=== Todays Toon ===PHOTO FINISH!
New speed cameras to be a bonanza for both the NSW government and the private operators of them? - ZEG
=== Bible Quote ===“I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.”- Psalm 119:7
=== Headlines ===Biden, Dems Say There Will Be No Power Shift in November
Democrats feverishly try to reverse Robert Gibbs' prediction that Republicans could seize the House in November, as GOP lawmakers claim Washington is ready for new blood.
(Breaking News)Two-year-old girl's future babies saved
THANKS to a new miracle surgery, the hope that little Violet Lee can one day have children won't be killed by chemotherapy
Jersey Shore cast won't film new season
UH oh, Jersey Shore fans, this could be a real Situation: the cast is so unhappy with their contract, they’re refusing to shoot scenes for the upcoming third season.
Woman caught on wrong side of freeway
A WOMAN was allegedly caught drink driving and driving on the wrong side of the freeway for up to 10km
Bullet misses children, grandparents
TWO children and their grandparents have escaped injury after a shot was fired into their home.
At least 17 killed in Mexico massacre
GUNMEN armed with machineguns shot dead at least 17 people as they mowed down party-goers in a pre-dawn attack outside the northern Mexican city of Torreon, officials said
Author arrested over death penalty book
SINGAPORE police arrested a British author yesterday, a day after he launched a book alleging double standards in the city-state's use of the death penalty.
Bus tumbles down ravine, killing 11
A BUS crash in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia killed 11 people, including two children, and left 14 hurt, a Russian news agency reported
Labor, Greens in preference deal - report
LABOR and the Greens are about to seal a comprehensive preference deal that would boost the ALP's chances of remaining in government while helping the Greens achieve the balance of power in the Senate, Fairfax reports
UK minister rules out burqa ban
THE UK immigration minister ruled out a ban on wearing the burqa in public, saying it would be "rather un-British."
Asylum seekers 'not a political football'
THE UN asks the Government to explain why accepted number of Afghan asylum seekers has plunged.
NSW ACT (Wasn't all of Australia NSW, Once?)Single rate power to cost Sydneysiders
IF THE Opposition wins power at the NSW election it could mean Sydneysiders pay more for it. – I simply don’t believe this article is true. It is a political statement by someone. The headline is badly worded and does not show what the article is about. But looking at the article, it ignores the hyper inflation of the ALP's efforts. – ed.
League referee locked out after fight
A SENIOR rugby league referee has been banned from a high school after an on field row.
Perverts locked up over bail breaches
NEARLY half the serial sex predators released into the community are back behind bars, we can reveal.
Council plans for a lonely dog
THE statue honouring the dog on the tuckerbox five miles from Gundagai is a howling flop.
Nursing homes' shocking truth
AN audit criticises a nursing home exposed by The Sunday Telegraph.
Queensland (Ned Kelly wanted to come here, but he got lost)Stolen Porsche seen then gone
AN eye-catching red Porsche stolen from a Brisbane doctor's home garage five days ago has been spotted in Toowoomba.
Bike rider dies after forest crash
A 49-YEAR-old mountain bike rider has died in hospital a week after he was found unconscious on a popular bush trail on Brisbane's southside.
Riot ringleader freed but gagged
THE ringleader of the Palm Island riots will be released from jail today on the condition he not talk to the media or attend public meetings.
Teen girls in train knife attack
FOUR teenage girls have been charged after a Sudanese woman was stabbed during an attack at a suburban railway station.
Police, watchdog clash again
POLICE and the anti-corruption watchdog are again at odds – this time over a popularity poll taken during a furore over a report into police double standards.
Police dogs sniff out drug labs
TWO police dogs have sniffed out a clandestine drug lab after their handlers became suspicious of a man standing at a suburban intersection wearing latex gloves.
Great divide in cancer survival
PEOPLE living outside southeast Queensland are less likely to be alive five years after a cancer diagnosis than their city counterparts, researchers say.
Obesity risk tops smoking
EXCESS weight has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of death and disability in Queensland, according to Queensland's chief health officer.
Ad blitz gets women off grog
HIGH-risk drinking among young Queensland women has plunged by almost half since an advertising campaign, according to the latest figures.
Trouble building on gas ventures
FEDERAL intervention and environmental concerns have shaken confidence in Queensland's emerging gas industries, worth potentially billions to the state.
Victoria (Former home of Batman)Drunk driver on wrong side for 10km
A WOMAN drove on the wrong side of the road for up to 10km before blowing more than three times the legal blood alcohol limit.
Irish arrivals spark $400,000 blaze
A FAMILY of Irish immigrants who moved here last week were forced to flee their house after an open fire fuelled with petrol exploded.
Fast track to misery
A FOOTSCRAY couple say the controversial $4.3 billion regional rail link will maroon them on an island of hell.
Power bills soar by $300
VICTORIAN households are paying more than $300 a year extra in energy costs compared to in 2008.
Six students expelled every week
PRINCIPALS are calling for more help to deal with troubled kids as six students a week are expelled from Victorian state schools.
Fresh cancer fears for residents
CANCER rates are eight times higher among residents near a controversial hazardous waste landfill, according to a report.
Selling on election day?
WILL IT be wise to buy or sell in five weeks when Australians determine who will govern for the next four years?
Smart electricity meters bungled
VICTORIANS have been misled about the roll-out of costly electricity smart meters, the State Opposition claims.
Homegrown here to share
VICTORIAN green thumbs have turned over a thrifty new leaf in making the most of their backyard vegie patches.
Nixon set to undergo surgery
UPDATE 3:10pm: CHRISTINE Nixon is set to undergo surgery tomorrow after being rushed to hospital in the early hours of today.
Northern Territory (a Forgotten State)Nothing New
South Australia (Land of conviction, not convicts)Kart Mania holdup
A "SQUEAKY-VOICED" man armed with a rifle was one of two robbers who held up a Richmond go-kart business.
Mobile offense leads to string of charges
A DRIVER pulled over for using a mobile phone in Norwood was charged with a host of offences.
Charge them $20 a packet
LEADING doctors have called for the price of cigarettes to be further increased after the latest tax hike failed to significantly deter smokers.
Heavy rains bring minor flooding
HEAVY rain drenched the inner-southern suburbs with 40 calls for help in two hours, the State Emergency Service reported.
SA's new millionaire
A NORTHERN suburbs woman won $1 million in Saturday night's $20 million X-Lotto Megadraw.
Triple treat for term three
THEY'RE three of a kind, but the Richards triplets - who start reception at St Peter's Girls' tomorrow - are individuals who know what they want from life.
School violence surges
INCIDENTS of violence or threatening behaviour by students in South Australian schools have surged by 30 per cent over the past five years, figures show.
Waterworks coordination confusion
UNCOORDINATED repairs of South Australia's water infrastructure could be costing taxpayers and homeowners millions of dollars a year.
State fails to meet pay deadline
THE Nurses' Union is "terribly disappointed" that the State Government appears to have failed to meet its pay talks ultimatum.
Campaign turns ugly - already
TWO West Richmond men who allegedly assaulted a Liberal candidate and her volunteer staffer have been reported.
Western Australia (Conservative Government and now home to a free and critical press)Ghouls urged naked gunman to jump
THE naked man who triggered yesterday's CBD lockdown with a replica handgun is undergoing a mental health assessment in hospital.
Mining towns set for property boom
EXPERTS predict industry towns will be the place to buy as tax truce sparks demand for homes.
Busselton pedestrian run down, killed
A PEDESTRIAN has been struck by a car and killed in the beachside town of Busselton.
Town gutted by BHP welcomes saviour
BHP Billiton's decision to walk away from its $2 billion nickel mine on the remote south coast of WA still stings
Tasmania (she'll be apples)
No news today
=== Comments ===NO CASH FOR CARBON
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has hardened his position on climate change, declaring unequivocally there would be ‘’no carbon price on consumers under a Coalition government’’.It’s taken some time to reach this point. Progress!
BOGAN OR FAUXGAN
Naomi Toy had her doubts back in 2009 about chk-chk-boom girl Clare Werbeloff:
The more I see of Clare, the more I doubt her bogan authenticity.It took a while – more than a year – until Clare finally proved her boganhood with a Ralph photo shoot. Not that I’m calling for Julia Gillard to pass a similar test, but there are some who question her bogan authenticity. Time for a scientific poll:
For a start, she’s called Clare. And she said “you’re welcome” to the cameraman instead of “sweet” or “no wuckas”.
She’s a fauxgan. If she’s a real bogan she’ll do a shoot for Ralph or Zoo.
UPDATE. Greensliding! The party of purity is reportedly about to join a coalition of compromise:
Labor and the Greens are on the verge of a comprehensive preference deal that would boost the government’s prospects of holding on to power while helping the Greens achieve the balance of power in the Senate.It used to be about the carbon.
Sources said the deal was close to fruition and more comprehensive than that crunched at the last election, while the Greens leader, Bob Brown, indicated it was all but done.
UPDATE II. Labor leaps ahead:
The first Newspoll survey taken since the Prime Minister called the election on Saturday reveals Coalition support has dropped while Labor’s primary vote has held steady at 42 per cent to the opposition’s 38 per cent.At this stage, Labor will lose up to eight seats but easily hold power.
It’s the first time Labor has been ahead on primary vote since April.
UPDATE III. The sadness of Kevin Rudd:
He slipped into the front passenger seat of the car and was whisked away to his new, much smaller office in Parliament, an office that was once occupied by another political outcast – Pauline Hanson.Just quit, already.
In Brisbane over the weekend, looking at a few cars. At one point find myself in a West End parking lot. Small sedan pulls in to the space next to mine. It’s a handicapped space.
So – as we all do – I check to see if we’ve got a genuine handicapper on our hands or some kind of cripple-parking scofflaw.
No doubt about this one. She’s legit. The windscreen tag is the first clue. The second is the driver’s struggle to get out of her car, a feat made more difficult by the space’s gradient. The door keeps swinging shut on her.
So – as we all do – I walk over to help. She’s a mighty large woman, very pleasant, a little embarrassed at her circumstances, but happy for any assistance. As I hold the door, she hands me one of those four-pronged aluminium walking sticks. Then the physics lesson begins.
Because I have to keep the door open, I can’t move far enough back to exercise any significant leverage. I’ll have to rely on strength alone, which is my case is a very lonely reliance indeed.
We eventually decide on a forearm-to-forearm grip technique combined with whatever movement can be achieved by pushing off the centre pillar. It works. Verticality is achieved, along with several creative terms of abuse (from both of us) for whoever puts handicapped spaces on inclines.
As I drive away, I see her bumper sticker: “I love my ABC and I vote.” Adversity – and gravity – brings opposites together.
NEXT FROM DEMOCRATS: BRING DOWN THIS WALL!
Florida’s Larcenia Bullard may no longer be America’s second-goofiest elected official (first place, of course, is held eternally by Joe Biden). Senator Bullard – lately unwell, sadly – now has competition from Miss Saigon herself, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Author meets subject:
“To keep a woman in line, you gotta beat ‘em like a rug once in a while.” That’s the peaceful counter-cultural 1960s for you.
(Via R. Black)
UPDATE. In other literary news:
Americans are ”profoundly bored” with the notion of climate change, according to the writer Ian McEwan, whose latest novel has been poorly received in the US.Read on. It turns out McEwan has become slightly dismissive of warming panic himself:
McEwan blamed American apathy for the negative reviews afforded to Solar, his satire about global warming …
“I was knocked off my pedestal. It was amazing,” he said. “It was odd because I did a book tour in the States then crossed the border to Canada and got the best press I had ever had for a novel. It was so entirely different.”
I’m not a complete alarmist. I used to think, but no longer think, that we’ve got six years left.Splitter!
KNIFE TAKEN TO SCARF FIGHT
Bizarre crime, bizarre sentence in Canada:
A Calgary mother won’t spend a day in jail for killing her teenage daughter with a head scarf — a decision that has prompted outrage …(Via Larry T.)
The devout Muslim mother claimed Aminat came at her with a knife in her sewing room, where she prayed several times a day. She said she reacted by wrapping the scarf around her daughter’s neck and twice told the girl to put the knife down before the teen lost consciousness.
A knife was found in the room, but the daughter’s fingerprints were not on it.
Who hijacked Bob Brown’s party?
I may have misread the significance of this comment today of Greens leader Bob Brown about the preferences deal his party struck with Labor:
I don’t like backroom preference negotiations with other parties. In fact I’m sick of it.He’s sick of the preference deals of the kind his own party struck, and spent much of today saying he wasn’t party to the deal, and Greens should just make up their own minds on preferences:
I’ve got enough to do without sitting at tables discussing preferences.And:
I totally agree with those people who last time ignored the preference directions from all the parties and put their preferences where they wanted to, I did it.Which raises the question: who is running the Greens if Bob Brown isn’t?
Well, the preference deal was revealed not by Brown himself:
Instead, the party’s national campaign coordinator Ebony Bennett issued a statement, saying: “Local branches of the Greens have chosen to direct preferences to the Labor Party ahead of the Coalition in a number of lower house seats.”Who now runs the Greens, and why has Bob Brown let himself be used like this?
The Left and violence - again
What is it with the political Left and violence?
And why does the media Left insist on focussing instead on fake reports of violence and general nastiness of conservatives?
Bob Brown deplores what he’s just done
The Greens strike a preference deal:
The Greens have confirmed that they have struck a preferences deal with Labor, which will affect the Senate and some key House of Representatives seats in the upcoming federal election.Greens leader Bob Brown explains it:
I understand in the majority of the contentious seats, there will be a preference arrangement to the Labor party. Labor is giving their preferences to the Greens, but let me finish that sentence by saying voters should make up their own minds.Yet he’s so keen to seem clean that he deplores exactly what his party has just done:
I don’t like backroom preference negotiations with other parties. In fact I’m sick of it.Typical Greens tactic, to have it both ways.
(No link to that last quote, from Bob Brown’s press conference today.)
The question for today - or the election - is: what did Labor give the Greens to buy their preferences?
Abbott looks bad with media help, although it’s Gillard who’s costing jobs
Too much apologising for the past and a muddling of lines hurts the Opposition Leader:
TONY Abbott has signed a “contract” promising that Work Choices is dead and buried but he continues to muddle his message on the controversial laws.Not as clear as it needs to be. And too apologetic when Julia Gillard reregulating of the workplace is putting kids out of work:
“Give me a bit of paper, I’ll sign it here,” Mr Abbott said to 3AW host Neil Mitchell as he tried to end questions about John Howard’s divisive workplace laws.
But pressed again by Mitchell, Mr Abbott said: “I can’t give an absolute guarantee about every single aspect of workplace relations.
“Obviously I can’t say that there will never ever ever for 100 or 1000 years time be any change to any aspect of industrial legislation. But the Fair Work Act will not be amended in the next term of government if we are in power.
“But let’s, I mean, Work Choices, it’s dead, it’s buried, it’s cremated now and forever. But obviously I can’t give an absolute guarantee about every single aspect of workplace relations legislation. But Work Choices is gone now and forever.”
Fair Work Australia last week dismissed a challenge to the National Retail Award by two rural Victorian teenagers who wanted to work two-hour shifts after school rather than three.
The award stipulates that no employee shall be asked to work a shift that is less than three hours long, a clause designed to stop exploiting of casual workers.
The unfortunate consequence is that students who choose to work after school can no longer do so.
School finishes at 3.30pm, and most retail stores will close around 5.30pm on weekdays, forcing employers to either break the law or sack students currently working for them after school.
Where, we ask, is the commonsense in that?
The students who challenged the award were among six who were sacked from a retail store in Terang because its opening hours didn’t allow them three-hour shifts _ unless the teenagers finished school an hour early.
Gillard does not want you to see where she’s been
JULIA Gillard’s impudent slogan “moving forward” says it all about a campaign that will in fact be most about the past.
Labor is brazenly telling us to ignore its disasters of the past three years. The grim Liberals, though, want this election to be just a trial of the guilty.
In her speech to tell us she’d called an August 21 election, the new Prime Minister used the word “forward” a grating 24 times.
Examples: “under my leadership we will move forward”, “we’ll move forward together” and “move forwards, not backwards”. Even “moving forward also means moving forward”.
Here is a Government telling you not to brood on what it’s done, only believe what it now promises.
The reason is brutally clear. Gillard thought this Government was so bad, had so “lost its way” that it had to sack its leader, Kevin Rudd, in just his first term. Even Labor thought Rudd didn’t deserve re-election.
That’s not surprising when the Government’s failure is so starkly obvious.
Think of the billions wasted on overpriced school buildings, failed Green Loans scheme and solar heating rorts.
Think how we’ve gone from huge surpluses to great debt, with almost all those billions gone on trash.
Think of the dumping of an emissions trading system that was our answer to the “greatest moral challenge of our times”. Think of FuelWatch and GroceryWatch.
Think of the weakening of our boat people laws, causing boat arrivals to explode from three a year to three a week.
Perhaps the Government’s ineptitude is best illustrated by its free insulation scheme spending $1.5 billion on largely unneeded, useless, imported or even lethal insulation, and then another $1 billion to fix it or rip it out.
And after all that you’re told merely to “move forward”.
Gillard’s pitch is that the party itself has “moved forward” by dumping Rudd. A new leader is in town, and, look, she’s our first female Prime Minister!
You still want to judge the Government on performance? Then judge only on what it’s done since Gillard took over, just three weeks ago.
Polls apart - but the Greens should help Labor plenty
Channel 9’s Galaxy poll said yesterday it was 50-50. The authoritative Newspoll begs to differ:
Labor’s primary vote is unchanged on 42 per cent while the Coalition’s has dropped below 40 per cent, to 38 per cent, for the first time since March. Greens’ support has risen since the election was called from ten to 12 per cent.But what has Labor sold to the Greens to get this deal?
Based on preference flows at the 2007 election the two-party preferred support for Labor is up to 55 per cent and the Coalition’s is down to 45 per cent.
Labor and the Greens are on the verge of a comprehensive preference deal… Sources said the deal was close to fruition and more comprehensive than that crunched at the last election…On the other hand:
The agreement would give Labor crucial Greens preferences for House of Representatives seats in all but a handful of electorates where Greens branches will exercise their right to choose otherwise. In return, Labor will direct its Senate preferences towards the Greens…
The Greens have 13 per cent of the primary vote and Labor needs the overwhelming majority of preferences to survive. ‘’We’re really going to need them this time,’’ a source said.
Senator Brown told the Herald he was ‘’aware of arrangements the party had been required to make’’ but stressed that voters should still feel free to make their own decisions as to who they give their preferences to.
A carbon price would never be imposed under a Coalition government, Tony Abbott has vowed, apparently toughening the policy he announced last December when he said a price on emissions would be considered when the Coalition reviewed its ‘’direct action’’ climate policy in 2015.UPDATE
The shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, has said he believes a carbon price is ‘’inevitable’’...
Another poll asks: is that accent bogan or fauxgan?
Spooked, the Opposition drops a policy that’s clearly needed:
TONY Abbott has abandoned a proposal to exempt small business from unfair dismissal laws...But employer groups which have spent the past three years cosying up to Labor, embracing policies such as emissions trading that would kill the economy, should be the last to complain about a lack of spine in the Coalition.
Employers were disappointed by the Opposition Leader’s pledge on Saturday not to change federal workplace laws for three years and urged Mr Abbott to keep an open mind about industrial reform.
Coalition sources said there was “no stomach” for the dismissal changes among senior opposition figures who feared a promise of substantial change would energise the union movement’s anti-Work Choices campaign and torpedo the Coalition’s prospects at the election.
I’d rate Labor’s ads so far as better than the Coalitions. And they’re about to get more personal:
Secret Labor focus group research, leaked to the Herald Sun, reveals Ms Gillard has recorded TV advertisements in which she blasts “my opponent” over health, education, broadband and WorkChoices.UPDATE 4
As the flipside of Labor’s campaign slogan, “Let’s move Australia forward”, the ads, recorded in the Prime Minister’s Parliament House office before the election was called, warn: “Don’t let Tony Abbott take us backwards.”
Gillard wants to have it both ways. Don’t judge me on my past performance, at the same time demanding a potential Abbott government be defined by what the Howard government did…UPDATE 4
This should be an election between two sides competing to tell us the truth about the hard and ultimately rewarding reforms we still need. It is bad enough that a Gillard government would be committed to standing still on reform. Worse, she has sought to “lock” a future Abbott government into the same policy paralysis. And depressingly, she has probably succeeded...
Former Labor speechwriter Don Watson has had enough of Julia Gillard “moving forward”:
Watson said yesterday he was turned off by the PM’s election launch speech on Saturday, in which she used the phrase 24 times.
“It is the cliche of our times. When she started trotting it out I walked away after five minutes. I couldn’t stand it any more,” he said…
“People think the only way you can make a political point or persuade people of an argument is to treat them like imbeciles. It’s like training a dog.”
Obama defends his dog’s footprints
In 2008, Barack Obama demands a smaller carbon footprint of everyone else:
Pitching his message to Oregon’s environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to “lead by example” on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.In 2010, Maine’s Morning Sentinel is forced to issue a clarification before voters think Obama, who just jetted in for a holiday, is just another global warming hypocrite or something:
”We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.
“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.
Clarification: Today’s story about the arrival of the Obamas said the Obama’s dog and one aide arrived on a small jet before the First Family, but there were other occupants on the plane, including several other staffers. The presidential party took two small jets to the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton because the airport was too small to accommodate the president’s usual jet.His conscience is clear. Now, about your footprint…
(Thanks to Instapundit.)
You’re not a redneck when Labor needs your vote
In 2005, Labor speechwriter Dennis Glover demonises John Howard as a racist, appealing to rednecks:
… the ethnic sub-dividing of the Australian electorate has come about not so much through Labor failure but through a massive re-engineering of the national psyche, led by Prime Minister Howard. It’s now OK to dislike people who are different, especially Muslims. From this perspective, Labor’s major electoral failing lies in part in refusing to practise the successful politics of soft racism: something perhaps for its supporters to be proud of.In 2010, Glover takes Julia Giollard’s cue and denounces those who demonise their opponents as racists, appealing to rednecks:
The Prime Minister has been criticised on the Left for welcoming a debate and refusing to equate popular unease over refugee boat arrivals with racism…Would a “sorry” really kill this guy?
When it comes to morally vexed issues such as this, we have to learn to speak to each other on the same level. We certainly have to stop ridiculing others as “rednecks”. As someone from a similar background to Gillard, I know this is a highly inaccurate description of the complex views of working-class Australians.
People might, for instance, be worried about the effects of higher immigration on the environment, or suspect it will worsen the overcrowding in their schools and hospitals. That’s not racism.
Then again, maybe it’s all just patronising spin in a pre-election grab for votes, since this hypocrite cannot even follow his own edict in this very piece:
(Gillard) has also been criticised from the Right for not making it a debate about the supposed inability of some cultures to adapt to Australian society. The latter debate has the unmistakable whiff of racism about it...
At least the Toyota does indeed go forward
Flogging cars, flogging the Labor party. What’s the diff?
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
Can someone tell her Saigon fell 35 years ago?
How dumb can you be and still get elected to Congress? Still, Vietnam always was a topic on which the Left had more opinions than facts.
(Thanks to reader Paul.)
Gillard offers a non-solution to Labor’s reckless intake of migrants
Labor’s way to stop the crush caused by out-of-control immigration is to waste more millions by helping to provide houses in places migrants don’t want to go:
JULIA Gillard has moved to ease pressure on Australia’s major cities by promoting growth in the regions under a $200 million housing initative.Actually, the way to ease pressure on our major cities is to cut immigration levels from these absurd and record highs of 270,000 (net) a year.
Gillard’s feel--your-pain lines, as gleaned from focus group testing:
Australia cannot and should not hurtle down the track towards a big population. As Prime Minister I’m saying let’s take a breath and get this right. Let’s not make our national goal a ‘big Australia’.And:
I don’t think we want to hurtle down the track to a population of 36 million or 40 million.We don’t? Then what is Gillard going to do about these facts?
- Two thirds of our current population growth is due to immigration, which is also the only factor under the Government’s control.Simple question: what is Labor going to do to cut immigration by at least a third?
- To limit our population to even 36 million by 2050, we need net immigration to average 180,000 people a year.
- To “limit” our population to 40 million by 2051, we need net immigration to average 220,000 people a year.
- Under Labor, net immigration has in fact run at an average of 270,000 people a year.