Sunday, July 18, 2010

Headlines Sunday 18th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
The National IQ Test is on again!
"Moving Forward"..... so this is the best catch cry/slogan that the incumbent government of Australia could come up with?

I read not so long ago, that the phrase "Moving Forward" was one of the top hated business cliches ever trotted out. So what more does this tell us as voters? It tells me that not only has this government run out of good governance planning and money but that it has also run out of imagination and is trying to sell their Gillard magic elixir and cure-all by spinning the most shallow of phrases -- even worse than "Working Families" -- on the public that they feel will fall for it all again. - ZEG
=== Bible Quote ===
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”- Romans 1:16
=== Headlines ===
Hilary, Obama forgot to set an agenda
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to South Asia on a mission aimed at refining the goals of the nearly 9-year-old conflict in Afghanistan as fears mount about the war. U.S. lawmakers are increasingly questioning the course of the war. The number of U.S. and NATO casualties in Afghanistan is on the rise. Corruption is a deep problem in Afghanistan, and members of Congress wonder about the utility of massive aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

(Breaking News)
Rudd coup could haunt Gillard campaign
ANGER at dumping of former PM Kevin Rudd could play a decisive role in outcome of election.

Punches fly in election opening
JULIA Gillard and Tony Abbott have begun election hostilities with a bruising opening bout over each other's records and who voters should trust to run the nation.

Fiona drops MasterChef chance for kids
TEACHER chooses students over fame after being offered the chance to return to hit show.

Cricket star fathered child with mistress
CRICKETER Dean Jones pleads for privacy after admitting to an affair with a flight attendant.

Labor divided and imploding, starts ok
JULIA Gillard jumps to an eleciton-winning lead in poll on first day.

Gillard announces federal election
AUSTRALIANS will go to the polls on August 21, Gillard has announced.

Moon find may point to habitable tunnels
LATEST images of the Moon show a giant pit which could lead to a cosy subterranean network.

Mum won't stop 14-year-old solo sailor
DUTCH mother pleads with authorities to let her 14-year-old daughter attempt to sail solo around the world.

Woman, 108, reunites with husband, 38
A 108-year-old Malaysian woman has reunited with her 38-year-old husband after a year-long separation.

Nixon quits after Black Saturday saga
EMBATTLED Christine Nixon has announced she is stepping down as head of bushfire reconstruction.

Phone reception issues 'not just Apple'
APPLE offers a free case for iPhone 4 to fix reception but Consumer Reports remains unimpressed.

NSW ACT (Wasn't all of Australia NSW, Once?)
Nursing homes' shocking truth
AN audit criticises a nursing home exposed by The Sunday Telegraph.

League legend Daz in the fight of his life
WHEN the first State of Origin game kicked off one of its legends was lying in a Central Coast private hospital bed preparing to die.

School kiss and drop call
EACH school should have a "kiss and ride" zone for safely dropping off children, parents say.

Cycle lanes that ate Sydney
OVER 400 city parking spaces have been lost to new CBD cycling lanes - and there's more to come.

Fashion boss abuse claim
FASHION mogul Danny Avidan, has been investigated for allegedly bullying one of his designers.

Mosman multi's $1m boat lift
YOU'RE a multi-multi-millionaire with the harbourside mansion, but you've got one small problem.

Home-brand ciggies in the supermarket
COLES is importing cheap cigarettes from Germany and selling them at discounted prices.

Queensland (Ned Kelly wanted to come here, but he got lost)
Oil-spill captain labelled a hero
AFTER one of Queensland's worst environmental disasters, leading shipping industry figures say the captain of the so-called ship of shame is a hero.

Convicted carers get blue cards
A FOSTER carer who assaulted a child, a hockey coach who hid drugs internally and a man who threw a molotov cocktail have been given blue cards to work with children

No jobs for hundreds of nurses
NURSING graduates are unable to find a job in Queensland's public health system, despite a chronic shortage of nurses in hospitals.

75% price cuts as sales slow
RETAILERS are slashing prices by up to 75 per cent in a desperate bid to attract shoppers and turn around dismal trading conditions.

Trust put murder victim at risk
KATHLEEN Jones says her murdered daughter Justine's trusting nature put her in harm's way.

State mediators in tearoom spat
TWO of Queensland's top workplace umpires have squared off in an industrial slanging match after one of them banned the other from his own office.

Bob Jane 'back with ex-wife'
TYRE tycoon Bob Jane has spent a 10-day luxurious holiday on a tropical island with the ex-wife he once accused of trying to kill him.

Rudd coup to hurt Labor's hopes
KEVIN Rudd will play a decisive role in the election, with two-thirds of Queensland voters believing the leadership coup will hurt Labor's chances.

Crims in Facebook taunts
JAILED bikies and other prisoners are using Facebook to boast about their easy ride in prison, abuse authorities and request drugs from visitors.

'Free' schools cost thousands
PARENTS can spend $5800 a year sending their child to a state high school and it's battering the hip pocket of those who can least afford it.

Victoria (Former home of Batman)
Melbourne man hit by bus
A MAN is in a serious condition after being hit by a bus tonight.

Janes 'make up' on holiday
TYRE tycoon Bob Jane has spent a 10-day luxurious holiday on a tropical island with his former wife.

Gran slams custody deal
A DOTING grandmother has slammed authorities for handing her grandson back to a man she alleges is a drug user and criminal.

I've been given a new life
BRENDAN Cole first thought it was a prank. But it was the call that changed his life.

Full steam ahead
AFTER three decades of restoration and track work, Victoria's Goldfields Railway is finally running at full steam.

Police search for missing boys
UPDATE 11:05PM POLICE air wing and dog squads are searching for two boys, aged 8 and 11, in Berwick.

Victoria's good taste
VICTORIA, stand by to taste success at this year's Produce Awards for the nation's best primary producers.

Video letter to the editor
HAVE your say online - send in a video letter to the editor.

Scuba tragedy at Queenscliff
A SCUBA diver has died and four were rushed to hospital after a dive charter off Queenscliff turned to tragedy this morning.

Northern Territory (a Forgotten State)
Nothing New

South Australia (Land of conviction, not convicts)
Jailed bikies seek net drugs
JAILED bikies are using Facebook to request drugs, abuse authorities and communicate with each other and the outside world.

Disunity on toughened booze laws
FAR-REACHING measures requested by police to rein in alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour in the CBD have been stalled.

Pipelines to disrupt thousands
A SECRET plan to dig up dozens of Adelaide roads and compulsorily acquire land will not be released until after the federal election.

Workers on $1.90 an hour at car plant
CHINESE labourers were flown in to dismantle machinery at the former Mitsubishi car plant and paid as little as $1.90 an hour.

Barossa boy a dab Hann in the kitchen
HE'S the pimply-faced Barossa Valley boy with a lisp, who has been tested by culinary critics and courted controversy.

Look what some silly sud did
IT'S all good clean fun as far as the kids are concerned, but somebody has to tidy this mess up.

Altercation leads to stabbing
A MAN has been stabbed multiple times during an altercation with a group of people at Parafield Gardens.

Western Australia (Conservative Government and now home to a free and critical press)
We freeze, MPs frolic in the sun
PREMIER Colin Barnett was forced to cancel a Cabinet meeting as his jetsetting ministers frolicked in the Mediterranean, lived it up in Italy and toured Asia and the US.

Precious 750g Princesses make it
TWO tiny identical twins - each born barely the size of a soft-drink can - have left hospital for the first time after amazing WA doctors with their determination to survive.

Sunny outlook for former Docker
FOOTBALL star turned radio personality Shaun McManus says a weather update from his co-hosts was the inspiration for naming his newborn daughter Sunny.

50,000 more cars to clog our roads
WA'S clogged freeways will have to find room for an extra 50,000 cars a day within five years, new figures have revealed.

Rise in young terrors
RECORD numbers of Year 1 students are being suspended from WA schools.

Naked man surrenders gun, arrested
A NAKED man who mounted a city billboard armed with a small handgun has been arrested by heavily armed police.

Winton: end the war on sharks
TIM Winton has campaigned for turtles, dugongs, dolphins and whales. He's now taken on his toughest customer.

Man in court after bottle attack
A MAN charged following a vicious bottle attack outside a Fremantle nightclub briefly appeared in court today.

Rescue chopper airlifts injured driver
A MAN has been flown to hospital after a car hit a tree about 25km south of Williams in the state’s Great Southern.

Ute slams into house
UTE slams into Willetton house but miraculously nobody was injured.

Tasmania (she'll be apples)

No news today

=== Comments ===
Litany of lies judged at poll
Piers Akerman
DON’T be fooled: the choice in the August 21 election is stark. Labor would like you to believe it has moved towards the centre of the political spectrum, that there’s little to separate it from the conservative Opposition - but don’t believe it for a moment. - Gillard and Tanner seem to go to their happy place when they answer questions or give talks. It certainly isn’t a place that exists in reality. It is breathtaking how easily they lie and threaten.
Gillard claimed she always supported budget surpluses to the canberra press at that luncheon. In fact it is verifiable she never has. And the press gallery failed to notice that.
She gets homely, referring to people that should be significant in our lives but clearly are not to her, like mother or father or teachers when she was growing up. She makes claims about being pragmatic or practical, when in fact she has been devious and duplicitous. She claims the very things she does are in fact what her enemies do, like claiming Mr Abbott uses slogans when in fact she is using the empty slogan and he is stating the truth.
It is irritating to watch as successive interviewers fail the most basic functions of interviews: verifiablity, accountability etc etc. Already I can see the spinmasters working to obfuscate the issues. The choice is actually, do we choose a united and cohesive conservative opposition which has a proven track record of excellence in government, or do we select a divided and abusive ALP which has performed so badly they needed to knife their leader before revealing to the public how bad they have been.
Already we know Rudd is fighting back, and so we have an ALP which will not be united for many years to come. Divided from the top down. Gillard is a practiced liar and she has been rewarded for it before. She ran for the ‘07 election claiming to be fair on IR issues, and had she been fair I would be willing to endorse what she did. But she wasn’t fair. She lied and obfuscated over the benefits to the Australian people of the measures being taken and many people are suffering. Small business has been crushed by ALP policy, with many formerly thriving businesses closing down and scaling back. Small sandwich shops are clearly vacant or depressed. Struggling neighborhoods are making do with major breadwinners are reduced salary. And that is from IR alone.
Mr Abbott has promised not to touch IR, and I respect the decision and believe he will honor it. It is possible for IR to be improved from improved administration without improved legislation. It is up to the responsible government to behave responsibly and ethically, which the ALP has not done. For me, the litmus test is the treatment of the issue of Hamidur Rahman, whose parents were partly blamed in error by the coroner for his death which was apparently the result of school negligence. There has been a cover up of which the NSW ALP has played a role, but which the federal ALP has failed to address too. This is my reason for running for government in this election, to see justice for Hamidur Rahman and to have the issue set right .. and it will mean I am campaigning for fairer IR laws and improved government. I will spell out my policies soon. I will be running in the seat of Blaxland, which is Paul Keating’s old seat. My only impediment being I have to give up my US citizenship, which is something I greatly regret doing, but I am willing to sacrifice to serve. - ed.

===
Gillard con is smoke and mirrors surpluses
Piers Akerman
ON Wednesday, Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan demonstrated his conjuring skills with a revised Budget forecast. - But you can touch your investments. I did that so that I might save my unit which is in danger of being lost because of ALP corruption and because that corruption has prevented me from working for the last three years when there is no impediment to my work .. I am very good at what I do.
But touching your investments is expensive. I had crammed money into Superannuation when i was younger in case I needed it in the future .. It was supposed to be that kind of investment. I gave up what others took for granted to secure my future. But when I needed it, I was denied access to it. The propaganda behind it says that you should be able to access it in six months if you face issues like I face. But after three years I was denied access. I was entitled to appeal the decision, but denied the right of appeal as my bank decided they wouldn’t wait any longer. But I could still access my savings .. at a cost. The cost of accessing $200k super, for me, was about $120k. On top of all that I had lost from what was about $300k under Mr Howard. But it means I can move forward and run in election campaigns and, following failure there, finish a doctorate and work at a university .. and publish more material. I have my autobiography published at Amazon.com (search for David Daniel Ball Thief!) and some science fiction novels will follow soon. ALP have a similar campaign slogan as the successful NSW ALP one from 2007. They were “Changing Direction” when nobody had thought they could get worse. Being able to rewrite their own history is very important to senior ALP members. Otherwise it would look really bad for the ALP party. After all, the wonderful triumphs of Hawke and keating were only superficial, or supported by the conservatives. They were in power for so long had they messed up as badly as Rudd and Gillard so quickly they wouldn’t have been. But still they need to rewrite history so they don’t look bad. The truth is workers did very badly under Hawke and Keating too.
Workers did badly under Whitlam, and the following years of Fraser hadn’t fixed much as he went softly softly so as to not raise the ire of ALP voters who never supported him.
The ALP performed abysmally in WW2 too, almost losing the war through incompetence in several instances.
But now it is time to look forward. - ed.

===
Gillard leads
Andrew Bolt
Small poll, handy lead:
Labor’s primary support is sitting on 39 per cent, slightly less than the 41 per cent Ms Gillard picked up in the days after becoming PM on June 24, but an election-winning position after preferences.

A national Galaxy poll of 800 people conducted for the Sunday Herald Sun has the ALP leading the Coalition 52 to 48 per cent in a two-party preferred vote.

Ms Gillard’s mishandling of the asylum policy appears only to have dented Labor’s primary vote, with it slipping from 41 per cent to 39 per cent since last Sunday…

The poll has found Ms Gillard is strongly preferred as PM, with total support of 55 per cent - a slight drop from June 24 when she had 58 per cent support. Tony Abbott’s support as preferred PM has remained steady on 32 per cent.
UPDATE

It’s all pitched at what the focus groups are saying - and comes without a policy to match the “I feel your pain” babble:
JULIA GILLARD will start the campaign with a speech directed at middle Australia’s concerns about overpopulation and an appeal to people’s love of ‘’space, freedom and opportunity’’…

‘’Our cities are under stress and our families are under stress,’’ Ms Gillard will tell her first big campaign event this morning.

She will appeal to people living in ‘’places where families face long waits every time they go to see their GP, where it’s a struggle to find a seat on the bus or train, where you have to set the alarm earlier and earlier because peak-hour traffic doesn’t last for just an hour any more’’.
So by how much will Gillard cut immigration? Simple question, only solution.

UPDATE 2

Laurie Oakes whacks Wayne Swan on Channel 9 this morning about Labor’s mindless repetition of ”moving forward”, which he calls “slogans for bogans”.
===
France’s new ethnic war
Andrew Bolt

More of those “youths” of no identified faith or ethnic background once more wage war on their new home’s institutions:
RIOTERS opened fire and torched shops and cars in France’s Grenoble city on Saturday after police shot dead a suspected robber, forcing the Government to vow a swift crackdown on “delinquents’’.

Youths torched between 50 and 60 cars in the southeastern city nestled in the French Alps as well as construction equipment and two shops in the early hours of the morning.
The only clue given:
The rioting started after a memorial service for 27-year-old Karim Boudouda, who had died 24 hours earlier in a shootout with police after allegedly holding up the Uriage-les-Bains casino near Grenoble.
Other reports are more honest in identifying the rioters. How much worse need this get before we call it a civil war, or at least an armed insurrection?
Shortly before midnight, a group of about 30 youths armed with baseball bats and iron bars attacked a tram in Boudouda’s La Villeneuve district and forced the passengers out. Police intervened and the youths began torching vehicles and attacking police who responded with tear gas.

About 2.30am local time, a youth emerged at the front of the rioters and fired a shot at police, who returned fire, police spokeswoman Brigette Jullien said.
In fact, the police chief says there were many armed “youths” involved:

(Note again the refusal to identify the “youths”.)

How smart does France now seem to have imported people so inclined to battle the state in the streets?
===
The real fault lies in the Liberals NOT changing IR laws
Andrew Bolt
The Age is selling this as a gaffe, but I can’t see it as anything much more than the Liberals saying the bleeding obvious - and necessary - only to be selectively quoted:
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has had his first fumble of the election campaign after industrial relations spokesman Eric Abetz appeared to equivocate about a pledge to keep Labor’s new industrial relations regime for at least three years.

Mr Abbott kicked off his campaign by declaring: ‘’WorkChoices is dead. Today I’ve not just buried the body but cremated it too.’’

The comments were backed up with a promise not to change Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Fair Work Act - which replaced WorkChoices - for at least three years…

But opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz appeared to contradict his leader, telling ABC radio that the Coalition’s policy could involve ‘’tweaking’’ the legislation.

‘’We will not be revolutionising, or indeed reforming, we would only be tweaking and that is what our policy will confirm,’’ Senator Abetz said.

‘’Just as much as Julia Gillard found it necessary … to give a ministerial direction … or indeed to change regulations, those sorts of things can never be ruled out 100 per cent.’’ The comments caught Mr Abbott off-guard. Asked yesterday about whether he intended to tweak the legislation or issue ministerial directions about cutting into areas like penalty rates, Mr Abbott said: ‘’I want to stress, we will keep the legislation, we will work within the legislation, and if we want to change things, we will go to Fair Work Australia, the independent umpire, to try to ensure that the existing legislation works as well as it possibly can.’’
Missing from The Age report is this line from Abetz in the same ABC interview:

But the framework - the legislation - we give a guarantee to the Australian people we will not be seeking to change that fundamental framework.
===
Labor cultuivates mushrooms
Andrew Bolt
Federal Labor rushes to an election before voters cotton on to what Gillard is really like. And the State Government keeps mum until after the election before voters work out what it will really do:
A SECRET plan to dig up dozens of Adelaide roads, compulsorily acquire land, disrupt businesses and erect huge pumping stations in parks will not be released until after the federal election.
Homeowners already caught in the network are being bullied into signing confidentiality agreements, with government agents bailing up retirees after dark with little more than Google Earth maps showing them how their homes will lose value, then leaving without passing on any paperwork to examine…

The plan, affecting thousands of people in around a dozen suburbs - triggered by the $1.83 billion desalination plant… - is set to move into its construction phase by November…

SA Water sources have told the Sunday Mail the project is being carefully managed “to minimise political fallout” in the lead-up to the federal poll, with the marginal seats of Sturt, Boothby, Adelaide, Hindmarsh and Makin all being affected.

... the government’s only public words so far have deliberately avoided naming key suburbs involved in crucial marginal federal seats, the extent of the works or how long they will take. However, the Sunday Mail has obtained internal briefing papers on the masterplan and can name the streets where roads will be dug up and pumping stations erected.
Labor seems curiously prone to not telling:

THE (Victorian) Government has finally said “sorry” to distressed residents in Footscray who were kept in the dark over plans to bulldoze their homes.

After 48 hours of mismanagement, Premier John Brumby has said the magic words to the 26 homeowners and 84 businesses in Buckley St set to be demolished… Most residents found out through the media.

===
And everyone felt better. Except the homeless, of course
Andrew Bolt
Why didn’t they at least ask a homeless man to do the show?
THE (South Australian) Government has spent $18,000 sponsoring a one-man play to show homeless people what it is like to be homeless.

Brooklyn Park actor and playwright Stephen House was granted $10,000 by Housing SA and $8000 by Arts SA to stage his one-man show, Appalling Behaviour , about the plight of the homeless, with performances timed to coincide with National Homeless Week from August 2 to 7…

Tickets to Appalling Behaviour are $18 but Housing SA says it plans to take “clients” - people without homes - to see the show for free as part of its funding sponsorship.
(Thanks to readers CA and ML.)
===
And these people have the right to tell you how to get on at work
Andrew Bolt
The Queensland Government gives these people the power - and a $300,000 salary - to tell the rest of Queenslanders how to deal with each other in the workplace:
TWO of Queensland’s top workplace umpires have squared off in an industrial slanging match after one of them banned the other from his own office.

Industrial Relations Commission vice-president Dianne Linnane ordered Commissioner Don Brown not to enter the tearoom, the library and then his chambers during a year-long stoush that has resulted in Mr Brown working in a different Brisbane CBD building 100m away…

Ms Linnane is no stranger to controversy. In 2003 she claimed she had been called a “lying slag” by QIRC president David Hall and later she had a quarrel over who had authority to organise conferences…

Documents obtained under Right to Information laws show Ms Linnane tried to ban Mr Brown from a level 13 tearoom at the QIRC shortly after he was also appointed Workplace Rights Ombudsman in late 2007.

“Don is not a member of the Commission whilst performing the role of the QWRO and therefore is not entitled to be in the tearoom on level 13 unless permission to invite him to a function is obtained,” she told staff.

Mr Brown then dragged Department of Industrial Relations director-general Peter Henneken in as umpire.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
===
Liberals should ask for asylum themselves
Andrew Bolt
Some of the most conspicuously compassionate people do have an unfortunate tendency to use violence to underline how compassionate they really are:
South Australian Liberal candidate for Hindmarsh Jassmine Wood (above) has told ABC Online she was handing out flyers outside a supermarket in the seat when she was approached by a man who disagreed with her party’s border protection policies.

“My poor volunteer, who was on his first day of the campaign trail, got punched in the face many times,” she told the ABC.

“I got hit in the side of the head.

“My campaign volunteer was actually down on the ground with somebody sitting on his chest really hitting him in the face.

”The man’s friend joined in, hitting my volunteer. They had an issue with the Liberal Party’s stance on border protection and immigration.
UPDATE
Ms Wood said the men - aged in their 40s - screamed abuse about the Liberals’ policy on asylum seekers before allegedly physically assaulting her and Mr Robb.

In an odd twist, the two men accused of assault rang the police to complain about being assaulted. Ms Wood, her staff, and on-lookers also called police, who have interviewed the parties but not laid charges.
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