Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Headlines Wednesday 13th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Major Sir Hamilton John Goold-Adams, GCMG, CB (27 June 1858 – 12 April 1920) was an Irish soldier and colonial administrator who was Governor of Queensland in Australia from 1915 to 1920.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:20-21
=== Headlines ===
THE FIX IS IN: 5 Ways to Make a Bad Economy Better
As forecasts paint a bleak picture of the economy, FoxNews.com has compiled recommendations from top economists on what D.C. can do to give the job market and productivity a swift kick in the pants.

Rove Demands Meeting With White House 'Idiot'
War of words over White House allegations that the Chamber of Commerce and GOP strategists have used foreign funds to influence the midterms is heating up as Karl Rove says he wants to meet the 'idiot' who brought him into it

Rescue Capsule Set To Raise Chile Miners
After four flawless test runs, a 13-foot-tall rescue capsule will descend deep into the earth later today to bring 33 trapped Chilean miners back to the surface after two agonizing months underground

Big 'If': Tax Hikes Rest on Congress
If Congress allows Bush-era tax cuts to expire, New Year's Day will usher in the nation's biggest tax increase since the end of WWII, tax watchdog says, and that may be only the beginning

Breaking News
Chile names first miner to be rescued
THE blaring of a siren and a revolving light will greet the arrival of each miner as they emerge from the depths of a Chilean mine, reborn after spending 10 weeks below ground.

Eight dead in cargo plane crash
A CARGO plane operating on behalf of a US-based company crashed into mountains and burst into flames near the Afghan capital overnight, killing all eight crew on board, officials said.

Australian tourist charged in Egypt
EGYPTIAN police have arrested and charged at least four Shiite Muslims, including a visiting Australian, with insulting and denying tenets of religion, a judicial source said overnight.

Roma children rescued in police raids
BRITISH police say they have taken 28 Roma children into protection after raiding houses in London as part of a child-trafficking investigation.

Pope outlines Christianity revival
POPE Benedict XVI formally created a new Vatican office overnight to revive Christianity in Europe, his latest attempt to counter secular trends in traditionally Christian countries.

NSW/ACT
Accused 'was practising how to kill'
THE alleged killer of Michelle Beets asked his brother-in-law to "struggle" during a demonstration of how to slit a throat, a court heard.

There's $21 million and no class
TAXPAYERS fork out more than $21 million a year to pay 200 surplus teachers while many schools are left short.

Possums wake up to a future
LESSONS learned from its past and revealed in fossils might help save a unique, incredibly cute but critically endangered marsupial.

Man dies of gunshot wounds
A MAN died after being shot in the face in a suburban street in Sydney's last night. The man had "serious head injuries".

Shot man was scared of police
THE police officer who fatally shot a mentally ill man wasn't told about his "paranoid delusions" before their deadly encounter, an inquest has heard in Sydney.

Fat cats to ban pot plants
BUREAUCRATS ban pot plants on walkways in a public housing block because they pose an "injury risk".

Nurse, please pass the scissors
TAXPAYERS to pay for hospital bungles, with 1000 taking action against NSW Health.

Hunt on for missing girl Zahra
SHE was uprooted from Australia two years ago, a little girl who has endured the tragedy and hardship of cancer but always smiled.

Lights on, but no one home
IF you thought State Labor had no idea how to alleviate the power crisis, you were quite right.

NSW motorists hit for $1 billion
DRIVERS caught on minor traffic infringements are the state's cash cows - and how.

Queensland
House prices to rise by 15pc
BOOMING price growth in the Brisbane housing market is a distant memory, but a new forecast tips a 15.2 per cent increase in the next three years.

Sick left to die in pain
TERMINALLY ill patients are being left to die in hospitals because the Bligh Government is failing to adequately fund palliative care, lobbyists say.

State's heritage lies in ruins
MORE than 100 heritage-listed homes and landmarks are rundown or at high risk of deterioration, a statewide audit reveals.

Nurse barred from return
BELINDA Stone wants to return to nursing after a five-year break, but Queensland has no courses allowing her to re-enter the profession.

Gran given Blue Card after abuse
A GREAT-grandmother who was found guilty of assaulting children with disabilities will be allowed to return to work as a child carer.

Murky dealings on 'Millionaires Row'
ALLEGATIONS of underworld death threats and real estate scams on the Gold Coast's "Millionaires Row" have been aired in court.

Suburbs most at risk of flooding
SWATHES of Brisbane suburbs and thousands of homes lie in the path of a once-in-50-year flood event.

Slipper broke rules on perks
QUEENSLAND Liberal MP and Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper has been forced to pay back more than $14,000 in taxpayer-funded entitlements.

Daniel was 'gone in 90 seconds'
SUNSHINE Coast school boy Daniel Morcombe was gone in 90 seconds, the inquest into his suspected abduction has heard.

Brisbane River gets a giant flush
WIVENHOE Dam's drenched 7020sq km catchment is delivering 130,000 megalitres of water a day to the Brisbane River, with all five flood gates opened

Victoria
City police just an email away
RESIDENTS and business owners will be able to email local police in a major overhaul splitting law enforcement in Melbourne.

Anger at leaked email
FOOTSCRAY residents have been dubbed poor and inarticulate by a Greens candidate who wants to represent them.

$285 just to flick on switch
MELBOURNE residents are paying up to $285 a year for power before they turn on a single light or appliance.

Metro on fast track to terrorism
METRO has been handed a secret report detailing shocking security gaps that leave it vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Overland goes back to basics
JOHN Ferguson in his recent column challenged me about what I stand for.

Cuts put 130,000 jobs at risk
FOOD prices will skyrocket and 130,000 jobs will be lost if proposed irrigation cuts go ahead in Victoria's food bowl.

AFL had police power
THE AFL were able to investigate criminal behaviour allegations before handing information to police.

Mary saved our girl's life
MELBOURNE grandmother Francey Graham credits Mary MacKillop for helping to save her granddaughter's life.

Asbestos starts school safety scare
FEARS that children had been exposed to asbestos particles has led to the closure of two primary school classrooms.

Son sees dad get run over
A DRIVER deliberately ran into into a gardener on a ride-on mower and then ran his car over him three times as his son watched

Northern Territory
Nothing new

South Australia
Mullet pies signify new life in Lakes
THE first significant River Murray flows in more than five years have brought with them two positives for the tiny township of Wellington at the end of the river.

Rally to protest PS job cuts
UNIONS have pledged to maintain their rage over the State Budget and will demand public sector job cuts be abandoned at a Parliament House rally tomorrow.

Industry guzzles as farms dry out
SOUTH Australia's biggest industrial water-users increased their water consumption as irrigators have struggled through the drought on one-fifth their normal allowance .

Abuse reports 'for 1 in 3 children'
ONE in three children born in 2002 will be subject to a child protection notification by the time they are 18, a study has found.

'No hope' for fourth destroyer
SOUTH Australia has no chance of winning a contract to build a fourth air warfare destroyer.

Who will replace Rann?
The end is nigh for Premier Mike Rann - but when will it happen and who will take his place?

Truck kills man at bus stop
A FATAL accident on the South Eastern Freeway yesterday has prompted calls for increased driver education and upgrades on one of the state's busiest roads.

Job losses, revenue are food for thought
THE state's vaunted food industry has failed to meet the sector's ambitious targets and turned in a mixed performance, including the loss of 10,600 jobs.

Another Lonsdale injury
ANOTHER worker has been hurt in an industrial accident at the injury plagued de-salination plant at Lonsdale.

Man attempts to abduct girl, 6
A MAN tried to abduct a six year-old-girl from her mothers car in the north east suburbs.

Western Australia
Office manager jailed over $200,000 swindle
AN office manager diagnosed with bi-polar has been jailed for 30 months for stealing almost $200,000 from her boss.

Perth house prices to surge 20pc
HOUSE prices in Perth are tipped to rise by 20 per cent in the next three years but interest rate forecasts of above 9 per cent will cap that growth.

Tuberculosis hits WA Customs officers
CUSTOMS officers are catching tuberculosis from a "tsunami'' of boat arrivals due to Labor's failure to control Australia's borders, the Opposition says.

CBD gets $580m Old Treasury facelift
AFTER extensive delays, plans for a $580 million redevelopment of Perth's Old Treasury Buildings include a six-star hotel and an office tower.

Barnett slams police over Taser case
PREMIER Colin Barnett says police should have alerted him earlier to an 'indefensible' tasering incident that attracted international attention.

Bush searched after body find
POLICE and SES volunteers are searching bushland in Mandurah as they investigate the sudden death of an elderly woman, found in her backyard.

Police officer charged with assault
A WEST Australian police officer has been charged with aggravated common assault following a domestic incident in Perth last month.

Hospital strike hits Parliament House
THOUSANDS of hospital support workers in Western Australia have staged a half-day strike over wages and concerns about plans to privatise hospital services.

Ernie Dingo fights child-slap charge
ERNIE Dingo will stand trial in Carnarvon over the alleged slapping of an 11-year-old boy, the ABC says.

Toodyay fire victims share $10m
RESIDENTS affected by last summer's devastating Toodyay bushfire will share in a $10 million aid package to help them rebuild their lives

Tasmania
Nothing new
=== Journalists Corner ===
'Factor' Cable Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice
Is the world more dangerous since President Bush left office? Condoleezza Rice speaks out to Bill!
===
Will Michigan Turn to GOP Candidates for Relief?
Record high unemployment, homes in foreclosure and a government on the brink of bankruptcy. Will Michigan turn to Republican candidates for relief?
===
Dino Rossi Goes 'On the Record'
GOP Senate candidate Dino Rossi reveals his campaign strategy to Greta as he goes 'On the Record'.
On Fox News Insider:
Is Congress Out of Control?
Dance-Off: Gretchen Carlson vs. Laura Ingraham
Video: How Social Networking Can Hurt Companies
VOTE: Will You Be Heading to the Polls This November?
=== Comments ===
Creating a Scandal
BY BILL O'REILLY

With just three weeks left before the midterm election, the Democrats are in trouble. All the polls say that.

In fact, a New York Times article on Monday submits that Republicans could make big gains in governors' races across the country.

So there is no question that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party must act fast in order to prevent disaster.

So the Democratic National Committee has put together a TV ad accusing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican operatives of being corrupt:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, they're Bush cronies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they're shills for big business, and they are stealing our democracy, spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they even have taken secret foreign money to influence our elections. It's incredible. Republicans benefiting from secret foreign money. Tell the Bush crowd and the Chamber of Commerce, "Stop stealing our democracy."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Now, if foreigners are donating money to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is pro-business, and that organization is using the money to buy anti-Democrat ads, that would be a scandal. But right now, there is simply no evidence of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST, "FACE THE NATION": If the only charge three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there's somehow may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?

DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. I think that we have a more fundamental concern, Bob, which is that the Republican Party and these interest groups who are now their -- the major force in some of these campaigns want to turn the clock back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So what Mr. Axelrod is apparently saying is he doesn't like what President Bush did in office, and the Chamber of Commerce may have done something wrong. Might have, could be, perhaps.

Some might say desperation has set in.

In a recent CNN poll asking Americans who they prefer as president, Bush or Obama, 47 percent said Obama and 45 percent said Bush. That's down 23 points in a year for Mr. Obama. So criticizing Bush might now be obsolete.

Nevertheless, the Democrats have to do something, and people like George Soros, Al Franken and other far-left radicals are not going to give up.

So we can expect in the next three weeks a bunch of scandal charges to try to divert attention away from the state of the union.

That tactic rarely works, but it looks like the Democrats are committed to it.
===
The Worst Recovery on Record
By John Lott
For the last couple of years, President Obama keeps claiming that the recession was the "worst economy since the Great Depression." But this is not correct. This is the worst "recovery" since the Great Depression. Why? Because the unemployment rate has remained at least at 9.5 percent for 14 months.

Astoundingly, the unemployment rate during the 15 months of "recovery" averages over three full percentage points higher than the average unemployment rate during the recession. There is no comparable "recovery" on record since the Great Depression.

The latest unemployment rate in September of 9.6 percent is bad enough -- a loss of almost 400,000 jobs since May. If you include those who have given up looking for work and those forced to take part-time jobs because they can't find full-time work, the unemployment rate stood at 17.1 percent.

But even worse, the unemployment picture deteriorated dramatically after the Department of Labor did its survey in mid-September.

Instead of the government’s practice of surveying people over just a few days during the middle of the month, Gallup, an independent polling organization, does its own unemployment survey each month where they conduct 30,000 interviews over the entire month. They found that there was a huge increase in the number of unemployed during the last half of September, right after the Department of Labor's survey was conducted.

The Gallup survey found unemployment rising to over 10 percent. In addition, 250,000 of the stimulus' so-called "saved or created" jobs in 37 states just disappeared on October 1. Taken together, the Department of Labor’s October unemployment numbers, which won’t be officially released until Nov. 5 – just three days after the Nov. 2 midterm elections -- will show a huge increase. Such a huge increase in unemployment a full 16 months after Obama's "recovery" officially started is truly unprecedented.

Despite all the facts to the contrary, President Obama and his economists claim that they have managed to do a good job of getting the economy back on its feet. This ignores the fact that since Obama became president the U.S. unemployment rate has increased faster than 25 of the 30 other countries that "The Economist" magazine had data for from January 2009 to July 2010. Many of these countries refused to follow the U.S.’s massive government spending solution despite pressure from Obama.

But the president says that these continued increases in U.S. unemployment after the recession ended are not really his responsibility since he inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression. "We went through the worst recession since the Great Depression," he told the audience at CNBC's Town Hall Discussion on Jobs in September. "Nothing has come close. In fact, if you look at the consequences of the recession in the ‘80s, the recession in the ‘90s, and the recession in 2001, and you combine all three of those, it still wasn’t as bad as this recession that we went through."

Some people will undoubtedly believe the president's false statements. -- People are no longer aware of how incredibly bad the economy was during the 1970s and early 1980s. Unemployment then peaked at 10.8 percent during the end of 1982, right at the end of that recession, exceeding the 10.1 percent peak that we just experienced last year.

When Mr. Obama started his presidency, unemployment stood considerably lower -- 7.6 percent. But Mr. Obama doesn't want to take responsibility for any of the increase in unemployment since he became president, despite the obvious chaos and jobs moved around by his various stimulus and "jobs creating" bills.

On top of that, we might recall the severe problems with inflation during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1980, the inflation rate was around 14 percent. In comparison, the annual inflation rate was zero percent when Obama became president.

Mr. Obama and his administration might want to keep claiming that this was the "Great Recession" to justify all their radical programs and interventions. -- Remember Rahm Emanuel's famous statement about not letting crises go to waste? But the facts simply don't square with his claims. The only records being broken are for the stubbornly slow recovery.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a FoxNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of the recently revised third edition of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
===
ONE LETTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Tim Blair
Amanda Hess sets the record straight:
This blog post originally stated that one in three black men who have sex with me is HIV positive. In fact, the statistic applies to black men who have sex with men.
===
BACK TO BUSH
Tim Blair
The UK Telegraph‘s Nile Gardiner:
Last week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll had an astonishing but barely reported revelation – nearly 25 percent of Democrats now believe “a return to Bush’s policies would be good,” a staggeringly high figure …

President Bush is making an extraordinary political comeback, even though he is nowhere to be seen on the campaign trail and has kept completely out of the political limelight since leaving office. A new CNN poll reports a surge in popularity for the former president, who is now almost neck and neck with President Obama in terms of approval ratings.
Considering Obama’s current numbers, that might not be anything to crow about. The possibility that the current president may be voted out in 2012 raises a terrifying prospect, however. In the manner of Jimmy Carter, Obama – already author of The Audacity of Hoops and Lines From My Teleprompter – could be inspired to write further worthless works. Joe Queenan:
With the recent release of the exquisitely pointless “White House Diary,” his 25th entry in the literary sweepstakes, Mr. Carter has now written more books than James Joyce, Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, George Eliot, Virgil, Homer and Jonathan Franzen. He has also written more books than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and a whole lot of other presidents who got more points on the scoreboard than he ever did. Most ex-presidents have the good grace to stop at a single publication after they leave office, though more than a few have obligingly opted for the public’s favorite number in this lethal genre: zero.

Not Jimmy.

The Oval Office equivalent of the Edsel, Mr. Carter has spent three decades in the wilderness retrofitting his image as the best, the brightest, and the noblest ex-president of them all.
Should he exit in two years, Obama will be wanting that title.
===
BRITS OVER IT
Tim Blair
The British – previously prone to climate fright – adjust to the new sanity:
Britons are less environmentally conscious than they were five years ago, with twice as many people now “bored” by talk of climate change as in 2005. Four in 10 take no action at all to reduce their household carbon dioxide emissions. Experts warn that green fatigue is a major reason why there are more cars on the roads, more planes in the sky and no reduction in the mountain of packaging waste …

Environmentalists are still positive about the progress on green issues. “It comes in waves,” said Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth. “Some things people have been doing for a while – [such as] buying organic tea.”
After all those billions of dollars wasted on warmist propaganda, this is the end result: a few munters buying fancy tea and fixing postboxes. Even communism took longer to fail.

(Via Benny Peiser)
===
BILLY RAY CITRUS
Tim Blair
AFL contract juggler Gary Ablett turns his talents on oranges:

===
ALSO STARRING KITTY EXPLODY AND SHUNNED DOG
Tim Blair
The New York Post‘s Andrea Peyser previews the next TV sensation:
Hide your face and grab the kids. Coming soon to a TV in your child’s bedroom is a posse of righteous, Sharia-compliant Muslim superheroes – including one who fights crime hidden head-to-toe by a burqa …

Jabbar is a Muslim Incredible Hulk. Mumita is wicked fast. But Wonder Woman-style cleavage has been banned from the ladies. And, in this faith-based cartoon, hair-hiding headscarves are mandatory for five characters, not including burqa babe Batina the Hidden.

In another break from standard world-saving fare, male and female characters are never alone together. (Imagine the stoning super-strong characters would dish out.)
Previous Islamic children’s heroes weren’t so resilient.
===
Numbers man forgets to count
Andrew Bolt
TAYLOR AUERBACH: Yeah, my question is to Mark. As Federal Minister of Australian sport, could you perhaps tell us how many players are on an AFL side?
MARK ARBIB: That’s a good question. I’m going to tell you I don’t know.
===
Do our Greens have the courage of Holland’s to criticise Islam?
Andrew Bolt
Will Australia’s Greens, and particularly their gay leader, have the intellectual and moral integrity to follow the the Dutch Greens’ lead?
Leftwing Green (GroenLinks) leader Femke Halsema believes that progressive politicians and thinkers should dare to make more criticisms of Islam.

They are too often accepting the pressure that radical Muslims put on the Islamic community, in her view.

Halesema says it is high time that leftwing politicians view the position of women and homosexuals within Islamic communities just as critically as they do when it comes to Christianity. This does not happen at present because there is too much black-and-white thinking, in her view.

“There are two flavours: you are either a multiculturalist or an Islam haters,” she said in a lecture on freedom of religion in Utrecht’s Jacobi church.
Awkwardly for the Left, this was precisely the argument made by Pim Fortuyn, a gay sociology professor and leader of a Dutch “Right-wing” party who was first demonised by the Left and then assassinated by an animal liberationist for criticising Islam:
I don’t hate Islam. I consider it a backward culture. I have travelled much in the world. And wherever Islam rules, it’s just terrible. All the hypocrisy. It’s a bit like those old Reformed Protestants. The Reformed lie all the time. And why is that? Because they have norms and values that are so high that you can’t humanly maintain them. You also see that in that Muslim culture. Then look at the Netherlands. In what country could an electoral leader of such a large movement as mine be openly homosexual? How wonderful that that’s possible. That’s something that one can be proud of. And I’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much..
(Thanks to reader Pas.)

UPDATE

Meanwhile, Holland’s rulers are turning the country towards theocracy, attacking another politician’s right to even speak the truth about Islam:
Prosecutors say Dutch politician Geert Wilders cannot defend himself on hate speech charges by arguing that remarks he has made critical of Islam are true.

They say there is no general agreement about the nature of Islam and his statements are only his opinion....

Prosecutor Birgit van Roessel said at the start of her closing arguments Tuesday that the right to freedom of speech has limits, including when it infringes too far on the right of freedom of religion....
This is obscene.

Meanwhile, the law seems of more use to real hate-preachers than those who expose them:
Radical The Hague imam Fawaz Jneid is demanding €55,000 in damages from MP Geert Wilders for using video footage of him without permission in his anti-Islam film compliation Fitna.

The hearing will take place in The Hague next Wednesday. Wilders is also appearing in court in Amsterdam next week on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination.

Wilders had used part of an interview with Jneid recorded for tv current affairs show Network in 2008.

The imam claims his portrait rights have been infringed, that Wilders broke the law and that his good name has been damaged.
So what had Wilders shown Jneid preaching?:
Sheik Fawaz Jneid ... cursed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in a sermon a few weeks before he was murdered exactly two years ago yesterday. According to terrorist suspect Soumaya Sahla, the murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, was present at the sermon.

In his prayer, Fawaz said to Allah: ”Cause Van Gogh a disease which all the inhabitants of the earth are unable to cure. Cause him suffering making him long for death. Blind the sight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, give her brains a cancer. Give her tongue a cancer.” Fawaz said this week he had just wanted “to blow off steam”.
===
Watch and pray
Andrew Bolt
Watch a live feed of this astonishing rescue - we hope - here.
After more than two excruciating months, the anticipated rescue of the 33 Chilean miners trapped in a collapsed mine appears at hand.

As the sun set here in northern Chile, workers maneuvered into place the specially designed capsule that is to lower a rescuer the half-mile down through a narrow hole to the haven of the trapped men — and then raise one miner to the surface of the earth.

Each leg of the trip in the so-called Phoenix capsule could take as little as 11 minutes, but each round trip could take an hour, and that is if all goes well.
===
Labor’s little mate pays back the cash
Andrew Bolt
So this is the man Labor thought would be useful as Deputy Speaker and enforcer of parliamentary standards
PETER Slipper, the Liberal MP elected to one of Federal Parliament’s most powerful positions, has been forced to pay back more than $14,000 in taxpayer-funded entitlements.

He also breached strict rules by allowing his son Nicholas to drive his Canberra-based vehicle while studying at a Sydney private school.

A Daily Telegraph investigation can also reveal the office of ex-prime minister John Howard was warned by senior Liberal MPs of an “inappropriate” relationship between Mr Slipper and a staffer. Emails obtained reveal Mr Slipper sought to spend a weekend with the staffer - at taxpayers’ expense. The staffer later took leave on full pay.

Last night Mr Slipper said any purported email, if it existed, was “clearly forged”.

Mr Slipper - who will earn an extra $30,000 a year in his new role - spent $835 of public funds in just six months on magazines including Australian Aquarium Keeper, fashion bible Harper’s Bazaar, Organic Gardener, Gourmet Traveller and Wellbeing.

The long-serving Member for Fisher is being investigated by the Finance Department over his July-December 2009 travel entitlements.
Did Labor know about the investigation into Slipper before it sought to make a deal with him over the Deputy Speaker’s position? If so, how did that influence its decision - and his?
===
Some point to this sequinned march, after all
Andrew Bolt
I’VE never liked the message sent out by Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, or Melbourne’s gay pride march.

But now I’m forced to ask myself: is the sequinned message I’m tuning in to really the one that matters most?

Last weekend a gay march was held in Belgrade, capital of Serbia .

That alone took some guts, since the parade the year before had been cancelled after threats from far-Right and nationalist groups.

This year those threats were backed up by violence. Police in heavy riot gear fought hundreds of anti-gay protesters who damaged the entrance to the state television building, destroyed cars and smashed windows.

More than 140 people, most of them police, had to be taken to hospital.

An aberration? In neighbouring Croatia, heavily armed police in riot helmets walked on both sides of the Zagreb gay pride march to cordon off the gays from the watching crowds.

Last year in Budapest, capital of Hungary, I saw half the inner city fenced off, with many hundreds of riot police posted along the perimeter.

No, the police weren’t fighting off a terrorist attack. They were simply protecting the city’s gays as they walked together through their own city.
(The Belgrade march.)

The 2007 march had been disrupted by neo-Nazis throwing eggs, bottles and stones, and no chances were being taken this time.

Still, it was worse in Poland, I was reassured - if reassured is the word.

This wasn’t the start of my re-education. A few months earlier, in June last year, I’d gone to the annual gay pride march in Jerusalem, too.
===
Go, Bob Brown, go
Andrew Bolt
WHY hasn’t Greens leader Bob Brown visited our troops in Afghanistan?

We know Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott have both dropped in because they can’t stop fighting about it.

But the one leader who hasn’t gone is the one who most needs to.

Brown is the politician who essentially made both Abbott and Gillard fly to Afghanistan this month by pushing Labor, desperately needing Greens support, to hold a debate in Parliament on our involvement there.

Neither Gillard nor Abbott would even dare front up to that debate without having at least gone to see for themselves what they were debating about.

But what of Brown, the one leader demanding a complete and immediate withdrawal of our nearly 1500 troops?

He still hasn’t gone to see the soldiers he professes to be concerned for and has shown not the slightest interest in doing so.

Yet this is the same man who in 2006 demanded permission to fly to Guantanamo Bay to visit the war prisoner David Hicks, caught in Afghanistan after siding with the Taliban our soldiers are now fighting. (The visit never took place.)

How does Brown’s failure to visit square with the reason he gives for holding a parliamentary debate on our engagement in Afghanistan, now approaching its 10th year?

Here’s what Brown said just last week: “All MPs owe it to our troops to be fully informed on Afghanistan and the reality that military success is not on the horizon.”

Yet had Brown done what he concedes those troops are “owed” and become “fully informed on Afghanistan” - by actually seeing what our Diggers are doing there - he’d have learned they most certainly don’t share this armchair analyst’s opinion that “military success is not on the agenda”.

In fact, they would have told him the very way he talks about our agenda proves he does not understand it.
===
Boy in Rudd’s lollyshop
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd won’t learn, hiring yet another too-young staffer with more theory than experience:
Kevin Rudd has recruited another wunderkind to his staff. Daniel Street, 29, a former television journalist, has become an adviser on Australia’s multibillion-dollar foreign aid budget.

Mr Street recently completed a master’s degree in development studies at Cambridge University but had not worked professionally in foreign aid.
I hope our billions won’t be wasted in giving Street work experience.

(Thanks to reader Dave.)
===
Obama would be cactus if this man were a Democrat, right?
Andrew Bolt

Let’s play “guess the party”:
The Senate candidate, a former governor, is posing with a rifle.

He boasts he’s been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

He promises to fight the Obama Administration to get the federal government “off of our backs and out of our pockets”.

He promises to scrap “the bad parts of ‘Obamacare’”.

He promises to fight Obama’s plans for “cap and trade” system to “stop” global warming.

He then fires a bullet through a bill for Obama’s cap and trade.
(Thanks to reader Mark.)
===
Three years later, those rains Peter Beattie warned wouldn’t come
Andrew Bolt
This is the price of listening to alarmists who said global warming would stop the rain:
RESIDENTS are losing at least $1 million a week operating desalination and water recycling plants in Queensland’s flooded southeast.
As Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman yesterday warned of a possible repeat of the floods that devastated Brisbane in 1974, it emerged that the cost of construction of the now-redundant drought-proofing amounted to $3700 for each household in the nation’s fastest-growing region.

The Gold Coast desalination plant and Brisbane’s recycled water scheme together ran up a $57m loss in the year to June 30—losses to the taxpayer of more than $1m a week.
Just three years ago, the then Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, claimed Queenslanders could no longer rely on the hope of these dam-filling rains failing again:
Mr Beattie said the effects of climate change on our region meant we could no longer rely on past rainfall patterns to help us plan for the future...

“We need purified recycled water on top of everything else we’re doing - desalination, dams, pipelines, rainwater tanks and recycling for industry - to ensure we have the water we need now and for the future…

“My advice indicates if we continue to experience below average rainfalls it could take several years (anywhere from five to ten years) for our major dam system to climb back up past 40 percent even with purified recycled water, desalination and the other measures we’re taking to supplement our water supplies.

“Given the current uncertainty about the likely impact of climate change on rainfall patterns in SEQ over coming years, it is only prudent to assume at this stage that lower than usual rainfalls could eventuate.
So how full are those Queensland dams that Beattie warned three years ago could take up to 10 years to reach just 40 per cent of capacity?
100 per cent.

And which alarmist did he listen to in his mad folly? Well, here’s Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery, also in 2007:
Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 per cent of its rainfall, and one cause is almost certainly global warming....Desalination plants can provide insurance against drought. In Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months.
But now:
DRENCHING rains have delivered southeast Queensland enough water to last until 2018 without another drop falling from the sky.
UPDATE

Business now counts the cost of building even more useless windfarms and solar power generators:
BIG business has blasted Australia’s handling of climate change policy. It has warned that government schemes such as enforceable targets for renewable power generation are leading to soaring energy prices and inflation across the broader economy.

The Energy Users Association of Australia—whose members include Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton—warns that almost all goods will become more expensive at the supermarket checkout as energy costs spiral upwards.
And in Victoria:
MELBOURNE residents are paying up to $285 a year for power before they turn on a single light or appliance…

Generators had factored in higher prices since an emissions trading scheme designed to reduce pollution and encourage green energy was first mooted by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

The Herald Sun last week revealed Victorians were already paying an average $900 more for electricity, gas and water compared with five years ago.
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Greens don’t do compromise
Andrew Bolt
But they can’t compromise if they want the power of purity:
CLIMATE Change Minister Greg Combet has warned the Greens they need to compromise on climate change if they want action.
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Don’t mention the detention centres
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard’s plan seems to be freewheeling out of control:
AUSTRALIA could open a number of refugee processing centres across the region, depending on East Timor’s ability to cope with large numbers of asylum-seekers.

Speaking in the East Timor capital, Dili, following a meeting yesterday with President Jose Ramos-Horta, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said plans for a regional processing centre for asylum-seekers could potentially involve additional facilities in other countries.
Er, like Nauru? The one country actually putting up its hand for a centre? The one that’s still got the centre John Howard built?
Mr Bowen emphasised Canberra’s immediate focus was “squarely” on East Timor. However, he told The Australian there were “various models” under consideration. “That may involve one centre in Timor Leste or indeed, possibly, a centre or centres elsewhere as well,” he said.
Or instead of, because this negotiation is suggesting Gillard’s East Timor solution is a long, long way into the future, and the East Timorese will not agree to anything that’s as big as we need anyway:
Mr Bowen said the other centres could be required depending on how many people East Timor could handle, although he emphasised there was no reason at this stage to think East Timor could not cope.

He said he would “leave the door open”, in case other countries expressed an interest in opening a centre. It is understood East Timor could cater for between 1000 and 2000 people. Australia has 2697 irregular maritime arrivals at the Christmas Island detention centre and 2176 at other onshore detention facilities.
And the boat arrivals - the last four coming in just four days - suggest that nothing Gillard is doing at the moment will stop thousands more from arriving while she shops around for an overseas detention centre. Oops - wrong choice of words:
The minister emphasised any centre on East Timorese soil would have to “clearly be for the benefit” of the East Timorese economy and community.

“It wouldn’t be a detention centre, as such, it would be a processing centre,” Mr Bowen said, although he added a secure component may be required.
So it can’t be a detention centre, but it must be able to detain people.

This is a farce.
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