Wednesday, April 06, 2011

News Items and comments

fascinating when you consider so many trade off many years to be fat.
Almost one-third of young women would give up a year or more of their lives to lose weight, a new survey finds
Division is death in politics.
LIFE for federal Labor members of parliament has become a cruel farce. Each day brings new twists, complexities and ambiguities. Kafka himself couldn't imagine their ordeal.
Ready to negotiate if they don't have to listen.
LIBYA said yesterday it is ready to negotiate reforms but only provided Muammar Gaddafi is not forced out.

Private schools deserve more cash. Each student at a private school costs the public purse less.
HALF of the nation's private schools get more money than they are entitled to, the Australian Education Union said as it called for the funding model to be abolished.
Neighbor from Hell.
A SIMPLE household fan is at the centre of a bizarre court action, with an Eastern Suburbs woman claiming its "offensive noise and vibration" is causing her sleep deprivation and heart palpitations.
Misleading headline, foreigners let in to grow food ..
AUSTRALIA'S food bowl is under increasing pressure as foreign investors snap up billions of dollars worth of prime farmland.
There are plenty of unemployed laborites in NSW
A BITTER union feud has erupted over Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan's push to install the Prime Minister's former chief of staff as the new ALP national secretary.
What was more important? Child care worker or nightclub veteran?
IT HAD all the hallmarks of a gangland-style payback. Three offenders single out a former friend for a brutal bashing after the victim allegedly belted one of their sisters in an earlier assault.
Good to know.
REGULARLY going a day without food may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors studied the health and habits of more than 200 residents in the US state of Utah, where many Mormons fast...
I get to find out about granddads era. Wil they show ALP connections?
THE year was 1926 when ambitious gangster Norman Bruhn headed for Sydney after burning his bridges in Melbourne's underworld.
Tasmania fails in terms of offshore processing .. Comment thanks to genius Morrison.
ASYLUM seekers will be sent to Tasmania to help ease overcrowding on Christmas Island -- meaning detention facilities will soon exist in every Australian state.
At last, sensible regulation without a hand in the back pocket.
THE new Hospitality, Gaming and Racing Minister George Souris has "deep concerns" about advertising billboards which promote gambling agencies at some of the state's major sporting venues.
Gary Cachia
agree with betting advertising and controls on internet gambling but i see these as a side issues to promote an anti pre commitment spin-question the motive is it clubs driven?

the pre commitment of $ prior to sitting down at a machine will make people agree before they are caught up in the lure of the machines. the concept is aimed at reducing peoples losses that they cant afford.

people can make a choice on their limits. hence if they budget $10000 for gambling thats their limit.

internet gambling eventually stops as people cant afford to maintain there luxury bills.

a licence to gamble with understanding on the effects of gambling would allow for more informed and responsible gambling.

RSA laws already in place for serving alcohol, more RSA inspectors fining venues could enforce the law. love thethreestrikesidea but unless there are people to catch the breaches it will continue.
I remember Tripodi chuckling over the loss of life in parliament.
IT'S the most dangerous stretch of bitumen in the nation -- a 150km section of the Pacific Highway that has caused carnage and misery for years. But a $50 million upgrade of the highway's "death zone"...
Authorised by the ALP .. an example of their dirty work which apparently has been endorsed by the electoral commission.
Labor's disgrace on election day. In Chinese & Vietnamese only and imitating the...


Ballot box retribution

Miranda Devine – Sunday, April 03, 11 (06:38 am)

SOMETIMES for voters there comes the sweet moment when a confluence of circumstances permits them to administer a fatal dose of retribution at the ballot box.

I wish Gillian Sneddon well, but I must point out her issue is no less compelling than mine. I too ran as an independent against my ALP abusers. I too have done nothing wrong but have been victimised and smeared by the ALP. My issue is a tad more serious in that a school child died and it was covered up. The public are aware of the circumstances and yet I get no media coverage.

Hamidur Rahman was a year 8 student at Hurlstone AHS when he died in 2002. His teacher had ordered him to lick peanut butter from a spoon as a reward for an activity. The teacher was not aware that Hamidur had a peanut allergy, but his school was and the education department covered up the fact from the coronial enquiry which eventually decided that Hamidur’s parents were partly to blame for the accident. The Education department has since admitted to the Legislative Council that I had warned the school the previous year and they had not informed staff. But no one has commented on this.

I was threatened when the NSW Premier had apparently parachuted an attack dog into a mid level public service position .. something that is supposed to be illegal. Legislation was written and enacted to persecute me. I was threatened and I in turn threatened to resign from my public service position and speak openly about the issue. I did so, and discovered that the press could choose not to report on the death of a school boy.

I approached the police, legal aid, Ombudsman and ICAC and no one was willing to investigate my claims. Thanks to Marie Ficarra and Liberal Party people like Joseph Adams and Zaya Toma (former students of mine) questions were asked of the Education Department in the Legislative Council, but there was no follow up. That was partly because the ALP delayed answering the question until just before a recess and so parliamentary rules intervened to prevent further enquiry.

I am a fully qualified Mathematics teacher with over 17 years of successful public high school experience and no one is willing to give me a days work. Not from public or private. I believe the attack dog has worked to ensure that. My citizenship was questioned and I was in danger of deportation (I have aboriginal ancestry for crying out loud). Evidence of my citizenship was shredded by order of Bob Carr (he didn’t know he was shredding that, it was just something he did).

I have come near to losing my home and I have lost my life savings. I have been four years without a permanent full time job. When I got work as a teacher’s aide I was denied basic minimum wage entitlements.

I ran for the 2010 federal election in Paul Keating’s old seat of Blaxland and in the 2011 election in Tripodi’s old seat of Fairfield. But press have damped reporting on any of my issues. Fairfield Advance failed to even post an article on candidates in the federal election.

What do I have to do to be heard?

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 03 Apr 11 (08:15pm)
Linda replied to DD Ball
Mon 04 Apr 11 (12:09pm)

I have read about your case many times DD, and I guess you meant to say you wished Gillian well. I don’t think however that you can diminish one tragedy by another - no-one should forget that Milton Orkopoulos was feeding drugs, inclduing heroin, to young men to both hook and stupefy them for his personal gratification, and that according to evidence presented at his trial he had comprehensively destroyed at least two lives.

That there could have been any question over how those allegations were handled is indicative of a systematic failure which has never been addressed, for probably the same reasons as you feel your matter has not. Having also been working very hard to ensure that this personal injustice and the failure of the last NSW Government to address some very pertinent questions, such as how a witness in a covert investigation who has disclosed that to her employer could then be locked out of her workplace by that employer at Orkopoulos’ request and no-one is allowed to ask why, does not remain under the carpet where Labor had swept it, I can sympathise with you. It is usually though the political rather than either the legal or the departmental which stands a chance of public airing. The ICAC and the Ombudsman, and 3 Premiers now have also refused to investigate Gillian’s claims also.

mags replied to DD Ball
Mon 04 Apr 11 (01:06pm)

There’s a new broom there now DD. Try again and you might get another answer.

I think also that the new Member for Swansea should hire this courageous lady to run the electoral office. She deserves it.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (11:30 am)

Nuclear convert George Monbiot took part last week in a televised debate with Australian activist Helen Caldicott, whose opposition to nuclear power has a half-life of two million years. This crank-on-crank action led to a Monbiot revelation:

Over the last fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

I began to see the extent of the problem after a debate last week with Helen Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is the world’s foremost anti-nuclear campaigner. She has received 21 honorary degrees and scores of awards, and was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. Like other greens, I was in awe of her. In the debate she made some striking statements about the dangers of radiation. So I did what anyone faced with questionable scientific claims should do: I asked for the sources. Caldicott’s response has profoundly shaken me.

That response – and Monbiot’s point-by-point takedowns – may be found here. It’s a classic fisking:

Caldicott: Yes the mind has been boggling for some time, this to my mind is the greatest conspiritorial coverup in the history of medicine.

Monbiot: Er, right.

Do read on.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (12:35 am)

Kellie Caught, an open-minded type employed by the World Wildlife Fund, ventures a view on those who are against a carbon tax:

“Their rally in Canberra was offensive. They always say no, they always say delay, they don’t think Australia can succeed and they don’t have Australia’s national interest at heart,” she said in a statement …

“This is our chance to turn this shock-jock story around. To let history record that when they tried to engineer a dangerous and angry Tea Party-like movement in Australia, ordinary families neutralised it with a larger positive and peaceful movement.”

It’s a tax for peace! Keep on celebrating, Kellie. In other positive and peaceful news:

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong insists Prime Minister Julia Gillard will see the carbon price through, no matter how unpopular …

Asked on Sky News if Ms Gillard might waver, Senator Wong responded: “Absolutely not.”

She’s never wavered before. Meanwhile, an arts graduate who for some reason is described as a “climate change expert” promises tax cuts:

Climate change expert Ross Garnaut says he expects the federal government to adopt his recommendation to provide income tax cuts under a carbon price …

“I’m sure that income tax cuts will be part of it,” Professor Garnaut said.

But they’ll be peaceful tax cuts.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (09:02 pm)

When a safety car isn’t.


Temperature down in March

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (10:17 am)


Still falling.... with the next El Nino at least year or more away.


A hole in the argument

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (07:59 am)

February 11: Good Environment says if we could unite to fix the ozone hole, we can also unite to tackle global warming:

Remember, it was in 1989 that world leaders got serious about combating ozone depletion, and successfully negotiated the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.

In the world international climate negotiations, The Montreal Protocol process is often held up as a success story, an example of how international environmental diplomacy works. It’s important to remember, though, that solving ozone depletion basically meant forcing industry to find chemical replacements for CFCs. A tough sell for pro-business political forces, but a relatively easy fix. Solving the climate crisis involves an entire economy-wide shift in energy production.

March 6: Uh oh:

DEPLETION of the ozone layer over the Arctic has reached record levels, the UN weather agency WMO says, blaming harmful substances in the atmosphere and a very cold winter.

Blames a very cold winter? Seems we might be safer if it got warmer, after all.


Labor must “save” the planet or save itself

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (07:45 am)

Labor and the Canberra journalists offering it advice must one day accept that the party must choose:

- either give up the global warming hysteria and its carbon dioxide tax

- or give up any hope of being elected.

For too long the Canberra elite has fooled itself into thinking the voters really wouldn’t mind spending hundreds of dollars a head on vague schemes to “save” the world from global warming. That was always a fantasy, and one becoming more obvious by the day:

NEW polling shows 59 per cent of people do not support a carbon tax and more than half believe it would not help the environment.

The polling, conducted for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the last weekend in March, identified concerns about job losses among those surveyed.

The basic question must be asked - and the answer is fatal to Labor: what difference will Julia Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax make to the world’s temperature?


The world’s temperature dips again in March to 0.1 degrees below the long-term average.


The rain Labor said would not fall delays Labor’s solution to our “drought”

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (07:33 am)

The Labor Government claimed global warming would dry up Victoria’s rains:

Unfortunately, we cannot rely on this kind of rainfall like we used to...

That’s why it ordered a $5,7 billion desalination plant, rather than a $1.4 billion dam that would have given it three times more water.

Fast forward to today:

AUSTRALIA’s biggest desalination plant, at Wonthaggi, is six to 12 months behind schedule, with cost over-runs and big financial penalties now threatening to deny the builder a return on the multibillion-dollar project…

Electrical Trades Union Victorian secretary Dean Mighell said that under the desal work schedule, 500 electricians should have been on site by last August....He agreed that heavy rain was the key cause of delays.


Is that a “yes”?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (07:27 am)

SA Police minister Kevin Foley, bopped twice in three months at a bar or restaurant, with Matt and Dave on ABC 891 yesterday:

Matt Abraham: I’m asking whether you have an argumentative personality and whether that makes you a trouble magnet?

Foley: I’m really offended by that. I didn’t go seeking an argument but as only you two bitter and twisted public servants can do you’ve just got to twist it and make me the victim. This is really low rent stuff. To have to be put through this from you two sitting in your chairs from your lofty heights never having to have done a real day’s work I find it damn offensive.


Labor’s light on the hill isn’t a Lampe

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (07:08 am)

Yet another sign of disarray:

A FACTIONAL brawl has erupted within Labor after an attempt to hand its top national party post to a former staffer of Julia Gillard who honed her political skills with the NSW Right faction.

The push to appoint Amanda Lampe as ALP national secretary comes only two weeks after voters handed Labor a caning in the NSW election and 10 weeks after Ms Lampe left the Prime Minister’s office amid criticism she put media management ahead of policy work.

But the plan was slapped down by Right faction leader and national executive member Joe de Bruyn, who said Ms Lampe was inappropriate as she had no experience in the federal secretariat; other powerbrokers weighed in to pour scorn on the idea.

I doubt the fact that Lampe honed her alleged political skills in NSW is the real problem. The doubts are whether she has political skills to speak of, and whether she is a living embodiment of the New Class that has led Labor so disastrously astray from its traditions and its more attractive self.


Gillard sinking, and should throw Rudd overboard

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (06:39 am)

Simon Benson nominates three problems that are killing Labor - Julia Gillard is coming over as a flake, she’s selling a flaky policy and she’s being challenged by a flake:

A kind observer would describe the curious personality Gillard is trying to build for herself as “multi-faceted”. A less-kind observer might note the massive apparent contradictions. Clearly, people aren’t buying it…

The PM hasn’t had a consistent theme and the messages have been conflicting. For instance, the attack on the Greens does not sit well with the image that most people have of her happily sitting down with Bob Brown six months ago and signing a pact to form government…

Attempting to demonise the carbon tax rally was a mistake. It suggested again to people that anyone who is worried about this is an idiot.

But the fatal mistake the Government appears to be making on this issue is in believing the myth that the problem with the carbon tax is that Gillard isn’t selling it well.

The carbon tax is not popular. It’s never going to be popular. The PM knows this....

Kevin Rudd, the man who ran his cabinet like the mythical league of the Scarlet Pimpernel “one to command, 19 to obey” - decided to confess his mistake in dropping the emissions trading scheme.

No one could begrudge his honesty. But Rudd is not a man to engage in a history war without a higher purpose.

Seriously, what are people to make of cryptic comments such as, “I’ve learned a thing or two for the future”?

Former Labor leader Mark Latham says Gillard should tackle the last of those problems first:

When asked how he would handle Mr Rudd, Mr Latham replied, “call his bluff. Will he walk?

“If you put him out of the ministry for breaches of cabinet solidarity, and all the other mischief that is well and truly on the public record, maybe his agenda is to think, well, Gillard will lose the next election.

“A desperate Labor party will turn back to him, the grateful public will re-embrace him at the election after that and he can bounce back as prime minister, do a Menzies.”

Mr Rudd’s behaviour should not go unpunished, Mr Latham said.

“Call it sabotage, call it whatever you like, you can’t allow that to happen… You’re better off calling the bluff of troublemakers than allowing them to be immune to any form of discipline.”

Rudd defiant:

Mr Rudd made no public comment yesterday, but it is understood he has told colleagues he had no intention to destabilise the Gillard government because he took seriously the fact that he was one of its senior members.

However, he had also made clear he would not be party to any lies about the history of his government.

Paul Kelly is scathing of Gillard’s clumsy attempt to throw the Greens overboard instead:

Gillard’s efforts to put more daylight between herself and the Greens is a concession that Labor has got too close to the Greens, either in substance or perception or both.

Such recognition should surprise nobody. This excessive pro-Green alignment has been a strategic failure by Labor since the August election. Gillard, sooner or later, had to adjust.

Indeed, the only surprise is that Gillard waited so long, that she tolerated being played off a break by Greens leader Bob Brown and that she did virtually nothing as Tony Abbott campaigned for eight months on the idea of Labor’s submission to Brown while the Labor primary vote headed south.
It is an extraordinary event when a Labor PM is forced into such clumsy ad hoc manoeuvres to tell the world that Labor is a different party with different policies and values from the Greens.

How on earth did it get to this stage? Can you imagine for a moment Gough Whitlam or Bob Hawke or Paul Keating getting into this predicament where Labor, with its proud history, has to differentiate itself from the Greens before the Australian people. It is a truly sad situation.

(Thanks to readers Correllio and Spin Baby, Spin.)


Killing Qantas doesn’t save the jobs there

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (06:30 am)

It’s the industrial relations rhetoric of last century, and more likely to hurt long-term job security than protect it:

Paddy Crumlin, the Maritime Union leader and president of the International Transport Workers Federation, revealed the federation’s executive board would convene in London next week to map out a major campaign against Qantas that could include industrial action at airports in the US, Britain, Europe and Japan.

Senior union sources described the campaign as “guerilla warfare” with action potentially includingpicket lines, go-slows by baggage handlers servicing Qantas flights at international terminals and union protests at check-in counters...

“The potential damage to the Qantas brand name is absolutely enormous,” Mr Crumlin told The Australian yesterday....

He said the campaign would be activated if Qantas brought in managers to replace striking members of the Transport Workers Union. The TWU has threatened industrial action by baggage handlers, ramp handlers and catering staff unless Qantas agrees to its claim for job security clauses curtailing the use of cheaper outside labour.


I’m not sure this is going to plan

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 06, 11 (12:02 am)

Get the idea that the NBN may not be all the Gillard Government hypes?

The head of construction at NBN Co, the government-owned enterprise building the $36 billion National Broadband Network by 2020, has resigned.

Patrick Flannigan had been in charge of implementing the most expensive part the company’s vast mission: laying a network of fibre optic cables to deliver broadband speeds of 100 megabits per second to 93 per cent of Australians.

The country’s telecommunications industry was shocked to learn late last week that NBN Co had written to 14 construction firms announcing that after five months of negotiations, the NBN’s lucrative tendering process was indefinitely suspended.

Hinting the firms were seeking to “price gouge” the project, the NBN’s head of corporate services Kevin Brown said all the received quotes were overpriced in the “double digits”.


Gillard did promise an offshore detention centre, after all

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (08:54 pm)

The Gillard Government has opened a new detention centre on an island off the mainland, where it will no doubt deter boat people. Guess which island:

A: Nauru
B: Manus
C: East Timor
D: Tasmania.


Luke Grant on MTR announces a new Gillard Government program:

Building the detention centre revolution...

(Thanks to reader Stewart W.)


Goldstone: the dupe who bore false witness

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (06:27 pm)

I haven’t had time this week to do this blog properly, which means I haven’t done Richard Goldstone justice. LuckilySinclair Davidson doesn’t miss the belatedly recantation of a man who so foolishly and irresponsibly did so much harm to Israel by presuming - as only a lawyer who’s a UN favorite could - that Hamas was some morally equivalent entity, equally committed to truth and justice.


Apologise, Robert. You demean both Sheridan and the Holocaust

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (03:12 pm)

Professor Robert Manne makes a despicable analogy to smear the author of a thoughtful piece recanting a long support of multiculturalism:

I WAS astonished at the huge lift-out quote used to lead readers to Greg Sheridan’s article announcing his conversion to the anti-Muslim cause. We have all seen people of different ethnicities doing unpleasant things. This does not normally lead people of good will to claim, by inference, that these things are in any sense typical.

If one replaces the word “Jewish” by the words “Middle Eastern” in the quote this is the result: “A middle-aged white woman emerged alone from the station. Two strong young men of Jewish appearance began taunting her before spitting at her and walking away laughing. She wiped the spittle off her face and hurried home.”
Such a quote would not have been out of place in Julius Streicher’s notorious anti-semitic Nazi periodical, Der Stuermer.

Robert Manne, Melbourne


Who are Labor’s sceptics?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (10:32 am)

Let Kevin Rudd name the names of those who know this tax is at best useless and at worst a disaster:

FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd last night admitted he made a mistake when he shelved his plans for an emissions trading scheme, a policy that had deeply divided cabinet, with some members wanting it ditched entirely…

In an extraordinary breach of cabinet confidentiality, the Foreign Minister said he had tried to find a compromise solution in the wake of a push from some members of the cabinet to “kill the ETS” after it was twice rejected by a hostile Senate.

You had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether . . . I couldn’t abide that,” Mr Rudd said. “There were others that said we should stick to the existing timetable, apart from the fact that the Senate couldn’t deliver it. I tried to find a way up the middle of all that, preserve the unity of the government.

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