Thursday, July 08, 2010

Headlines Thursday 8th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
More of the Same
Fast forward to today and 4000 asylum seekers and 143 boat arrivals later and we are still hearing the same spin. - ZEG
Gillard is a failure not because she isn't smart, or doesn't hold ideals. Gillard is very clever and holds fast to her ideals .. but her ideals are not worthy. She is a fool. A smart fool. She could have jettisoned her baggage when she became PM, but she liked the baggage. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”- Psalm 18:30
=== Headlines ===
Arizona Governor Nixes Border Conference in Phoenix
Gov. Jan Brewer says she is canceling border-state governors conference after Mexican border governors threatened to boycott it over state's immigration law, but New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offers to host it instead

Agents Talked to Dugard in Captivity
Calif. AG's report says parole agents spoke to Jaycee Dugard while she was being held captive by a paroled rapist for 18 years, but never bothered to follow up

Too Much Privacy For Teens on Web?
Proposed change to federal regulations designed to help parents control information websites collect from their children is stirring debate about how much free speech and privacy teens should have

5.4 Earthquake Hits North of San Diego
Quake shakes Southern California, causing a rockslide in Palm Springs, but authorities say no immediate reports of injuries or severe damage

British Panel Criticizes 'Climate-gate' Scientists but Clears Them of Bias
A British report released Wednesday on the "Climate-gate" scandal criticizes a key group of scientists for lack of transparency and other problems with how they presented their data, but it concludes that their underlying scientific work is sound -- and one of the top scientists is getting his job back. Climate change experts at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit found themselves under intense scrutiny in November when over 1,000 internal e-mails were obtained and uploaded to the Web by hackers. Some climate change skeptics accused the scientists of manipulating data to suppress evidence.

Spain's Carles Puyol (3rd from L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning goal against Germany, setting the stage for a final with Holland

Boat people plan is old, admits PM
Gillard yet to discuss her asylum-seeker plan with the man who matters as opposition builds.

Crash mum found with gunshot wound
THE mother suspected of killing her baby son may have committed suicide after the shooting.

'You f***ing deserved it, Gibson tells ex'
MEL Gibson allegedly caught on tape admitting he hit his former girlfriend twice in the face.

Girl's lucky escape as film shows carnage
DRAMATIC footage shows a car slamming into a busy restaurant, throwing a girl a metre into the air.

Storm over Blizzard bid to out WoW fans
GAMERS forced to use real names in a strong sign that anonymity online is falling out of favour.

Scan wait ends for Margaret Russell at Nepean Hospital after phone call from The Daily Telegraph
HOW do you beat the long delays for treatment in the ailing NSW Health system? Call The Daily Telegraph. Margaret Russell had been waiting six days for an MRI scan at Nepean Hospital after suffering a brain injury akin to a stroke. But within 30 minutes of The Daily Telegraph contacting the hospital on behalf of the family yesterday, Mrs Russell was told the scan was to occur. "It is really unfortunate it has to come to this. I know there would be plenty of other people who are in the same shoes as Margaret," her husband, Geoff, said. "Doctors have been telling us they cannot diagnose her without an MRI. They can't treat her without it. "She has just been lying here, unable to see." Mrs Russell, 41, was at work last Thursday when she took a bad turn, losing her vision and balance.

Want to work? Australia's your country
AUSTRALIA is one of a handful of countries forecast to continue beating the worldwide job gloom. - simply not true. The stats seem to be false. - ed.

MPs declare flights up front
THE Premier, several state ministers and other MPs are frequently getting free airline upgrades

ATO Tax warning for teachers amid crackdown on illegal deductions
TEACHERS earning as little as $55,000 a year will be the subject of a crackdown on illegal deductions set to be launched by the Australian Taxation Office. At the other end of the income scale, it will also scrutinise people worth up to $30 million. These were the major targets of the tax police as they continue a "get tough" policy on the rich and not-so-rich. ATO officials will today unveil their new compliance program targeting individuals and professions across the board.

It's a long wait to a healthy outlook for voters
VOTERS will have to re-elect the Gillard Government twice before they can enjoy all the fruits of its health reform plans, a timetable shows. The Government's pledge to treat people within four hours of entering a hospital emergency department, set up local hospital networks and take over 60 per cent of hospital funding will not commence until 2011. And it will be 2014 and 2015, after yet another election, before public hospitals will have to treat 95 per cent of elective surgery patients within clinically recommended times. Health Minister Nicola Roxon yesterday issued a 54-page reform timetable. It shows the states got new money to improve emergency department waiting times and increase elective surgery procedures in June 2010. General practitioners could start applying for grants of up to $500,000 from June 25.
=== Journalists Corner ===
an upcoming exhibition called "The Lady Of Burma," on July 17, 2010. The event will showcase portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi by various artists, and feature performances by local New York City talent and a special presentation by Alan Clemens (Author, Activist, Satirist, former Buddhist monk, and co-author of "The Voice Of Hope" with Aung San Suu Kyi).

Check out the event details below or click here for information.

Please pass along this information to anyone who may be interested. It sounds like an awesome event, and I hope you are able to attend!
Event Details:
When: Saturday, July 17th 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Where: Community Gallery [30 E. 35th Street, Between Park and Madison Ave, NY 10016 - click here for map]
This event is free and open to the public
Refreshments and Burmese food will be served
Marco Rubio Joins Neil on 'Your World'
Solving the debt crisis! Marco Rubio opens up on his strategy to reduce our nation's deficit. Then, grading the health care plan ... inside what's really been achieved since the law was passed.
The Fight Over Immigration!
As the Feds file suit against Arizona, what impact will it have across the nation? Michelle Malkin breaks it all down.
Challenging Health Care Reform!
He's pushing for Missouri to opt-out of the president's bill. Now, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder opens up to Greta on his fight against the federal law.
On Fox News Insider
2010: A Good Year for Dems?
Gun Buyers Look to Utah for Answers
Second Guilty Plea Associated With Usama Bin Laden - By Catherine Herridge

=== Comments ===
The Black Panthers and Illegal Aliens
On Tuesday, J. Christian Adams, who quit the Justice Department last month because Attorney General Holder would not prosecute some Black Panthers, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Click here to watch "Talking Points"!
Mr. Adams contends that three Black Panthers obviously broke federal law when they intimidated voters in Philadelphia.
BLACK PANTHER MEMBER: I was wondering why everybody was taking pictures, that's all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I mean, I think it might be a little bit intimidating that you have a stick in your hand. That's why.
BLACK PANTHER MEMBER: Who are you to decide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, that's a weapon, so that's why I'm a little worried.
BLACK PANTHER MEMBER: Who are you to decide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I am a concerned citizen. I'm just worried that you might be…
BLACK PANTHER MEMBER: So are we. That's why we're here.
Mr. Adams and five other attorneys inside the Justice Department urged the attorney general to prosecute the Black Panthers, to no avail.
THE QUESTION IS: Why? The evidence clearly shows the men breaking the law, so why give them a pass?
"Talking Points" cannot answer that question, and Mr. Holder will not answer it either. Very disturbing, and President Obama should order his attorney general to clarify the matter.
There is more clarity on the federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday against the state of Arizona. The Obama administration contends that the state's new immigration law infringes upon federal law.
As you may know, Arizona wants state authorities to be able to question people about their nationality if they are involved in another police matter. President Obama says that could lead to racial profiling, but it is federal authority over immigration that the president is citing in the lawsuit. He simply believes the state of Arizona has no right to regulate illegal immigration, even though that state is suffering because of it.
This is a loser all day long for the president. Every poll shows the vast majority of Americans support Arizona's crackdown on illegal aliens. So why is the president once again going against public opinion?
Broadcaster Jorge Ramos may provide a clue. He is angry with President Obama for not passing immigration reform.
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION ANCHOR: President Barack Obama, he broke his promise. It's that simple. We were -- we've been waiting for 18 months for a change. We haven't seen change. Not only that, President Barack Obama has deported more people in his first year in office than George W. Bush in his last year in office.
"Talking Points" believes the president may be worried about losing the support of Hispanic-Americans, thus the legal action against Arizona. But l'm not so sure about the strategy. With about 70 percent of Arizonans supporting the new law, some of them must be Hispanic, so the president might be miscalculating.
Be that as it may, the truth is that, once again, Mr. Obama finds himself at odds with the folks -- never a good thing.
Tim Blair
Debate over border protection is boring, according to Herald Sun leftoid Jill Singer, who nevertheless devotes 614 words to the subject – some of them describing Julia Gillard’s shambolic retreat to Howardism as “inspirational”.

Singer has previously changed her tune on topical issues. It all depends on who’s talking.
Tim Blair
CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs, Octavia Nasr, mourns a terrorist:
“Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon,” she posted on her Twitter account on Sunday.
A backlash – imagine! – followed, so Nasr attempted a correction:
“I used the words ‘respect’ and ‘sad’ because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights …

“It is no secret that Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah hated with a vengeance the United States government and Israel. He regularly praised the terror attacks that killed Israeli citizens. And as recently as 2008, he said the numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust were wildly inflated.

“But it was his commitment to Hezbollah’s original mission – resisting Israel’s occupation of Lebanon – that made him popular and respected among many Lebanese, not just people of his own sect.”
But no longer at CNN. Nasr is now said to be fired:
In the latest case of new media (or oversharing) gone wrong, CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr is leaving the company following the controversy caused by her tweet in praise of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Mediaite has the internal memo, which says “we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised.”
Pending confirmation, Nasr joins Catherine Deveny and David Bonnici as recent Twitter-related media departures.

UPDATE. Various instant reactions, one of them brilliant:
• Damn! 20 years in, but 140 characters and your fired!

• Shocking, Outrageous! Zionists succeed in getting @OctaviaNasrCNN fired for Fadlallah tweet

• 20 years and fired over a tweet??

• Is she joining NASA?

Tim Blair
… but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man:
New Zealand anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune has been handed a suspended two-year prison term in Japan for offences relating to clashes with Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters …

“I did not have the intention of hurting crew members. I took action because I wanted to stop Japan’s illegal whaling,” Bethune said in his final statement last month, which he tearfully delivered in Japanese.
He wept! There’s your great cetacean hero, Sea Shepherdesses. They’re not so tough when jail time beckons.
So what’s Gillard’s Plan B to stop her boats?
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard’s big solution to the boat people crisis she helped to cause took just 24 hours to fall apart:
DEPUTY East Timor PM Jose Luis Guterres yesterday indicated his country would be unable to accept Australia’s plan to build an asylum-seeker processing centre…

East Timor leaders Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Horta will meet this morning to debate the Australian government’s plan, but Mr Guterres yesterday said his country had previously rejected a similar request from former foreign minister Alexander Downer and was still “not in a condition to accept a detention centre”.

The Australian wife of Mr Gusmao, Kirsty Sword, who is visiting Sydney, yesterday said she also was surprised at Ms Gillard’s plan.

“I must say I was taken aback when I first heard about it,” she told the Fairfax press. “Timor has so many urgent problems in health, education and infrastructure I am not sure it should be distracted by this issue.”
And wait until the East Timorese hear how many are coming, and who:
Asked on the ABC’s Lateline program if the thousands of asylum-seekers in Indonesia might be moved to East Timor once a centre was built there, Ms Gillard replied: “Certainly I wouldn’t rule that out”, adding that it would be a decision for the Indonesian government and officials from both countries.

Many of the asylum-seekers in the Indonesian camps are young Muslim men and concerns have already been raised about the impact of moving them to largely Catholic East Timor and finding them jobs in a tiny nation that has an unemployment rate of about 40 per cent.
Gillard’s Plan B?


Gillard, for some bizarre reason, consulted only East Timor’s president, rather than the man who actually makes such decisions, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao - and he’s ominously quite:
He refused to comment on Ms Gillard’s asylum-seeker announcement, which effectively drew President Jose Ramos-Horta into an issue of national planning which, as head of state, he is supposed to have no input on…

But alongside the deafening silence emanating from Mr Gusmao’s office yesterday, there were rumblings of dissent.

One senior government staffer said they “absolutely didn’t agree” with the Gillard proposal.

“We have enough issues dealing with our own displaced persons problem. Who imagines we can take more refugees from outside?” the staffer said.
As for the locals:
For another dirt-poor Dili resident, Becora woman Theresa Da Silva, the big end of town and its decision-making barely figures.

But as she filled old motor-oil containers with water to haul up the hill for her nine-person family to cook, drink and wash with, she said: “It would be better that the government paid attention to us, before they paid it to foreigners who don’t even belong here.”

East Timor’s Deputy Prime Minister says the country knocked back Gillard’s first appeal and isn’t keen on saying yes to her second, either:
East Timor’s Deputy Prime Minister, Jose Luis Guterres, ... revealed East Timor had flatly rejected the idea initially and was only considering it because it had been put formally by Ms Gillard....

‘’East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the world. We have huge problems. It is difficult for any government to invite, for any politician, to invite any problem to another country that he is not prepared to face, to solve,’’ he told the Herald.

‘’As a citizen and a member of cabinet, I can advance to you that it’s very unlikely that East Timor will accept the proposal.’’…

With the main opposition party, Fretilin, rejecting the idea yesterday, there is little support in the tiny country of 1 million people. Mr Guterres said domestic political considerations appeared to be a factor in Ms Gillard’s approach to East Timor and the early announcement of talks....

The first approach came from the Australian ambassador in Dili, Peter Heyward, to the Minister of State Security, Francisco Guterres, just days ago and ‘’our first reaction … was that it is not possible’’.
Meanwhile Gillard again pretends she’s not reinventing the Pacific Solution she often claims was useless and a waste of money:
The difference here is we are not acting unilaterally, and we are not doing something quickly for political effect the way the Pacific Solution was done.
Not done for political effect? Not acting unliaterally? New Zealand’s participation - sought at the last minute on Monday - would hardly make a difference, and is not certain, either:
Ms Gillard also discussed her plan with the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, during a five-minute phone call on Monday night. Mr Key was cautious about embracing the proposal...
In fact:
THE “regional solution” to asylum-seekers proposed by Julia Gillard has sparked a political debate in New Zealand.

Opposition Leader Phil Goff yesterday questioned the value of establishing a processing centre in East Timor. “Why we should load this problem on to them; I just can’t understand,” he said.

Mr Goff said that East Timor was already dealing with the problem of 100,000 internally displaced people.

Gillard gets into trouble on Lateline, and refuses to say what her plan B is if East Timor doesn’t play ball. Among the lowlights:
TONY JONES: But do you know what the unemployment rate in East Timor is? It’s 40 per cent, 20 per cent in the urban areas. I mean how are the East Timorese going to feel about Australians providing jobs to asylum seekers in their country?

JULIA GILLARD: Well, Tony, you’re putting to me something that the president of East Timor said to you. So he obviously believes it has benefits. Do I believe that, you know, work has benefits for people? Well, of course I do, in our own country of Australia, I would say one of my greatest obligations as Prime Minister is to keep the economy strong so it can offer people the benefit of jobs and work with the pay packet that comes and the self-dignity that comes.

TONY JONES: You’re talking about Australia now and we were talking about jobs for asylum seekers in East Timor.

In fact, it’s even worse. Gillard’s “plan” would have us paying lots of money to largely Muslim boat people to give them jobs in a Christian country where almost half the people have no work themselves, and must get by on just a couple of dollars a day. If you wanted to stir up ethnic or religious riots in an unstable country, this is an excellent way to go about it.


Reader MAGB:
Looks like Kevin was the brains of the outfit.

Not very promising, and you’d wonder what Gillard will tip into East Timor’s coffers to make it give the “yes” she desperately needs:
EAST Timor’s leader Xanana Gusmao today advised Julia Gillard not to call him directly about her asylum-seeker plan until the idea was fully formed.
Prime Minister Gusmao said he was currently “very busy” with other government business and that he had asked President Jose Ramos-Horta to continue discussions with Ms Gillard and report back to him when the plan was more mature.

But Mr Gusmao gave conditional support to the proposal for asylum-seekers to be processed at a regional centre based in East Timor.

He said he had “open mind” on the proposal, but warned that he would need to see the detail of Ms Gillard’s proposal. Even then, he said at a press conference in Dili, the plan would require extensive investigation by his government and lengthy debate in the parliament before the measure could proceed.
Sounds like someone is leaving Ramos-Horta to carry the can. And shake it.


Uh oh. Gillard fumbles for a parachute:
JULIA Gillard appears to be backing away from plans to build a regional refugee processing centre in East Timor, telling 4BC radio she never committed to a location…

Questioned on 4BC about the impression she gave Australians that the centre would be in East Timor, Ms Gillard said that was not right.
``Once again with respect and obviously happy to be judged on what I say and what I said in the speech was not that. I did not say that.’’
“I’m not going to leave undisturbed the impression that I made an announcement about a specific location,’’ Ms Gillard told 4BC.
This is utterly farcical. East Timor certainly thinks it’s been asked to host the centre, and who could doubt from Gillard’s Lateline interview that this is precisely the location she had in mind and had discussed with the East Timorese president himself?:
TONY JONES: Alright, now president Ramos Horta told us last night that he’d want assistance for asylum seekers to get temporary jobs so that they wouldn’t sit idly in a centre as prisoners. Is that something Australia is prepared to help them with?

JULIA GILLARD: Well certainly we’re prepared to have discussions about all aspects of this regional processing centre....

TONY JONES: But do you know what the unemployment rate in East Timor is? It’s 40 per cent, 20 per cent in the urban areas. I mean how are the East Timorese going to feel about Australians providing jobs to asylum seekers in their country?

JULIA GILLARD: Well, Tony, you’re putting to me something that the president of East Timor said to you. So he obviously believes it has benefits…

TONY JONES: What’s in this for East Timor? Are you prepared, for example, to dramatically increase the aid budget to East Timor?

JULIA GILLARD: We obviously do provide assistance to East Timor now and that is appropriate. I think you would have said that you would have seen that president Horta, indeed, I think this may have been on your very show, said that they’re not looking here for a price tag. What they believe is that they may be able, they want to explore the possibility of helping with a regional problem because of the obligations they feel as a country in the region.... . But I make again the point, Tony, that the president of East Timor has said to you directly that he is not putting a price tag on the dialogue about the regional processing centre. Rather, he is viewing that in a spirit of good will, in the spirit of looking at international obligations in the region…

TONY JONES: You’ve adopted the principle of this regional processing centre. Is there anywhere else at all where it could be set up?

JULIA GILLARD: Well I think that is in part a question for the discussions but East Timor has obviously indicated a preparedness to explore this idea further....

TONY JONES: Does the plan for a regional processing centre in East Timor include transferring those people who are currently referred to as refugees or who are applying to become refugees in Indonesia, who after all are the vast majority of the people who are getting on boats coming to Australia using people smugglers?

JULIA GILLARD: Well the decision about what happens in Indonesia is one for the government of Indonesia so we would work through in the context of officials now starting to talk on how we can action this idea…

TONY JONES: So briefly, you wouldn’t rule out the possibility of transferring the several thousand people in Indonesia waiting to get on people smuggling boats to East Timor at an appropriate time?

JULIA GILLARD: Certainly I wouldn’t rule that out, Tony, but I’m making the point to you that what happens in Indonesia is obviously the call of the Indonesian government and we will be working through these issues with them.
Is Gillard seriously denying her plan was for a detention centre in East Timor? Then why didn’t she correct Tony Jones last night? Why did she instead talk about the possible transfer or boat people in Indonesia to her proposed centre in East Timor? Why leave the East Timorese with the impression that she’d picked their country as the best site?

This is now a joke, and one which threatens to cost Gillard the election.


Go here for a link to the audio of Julia Gillard’s disastrous interview with 4BC’s Michael Smith.

(Thanks to readers John and Arthur McArthur.)
It would be a crime if Burnside were a politician
Andrew Bolt
Human rights Julian Burnside in 2008 on politicians who lie and mislead:
Prominent Victorian barrister Julian Burnside QC has asked this weekend’s 2020 summit to support a plan to make it illegal for politicians to lie to the public…

“If politicians are able to lie to us, mislead us about what’s going on, about what they’re planning to do, the whole system will not work,” he said.
Julian Burnside attacks politicians for allegedly misleading voters over boat people in The Age on June 7:
It is easy to forget that the Fraser government received about 25,000 Indo-Chinese boat people each year.
Greg Sheridan calls out Burnside for misleading readers:

At the very least, Burnside is being deliberately misleading here.

Only 2000 Indo-Chinese people ever arrived directly in Australia by boat. According to the Immigration Department’s annual report, in the entire life of the Fraser government, from 1975 to 1983, some 78,000 Indo-Chinese refugees came to Australia. That makes less than 10,000 a year. These were chosen from various camps in Asia and selected by Australian immigration officials after exhaustive interviews and with regard to English language proficiency, education level, connections to Australia and the like. At the very end of the Fraser government, a family reunion program for the Vietnamese was started with 600-odd people coming that way before Fraser lost office.

As Burnside seldom alludes to, because it weakens his case, Australia today takes more than 13,500 refugees per year from camps around the world. Tony Abbott has offered to increase that number. Australia is more generous to refugees today than it was under Fraser. The over-riding object of the Fraser policy, as it was under John Howard and now Gillard, was to stop boats coming, unregulated, to Australia.

Is Sullivan now pregnant with remorse for sliming Palin?
Andrew Bolt
Tim Blair is on the case of one of the craziest and most shameless of Palin haters, Andrew Sullivan, whose prime source for his smears about Palin’s “fake” pregnancy has just admitted he lied.
Gillard’s Fair Work regime is very fair to a child pornographer
Andrew Bolt
Grace Collier can’t believe the new Fair Work Australia bureaucracy that Julia Gillard has imposed on us:
Consider the latest decree from Fair Work Australia; food manufacturer Uncle Toby’s has been ordered to pay 10 days’ pay as compensation to its former employee Steve, a convicted child pornographer who was “unfairly dismissed” after his employer found out about his convictions.

In March, two union officials visited the company, advising they had received complaints about Steve, a casual employee of seven years, “harassing and stalking women in the workplace”. Saying “the employees are not prepared to come forward because they are fearful”, the union said: “You can’t let him back on site.” Steve was a listed sexual offender with work restrictions and reporting obligations to the police. Uncle Toby’s workforce is one-third female.

In April, the local paper reported Steve had been convicted of eight offences, including harassment by post, stalking and making, producing and possessing child pornography.

No shifts were offered to Steve after this time. But Fair Work Australia found that for Steve, Uncle Toby’s was a “procedural fairness-free zone”. Even though there had been no contact with Steve since the convictions, the company was found to have dismissed him because his security access card was cancelled in June.

Fair Work Australia found that although the company had a valid reason for terminating Steve’s employment, the process wasn’t fair. The company was told it should have gone through a proper disciplinary process. It was also suggested the company could have suspended Steve until the outcome of any appeals Steve may have lodged against the convictions was known.

Uncle Toby’s was ordered to pay 10 days’ wages as compensation. Steve may have trouble spending much of it, because he is in jail.
(Reader whatajoke.)
But what’s a missing billion or two to Labor?
Andrew Bolt
Terry McCrann says new costings nail the Gillard Government’s lie:

GOLDMAN Sachs JBWere has raised a big question mark over both the Government’s claims on the resources tax and Treasury’s analytical competence.

Its analysis also highlighted just how much the change from the first version of the tax will cost over the longer term. It says the revenue lost out to 2020 could add to $39 billion.

Importantly, GSJBW has done its estimates on a ‘like-for-like’ basis. Exactly what Treasury secretary Ken Henry rather disdainfully dismissed in his comments to the Senate earlier this week.

On that basis, GSJBW estimates the Government will get $3.1 billion less revenue in the tax’s first two years - just more than double the $1.5 billion the Government claimed the changes to the tax would cost.

Shame! Father donates time and money to child’s school
Andrew Bolt
Give this father a break, you jealous buggers:
POLICE Chief Commissioner Simon Overland will give a speech at a $100-a-head fundraiser night at the private school that educated his son.

Mr Overland has agreed to be the key speaker at a function organised this month by Xavier College, a $20,000-a-year Jesuit school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

He is billed as the “Chief Commissioner of police and former Xavier parent”. Mr Overland will deliver the speech at Kooyong Tennis Club to some of Melbourne’s best-connected people.

Victorian Council of School Organisations president Nicholas Abbey said it was unfair the way some schools were able to raise more money than other schools.

“It’s always a concern that some schools are able to use their alumni network to raise funds, in some cases vast sums of money, when those sorts of networks are not available to other schools. It’s inequitable,” he said.

Social commentator Clive Hamilton said the talk could be seen as “an entrenchment of privilege”.
If Xavier’s parents blew their cash on overseas trips rather than on their children’s school, these class war warriors would be happier.
Home birther discovers home truth
Andrew Bolt
Another woman is suspicious of modern medicine - until she really, really needs it:
POP star Dannii Minogue and her new baby son are bonding in hospital as they recover from a dramatic home birth halted at the last minute. Complications midway though a planned home birth forced the star to hospital to deliver her baby in safety.
CNN regrets
Andrew Bolt
CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs mourns the passing of a “giant” of the Hezbollah terrorist group for whom she had “respect”. CNN mourns the fact it can no longer employ her.

But I wonder why it chose her in the first place, and why her sympathies seemed acceptable until now.
If they’d been just a few years later, Gillard might have grabbed them
Andrew Bolt
Sneaked in just in time - just some several years before Julia Gillard expects to build her detention centre in East Timor:

AUTHORITIES have intercepted a boat carrying 43 asylum seekers and three crew in waters off Australia’s northwest coast.

The boat was intercepted west of the Ashmore Islands late yesterday (Tuesday), just hours after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced changes to Labor’s border protection policy.

Say yes. And let it mean yes
Andrew Bolt
Reader Mark Imisides writes to me - and to you - with a request:
In the accompanying photo you will see a photo of my baby daughter with her cousin. The first thing you will notice is her beaming smile. Once you get past that the next thing you will notice is the colour of her skin and eyes. The yellowness is the result of a very rare liver condition that she was born with, and she now needs a liver transplant.

Organ donation only gets raised now and then in the media, most notably when there is a high profile donor (such as David Hookes), and it is at these times that there is a spike in the donation rate, but after that it drops back to an appallingly low level (about 100/year).

Here is the message – people are dying needlessly. I wish I could shout it from the rooftops. There are people – right now – whose life is slipping away due to the failure of a critical organ. Just as tragically, right now there are people whose life is slipping away for a different reason – perhaps an accident of some sort - who possess in their failing body the gift of life - but withhold it. There are people who, at the moment they die, can give life to others as their parting gesture. What a legacy! And yet, tragically, so very, very many withhold that precious gift.

And at this point I must explain something that is not widely known: the wishes of the person that has died have no legal weight. That is, you can register as an organ donor, put it on your licence, or write it across the sky in big orange letters – but your immediate family still has the power of veto. The decision as to whether you donate your organs is not made by you, but by your relatives.

I do not understand why the law is as such, as your relatives do not have an automatic right to anything else you own, but that’s the law and we must live with it. And the problem is this – the decision of whether to donate must be made at the very worst time possible. At the moment of death, when the organs are still fresh, is the moment that the decision must be made.

And who knows – perhaps at that point the relatives cannot fully accept the fact of the death, and by allowing organ harvesting they are finally admitting to something they don’t want to admit to. Perhaps they think that maybe, possibly the doctors are wrong, and maybe, possibly, their loved one isn’t dead after all, and they may spring to life any moment – and by cutting them up they are closing off this possibility.

I don’t know – it’s not a decision I’ve ever had to make. But it is a decision my parents had to make - in 1978 when my younger brother died of a brain tumour. My parents made the decision to give the gift of life, and there are now people walking around with Paul’s organs - so in a way, part of him is still alive.

But back to my daughter. Her situation is (not yet) critical. Her condition has, for now, stabilised – but if an organ were available tomorrow she’d be transplanted tomorrow. If her condition deteriorates, we will be forced to pursue the “live donor” option, in which a part of her mother’s liver will be removed to transplant. That’s a last resort, as there are risks to the mother, and she will then have a medical condition that will have to be managed for her entire life.

But several live donations have occurred in the past few months, as a direct result of an absence of donors and the deteriorating health of the babies concerned. And that means that there are adults that have died while waiting. I’ll say it again – people have died needlessly.

My daughter was born in my middle age (48) and means the world to me. She is such a good little baby – she never complains, and only ever cries when there’s actually something wrong. And when she smiles the whole world lights up. Her favourite thing in the world is her “taxi rides” with daddy – where she points where she wants to go and I carry her there – to inspect a grandfather clock or venetian blind or something. During these times she giggles and burbles and they are moments that I will always treasure.

But at some point in the future she will be asked to walk through a very dark valley.
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