=== Todays Toon ===Sir Charles Hotham, KCB, RN (14 January 1806 – 31 December 1855) was Lieutenant-governor and, later, Governor of Victoria, Australia from 22 June 1854 to 10 November 1855.
=== Bible Quote ===“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”- Ephesians 2:8-9
=== Headlines ===ARREST: Yemeni Woman and Mother Caught in Mail Bomb Plot
Security forces reportedly arrest a Yemeni woman and her mother for alleged involvement in sending explosive packages on cargo planes to the U.S.
3 DAYS TO DECIDE: Last Ditch Dem Effort
Obama arrives in Chicago to unite Democrats in a 'Move America Forward' rally — marking the third time the former president has campaigned in his hometown for Democratic candidates
Illegal Immigrants Headed to Ariz. Polls?
The Justice Dept. is sending election observers to the border state amid fears of election fraud if illegal immigrants vote in midterms
Politics Is Central at Stewart 'Sanity' Rally
Despite promises a D.C. rally would remain non-political, thousands at the event — hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert — got a liberal earful as Democratic and Obama support groups spread their message
Woman arrested over cargo plane plot
YEMENI security forces have arrested a woman suspected of posting two US-bound parcel bombs.
Bomb 'could have brought down plane'
SUSPECT package from Yemen found in Britain aboard a US-bound cargo plane could have exploded and brought a plane down.
Thousands drawn to TV comedians' rally
POPULAR hosts of satirical cable TV news shows offering an appeal for moderation and civility in polarised times.
American teenager crowned Miss World
KENTUCKY blonde said month spent touring China with other 114 Miss World hopefuls had made a "big impact" on her life.
Eighty Taliban killed in failed attack
INSURGENTS have been killed in a failed attack on a NATO combat outpost near the border with Pakistan.
Weekend at Marie's
NSW Governor Marie Bashir doesn't go in for lavish dinners but her understudy loves to entertain.
Liberals draw up 100-day plan
STRATEGISTS are secretly drawing up a "100-day" action plan for a new Coalition state government.
Snatcher grabs the GG's bag
A PETTY thief, trying to steal a handbag, couldn't have picked a worse target: the Head of State
Hundreds of brides are left in the lurch
THE plans of hundreds of brides-to-be are in chaos after a bridal-gown store closed its doors.
Former high-flyer Brad is uncooped
FIVE years in jail may have sealed Brad Cooper's reputation as a shonky businessman, but it's done wonders for his waistline.
Boy, 16 stabbed to death
THE devastated mother of a teenage boy, stabbed to death in a suburban western Sydney street, says her "beautiful" son had the "brightest blue eyes ".
Warn kids of danger in kitchen
BURNS specialists want Junior MasterChef to warn young viewers about the dangers of cooking.
Shoppers conned by 'fine print'
AUSTRALIAN retailers are misleading customers, using fine print to refuse refunds on products.
NSW to review of sentencing
SUSPENDED sentences could be scrapped because of concerns serious offenders are escaping jail.
Nuttall 'knows Labor secrets'
LABOR colleagues of jailed former minister Gordon Nuttall should be afraid of his intimate knowledge of the party and its secrets, his daughter says.
Helicopter rescue team grounded
IT'S the Queensland helicopter rescue team without a chopper.
Millions paid to ex-employees
THE Queensland Health payroll debacle has sunk to a new low as taxpayers fork out "wages" to people who do not even work for the organisation.
Storm victim sues bank manager
A TOWNSVILLE bank manager is the first individual to be pursued through the courts over the Storm Financial debacle.
Mums click with gaming
BUSY mums are overtaking teenage boys as the new gamers.
Bart, punters all set for Cup
LEGENDARY trainer Bart Cummings will climb off his sick bed to attend Tuesday's Melbourne Cup after So You Think burst back into race favouritism.
One sale, two agents' commissions
HOMEOWNERS caught in the middle as rival real estate agents squabble over who should be paid commissions on property sale.
Olympic star's drink drive charge
OLYMPIC gold medallist Ashley Callus has been charged with drink driving after being pulled over by police on the Gold Coast last Monday.
Welcome home for Diggers
THERE were cheers and tears as 120 Brisbane-based Diggers returned to the loving arms of their families after their eight-month tour of Afghanistan.
Waiting for a disaster
THIS week in Your Street we visit Scarlet St, Mordiallioc, where residents are concerned about crashing planes. Have your say.
We've let down commuters: Brumby
LESS than four weeks out from the state election, Premier John Brumby admits his record on public transport is not good enough.
Now I'm ship-shape
IF life knocks you down, you could always build a ship to help you navigate the rough waters.
Drink drivers' loophole
HUNDREDS of motorists who tested positive for drink driving may never stand before a court because of an alleged administrative error.
Greens candidate's 'dirty work'
THE Greens candidate for Melbourne in the state election is working for a company that mines "dirty" brown coal.
Carey axes his firm
A COMPANY set up by AFL Hall of Fame champion Wayne Carey has gone into administration with debts of more than $100,000.
Google lawsuit in court
COLOURFUL Melbourne identity Michael Trkulja's David-and-Goliath litigation against Google has begun in the Supreme Court.
Driver crashes into home and flees
POLICE are on the hunt for a driver who ploughed through the brick wall of a house overnight.
Stormy weather pummels Victoria
POLICE are warning motorists to take care on Victorian roads as wild weather wreaks havoc across the state.
Flash flooding danger for Victoria
VICTORIA State Emergency Service has ramped up its operations as torrential rain put a dampener on sporting events.
German man missing in Kakadu Park
NORTHERN Territory Police are concerned for the welfare of a 63-year-old German national who has been missing in the Kakadu National Park since yesterday.
Tats all, folks - legend inks in his retirement
THE legendary Rob Kelvin will get up from the Channel 9 news desk for the last time on December 31 to step into retirement.
KG scores ashes win
HE never played for the Ashes at Adelaide Oval, but Ken "KG" Cunningham has come up with a good alternative - scattering his ashes there.
Parks opened for development
THE State Government has given the green light to undertake development in national parks without approval under an overhaul of planning laws.
Rising attacks on health workers
HEALTH workers, including doctors and nurses are being assaulted or threatened up to 120 times a week in our public hospitals.
Paddle pool fencing confusion
PARENTS face a four-year jail term or $15,000 fine for failing to fence inflatable child paddling pools this summer.
Traders' push to rent driveways
TRADERS in the city's East End are so desperate for carparks that they are calling on local residents to rent out their driveways.
'Equality' push for sex workers
PROSTITUTES will be able to legally walk the streets soliciting business under a controversial proposal to decriminalise the South Australian sex industry.
Pair arrested for drug possession
TWO men have been arrested after the car they were in was found to be full of drugs, including 206 ecstasy tablets.
Thousands party with pride
ABOUT 70,000 of people turned out for the 21st Pride WA Parade in Northbridge last night.
Friendly nurses warned off flirting
NURSES in WA have been issued new guidelines banning flirtatious behaviour with patients.
Beach suburbs the star performers
SIXTEEN thousand homes are sitting idle on WA's property market but the lure of surf and sand means beachside suburbs have bucked the trend.
Talking toilets cost taxpayers $18m
LAVISH public loos costing $250,000 each and installed by councils across WA have cost taxpayers a total of $18 million.
Robots replace staff at Fiona Stanley hospital
ROBOTS, instead of human staff, would provide some essential services at WA's new Fiona Stanley Hospital under a plan that unions warn could cost hundreds of jobs.
Jess dripping with jewellery
WHEN it rains, it pours which is good news for Perth girl Jessica Marais, who has been showered in diamonds and pearls.
Early fire alert as 35C looms
SEVERE fire warnings across huge tracts of WA are expected this week as the mercury soars to 35C.
Police hit by drug analysis backlog
POLICE consider employing their own chemists and scientists to analyse drug samples from clandestine laboratories.
WA to house US space defence base
WA will become a key player in the battle for space supremacy, hosting a multimillion-dollar US defence base to spy on foreign satellites and watch dangerous space junk
=== Comments ===Why Labor’s NBN will bite back
GAUGING by the cost of the Tasmanian roll-out and household connection to the Not Bloody Needed glass fibre broadband network, the $43 billion currently allocated will explode like a burst watermelon as it gathers pace. - They don’t know how much it will cost, but when built, it will still cost .. and be obsolete. It is a plan to pork barrel money. Gillard is approving this not because it is worthwhile .. she wants to pay off ALP mates. - ed.
Labor Minister accused
How long before this story breaks wide open?
POLITICAL instability has struck Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ministry over allegations about the personal behaviour of a Cabinet minister.For the moment, though, we’re all being careful:
In the first sign of trouble for the minority Labor government, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal an MP has approached Ms Gillard’s office to raise concerns about a minister’s behaviour.
Senior party figures are concerned by the allegations, fearing they could derail the Government’s one-seat majority.
But the minister’s supporters argue the allegations of poor conduct are part of a concerted campaign to undermine him.
Ms Gillard’s office is treating the allegations as manoeuvring about future leadership positions - a dangerous sign for the fledgling government.
The minister himself has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has said the allegations are untrue.But the word is spreading fast:
“I have a categorical denial for you,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
“If you name me, I will sue.”
Canberra is awash with speculation about the minister’s conduct. His behaviour is being discussed openly by Labor MPs, fellow ministers and the backbench.(Thanks to several readers.)
More than a dozen MPs, ministers and senior party figures have spoken to The Sunday Telegraph about the allegations.
The allegation involves purely personal behavior of no consequence at all to public policy even if the allegation were true, which is denied. And it’s alleged behavior which, if true, is of the kind which has been indulged in by dozens of other MPs and hundreds of journalists.
Victorians now pay the price for Labor’s dam madness
A dam on the Mitchell, producing three times the water, would have cost just $1.4 billion. But now the price of Labor’s green crusade starts to be felt:
THE true costs of Australia’s largest desalination plant are becoming clearer, with Melburnians said to be facing another doubling of water bills to pay for the Brumby government’s $5.7 billion plant.But NSW taxpayers shouldn’t crow. Green policies are killing them, too:
Consumers, who have already been slugged with a doubling of bills from 2009 to 2013, face further hikes as Melbourne Water’s costs soar, an analysis of Auditor-General figures shows.
In the face of the government’s repeated refusals to reveal the bill increases for desalinated water, the opposition has analysed figures in the Auditor-General’s October finance report and found that Melbourne Water’s costs per kilolitre, or 1000 litres, could increase by up to 130 per cent.
HOUSEHOLDS will pay an extra $600 on their electricity bill over six years to cover the $2 billion cost of the failure of the state government’s overly generous solar power scheme.But now that NSW has slashed the solar power subsidy, guess which state now runs the most expensive in the land, leaving taxpayers with the big bills? But will Victoria’s green-infused Opposition make an issue of it?
(Thanks to reader CA.)
It’s the Greens way - to live off what they so lightly condemn
Next they’ll tell me he uses airplanes and lights his house with power from coal-fired power stations, too:
THE Greens candidate for Melbourne in the state election is working for a company that mines “dirty” brown coal.(Thanks to readersmum of 5.)
Barrister Brian Walters is running for the key inner-city seat in the November 27 election while able to earn up to $7000 a day defending La Trobe Valley mining partner Downer EDI in a workplace death case.
And financial documents show Mr Walters has also bought into the Queensland resources boom by investing in industrial factories at Rockhampton.
Greens leader Bob Brown this morning defended Walters, saying a barrister had a duty to accept a brief even from someone with whom they disapproved.
Let’s leave aside the fact that a barrister can in fact pick and choose his cases, and look instead at Brown’s hypocrisy.
Here is a man who demands we refuse Singapore’s dollars - offered for a takeover of the Australian Securities Exchange - on the grounds that Singapore’s government threatens the human rights of its citizens, yet approves of a Greens candidate taking dollars from an industry it claims threatens all life on the planet.
Visit London and breed. They’ll pay and house you well
Max Hastings on the British Government’s attempts to cut back on a welfare rort that puts welfare recipients with huge families in London houses that most taxpayers could never afford themselves:
Boris Johnson wants (Prime Minister) David Cameron’s job, and there is almost nothing London’s Mayor will not say or do to get it. On Thursday, he delighted Labour and enraged fellow- Conservative ministers by declaring on BBC Radio London: ‘We will not accept a kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London....’The examples are astonishing and explain much about third-world immigration to Britain, welfarism and a growing resentment of those who feel they are being taken advantage of:
This was Johnson’s response to the Government’s plans to cap housing benefit for every family in the land at £21,000 a year (or £400 a week)…
Even by understated official statistics, more than a third of today’s Londoners were born in another country, so Britain’s capital has become an international city or a foreign one, according to your point of view. Many of its lower-paid residents receive welfare payments including housing benefits…
Implausibly, Boris Johnson is making common cause with the Left-wing commentariat, who are spitting with rage about housing benefit…
In the case of housing benefit, the Toynbee-Johnson argument is that London is an extraordinarily expensive city, in which the poor must have assistance to live, unless we want to expel them..
Some of this is true. But the foes of reform ignore a critical truth: like all things, housing benefit must stop somewhere. The numbers have gone crazy. Some families are costing the taxpayer not £20,000 a year, but £30,000, £40,000, even in one supreme case £104,000 a year.
Any working citizen willing to pay even £20,000 to rent a property — which is not a deductible expense — would need to be a higher-rate taxpayer and commit almost £40,000 of his income to do so.
Do Boris Johnson and Polly Toynbee want us to house those who cannot afford their own accommodation at a cost which no middle manager or police superintendent or even junior banker could afford?
(Thanks to reader Shane. For those with poor eyesight, the graphic is more easily read at the link.)
The Green House brawl
Just how environmentally friendly is that green-rated house really?
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court. Filed on behalf of mechanical systems designer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving, ....the suit argues that USGBC is fraudulently misleading consumers and fraudulently misrepresenting energy performance of buildings certified under its LEED rating systems, and that LEED is harming the environment by leading consumers away from using proven energy-saving strategies…Oh.
To support this allegation Gifford relies heavily on his critique of a 2008 study from New Buildings Institute (NBI) and USGBC that is, to date, the most comprehensive look at the actual energy performance of buildings certified under LEED… While the NBI study makes the case that LEED buildings are, on average, 25–30 percent more efficient than the national average, Gifford published his own analysis in 2008 concluding that LEED buildings are, on average, 29 percent less efficient....
Asked why he is motivated to go to court, Gifford says, “I’m afraid that in a few years somebody really evil will publicize the fact that green buildings don’t save energy and argue that the only solution [to resource constraints] is more guns to shoot at the people who have oil underneath their sand.”
(Thanks to reader D.)
Where the Greens recruit
James Patterson explains why universities are churning out whole regiments of Greens voters:
Data from the 2007 Australian Election Study, collected by the Australian National University, showed voters with higher education qualifications were much likelier than the general population to identify with the Greens.I’d also add that those who depend on the government for their income would be more inclined to think a bigger government a good thing.
In the overall population, the study found just 5.8 per cent of voters identified with the Greens. But among those with a bachelor’s degree, that rose to 11.1 per cent, and 12.9 per cent among those with postgraduate qualifications…
Among the general population, about one-third of respondents identified with the broad Right, while 27.7 per cent identified with the broad Left. Yet significantly more people with university-level education self-identified as left-wing, including 42.4 per cent of people with a bachelor’s degree and 44.6 per cent of postgraduate qualification holders.
So, what explains the higher levels of support for the Greens? It should not necessarily follow that more education equates to more left-wing views. After all, what does a bachelor of engineering, science or commerce teach students about gay marriage or refugees?…
It is no coincidence the institutions that churn out these graduates are dominated by left-wing academics…
In 2008 the Senate inquired into the issue and, despite the overwhelming majority of individual submissions reporting instances of academic bias, the Labor-Greens majority on the committee dismissed the idea bias was a problem in Australian universities.
The Liberal minority report, however, argued the evidence presented at the hearings by students and representative organisations suggested it was a problem. Students complained they were treated as pariahs if they expressed centre-right views and felt excluded and vilified because of their politics.
Studies in the US make it clear that academe is almost exclusively dominated by the Left. One, published by The New York Times in 2004, showed registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans in humanities departments seven to one.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Melbourne during the past five years, I’ve witnessed and been subject to multiple instances of academic bias…
An introductory politics subject, Contemporary Ideologies and Movements, devoted one week to liberalism and conservatism. For the following 11 weeks, it examined different variants of socialism and green ideology as well as feminist and lesbian political movements.
Worse, the required reading on liberalism was not John Stuart Mill or Friedrich Hayek but an expose on the social lives of Young Liberals published in The Monthly magazine.
When a university runs a cattle station….
What Charles Darwin University sold to prospective students:
Charles Darwin University campuses and study centres are spread throughout the Northern Territory from the tropical Top End to the deserts of Central Australia… Students who undertake study at the Northern Territory Rural College, Katherine, have access to Mataranka Station, a working cattle station providing hands-on experience in rural studies.“Hands on”? A “working” cattle station?
The latest news:
The Northern Territory Ombudsman says Charles Darwin University has not explained how 800 cattle starved to death on its teaching and commercial cattle station.(Thanks to reader Steve.)
The Ombudsman Carolyn Richards has released her report into the deaths that happened between September last year and May this year at Mataranka Station.
The report has criticised the university and government departments for taking six months to properly respond to reports about the animal neglect.
Their local Christian minister may be boring, but safer
Patronising a sweet native custom may have sweet natives taking the mickey out of you.
And now it’s become an international incident:
The Maldives Police Service have arrested two men involved in the infamous ‘wedding’ ceremony at Vilu Reef Resort and Spa, in which the ‘celebrant’ and up to 15 complicit members of staff degrade and humiliate a Swiss couple in Dhivehi…(Thanks to readers Paul and David.)
Maldives Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed issued a state apology to the couple, who have not been identified but are believed to be from Switzerland.
Roy shouldn’t be there, yet has graced Parliament
I think a 20-year-old has seen and learned too little to be a federal Member of Parliament. I think a 20-year-old is too callow and unformed to already commit himself to one side of politics for the rest of his career. And I also think Wyatt Roy gave a fine maiden speech and has a great career ahead of him:
I am immensely proud of the fact that I am a young person elected to this Parliament. I am immensely proud of the fact that it was the Liberal National Party and the Liberal Party federally that has recognised that our Parliament works more effectively and better government is delivered when we bring a diverse background of people to this place.One thing more. I also think Roy has a confidence that must come from a loving family:
I am humbled and proud of the fact that here on the Coalition benches I am joined by the Member for Hasluck – Ken Wyatt.
I am proud to have found my political home in the Liberal National Party, the side of politics that is the home for not only the Member for Hasluck, the Member for Solomon and me, in this Parliament, but also the side of politics which provided the first federal woman MP, Dame Enid Lyons; the first woman to administer a Department, Dame Annabelle Rankin; and her successor representing Queensland in the Senate, the first Indigenous parliamentarian, Neville Bonner.
I am proud to come from the Party which appointed the first Aboriginal Affairs Minister and the first Federal Minister for the Environment.
And of course the first female ever elected to the Parliament of Queensland, also came from this side of politics. That was Irene Longman, and I am privileged to represent the seat named in her honour.
These firsts represent real and practical outcomes that we have achieved based on the merit of the individual – not an unfair quota system.
It is the Liberal side of politics that believes that liberalism is the path to greater fairness, but enforced equality never liberates.
Two minutes into her son’s speech, Mrs Roy was wiping away tears. Wyatt’s dad Henry and his younger sister Dayna could not keep the smiles off their faces…
Mr Roy spoke of the challenges on his road to the election and the lessons of life his father Henry had helped him to learn.
“My upbringing influenced the political path I have taken . . . I see my own personal story as a Liberal story, a story of opportunity and enterprise,” Mr Roy said.
“My father has taught me the importance of service, of compassion, of responsibility and of quiet but steadfast pride in our country.”
As Mr Roy’s father left the chamber he told The Australian through tears: “That’s my boy he is. I’m so proud.”