Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Return of the White Shoe Brigade – is a new proposed project for Via Vomitorium just a front for trouble-beset Jarrod McCracken?

The Magpie will show evidence of just how trouble beset the former Townsville high flyer is.

Also EXCLUSIVE - and it really is! - The Magpie gets a look at an hitherto secret Townsville Council report into the benefits of the V8s - and it raises more questions than gives answers.

 … and want to get the ear of the phonephobic councillor Les Walker? – the South Koreans have an idea tailor-made for ol’ Messagebank. That and lots of other bric-a-brac in this week’s nest at
From the He’s A Worry, Dept of: Clive Potty Palmer is already throwing his weight around like a spoilt kid at his own birthday party - he should come with a heavy machinery warning. 

The Palmer United Party carries the acronym PUP, and it’s one careless little puppy that doesn’t look to be house-trained just yet, widdling all over the media, political opponents and democracy in general. Bentley is looking on, wondering what’s down the road.

And you thought The Mad Katter was a worry...

Folks, if you think the last three years was what they so politely term in the Army as a ‘cluster-f#ck’, it looks like we’re in for another three of the same, with the lunatics in charge of the asylum yet again. Arrogance and self-interest will be the order of the day, please fasten the seat belts.

Moving on.

Here’s something you haven't seen in the Daily Astonisher.

In a moment of happy coincidence, this being the weekend of the Big Race at Mt Panorama, The Magpie has managed to get access to that mysterious and mystifying report, commissioned by the TCC, Townsville Enterprise and the V8 crowd about the Townsville event. A group of acadils and boofademics out at JCU have concluded that the annual V8 SuperPests race here in Townsville benefits the city to the somewhat surprising tune of some $32.4 million each year. 

JCU's Dr Murray Prideaux
That figure has raised eyebrows because it almost doubles the previous estimate, made by the same research team led by Dr Murray Prideaux.

The timing of the media statements about the report's conclusions – at a time when the state government and the council were about to make contract decisions on the event – was also questioned.

Former JCU staffer, experienced researcher and now head of Kurara Consulting, Mike Shearer, has combed through the report (he is the one who got it from Clr Colleen Doyle, after a delicate email dance around protocol and confidentiality) and has been working up a full critique of it. 

Mike Shearer
Mike has been a consistent and articulate opponent of the council’s involvement in the V8 venture, and was highly suspicious of the latest glowing figures.

His preliminary finding? Mike says he cannot find any evidence or verifiable methodology to back up the figure of $32.4 million benefit to the community. He also says that when a myriad of social factors are taken into consideration, the V8 event could turn out to actually be a net cost to the community.

This is an important matter, because although the Magpie isn’t too fussed one way or the other about the V8 event, the old bird gets very fussed when there is some perceived hanky panky involving public money and public claims.

To that end, The Magpie next Wednesday will publish a special edition of the blog with Mike’s detailed analysis and conclusions, along with the long-withheld report itself. In the meantime, The ‘Pie will contact other relevant people for their views, which will be published next week after Mike’s critique has been put out into the public arena.

Other matters.

Oxymoron of the Month goes to whichever fey little mincer thought up the gobbledegook term ‘glam packing’, which apparently means ‘glamour backpacking’, a clear contradiction in terms. This fashionable prefix is along the same lines as the suffix ‘gate’, which tedious headline writers tag on to any yarn to denote a real or imagined scandal like Watergate (SquidgyGate for Charlie’s strings-attached phone sex fantasies with the Duchess of Squidge all those years ago, nationally right now we have Travelgate, and more recently and locally, the inevitable Tacklegate – when oh when will see ‘Giveusbloodybreakgate?). ‘Glam’ is supposed to give an upmarket cache to something decidedly not up market, like the glam of ‘grunge’ fashion or the glam of ‘Mayor’ Mullet.

Glamping is the hybrid used to describe faux glamour camping, where the balding pink-skinned potbellies of the world can pretend to get in touch with their inner Bear Grylls, albeit with air con, dishwashers and television arranged around the Posturepedic.

But glam packing? The rib-tickling idea is for a ‘high class resort’ 48-room complex to be built on the Downtown Motel site next to the Mad Cow in Via Vomitorium. The Magpie's Uh-Oh alert has started pinging.

Resort? High class? All the words are straight from the Craig Gore flimflammer’s lexicon, but the chap in question here is Sydney-based nightclub owner George Fleming, who seems to have a bit more cred the Gold Coast swindler (although that’s not saying much). And there are plenty of folks who are sniffing the odour of rodent in this proposal, questioning if it is indeed Mr Fleming at the centre of the idea. For reasons you will shortly see.

Be that is as it may be, Mr Fleming should find a new advance PR person – he has been sadly misinformed about how to instill confidence in his judgment of both his target market and the local populace.

The most obvious lie to all this fanciful rot comes from the one of the better performed turbines in the low-wattage wind farm that is Townsville Enterprise, Patricia O’Callaghan, TEL tourism boss.

Quoth the Astonisher:
‘(Ms O’Callaghan) said the development could help the region attract the so-called "glam-packers" - generally young professionals with high disposable incomes looking for "off the beat" experiences.

"I think Townsville and North Queensland have the experiences that they are looking for," Ms O'Callaghan said.’

No, really? Go on, get outta here. So it’s really going to be hotel/motel for well-heeled yuppies.

Taking that ‘off the beat’ means ‘offbeat’, The Magpie agrees a stay on Via Vomitorium would certainly provide a unique experience, although one wonders if it would be what our ‘young professionals’ would be looking for.

Sleep would not be an opition, and these yuppy glam packers can thrill to the unique Townsville charms of drunken expletive laden philosophical exchanges between the local pissheads and the constabulary, the merry sounds of public regurgitation and urination, the happy thudding of bouncer boots on soft targets, the crack of heads hitting the pavement, and – just when they’re finally getting their heads down – it’s 5am and the dregs are turfed out the door for an encore of the previous street entertainment.

That they’re not out there themselves taking part is assumed that as backpackers of any level, the thievery of Via Vomatorium prices will have them swigging take-away bundy and coke in their ‘resort-style’ bedrooms, far from the madding crowd.
MJarrod McCracken

Now all that be as it may, Mr Fleming has not done himself any favours by announcing that one Jarrod McCracken has been brought on board for the project.

This will be interesting news for certain legal folks around town, who have been seeking to have a quiet chat with Crackers and serve him with this ….

…. a new $2 million bankruptcy notice – perhaps Crackers will do his advising over the phone from parts unknown. 

But Mr Fleming bravely if foolishly described himself as Mr McCracken’s ‘mentor’ in the former footballer’s early business days. Well, good work, there, mate, that’s not something I’d be putting on the old CV if I were you. Not around this town, anyway.

But the Fleming naivete gets worse and that odour gets stronger when he says that he wants Crackers advising on the project because he has ‘great design ideas’. Huh?

Crackers is widely regarded as an architectural Goth who, despite honeyed words to the contrary before construction, single-handedly and prominently assisted in bastardising one of the Queensland’s great heritage street fronts with his inappropriately- designed Consortium boozearium..

It is also widely suggested that Cracker’s interior design skills stretched to pouring quick-dry cement down the toilets of the Consortium just before he was turfed out by the receivers for owning lots of lolly around town. That has not been confirmed, but given his hooligan antics on the final night, it sounds true to form.

And perhaps the most startling aspect of the 'glam packer' project will apparently involve the demolition of a large part of Melton Hill.

That is, if this visualization supplied by Mr Fleming is accurate.

Mad Cow to the right, Flynn's to the left - hey, where's Melton Hill gone?

Guess anything’s possible, given Crackers destructive hijinks on the last night he owned Consortium.

Oh, well, at least moving that part of Melton Hill would get rid of that monument to greed and bad taste, the Cassimatis-designed jumble up the hill.

Other matters.

Just in case you missed it during the week, this from the comments last Wednesday.


The Astonisher has astonished us today, with its 'new look and feel' website. 

Just as astonishing is the paper's claim that 'we've redesigned the site to make it easier to find the content your looking for faster'.
Well, sorry, folks, but stop feeling special and loved.

Not quite a customised redesign for this specific and lucrative market, one fears. 

What our pals at the Astonisher have done is lifted holus bolus the Courier Mail/Sydney Telegraph design, a cluttered layout which has long been criticised in cyberspace. (The SMH/Brisbane Times are the benchmark designs in Australian mainstream papers.)

This change is further complicated for Townsville with the dominance of matters that aren't local, with the paper's hopeful and poorly researched thrust to be all things to all people.

The once-proud Townsville Bulletin has lost any of the distinctive character and community respect it had left with this plunge into the homogenous Rupertsworld of News Ltd's one-size-fits-all website template.

Navigating around all the superfluous tat of little or no interest from just about everywhere will presumably just be a matter of practice.

But - oh, you beaut - at first glance it looks like we won't anymore be subjected to those Year Eight skool essays called the Editorial. Can't be found - at this stage. 

Also there doesn't seem to be a 'search this site' window, and the ability to make a comment appears to have been removed (possibly a blessing in disguise).

Anyway, the bottom line is the Townsville Bulletin’s painful slide from grace will continue apace until the editorial pages return to more careful and professional content. 

It is probably all too late, but dropping some of the dreary, insulting and self-indulgent kiddie columns and hiring a couple more journos like David Sparkes would be a good start. Sorry, David, The Pie knows you only through your work, and now the old bird has branded you with News Ltd's Mark of Cain i.e The Pie's stamp of  approval. Sorry.
One trusts Mr Sparkes will not publicly display his shame
in the same manner as the original Cain.

And while we’re with the subject of newspapers, a Nester sent The ‘Pie a little instruction sheet distributed by the Australian Associated Press Medianet group. The screed is one of a series intended for media teaching courses at uni – this particular one gives tips on the best way to get media releases to stand out from the scores of others journos get each day. It enumerated the ‘five things journalists hate’.

Now, The ‘Pie has always held AAP in high regard for what the company calls its ‘belts and braces’ policy of fact checking, to ensure they don’t get caught with their pants down. So their list of journalistic ‘hates’ makes it clear that the good folks at Medianet haven’t been reading the Townsville Bulletin lately – especially point one - and the Astonisher could also learn from the principle of point 2.

Sending a press release is one of the best tactics to contact journalists and share your story.
 But to be successful and avoid having journalists hit the dreaded 'delete' button, your press release needs to avoid the five things that journalists hate the most. 
Five things Journalists Hate

1. Don't make mistakes
Journalists have made their living out of impeccable grammar and have very little tolerance for spelling mistakes and grammar errors.
2. You call that a headline? 
Deceptive headlines or headlines that don't inspire the journalists to read further could turn your press release to press delete. 
3. They sound like an infomercial 
Leave that to the advertising department and ensure your story is something journalists would want to read. 

4. Don't forget the little things
You need to ensure that you haven't included the wrong number, broken links or other little things that can easily be avoided.

5. Did you get my email? 
Following up is a great way to further communicate your angle and make your pitch but the timeliness of the call is everything. 

All good for a guffaw in this neck of the woods, but more sobering for the print industry in general is this latest article from the respected Pew Research group in the US. It just seems there is no new reader base craving traditional news coming through the age groups. The Pie was fascinated by the current generational groupings of ‘Silents’ – aged 67 to 84, ‘Boomers’ – 48 to 66, ‘Gen Xers’ – 33 to 47 - and a new one on The ‘Pie -  'Millennials’ – 18 to 31.

One has to wonder what informed the Astonisher to go all grungy and seek the youth(ful) market – the report verifies The ‘Pie’s oft stated assertion that that is exactly the group that doesn’t read newspapers. 

The personal chortle is that The Magpie makes it into the 'Silents' by just a year. Silent? Yeah, right, that's him.

On that looming international crisis with the American budget, it now appears the whole world economy is at the mercy of a group of Tea Party Republican fruit loops who make Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes scholar. A recent NY Daily News front page featuring the Republican House Speaker John Boehner was spot on when comparing the intrigue, bastardry and new level of political extortion with the popular House of Cards TV series.

News Ltd-style, but this one paper Rupert doesn't own.
Oh, well, imitation is etc ... 

Elsewhere on the international scene, with the exception of the Subaru and a dopey dance craze, we don’t often associate innovation and a sense of humour with the South Koreans. But the city fathers of Seoul have introduced this …

… a giant ear that those passing by can lean into and let the authorities know what they think of them, their policies and any current issue – and apparently it’s not always bad. The citizens views, good and negative, are relayed to the city hall for evaluation and action.

Now this is just the thing we need for our own Les Messagebank Walker. Set up one of these in say Stuart Drive and have Les permanently hooked up so he won’t even have to not answer his phone, his constituents will have his ear 24/7.

But for all our funnin’ around with Les, The Pie can exclusively reveal that Messagebank has his own cutting-edge technology adviser to make sure he is in touch with the community. This blog has obtained an exclusive pic of Les’s personal techie and the latest state-of-the-art mobile device our favourite councillor is about to buy.

Indeed, Les is a man of the moment.

Enough, it is away now to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird hopes to get the ear of some comely lass on which to practice his impeccable grammar so he won't be caught with his pants down. Until later.


  1. Word up north suggests that Rupert is negotiating to sell two of his regional fish and chips wrappers.
    The Herbert River Express, an eight page (sometimes less) debacle that keeps Ingham locals uninformed twice per week, and its far northern neighbour the Innisfail Advocate, are set to be sold to a private newspaper operator in the region.
    Who knows, when things eventually go from a train wreck to a full scale disaster Rupert might also decide to do something for professional journalism for a change and give someone who cares about more than just advertising revenue the opportunity to breathe life back into the Bully.

  2. The Bull looks nothing more than another 'McDonalds' chain outlet. There's no freedom of reporting either.

    1. So true. It's a big KFC chain. Full of chickens and they're workers are fried.

  3. Pie,

    There's a slight problem with pr emails. Most of the stories (not including your court reports) are written by pr companies. Most content is a pr story in the Astonisher.

    Sagely Yours,

    miss lou.

  4. Clive's cartoon is spot on. He also drives a black bentley. As for the elected monkey he befriended in parliament?

    The Astonisher? They might as well fold now, just like the Aussie British mag TNT. It will fall..... Brett

  5. Lucky Ingham and Innisfail - they might get back to a NEWSpaper sometime soon.

  6. Well Pie , as far as the V8 event is concerned both you and Mike Shearer were both vocal opponents of the event ever coming to Townsville, and have both been consistent opponents ever since. So it would appear that you both have at least a perceived conflict of interest in pursuing the efficacy of the research produced for the Townsville City Council.

    1. Wrong spin, Fed Up. Surely you have the Magpie blog confused with the Daily Astonisher. Cripes, you sound like a retired politician with a perceived conflict of interest in freedom of information.

      Any upcoming criticism will be based on actual documents that have finally - reluctantly and maybe even inadvertently - been produced for public scrutiny and which The Magpie will produce. It is on these purported statistics, and the manner in which they were gathered that is the subject of Mr Shearer's analysis and critique. And there will always be the balance of opposing comment, which adddresses the issue and not the author - indeed there may be an argument to justify the report's conclusions. Those arguments will be published, too, if they are forthcoming.

      Of course, yes, The 'Pie always questioned both the cost, the benefit and possible disruption before the event was inaugrated, that was his job as a journlaist and columnist - especially if it involved the possible manipulation of public opinion. But as said in the blog, The 'Pie is not much fussed one way or the other about the race per se, it causes no disruption to matters Magpie, (although the costly pit lane infrastructure lies dormant for the rest of year, despite honeyed words of markets et al and rental income for the council).

      Mike Shearer was initially concerned about the disruption to those living in the immediate vicinity (which he does), and expanded his concerns from there. His view is reasoned and respectful - and deserves informed community judgement.

      And what's this jazz about The Magpie a consistent opponent ever since?

      Apart from the occasional comment contradicting Townsville Enterprise claims of business boosts in Palmer Street and particularly Via Vomitorium (those operators tell The 'Pie they see no difference at all from the race), The 'Pie has had more pressing matters upon which to hector, lecture and laugh.

      You are welcome to read the Prideaux Report and make up your own mind and comment here if you wish. And while you're at it, you can thank Mr Shearer (and The 'Pie) for being able to do so.

  7. I think it's quite a coup to have this report in the Public Domain I would thinK that Dare i say it that Colin Dwyer may be well Qualified to comment on the report... Well Done Mike Shearer.

    1. A bit of interesting background to this report.

      It was commissioned by - as all previous such reports have been - by the V8 organisation ($8000) with the council and TEL chucking a combined $3000. But The 'Pie understands that the council will not be continuing to help subsidise such reports, with just the V8s and the Dudley Do Nothings coughing up a combined $8K.

      TCC CEO Ray Burton, after consultation with councillors, directed that Mike Shearer be provided with a copy.

      What is not, and probably never will be, available will be the data and clear explanation of the methodology used by Dr Prideaux to reach his conclusions.

      And that data should be made available now the report is in the public domain, (or at least be open to peer review, as is the norm amongest acadils and boofademics) or otherwise, as Mike S suggests, the surprising outcome of the V8s value to Townsville will at best be greatly inflated and at worst, completely incorrect.
      Rightly or wrongly, It will be seen as a report paid for by a protagonist with a vested interest in 'good' figures, which probably does Dr Prideaux and his expert team a disservice.

  8. I think it's trying to look like the Courier Snail. It's a corporation full of greed and hires 20 somethings.

  9. OK, just to be on the record at this date, Monday, October 14 2013.

    The 'Pie predicts Tanya Plibersek is now beautifully positioned to become Australia's second female prime minister - in six years. Shorten, not wanted by two thirds of the members and caucus, (Rudd's final gift to a grateful nation) will lead Labor to defeat next time around, Plibbers will take over and win the following poll.

    At least with Plibbers on the international stage, it will be the US President doing his rocks over her, not the other way around as previously. Unless Hilary is in the White House by then. Oh, dear .....

    1. Oh dreary me. She did.
      It's easy to place women in opposition party. The best man does not win. Similar to the hiring of News Ltd staff. It's about who you know.

  10. Why does the Bulleting continue to allow 20 something L plate journos to "write" columns? Today (Monday) Kate Higgins and her ridiculous say nothing "column" uses the euphemism of "freaking" . She might as well have used the F word and be done with it! I just don't get how the paper seems to have no standards for its "journalism" these days - do they care? And last week she made reference to American etiquette thinking it was Australian to use a salad fork! Then Master Bateman in his column used the term "life throws curves balls" - more Amercianisms! FMD! Where are the standards? More to the point where are the subs? Or did they get Murdoched as well?

    1. Remember, 20 somethings are the demographic. It's about beautiful mummies and beautiful bodies. It makes the paper youthful.

    2. Good point Anonymous but as per Pie's blog it's this demographic that doesn't read papers...or so it seems.

    3. Yes, 20's only want to see themselves in socials and drink coffee in cafes to kill time.

      This product is really successful as 20's make it look hip and froovy without actually any credibility.

  11. It's a fact that Townsville has its fair share of Yummy Mummys and Hot Chicks, but isn't this taking things a bit far?

    A council media release, advising of a cooking demo at the upcoming Townsville Womens Expo, included this startling item -
    "The highly respected chefs are combining 50 years’ local and international experience to share and discuss the secrets to nutritious cooking with Townsville women".

    Mullet Mornay to feed the masses?


    What do you think of this Media photographers?

  13. Mixed Blessings, Dept of:

    Looks like the new you-beaut Townsville Bulletin online edition was a bit of a rush job, getting the Magpie all hot'n'bothered about the lack of the daily editorial (a matter of deep mourning for an old bird who likes a morning laugh). Also the first couple of days, there wasn't any provision for readers to comment at the bottom of stories.

    Both these matters are now available.

  14. Bikies must rat on mates..

    Gosh, do you recall when the rebels placed an advert in the Bulletin? They published the wrong date. I think they were pretty tolerant ruining their open day.

    The milk maid is writing about asbestos and the dangers in court.

    ''The Townsville Bulletin understands the contractors were doing minor works when they drilled benches in the courtroom, lifting a covering and exposing the potentially deadly material.'

    Well, they'll write about other asbestos but no their own.

  15. It would seem the new you beaut Bulletin on-line edition hasn't inspired any more careful editing than the sloppy efforts of yore.

    Anthony Galloway's piece in today's Astonisher - a bit of finger wagging at dole bludgers who smoke weed - has this intriguing headline ....

    'So There Are Some Dopes On The Doll'

    Putting aside grubby sniggers about inflatable companions, it seems there was some dopes writing the cyber headlines.

    It's correct in the hard copy edition, so it looks like the on-line edition remains the poor cousin in Townsville's information stable.

  16. Hey, see that?
    The head of the Dudley Do Nothings, David The Kipper Kippin has some great news for the gay-based Sovereign Hotel on Flinders St West .
    The Astonisher tells us today that the 400 US sailors are heading our way for four days of shore leave next week.
    And the paper quotes The Kipper as proclaiming 'Those sailors will be out looking to enjoy the fruits of Townsville.'
    An ambition in which the fruits of the Sovereign's back bar are no doubt eager to lend a hand.

  17. Remember the Astonisher front page photoshopped pic of a gift wrapped calculator, supposedly a gift for referees who can't count to 7 (Tacklegate!!)?
    Maybe they should grab it back, seems words aren't the only challenge for the kids on FSW.
    Today, Emily Emac Macdonald tells us that the 400 US sailors set to visit us for four days next week are expected to inject $200,000 into the local economy.
    The town's sideline cheerleader, David Kippin, waved his pom-poms for us in the same story (we presume the statistic came from him) saying the average Navy ship visitor spends $400-$500 per day on shore.
    Hmm, now let's see ... tap, tap, tap ... err, here are the different permutations, Em.
    400 men x $400 each x 4 days = $640000.
    Or ... 400 x $500x 4 = $800,000.
    Going back the other way, $200,000 divided 400 divided by 4 = a spend of just $125 per jolly jack tar.
    Let's say half the crew have been naughty little sailors and aren't allowed off the ship, that's still only a spend of $250 per sailor. You need to have a numbers chat to The Kipper - and your high school maths teacher.
    The story, with its standard venal opening of what our allied defence personell are worth in dolllars and cents (sort of like live cattle exports in reverse) .... states the obvious and makes the town look as venal and money-grubbing as , as ... well, as News Corp.
    Some years ago, on the day of the arrival of a ship full of US marines returning from Iraq, the Astonisher front-paged a story that began 'The smell of greenbacks is in the air, the US navy is arriving today.' There were many a pissed of yank when that got circulated, and ended with a very quite unreported apology frm the paper's management to the ship's commander.
    When a similiar visit to Cairns took place a while later, the Post's headline was 'Welcome: we're ready to party'.
    Sort of highlights the difference between the two papers - and towns, too, for that matter.

    1. Too right it does…some years ago, I jagged an invite (I was the “and partner”) to a cocktail party on a large visiting US warship. On the way home, I passed a group of Yanks waiting around the wharf. I stopped and offered them a lift into town. They piled in and one told me that he had been waiting for a cab and was appreciative of the fact that I had saved him $50 – what he had been charged the day before by a cabbie for the trip from the port to Flinders Street East. Remember this was a few years ago. I was gobsmacked when he added “each”. Apparently the cab driver hit him and his three mates up for $200 for what would have been no more than a $15 fare.

      Wonder if it was the same cabbie who thinks it is funny to take cash off mentally ill people?

      I took up their offer to have a beer with them. Over the ensuing few hours that I remember, I learned a few things: the term “spending like a drunken sailor” is based upon observed fact; chewing tobacco is one of the vilest concoctions ever produced; the moral anorexia of Townsville lassies on fleet night; and Yankee sailors can hold their booze.

      $125 per sailor? Hah! Each one of the tars I was with started with a wallet stuffed like a kapok mattress with grey sharks and at the end I can assure you they were empty as a church on Tuesday.

  18. Oh Well L J Hooker here we come....

  19. For the first time NQ has an unemployment rate and its at unacceptable levels. NQ’s UE rate is 8%, similar to Tasmania’s 9% unemployment. The workforce for North Queensland is 504,900, more than double Tasmania’s and the ACT and almost 4 times the Northern Territories. North Queensdland has 40,700 people unemployed.
    Meanwhile Northern and Northern west region Unemployment rate has unexpectedly shot up. The NNW workforce remains 2.6% below long run averages and the participation rate has increased. Almost 11,000 people are officially unemployed across the NNW region, which is less than Far north ( 14,100) and Mackay Fiztroy (15,900). Mackay Ftzroy unemployment numbers have shot up dramatically in September.
    Workforce in the Northern-North West has increased to 138,600.

  20. This link and accompanying comment is from Martin Kellaway ... and the story is really scary. The Pie, like martin, would appreciate any informed comment on the issue. The story is from the US but we here in Australia are never far behind.

    Martin writes:
    I got this from a long time friend who is retired and just manages his own investments. He rarely comments or even communicates so when he sent me this I took the time to review the link he sent.

    For some time now I have noted an increasing array of regulations by Governments (Mostly the US but they are not alone) to control and supervise what we do with the money that we have worked so hard to earn.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into this and perhaps there is nothing to be concerned with. If any of you have any information on this or can shed some light on what is, or is not, happening, I would appreciate hearing from you.