Friday, October 08, 2010

Headlines Friday 8th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Time to Feed the Beast‏
Well, it hasn't been more than a week since the new "paradigm" Parliament has commenced and already the Greens are clearly showing us all, including the so called leader of the country, Julia Gillard, that they are calling in the shots and setting the agenda. How has this minor party of radical Marxist warriors achieved so much power in such a short time? Clearly the answer is because of the stupidity, hubris and arrogance of Independents such as Wilkie, Oakeshott and Windsor combined with the "whatever it takes" to hold on to power ideology of the Australian Labor Party. - ZEG
=== Bible Quote ===
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”- Psalm 63:1
=== Headlines ===
Pentagon: Pakistani Spy Agency Is Not Supporting Terror, but ...
Pentagon acknowledges that some elements in Pakistan's spy agency are urging the Taliban to keep fighting in Afghanistan — and while Pakistani Army chief Gen. Kayani, inset, is pushing for change, 'change happens slowly over time.'

Search On for Tourist In Alleged Pirate Attack
Officials say an air and water search has begun for a Colorado man who was reportedly shot dead on a border lake by Mexican pirates

Top 10 Ways to Keep Crooks From Your Kids
Rutgers student's suicide has heightened concerns over cyberbullying, but what can parents do to protect their kids? Experts say it takes more than blocking certain sites

GOP Pulls W. Va. Ad After 'Hick' Controversy
Republican campaign operatives pull ad against West Virginia Dem Senate candidate Joe Manchin following a report that the ad's casting call asked for actors who could look 'hicky'

Breaking News
Horse dies after stabbing attack
POLICE are investigating a case of animal cruelty after a horse was stabbed to death in Melbourne's outer north.

Juliette Lewis 'banged up' in hit-and-run
ACTRESS Juliette Lewis has been hurt in a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, TMZ reports.

Former pilot to PM to admit murders
A CANADIAN air force base commander who once piloted the prime minister's jet will plead guilty to two murders, two sexual assaults and 82 break-ins of women's homes, his lawyer has told a court.

Rescue nears for Chilean trapped miners
THE first rescue hole wide enough to pull trapped workers from a Chilean mine should reach the 33 men on as soon as this weekend.

Jail boss to testify for Bali Nine pair
THE head of Bali's Kerobokan Prison will testify in defence of Bali Nine death row inmates Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran today.

Spate of vicious stabbings across city
A SPATE of vicious stabbings saw a man bludgeoned in the head and a double attack in a neighbour dispute.

Labor branch bans own MP
STATE Labor had to restore federal Minister Tony Burke's party status after he was accused of snubbing meetings.

Smile, you're on crim camera
TECHNOLOGY is revolutionising the way police are catching criminals, with cameras designed to find unregistered vehicles.

Mum sent teen to brothel
A TEENAGE girl is "heartbroken" by the actions of her mother, who helped her get work at a brothel so they could start a business.

MP Phil Koperberg set to quit
EX-bushfire boss Phil Koperberg will retire from State Parliament, saying the "collective of talent and vision" was not being exploited.

Power plug pulled on V8 campers
FAMILIES have been left without power while watching Australia's greatest motor race after electricity to a camp site was shut down.

Van runs down group of pedestrians
A DRIVER may have tried to beat a red light yesterday when she lost control of her van and ploughed into a group of pedestrians.

Police on a ride with Rebel bikies
POLICE launched a surprise "tagalong" of the Rebels bikie gang's ride from Sydney to Mildura.

Inside our city's pubs of peril
DRINK spiking and a kidnapping were among the reasons for restrictions and 2am lockouts on Sydney's most violent pubs.

Time to act on power, Premier
THE State Government is officially on notice - solve the power price crisis or face the wrath of voters.

City storm brings flooding
HEAVY rain has caused local flooding in Brisbane’s inner-city and surrounding suburbs overnight.

Turf club wants bikini race compo
THE Gold Coast Turf Club is to seek compensation for the loss of a bikini race planned as a summer carnival promotion.

Sisterly support eases Corby's hell
TODAY marks six years since beauty therapy student Schapelle Corby was arrested at Bali airport with 4kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag.

Drivers could be paid to slow down
QUEENSLAND motorists could be offered discounts on their car registration in an effort to entice them to obey speed limits.

Bligh falls foul of ad spin
QUEENSLAND taxpayers are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for glossy ads that may breach official guidelines because they are laden with pictures of Labor politicians.

Value of artwork in eye of beholder
AT first sight, there are a few similarities between the work of a five-year-old girl and a highly regarded artist whose creation has been bought with money left to taxpayers.

Pool owner won't be fenced in
UPDATE: READERS have defended a pool owner who sent a "hate mail" to the family who campaigned for stronger fencing laws after their daughter drowned.

Alleged KFC bandit charged
POLICE have charged a 22-year-old man after he allegedly threatened a Nerang KFC manager and her eight-year-old daughter with a gun on September 6.

Pills supplied by Lacey, court told
A CONVICTED drug offender has told a court that he collected packages of pills from Dionne Lacey before delivering them to buyers "about 15 or 20 times" in 2006.

Elderly man dead after car hits pole
lAN ELDERLY man is dead after his car smashed into a power pole this afternoon at Victoria Point.

Horse stabbed, scalped in attack
A BELOVED former show horse has been stabbed and scalped in a horrific attack in Melbourne's north.

Brumby needs Greens to keep power
LABOR is on track to retain power but a huge slide in its primary vote could turn the Greens into potential powerbrokers, a poll reveals.

Ex-mayor faces food safety charges
FORMER lord mayor John So has been charged with running a dirty restaurant - the Dragon Boat on the Yarra - by Melbourne City Council.

Chaouk pleads over gun charges
MATWALI Chaouk, a member of one of Melbourne's warring family factions, has pleaded guilty to gun and ammunition possession.

Killer wants victim to pay legal costs
CHILD killer Derek Percy has demanded the family of one of his alleged victims pay up to $30,000 he spent in legal fees.

Caulfield scratches kids from carnival
UNACCOMPANIED children would be banned from the Caulfield Racetrack as police and organisers clean up the event.

School cash held back
AUDITOR-General Des Pearson says Victoria held back about 29 per cent of its budgeted federal school halls stimulus spending.

Dodgy cop let drug dealer off
A CONSTABLE let a heroin dealer off a drink-drive offence after his sergeant intervened seconds after a failed breath test.

Drop the spin, explain the vision
LABOR is in the box seat only seven weeks out from the state election.

Penalty cap cuts tardy Metro fines
METRO has saved millions of dollars in fines for late trains because of the cap on penalties.

Northern Territory
Woman held prisoner in a caravan
A WOMAN who was allegedly held hostage in a caravan for more than two months has been rescued by another woman, Northern Territory police say.

South Australia
Play footy at the oval, or pay
FAILURE to play AFL football matches at Adelaide Oval by the next state election will likely force a further cost blowout, Infrastructure Minister Pat Conlon has conceded.

Subs on course to stay in SA
DEFENCE SA is confident the Federal Government will honour its commitment to build the next generation of submarines in South Australia.

Electricity price pain less in SA
ADELAIDE has recorded the lowest jump in power prices of all the capital cities in Australia in the past five years, research shows.

Adelaide man captive of Egypt
ADELAIDE members of the Islamic movement the Saviours of Mankind fear one of their Australian members is being held by the Egyptian Government.

Be safe but not silly, say experts
ELDERLY and vulnerable people living alone can take steps to feel safer and more secure, police and experts say.

Police raid home in killer hunt
POLICE are believed to have searched the home of the former husband of murdered Elizabeth North great-grandmother Beverley Hanley.

Killer wins compo payout
A KILLER is receiving workers compensation payments behind bars after winning a court battle with WorkCover.

These are my music choices
AC/DC, Pink and Lady Gaga are Australia's most popular artists, according to the world's largest music networking site MySpace.

Rents rise but they're still cheap
ADELAIDE'S median weekly house rental has posted the second highest annual rise in the country, but remains the cheapest capital in which to rent.

Owners cuddle up with pets
SMALLER dogs and shrinking backyards is prompting pet owners to let their canines spend more time inside and share their bed at night.

Western Australia
Driver cleared over Manjimup bus death
A DIANELLA man has been cleared over the death of an elderly woman and serious injuries to five others in a 2008 Manjimup bus crash.

Naked gunman fuelled by nightmares
POST-TRAUMATIC stress from years in detention was behind a man's decision to climb atop a billboard naked with a replica gun, sending downtown Perth into lockdown.

Deroes involved in bikie gang clash
A THIRD bikie gang - the Club Deroes - were involved in the violent Kwinana Motorplex clash between the Finks and Coffin Cheaters at the weekend, police today revealed.

$4000 fine on dog hammer attack
Warning graphic image | A PERTH man has been fined $4000 and banned from owning a domestic pet after admitting fatally beating his doberman with a claw hammer.

Man, 21, dies in Collie truck collision
A YOUNG Collie man, 21, has been killed after his car collided with a turning truck near the town, in the state's South-West.

Police chase nabs burglary suspects
POLICE have arrested two men believed to be responsible for more than 30 commercial burglaries after a high-speed chase through Perth's eastern and Hills suburbs.

Accused murderer left no fingerprints
THE woman accused of murdering her medical specialist partner left no fingerprints on the yacht they shared, a Hobart court has been told.

Labor's NBN 'will kill competition' in state
PLANS to connect all Tasmanian homes and businesses to Labor's national broadband network will stifle telecommunications competition in the state, the Federal Opposition says.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Col. Oliver North Reports from the Battle Lines!
In these exclusive web videos, the Lieutenant Colonel goes inside the war in Afghanistan, bringing us the latest stories from the front!
Newt's "Closing Argument"
What the former speaker is telling GOP candidates they have to do before elections.
Karl Rove's Election Predictions
Heading into the homestretch, Karl Rove predicts who he thinks will win come November!
On Fox News Insider:
Fox News Channel Celebrates 14 Years!
VIDEO: Does Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes Watch Fox News?
Rick Leventhal: NY Looks to Ban Food Stamp Use for Sugary Drink Purchases
=== Comments ===
Diggers buried in political firefight
Piers Akerman
AUSTRALIA’S engagement in Afghanistan is in the cross-hairs - for all the wrong reasons. - Don’t bury our troops as part of a political bun fight. Investigate Gillard, and if we won’t support our troops abroad, take them home. I have heard the family of the victims interviewed and many questions remain unasked of them. Why do they know so much about Taliban habits? If they knew it was a mistake, when were they going to own up? The liberal use of the word ‘martyr’ is particularly offensive if that was the word they used, and not a translator bignoting themselves.
I have no doubt there are many tragedies in the field, but to inflate the Australian troops work into a charge appears unjustifiable .. Gillard has not made a case as to what is going to be achieved by this, or by ignoring the atrocities of the Taliban. This is worse than treachery .. it is pernicious. The Heiner affair shows how the ALP treats procedural issues. It is done so that the public will have some faith in what they know is wrong .. it gives the appearance of even handedness, so that a bureaucracy can achieve what considered thought doesn’t.
I have been at the receiving end of procedural unfairness. The ALP will never have to pay for what they have done in smearing me, ruining my career, and worse so as to cover up the death of a school boy and a bungled pedophile investigation.
Andrew Mallard in WA knows about the ALP’s brand of procedural unfairness, although he won’t endorse them anymore, he doesn’t seem to want to oppose them either. Victims of Orkopolous or Collins or any of many other ALP figures know about procedural unfairness .. don’t expose our troops, whose lives are on the line for us, to such outrageous misconduct. They used to name and class military ships, I guess Gillard is a Rudd class diplomat. - ed.

White Working Americans and President Obama

White working Americans and President Obama -- that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo. A new Associated Press poll says, "White working Americans are now President Obama's biggest nightmare."
Back in 2008, white voters without college degrees favored Republican congressional candidates by 11 percentage points. But now, according to the A.P., that figure has doubled: 58 percent of white working Americans say they will vote Republican in November. Just 36 percent say they will vote Democrat. So, what the heck happened?
Well, first and foremost, the economy is still very rough and workers are on edge, but minority workers are apprehensive as well. So, there must be more to this. "Talking Points" believes it is the class factor. President Obama and the Democrats, simply not in sync with white working class values. The president's positions on illegal immigration, the Ground Zero mosque, things like religion and guns do not correspond with the prevailing wisdom of white working class precincts.
Unlike President Reagan, who also had trouble in his first midterm election, Mr. Obama had separated himself from many blue collar working white people. Simply because they see he doesn't understand them. "Talking Points" has advised the president many times that suing the state of Arizona, failing to prosecute the Black Panthers who menaced the polling place in Philadelphia, and criticizing the Cambridge Massachusetts Police Department, among other issues, were all things that could have been easily handled in other ways. But the president sees it differently and has not reached out to white blue collar voters.
The liberal media would have you believe that white working class Americans are opposing Mr. Obama because of his skin color. That is a blatant lie. While there are bigots in every group, it is the cultural disposition of the president. That is his problem now. By the way, if you are going to go to the skin color route, what about the fact that 90 percent of African-Americans continue to support Mr. Obama? Any skin color in that?
Now, the liberal media ignores the cultural aspect of Mr. Obama's declining poll numbers because it, itself, looks down on white working class Americans. For proof of that, all you have to do is analyze the media's coverage of the Tea Party. Losing white working class voters is a serious situation for any president, but not a fatal one. If Mr. Obama could rally blacks, Hispanics, and committed liberals to his cause and the Democratic cause in great numbers, he might be able to retain power in November.
But, a new study from the Pew Hispanic Center says about half of Hispanic American voters might not show up in November, certainly bad news for Mr. Obama. In politics, as in life, perception is reality. White blue collar voters now perceive the president does not think the way they do. And, that is likely to be reflected in the November vote. And, that is "The Memo."
Now, for the "Top Story" tonight, Dick Morris continues to predict the big Republican victory in November. He joins us now from West Palm Beach, Florida. So, am I going wrong in my analysis of the blue collar precincts?
DICK MORRIS, AUTHOR OF THE BOOK "2010 TAKE BACK AMERICA": Not in the conclusion. But, I think your reasoning is a little off. I don't think it's cultural in terms of the mosque and immigration and that stuff nearly as much as it is fiscal and economic. The amazing thing that's happened at the grass roots level in this country is that whereas it used to be dominated by social populist, evangelicals and the like. Now, it's dominated by Tea Party activists, who are mainly focused on the debt, the deficit, the unemployment rate, the economy, Obama care, not social issues --
O'REILLY: All right, let me stop you. Let me challenge you on that. If that is true, then why are the minority blue collar workers staying with the president, because they are suffering probably more. The poverty rate is up. It's harder to get jobs for people, who are ill-educated in this country. But, they haven't bailed out on the president. So it's got to be cultural.
MORRIS: Well, no. Blacks are for Obama because he is black.
O'REILLY: Come on.
MORRIS: That's not cultural, that's just racial.
O'REILLY: You think every single African-American supports President Obama because of skin color? I don't believe that.
MORRIS: All right, I think a white democrat would also get 90 percent of the vote. But, there would be some disenchantment and now there is none among the black community.
O'REILLY: But, I can't understand why there isn't.
MORRIS: I think that Latinos --
O'REILLY: Go ahead -- Latinos?
MORRIS: But, I think the Latinos are moving away from obama. Now, they're voting with their feet, not their hands because the Pew study and others show that they're not likely to turn out and vote. But, I think that the reason that the white working class is moving away from Obama is far more economic, not in the sense of this unemployment, "I'm going to lose my job. There is a recession," not that at all. But, in the sense that they feel he doesn't believe in upward mobility. He doesn't believe in working overtime and getting what you want. He doesn't believe in the American dream. But, it's largely an economic narrative not about abortion, gays, guns, and that kind of stuff.
O'REILLY: I see. I disagree with you. I think that there is a heavy duty component with emotional stories like the mosque, all right? And I mean my mail reflects all of this. Yes, the economy is of great concern, but the president is perceived now. It's just -- look, every -- I'm a blue collar guy even though I'm wearing a green shirt tonight and I'm a rich guy, but I'm still that sensibility. You know that, Morris. You know me.
O'REILLY: All of my friends who are all blue collar, most of them blue collar say the same thing. "He doesn't understand me and he doesn't care about me. He doesn't understand what I do, why I do it, how I believe. He doesn't care. He doesn't get it." That's what they said.
MORRIS: But, Bill, bear in mind that in all the campaigns throughout the country, the republican candidates are pushing deficit and economics and debt and Obama care not mosques, social issues and that --
O'REILLY: That's true but Obama is on the ballot in this coming election. You know that. I mean you know --
MORRIS: Right. But, I want to make --
O'REILLY: It's about the president leadership --
MORRIS: I want to make two other --
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
MORRIS: I want to make two other points before you throw me out of here. One is among Hispanics that Pew survey you cited asked them how important are each of these issues and 58 percent said education was extremely important; 54 percent said jobs; 51 percent said health care; 35 percent said the deficit. Only 31 percent of Latinos said immigration was extremely important issue.
O'REILLY: Interesting.
MORRIS: So, the Democrats have made a fundamental mistake in thinking they can get them back over immigration.
O'REILLY: Yes. I mean that's what that suing Arizona thing was all about.
MORRIS: The second thing I want to say is today is a very important day in the election cycle. It is the first day in 2010 that the Republicans have a lead in 10 seats occupied by Senate Democrats, enough to take control. Until now, they have been tied. They have been behind. They have been growing. Now, they have a lead. Some of the leads are huge. They're 43 points ahead in North Dakota, 18 points ahead in Arkansas and Indiana, 12 points ahead in Wisconsin. Seven in Pennsylvania. Five in Colorado. Five in West Virginia, which is extraordinary. Four in Illinois. Three in Nevada. Sharron Angle has now opened up --
O'REILLY: Yes, we recorded that last night --
MORRIS: A significant lead.
O'REILLY: Right. Now, significant 3 is not significant. What?
MORRIS: No, but it's been tied for straight weeks, Bill. And, Reid has always had a 1-point or 2-point lead, that's big. And, in the state of Washington for the first time, Dino Rossi, the Republican, is now ahead of Patty Murray.
O'REILLY: Right.
MORRIS: Because he is doing a good job in answering her attacks. So, you know, it's like you get first place and then you win all the games and nobody else has to lose. You just have to win --
O'REILLY: Well, Morris, you are -- you are the guy --
MORRIS: That's where the Republicans are at now.
O'REILLY: I said last night, it pained me to admit it, but you might be right because you were the first one to say that the Senate would go to the republicans and we'll see in four weeks. Dick, as always, thank you.
MORRIS: And, by the way, Bill, every day now on my website,, you can tune in and get an update on the election.
O'REILLY: As if no one knew that, Morris. As if you had to say that. Everybody knows that.
5 Important Lessons From 4 Tragic Bullying Deaths
By Dr. Dale Archer
Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown and Billy Lucas: Four teenage boys that committed suicide last month after being incessantly bullied and abused by their classmates and peers.

Billy and Seth both died by hanging, Asher shot himself and most recently Tyler jumped off the George Washington bridge after a freshman-year sexual encounter was secretly taped and posted on the Web.

Four teenage boys committing suicide in a month is shocking as is, but the fact that all four were gay or bisexual (Asher had just come out, and Tyler’s evening was spent with another boy), shows a blindingly clear pattern.

Young people develop throughout their teens on a number of fronts: intellectually, morally and sexually. In a society that is predominantly heterosexual (greater than 90% ), coming to terms that one is different from friends and family makes for a very isolating time.

Most gays have some idea of their sexuality in early adolescence, but it can sometimes take years to accept their orientation and even longer to come out to the world. During this transition they are very unlikely to seek support or advice from other gays or lesbians. When compounded with the normal trials and tribulations of being an adolescent: wanting to fit in, worrying about perception, the pressure to keep a secret adds a burden. Throw incessant bullying on top of their sense of isolation and difference; add night-and-day ridicule at school by text, Twitter, Facebook and phone calls, and you can see why some of these kids eventually feel life is not worth living.

So, what lessons can we learn from this?

1. To those young people questioning, hiding, or struggling to defend your sexuality: Please know that there are resources in every community available to help you and the Internet is the place to start.

2. To the parents of the bullied: Speak out. Ask your child questions. If your child comes out to you, let them know you love them. If you have no idea what they are going through, ask and educate yourself on what it means to be gay in America.

3. To the teachers, officials, and administrators: Take charge. It is your responsibility to teach this new diversity in your schools. Education, understanding and acceptance are the ultimate keys in ending this tragic new bullying trend.

4. To the parents of the bullies: This is not an easy topic for most parents, but you must teach your children about sexuality and that it’s OK to be different. Also, that it is NEVER OK to harm another human being, to invade their privacy, or to make another person feel less than normal. Research shows that current adolescents show significantly less empathy for their peers than 30 years ago. This concerning trend must be addressed by parents if it is to be reversed.

5. Finally to the bullies themselves: Understand that just because someone is different than you are doesn’t mean that they are any less of a person or any less valued.

Human rights are rights for all humans. We have struggled and overcome diversity in this country for the last 200 years, dealing with discrimination against women, minorities and physical and mental disabilities. Human sexuality is now the new frontier, but ALL diversity issues are valid in this point.

We are all different in many ways and this is what made America great; accepting and embracing diversity in all its many forms.

Remember the saying "live and let live?" It’s a good motto to live by.
Despite White House Spin, Obama Believes Government Should Run Our Economy
By John Lott
The White House is in full spin mode trying to convince Americans that President Obama doesn't hate business. The president claims: "it's very hard to find evidence of anything that we've done that is designed to squash business as opposed to promote business." His administration's economists were out in force at the end of last week trying to argue that Obama was actually pro-business. The impression here matters because Americans see how incredibly slow this "recovery" and they intrinsically understand how eliminating incentives will stop growth.

President Obama may hope Americans will forget that he called Wall Street executives "fat cats," bondholders "speculators," and accused doctors who zealously test patients of being "driven from a business mentality." But he has made these attacks too often. Voters can too easily recall him regularly blaming private companies rather than the government for the financial crisis. Indeed, the only blame he gives to the federal government is that there wasn't enough regulation.

Businesses remember the outrageous and factually inaccurate attacks on companies. For instance, Obama pretended that firms and industries are more monopolistic than they are to justify government intervention. And who can forget him lashing out against doctors numerous times accusing them of preferring to amputate a foot rather than "treated [diabetes] as effectively as it could" because they can earn more money (here and here).

The problem comes down to how Obama thinks the market operates. Take his claim during the health care debate, that private insurance costs more than government insurance simply because private companies have to add on profits to the expenses of providing the service. He fails to understand that costs, including administrative costs, are driven down by the incentive for higher profits. This is the reason why very few products are sold by nonprofit companies despite huge tax subsidies -- profits motivate companies to find ways produce better quality products at a lower cost.

But Obama's animosity against the private sector goes well beyond disapproving of profits. He holds little respect for property rights. Last year, Mr. Obama used the TARP funds and the threat of costly public audits to force banks into giving the Federal government an ownership stake in their companies. Many banks had not even wanted the TARP money to begin with, but were forced to take the money under the threat that the government would use regulatory powers to drive them out of business. Once the government had taken control of the financial institutions holding bonds in General Motors and Chrysler, the government used that control to make them forfeit their rights as creditors.

Some creditors who were not owned by the government fought the decision, but bondholders had to vote on whether they accepted the government offer and the government ownership of the financial institutions gave them enough votes. But the government took other actions to stop legal actions through the courts. News reports indicate that Steven Rattner, the head of Obama's auto task force, allegedly threatened to use "the full force of the White House press corps [to] destroy [the bondholder's who resisted] reputation if it continued to fight."

Austan Goolsbee, Mr. Obama's new head of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, gave interviews at the end of last week dismissing these claims that Obama is anti-business. He told The Wall Street Journal that Obama isn't anti-business since he "pushed through 16 tax cuts to assist small businesses and proposed additional incentives."

Even this statement regarding "small business" reveals that Obama considers it to be the government rather than the private investors who should decide what size businesses should get more investments. But even for small business, the tax cuts and government loans in the bill are targeted for firms that do what the government wants them to do and balanced off by higher marginal tax rates.

Goolsbee tried to explain away the angry sentiment of businessmen towards the administration by blaming the bad economy: “When the unemployment rate is 9.6 percent, and when you’re coming out of the deepest hole in anybody’s lifetime, you knew that there were going to be a lot of people generally upset and not feeling good about where they are..." He labelled the recent recession: "the deepest recession since 1929." That is simply factually wrong, as the unemployment rate during the early 1980s was higher, reaching 10.8 percent. Nevertheless, despite even harder times no one viewed President Ronald Reagan as anti-business.

Ironically, the very same day last week that the government took a 92 percent ownership stake in AIG, Mr. Goolsbee declared it "totally bogus" to say that the president "is a socialist." Despite Obama wanting government ownership of GM and many financial institutions or pushing for government run health insurance, he might not be a pure socialist. Still, President Obama thinks that government, not consumers and private businesses, should ultimately run the economy.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a contributor. He is an economist and author of the recently revised third edition of "More Guns, Less Crime" (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
Tim Blair
Today’s healthy young environmental bluefaces will be pushing towards retirement (I assume a prior employment phase) before they discover if they were right:
The possible impact of human activity on the world’s environment and climate may not be known for 40 years or more, U.S. researchers say.

A Texas A&M study shows that although it is evident the world is experiencing one of the fastest warming rates since the beginning of climate record keeping, it will take a long time before a statistically significant difference can be seen between possible human impacts and those caused by natural climate variability, a university release reported Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut River is full of pumpkins. No evidence connects this to warming, but it should probably be added to the list just in case.
Tim Blair
In a perfect world, all car makers would be required to build at least one model that conforms to authentic 1973 dimensions:
That’s a Ford Falcon hardtop – complete with visible leaf springs – at Bathurst in ‘73. In fact, it’s the winning car. Things aren’t going quite so well this year for another Ford team.

UPDATE. Don’t forget that race day is 10:10 Happy Day, when we celebrate all things carbon. Devout 10:10 fans may enjoy some Happy Ten Ten Vertical Epic Ale.
Tim Blair
The Age believed Paul Watson. Being smarter, the guys from South Park didn’t.
Tim Blair
“War is costly stuff and isn’t doing our fine planet any favours,” reports Gizmodo. “At least, not environmentally. By 2020, however, the US military hopes that 50 per cent of their operations will be done using renewable energy.” Let’s hope they’re also using the green-approved big red button, which can clear whole classrooms of enemy combatants in seconds.

Speaking of which, James Delingpole has found the busiest intern on earth:
If you go here – presuming they don’t decide to shut the section down, like they did with the comments when they got too embarrassing – you can read about all the special qualities the 10:10 gang are bringing to the party.

There’s press intern Josefine Thieme, for example, whose job description includes “Keeping a record of 10:10 press coverage”. My, you’ll have been busy lately then, Josefine.
Someone ought to calculate the carbon footprint of all that press coverage. Hey, Josefine!
Tim Blair
Important poley news out of Ottawa:
The federal government wants to put a price tag on polar bears.

Environment Canada plans to spend up to $44,000 on a study to appraise the animal’s value as a national icon.

The department has put out a tender for companies to study the “socio-economic importance of polar bears for Canada …”
Reader Smike, a potential poley investor, has a better idea: Put a poley on eBay.
Would greenies bid against themselves to claim an outragously high per poley value? It certainly would be in their interest to do so. But transactions of this type have to be “settled” (look it up, greenies) to establish the price.

Further, there’s a presumption of leverage here in my eBay suggestion. Truth is, the bidder is not seeking to establish the value of a single poley, but rather the entire Canadian population of poleys. We’ll need a rule, simple and fair, stipulating that no government subsidies are allowed.

But otherwise foundation money, illicit drug gains seeking laundering, dirty oil profits, “Save the Poley” t-shirt sale proceeds, they are all the same color and all are welcome. Let the bidding begin.
As a starting guide, poley pelts go for around $400 per metre.
Tim Blair
You can’t be too careful when it comes to dead hippies:
John Lennon has been dead for 30 years, but the FBI is still on the case.

A small pop-culture memorabilia shop in Manhattan on Wednesday opened an 836-lot auction timed to what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, which is Saturday. The prized item was a set of Lennon’s fingerprints made in 1976 as part of his application for citizenship. Minimum bid: $100,000.

But after an hourlong standoff involving phone calls, faxes and meetings with an agent in a parked car outside the shop, the FBI served the shop, Gotta Have It!, with a subpoena and seized the fingerprint card, which was made at a New York police station on May 8, 1976, and bears a signature and the name John Winston Ono Lennon.
Via Lee M. By the way, if Imagine accurately reflects Lennon’s views on possessions, shouldn’t the maximum bid be nothing?
Tim Blair
Might the mid-term elections of 2010 be similar to the mid-terms of 1942?
Flushing your billions down the river
Andrew Bolt
Is there a green policy that hasn’t had its costs blow out or its targets not met?
RETURNING water to the Murray-Darling river system may cost many billions of dollars more than predicted…

A guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, to be released today, is expected to recommend cutting the water allocation of irrigators by between 27 and 37 per cent, taking 3000-4000 gigalitres of water from farmers and returning it to the river to ensure its survival.

The NSW Irrigators Council predicts that, on those numbers, about 23,000 jobs would be lost in NSW alone…

The modelling - by ANU academic Quentin Grafton, director of the university’s Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy - shows the Gillard government would be left with a $2.32bn budget blowout if it pushed ahead with cutting the water entitlements of Murray-Darling irrigators by 30 per cent.

This is on top of the $3.1bn the government has already allocated for water buybacks under its “restoring the balance” scheme to improve environmental flows along the basin. If the government moves for cuts towards the top of the range recommended by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, that costing blowout could double.
But what’s this argument that slashing the irrigators’ water rights is needed for the river’s “survival”? How is “survival” defined? Meanwhile:
For the first time in four years, water is flowing along the 2400km course of the Murray.
Victoria’s dam madness
Andrew Bolt
The cost of the Victorian Government’s ban on a dam is insane:
VICTORIAN taxpayers and water users will pay up to $24 billion over nearly three decades for the Brumby government’s decision to drought-proof Melbourne with Australia’s largest desalination plant.
An Auditor-General’s report tabled yesterday fleshes out figures for the controversial project, showing that Victorians would pay on average as much as $860 million a year for desalination if the plant operated at full capacity over the 28-year contract.

The government estimates this figure at $5.7 billion in today’s dollars when inflation and other factors are taken into account, known as net present value.
That desal plant was first sold to us as costing just $3.1 billion.

The cost of a dam on the Mitchell, producing three times more water, is estimated by Melbourne Water at just $1.3 billion.
As if the green movement hasn’t cost Victoria enough already
Andrew Bolt
Uh, oh. Sounds like another Greens balance of power possibly coming up, for which we’ll one day pay big:
LABOR is on track to retain power in Victoria but with a massive slide in its primary vote turning the Greens into potential powerbrokers.

Seven weeks out from the November 27 state election, an exclusive Herald Sun /Galaxy Poll shows the election is finely poised with the Coalition gaining momentum.

Labor’s support base has crumbled since the 2006 election with huge numbers of voters jumping ship to the Greens, putting the Coalition ahead 39 to 38 per cent on primary vote.

But the ALP leads the Coalition 51-49 on two-party preferred terms, putting it on track to retain government for a fourth consecutive term with a diminished majority.
It’s not Gillard who ignored Belgium’s euthanasia laws
Andrew Bolt
JULIA Gillard sure got her comeuppance in Belgium this week, after wimping it on euthanasia.

Or so you’d think from media reports.

The Prime Minister had disappointed her fans on the Left when she refused to instantly endorse the new Greens push for euthanasia laws in the territories.

“I find it very hard to conceptualise how we could have the sort of safeguards that we would need if we did say that euthanasia was legal,” she stalled a fortnight ago.

“I find it almost impossible.”

Oh, really, sniffed The Age, which three days ago carried this report:

“Prof Jan Bernheim, a cancer specialist who was instrumental in creating Belgium’s voluntary euthanasia law in 2002, said Australia could learn a lot from his country about how to create a safe system ...”

“Ms Gillard obviously hasn’t looked at the data,” Prof Bernheim said.

How silly Gillard looked, right?

But I suspect if anyone “hasn’t looked at the data” it’s not Gillard, but The Age, which has overlooked yet more evidence of a great danger in relaxing the anti-euthanasia laws I once opposed, too.

A study this year by the Free University of Brussels, reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests Belgium’s safeguards don’t work quite as well as advertised.

Of the 208 deaths by life-ending drugs the researchers could check, 66 were of people killed by their doctor “without an explicit request”.
Spare us the moralising, Neil
Andrew Bolt
NEIL Mitchell says it’s only “fair” to other innocent Collingwood players that he name the two accused of sexual assault.

Which the 3AW host promptly did on his show, after a bit of hype in advance to maximise his audience.

Now my turn.

It’s only fair to other innocent radio hosts that I now name the one who is accused of being a sanctimonious, self-important hypocrite.

Good heavens! Speak of the devil.

It’s Neil Mitchell.

How I laughed, soon after he named the possibly guiltless Dayne Beams and John McCarthy, to hear Mitchell then sigh with pity for what he seemed to regard as the real victim of his outing.

“I’m being kicked around town by those with a degree of self-interest,” he complained.

Ho, ho, ho. Self-interest? Hand that man a mirror.

Some facts. I doubt there’s a sports reporter in this state who didn’t know the names of the two players by Tuesday. An internet gossip site had even published them by then.

What stopped the Herald Sun from naming Beams and McCarthy then was not merely legal considerations, and certainly not the threat foolishly issued by Collingwood’s legal representative to the Herald Sun editor, Simon Pristel.

Prominent in Pristel’s calculations, he tells me, was the moral issue.

Was naming the players, in all these circumstances, fair?

Beams and McCarthy, both 20, were in a South Melbourne house with other people on Saturday, just hours after Collingwood’s premiership win, in which Beams played.

What happened there is now being investigated by police, who have laid no charges, and the rest of us would be fools to claim we knew.

There was sex there, and probably of the kind that offends the moral or merely responsible, but one woman has since alleged something more serious than merely feral behaviour. She claims she had sex against her will, which the two players vehemently deny.

How Pristel and his counterpart at The Age, and every other news executive with the names of Beams and McCarthy, must have struggled with the temptation to reveal names that the mob would have clamoured to hear.

Think of the sales! The viewers! The ratings!

See Mitchell’s eyes light up, too?

But an accusation of rape is so toxic an allegation that Beams and McCarthy will now struggle to rid themselves of the smell for years to come, even if, as they insist, they are innocent. To name them is to shame them, regardless of the truth.

That’s why some other states forbid the media from naming alleged sex offenders until they are charged or go to court.

And that’s in part why, in the end, no journalist in Victoria who knew the names would report them.

No journalist, that is, other than Neil Mitchell.

Oh, how he’d agonised about his decision, he said. Really struggled with it.

“Arguably,” he admitted, “it is not fair for these sort of names to be out in public.” Arguably?
Complaint lodged by man with sagging undies
Andrew Bolt
Reader Mike complains:
We need locally produced undies. The imported gear falls down after about two years.
Are these local though?
Billions still to spend on a cure for a disease already passed
Andrew Bolt
The excuse for the $16 billion Building the School Revolution spending explosion was that the money had to be spent instantly to ward off a recession that never actually hit - and was gone a year ago, in any case. So what’s the excuse now?:
VICTORIA has pumped just 40 per cent of its $2.5 billion school stimulus package into the economy.

It says it has delayed implementation because it wanted to get value for money in a “relatively buoyant market”.

Figures from the Auditor-General show how much the state’s Building the Education Revolution program is behind schedule, with only 5 per cent of science and language centres completed, and 15 per cent of schools for the 21st century projects finished.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Vargas Llosa wins Nobel
Andrew Bolt
My favorite Vargas Llosa

The War of the End of the World
Mario Vargas Llosa (Paperback - Jul 22, 2008)

The Green House
Mario Vargas Llosa (Paperback - Feb 1, 2005)
Many of the greatest writers are conservatives, unlike most of those who aren’t. Here’s one:
PERUVIAN Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Spanish-speaking world, has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature.

Great conservative authors of the past two centuries:

Jean Raspail
Arnold Bennett
Evelyn Waugh
Vargas Llosa (some say he’s more liberatarian than conservative)
Dickens (controversial, maybe, but I’m prepared to argue this one)
GK Chesterton
CS Lewis
Martin Amis
Tom Wolfe (well, perhaps not great, but greatly entertaining)
PG Wodehouse
Mikhail Sholokhov
Rudyard Kipling

Feel free to add names.
Three times Sea Shepherd conned The Age
Andrew Bolt

One of the friendliest conduits for the propaganda of the Sea Shepherd extremists has been The Age. Here are three typical reports:

January 8, 2010
The New Zealand-registered whaling protest ship Ady Gil, which collided on Wednesday with a Japanese whaling ship, has sunk while being towed, Sea Shepherd conservation society spokesman Paul Watson says…

...attempts to tow the badly-damaged vessel failed and the crew was unable to keep it afloat.
January 10, 2010
Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research claims the Shonan recovered ‘’lethal force’’ arrows from the water near the sinking hulk of the Ady Gil, which also spread an oily substance on the sea.

Captain Watson said 400 litres of fuel was taken from the Ady Gil before it began to sink under tow, and he denied that arrows had been held on board.
March 8, 2008
THE war over whaling has escalated with a claim by protest group Sea Shepherd’s leader Paul Watson that he was shot in a skirmish with Japanese whalers in the Antarctic.

Captain Watson said he was stunned by a bullet that pierced his protective vest in the confrontation in Australian Antarctic waters, due south of Tasmania yesterday.
Er, all lies, claims Peter Bethune, the former captain of the Ady Gil, who now calls Sea Shepherd “dishonest” and “morally bankrupt”:
Concern #1: The Deliberate Scuttling of the Ady Gil

Pete says: “After the ramming of the Ady Gil, Chuck said to me that Paul, the Admiral of the Sea Shepherd fleet, wanted me to scuttle the Ady Gil. He said there was no point in towing the boat all the way to the French base, and that it would be best if the boat was just sunk and we could get on with chasing the whalers. Later that day, Chuck and I went to the Ady Gil, and I performed the necessary tasks with Chuck observing. Ady Gil then gradually took on water, and later that night she was left to sink…

It broke me heart to sink a vessel that had been such a big part of my life, and I also felt we had betrayed SSCS sponsors, SSCS supporters, Ady Gil, and the public by lying about it....”

Concern #2: The Bow and Arrow Issue

Pete Says: “When I met with Paul Watson in July 2009, he gave me permission to take a Bow and Arrow to Antarctica, with the idea of pasting a poison on the arrow tips (or fake poison), and firing them into dead whales while they were being transferred from harpoon vessel to processing ship. When I met Paul on the Steve Irwin in Antarctica, I confirmed all tactics, and he again said I had permission to use the bow and arrow if we came across a suitable situation.”

“After the Ady Gil was scuttled, crew of the Shonan Maru found four arrows in the water. SSCS issued a press release denying all knowledge of the arrows, suggesting instead that the whalers had planted them as false evidence.... In issuing the press release, SSCS was lying to media."…

Concern #5: The Faked Shooting of Paul Watson

Pete says, “A number of crew on the Bob Barker and Steve Irwin were discussing the alleged shooting of Paul Watson. In the first series of Whale Wars, Paul Watson was supposedly shot by crew of the Nisshin M…aru. SSCS Crew present on that voyage argued strongly to me that the entire episode was faked. I was not on the campaign, so in fact I don’t know if it is in fact true or not. However given what I’ve witnessed in the last year, and my knowledge of the Japanese crew, I would bet $500,000 at odds of 10:1, that the event was staged...”
But I’ve long wondered at the Age’s gullibility in reporting Watson’s claims:
Which is why we must fret for the reporter from The Age (again) who three weeks ago spoke to Watson and filed this wild-eyed report - with the full permission of an editor for whom we must also hold grave fears:
“The search for the Japanese whaling fleet was yesterday focusing on waters far south-west of Australia, with the help of both human intelligence and whale karma.
“(Watson) said a whale showed him the way (to the Japanese).

“‘Yesterday a large humpback whale surfaced beside the Steve Irwin and seven times raised his long flipper into the air, and seven times brought it down pointing in a direction due west, as if to say “Go this way”.‘

“Captain Watson said his fellow Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter used to rely on such karma. ‘I thought to myself, what would Bob Hunter have thought of that? And I knew the answer. Follow the whale, Paul, follow the whale."’
Paul Watson denies all the allegations.
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