' in Libya".
    One thing that the Libyan Government, the rebels and the Westen powers will have in common is that they will all be trying to deceive. As far as the British Government are concerned the Government can rely on most of the news media skirting round awkward questions such as where is the evidence of Libyan Government attacks on civilians.
    The attempt to replace the Libyan Government will have been a long time in the preparation, and as a minimum the aim will be to take over the central area where most of the oil is. It is difficult to see how this will be achieved. The West is relying on the Libyan military taking fright, but if they don't then it is not likely that the West will be allowed to use widespread bombing or be willing to use land forces that might be attacked. The West may be bailed out by the "Gulf Co-operation Council" (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain) who recently sent in troops to prop up the Bahrain Government and will be equally willing to supply money, planes and troops to topple the Libyan Government.
    Though, however the war goes, the West may soon have a humanitarian crisis on its hands. In the areas east of Tripoli that are still controlled by the Governemnt, the supply of food and almost everything else will stop as most drivers will be afraid of aerial attacks.

    Friday 18 March 2011

    earth West starts another war
  • BBC - "Libya's Gaddafi given ultimatum".
    One thing that you can be sure of is not to trust what David Cameron and other western leaders say about their aims or their motives. They are presumably hoping that, as with Yugoslavia, the majority of the Libyan people will fear bombing and economic deprivation and abandon the leader (who is just a figurehead) who they would otherwise support. If this tactic fails and war starts, then Libya could instead be another Iraq or Abyssinia where the West intervened to support rebels and replace the Government with one that they could more easily deal with. The problem being that if you put minority rebels in charge then they require indefinite military support.
    Another thing that seems likely is that bombing Libya will further increase oil prices
    PS A bit of background written three weeks ago - Global Research - "Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Some GOOD news for a change - My NorthWest - "Snags will delay tolling of 520"   Seattle Times - "Glitches push back start of tolling on 520 bridge" lot of comments.

  • More etolls fun, that shows how easy it is to push drivers round, and no one thinks that its odd - Indiana News Center - "In Your Corner: Missed Toll Proves Costly" video.

  • California papers pushing tolls - Press-Telegraph - "A toll road plan worth trying"   LA Times - "If L.A. freeways aren't free" comments.

  • Some people have not given up the fight against the trolls, though given the courts decisions so far, the citizens stand little chance against the trolls - Point Pleasant Register - "Citizens plan lawsuit to block U.S. 35 tolls".

  • Bit more on Federal money to encourage building of more toll roads - Land Line Mag - "Infrastructure bank plan could lead to more tolling".

  • Sundry stories - Connecticut - "Conn. lawmakers take up highway tolls bill"   Florida - "State could take over expressway system".

    south More on new tolls
  • Mail & Guardian - "The cost of a freeway".
    And a reminder of the effect of the existing tolls - "please be patient, these tolls do take time to process a large volume of traffic"   East Coast Radio - "Busy roads this weekend".

    zambia Drivers to be "desentisised" so they accept tolls
  • Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation - "Road charges to boost revenue".

    portugal Toll protests in Portugal
  • Portugal News Online - "Councils ‘free to adhere’ in upcoming action against Algarve tolls".

    australia Tolls raised on empty tunnel
  • Sydney Morning Herald - "Clem7 tolls to increase again".
    This is not as daft as it seems, as raising tolls will discourage few of the existing users, and lowering tolls would not entice many of those who currently avoid it.

    Thursday 17 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Federal money to encourage building of more toll roads - Washington Times - "Obama’s infrastructure boondoggle".

  • Trying to sell congestion pricing - Grist - "Putting a price on a city’s streets".

  • On the road to stopping attempts to jam spy in the sky - WTOP - "How to prevent dangerous, easy GPS jamming".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "New toll sticker not good to go for Tacoma Narrows bridge"   Washington State - "State proposes tolls on I-405 from Bellevue to Lynnwood"   Rhode Island - "Open-road tolling at Pell Bridge"   Florida - "Tolls on I-4?".
    NY - "Sunnyside Chamber Revisits Congestion Pricing Issue"   "State should absorb Maine Turnpike Authority"   Florida - "Polk Parkway's Toll Attendants Are Safe; Electronic Tolls in Future"   Florida - "Plan Would Eliminate Toll Road Discounts" video.

    bulgaria europe More on Bulgaria replacing vignette with pay per mile
  • It seems that the Bulgarians are introducing road tolls to accord with EU policy - Publics - "Road Tolls to Be Introduced".

    france Cameras checking on tolls collection
  • Source Security - "ASF verifies payment collection thanks to Messoa".

    japan Lessons
  • BBC - "Japan steps up cooling operation".
    # The company that runs this plant is the 3rd biggest power generator in the world, but it only has three nuclear plants, so one lesson is that the nuclear industry should not be fragmented in order to comply with crazy competition theories.
    # The company running the plant has a long history of covering up nuclear incidents, so another lesson is that corruption and secrecy don't help.
    # Over the last 50 years the population has increased by 32 million (though bizarrely "experts" say that Japan is heading for trouble because it has low population growth, and only three weeks ago Japan was being criticised for not allowing more immigration). There are few natural resources (it has no oil, and is the the World's biggest importer of coal) and a large part of the country is mountainous and the low lying areas are susceptible to the effect of earthquakes and tsunamis, so perhaps the main lesson is that Japan should ignore the experts.

    Wednesday 16 March 2011

    bulgaria Replacing vignette with pay per mile
  • Novinite - "Bulgaria Starts Preparing to Introduce Electronic Toll Systems".

    wales Bit more on Chamber of Commerce complaint
  • S Wales Argus - "Call to cut Severn bridge tolls and 'breathe life into city'".

    ireland Problem of how to correct tolls overcharge
  • Irish Times - "M1 toll firm studies ways to refund".

    Tuesday 15 March 2011

    earth AGW
  • Latest global temp figure - GISS - "GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index".
    As usual we issue the warning that GISS (part of NASA) massage the figures and change past figures, but taking them at face value, February was 0.44 degrees Celsius warmer than what they say was the average for 1951 - 1980. Though taking the hot year of 1998 as a starting point, this makes February 2011, according to them, only the 11th warmest out of 13 (2001 and 2008 were even less warm).

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - "NJ gets proposals for toll collections"   Florida - "Willing to pay a toll on Interstate 4?" video   Florida - "Is There Racial Profiling At Toll Booths?" video   Florida - "Lawmakers pumping brakes on SunPass discounts?".

    london More fairy tales
  • Smart Planet - "Should cities charge motorists to drive in congested areas?".

    wales Chamber of Commerce complains
  • Wales Online - "Call to lower the high trade ‘barrier to entering Wales’".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • Times Live - "Gauteng on the road to revolt"   Politics Web - "More Gauteng tolls coming - Jack Bloom"   iAfrica - "Tolls 'looting' commuters".

    saudiarabia Oil and tolls
  • Trade Arabia - "King Fahad Causeway security tightened"   BBC - "Bahrain king declares state of emergency after protests" .
    Politicians would like to bomb Libya in "defence of democracy", but they will all turn a blind eye to Saudi forces entering Bahrain and even hijacking ambulances to attack protestors. Is is because politicians like monarchies or is it because they like toll roads?

    Monday 14 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Though the new ICC toll road is almost empty it is adding to congestion on neighbouring road - Washington Examiner - "Nightmare on Norbeck Road, ICC adds to woes".

  • Comment from someone who doesn't like the idea of drivers paying for light rail - Columbian - "Don’t allow tolls to be used to support light rail on bridge".

  • Sundry stories - DC / Maryland - "Freshman delegate wants ICC privatization study"   "Delaware infrastructure: Grim forecast ahead for DelDOT"   "Can Washington still afford its roads and ferries?"   Texas - "Toll tax: Bill would make road charges perishable"   California - "Plan to let solo drivers pay tolls to use 10, 110 freeway carpool lanes opposed".

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • New Age - "Tolls will discourage investment: Sacci".

    britain" "No tolls" at number seven
  • Daily Mirror - "Drivers miss cheaper petrol prices most compared with 20 years ago".
    99 per cent of drivers rarely come across tolls. If it was 99 per cvent paying tolls, there is little doubt as to who would top the poll!

    scotland Artist backs SNP for removing tolls and shortening journey time
  • BBC - "Best of the rest from the SNP conference".

    earth AGW and Pop
  • Due to Climate change "1 billion people could be displaced" - Relief Web - "Climate change, migration and critical international security considerations"   International Organization for Migration - "Climate change, migration and critical international security considerations" pdf.
    The IOM sells the idea that migration is good for everyone. It spends nearly one billion dollars of which Britain provides about 7 per cent. It seems to believe that population growth does not matter.

    Saturday 12 March 2011

    ireland Bit more on Court ordering a tolls reduction
  • Independent - "M1 toll reduced as court upholds overcharge claim"   Irish Times - "Charges on toll roads to fall after test case".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - NY / Canada - "Maziarz on Effort to Merge Border Crossing Authorities"   NY - "Staten Island pol wants to give state, municipal governments power to offer residents transit discounts" comments.

    singapore Computer firm selling tolling, and its car tags
  • Business Times - "Driving Asia out of a jam".

    newzealand Kiwis being Conned
  • NZ Herald - "Congestion tax plan back on the agenda".

    earth AGW
  • Japan's earthquake and the following tsunami were caused by AGW - Treehugger - "Yes, Climate Change May Cause More Tsunamis. No, That's Not Alarmism"   Grist - "Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like".

    Friday 11 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on the President's man backing tolls - News & Tribune (Indiana) - "LaHood’s comments could provide insight on pending tolling decision".
    And some want to go even further - DC Streets Blog - "State Transpo Officials Push to Toll for Maintenance, Not Just Capacity ".

  • Pro8News (Texas) - "Man Creates his own Toll Road in Laredo" video.

  • A Bill with no chance - Dallas News - "Senate considers bill to require tolls be removed once debts are paid; NTTA chairman says he's 'conflicted,' but insists NTTA must keep tolls on roads".

  • NY Daily News - "Opinion: Congestion pricing taxes are taxing to the wrong people".

  • Results from tolls kicking in on new road in DC area - Washington Examiner - "No free ride: Traffic dips as ICC tolls start"   Hometown Annapolis - "Traffic volume dips on Intercounty Connector".

  • Sundry stories - Oklahoma - "Kasich considers leasing turnpike to make money, ODOT report says"   Rhode Island - "Pell Bridge tolls may be changing" video   W Virginia - "More Time"   NY - "Boro lawmakers sponsor bills to keep Rockaway toll rebate".
    California - "Toll Lanes Coming to Major Freeway Interchange in Milpitas"   Virginia - "HRBT proposal: tolls of at least $1-$2"   "Would tolls help Connecticut’s budget problems?"   California - "MTC committee recommends bridge tolls to fund BART extension"   Maine - "A real-world Turnpike Authority".

    Virginia - "Isle of Wight County leaders: Tolls on the James River Bridge would not be necessary"   Colorado - "Toll roads proposed for I-15, Boulder City"   Rhode Island - "State to pursue toll creation to pay for highway repairs"   Florida - "Millions of motorists snagged by mysterious toll-booth stops"   W Virginia - "New plan for HRBT project mixes tolls, express lanes" comments   "Washington's House of Representatives passes highway tolling bills"   "Ohio Turnpike lease would yield big cash for the state, but could mean higher tolls, planning group says".

    ireland Court orders a tolls reduction
  • RTE - "M1 tolls to drop from tonight".

    wales Government response to the Welsh Affairs Committee Inquiry on Severn tolls
  • Parliament - "The Severn Crossings Toll: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report of Session 2010-11" pdf.

    britain" Humber bridge tolls increase Inquiry ended yesterday
  • Some more of the reports over the last few days - Scunthorpe Telegraph- "VOTE: Telegraph submits your views to Humber Bridge toll inquiry"   Hull Daily Mail - "Abolish Humber Bridge tolls for a stronger economy – business community"   Scunthorpe Telegraph- "Inquiry told Humber Bridge fee rise 'could put brakes on prosperity'"   Grimsby Telegraph - "Businessman aims to sell bonds to pay off Humber Bridge debt"   Hull Daily Mail - "Bridge inquiry: Toll increases are premature, says council boss"   Grimsby Telegraph - "VOTE: NE Lincolnshire would not foot bill if Humber Bridge tolls don't increase".

    london Guardian and the RAC Foundation want everything within the M25 tolled
  • Guardian - "London's road congestion: should the capital 'trend' towards more charging?".

    south More on the new tolls and on existing tolls going up
  • IoL - "Conventional tolls up 4.7 percent"   Business Report - "Motorists want reduced toll fees"  Times Live - "Even reduced tolls will raise cost of living: Investec" comments   IoL - "Toll roads: 10 days left to have your say".

  • And the South African trolls want even more roads tolled - Business Live - "SA toll operator calls for more tolls".

  • And the Financial Mail again publishes a pro tolls piece without letting its readers know that the writer works for a global troll - "Something must give".

  • Despite the trolls takeover it is forecast that there won't be enough money for roads - Business Live - "Tolls won't make up road fund shortfall".
    With a tolls system most of the money falls down a hole due to corruption and the cost of collection. The best way of raising revenue is through a fuel tax.

    ireland Drivers stay close to avoid tolls
  • RTE - "Drivers caught tailgating at motorway tolls".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • More on the delay removing bridge toll - Telegraph-Journal - "No compromise on Harbour Bridge"   Telegraph-Journal - "Bridge deal 'not off its rails,' Tory says".

  • Liberals want the infamous 407 toll extended - Toronto Star - "Liberals to extend Highway 407".

    india Commission wants higher parking charges and a Con on top of the existing corrupt tolls
  • Indian Express - "‘Discouraging vehicles only way ahead’" 3 pages. This all seems like an incentive for even more vehicle owners to vanish from the official records.

    greece Bit more on Greek protests
  • FT - "Greeks adopt ‘won’t pay’ attitude".

    earth AGW
  • The World is starving due to AGW, and Britain and the World's bureaucrats have set up a new body to deal with this - EurekAlert - "New commission confronts threats to food security from climate change".

    earth The scales are falling off
  • Daily Mail - "‘Only flat-earthers deny we have a population problem’: Sir David Attenborough insists we must tackle growth by contraception".
    By the time that the rest of the green tendency realise where we are heading it will be too late to stop us reaching a world teeming with the poor and undernourished desperately seeking what they believe are greener fields over the hill.

    britain" Old Lady continues to ignore Inflation
  • BBC - "UK interest rates held at record low of 0.5%"   BofE - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the Size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 Billion".

  • Despite the low interest rates causing the international value of the pound to fall and thus boosting exports (though the value of them could fall even though the volume increases), Britain is still in the red on trade - ONS news release - "UK Trade Deficit narrowed to £3.0bn in Jan"   ONS statistical bulletin - "UK Trade January 2011".
    So as not to frighten people, the trade deficit is usually only quoted as a monthly figure. In annual terms the deficit to January 2011 was 45 billion pounds.
    If it was not for North Sea Oil, then the deficit could be higher by some 50 billion pounds (about 20 billion from reduced imports of oil, about 15 billion from exports of crude from British North Sea field and about 15 billion from refined oil exports).

    Wednesday 9 March 2011

    india A brave report
  • Money Life - "India’s toll checkpoints are hotbeds of corruption".

    wales Businesses happy to pay high tolls
  • South Wales Argus - "Firms ‘not hit by Severn crossing tolls’ – UK government".
    The Welsh Affairs committee chairman is critical of the Government but the Committee like the Government have assumed that the tolls will be with drivers for ever, even though the current law on the Severn crossing tolls says that the power to levy them should stop in about 5 years (and would have stopped earlier if the Government was not taking one sixth of the tolls as VAT).

    south More on the new tolls
  • Times Live - "Public invited to have say on Gauteng toll system"   Eyewitness News - "Gauteng tolls ’will cripple development’ - Tshwane mayor"   iAfrica - "Drivers asked about tolls".

    newzealand Update on loss making road
  • Sun Live - "Holding off on Route K decisions".

    london More wailing in the Guardian about the end of the western Con zone
  • Guardian - "London's road congestion: what is to be done?".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Removal of bridge toll delayed - CBC - "Saint John Harbour Bridge deal may be delayed".

    singapore Con
  • Business Times - "Budget Debate: ERP not for revenue but congestion measure".
    As we explained some years ago in our Singapore section the overall tax and licensing sytsem means that those who have a car are encouraged to make heavy use of it, the ERP system is of little, if any, net benefit to the amount of congestion.

    indonesia Increases in Indonesia
  • Jakarta Post - "Govt to increase road tolls in September".

    britain" Humber bridge tolls increase Inquiry
  • The three day Inquiry started yesterday - Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge tolls: Rejecting proposed rise could lead to higher council tax"   BBC - "Inquiry into Humber Bridge toll increase plan"   Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Public inquiry into proposed Humber Bridge price hike set to begin".

    britain" Britain's Go slow
  • BBC - "How are motorists saving fuel?".

    Tuesday 8 March 2011

    britain" Getting lost
  • Metro - "Criminals could exploit Britain's 'dangerous' over-reliance on sat-navs"   Royal Academy of Engineering news release - "Academy report warns of over-reliance on global satellite navigation systems"   Royal Academy of Engineering - "Global Navigation Space Systems: reliance and vulnerabilities" pdf.
    If the Government goes ahead with the proposed road charging for lorries, it will be interesting to see how secure it is.

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • Times Live - "Steering comittee to report on tolls soon ".

    australia Bit more on - More roads, more tolls
  • One of various further reports - Sydney Morning Herald - "We'll widen M5 as Labor should have".

    spain Go slow
  • BBC - "Spain speed limit cut over high oil prices".
    The Spanish Government is almost as simple minded as Britain's. If the real motive was to reduce the amount of fuel used because of the rising cost, then is that not what drivers will do anyway? As fuel prices rise, drivers will do things that the Government can't legislate for such as driving less, avoiding congested areas, and getting into a high gear as soon as possible and then avoiding heavy use of the gas pedal and the brake - whatever the speed limit is.

    britain" Pension reform
  • BBC - "State pension to be simplified, says Iain Duncan Smith".
    The complicated multiple (State, company, and private) pension system in Britain is unfair and inefficient. But the chances of any real reform are zero.

    Monday 7 March 2011

    australia More roads, more tolls
  • Daily Telegraph - "Barry O'Farrell will bust the M5 congestion".
    What Australia really needs is "less". Less population growth and less tolls.

    britain" Chancellor replaces rogue economist on the Let Inflation Rip Committee
  • BBC - "Ben Broadbent to join Bank of England's MPC".

    usa USA Roundup
  • More tolls on the way in far north west - Seattle Pi - "I-405 tolling bill moves forward in Olympia" comments   MyNorthwest - "State money grab shifts into high gear".

  • Toll booths and plazas in Florida still causing congestion even though they are now redundant due to etolling - Sun-Sentinel - "Bottlenecks on turnpike's Homestead Extension remain until tollbooths are demolished".

  • Sundry stories - Florida - "Drivers detained for paying tolls with U.S. currency"   NY / NJ - "Governments turn to private partners for transport projects".

    india Con congestion
  • Money Life - "Delhi toll tax: Corruption, or daylight robbery?".

    scotland Tay traffic
  • Courier - "Small rise in traffic since Tay bridge tolls axed".
    The official "Tolled Bridges Report" (Phase Two) said that - "traffic problems would be made worse by the removal of tolls at the Bridge, and that it is unlikely that congestion can be managed effectively without tolling". The only people who believed this were members of the then (2006) Scottish Executive. The reality is that the removal of tolls not only removed the congestion in Dundee on the approach to the tolls, it also improved flows at points a long way away as traffic stopped taking long detours to avoid the tolls.

    australia More etolls fun
  • ABC - "Toll operators issue thousands of wrong fines".

    london More congestion on the way
  • Guardian - "London week ahead: congestion rising".
    Naturally the Guardian will avoid citing anti car measures as one of the main causes of congestion. Neither will they point out that a rising population means that everything will be more congested. According to the official Census figures, the population of London in 1981 was 6.61 million, in 1991 it was 6.89 million and in 2001 it was 7.17 million. It is claimed by the London Councils (whose grant is affected) that there was very high undercounting in the 2001 Census, and so the growth between 1981 and 2001 may have been more than the half a million recorded on the Censii. There will have been further significant growth since 2001, but that also may not be reflected in the 2011 official Census.

    Sunday 6 March 2011

    earth AGW
  • Britain is sinking due to AGW - Guardian - "Climate change 'will wreak havoc on Britain's coastline by 2050'"   Joseph Rowntree Foundation- "Impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities".
    Changes in the coastline at any point have numerous causes. There is no proof that there has been a significant overall rise in sea levels in the last 100 years, though over the last 120 centuries (i.e. the Holocene interglacial period that we are now in) the sea has risen at the rate of about one metre a century. Perhaps Stone Age Man should not have had so many cooking fires!

  • Meanwhile one view on the problem that green organisations ignore - Telegraph - "Gloomy Malthus provides food for thought as world's appetite builds".

    Saturday 5 March 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - N Carolina - "Drivers wince at tolls for Triangle Expressway"   "Connecticut Highway Tolls A Step Closer To Returning"   Texas - "NTTA fighting bill that would eliminate some fees".

    britain" Crocodile tears from the Old Lady
  • BBC - "Mervyn King says bank reforms must not fail".

    earth AGW
  • February was unusually hot according to the Met Office - "The UK mean temperature for the month was about 2.0 °C above the 1971-2000 average" - February Climate summary.
    The northern hemisphere polar jet stream for the whole of the winter has been at a latitude near the south end of Britain. This should have meant that the whole of the winter was unusually cold. The reason that the last two months have been mild is that a meander or a block in the stream directed the cold flow north of Britain.

  • BBC - "EU backs away from 30% emissions target, leak shows".
    The simple minded greens don't realise that the only difference between a 20 per cent EU CO2 cuts target and a 30 per cent target, is the amount of fraud that is needed to make it appear that the cut has taken place.

    Friday 4 March 2011

    wales Cymru votes Yes to poll on whether English are stupid
  • BBC - "Wales says Yes in referendum vote".
    It was a Scottish Labour MP - Tam Dalyell - who as long ago as 1977 asked the "West Lothian question" - "For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate ... at least 119 Honourable Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an important, and probably often decisive, effect on English politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?". The answer it seems is that the English are so stupid that they either don't understand or don't care.

    usa USA Roundup
  • The Economist with more tolls touting - "If only there were an alternative to cars".

  • President's man backing tolls - Dallas News - "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: 'We believe in tolling,' says U.S. open to tolling existing interstates"  Courier-Journal - "Federal officials open to tolls on existing highways"   Land Line Mag - "LaHood to states: If you want tolls, add capacity".

  • A rare defeat for the trolls - Charleston Gazette - "W.Va. Senate kills U.S. 35 toll plan"   Charleston Daily Mail - "Senate defeats Tomblin's U.S. 35 proposal". Before the meeting - Charleston Daily Mail - "Tomblin's plan for financing U.S. 35 up for vote in Senate".

  • Meanwhile the Judges say why they backed the trolls to defeat another recent attempt to stop the tolls plan - WV Record - "Justices expand on U.S. 35 ruling".

  • Trolls have also succesfully used legal threats to stop Georgia senators opposed to the Ga 400 tolls extension - Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Ga. 400 toll survives Senate meeting".

  • "Motorists illegally detained at Florida tolls - for using large bills!".

  • Big Blue (who run the London Con) with more pushing of tolls and "congestion pricing" - Wired - "Our Cites Can Evolve: From Abstraction to Insight".

  • Sundry stories - Delaware - "Del. tolls are already taking chunk out of local travelers"   NY - "Use the commuter tax to pay for New York City's infrastructure"   N Carolina - "Toll road to cost 15 to 24 cents a mile to drive" video   California - "Car-pool lanes for solo drivers? Fee system coming to L.A." comments   Washington State - "Legislature has clout to OK tolls for light rail"   Nevada - "Legislators to consider toll road around Boulder City to alleviate congestion".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Mounties enforce tolls - BCLocal - "Drivers still trying to beat Golden Ears Bridge tolls".

    ireland Honest John says deliver to the highwayman
  • Telegraph - "Should I pay fines incurred when driving abroad".
    The answer given is that the amount is too trivial for the driver to take it to small claims court. But the driver couldn't take it to the small claims court anyway, as he is the one who is being dunned. Honest John is in effect telling the driver to pay without saying whether the claim has any legal validity in Britain. And even if it did, then how far would the Irish trolls go to get their "trivial" amount?

    greece Bit more on Greek toll protests
  • Reuters - "Greek toll dodgers swell, threaten economic efforts".

    london Easy way to pay Con
  • Daily Mail - "Is it criminal to want a call centre that speaks English?".

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • Mail & Guardian - "Unhappiness at Gauteng tolling system grows".

    earth AGW
  • NASA and the Indians say that they know why we have had so few sunspots - NASA - "Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Spotless Sun".
    By coincidence, over the last week or two, the Sun has developed a rash of sunspots!

    Wednesday 2 March 2011

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • FM - "Tolls and trade-offs".
    Not surprisingly, the readers are not told that the writer works for a global troll.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Delaware Online - "Delaware roads: Deficit may force hike in tolls" lot of comments. You can tell that the trolls rule in Delawere, because though they looked at numerous ways of getting more income, they ignored the most productive way - raising the gas tax.

  • West Virginia Supreme Court confirms the lower court decision in favour of the trolls - Washington Examiner - "W.Va. court says county can't reverse toll vote".

  • Sundry stories - Florida - "Port of Miami tolls balloon 67% after finally automating"   NY - "Ads to show up at some Hudson Valley toll booths"   Florida - "Sunpass savings? Not everywhere"   W Virginia - "Mason County Commissioner: Route 35 Can Be Completed Without Tolls" video   NY - "Proposed law would restrict "free" E-Z Pass" video   NY - "Thruway E-ZPass , a free pass for some state employees" video.

    taiwan Unusual no tolls break
  • Focus Taiwan - "Freeway tolls to be suspended at night during Tomb-Sweeping weekend".

    indonesia Update on Jakarta off / on Con
  • Jakarta Globe - "akarta Sets Out Vision for City’s ERP Toll Scheme"   Jakarta Globe - "Drivers in Jakarta May Pay up to Rp 21,000 a Day".

    newzealand Trolls says that road tolls are one answer to the earthquake
  • Scoop - "New ways to fund infrastructure investment required".

    greece Greek toll protestors offered a few crumbs
  • Ekathimerini - "Cheaper tolls, better country roads promised".

    Tuesday 1 March 2011

    europe European judges again show that they are as daft as English politicians
  • BBC - "Insurance and pension costs hit by ECJ gender ruling".
    There are still people living from the time when European Jews were persecuted and six million or so killed. The judicial system then either collaborated or looked the other way. Now the judges seem to be so obsessed with what they think is fair that they have abandoned the last vestiges of common sense. There are different insurance risks between male and female drivers and women do live longer than men! If insurers charge them all the same premiums, then what will happen if say a car insurer ends up with a disproportionate number of men taking out policies or a life insurer ends up with a disproportionate number of women taking out policies? And what will happen when someone goes to the European Court complaining about age discrimiantion on car insurance? And will we eventually get the reckless and accident prone claiming that they are being discriminated against?

    usa USA Roundup
  • Follow up to yesterday's blog from Timothy Lee - The Atlantic - "If Congestion Pricing is So Great, Why Don't Businesses Do It?".

  • Etolls rule - Lew Rockwell - "Your Money's No Good – On the Roads, That Is".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Discounted trucker tolls go into effect" video   NY - "'Free' E-ZPass doled out to state workers, retirees" video & comments   "Connecticut bills would take toll on road users"   New Hampshire - "Nashua toll facing a welcome defeat".

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • Politics Web - "Don't be fooled by toll suspension".

    earth More babies wanted
  • Straits Times - "More babies, better elder care needed to tackle population woes".
    The country that it is said needs more babies, is already one of the most crowded countries on Earth. In the last 50 years the population has grown from 1.7 million to 4.7 million, living at a population density 46 per cent greater than London.

    earth On picking your fights
  • BBC - "US brands Muammar Gaddafi 'delusional' after interview".
    Gaddaffi must be insane. Why else has he not made himself untouchable from news manipulation by Britain and America, by either declaring himself a King or Sheikh or by acquiring nuclear weapons?

    earth AGW
  • Daily Mail - "Why the £250bn wind power industry could be the greatest scam of our age - and here are the three 'lies' that prove it".

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