=== Todays Toon ===Arthur Wellesley at the Battle of Assaye in a painting by J.C.Stadler. The battle was an important victory for Wellesley in his career and he later remarked that it was the greatest of his victories
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. 29 April/1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852), was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the nineteenth century.
Born in Ireland to a prominent Ascendancy family, he was commissioned an ensign in the British Army in 1787. Serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland he was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. A colonel by 1796, Wellesley saw action in the Netherlands and later India where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was later appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore.
Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a Dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
An opponent of parliamentary reform, he was given the epithet the "Iron Duke" because of the iron shutters he had fixed to his windows to stop the pro-reform mob from breaking them. He was twice Prime Minister under the Tory party and oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829. He was Prime Minister from 1828–30 and served briefly in 1834. He was unable to prevent the passage of the Reform Act of 1832 and continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement. He remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death in 1852.
=== Bible Quote ===“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”- Philippians 2:5-8
=== Headlines ===Most state and local governments have refused to publicly roll out welcome mat for illegal immigrants in Arizona.
GOP Poised to Allow Debate On Financial Overhaul Bill
Senate Republicans expected to stop stalling new banking regulations after assurances that Dems will adjust the bill
Gulf Plan: Fight Oil With Fire
Coast Guard in desperate race to contain oil spill stemming from Gulf of Mexico rig explosion
Crist to Dump Republicans
Sources say GOP Florida governor and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist will run as an independent
While three unemployed youths launch a desperate roadside appeal for work, the Navy is spending $53,000 of taxpayer money on recruitment.
Court battle looms over smokes
INDUSTRY vows to "legally" fight smoke pack plan and says move is a "public health risk".
Police deny patient link to Beets murder
POLICE dismiss reports a patient may have murdered Sydney emergency nurse Michelle Beets.
McFadden's foul attack on talent hopeful
AUSTRALIA'S Got Talent judge may be axed for telling contestant to"f*** off back to England".
Largest laser in attempt to build new star
SCIENTISTS hope to provide limitless energy for humanity by creating a tiny star on Earth.
Clarke hits back at critics over walkout
CAPTAIN-in-waiting says cricket's "just a game" and defends himself over the Lara Bingle bust-up.
Rejected Islamic college is reborn
AN Islamic group whose plans for a school were rejected amid controversy last year has bought a new 7ha site just 7km away. The Daily Telegraph understands the Chester Hill block of land, which already contains a school and live-in accommodation for more than 200 students, has been sold to Mohammed Mehio or his nominee for $23 million.
Department of Hot Air costing us $90m
MORE than 400 public servants at Climate Change HQ - and most having nothing to do until 2013.
Gordon Brown calls voter 'bigoted woman' in election campaign gaffe
BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to make a humiliating apology today after he was caught on microphone calling a senior citizen "bigoted". Mr Brown was confronted by the 66-year-old woman, Gillian Duffy, while election campaigning in Rochdale, northern England. After spending nearly five minutes answering her questions about immigration and migrant workers from Eastern Europe, he told her, "It's been very good to meet you," before getting into a car. However, a Sky New wireless microphone picked up his words to an aide as he was driven away. He said, "That was a disaster ... You should never have put me with that woman ... Whose idea was that?" Brown went on, "It's just ridiculous." His aide then asked, "What did she say?" He replied, "Oh, everything, she's just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour." - used to - ed.
=== Journalists Corner ===As Arizona's controversial immigration law sparks a national backlash, the woman behind the bill reacts in an exclusive interview!
Surprising insight & answers from Governor Jan Brewer!
It's the hit video heating up the Climategate scandal! Now, the creators reveal the science behind their satire!
The controversy surrounding this Illinois Senate candidate ... Will Obama endorse him for his old senate seat?
Guest: Michelle Malkin
Arizona's immigration law has touched off civic & legal battles. But, could other states follow suit?
=== Comments ===Rudd promised the world but has delivered nothing
IT is hard to believe that the climate has changed so radically for Kevin Rudd since he signed up to the Copenhagen Accord last December, let alone since the 2007 election. - The ETS was a dog of a scheme with no benefits for Australia and Australians. But Rudd held on tight to it for one reason, and when that reason went, he dropped it. Some will quibble with the assertion that the ETS has been dropped, when it has been delayed for implementation to 2012. But remember that Rudd is a bureaucrat and something that is delayed will never be implemented. It was delayed because it is a dog of a policy. But Rudd has been so gung ho over it for political reasons, he cannot drop it now, even though he cannot use it. So it is being delayed until just before another election, when it will not be implemented.
Some call the ETS a tax on everything, but that isn't the value of it to Rudd. It is a pork barrel. Rudd, with such a pork barrel can bankroll an election campaign and another round of election promises. He can do so without extending the already significant debt appearing on Australia's books because he can claim the expenditures are paid for by the ETS slush fund. This was going to be popular with the support it had been given by international lobbyists that Rudd had declared his support for it in rolled gold terms, describing it as the great moral challenge of our age.
In opposing the ETS, the conservatives (and greens) have severely limited Rudd's access to the slush fund. However, Rudd was able to use the lobbyist support to hound the conservatives over the issue. This initially had impacted to roll Dr Nelson and then Mr Turnbull from the leadership of the Liberal Party. However, with the ascension of Mr Abbott and the new policy that was getting popular support, Rudd had a policy on his hands which wasn't going to be politically useful to him. But it was still going to be a slush fund and Rudd needed that money.
Then came another source for a significant pork barrel. It wasn't painted in those terms, but then neither was the ETS. The new slush fund was the health policy which took 30% GST from the states. This was not going to be of interest to any state, but any state might be able to use the loss of ready cash to leverage a slush bucket for themselves. Which is what NSW proudly claimed when Kenneally said what it was that got her to give support for the pork barrel. Kenneally faces an election in the first half of 2011. Victoria is due for an election soon too, but the pretend argy bargy was also useful in leveraging Western Australia, who will never profit from such a deal as they will not get a slush fund for their next election and there is no benefit for them in giving away their GST take.
Rudd has lost his need for an ETS with the health deal, and so bad policy will be delayed for the short term. But the ETS can be resurrected in the future if the ALP need a new slush fund and if somehow it becomes popular again through international lobbyist efforts. But really, it has been dropped, and good riddance. - ed.
Walmart Faces Suit
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: Part two of our "Is It Legal?" segment tonight. We're going to begin with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clearing the way for a massive class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart. Some female employees are accusing the retailer of paying men more money and promoting them more often.
We're rejoined by Fox attorneys and Fox News analysts Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle, both in New York. Now, we've got to leave time for the Lindsay Lohan story.
LIS WIEHL, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I want to get to that.
INGRAHAM: We've got to get through this Wal-Mart issue. Now, Lis, let's start with you. The Ninth Circuit, the most judicially liberal court of appeals in the United States…
WIEHL: Yes. Most reversed.
INGRAHAM: Yes, 6 to 5 on the panel rules this suit can go forward. Didn't comment on the merits of the suit but that the class is actually valid. Tell us about this story. It goes back to 1998.
WIEHL: Right. It was six women in different Wal-Marts who sued, saying, "Look, we're discriminated against, but we're suing, not just for the six of us. We're suing for the 1.5 million female employees that go back to 2000." And the court in the 6 to 5, as you said, is the most liberal court in the country, ruled in this very divided opinion that the case could go forward and that these six women could really represent such a large class. And that's where I think that we're going to have a problem with this. The Supreme Court is going to have a problem with this because you're talking about one of the biggest corporations in the country, six women representing 1.5 in 8,000 different stores worldwide? That's a tough class to make. (more at the link)
Why Our Unemployment Rate Is So Much Higher Than Others
By John Lott
Compared to Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Brazil, Americans have real reasons to be dissatisfied with President Obama's policies.
As President Obama travels today to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, he will try to convince voters that his economic policies are creating jobs. But a year after Obama claimed that the stimulus had started creating jobs, it is not just the general public that believes that the stimulus was a waste of money, so do the experts. This week a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics found that 73 percent of business economists believe that the stimulus "has had no impact on employment."
Many will point out that the unemployment rate has soared well above what the Obama administration predicted would occur if the stimulus were enacted. On Feb. 28, 2009, Eleven days after the stimulus bill signed into law, the White House predicted that the national unemployment rate would average 8.1 percent in 2009 and then decline to an average of 7.9 percent in 2010. Clearly things got much worse than the administration predicted. While the unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent in February, 2009, by the end of last year it had risen to 10 percent. It still remains very high at 9.7 percent.
As President Obama and other Democrats have correctly pointed out many times, this has been a worldwide recession. Why not compare the changes in unemployment rates in other countries to the unemployment rate in the U.S. Figure 1 shows (click here) the percentage change in the U.S.'s unemployment rate since January 2009 when Obama became president compared to Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Brazil. While several of the countries experienced similar increases during the beginning of 2009, by October of last year the United States had clearly "won" the race to have the largest percentage increase in unemployment of any of these countries.
Looking at the unemployment changes in terms of just the level of unemployment produces a similar picture (click here). The U.S. and many of these other countries had fairly similar unemployment rates in January last year, but by March the U.S.'s unemployment rate had increased.
Take Canada, whose economy is closely tied to ours and who is our largest trading partner. The Canadian stimulus package was nowhere as extensive as ours. Their stimulus spending of $22.7 billion last year and $17.2 billion, this year, amounts to about 7.5 percent of their federal spending for their 2009 and 2010 budgets -- about a third of the per-capita stimulus spending in the United States. (more at the link)
AND HE SAID …
Peter FitzSimons – the columnist who apologised to Osama bin Laden – tells a touching domestic tale:
With my son, not long ago, I was playing chess and I was white and he was black and I was winning and he started crying. And I said, `Why?’ And he said, `Because this reminds me of what happened to the Aboriginal people.'Other, more weep-worthy possible replies:
• “Why? Because I’m losing a chess match to Peter FitzSimons.”
• “Why? Because, just like the Awabakal tribe in their famous match against Cook’s settlers, I failed to counter an obvious Queen’s Gambit.”
• “Why? Because I’m playing chess.”
THE COST OF INACTION
Kevin Rudd has delayed – sorry, extended – his climate change policies, but we’re still stuck with a redundant Climate Change Department:
Taxpayers will fork out $90 million a year to keep more than 400 public servants employed within the federal Climate Change Department – despite most now having nothing to do until 2013.Can’t say we weren’t warned. Wayne Swan told us in 2008 that the cost of inaction would be far greater than the cost of action. And all those climate wonks may remain rich and inert for many more years to come:
More than 60 of them are classified as senior executive staff on salaries between $168,000 and $298,000 a year. Their salary bill alone will cost an estimated $12 million every year.
The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, told the Herald the government would not try to legislate the ETS even by its new delayed start year of 2013 unless there is ‘’credible action’’ by the end of 2012 from countries such as China, India and the US.Yet staff won’t be reduced:
Despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s decision on Tuesday to suspend the failed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least 2013, the department has ruled out plans to cut back staff …Rudd has created a Department of Magnificent Uselessness in response to a crisis that never existed and against which he will take no action. This is absolutely beautiful.
According to official figures, the number of top-paid bureaucrats being paid up to $298,000 a year has almost doubled since January this year from 39 to 61. That was to gear up for establishment of the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority, which will also now have no function
The Prime Minister is scared of colours:
Cigarettes will be sold in plain packages from January 2012 as Kevin Rudd introduces the world’s most draconian anti-smoking laws in a move likely to spark a legal challenge from big multi-national tobacco companies.So … we’re going to have toxic, high-taxing substances sold in bland, unattractive packaging. Kevin Rudd has remade cigarettes in his own image.
The new laws will prohibit the use of tobacco industry logos, colours, brand imagery or promotional text of tobacco product packaging.
Brand names and product names will have to be displayed in a standard colour, font style and position under the new laws.
UPDATE. Buy now:
Smokers face a 25 per cent slug from midnight after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd revealed they may already be rushing to stockpile cigarettes.
At a press conference in Sydney this morning, Mr Rudd said he had been alerted to “changes in consumer behaviour” after speculation about the 25 per cent rise in excise duty on cigarettes.
So the increase had been brought forward to midnight tonight, he said.
The rise will add about $2.16 for a pack of 30 cigarettes …
BLUE MEN BLOOPER
Breaking news from DailyClimate.org:
The Blue Man Group, founded in 1987 by New York performing artists Phil Stanton, Chris Wink and Matt Goldman, has taken up a new message, releasing a video on YouTube warning of inaction in the face of global climate change.Actually, the video was released four years ago, back when climate change was the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our generation, but let’s take a look anyway:
That’s head-tilting raised to combat level. Future generations are bound to ask, as they drown: “Why didn’t you listen to the tilty mimes in blue makeup? They knew how to save us.”
UPDATE. For up-to-the-minute stupid, please take a peek at James Richard Sauder.
CONSERVATIVE ARGUMENTS STRONGEST
Australia’s gay news network reports:
Belligerent right-wing polemicist Tim Blair once said he wasn’t opposed to gay marriage, but was opposed to gay divorce. Putting aside his attempt to be cute by half, Blair was highlighting one of the strongest arguments in favour of same-sex marriage – the conservative argument. Any genuine social conservative cannot argue that the obligations and responsibilities, as well as the benefits, of traditional marriage would not compel two same-sex partners to the stable, long-lasting relationship ideal they’re forever arguing is essential for strong societal and family values.Even belligerent right-wing polemicists can sometimes lead the way. Speaking of which, here’s James Delingpole:
In the UK, conservatives seem to be coming around to this way of thinking …
Generally, though, I think even the most obtuse homosexual male has realised that the Oppressed Victimhood party is, like, so totally over.Unless, as Delingpole points out, they run into folk of an aggressive Presbyterian bent.
(Via Garth Godsman)
AUSTRALIAN RIGHTS THREATENED
I was recently stopped by authorities while driving through Arizona. An armed policeman, at a security checkpoint, demanded to know why I was in the state and asked to see my documentation. His colleague searched my car. Meanwhile, other vehicles – driven by locals – were allowed past with minimal interference. Eventually, after perhaps 15 minutes of questioning and searches, during which I remained under the gaze of several officers carrying machine guns, I was permitted to proceed. The entire process was entirely unnecessary and probably racist.
Oh, wait. That didn’t happen in Arizona. It happened in Mexico.
But try introducing similar procedures (though not involving checkpoints) in Arizona and whiners erupt, as Byron York reports:
The chattering class is aghast at Arizona’s new immigration law. “Harkens back to apartheid,” says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker. “Shameful,” says the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne. “Terrible … an invitation to abuse,” says the New York Times’ David Brooks.Read on, bearing in mind that Arizona has more than 400,000 illegal immigrants – close to the population of Canberra (and also read this, which takes detailed exception to the new law). Instapundit has a roundup of views.
For his part, President Obama calls the law “misguided” and says it “threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Obama has ordered the Justice Department to “closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.”
Has anyone actually read the law?
Australian political cartoon Pauline Hanson won’t sell her house to an Asian. And she means it, unlike this misunderstood Adelaide resident:
Noting that Hanson’s house is also off-limits to Muslims, reader Toaf has a plan:
I’m going to buy Pauline’s mansion and then convert to Islam.He’s got a million bucks? From now on we call him “Toff”.
(Via Dan Lewis)
Shouldn’t the Rudd Government tell us whether these new boats carry Sri Lankans or Afghans who aren’t deterred by his temporary freeze on processing their claims?
THE Navy has intercepted another boat of asylum seekers off Australia’s northwest coast… It was the second asylum seeker boat intercepted by the navy patrol boat in as many days.Again that lying word “intercepted”.
The asylum seeker boat, which is believed to be carrying 24 passengers and three crew, was initially spotted by a border protection patrol aircraft.
It is the 49th asylum seeker boat to arrive in Australian waters this year.
The Age couldn’t believe its ears
(Via Hey… what did I miss?)
Here’s my MTR 1377 show today with Steve Price - talking of Steve Fielding, Rudd’s ludicrous anti-smoking distraction, police numbers and the problem with female police. We interview Ted Baillieu and I put my foot down on the station’s direction.
And here again are the videos I promise on that clip:
Dud policies going, going, going
Yet another Rudd policy junked - or shelved, as the case may be:
KEVIN Rudd has put another election promise on the backburner with his controversial internet filtering legislation set to be shelved until after the next election.What an incredibly firesale of dud or ditched policies it’s been these past three weeks. Is there anything left Rudd’s sinking boat to toss overboard, other than his $43 billion broadband white elephant?
A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the legislation would not be introduced next month’s or the June sittings of parliament.
With parliament not sitting again until the last week of August, the laws are unlikely to be passed before the election.
(Thanks to reader Peter and others.)
Debating with warmists who think my children are doomed
From the 7pm Project last night. I must say that I enjoyed arguing with Earth Hour’s Todd Sampson and wish only that I could have stayed on to say what I thought of his ludicrous video afterwards.
Yes, it is murder
Another of the kind of cases that have severely qualified my support for the right to abortion:
A BABY boy who survived a botched abortion at 22 weeks was simply wrapped in cloth and left to die by Italian doctors.
The infant’s mother had sought an abortion after scans revealed that the baby would likely be disabled…
The infant was discovered alive on Saturday - 20 hours after the botched termination - when a hospital chaplain went to pray beside the body and noticed him moving, the Telegraph added.
The little boy died Monday in intensive care, prompting Italian police to launch a homicide investigation
Labor running out of patience with its leader
Former Labor minister Gary Johns says Kevin Rudd’s colleagues know they cannot survive much longer under his aimless leadership:
The electoral timidity, the profligacy, the spin, the lack of reason, the internal bullying, the vast waste of money, the interminable photos with children, the transparent use of religion with the photos at church on Sunday, have all embittered his already unimpressed caucus colleagues.His tip: The corrupt and inept Julia Gillard.
Having wasted its first term, the Labor government must now remake itself in a way that suggests that it will not waste a second. It has two options: to remake the leader or to replace him. My bet is that Rudd will be replaced within months of the re-election. The caucus will reason that his tricks will not carry them for a further three years and that there has to be something more to government than the pap that has been served up so far.
KEVIN Rudd’s colleagues are holding him, not Tony Abbott, responsible for the government’s failure on climate change and the damaging depiction of him as a gutless and cowardly leader devoid of conviction.UPDATE 2
The Prime Minister’s senior colleagues have him under scrutiny as Labor lurches from broken promises to botched programs and policy reversals.
Piers Akerman tries to keep count of Rudd’s broken promises, which he estimates at 40:
Included in those are the promised Commonwealth takeover of public hospitals, GroceryChoice, FuelWatch, the delivery of the ETS, prudent government spending, uncapped IVF treatment, no Budget deficits, simplified GST paperwork for small business, GP Super Clinics, health services for military families, providing for the homeless, taking a hard line on terrorism, taking a hard line on immigration, ensuring private health insurance rebates remain unchanged, reining in corporate salaries, the bank deposit guarantee, responding to the 2020 summit, ensuring no worker will be worse off, building a broadband network, restricting employee share schemes, living in Kirribilli House, appointment of a Special Envoy on Whaling, being an economic conservative, taking Japan to the International Court of Justice over whaling, reining in the costs of consultancies, promising the ASC it would build submarines in South Australia, keeping detention centres in the hands of private operators, increasing indexation of public service and defence personnel pensions, funding to the Exclusive Brethren, establishing a Department of Homeland Security, means testing the Baby Bonus, introducing a compulsory student union fee, ISP filtering, flow-through share schemes, reducing energy and water consumption by Commonwealth Departments, reporting to Parliament on Closing the Gap measures, building indigenous housing, no changes to superannuation, providing computers to school pupils, building 260 childcare centres to end the “double drop-off” and permitting an Independent Election Debate Commission.UPDATE 3
The Herald Sun, whose top executives were abused by Rudd after several drinks in a restaurant this month, seems to have seen through him now. From its editorial:
But where is the Prime Minister who was elected in 2007?On MTR 1377 today I may mention another Rudd flameout after several drinks at a media do.
The answer is that the emperor has no clothes. The policies and principles in which he cloaked himself have been cast aside. The conviction politician has become the cynical politician, clearing the decks before an election later this year.
The bluster and the bravado are still there but success relies on the electorate forgetting these blunders took place.
Even successes have become embarrassments. It is now obvious that Mr Rudd overspent on the economic stimulus programs that helped Australia to avoid the global recession.
GetUp!, the Left-wing organisation whose former spokesman is now Rudd’s media advisor, counts only six broken promises. That’s 112 fewer than the number of members it had at Rudd’s farcical 2020 Ideas Summit.
(Thanks to reader Brock for the image.)
The next generation is already lost
The battle lost, right there and right away:
INDIGENOUS students are trailing mainstream students by six years, according to analysis of their performance in national literacy and numeracy tests.The report here.
The report from the right-wing think tank, the Centre of Independent Studies, shows indigenous students in year 9 achieved similar scores last year to non-indigenous students in year 3.
The data from the federal government’s My School website confirmed that indigenous education failure was concentrated in schools attended mainly by Aboriginal children.
The report’s authors, Helen Hughes and Mark Hughes, ranked the performance of about 9500 primary and secondary schools across Australia based on NAPLAN results. The bottom 150 schools were filled with mostly indigenous students.
Mal Brough is right:
(F)ormer indigenous affairs minister Mal Brough is facing up to the hard truth at the heart of Aboriginal educational.
It is not about teaching methods, school resourcing, government policy or any of the myriad angles of political debate that rage around the failure of remote indigenous education.
“There is only one point - attendance,” Mr Brough says.
“Everything else is just peripheral - it’s incidental, it’s truly academic…
”If these kids aren’t going to school, bring people to account."…
An Aboriginal teacher at Billiluna, Margaret Kungah, says she would be in favour of the police handing out fines or laying criminal charges against parents who refuse to send their children to school.
Anzac haters attack a country they cannot even describe
Greg Sheridan is astonished not just by the ignorance but the hypocrisy of the latest attacks on Anzac Day:
A slew of dismal academic books, unspeakable in their mediocrity and tendentiousness, presage a full-blooded campaign to destroy the most popular, the most unifying and the most historically sound celebration in our national life…
The Left in Australia has great staying power. It is forever on the long march through the institutions. It creates nothing, but its destructive power is fantastic. Already the workaday talk show hosts on ABC radio are responding with tut tuts about whether celebrating Anzac Day is really such a good thing after all…
One of the few sparks of humour in the new campaign against Anzac is the charge that some of Anzac’s popularity comes from government subsidy. For left-wing Australian historians, gorged on grants, tenure, fellowships, faux academic prizes, subsidised centres and all the paraphernalia of the academic gravy train, beyond the wildest imaginings of any David Williamson satire, to complain about someone else getting government money for their view of history demonstrates a kind of unconscious chutzpah available only to those who have had their irony genes removed at birth.
Similarly, the idea that Australian history has been militarised is almost insane.When I was at school we didn’t study a single war. We studied the causes of many different wars but never the war itself. My sons had the same experience 30 years later. It is perhaps the absolute absence of war in the classroom that has facilitated the magnificent popularity of Australian military history.
Similarly it is just nuts to claim that either migrant history, or Aboriginal history, both of which I honour and celebrate, don’t figure on school or university curriculums. And where is the militarism in the national curriculum?
So much for keeping prices low
RESURGENT inflation has reignited speculation about an interest rate hike getting the nod at next week’s Reserve Bank board meeting.Terry McCrann:
At 2.9 per cent, Australia’s annual rate of inflation has climbed to its highest point in 15 months, fed by rapidly rising prices for electricity, water, education and childcare.
Melbourne prices climbed the fastest in the nation in the first reading this year, jumping 1.3 per cent in just three months, spurred on by an extraordinary 22 per cent jump in electricity tariffs.
THE Reserve Bank is all-but certain to deliver its third successive interest rate increase next Tuesday.Phillip Hudson:
THE soaring cost of petrol, child care, housing, electricity and health is proof Kevin Rudd is failing to deliver on his election pledge to tackle the cost of living for working families.The question: Has the Government over-stimulated the economy?
The Prime Minister sought to make living costs a key election issue when he courted votes from “working families” and repeatedly attacked the Howard government for having “no solution”.
An analysis by the Herald Sun, based on the latest report card from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, reveals price increases in the past 12 months for utilities, child care and petrol alone have ripped $1000 from the yearly budget of a typical working family.
New power stations on hold
Kevin Rudd may be cutting emissions drastically, after all, by making Earth Hours compulsory:
UP to $2 billion of investment in new power stations will be put on hold as a result of Kevin Rudd’s decision to delay his emissions trading scheme, as major power generators are unable to close financing of projects because of uncertainty about climate policies.UPDATE
The investment strike looms as the Prime Minister faces an increasing backlash from industry over a key plank of his renewable energy policy - the redrawn renewable energy target - which big electricity users claim will push up power prices and threaten jobs.
Lenore Taylor nails the hypocrites who now champion the policies they once denounced:
THE Rudd government has conceded its emissions trading scheme could be delayed beyond the 2013 election…
The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, told the Herald the government would not try to legislate the ETS even by its new delayed start year of 2013 unless there is ‘’credible action’’ by the end of 2012 from countries such as China, India and the US…
‘’We will only [legislate] if there is sufficient international action,’’ Senator Wong said, declining to explain exactly what that meant…
When the Coalition proposed the same ‘’wait and see’’ policy, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, described it as an ‘’absolute failure of leadership’’. Yesterday he said it was ‘’a reasonable … and responsible course of action’’ in response to slower than expected progress at the United Nations Copenhagen talks.
Rudd’s hospitals “reform”: even its supporters now doubt
His hospitals deal has been greeted as the one reform Kevin Rudd finally managed to pull off. But it hasn’t taken long for even the supporters of this huge paper shuffle to realise there’s less to it than met even their eyes:
David Penington, a senior fellow at Melbourne’s Grattan Institute who initially backed the deal Kevin Rudd struck with the states, said yesterday he was ”appalled at the lack of any agreement on governance that differs from the status quo”, and had little faith any real change would be forthcoming from the reforms.And, of course, Western Australia still won’t sign on.
He also deplored the fact there was no commitment to the key issue of “a vastly better interface” between the hospital sector and primary care, or aged care and mental health - “all issues of critical importance for the longer term"…
John Dwyer, another senior doctor and longstanding reform advocate who has been critical of aspects of the proposals, said last night he, too, had found fresh points of concern in the agreement detailing the COAG deal. One was the doubt hospitals would have the computers necessary to track their activities in the detail needed to claim payments under the proposed activity-based funding formula.
Professor Dwyer said he attended a meeting at a leading Sydney hospital yesterday where the doctors agreed the process was “going to be a nightmare”.
“We couldn’t see how it was going to happen without a huge increase in bureaucracy,” Professor Dwyer said.
Brown and the bigot
Gordon Brown demonstrates the arrogance of the committed high-immigration politician:
BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to make a humiliating apology today after he was caught on microphone calling a senior citizen “bigoted”.Why? Because if you don’t can’t explain why you’re importing so many people that the country is changing its very character, and not altogether for the best, then at least by abusing your questioners as racist or bigoted, you can escape not just with your dignity intact but your self-regard enhanced.
Mr Brown was confronted by the 66-year-old woman, Gillian Duffy, while election campaigning in Rochdale, northern England.
After spending nearly five minutes answering her questions about immigration and migrant workers from Eastern Europe, he told her, “It’s been very good to meet you,” before getting into a car.
However, a Sky New wireless microphone picked up his words to an aide as he was driven away.
He said, “That was a disaster ... You should never have put me with that woman ... Whose idea was that?”
Brown went on, “It’s just ridiculous.”
His aide then asked, “What did she say?”
He replied, “Oh, everything, she’s just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour.”
Ms Duffy, who worked for 30 years at Rochdale’s local council and still works with handicapped children, told reporters: “I’m very upset ... He’s an educated person. Why has he come out with words like that?
(Thanks to reader Jarrod.)
Nixon’s deputy expected her at work
Christine Nixon’s deputy destroys the last shreds of her defence - that she did not desert but delegated on Black Saturday:
Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe today told the commission he had spoken to Ms Nixon two days before the state was hit with the worst bushfire disaster in Australia’s history.
He said they discussed policing plans for the weekend of February 7-8, 2009, and he understood that she would be on duty on the Saturday…
His evidence contradicts Ms Nixon’s own account of what she was expected to do as the state’s police chief and deputy co-ordinator of the emergency response to the state’s worst disaster which claimed 173 lives.
Ms Nixon has said she was not rostered to work on February 7, 2009, but went into her VPC office and then to the incident control centre.
She said she left the centre for home minutes after being told people would die in the fires.
She said she had left capable people in charge when she went home. Ms Nixon has been criticised heavily after it emerged she had dinner at a pub with friends that night.
Mr Walshe received a phone call from Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana around 6.30pm on February 7, telling him Ms Nixon had gone home and that there were now unconfirmed reports of deaths.
He said that phone call prompted him to drive into the city to help coordinate the police response and issue public messages via the media.
Desperate Rudd picks on smokers’ emissions instead
First Rudd announced he’d stop these emissions to stop the world from burning up:
But he lacked the courage. So now, to distract you, he’ll crack down on these emissions instead, to stop a few Australians from lighting up:
True. Rudd has downscaled his gandiose ambitions from saving the entire planet to saving just a few smokers:
CIGARETTES will be sold in plain packages from January 2012 as Kevin Rudd introduces the world’s most draconian anti-smoking laws in a move likely to spark a legal challenge from big multi-national tobacco companies.But, in fact, Rudd is treating voters with complete contempt. The very next day after his humiliating backdown on his emissions trading scheme he announces a trivial campaign on smoking, banking that it’s enough to change the topic from his deceit and cowardice, and talk instead of hios being “tough” and “bold”.
The new laws will prohibit the use of tobacco industry logos, colours, brand imagery or promotional text of tobacco product packaging.
It’s as transparent as it’s pathetic.
There will now be no ETS until at least 2013, but Rudd still has almost 400 public servants dedicated to it:
TAXPAYERS will fork out $90 million a year to keep more than 400 public servants employed within the federal Climate Change Department - despite most now having nothing to do until 2013[/url].More than 60 of them are classified as senior executive staff on salaries between $168,000 and $298,000 a year. Their salary bill alone will cost an estimated $12 million every year.
A further $8 million will also be paid in rent for plush offices at Canberra’s Constitution Place until 2012, where it is believed 500 new computers will be delivered this week.
Not too much, but perhaps too late
The Victorian Government’s new promise of more police is welcome, but so many at once suggests someone’s been in denial for too long:
The promise includes 1700 new police and 266 redeployed police office workers to go on the beat.
But the State’s new commitment comes to 1656 new officers on the beat over four years, almost identical to the 1600 promised by the State Opposition.
Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu lashed out at Brumby’s pledge saying in 11 years in power, violent crime has increased by 40 per cent, with assaults up 70 per cent.