Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Headlines Wednesday 21st July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Brigadier General Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie VC, GCMG, CB, DSO & Bar, PC (6 July 1872 – 2 May 1955) the tenth and longest serving Governor-General of Australia, was born in Windsor, Berkshire, the second son of Walter Hore-Ruthven, 8th Lord Ruthven of Freeland.He was in London when the third Bodyline Test cricket match in Adelaide caused Anglo-Australian political tension in 1933, and he played a significant part in smoothing relations through his meetings with the British Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs J.H. Thomas. His term as Governor ended in 1934, and he was then appointed Governor of New South Wales, with the title Baron Gowrie. He was raised to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) on 20 December 1935
=== Bible Quote ===
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”- 1 John 1:7
=== Headlines ===
Agriculture Chief Defends Decision to Dump USDA Official
Secretary Tom Vilsack stands by his decision to demand the resignation of a Georgia official over controversial YouTube clip, though she claims administration never gave her a chance to explain her side of the story

'Big Mexican Women' Aid Afghan Deserters
Network of Mexican-American women — known as BMWs — have been responsible for helping Afghan military deserters go AWOL

Lawmaker: Strip Terrorist's Citizenship
Congresswoman urges federal action against North Carolina man believed to be running Al Qaeda's new online magazine

Did Journalists Plot To Protect Obama?
Liberal group of journalists tried in 2008 to defuse the Rev. Wright scandal that threatened to derail then-Sen. Obama's presidential campaign, according to documents obtained by an online publication
(Breaking News)
Aniston stalker caught with duct tape
US actress Jennifer Aniston is the object of a "delusional stalker's" affection

Flight attendant 'stole from passengers'
AN Air France flight attendant was arrested after passengers lost jewellery and cash from hand luggage while they slept.

Rapper Ice-T arrested
RAPPER rapper and actor Ice-T was arrested overnight in New York for driving on a suspended license and without a seat belt

Lindsay Lohan begins 90 day jail sentence
DISGRACED starlet is taken into custody to begin serving sentence for violating probation.

Cameron stops short of Lockerbie inquiry
BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron said overnight that he was "not currently minded" to hold an inquiry into Scotland’s release last year of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.

Spain rejects plan to ban veil
SPAIN'S parliament has rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes

Oil-eating bacteria used on spill
AUTHORITIES in China are using more than 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria to help clean up an oil spill in the Yellow Sea caused by a pipeline explosion and fire at the weekend, state media said overnight.

'Foul play possible' in Polish jet crash
POLAND'S opposition conservative party overnight said it had not ruled out foul play, including terrorism, in the air disaster in Russia in April which killed its founder, president Lech Kaczynski.

Holocaust denier stands by claim
CONVICTED Holocaust denier Gerd Honsik reiterated his claim in an Austrian court overnight that there were no gas chambers in Germany during World War II.

Driverless cars in Italy to China trip
IT'S a modern-day version of Marco Polo's journey halfway around the world - but is anyone at the controls?

NSW ACT (Proudly flying the Queensland flag after the state of origin series)
Airport workers strike over pay
EMPLOYEES at Sydney Airport will be on strike today following a row with its hierarchy over pay - causing delay to passengers.

Tripodi still pulling the strings
CONTROVERSIAL powerbroker Joe Tripodi is back openly wielding policy decisions in government, six months after his banishment.

Teaching lessons set for parents
IN an Aussie first, the Keneally Government will spend $163,000 helping school teachers improve their relationships with parents.

Hunt widens for murder suspect
THIS is the man wanted over a bashing murder two months ago. Andre Le Dinh was found dead on May 20 in his apartment.

Zervas 'lay bleeding in airport'
ANTHONY Zervas lay motionless with blood running from his nose and mouth after a brawl at Sydney Airport, a court was told.

'Nepalese Royal' accused of rape
AN Indian delivery driver allegedly raped a sleeping householder after he entered her home with her meal, a court heard.

Historic house saved from bulldozer
RESIDENTS rallying to save a historic home from demolition had an 11th-hour victory last night, with the owner halting the bulldozers.

No barrier to driver's stupidity
INVESTIGATORS are trying to figure out how a car crashed into - and then on to - a barrier on the Victoria Rd end of Anzac Bridge.

Ambo died in best mate's arms
WHEN Darryl Holcombe came off his motorbike, it was his best friend and colleague who stayed by his side as he clung to life.

Queensland (Named for Queen Victoria, like Victoria)
Toxic scare bans cattle sales
FARMERS around Kingaroy have been banned from selling cattle until their properties are cleared of a potentially deadly chemical leak.

Smoke KO's four police
FOUR police officers have been taken to St Andrew’s Hospital, Ipswich, after suffering smoke and gas inhalation from a burning car at Camira.

Pollies in super $18m gravy train
RETIRING MPs Peter Lindsay and Margaret May are among federal politicians who will share in an $18 million pension fund.

Food vendor robbed in daylight
POLICE are investigating the armed robbery of a driver of a mobile food van in Kingston, south of Brisbane, yesterday.

Julia's not the issue
EVERYONE saying that Kevin Rudd's dumping as prime minister is a big negative for Julia Gillard's election chances in Queensland doesn't make it so.

Five injured as cars collide
FIVE people were taken to hospital after two cars collided head-on at Ipswich last night.

Fire destroys Italian restaurant
AN Italian restaurant on the Gold Coast Hwy at Burleigh Heads has been destroyed by fire.

Ute ready to roll for Rudd
KEVIN Rudd could be reunited with an old friend as he prepares to campaign in his Griffith electorate for the first time for this election.

Truck hits pedestrians near pub
THREE pedestrians were transported to hospital with head injuries after being hit by a truck at an intersection at Kangaroo Point.

City house prices recovering
SUBURBS close to the city are starting to show the first signs of house price recovery. Figures show the highest price growth were within 17km of the CBD.

Victoria (A horse is a horse, and a brumby is a ?)
Delays likely as fire season nears
THE next fire season may arrive without Victoria having acted on the Black Saturday inquiry's findings.

Finally a ban on property tout
FORMER Melbourne property spruiker Henry Kaye has been banned from managing companies for five years.

Fewer calling Victoria home
OVERSEAS migration to Victoria is slowing, but the state is still absorbing more than 360 permanent arrivals a week.

Feliks corners the cube market
A MELBOURNE schoolboy has been dubbed the Usain Bolt of solving the Rubik's cube puzzle.

Mums want compo over Downs
TWO Victorian couples are suing doctors for failing to diagnose Down syndrome in their unborn babies.

Green light to speed cams
DOZENS of extra speed cameras will soon go live, with the State Government revealing the locations of devices.

Testing times for Down mums
SCREENING for Down syndrome is not infallible, doctors say.

New law breaches freedom
TESTS for Down syndrome are controversial.

Cometti's song for September
A SONG, with words penned by Dennis Cometti, is believed to have been adopted by the AFL as its Song of September for this year.

Turbo powers on the track
A POCKET rocket called Super Charger has been gifted with supersonic speed.

Northern Territory (Home of the crocodile industry)
Nothing New

South Australia (Once a year Adelaide comes alive, afterwards it returns to normal)
Murray report buried for election
INTERSTATE anger over reductions in water allocations from the Murray-Darling Basin means that a key plan will be kept from voters until after the federal election.

Men attacked in two home invasions
A MAN was slashed below the ear after four men forced their way into his unit in Elizabeth East last night.

We need to talk about suicide
With hundreds of suicide deaths each year, is it time more public attention was given to the often hidden problem, asks SA Coroner MARK JOHNS.

Open up debate on suicide
A VICTIMS-OF-SUICIDE toll similar to the official road toll could help prevent some of the nearly 200 such deaths in SA each year, State Coroner Mark Johns believes.

Cheers to funky bar that's our top pub
THE popular Highway Hotel - and its "funky bar which constantly evolves to stay ahead of the rest" - been named South Australia's best pub.

$1.2m ETSA storm payout
SEVERE storms which disrupted electricity supplies earlier this month will cost ETSA Utilities about $1.2 million in compensation payments.

Party bus clamp, early pub-shut plan
PARTY buses on tours of licensed venues face "no-go drop-off zones" and pubs and clubs trading into the early hours will have to close for three hours .

Casino reviews pensioner $5 feast offer
THE Adelaide Casino will review its policy of "locking in" pensioner groups for four hours to be eligible for cheap meal and free bus deals.

Jongewaard 'terrified' of parked cars
HE SEVERELY injured his friend in a car crash - now elite cyclist Chris Jongewaard wants compensation for an accident that has left him terrified of parked cars.

Alleged carjackers caught
TWO men police say assaulted and carjacked a driver who stopped to help them after a crash have been arrested.

Western Australia (During drought, ALP can still drown in corruption)
Inside Wanneroo siege home
CHANNEL Nine news captures the first pictures inside a Wanneroo home where an intense six-hour, drama-filled siege took place.

Relief for infection scare patients
HUNDREDS of West Australians have been cleared of serious viruses, including HIV, following claims a doctor breached infection control practices for two years.

Truck rollover causing road chaos
A TRUCK rollover is causing traffic chaos on Tonkin Highway in Kewdale.

Green light for Alkimos development
A MAJOR housing development in Perth's north has been given the go-ahead by the WA Government, providing homes for up to 50,000 people.

Asylum seekers start school
ABOUT 50 young asylum seekers have begun their first day at school in the West Australian gold mining town of Leonora.

An all white ending to a tail of a whale
RARE white-tailed humpback whale has been spotted frolicking off Cable Beach.

More WA schools to go it alone
Almost 100 WA public schools will be operating independently within the next year.

Explosion sparks drug lab raid
POLICE have raided a suspected drug laboratory in Rockingham after reports of an explosion at the house early this morning.

Tasmania (No Dams No Progress)
No news today
=== Journalists Corner ===
Lessons From David Cameron
When it comes to budgets, business and rebuilding, what can Obama learn from David Cameron? Neil says rather a lot - he explains.
A BP/Lockerbie Connection?
Did BP back the Lockerbie bomber? Charles Krauthammer weighs in on BP's alleged role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Plus, why some evangelicals are taking a shocking stand on illegal immigration, and saying it's what Jesus would do!
Greta Interviews Hillary Clinton in Afghanistan
The war efforts, the timeline for American troop withdrawal, and Afghanistan's government's stability. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton goes 'On the Record'.
On Fox News Insider
Palin Attacked Over View on Ground Zero Mosque
DOA Employee Resigns Following Racist Comments
Fat Report Cards Being Given Out in Elementary Schools?

=== Comments ===
The Media, the Black Panthers and President Obama
As we reported last week, the mainstream media has largely ignored the Justice Department failing to prosecute some Black Panthers who allegedly intimidated voters in Philadelphia. Well, after being exposed, the establishment press is now trying to recover.
Click here to watch "Talking Points"!
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": It's not hard to tell when Fox News is pushing a story. It shows up hour after hour after hour. And Fox is pushing hard on allegations that the Justice Department dropped the case against the New Black Panther Party because of racial politics.
Pushing the story? Well, here's a memo to Howard Kurtz, who works for the The Washington Post in addition to CNN.
ON SUNDAY, HOWARD, THE POST OMBUDSMAN ANDREW ALEXANDER WROTE: "National editor Kevin Merida, who termed the [Black Panther] controversy significant, said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat."
So while Fox News reported this story responsibly, Howard, The Washington Post did not and now regrets it. What say you?
Then Mr. Kurtz interviewed CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer, who failed to ask Attorney General Eric Holder anything about the Black Panther controversy.
KURTZ: Why did you not ask Eric Holder in that interview about this former Justice official's allegation that a case against the New Black Panther Party was dropped because of racial politics?
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Frankly, had I known about that, I would have asked the question. I was on vacation that week. This happened -- apparently it got very little publicity. And, you know, I just didn't know about it. I mean, you know, God knows everything, but I'm not quite that good.
Are you kidding me? Mr. Schieffer didn't know about the story? Where was he vacationing, Venus? Does Mr. Schieffer not have a staff? Were they all on Venus, too?
Sadly, I believe Bob Schieffer. He didn't know about the Black Panther story or the Justice Department lawyer quitting over it because in his world, that's not important. But believe me, had the Klan been intimidating voters, Mr. Schieffer and CBS News would have been all over it. Or am I wrong?
Then Howard Kurtz went on to ask Mr. Schieffer this:
KURTZ: One last point on this Black Panther case. Fox's Bill O'Reilly making the point that none of the network newscasts have covered this story. He says the network newscasts are not being honest about news because their agenda is to protect President Obama. Your thoughts?
SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the reason that there hasn't been much coverage on it is there is a question about how significant this really is. I think it is, you know, the coverage or lack of coverage has to do with editors' news judgment. It doesn't have anything to do with protecting President Obama.
Well, that might be true, but the facts raise doubt.
According to a Pew study last year, in his first two months in office, President Obama received far more favorable network news coverage than Presidents Bush and Clinton did in their first two months. And if anyone thinks the network news did not root for Barack Obama to defeat John McCain, they need a drug test.
Mr. Kurtz then switched the questioning, asking Mr. Schieffer why he misstated the Arizona illegal immigration law in his interview with Mr. Holder.
KURTZ: In the interview, you also asked Eric Holder about the new Arizona immigration law. And you said that police, if they think somebody might be in this country illegally, gives them a right to stop and ask them to produce papers. But that was amended to say that police had to already be in the process of stopping somebody for something else and then asking to produce papers. So could you have been more clear on that?
SCHIEFFER: Oh, perhaps. But, you know, I have to tell you, Howie, even at the Justice Department, there is an argument about exactly what this law says.
Well, let me clear it up for you, Bob. The law clearly says, clearly, that in order for anyone in Arizona to be asked about their nationality, they have to be involved in another police matter. Anyone who actually reads the law would know that, even if they're on vacation.
Now, "Talking Points" is not in business to denigrate Bob Schieffer or Howard Kurtz, but apparently there is a growing split about how the news is covered in this country. The old guard mainstream media makes decisions based upon ideology, race and elitism. The new media, of which Fox News is a part, covers what Americans believe is important to them. That's why we are a dominant No. 1, and I submit we have far more influence than the network news does.
Believe me, President Obama, every senator, every congressperson know exactly what we are reporting here, even if Bob Schieffer does not.
This indicates there is a changing of the guard as far as news flow is concerned in the USA. If you want to know what's really happening in America, you have to come here because you will not get it in much of the mainstream media.
That being said, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander was gutsy in his admission that The Post botched the story. There are some very skilled people working in the establishment media. Problem is, there aren't enough of them.
Did Michelangelo Paint a Brain in God?
By Wynne Parry
Michelangelo's depiction of God's throat in one panel of his Sistine Chapel fresco is awkward -- odd for an artist so devoted to the study of anatomy. Now researchers have a theory to explain why: Michelangelo embedded an image of a human brain stem in God’s throat, they find.

The Renaissance artist is known to have studied human anatomy by dissecting cadavers when he was a young man, and continued until late in his 89 years. This practice informed his powerful depictions of the human and the divine.

But one panel of his Sistine Chapel frescoes contains an oddly lit and awkward image of God's neck and head as seen from below. The light illuminating the neck was different from that of the rest of the painting. Also, God's beard is foreshortened and appears to roll up along the sides of his jaw, and his bulbous neck has prompted speculation that Michelangelo intended to portray God with a goiter, or abnormally enlarged thyroid gland.

Two researchers – one a neurosurgeon, the other a medical illustrator – writing in the May issue of the journal Neurosurgery have another, more flattering theory. In this panel, which portrays the Separation of Light from Darkness, from the Book of Genesis, Michelangelo embedded a ventral view of the brainstem, they wrote. [Image of hidden brain stem]

Using a digital analysis, they compared the shadows outlining the features of God’s neck and a photograph of a model of this section of the brain, which connects with the spinal cord, and found a close correspondence. (more at the link)
Tim Blair
I’m on the new ABC 24-hour news channel tomorrow night (you know, the one that – ahem – was never going to happen). Updates to follow. We may discuss Julia Gillard’s email embarrassment. Speaking of whom:
Former prime minister turned prime embarrassment, Kevin Rudd, has ignored questions about whether he will play a role in supporting the election campaign of his successor Julia Gillard.

Making his first appearance in his Griffith electorate since the election was called last Saturday, Mr Rudd was peppered with questions about Ms Gillard, who toppled him for the leadership of the Labor Party in a brutal late-night challenge.
The carrot-toppler is dodging questions, too:
In western Sydney, Ms Gillard yesterday called for a halt to population growth yesterday in the strongest terms yet …

Asked specifically if she would guarantee her government would introduce measures during the next term, Ms Gillard avoided answering the question.

Instead, she resorted to loose, unspecific language.
Evasions aside, Gillard has now become “the first prime minister in decades to question the notion that a growing population will drive economic growth and prosperity.”
Tim Blair
Neither Gillard nor Abbott want to talk about it:
Business leaders are demanding that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott tackle nuclear power as part of the policy debate.

This comes amid fears industry faces blackouts and further hikes in power prices.

As the business community is increasingly worried that both Labor and the Coalition are baulking at politically difficult reforms, it is urging the major parties to stop playing “Pontius Pilate” on the issue of nuclear power.
Whenever this issue is raised, local anti-nukers play what they believe is a game-ending card: “Name the sites for Australia’s nuclear plants.” Easy. Put ‘em exactly where existing coal-fired plants are located. Or in the middle of the Barrier Reef, or Kakadu. Anywhere, really.
Tim Blair
When they run out of Cartier watches, they call for another flotilla:
While Hamas continues to complain that Gaza lacks building materials, a luxury mall in Gaza City held its grand opening over the weekend.
Tom Gross has pictures.

(Via Larry T.)
Sorry, Joe
Andrew Bolt
I must apologise to shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey for being critical of his lack of cut-through lately. He put in an excellent performance on the 7.30 Report tonight - assured, determined and quick to turn defence against a hostile barrage into an attack on Labor’s wild spending and trust-me promises of a surplus some fine day.
Meet the professional who’s running against a former house cleaner
Andrew Bolt

Rebecca Docherty is a finance and administration manager for Hogan Brothers, which owns restaurants and pubs and has interests in education and property.

But she is also daring to run as the Liberal National Party candidate for Griffiths, the safe Labor seat held by Kevin Rudd, and has her CV summed up by the Left-leaning local Courier Mail like this:
Rebecca Docherty, a former barmaid and political unknown, has been named as his challenger for the LNP in the safe Labor seat.
Shouldn’t Rudd, by the same coin, be described as a former house-cleaner?
How Gillard practices to deceive
Andrew Bolt
Gavin Atkins dissects a piece of Julia Gillard spin:
Let me get this straight. Our current Prime Minister manufactured a media interview so that she could then lie in Parliament that a text she meant to send to a friend was actually sent in jest to Tony Abbott. Misleading Parliament is considered a serious offence in Australian politics...
He’s referring to this anecdote, as told by Annabel Crabb:
One night, as the 2004 election approached and Ms Gillard ensnared herself in the logistical nooses and coils of health policy…she fired off a despairing text message to a friend, confessing exasperatedly that health was too confusing for her.

Receiving no reply, she idly checked her message some hours later and realised to her horror that she had in fact, by accident, sent the message to Tony Abbott.

... she could not bear the prospect of Mr Abbott reading aloud her message - perhaps in Question Time - in triumphant demonstration of her unsuitability to assume control of the national health system.

So what did she do? ... Ms Gillard and her staff arranged for her to be interviewed by a regional radio station with a small listenership.

During the interview she laughingly confessed to having sent a tongue-in-cheek text messages to her opponent feigning frustration with the minefield of health reform…

Ms Gillard had the transcript of her radio interview prepared, lest the allegation ever be made by Mr Abbott that she was unequal to the task of handling the health portfolio.

Had it been raised in parliament, she would musically have read aloud from the transcript, demonstrating that the whole thing was a bit of a lark.
I think people should be aware just how brazenly Gillard is prepared to spin. Remember when she claimed to be merely the part-time typist of the Socialist Forum, when she in fact was on its management committee, and that she’d left it a decade before she actually had?
When will Gillard fix what she broke?
Andrew Bolt
How many more boats before Gillard admits to another policy failure?
Ms Gillard denied the failure of her government’s asylum seekers policy following the news of yet another boat-load of 71 asylum seekers being intercepted north-west of the Ashmore Islands late Monday night.

``The government is still working to find a regional solution to the issue of boats entering Australian waters .... this does not signal a failure of our policy, rather that more still needs to be done.’‘
My red dot on this Immigration Department graph indicates the date Labor announced a big softening of boat people laws, following a blueprint Gillard says she herself drew up:
(UPDATE: Third link replaced after it went dead.)
Abbott to reward those who invest in schooling
Andrew Bolt
This is more like it:

Parents will be entitled to claim generous fee subsidies for sending their children to private and independent schools as part of the Coalition’s expanded education rebate policy.

Even music lessons will be eligible for a rebate under the program.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he supported choice in education, and the $760 million boost to the tax rebate for school fees and other education expenses would help parents…

“A very, very large percentage of parents at government schools these days face what are called voluntary fees,” he said.

Under the coalition’s policy, the current 50 per cent rebate will be lifted to $500 dollars a year for each primary school student and $1000 for each high school student - and extended to private schooling.

But what will Gillard actually do about immigration?
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard again just repeats her market-tested feel-your-pain lines without offering a single policy that will cure it:
But as Ms Gillard stressed she would never lead a country that “closed its heart to newcomers”, she said the time had come to ask whether it was fair or responsible to continue to stack western Sydney with people.

“Surely it is time for governments to ask this question: Can we really ask western Sydney to keep absorbing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people without regard for the key issue of quality of life?” she said.

“This may require us to question some assumptions and values that have not essentially changed since the beginning of the post-war period.

“It is time to reconsider whether our model of growth is right for an Australia facing fundamental constraints on our water supplies, an Australia where land use is increasingly contested, for example, between mining and farming on the Liverpool Plains or market gardens versus development on our suburban outskirts.”
Some of the constraints Gillard lists are just nonsense, of course. Take the “fundamental constraints on our water supplies”. There are in fact many rivers we could still dam, if we wanted to, and desalination plants offer unlimited water for cities at a price,

As for market gardens, if they are offered a good enough price for their land, the contest is over. A huge continent, of which less than 0.5 per cent is urbanised, is in not the slightest danger of running out of land.

What “constraints” there are are entirely man-made, and explain in large part why growth is now resented more than welcomed. Our governing class has simply been reluctant to plan for and invest in the facilities to make bigger cities more liveable. They haven’t built a new dam for a capital city in 27 years, making water shortages more common. They’ve been slow to build freeways big enough to take tomorrow’s traffic, let alone today’s. They’ve drawn arbitrary growth boundaries around cities, demanding newcomers pack in tighter among us, crowding everyone for space. They’ve been terrified of spending the money to bury train lines underground or build new lines. They’ve chokend investment in power stations and driven up electricity prices by bringing in or threatening policies to cut emissions. They’ve resisted big, imaginative schemes to create more industry (new mines, nuclear waste facilities, nuclear power) and jobs in underdeveloped areas such as the Top End. And so much of this comes from pandering to the New Age’s green ethos. Going green has made life tougher for the poor.

And where’s the policies to end these “constraints”. Will Gillard pass a law banning people from settling in the areas she’s listed as stressed? Will she drop her emissions trading scheme, that’s halved the proposed investment in maintaining and extending our power supplies? And how - and by how much - will she cut the single biggest, and only controllable, contributor to our growth - the immigration intake now adding an astonishing 270,000 people a year?

But that’s not all that’s driving the angst about this huge rise in population. There is also the fear, to some extent justified, that we are bringing in too many people who will not fit in. That’s why boat people, of whom we’re getting just 6000 a year, seem to represent the debate on immigrants, of whom there are nearly 50 times more.

This is the debate that many seek to shut up with screeches of “racist”. Yet it is undeniable that some relatively new ethnic communities have crime rates between two and six times higher than the norm, and much higher rates of welfarism and unemployment. It’s true that one largely immigrant religious community has provided all 20 of the men convicted over the past decade for terrorism, as well as the only senior clerics in the country who opening preach admiration of terrorists and warng against assimilation. It’s true that bikie gangs are increasiningly violent and increasingly dominated by ethnic minorities. It’s true that ethnic gangs are growing more prevalent not just in Sydney but now in Melbourne. It’s true that many, or most, of the most vicious and internationally-publicised attacks on Indians and tourists here have been allegedly by immigrants or predominantly ethnics gangs.

These are facts, and the refusal to debate them - and the smearing as “racist” of those who do - cannot stop people from knowing what they know. Even the refusal of police, particularly in Victoria, to reveal the links between ethnicity and crime have not succeeded ultimately in fooling people about the truth.

This is an issue which most of all needs tackling, and not by more spin and more anti-racism campaigns which insultingly assume the problem is not the phenomenon but the observance of it.

But to all this, what does Gillard say. Virtually nothing at all, other than that hint of not wanting to close “our hearts”.

Nor do critics of her not-so-big Australia talk want to discuss this, even when they draw the very link they don’t want to explain:
Woodside and National Australia Bank chairman Michael Chaney warning that “paranoia” surrounding asylum-seekers was influencing the sensible debate required on population growth.

Mr Chaney said neither side of politics was prepared to discuss population in an objective manner. “The fact is we need a growing population to fill jobs in our growing economy, and you’d have hoped for a bipartisan approach on reasonable population growth,” he said.

“The paranoia over asylum-seekers is being allowed to influence the population debate, and it’s not getting any better in an election.”
So here we are again, weltering in stupidity, deceit, evasion and cowardice, refusing to discuss what bothers people most. And all the while building a problem that will only be admitted to once it grows too bad to ignore, and so bad that the reaction is to be dreaded. Think Cronulla.

Here I think, is where Tony Abbott may do us a service, and himself a favor, by some frank and intelligent discussion of the kind he was too scared to indulge in when I offered him that chance on MTR 1377. It’s high stakes stuff, I agree, but if he wants to swing the debate his way at last, and have his enemies at last condemning his virtues rather than his stumbles, here is his chance.

JULIA Gillard has refused to say whether she plans to cut back the migrant intake in line with her argument for a reassessment of population policy…

Asked on Sydney radio station 2UE today whether this meant she wanted to pare back the nation’s immigration intake, Ms Gillard, a Welsh migrant, refused to be drawn.

“I think that’s a question not just about numbers but where they are going,” she said.
How about big fences around the suburbs migrants must not enter, with guards at the gates? Or does Gillard have a brighter plan in mind?


Gillard has been caught on just saying honeyed words she neither means nor intends to act upon:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has stepped up rhetoric on population congestion in Sydney and Melbourne’s western suburbs, today would not give any hint of what she might actually do about it.

In western Sydney, Ms Gillard yesterday called for a halt to population growth yesterday in the strongest terms yet.

But today, she ruled out a congestion tax as advocated by the Labor Government’s own tax supremo Ken Henry. Ms Gillard said Treasurer Wayne Swan had made it clear when the Henry review was released in May ‘‘that we’ve got no plans, not on the radar, to introduce congestion taxes’’.

And asked specifically if she would guarantee her government would introduce measures during the next term, Ms Gillard avoided answering the question.

Instead, she resorted to loose, unspecific language…

And the population issue was not about curbing immigration either, she said, despite the huge jump in migrants to 300,000 a year in recent years.

‘‘I don’t believe that this is an immigration debate ... I believe it’s a debate about planning and policy choices for the nation’s future, about where we want to see growth,’’ she said.
(Thanks to reader Matt.)
The Green plan to kill your job
Andrew Bolt
ONE election result is already clear - and makes this debate about Tony Abbott’s “secret” plans even more brainless.

Wake up, people. The Greens will have the balance of power in the Senate.

Labor sealed that deal when it agreed this week to swap preferences with a party that its wiser heads know would devastate the economy if it could.

That’s politics, I guess. Winning is all, and to hell with the national interest.

But how grotesquely irresponsible. Labor is helping into power a party that demands we scrap our power stations and close industries that earn us at least $60 billion a year.

Oh, and it wants us all to have more holidays, because hard work and making money really sucks.

About 12 per cent of voters say this is just the party for them, and even Labor now says it’s the best of the rest. Yes, that really is how infantile our society, and our politics especially, has become.

But Labor, whose primary vote has been unusually low, says this only because it badly needs Greens preferences to tip it over the line.

In exchange, it’s agreed to help the Greens save its own five Senate seats - and to probably win a couple more.

It was already virtually inevitable Labor would win back some Senate seats from the Coalition, which overachieved in 2004, the Mark Latham election.

But this deal also kisses goodbye to Victoria’s Family First Senator, Steve Fielding, who lucked his seat in 2004 when Labor absentmindedly preferenced him but will lose it now Labor is steering its second votes to the Greens instead.

That will be all it takes. After this election, no Government will be able to pass a law against the Opposition’s objection without the support of the Greens, and Greens alone.

Never before has this party had so much power - and so much opportunity to finally inflict on us some of the policies that so many innocent voters have treated as a just-dreaming position statement, rather than a deliberate manifesto for the de-industrialisation of our economy and the tribalising of our society.

This now is the real issue: how much of our future did Labor sell off just to get these Greens’ preferences?
The father of all set-ups
Andrew Bolt
DEAN Jones is just the latest to prove that Father of the Year is a title bestowed more to honour the giver than givee.

For the giver, handing the title to the famous, rather than fabulous, borrows a bit of his glow.

But to the givee - as Jones now knows - it can be a curse to receive.

Bob Hawke, for instance, was made Victorian Father of the Year in 1971, despite the fact he was a notorious womaniser. Seven years on, and yet to become prime minister, he was even thinking of leaving his family to live with lover Blanche d’Alpuget.

But, as The Australian put it in 2008: “Hawke (was) in the invidious position politically of having to walk out on his marriage less than a decade after being named father of the year”.

It raises the stakes. If you accept the honour, you accept the commentary when you no longer deserve it.

It’s the same story with TV chef Gordon Ramsay, voted Celebrity Father of the Year in 2006, in the middle of his alleged affair with a blonde who later spilled the whole enchilada.

Then there was John Edwards, the US Democrat presidential candidate, who accepted his own Father of the Year Award in 2007, about four weeks to the day after making his lover pregnant.

“I hate to admit it,” he tried to warn the clapping crowd, “but I am not the best parent in my family.”

And so often that’s the case with our own awards, almost always given to high flyers, many of whom could not possibly be spending as much time playing dad as some bloke who’s decided never to miss dinner with the kids, and to hell with the career.
A few ships must have snuck past those wicked Jews
Andrew Bolt
So much for the starvation in the “concentration camp” in Gaza that we’re told is caused by a savage Israeli blockade. Unless the Left really does think hell is a luxury shopping mall.

(Thanks to reader zbcustom. UPDATE: Apologies, link now fixed.)
Bury Flannery
Andrew Bolt
Dennis Miller wants your nominations for his Time Capsule Accountability Project:
What are some of the most far-out and far-off predictions for the future? Maybe Al Gore’s assertion that Manhattan will be under water by 2057?!

Help us create a collection of bad predictions by sending in ones you’ve heard that you think will look ridiculous 100 years from now. Dennis will select the worst predictions, and the final list will be placed into a safe and buried for 100 years so future generations can realize how ridiculous they are!
Tim Flannery should figure strongly.

(Thanks to reader Andrew V.)
Save the planet! Starve pregnant women
Andrew Bolt
The lunatics are in charge of Asylum Australia:
AUSTRALIA’S top health standards body has been accused of subverting food science to fit a green agenda.

It did this by suggesting caps on meat and fish intake on environmental grounds—even though pregnant women risk nutritional deficiencies as a result.

The National Health and Medical Research Council, in redrawing Australia’s official dietary guidelines, has triggered a storm of protest from expert bodies, which warn that no good evidence has been provided to back its approach.

Two of Australia’s top health science organisations, the CSIRO and the National Heart Foundation, also warn there is insufficient evidence for limiting red meat intake to 455g a week, or fish to just one weekly serving…

The NHMRC’s document itself admits the environmentally-driven limits “challenged the ability to attain some RDIs (recommended dietary intakes) within the energy constraints of the foundation diets"… While it admitted a goal of the modelling exercise was to consider eating patterns that were “culturally acceptable, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable”, it denied the science had been downgraded.
It’s one small glimmer of hope in this midnight of madness that even the warmist CSIRO is now accusing other bodies of been corrupted by the green faith.
Abbott kills people, says Labor bigot
Andrew Bolt
Even as an agnostic, it’s the anti-Christian extremists who worry me more than the Christian ones:
JULIA Gillard has been embarrassed by a Labor candidate in Victoria who said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s policies were leading people to commit suicide.

The Prime Minister distanced herself from Adrian Schonfelder, who is running in the seat of Flinders, after he said Mr Abbott’s promotion of “wedge issues” has had “an influence on suicide”.

Mr Schonfelder lashed out at Mr Abbott’s “very strong religious views and views on abortion ... sex before marriage ... all very conservative and not necessary”, telling the Western Port News they were “influencing people to take their own lives”.
He’s apologised, of course, this being an election. But does that mean he recants?


Is there something in the water down at Flinders? Meet another of the candidates - the Greens’ Bob Brown (no relation to the boss):
A Greens candidate called Bob Brown says Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda may not be responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

“There are huge questions that need to be asked - one building came down without being hit, architects say the buildings looked like they were brought down by controlled explosions,” Mr Brown told the Western Port News.

”What happened to the bodies and planes at the Pentagon?”
Irrational parties naturally attract irrational candidates. The frightening thing is how many crazies we must now have that one in 10 of us vote for them.

(Thanks to readers Kerry, phil from bkk and skeptical69.)
Would a Menzies do it? Would Howard?
Andrew Bolt
For a leader needing to exude gravitas above all, I’m not sure this is a good idea:
TONY Abbott will appear alongside Kylie Minogue tomorrow night on the Nine Network’s family show Hey Hey It’s Saturday… Mr Abbott will join the pop diva as a guest judge on Hey Hey’s Red Faces segment.
I may be wrong, but I believe this campaign urgently needs to be put in the hands of a professional.


Yes, I know the journalists are wanting to take offence, but gravitas, gentlemen, gravitas:

(Shadow treasurer Joe) Hockey was accused of using sexist humour by a journalist to drive his point about Labor’s spending record, after he drew a bizarre analogy between Paris Hilton’s sexuality and Wayne Swan’s ability to deliver surpluses.

”Wayne Swan is to surpluses what Paris Hilton is to celibacy they remember it once existed but they’ll never see it again,” he said.
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