Last day of the financial year in Oz.
Butcher of Bega debacle symptomatic of NSW malaise
The failing of women by NSW bureaucracy in the Butcher of Bega disaster, is typical of State in decline, according to Alan Jones.
Australia makes fair tax systems list
Hong Kong is seen as having the fairest and most transparent tax system out of six major developed economies, followed by Singapore, a study says.
Canada emerged third, while Australia, the United States and Britain rounded out the six, said the study by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). - had the Liberals been in office, this assessment might never have seen the light of day. - ed.
Journalists begin to explain how Rudd is not responsible for a belting
Kevin Rudd accepts the Gippsland defeat was a setback:
The people of Gippsland have said loud and clear their concerns about impacts on household budgets. - let the forgiveness begin! - ed.
Happier new year for most
LOWER personal income tax, new education rebates, and hikes to taxi fares are just some of the changes that will hit Australians this week. - this article is nothing more than hype for the ALP. It isn't even true. -ed.
Women fess up to home-made sex videos
ONE in five Australian women have starred in a home-made sex video, and many say they now regret it, a new survey reveals.
Mugabe sworn in as president for sixth term
ROBERT Mugabe has been declared winner of Zimbabwe's presidential run-off election, in which he was the only candidate. -he lost the actual election, but murdered his way back to success. - ed.
Kiddy criminals, 8, let off with warnings
By Kelvin Bissett and Samantha Williams
KIDDY criminals are being apprehended by police at an alarming rate of more than 50 a week for offences including assaults, car theft, malicious damage, armed hold-ups and drug dealing.
Figures on crime rates among 8, 9, and 10 year olds compiled by police show the distressing extent of the mayhem in some areas caused by children running wild. - the adults seem to get elected for the ALP. - ed
Jodi Gordon shares her heartbreak
By Erin McWhirter, TV Editor
IN A case of art imitating life, Home and Away star Jodi Gordon will draw on her experience of boyfriend Chris Burkhardt's brave battle against leukaemia to take on one of the most challenging roles of her career.
In her first interview addressing the death of Burkhardt in March 2007, the brave actress revealed she is pushing aside the pain of the loss of her "soul mate" to play the part of a pregnant woman diagnosed with breast cancer.
"It just feels like cancer is just taking over the world," Gordon, 23, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
Labor MPs stand by "Titanic" premier
There's speculation New South Wales premier Morris Iemma will be forced out of the top job in the wake of another bad poll result against the state government.
Pressure builds on police to finalise Iguana gate findings
There is pressure on New South Wales police to speed-up their investigation into the Iguana Joes scandal.
No reprieve on Rudd’s job-killing grand tax
Kevin Rudd vows:
KEVIN Rudd has emphatically ruled out delaying the introduction of an emissions trading scheme beyond 2010…
“We are committed to starting the scheme in 2010,” the Prime Minister told The Australian through a spokesman last night.
The countdown is on
A former head of Mossad has warned that Israel has 12 months in which to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme or risk coming under nuclear attack itself. He also hinted that Israel might have to act sooner if Barack Obama wins the US presidential election.
Which is no more than even IAEA head Muhammed Al-Baradei admitted.
Government to rule on boy’s party guests
It’s not just Britain, Canada and Australia that have governments getting far too full of their right to intrude:
An eight-year-old boy has sparked an unlikely outcry in Sweden after failing to invite two of his classmates to his birthday party. The boy’s school says he has violated the children’s rights and has complained to the Swedish Parliament.
Rudd praises soldiers for what he’d claimed was defeat
Here’s Kevin Rudd in Brisbane this weekend, speaking to a welcome-home parade for troops from Iraq:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd thanked them for a magnificent job.
“Today the Australian nation says thank you to you the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,’’ he said.
“Freedom is not for free - freedom comes at a price and you are our front line in the defence of our freedom.’’
More blame-game than computers
The blame game isn’t ended, after all, which makes two dud promises exposed in one:
THE NSW Government has threatened to pull out of Kevin Rudd’s digital education revolution unless it gets hundreds of millions of extra dollars in funding for the program.
State Treasurer Michael Costa has demanded a top-up of $245million over four years to take part in the computers-in-schools scheme, which was one of the Prime Minister’s key election campaign promises. - it is, after all, nothing less than what the NSW ALP have promised in every state election since 1995 - ed.
Green means poor
Robert Tracinski says the old Left wanted even the poor to be rich. The new Left wants no rich at all:
TRULY consistent environmentalism demands the sacrifice of all prosperity. The only genuine way to slash your “carbon footprint” is to stop consuming goods. The “lifestyle” it really demands is not about hemp bracelets, bamboo textile skirts, and reusable burlap grocery sacks: the entire Whole Foods scene. It’s really about abject, Third World poverty.
Labor staggers in the states
Labor stocks are sinking in Queensland and NSW. Now Labor is getting a touch-up in Victoria, too:
THE Labor Party faces bitter internal recriminations after the Brumby Government suffered a swing of 16.5% in its heartland seat of Kororoit.
Independent Les Twentyman won more than 20% of the primary vote in Saturday’s byelection, and senior ALP figures are threatening action against the Labor-affiliated Electrical Trades Union for backing the high-profile youth worker — including the possibility of expelling the union from the party…
The Liberals’ Jenny Matic won almost 21% of the primary vote, up 4.9% since the 2006 general election.
Permission to smoke, Prime Minister?
There’s a totalitarian puritanism on the hoof. The latest example:
A smoker’s permit could be among the “innovative options” employed to get Australians to quit.
The permit, which smokers would have to buy annually and display every time they bought cigarettes, has been mooted in Britain.
And (Health Minister Nicola) Roxon said Australians could face similar measures to cut the national smoking rate…
If global warming won’t kill us, no rights charter will
You can always spot the dangerous enthusiast. Here’s Michael Kirby:
For the sake of the planet and survival of the species we must embrace the universal principles of human rights.
Embrace Kirby’s human rights agenda or die?
If the culture is so good, why are the results so bad?
Psychologist Jane Vadiveloo is furious with an intervention that is saving Aboriginal children but crushing her Noble Savage dream:
What is missing is respect for Aboriginal people, their intelligence and their cultures. Aboriginal customs, laws, knowledge, skills, and beliefs have developed and been refined over many thousands of years. They may differ from mainstream practices but they are not inferior.
Aboriginal customs permitting child marriage? Not inferior. Permitting wife bashing? Not inferior. Endorsing the tyranny of strong men? Not inferior. Leading to appalling rates of sexual assaults? Not inferior. Leaving whole communities as beggars? Not inferior.
Aboriginal knowledge rejecting the scientific method? Not inferior. Omitting a written culture? Not inferior. Accepting magic over reason? Not inferior. Not requiring an ethic of education of children? Not inferior.
What’s keeping tribal Aboriginal societies back is this kind of ludicrous advocacy of the inferior, broke and dysfunctional. An advocacy by whites with not the slightest wish to lead the lives they exalt.
Darwin knew: Evolution is no threat to God
Tomorrow we commemorate the great day, exactly 150 years ago, that Charles Darwin unveiled his theory of evolution by natural selection, the most authoritative scientific challenge to Biblical accounts of our origins in, well, the history of the universe…
Less happily, there will doubtless be jolly parties with themes like “The Death of God”, at which Professor Richard Dawkins will appear in human form alongside his apostle, Christopher Hitchens, to the rapture of his atheistic disciples.... But wait a minute… Wasn’t Darwin also a man of God, who wrestled with some form of faith throughout his life? Was he not intensely respectful of the relationships between science and faith? Should atheists, such as Dawkins, really adopt Darwin as their champion?
Yes, yes and no, in that order.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
Bill Clinton has campaigned hard for two nominees for president - Al Gore and Hillary - and lost both times. This latest defeat, at the hands of Barack Obama, is one he’s taking very hard:
The Telegraph has learned that the former president’s rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence.