Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waidback- Sydney Australia


Botanical Gardens- one of our favourite spots. Subscribe for new vid in 2 days. Hope you guys are well and have had a good start to the week. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/natalietran Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/communi...
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Headlines Wednesday 31st March 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981 and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office. Before he became President, Carter served two terms as a Georgia State Senator and one as Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975, and was a peanut farmer and naval officer.
=== Bible Quote ===
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”- Isaiah 53:3-4
=== Headlines ===
NASA can put a man on the moon, but the space agency can't tell you what the temperature was back then, as it admits its data is worse than Climate-gate data.

Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was known as a good Samaritan who would lend a hand to illegals crossing from Mexico — but authorities say he was gunned down by one of the very people he often helped.

Health Care 'Fix' Is In
Obama signs package of changes to health care overhaul, strips banks of ability to issue federal student loans

It's a Consumer March Madness
Consumer confidence rebounds in March after a steep February dip — are Americans finally spending?

'Bucket' Thief's Dying Wish Defense
Florida woman uses 'bucket list' excuse, saying bank robbery was something she wanted to do before she dies

Atom Smasher Hits Full Power, Sets Collision Record
The Large Hadron Collider directed beams into each other as part of its ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces.

Scientists to Levitate Drops of Liquid to Study Glass
Physicists are building a levitation chamber to suspend a drop of liquid in mid-air and watch its atoms as it cools into glass.

Magnets Can Sway 'Moral Compass,' Say MIT Researchers
People's moral judgment can be altered by disrupting part of the brain according to a U.S. study, AFP reported Tuesday.

Angry dad worse than crims - law
TEEN sex assault victim's dad punches attackers, gets longer sentence than alleged rapists.

Facebook moves to protect tribute pages
FACEBOOK has taken its first official step to combat the vulgar "trolling" of online tribute pages.

Men mauled to death by pack of wild dogs
HAVING wild dogs eating parts of a town's citizens is simply unacceptable, says coroner.

Flames came from Qantas engine - witness
A SINGAPORE-BOUND Qantas flight has been forced to return to Sydney Airport due to engine troubles shortly after take-off.

Perks could be better, say asylum-seekers
SUSPECTED illegal immigrants say food is poor, DVDs are old and there's not enough XBox games.

T-Card is running late again
THE State Government's electronic ticketing system has been delayed yet again, with international consortiums furious that another deadline will be missed today.

Liberals clinch chance to govern Tasmania
TASMANIA is set to get a Liberal minority government after the Hobart seat of Denison was won by about 300 votes.

Brazen raid as robbers tunnel into bank
BANDITS tunnel into a Parisian bank vault and empty over 100 private safe deposit boxes.

At least 21 dead babies, foetuses found dumped in Chinese river
STAFF at a hospital in eastern China were suspended after the bodies of at least 21 infants and foetuses were found discarded in a river. Abortion is common in China, where at least 13 million births are terminated every year, due in part to the nation's so-called "one-child policy" which limits most urban couples to just one offspring.
=== Journalists Corner ===
"One Nation Under Debt"!
We expose the truth behind the government's spending spree and ask, could America go bankrupt?
Total Hypocrisy?!
One tea partier was savagely dismembered at a rally! So, why isn't anyone speaking out for him?
===
Guest: John Stossel
Should certain types of speech be banned? John Stossel weighs in!
===
Political Infighting!
States clash on whether to sue over health care! But, who's really looking out for the people?
=== Comments ===
Inciting Violence and Racial Hatred
By Bill O'Reilly
On Saturday, Sarah Palin addressed a Tea Party gathering in Nevada. Authorities say 8 to 10,000 people showed up to hear Mrs. Palin hammer Sen. Harry Reid in his hometown:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN: So Harry Reid comes from these parts. You know, he served on the state's Gaming Commission and what he is doing now is gambling our future. And somebody needs to tell him this isn't a crapshoot. Just a lot of this is being crap though.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Obviously, the left despises that kind of rhetoric, and now there are charges that Sarah Palin incites violence and sows discord.

It's clear that some on the American left fear the Tea Party movement and that there is a media strategy to brand Tea Party people as racist.

Writing in The Miami Herald over the weekend, columnist Leonard Pitts says this about the Tea Party: "Their stated fears — socialism, communism, liberalism — are just proxies for the one fear most of them no longer dare speak ... it insults intelligence to deny that race is in the mix."

So you can see what's emerging. The most ardent critics of President Obama are going to be labeled racist and extremist. Ironically, the extremist label is used by some on the right against the president.

Last week's awful confrontation outside the Capitol where charges that the n-word was used by anti-Obamacare demonstrators signifies how intense this issue has become.

As "The Factor" reported, there is no proof of any racial invective, but we do believe harsh words were spoken by a few demonstrators.

The Tea Party would be wise to publicly disassociate itself from hateful rhetoric. I gave them this advice six weeks ago:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: The Tea Party people themselves should be careful. Most Americans are not ideologues. They are just folks who want a fair system and a noble country. Every time a Tea Party person threatens to overthrow the government or other nonsense, the brand gets hammered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

There is no question that the USA is now a divided country, and that's not all bad. We need to debate what kind of a nation we want to be.

But there is no place for racial invective or bogus charges of such. Sincere protest should be respected in America. It should not be branded as racist unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Certainly that is not the case with the Tea Party. They are not responsible for loons who may lurk among them.

Finally, any media person using the race card should be called on it by you. Turn them off, cancel your newspaper subscription.
===
Obama's Health Care Bill Is Not What He Promised
By John Lott
Would Barack Obama and the Democrats have won in 2008 if he had promised what he ended up doing: to dramatically increase government spending and deficits, raise taxes on the middle class, hide special deals on health care, and make it impossible for people to keep their current doctors and health insurance plans?

As President Obama prepares to sign the reconciled health care bill into law and sell it to Americans, how does it measure up to what he promised? Unfortunately, the gap is huge, and he can hardly claim a mandate for what is in the final bill.

Start with the cost of the program:
"Obama promised that his plan's $50 billion to $65 billion price tag would be paid for by discontinuing Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year." -- from candidate questionnaire during 2008 presidential campaign.
The $940 billion health care bill just passed by the House is between 45 and 88 percent more expensive than Obama promised during the campaign. And this excludes the additional $208 billion so-called “doc fix,” which restores some of the cuts in Medicare reimbursements written into the bill to doctors. The latest Congressional Budget Office estimates indicate that the law won't be budget neutral -- increasing total deficits by $260 billion over the next 10 years, and this ignores many of the costs of the program. This promise of a smaller government health care program has disappeared the same way as his frequent campaign vow to cut the size of government. "Now, what I've done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut," Obama pledged during the third presidential debate with John McCain.

Who pays the bill?
"For example, I'm on record as saying that taxing Cadillac plans that don't make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they're paying more for insurance than they need to, that's actually a good idea. John McCain calls these plans Cadillac plans and in some cases it may be that a CEO's getting too good a deal. But what if you're a line worker making a good American car like the Cadillac? What if you're one of the steel workers who are working right here at Newport News and you've given up wage increases in exchange for better healthcare? Well, Senator McCain believes you should pay higher taxes, too. The bottom line: The better your healthcare plan, the harder you fought for your good benefits, the higher the taxes you'll pay under John McCain's plan. "And I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." -- from Obama campaign speech during September, 2008.
So much for the promise not to tax high cost health insurance plans, the so-called Cadillac plans. That new tax alone increases taxes regardless of income. Ironically, Obama has done what he unjustifiably accused John McCain of doing. But the bill also imposes all sorts of taxes on everyone who uses medical care, again regardless of income. The long list includes an excise tax on medical devices, brand-name drugs, health insurance providers, tanning salons, and even paper manufacturers. The tax hikes at the end of this year, as the Bush tax cuts are phased out, aren't even relevant any longer to the health care program, for they have already been spoken for by the stimulus and other massive new spending plans Obama pushed through Congress.

Promises to strip out special deals from the health care bill

Just in the new reconciliation bill, 11 states and Washington D.C. are given $8.5 billion in special federal funds to provide health care coverage. Likewise, rural areas in some states, such as Oregon, got a last-minute deal to increase Medicare reimbursement rates. Various unrelated deals were made to buy the votes of some congressmen. For instance, take the additional water supplies given to central California to buy the votes of California Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa. Or the promised push for legalizing illegal immigrants that was granted by the president to get the vote of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D.-Ill.). And then there was the money for a single hospital in Connecticut, special funds for Montana, and the Louisiana Purchase (a $350 billion aide package one for Louisiana).

Transparency
“I respect what the Clintons tried to do in 1993 in moving health reform forward, but they made one really big mistake, and that is, they took all their people and all their experts and put them into a room, and then they closed the door. We will work on this process publicly, it will be on C-SPAN, it will be streaming over the net.” Obama during November 2008
Just looking at the special deals listed above explains why voters worry about transparency and why Obama’s campaign promise to show everything on C-SPAN was so popular. But the one single broadcast -- where Obama and other Democrats were allowed twice as much airtime as Republicans -- does not fulfill his promise of transparency. Nor did the meeting show the type of horse-trading for votes that motivated Obama’s pledge and was rampant in the process. Obama also vowed during the campaign that voters would have five days to look at the final bill before he signed it, his attempt to let “sunshine” into the process. For the health care bill, he waited just for one-and-a-half days.

You don't have to change your doctor or health insurance plan
"If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing. You keep your plan; you keep your doctor. If your employer's providing you good health insurance, terrific. We're not going to mess with it." -- President Obama, June 23, 2009
This promise seemed to be in every health care speech during the campaign and the beginning of Obama's presidency. But then the reality of the 40 percent tax on high-quality health insurance plans plus the massive number of new regulatory bureaus began piling up. Even the Democrat's Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf pointed out that Medicare cuts could “reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.” Indeed, the whole point of the taxes and regulations is to get people to spend less by no longer buying the best quality care.

Conclusion

There is a long list of other broken promises. For instance, he assured us during the campaign that he would not mandate that adults purchase health insurance. But would Obama and the Democrats have won election if he had promised what he ended up doing: to dramatically increase government spending and deficits, raise taxes on the middle class, hide special deals on health care, and make it impossible for people to keep their current doctors and health insurance plans?

John R. Lott, Jr. is a FOXNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2010), the third edition will be published in May."
===
Obama: Real Debate Please, Not Maoist Reeducation
By Liz Peek
The country is reeling from the worst recession in decades, a profound distrust of our financial institutions, massive unemployment, real anxieties about budget deficits and our country’s role in the world, and disillusionment with our political process. We need to continue a legitimate and honest dialogue about the shortcomings of Obama’s health care bill, not a Maoist reeducation of the masses.
There is a powerful narrative brewing about President Obama’s healthcare legislation. If you oppose the controversial bill, you must be:

A racist;

A crook;

A nut; or,

A Republican – ie, all of the above.

Never mind that as of today’s polling, more than half the country still doesn’t like the bill. Naysayers are simply misguided, and will be turned around by our insistent president, or his fans in the media. Editors at the New York Times, for instance, dismiss opposition as “narrow political obstructionism”, and have done their best to shield readers from the ugly impact of the bill. Even so, there are a few balky Americans who may require harsher reeducation, such as corporate leaders.

This week, several large companies announced that they will take significant charges to first-quarter profits in anticipation of higher costs stemming from Obamacare. The administration and law maker’s immediate reaction was hostility and skepticism, respectively, who brook no criticism of their handiwork. California Democrat Henry Waxman, head of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, plans to hold meetings next month “to investigate the effects of the law on big companies.” He has asked the CEOs of companies like Caterpillar, Deere and others to document the accounting behind the planned charges, implying that the write-offs were a political stunt. Has Mr. Waxman ever met an accountant? Unlike members of Congress, CPAs generally don’t engage in frivolous antics. A CEO actually has extremely limited authority over his income statement.

Whiny governors and mayors are next on the tutoring program. A front-page headline in the New York Times carried after the crucial vote warns “Some States Find Burdens in Health Laws.” Really? Now, there’s a shocker – except that state executives have been warning of such issues for months. With great surprise, the Times reveals that Arizona, for instance, will struggle to fund insurance for 350,000 children and adults that lost coverage as that state attempted to stem its $2.6 billion budget deficit. California has to find $500 million to meet the increase in Medicaid payments required under Obamacare. Texas, too, will struggle to meet higher Medicaid outlays. There was a reason that Ben Nelson wanted a special deal – the bill foists off onto the states giant new Medicaid obligations, which many will not easily meet.

Also alarming is the news that New York City will have to close public hospitals because of a looming $1.5 billion budget shortfall. The city’s Health & Hospital Corporation treated 452,000 uninsured patients last year. Budget-driven shut-downs will certainly make it harder to treat the thousands of new patients lining up to take advantage of their new health care coverage. President Obama and his admirers in the press have been unwilling or unable to imagine that fiscal problems facing states and municipalities should hamper federal largesse. Taxes raised to prop up Obamacare will limit monies available to maintain state or city programs – or to other destinations, such as jobs programs. In other words, it really is a zero-sum game. For ordinary citizens, paying higher state taxes feels just like paying higher federal taxes. President Obama continues to operate as though those pesky local budget issues sully a different planet.
Also in need of reeducation are those examining Social Security. Excitement over the passage of the health care bill has encouraged comparisons with other socially progressive, nation-changing legislation – like Social Security. It was probably just coincidental that the New York Times waited until the day after the health care vote to run a sobering front-page story about the fiscal challenges faced by Social Security. By mid-week, the paper reported that for the first time in its history, the giant entitlements program would likely pay out more than it takes in this year. That threshold could become “the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency.” Stories like that make readers anxious about the sustainability of large government programs – programs like, well, you can fill in the blanks.

Meanwhile, recent op-eds reveal how health care critics will be treated going forward. Writing in the Times, Charles Blow portrays tea-partiers and others opposing the bill as racist hate-mongers. Blow admits the tea-partiers may have “some legitimate concerns (taxation, the role of government, etc.) but its message is lost in the madness.” Blow dismisses anxieties about rising taxes and the expanding reach of government, of course. I wonder what the “etc.” stands for -- fiscal insolvency?

The country is reeling from the worst recession in decades, a profound distrust of our financial institutions, massive unemployment, real anxieties about budget deficits and our country’s role in the world, and disillusionment with our political process. We need to continue a legitimate and honest dialog about the shortcomings of Obama’s healthcare bill, not a Maoist reeducation of the masses.
Liz Peek is a columnist with the New York Sun, Foxnews.com and the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of Wellesley College with an honors degree in Economics and was the first woman to lead the National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts.

www.Lizpeek.com
===
Selective Outrage, Bogus Claims of Violence Used Against Tea Parties
By Dan Gainor
No one should be threatened for serving this nation. But if Stupak, Frank and others can’t handle criticism and anger, then they are in the wrong business. And if the media can’t handle this war of words as referees, not players, then they should stay out of it entirely.

It’s obvious journalists think the tea partiers are a dangerous, racist, homophobic bunch of loons. It’s not just wacky MSNBC or the liberal Washington Post spreading this garbage. It’s nearly every major news outlet. Behind them, pulling the strings like Geppetto, is the core of the liberal movement – “progressive” websites, lefty personalities and Democratic politicians all making the same claim.

They are all wrong. In some cases, they are openly lying. In most cases, they are taking hypocrisy to epic levels.

First of all, claims that the tea party movement is made up of dangerous “extremists” are disproven automatically by events. Tea party groups have been around more than a year throwing hundreds or even thousands of protest rallies. Yet, less violence has actually occurred than you might see at an NFL game between rival fans.

Yet, the theme of Tea Party-violence is everywhere. It even led to claims that former Gov. Sarah Palin’s, R-Alaska, used a "threatening" political strategy map. That map was made to take "aim" at 20 congressional races, using crosshairs. Critics were upset by the use of crosshairs to indicate each race. It’s as if the media expect us to forget that journalists use “target” and “aim” in stories all the time or that we live in a nation where 1,740 stores operate under the “Target” name and use a bullseye as a logo. But the media combined Palin's map with Palin’s use of the word “reload” to paint her as a member of the fringe element.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called out Palin because he’s afraid of his shadow: “And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.” MSNBC called it a “Dem Hit-list.”

Reporters could have found a much scarier quote from the campaign, like this one from a Philadelphia visit in 2008: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Now that sounds threatening – except it wasn’t Palin or even Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. who said it. That's what then-senator, now-President Obama said on the campaign trail. But because it didn’t fit the media's theme, it was disregarded.

There are ample examples of scary left-wing comments and even left-wing violence. There are countless online instances of liberals calling for Bush’s assassination when he was president – photos of Bush with a target drawn on his photo. O,r even the movie “Death of a President,” which was made about his assassination. I guess that was all in good humor and high art along with the 6.3 million links Google finds connecting Bush and Hitler. Now comparisons of Obama to Hitler are supposed to be over-the-top. Were journalists asleep during all the lefty hatred of Bush?

Then, there’s actual left-wing violence, like the violent protests during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference. The violence got so bad, the media named it “The Battle in Seattle.” There was also left-wing violence at the GOP 2008 convention, turning the event into an armed camp. And there were union thug tactics at the town halls. And former CNN host Lou Dobbs was threatened and a gun was shot at his home.

Any liberal claims to non-violence are long gone. Once you cut that string, all that remains is media's hand-wringing and selective outrage over a few incidents. That doesn’t excuse actual threats to congressmen. But the media act like such threats only come from the right when they don’t. For the best example, let’s take the darling of health care reform Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Stupak’s complaints about threats and nasty calls were aired in five broadcast news stories after he switched sides in the health care battle.

But before he was for health care reform, he was against it. The calls and threats that time were so intense, he had to disconnect his phone. Total broadcast news stories about that? Zero. Look back at what Stupak told The Hill. “All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats.” All because he opposed Obama and the Democrats.
Who exactly was making those phone calls? Republicans?

Then there are media complaints about what protesters have said. There’s no doubt out of millions of protesters, a few might have said something inappropriate. If the media treated left-wing protest with the same fine-tooth comb, they’d be shocked by the results. The Democrat's high-profile claims of bigotry and homophobia both don't hold water. Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., made claims that he heard a racial comment during his trip to the Capitol. But several audio and video tapes don’t confirm it.

Then there were complaints about an anti-gay slur reportedly made to openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. This is particularly ludicrous because the media and Democratic members of Congress have been slurring the Tea Party movement with the gay “teabagger” comment for a year now.

The term "teabagger" excited lefties from alleged news personages, like Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos and David Shuster, to Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters, Calif., and Anthony Weiner, N.Y., to a parade of liberal talk show hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Maddow and guest Ana Marie Cox went so nutty, that they used the word “teabag” at least 51 times in a 13-minute long segment of juvenile “teabag” puns.

That’s the common left-wing and media response to ordinary Americans trying to get involved in their nation’s government – abuse and lots of it. After 14 months of a battle where critics were repeatedly demeaned, labeled as racists, told their anger was uncalled for and that their movement was “Astroturf,” or phony grassroots. It’s no wonder they are angry. This, after Democrats told taxpayers Congress might OK a bill without voting on it, though most Americans oppose the bill.

That doesn’t excuse someone threatening violence, or saying “I’m going to kill you.” But people say that all the time without really meaning it. Fans say it to referees, parents say it to children and brothers say it to brothers – all in the heat of anger. That, along with mountainous piles of hate mail, are part and parcel to work in D.C. for both sides.

No one should be threatened for serving this nation. But if Stupak, Frank and others can’t handle criticism and anger, then they are in the wrong business. And if the media can’t handle this war of words as referees, not players, then they should stay out of it entirely.

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.
===
MPs insist Climategate just hot air
Andrew Bolt
Climategate was a lot of fuss about nothing, claims Britain’s parliamentary inquiry into the scandal:
The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change…

Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.

The Committee found no reason in this inquiry to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”. But this was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU and it will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel, announced by the University on 22 March, to determine whether the work of CRU has been soundly built.
A remarkably generous finding.
===
Where did the climate crisis go?
Andrew Bolt
Peter Costello is amazed that climate alarmism can be switched off and on at will:

Last year, we were told, the most important issue for the country - for the planet - was greenhouse gas emissions. This meant the Senate had to pass the government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme.

It was so urgent it had to be legislated before the end of the year, and before the summit in Copenhagen… Kevin Rudd declared climate change ‘’the great moral and economic challenge of our time’’.

Now the legislation has become less important than getting 30 per cent of the GST from the states so the government can rearrange financing in the hospital system. Can a momentous moral challenge fizzle out like this? Or are you beginning to suspect all the crisis was politically driven?…

Our monthly Anglican newspaper broadly reflects the prevailing progressive left opinion. In the December issue, in the lead-up to the government’s self imposed timetable for securing the emissions trading legislation, it ran four extensive articles on the need for action over climate change. It published no contrary views.

In fact, the Copenhagen summit was given more column inches than Christmas, which is quite an achievement for a religious newspaper. But the issue has hardly registered in the newspaper since. Even though nothing has happened, the urgency has gone out of the campaign.

===
Save the planet! Scrap democracy
Andrew Bolt
Global warming really does appeal to the inner totalitarian. Take James Lovelock, the Gaia guru:
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”
Before him, Clive Hamilton:
(T)he implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of “emergency” responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.
Ditto from David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith, authors of The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy:
Shearman and Smith argue that liberal democracy—considered sacrosanct in modern societies—is an impediment to finding ecologically sustainable solutions for the planet.
And, of course, Venezuelan authoritarian Hugo Chavez:
We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet… That requires a change in the economic model: we must go from capitalism to socialism.
(Thanks to reader Bernie.)
===
Complicated politics explained
Andrew Bolt
Peter Hartcher, political editor for the Sydney Morning Herald, likes his politics kept hiss-boo simple:
Obama is a reasonable, results-driven President, and his opponents are extremists.
All of them.

Next week Hartcher explains the Middle East conflict.

(Thanks to reader Geoff.)
===
Who doubts Henry seems Labor’s man?
Andrew Bolt
Who could disagree with the Opposition’s new finance spokesman, other than to say he could have gone in harder?
ANDREW ROBB: On the question of Ken Henry, I do think that many in business at least see Ken Henry as a sort of de facto Treasurer.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you see him as partisan?

ANDREW ROBB: No, I am saying he is seen as a sort of a de facto Treasurer because I think there is no confidence in the ability or understanding of Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd and Lindsay Tanner in the essential running of an economic programme in the country. But, in many respects Ken Henry is dictating many of the decisions and certainly I think that’s been the case over the last year or two and that leaves a perception that he is more partisan or that the Treasury is adopting a more hands on role than it might have in the past.
(No link to AM transcript.)
===
Labor asks: Who, us?
Andrew Bolt
These blokes seem to believe their own spin…
Graham Richardson on ABC1’s Q & A :
CHRISTMAS Island is clearly chock-a-block. So we have to build places here and I don’t mean somewhere out in the desert in South Australia with barbed wire and 45 degrees every day.
Dennis Shanahan in The Australian on February 8, 2002:
MANDATORY detention was introduced by Labor in 1992 when the wave of boatpeople was less than 500 arrivals a year and peaked at 1000 a year under Labor when hundreds were detained in the desert centres surrounded by barbed wire, where there were hunger strikes, suicide attempts and psychological damage.
Where was Richo when the camps were built?
From the Q & A website: RICHO served as a [cabinet] minister in a number of portfolios from 1987 to 1994.
Kevin Rudd in parliament on March 16:
IN November 1999 there were 14 boat arrivals, the highest number of boats in any one month on record.
Phillip Coorey and Yuko Narushima on Page 1 of The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:
JUST over a week after goading the former Howard government for holding the record for the most illegal boat arrivals in a month, the Rudd government has taken the title with 15, one more than the 14 recorded in November 1999.
===
First a trial, only then the shaming
Andrew Bolt
Janet Albrechtsen on the media trial of Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes, publicly charged with sexually abusing his child co-star:

The media frenzy sparked by the allegations made by Sarah Monahan, the former Hey Dad! child actress, against her screen father Hughes a few weeks ago is the worst kind of Australian journalism. This is a textbook case of irresponsible media conduct that diminishes, rather than enhances, our democratic institutions…

Grant Williams, executive producer of [A Current Affair], says his show’s expose “CAUSED” a police investigation rather than hindered one… Woman’s Day and ACA may have sparked an investigation, but their conduct may have hindered a fair trial for a man accused in the media of abusing children. And if Hughes is innocent, the media has damaged his reputation beyond repair…

This is not about defending a pervert and trashing a victim. This is about protecting a justice system that depends on a professional police investigation and an impartial jury pool capable of judging the evidence, evidence that police and courts do not pay for…

Last Friday, a full 10 days after first telling Woman’s Day in a paid interview that she was abused by a man on the set of Hey Dad!, Monahan said that “she was headed straight to the police”, only after giving another (reportedly paid) interview to ACA.

Angela Kemp, who replaced Monahan on the Hey Dad! set, answered queries from The Sunday Telegraph by saying: “I just want to respect the agreement I have given to Woman’s Day.”

When asked whether she would go to the police, she said, “It’s not my intention.”

Others have also gone public with allegations against Hughes, including former actresses Megan Waters, Simone Buchanan and two daughters of a sound technician who worked on the sitcom’s set. There are no reasons to doubt their motives, but there is something terribly wrong if their public statements, egged on by media outlets desperate for more readers and more viewers, taint an investigation and possible prosecution....

And by the way, why did no one, no one at all, go to the police 17 years ago?…

The truth has yet to be established. We have courts to test evidence and juries to make that determination… There is a far greater public interest in ensuring a fair trial for an alleged pedophile than providing a media platform for the public to watch his fall from grace.

===
Blacks are for Greens to pet
Andrew Bolt
Aborigines battle the new colonialists, who decree them too inferior to know their own minds:

THE Kimberley’s peak indigenous body has attacked the “disgusting” tactics of green groups and out-of-town celebrities opposed to industrial development near Broome, accusing them of fundamental dishonesty and abusive, dirty politics.

The Kimberley Land Council also said the Wilderness Society and Save the Kimberley environmental groups were “pitting family groups against each other” in a bid to undermine traditional owners, who have made the tough decision to back a job-creating multi-billion-dollar gas hub at James Price Point on the Dampier Peninsular, 60km north of Broome.

Declaring Aborigines the first conservationists, KLC executive director Wayne Bergmann said it was “distressing” that Aborigines were being vilified as “developers” by green groups and said opponents needed to understand the damage they were doing to local indigenous people.

“Save the Kimberley and the Wilderness Society are pretending to champion the indigenous cause in order to bolster their own position and credibility,” Mr Bergmann said. “They’re not helping Aboriginal people...”

Celebrities such as John Butler, Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst and Missy Higgins have joined retired Federal Court judge Murray Wilcox in pushing to stop the gas hub, accusing the Barnett government of riding roughshod over the rights of local Aborigines.

===
Our no-sweat moralists
Andrew Bolt

WHO knew being a saint could be this easy? Even a moron can now manage it, and - as we saw again last weekend - morons try.

Switch off your lights, and you’ve saved the planet.

Have a dance, and you’ve made poverty history.

Walk over a bridge, and you’ve ended Aboriginal suffering.

Or you can do all three at once - dance on a dark bridge - and usher in Paradise itself.

But hurry with that, because last Saturday’s ooga-booga Earth Hour made us seem stuck instead in a Hell of the smug and lazy.

Earth Hour. Could there be a better symbol of this feckless age in which seeming counts for more than doing? In which we pose as noble for having done something as pointless as it’s painless?

If I really thought man’s gases were heating the world so dangerously that, as Al Gore says, “the future of human civilisation is at stake”, I’d feel the call to do more than turn off some lights for just one hour a year.

But, no, on Saturday night, tens of thousands of your fellow citizens made a huge show about how good they were to do for one hour what they couldn’t be bothered doing for the other 8759.

So to save the planet from apocalyptic global warming, the lights on the Sydney Harbour Bridge were turned off. For one hour.

To save the planet from frying, government buildings were dimmed. For one hour.

Here and there, the houses of green activists went dark. For one hour - and even then the fridge was left running, because we can’t let the peas defrost just to stop Armageddon. I mean, be reasonable.

You see, this is really just about seeming, not doing. About “raising awareness”, and not actually fixing what we’re suddenly aware of.
===
Rorting under Rudd’s nose
Andrew Bolt
The waste, the waste - and Rudd knew:

PROTESTING parents have hijacked plans to spend $3 million of taxpayers’ money building a duplicate library and hall at a school in Kevin Rudd’s electorate.

Nine months after Education Minister Julia Gillard told federal parliament that Holland Park State School was “delighted” with the “once-in-a-lifetime enhancement of its facilities”, her department has quietly agreed to let the school swap the unneeded buildings for eight new classrooms.

The switch was made after lobbying by the school’s Parents and Citizens Association, which warned the Prime Minister repeatedly last year about potential rorting of his government’s $16.2 billion spending spree.

P&C president Craig Mayne - who has since quit the post - blew the whistle on cost blowouts last year in two letters to Mr Rudd and five phone calls to his Griffith electorate office.,,

Mr Mayne, a former civil engineer who oversaw the building of his school’s hall for $200,000 under budget, said no other business would use the Queensland government’s “design and construct” contracts to build nearly $2bn worth of halls, libraries, classrooms and covered learning areas in 1200 state schools.

“What it will turn into is a `Do and Charge’ process, with final costs blown out to match available public funds for the job,” he wrote.

“We have sole operator project managers being paid $525,000 for six months’ work.”

===
More boats, deaths, bills and detainees
Andrew Bolt
KEVIN Rudd’s more “compassionate” policy on boat people seems to have created a lot more misery instead.

More boats, more people locked up and more bodies in the sea.

Yes, as Rudd’s 100th boat docks at Christmas Island, note yet another example of how good intentions can bring disastrous results.

Oh, but remember the chorus of cheering from human rights activists when in July 2008, the Rudd Government wound back evil John Howard’s rules?

Take constitutional law expert Prof George Williams, a human rights activist and Labor candidate: “A clear break has been made from the Howard era ... This risk-based approach is more compassionate.”

What’s more, the onus of proof would be switched: rather than make boat people prove they were no threat, the Government would have to prove they were to detain them.

All sweet and well-meaning, of course. But one of the key differences between an adolescent and an adult, or a Leftist and a conservative, is to judge a policy not by the intentions but by the results.

So let’s do that adult thing and check the results of Rudd’s “compassion”. Before the changes, just 18 boats had come in six years, thanks to Howard’s “cruelty”.
===
Abbott talks tough on boats
Andrew Bolt
It will be an election issue:
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has declared he will do “whatever it takes” to stop illegal boat arrivals if he wins office.

Another 70 boats carrying asylum-seekers are tipped to arrive before the federal election, expected later this year. The surge comes as failed asylum-seekers are being offered $1000 taxpayer-funded bribes and airfares to go home.

A group of 89 men who were transferred from Christmas Island to the mainland on the weekend were offered the cash, on the condition they drop any appeals.

As the boat people crisis deepens, the Coalition has again raised the prospect of restoring John Howard’s controversial Pacific Solution - transferring asylum-seekers to detention camps on small islands.... But the Coalition is determined to take a tougher approach on border protection to the election, including a form of temporary visa - a scheme also scrapped by Labor....

Of the 4386 unauthorised arrivals since the Rudd Government took power, just 146 have been returned home.

Obama Aligned with Farrakhan/Wright - J.L Peterson on Hannity


http://www.meetup.com/stop-obama
Rev. Jesse Lee Petersen discusses Obama on Hannity, Feb 19th, 2010. He states that Obama is a great liar and "Farrakhan, Wright and the Black Congressional Caucus all rolled up into one."
He also states that this is about Black Liberation Theology and a fight against Evil. A central tenet of Black Theology is that the black race has a divine mission to destroy America and the white race. This is well documented in their own literature.

To discuss with others, join the related GoogleGroup:

Obama's Black Nationalism
http://groups.google.com/group/obamas...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Headlines Tuesday 30th March 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974. As the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, when he became President upon Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974, he also became the only President of the United States who was elected neither President nor Vice-President.
=== Bible Quote ===
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”- 2 Corinthians 5:21
=== Headlines ===
Obama seems to have reclaimed mojo with big wins in health care, a nuke arms deal and recess appointments, but what happened to 'jobs are the No. 1 focus'?

Militia's Mission: Kill Cops?
Militia group in elaborate plot to kill police officers before they were nabbed in raid, FBI says

RNC Fit to be Tied (Up) Over Night Out
Republican National Committee investigating after a member was reimbursed $2G for a night at L.A. hotspot

9 Charged in 'Unrelenting' Bully Case
Students indicted in harsh bullying of Massachusetts teen Phoebe Prince that led to her eventual suicide

Searchers: Remains of Errol Flynn's Son Found
Forensic tests will be conducted on what two searchers believe are the remains of photographer Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood star Errol Flynn, who disappeared during the Cambodian War 40 years ago.

Achtung! Germans Giving Up on Global Warming
Germans citizens are rapidly losing faith in global warming following the Climate-gate scandals, according to a new report in Der Spiegel.

Banned web list to stay secret
GOVERNMENT doesn't plan on telling the public where to find banned websites, says Minister.

Rugby game focus of teen murder mystery
A PLAYER or spectator at a major tournament may have murdered Michelle Morrissey, police say.

Casino says $42m win was 'malfunction'
LADY Luck played a cruel trick on a gambler after she thought she'd won millions on the pokies.

Winslet keen to flee 'house of horrors'
ACTRESS desperate to escape the apartment in which she fought with Sam Mendes, source says.

'No apology' as speed cams go undercover
POLICE say first use of hidden speed cameras is all about saving lives at Easter.

Confusing traffic sign leads to chaos
DRIVERS turning left at a new intersection are finding themselves facing three lanes of oncoming traffic, and others are wrongly driving into a carpark ramp.

We will destroy terrorists, Putin vows
RUSSIAN PM Vladimir Putin sends chilling warning to terrorists who killed 38 people in suicide attack.

'Door to Afterlife' found in Thebes
A LARGE red granite false door from the tomb of an ancient queen's powerful vizier has been discovered in Luxor, the site of the former ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes.

One dead, one missing in Mount Macedon house fire
ONE person remains unaccounted for after a fatal house fire in central Victoria. - insulation? -ed.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Getting Back to Work!
The economy needs new jobs! So, what's Obama working on now? Neil gets answers!
===
Guests: Brit Hume & Al Sharpton
What sparked highly charged rhetoric and accusations during the "Obama care" debate?
===
Tea Partiers Take Nevada!
They are fighting against big debt and big government! Can they make Americans take a stand in November?
=== Comments ===
Is Nickelodeon Getting Political?
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Culture War" segment tonight: Nickelodeon gets political now.

First lady Michelle Obama is being honored by the kids' network for her campaign against childhood obesity. I don't remember Laura Bush getting an honor like that from the Nick folks for her eight years of service to the cause of literacy.

And joining us now from Los Angeles, James Hirsen, the author of the book, great book, "Hollywood Nation." James, great to see you.

JAMES HIRSEN, AUTHOR, "HOLLYWOOD NATION": Good to see you, Laura.

INGRAHAM: So are we making a big deal? I mean, Nickelodeon, how bad can it be? And I know they did all those pro-Obama things leading up to the election, after the election. But is this really a big deal? The first lady is doing all this great work on obesity. Shouldn't she be honored?

HIRSEN: No, it's a big deal. Here's why. Because there's millions of parents that trust this No. 1 children's brand. They trust their kids to watch it. And there's one thing where we should protect childhood innocence, it's in children's programming. Yet Nickelodeon, time after time, throws in political indoctrination. They have an agenda. They have proven it — they have proven in very controversial areas like global warming science. Or maybe not science. Like in the area of immigration. And in the area of homosexual parenting. They got Linda Ellerbee on there doing a news program.

INGRAHAM: That was a disaster.

HIRSEN: They are a disaster. They've shown illegal aliens as victims. They've shown homosexual parenting as this...

(CROSSTALK)

HIRSEN: ...those don't even belong on there.

INGRAHAM: One of the things I love from a few years ago was when Linda Ellerbee was doing one of her features, and they had actually some kids in Berkeley dressed up as prisoners at Abu Ghraib. I think it was at Abu Ghraib. It was at some military black site or something, some prison. And it was basically that these people are being degraded. This was on Nickelodeon. My daughter likes "Dora the Explorer." But now I feel like I just have to lock up the television and don't let them see any of this stuff because it always tends toward the PC, political. Meanwhile, the kids just want to watch cartoons that are kind of fun. And this is why I like the Bugs Bunny, didn't get into any of this stuff.

HIRSEN: Yes. You know, it makes me think of Pink Floyd: "Leave the kids alone." Can you imagine, Laura? You know, this is called the Kids' Choice Award. What if Nickelodeon had a program to enlist kids for school choice, to encourage school choice?

INGRAHAM: Forget it.

HIRSEN: Imagine the uproar. I mean, the green slime would flow. By the way, the first lady is — she's avoiding the green slime. That's a traditional part of this award. She's 3,000 miles away. But it would be demeaning. But also, the president and the first lady are up for an award for the cutest couple.

INGRAHAM: That was adorable. James, are you saying — no, no, no, wait a second. I'm playing devil's advocate here. Are you saying that MTV-owned Nickelodeon wouldn't bestow the same award on a cute conservative couple? I mean, honestly, let's say a show on gun rights? Come on, the Second Amendment or something like that? Come on. I mean, now this big campaign by Nickelodeon is to enlist kids in a form of community organizing for the environment.

HIRSEN: That's right.

INGRAHAM: So kids are going to turn into these little green-iacs crying about the polar bears.

HIRSEN: Yes. This is part of their program called the Big Green Help. The first Kids' Choice Award went to Leo DiCaprio for his work in promoting the Al Gore worldview. And they have a multiplayer online game, which has like nine levels. It's like World of Warcraft. It teaches global warming.

INGRAHAM: Oh yes, it's all indoctrination.

HIRSEN: It's — it's indoctrination. It doesn't belong in children's programming.

INGRAHAM: And guess what, James? James, it's not — it's also not entertaining, OK? Kids want to be entertained and learn.
===
Just the place for a lover of Nazi gear
Andrew Bolt
Yes, anti-"Zionism" need not be the same as anti-Semitism, but, gee, it does sometimes seem like Jew-hatred is being mainstreamed:
Human Rights Watch is one of two global superpowers among the world’s myriad humanitarian pressure groups… So it was perhaps a little awkward that a key member of staff was found to have such a treasure trove of Nazi regalia.

By day, Marc Garlasco was HRW’s only military expert, the person that its Emergencies Division would send to conflict zones to investigate alleged war crimes. He wrote reports condemning the dropping of cluster bombs in the Russia-Georgia war, the alleged illegal use of white phosphorus by the Israeli army in Gaza and coalition tactics that he said “unnecessarily” put Iraqi or Afghan civilians at risk…

But by night, Garlasco was “Flak88”, an obsessive contributor to internet forums on Third Reich memorabilia and an avid collector of badges and medals emblazoned with swastikas and eagles.

A lavishly illustrated $100 book he compiled and self-published is dedicated to his grandfather, who served in the Luftwaffe. On members-only sites such as Wehrmachtawards.com he was writing comments like “VERY nice Hitler signature selection”; “That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!”

An interest in Nazi memorabilia does not necessarily suggest Nazi sympathies — but it is hardly likely to play well in the salons where Garlasco’s employer might solicit donations…

His dilemma did not last long. In September a blogger noted that Marc Garlasco had long been reviewing books on Third Reich memorabilia on Amazon — and that he was the same Marc Garlasco who had written controversial HRW reports about alleged Israeli violations in Gaza and Lebanon. The blogger did not accuse him of being a Nazi, but wondered if Garlasco’s “obsession with anti-Semitic Nazi genocidal lunatics” was in any way related to his “apologism for anti-Semitic genocidal Hamas lunatics”.
So how did Garlasco not stand out from the crowd at HRW? Well, maybe because his own views about wicked Israel and the rest of the wicked West had found a good home:
Initially HRW offered Garlasco unequivocal support… Its programmes director, Iain Levine, later went so far as to directly accuse the Israeli government of being behind it…

Every year, Human Rights Watch puts out up to 100 glossy reports.. Some conflict zones get much more coverage than others. For instance, HRW has published five heavily publicised reports on Israel and the Palestinian territories since the January 2009 war.

In 20 years they have published only four reports on the conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir, for example, even though the conflict has taken at least 80,000 lives in these two decades, and torture and extrajudicial murder have taken place on a vast scale. Perhaps even more tellingly, HRW has not published any report on the postelection violence and repression in Iran more than six months after the event…

Since the Garlasco affair blew up, critics of Human Rights Watch have raised questions about other appointments. An Israeli newspaper revealed that Joe Stork, the deputy head of HRW’s Middle East department, was a radical leftist who put out a magazine in the 1970s that praised the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In 1976 he attended an anti-Zionist conference in Baghdad hosted by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein… (W)hen Stork was hired by HRW in 1996 he had never worked for a human-rights group, had never held an academic position, and had a history of anti-Israel activism.

Stork’s boss, Sarah Leah Whitson, and most of his colleagues in the Middle East department of Human Rights Watch, also have activist backgrounds — it was typical that one newly hired researcher came to HRW from the extremist anti-Israel publication Electronic Intifada..

While HRW was dealing with the fallout from the Garlasco affair, it was already on the defensive as a result of criticism of a fundraising effort in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s worst human-rights violators. This involved two dinners for members of the Saudi elite in Riyadh, at which Sarah Leah Whitson curried favour with her hosts by boasting about HRW’s “battles” with pro-Israel pressure groups, such as NGO Monitor.
(Thanks to reader Nathan.)
===
Redefining gender
Andrew Bolt
Associate Professor Barbara Baird, head of Flinders University’s Women’s Studies Department, appears from her profile page to have taken her studies to heart:
From 2005 - 2007 Barbara held an Australian Research Council Discovery grant titled ‘Reconfiguring intimate life: Gender and sexuality as sites of national redefinition in Australian since 1996’.
(No personally abusive comments. She herself has made an issue of her appearance, but only in the context of a discussion on constructs of gender and femininity. You may discuss, seriously for preference, but not abuse.)

UPDATE

Baird is the very model of modern academic:
Barbara Baird lives and works on the land of the Kaurna people, the Indigenous owners of much of the country occupied by the city of Adelaide. She heads the Dept of Women’s Studies at Flinders University. Her research has considered the history and cultural politics of reproduction and sexuality. Her concern is to place the categories of race and nation at the centre of such research via the use of theories of critical race and whiteness studies alongside feminist and queer theories.
UPDATE 2
I’m happy to be confronted as part of some ‘left’ ...
UPDATE 3

Reader Arden notes that Baird has shared a conference stage with Dr Alison Moore of the University of Queensland, author of:
Kakao and Kaka: Chocolate and the excretory imagination in nineteenth-century Europe.
No, not kidding. (UPDATE: Her essay here.) Her other academic works include:
Relocating Marie Bonaparte’s Clitoris. Australian Feminist Studies (forthcoming 2009)

Rethinking Gendered Perversion in Visions of Sadism and Masochism, 1886-1930.

Recovering Difference in the Deleuzian Dichotomy of Masochism-without-Sadism.

Colonial Visions of ‘Third World’ Toilets: A nineteenth-century discourse that haunts contemporary tourism

Fin de Si├Ęcle Sexuality and Excretion.

Cultures of the Abdomen: Dietetics, Digestion and Obesity in the Modern World.
Just when you think you can satirise modern academia, along comes an academic, laughing…

UPDATE

From Moore’s Kakao and Kaka: Chocolate and the excretory imagination in nineteenth-century Europe:

This article will show that throughout the late modern era chocolate has been repeatedly associated, both explicitly and symbolically, with excrement…

Chocolate then was the symbolic byproduct of the process by which the European consumer classes domesticated the appropriation of wealth from colonial endeavors and controlled excretory processes in construction of the urban sanitary order… Through this analysis I argue that chocolate has consistently appeared as a symbol of the primitive within the civilized, as the child-like, the sexual, the fetishized, the excremental, which European societies have harnessed, channeled, and transmuted throughout the process of urban sanitization.

Oral contact with excrement represents one of the most charged taboos in modern societies… However, this article will argue that solid eating chocolate has throughout its history been fashioned and marketed in forms visually, sensually and symbolically alike to excrement and that it hence represents a simulacrum of the waste matter that Europeans of the nineteenth century saw as so essential to cast out in the name of a clean, odorless and ordered civilization.

===
$800 million to fix what Rudd spent $1.5 billion breaking
Andrew Bolt
The bill for the Rudd Government’s stupidity just went up again:

THE Government’s suspended home insulation program faces the scrap amid new concerns the number of homes requiring remedial work could reach 250,000, soaking up all the money left in the scheme…

That suspension, which was followed by the removal of the high-profile minister in charge of it, Peter Garrett, came after the program encountered severe problems, including four deaths, 120 house fires and more than 1000 electrified houses.

More than $1.5 billion has been spent already and there are now concerns the repair bill for roof inspections and the replacement of botched insulation will consume what money is left in the scheme - an estimated $800 million.

===
If Hockey hit the track instead, would Labor stop complaining?
Andrew Bolt
Niki Savva is shocked, shocked, by the double standards:
(In) all the years Kim Beazley was Labor leader, did anyone ever see an opposing politician, senior political correspondent or panel question whether he spent too much time eating to be prime minister? Yet we have had a glutinous debate about whether Abbott spends too much time exercising to be prime minister.

If Abbott is too fit, was Beazley too fat? Of course not.

Yet Labor ministers, who can’t even meow without clearance from the PM, have been out there on the one hand making snide references to the opposition Treasury spokesman as “sloppy” Joe Hockey, then lining up to get stuck into Abbott over his fitness regime.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
===
What does “intercepted” mean?
Andrew Bolt
How Kevin Rudd’s navy “intercepts” boat people:
A media release issued by Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor yesterday announced: “HMAS Broome. . . operating under the control of Border Protection Command, today intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel in the vicinity of Christmas Island.”

In fact, the opposite was closer to the truth: the boat’s 41 passengers and three crew effectively intercepted HMAS Broome.

Sources on the island said the boat sailed under the nose of the patrol boat as it lay at anchor before arriving at Flying Fish Cove, the island’s harbour.

The Australian has been told authorities became aware of the vessel only after Australian Federal Police duty officers on the island received two phone calls from a heavily accented person, apparently an asylum-seeker using a mobile phone.

The Australian has been told that, in one of the calls, a male caller told the officer: “You need to come, you need to come.”

When asked where the caller was, the voice replied: “At Christmas Island. We arrived today.”
(Thanks to reader Pira.)

UPDATE

The costs mount:

The 100th boat ... brings the number of asylum seeker arrivals under the Rudd Government to 4386. At $80,000 each, according to official figures, boat people have already cost taxpayers an estimated $350 million to process on Christmas Island.
The cost of running Christmas Island has already blown out by $132 million this year, according to revised Budget estimates.

===
Beware the abuse of the church
Andrew Bolt
Brendan O’Neill on how child abuse allegations are being used to damn Catholicism itself:
Someone has to point out that for all the problems with the Catholic Church’s doctrines and style of organisation – and I experienced some of those problems, having been raised a Catholic before becoming an atheist at 17 – the fact is that sexual abuse by priests is a relatively rare phenomenon....

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which was launched by the Irish government in 1999 and delivered its report last year, intensively invited Irish-born people around the world to report on incidents of abuse in Irish religious-educational reform schools, where the majority of clerical abuse is said to have occurred, between the period 1914 to 1999. For that 85-year period, 253 claims of sexual abuse were made by males and 128 by females. It is important – surely? – to note that these are claims of sexual abuse rather than proven incidents, since the vast majority of them did not go to trial.

The number of sexual abuse claims in these institutions fell for the more recent period: for males, there were 88 claims from the pre-1960s, 119 from 1960 to 1969, 37 from 1970 to 1979, and nine from 1980 to 1989. The alleged sexual-abuse incidents ranged in seriousness from boys being ‘questioned and interrogated about their sexual activity’ to being raped: there were 68 claims of anal rape in reform institutions for boys from 1914 to 1999. Not all of the sexual abuse was carried out by priests. Around 65 per cent of the claims pertain to religious workers, and 35 per cent to lay staff, care workers, and fellow pupils.

Of course, one incident of child sexual abuse by a priest is one too many. But given the findings of Ireland’s investigation into abuse in religious-educational institutions, is there really a justification for talking about a ‘clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of exorcism to dispel’? ... (It) might be unfashionable to say the following but it is true nonetheless: very, very small numbers of children in the care or teaching of the Catholic Church in Europe in recent decades were sexually abused, but very, very many of them actually received a decent standard of education.
(Thanks to reader TGordon.)
===
Our nation of (warring) tribes
Andrew Bolt
Our new Australians keep their ethnic identities and traditions in the approved multicultural manner:
Police are investigating the bashing of a Lebanese teenager outside the Assyrian New Year celebrations in Sydney.

Mohamed Muslmani, 16, was knocked to the ground by a man wearing a ring with the initial J after being told to get out of the festival last night, according to his father Mr Michael Muslmani…

“He’s also got two fractures in his nose, a black eye and bruises on his head where he was kicked when he was on the ground…

Mr Muslmani said there was a traditional enmity between Lebanese and Assyrians but his son had an Assyrian mate who had invited him to the alcohol-free festival at Fairfield Showgrounds. But a group inside the festival told him to leave.

“They then followed him out and 15 to 20 of them got stuck in. It wasn’t provoked at all and as far as I am concerned it was nothing short of racist.”..

Fairfield police confirmed this afternoon they are investigating the attack, which they said earlier had involved up to 40 people in the showground car park, watched by a crowd of up to 300. Police called for backup, including the Riot Squad, when six smaller fights broke out.
Forty fighting as 300 watched?

UPDATE

It’s not just the Lebanese who get on the Assyrian goat:
MORE than 200 members of Sydney’s Turkish and Assyrian communities were separated by police outside the Fairfield Council offices last night after the council approved plans for a monument commemorating what was called the Assyrian genocide. At least 40 police stood between the two groups as the council considered plans for the first ever Australian memorial to Assyrians killed by Turkish forces during World War I and subsequent conflicts…

At 7.30pm the council voted to approve the monument, producing a spontaneous outburst by the Assyrians. ‘’Winner, winner, winner - thank you Australia,’’ one jubilant Assyrian said
(Thanks to reader Jarrod Brady.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Connecting Stern Hu and Local Politics

Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu has been sentenced to 10 years by a Chinese court after being found guilty of accepting bribes and stealing trade secrets / Reuters
===
A cynical statement made by a local council member and an unjust sentence given an Australian overseas. There is a connection. The statement was made by Ninous Khobasha (he spelled his name to the Champion) who has no influence on Stern Hu's case and whose statement is quite separate to it. The statement is
"There will be no peace until the Liberals are gone for good. The Liberals have made us work very hard and we will never forgive them!!! "
There is nothing wrong with hard work, although some complain, there are benefits to all, individuals, community and family when people work hard.
One understands a child complaining bitterly about having to work when they would rather play. Here, we have Khobasha blaming the Liberals for making him, and his people, the ALP, work. There is much testimony related to the work of Khobasha and Fairfield council's ALP members.
  • A good friend of mine is working a job at a local shop. The shop is struggling, as Rudd's election has meant that bad business policy has resulted in a substantial downturn in trade. My friend works in the evenings alone. Another employee has a shift one evening, and he is held up and pistol whipped. The result is the business can no longer support the extra employees, and so my friend is without a job.
  • Some shops and the local railway were egged recently. The mess has not been cleaned up by the station, but the local shop keepers cleaned up their shops straight away. The disgusting mess is left as pedestrians and public transport users endure the smell and flies and vermin. The mess was probably made by local kids who have been running amok recently, demanding gifts with menace from locals while congregated in gangs.
  • There is also the parking problem in Cabramatta which the ALP counsellors can't seem to address without seizing land and offering inappropriate amounts to ALP supporters. Of course the problem is a result of the failure of the ALP to address the issue properly ever.
  • Inappropriate sign-age advertising ALP is not removed by the ALP when it is pointed out to them during election times. But legitimate sign-age may be removed by local council officers threatening legal action.

There are holes in the ground throughout Fairfield. The Liberals have addressed these issues, and so the ALP have had to work harder than they have before. But they still haven't achieved competence.
Meanwhile, federally, we have a PM who has made election promises suggesting a better working relationship with China and a better deal for new migrants who arrive by boat. As of 29th March 2010, a confirmed 55 people have died making the journey to Australia by boat and many many more are likely to have. Meanwhile an Australian seized by a foreign government and denied basic freedoms involved with natural justice has been given an outrageous sentence considering that he is probably innocent.
The boats follow a weakening of border protection and suggest a real flood gate has been opened. The most dangerous and least desirable way of coming to Australia is via people smugglers on a boat. It was estimated in the late seventies that for every boat person who arrived in Australia another died trying. Rudd's abysmal policy is responsible for at least 55 confirmed deaths.
In opposition, Rudd campaigned hard for known terrorists who were detained in Guantanamo Bay by the US Government. But when China seize a well educated mild mannered man and treat him worse than the US treated their terrorists, Rudd says "The world is watching." Indeed, the world was watching as Rudd did nothing. It was probably the Liberal Party's fault. They have made Rudd work overtime to try and be less incompetent than he is.
And so we see the connection. A natural predilection to do nothing when there is no pork barrel in the offing. The ALP don't like to work hard, and wish those who would fix their problems would go away.

OoOoH! Money!


it makes me uncomfortable when people do this. Subscribe for a new vid in 2 days. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/natalietran Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/community-channel/6783117830 Hope you guys had a great weekend and hoping you get off to a lovely start to the week.
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Yes, we can (Reagan Remix) v2.0


It takes more than a pretty video and a bunch of celebrities singing to make a great president. It takes a person who understands where the true greatness of America lies.

Long before anyone ever heard of Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan challenged Americans to hope, to dream, to believe....In themselves.

He brought change. He told us "yes we can". Except he also told us we didn't need government to do it. He inspired us with his words and his actions. He showed us that our individual liberty and creativity is what makes our country great not any government program.

Today, Americans are wowed by the empty oratory of politicians who promise nothing but failed socialism in disguise.

Reagan was an idealist AND an ideologue. His policies were based in his rock solid conservative ideology. That doesn't mean he never compromised. But compromise is something different than standing on the same side of an issue with those who are supposed to be your political adversaries.

Headlines Monday 29th March 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
"Now, as I was saying four years ago–"
In his 1968 bid for the presidency, Richard Nixon announced to the war-weary country that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War. When he ran for re-election four years later, American troops were still fighting in Indochina, with casualties continuing to climb.
"Now, as I was saying four years ago–", August 9, 1972
Ink, graphite, and opaque white over graphite underdrawing on layered paper
Published in the Washington Post (73)
LC-USZ62-126919

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States from 1969–1974 and was also the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961). Nixon was the only President to resign the office and also the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.
=== Bible Quote ===
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.”- 1 Timothy 2:5-6
=== Headlines ===
In surprise trip to Afghanistan, Obama tells troops he intensified the fight to make sure Taliban and Al Qaeda will not gain upper hand and threaten U.S. security - tougher on Israel - ed

Sunshine State Showdown
Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio trade jabs as 2010's hottest gubernatorial race graces the 'Fox News Sunday' stage

Dems: You'll Learn to Like It
By the time November comes Americans will get used to health care, making it a plus for Dems seeking election

Protesters Demand Pope Quits
Rally calls for Pope Benedict XVI to resign over the Catholic Church's handling of clerical sex abuse cases - the Pope has not done anything wrong, but these activists don't seem to care about that -ed.

A man who kidnapped, tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s has been force-fed through a nasal tube for 10 years, but he says he just wants to starve to death

Small town teen's violent end
COMMUNITY in shock as girl who was "impossible to hate" found dead in a pool of her own blood.

US questions Rudd's internet filtering plan
THE US Government has weighed into the row over Prime Minister Rudd's plan to censor the web.

Cabbie accused of kidnapping females
RACIAL tensions simmering as Indian driver charged with holding five passengers against their will.

Ironman Abbott overcomes triathlon pain
OPPOSITION Leader becomes the hard man of politics as he crosses the finish line in under 14 hours.

Prince turns $3.6m investment into $66
PRINCE Edward's company implodes, while the investment firm of rock royal Bono struggles.

Detainees flee as PM's 100th boat looms
MAN escapes by strapping himself under a truck as more arrivals put PM Kevin Rudd under pressure.

Stop making TV crime look cool
THE glamorisation of crime has been condemned by Police Chief Andrew Scipione, who says Xbox games, TV and Hollywood crime dramas are "abhorrent".

At least 150 trapped in flooded mine
CHINA suffers yet another mining disaster as underground waters burst into a vast coal complex, trapping 153 workers.

Spin doctors on rate rises
COUNCILS are spending thousands hiring consultants to convince ratepayers to pay more rates.

Keneally Government accused of advertising drugs to teenagers as "nose candy"
THE Keneally Government has been accused of advertising hard drugs to teenagers as if they are a "smorgasbord of fun and games at an amusement park". A postcard authorised by health officials targeting young people shows lines of cocaine and describes them as "nose candy".

Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva refuses to yield to Red Shirts during TV talks
LIVE televised talks between Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and anti-government protesters have failed to end two weeks of street demonstrations.
=== Comments ===
Refugee trade puts security at stake
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd’s asylum seeker policy is dead. By no objective criteria can it be said to be operating successfully.

By no objective criteria can it be said to be operating successfully.

The special facility at Christmas Island is full to overflowing, boat people are being flown to mainland detention centres with minimal security checks and, as reported in The Daily Telegraph today, security measures at sites such as Villawood, in Sydney, can no longer cope with the flood.

The orderly process for resettling refugees operated by the UNHCR, as slow as it may have been, has broken down under pressure from the pull factors introduced by the Rudd Government.

Despite claims that the Indonesians are doing more to halt people smuggling through their waters and across their borders, the cash inducements are too great for the criminally-minded, and the penalties too small, to make a difference.

The enticements offered by the Rudd Government’s soft approach to undocumented asylum seekers introduced in August, 2008, has enabled the people smuggling business to flourish.

As the flow of refugees to other nations in other parts of the world has eased, the illegal traffic to Australia has increased, with lethal consequences. The Rudd Government may have thought it could radically alter the strong Howard line and no one would notice but people smugglers forced out of business have returned to the market with a vengeance.

The offshore solution, which evidence shows halted the illegal people traffic, has been all but abandoned. Christmas Island is little more than a temporary sanctuary on the route to the Australian continent.

Even those given negative migration assessments under the United Nations merit system on Christmas Island are transferred to the mainland, where the Rudd Government opens another pathway through an appeal to a mainland-based panel of review.

It can only be a matter of time before a refugee advocacy group tests the legal status of those whose applications for permanent visas have been rejected, and there are judges champing at the bit for such a case to come before their court. Not that the Rudd Government seems interested in rejecting people smugglers’ clients, even when they give cause to be regarded as undesirable.

Northern Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh earlier this month found that a fire which killed five asylum seekers last April 16 was deliberately lit by three others in order to prevent a return to Indonesia.

The SIEV 36 torching not only cost asylum seekers their lives, it also endangered Australian service personnel attempting to render assistance.

The Rudd Labor Government granted all survivors of the SIEV 36 disaster permanent visas even before the coronial inquiry had been completed. Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis said those visas should be cancelled on character grounds, as the Afghan witnesses lied to the inquest.

Mr Rudd and Immigration Minister Chris Evans have refused to review the visas and are now hiding behind a further inquiry, though Coroner Cavanagh found no Afghan witnesses told the truth about their involvement in or knowledge of the fire and explosion aboard the vessel.

The front page of The Brisbane Sunday Mail yesterday showed a picture of happy Afghan women and children shopping at a suburban mall. They had been fast-tracked off Christmas Island to make way for the new arrivals, just as others were flown out to other centres late Saturday night, because the Government fears another riot now the island’s facilities are even more stretched than they were when detention centre inmates ran amok last November.

The image of newly-arrived asylum seekers with overflowing shopping trolleys, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer, sent a strong message to those hoping to come here. It told them not to go through the official UNHCR channels but, instead, put their money and trust in people smugglers if they want to access permanent visas and all the benefits available to Australian citizens.

The same message is also coming from refugee action groups in Australia, despite the proven risk to those willing to pay and take their chance at sea, and even though each undocumented asylum seeker who arrives takes the place of another refugee awaiting resettlement in a UNHCR camp.

Refugee advocates argue for Australia to take more refugees and penalise other groups who wish to settle here, including those who overstay their visas and those under business or student migration programs.

The Rudd Government acted this year to slash the categories available to those hoping to slip through on student migration programs after widespread rorting, but the argument for increasing the humanitarian refugee intake solely to provide places for those unwilling to subject themselves to the UNHCRs merit program is flawed.

It would be more humane, and less risky, if refugee advocates worked to stop people smugglers instead of tacitly encouraging this sickening traffic. Mr Rudd also professes to be nauseated by the notion of people smuggling.

The day after SIEV 36 was set ablaze he claimed that people smugglers were the “absolute scum of the earth” and should “rot in hell”, but nothing he has subsequently done has matched his rhetoric.

Some refugee advocates, such as author David Marr, mock and sneer at those who wish to see order restored, claiming those who oppose the current chaotic situation believe refugees are “evil”.

Such theatrical hysteria does not constitute debate nor assist those seeking to reduce the risk to lives and end the real evil of people smuggling. How many more deaths are refugee advocates prepared to tolerate in their campaign to force an open door migration policy on Australia?

Why are they are so anxious to give migration preference to those with the money to bribe people smugglers, while those who play by the rules are forced ever backward in migration queues?

Intelligence reports indicate the number of potential people-smuggler clients grows daily, while this government has no plan to reverse its ill-considered policy and no coherent strategy to deal with the growing crisis. - I like migrants and I want there to be more. But I think the boat people are choosing a bad way to come to Australia and I am appalled Rudd is inviting them to choose this method.
Thinking cynically, Rudd probably felt that Mr Howard’s successful solution had fatally damaged the industry, and so changing the laws would allow him a free pass to claim he was more humane and achieving better results. After all it is a tenet of zero tolerance and drug prohibition that if the industry is stopped for a while it will fold.
But it is apparent that this is as much a failure as all of Rudd’s other hair brained policies. But Rudd dare not admit the mistake because he fears being rolled. More than losing an election.
Marr is an advocate and only appears foolish because he has advocated really foolish things. If those Marr follows ever do something wise, Marr might stumble on wisdom. That ain’t happening any time soon. The reason why the industry rebounded so quickly is because it is backed by foreign governments and organizations. Rudd has really exposed Australia and weakened her security. - ed.

===
The usual suspects suspected
Andrew Bolt
This could get a lot bloodier, since the Russians don’t do counter-terrorism surgically:

Russian officials launched a terrorism investigation after 37 people were killed in two explosions that hit the Moscow metro during morning rush hour on Monday, local news agencies reported.

The first hit the Lubyanka Metro Station in central Moscow about 7:56am local time. Twenty-five people were killed and 15 people were injured.

Sky News reported that a second explosion hit the Park Kultury station, three stations away on the same line, about 40 minutes later at 8:38am local time. Emergency services told AFP 12 people were killed and seven injured…

RIA Novosti reported that a security source told the agency the Lubyanka station was hit by a bomb. Interfax, quoting a Russian security source, reported the first blast may have been caused by a suicide bomber.

Russian prosecutors will launch a “terrorism probe” after the two blasts, ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

===
Why bother sending a Navy to man Rudd’s red carpet?
Andrew Bolt
What do they mean by “stopped”?
Two more asylum seeker boats carrying 85 passengers stoppd by Navy
What do they mean by “intercepted”?
HMAS Glenelg last night intercepted a boat carrying 37 asylum seekers and four crew near the Ashmore Islands....Another asylum seeker boat carrying 41 passengers and three crew was intercepted today by HMAS Broome near Christmas Island.

It was the 32nd asylum seeker boat intercepted in Australian waters this year.
In the six years before Kevin Rudd so foolishly weakened on boat people laws, an average of just three boats a year arrived. Since he revealed his “kinder” policies, he’s had to lock upo six times the number of asylum seekers, and 53 boat people have been lured to their deaths.
===
How to train an ABC warmist
Andrew Bolt

Ah, the rewards of touting the institutional Left’s preferred positions:
ABC journalist Margot O’Neill is the recipient of the 2010 Donald McDonald ABC scholarship to the Reuters Institute of Oxford. A senior reporter with Lateline, O’Neill has built up an impressive catalogue of investigative work for the program. She is a two-time Walkley Award winner and has taken home a UN Media Peace Award and the national Human Rights Award for TV reporting. Her scholarship will see her spend time at the world-renowned Environmental Change Institute to identify, review and deconstruct climate change reporting.
I’ve done a bit of that deconstructing of climate change reporting myself, but without any scholarship and using as my example the reporting of ... why, O’Neill herself. Try here and here.
===
Where there’s love there’s life
Andrew Bolt
I cannot sympathise with suicides when they cause more distress than they end. Natasha van Gor writes:
to my daddy,
you will live in mine, chantelles and Karla’s heart for ever.
i can’t imagine life without you, it just doesn’t feel real.
where are you daddy come back.
i want to tell you,
how much i truly love you.
i don’t know what else to say by i was your little princess and always will be no matter what you say.

In my heart forever
your daughter moo xx
What a darling.

Please, please, think of those left behind. Less of this unfortunate trend of celebration, then, and more of this in our life-trashing culture:

For more information on depression and how to seek help on suicide prevention, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 , SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) and Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

(Thanks to reader Wilson.)
===
Webber’s wobbly
Andrew Bolt
Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber is wrong about the specific - the law against dopes like Lewis Hamilton doing burnouts on our street - but he’s right in general about Australia:

I think we’ve got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed - what we can do and what we can’t do … put a yellow vest on and all that sort of stuff…

It’s certainly changed since I left here. It pisses me off coming back here, to be honest. It’s a great country but we’ve got to be responsible for our actions and it’s certainly a bloody nanny state when it comes to what we can do.

===
11 more lured to their deaths
Andrew Bolt
The toll of people lured to their deaths after Kevin Rudd softened our boat people policies has gone up to at least 53:

Senior navy sources said they had been told several refugee boats had set sail for Australia last year from the northeast of Sri Lanka, but had not been heard from since.

One vessel sank off the Cocos and Keeling Islands west of Christmas Island in November, with the loss of 11 lives.

===
Shock: female sailors like sex, too
Andrew Bolt
The Navy has spent a lot of money and time trying to prosecute - or persecute - male sailors for trying to have sex with female colleagues:
“MAFIA-STYLE" bullying of female sailors and predatory behaviour initially went unrecorded because of problems with the navy’s reporting system, an inquiry has heard
The presumption is that women are the victims in a sexual encounter:
A FEMALE sailor on board HMAS Success said she was too drunk on one occasion to remember whether she had consented to sex or not, an inquiry has heard.

The sailor’s story was related by senior equity and diversity officer Dianne Markowski, who was called on to run workshops on board the Success....

Ms Markovski’s statement also told of a public sex act between two junior sailors in a bar, watched by a number of people who had been called over by senior sailors. The inquiry is investigating inappropriate behaviour on HMAS Success. It has previously been told predatory sexual behaviour including intimidation and threats of physical violence.
However:

At HMAS Creswell, home to the navy’s officer training college, commanders were told of a noticeable ”trend towards sexually aggressive females among the trainees”.
===
How Oakes damned the Right for sins of the Left
Andrew Bolt
There are four fundamental problems with Laurie Oakes’ snide attempt to portray many of Barack Obama’s opponents as unhinged and violent morons:
WINGNUTS - people on the lunatic fringe of politics - are winning in America. A new poll just about puts it beyond doubt.

Released a few days ago, it shows that 40 per cent of Americans believe Barack Obama is a socialist, a third think he’s Muslim, three out of 10 fear he “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the US to a one-world government”, and 14 per cent agree that the President “may be the anti-Christ”. Phew!

Can a whole country go crazy? It makes you wonder…

In the US, as Congress passed President Obama health reform legislation and in the aftermath, it was a very different story… Protesters hurled racist epithets at African-American members of Congress, and spat on them. At least 10 members of Congress who supported the legislation received death threats… Windows and doors in the offices of Democrat politicians were smashed.
First, this on-line poll is rigged and unrepresentative:
In other words, a poll that purports to be measuring the prevalence of these beliefs likely is propagating them instead.
Second, the violence is absurdly exaggerated. For instance, Oakes’ claim that black Congressmen (plural) were spat on turns out to be a case of a single Congressman complaining that a protester had accidentally sprayed saliva as he talked, and apparently without any racial abuse at all:
Cleaver told me: “I said to this one person, ‘You spat on me.’ I thought he was going to say, ‘Hey, I was yelling. Sorry.’ But he continuing yelling and, for a few seconds, I pointed at him and said, ‘You spat on me.’ “ . . . I would prefer to believe that the man who allowed his saliva to hit my face was irrational for a moment,” Cleaver said.
Third, the most extraordinary vituperation - and this from the media - has been unleashed from the Left, as Sarah Palin would know.

Indeed, the author of Wingnuts, who is horrified that some on the Right liken Obama to a Nazi, is rather keen on that smear himself:
In a disturbing parallel to the Nazi’s [sic] kristallnacht, windows are shattering in Democratic offices nationwide.
Just as keen on Nazi slurs are Australian Leftists such as Professor Clive Hamilton:
Instead of dishonouring the deaths of six million in the past, climate deniers risk the lives of hundreds of millions in the future. Holocaust deniers are not responsible for the Holocaust, but climate deniers, if they were to succeed, would share responsibility for the enormous suffering caused by global warming… So the answer to the question of whether climate denialism is morally worse than Holocaust denialism is no, at least, not yet.
And Professor Robert Manne:
Denialism, a concept that was first widely used, as far as I know, for those who claimed that the Holocaust was a fraud, is the concept I believe we should use [against climate sceptics].
And, lastly, is it really a sign of derangement to believe Obama is at heart a socialist, at least in the Swedish social democrat tradition? Is Oakes and the rest of the Left now arguing that “socialism” is a vile insult?

In short, Oakes’ column is a self-pleasuring fantasy, produced by the very kind of tactics he condemns.

(Thanks to reader Gordon. UPDATE: Post modified to add Hamilton quote.)
===
Abbott fit to lead
Andrew Bolt
Tony Abbott is astonishingly fit and his critics astonishingly sanctimonious, snide - and mortified:
The 52-year-old has completed the Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, on the New South Wales mid-north coast, taking just under 14 hours to swim 3.8 kilometres, cycle 180 kilometres and then run a 42 kilometre marathon.
So much for the gloating that he’d have to pull out, was too unfit or, on the other hand, had trained too much to do his job:
Health Minister Nicola Roxon, on ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday, wondered how on earth he had time for policy formation. Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said last week the muscle that most needed a workout was surely Abbott’s brain.
(Thanks to reader Rendle.)

UPDATE

Health Minister Nicola Roxon on Insiders savages Abbott for doing healthy things, as she reads straight from the Hawker Britton script for the day:
Ultimately we don’t have an issue with what Mr Abbott chooses to do [but let Roxon now make an issue of it]. What we do have an issue with is that so far he doesn’t have a health policy… And now it’s up to him how he balances his time and produces his work and keeps himself fit.

And I can promise your audience that you’re not going to see me in that lycra or my bikini at any time soon. But I think it’s admirable that he can do it.

What we do have an issue with is he doesn’t seem to be producing any policy at the same time.... I think it’s a fair question to say: does that amount of time actually have an impact on the lack of policy development that we’re seeing from the Opposition? ...

I would like to exercise more but then I’d have less time with my young daughter… I’m certainly not going to pass any judgment about the choices that Tony Abbott makes.

And I do think it’s good to have people setting an example. But his approach even as health minister was always the government isn’t going to help in particular ways because everyone should just look after their own health.
Two things. In between exercising, Abbott has written a whole book on his policy directions.

Second, Roxon is at this very moment considering spending millions and drawing up intrusive laws to force people to live by the example that Tony Abbott sets voluntarily and for free. Here are just some of the recommendations of her council of health fascists:
- Establish a Prime Minister’s Council for Active Living ...

- Develop a business case for a new COAG National Partnership Agreement on Active Living…

- Drive change within the food supply to increase the availability and demand for healthier food products, and decrease the availability and demand for unhealthy food products…

- Commission a review of economic policies and taxation systems, and develop methods for using taxation, grants, pricing, incentives and/or subsidies to promote production, access to and consumption of healthier foods…

- Embed physical activity and healthy eating in everyday life

- Fund, implement and promote comprehensive programs for workplaces that support healthy eating, promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.
Roxon sneers at Abbott for living the healthy life she’s spending your cash to promote.

UPDATE 2

Reader Rojin:

So it’s OK for Kevin Rudd to spend time writing a book about his pet dog and cat, but not OK for Tony Abbot to spend time training to compete in the iron man event.
===
Neo-pagans can’t even be bothered genuflecting
Andrew Bolt
Even fewer people now lie to pollsters about their support for a useless gesture:
But there are signs Earth Hour may be losing some of its momentum in Australia - where it originated four years ago - with just 41 per cent of Australian adults in capital cities saying they took part in the lights-out protest, according to a poll by AMR Interactive. That figure is down from 58 per cent in 2008 and 47 per cent last year…

A spokeswoman for Energy Australia said power usage in Sydney’s CBD fell by about 6 per cent between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday, compared with 9 per cent last year.
But bravo to Greg Bourne, the chief executive of WWF Australia, who has clearly studied at the Kevin Rudd Institute of Spin:
But Mr Bourne said that was a sign the Earth Hour message was working. “In the first year, where everything was [lit up] before the switch was flicked, there was a big change visible. This year there was a lot less change primarily because there is a lot less energy being wasted in Sydney.”
UPDATE

The Hunter Valley, home of coal mines, gives up on the faith that will drive it broke:
Air-conditioners used to temper unseasonably hot conditions have been blamed for a 1.9 per cent surge in energy consumption levels during the hour from 8.30pm on Saturday. The increase from 653 megawatt hours to 665 megawatt hours was the equivalent of switching on an extra 5080 air-conditioners, or more than one million energy-efficient light globes.

In Earth Hour 2009, the Hunter recorded a 7.3 per cent drop in energy use.
(Thanks to reader Bruce.)
===
Still, it was a great photo op
Andrew Bolt
Yet another great Kevin Rudd idea goes precisely nowhere:
AUSTRALIAN taxpayers are the only financial backers for Kevin Rudd’s $100 million-a-year global clean coal initiative, as world leaders have failed to match their resounding endorsement of the idea at the G8 meeting last July with a single dollar.

Praised by US President Barack Obama as a “significant” announcement, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, which is charged with speeding the development and take-up of clean coal technology, has attracted more than 200 of the world’s biggest economies and companies as members.

But to date their only financial commitment is to guarantee $10 [million?] in the event the institute goes broke.
(Thanks to reader CA.)

UPDATE

And speaking of grand plans with less support than Rudd claims:

KEVIN Rudd is facing accusations he exaggerated support for his hospital reform, after more than half the expert groups he claimed had backed the plan said they could not yet endorse it.

During last week’s debate with Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister said the “profession right across the country is getting in behind what we are saying”, and the government “was backed” by nine groups.

But five of the groups—the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, the Australian Nursing Federation, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and Catholic Health Australia—say while they support the general direction of reform, there are still too many holes for them to sign up to it at this stage.

===
Earth Hour shows exactly why it can’t last two
Andrew Bolt
Environment journalist Sara Phillips is upset that Earth Hour isn’t sustainable - and nor is the future it symbolises:
Sitting in the dark is not sustainable for more than a symbolic hour. And if anyone is going to understand the concept of sustainability it ought to be the green groups. The fact that the chief of the WWF himself is mixed in his messages is proof that the Earth Hour message is well and truly scrambled.
(Thanks to reader Richard. UPDATE: Apologies, link now fixed.)