Monday, April 11, 2011

News Items and comments

Why does left wing media accept this?
TENS of thousands of anti-government "Red Shirts" gathered in Bangkok on Sunday to mark a year since a deadly rally in the capital.
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MP over board?
DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith has no choice but to launch an independent inquiry into allegations of abuse, cover-ups and lies at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
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An industry to exploit teens.
OLYMPIC Park was teeming with police yesterday as drug squads with sniffer dogs searched thousands of teenage R & B enthusiasts at the Superfest music festival.
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Reminds me of the bus driver who got into trouble for correctly reporting on a kid showing his mates a knife.
ALL he wanted was his fare. All they wanted was a free ride. Footage captured on the streets of Kings Cross shows two taxi passengers attacking the driver from the rear seat when they get to the end o...
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They can afford the fines
DRIVERS from the CBD, Bondi and Silverwater are officially the biggest leadfoots, picking up the state's most speeding fines per head, an investigation has found.
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An ALP hangover legacy. Take years to clear.
THOUSANDS of motorists were trapped in gridlock yesterday as two sporting events collided to cause a meltdown on Sydney's roads.
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If she fails the federal ALP may be wiped from NSW
IN Premier Barry O'Farrell's first official meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard this week, he will ask for the $2 billion in funding for the North West Rail Link.
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Lillee, Thompson Blitz England -- he he, the iPad app wanted to replace 'Lillee' with 'killer'
IT WAS the magazine that made history for what wasn't being worn -- courtesy of that nude male centrefold. On the weekend, an ABC1 telemovie about Cleo and its pioneering editor, Ita Buttrose, will re...
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Is this an election promise?
HOMEOWNERS could soon be graced with a surprise gift from the major banks -- a small interest-rate cut.

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What is wrong with the old fruit?
AMONG the deluge of ornaments and jewels arriving at Buckingham Palace for the royal wedding will be a gift with a difference.
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They promised this would not happen before the election.
NEARLY half the population of Sydney faces electricity bill rises of more than $170 a year from July, much higher than forecast.
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Murphy has the freedom to live elsewhere.
SUSPECTED shoplifters are being outed by stores posting their mug shots on "walls of shame".

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If it doesn't change behavior then why do it?
THE majority of the five million people who only occasionally play poker machines would not be affected by mandatory pre-commitment technology
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Too much hyperbole. A fascinating survey.
DIGGERS at Gallipoli in 1915 favoured rum over beer, but Turkish soldiers went for the amber fluid as they fought pitched trench battles just metres away from each other.
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It doesn't help that good women, like Dai Le miss out from apparent corruption by the ALP
IT HAS a reputation as "the bear pit" because of its aggressive nature, but perhaps State Parliament should be renamed "the bare pit" because of the lack of women.
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It is hard to be Christian in NSW public schools. There are many challenges from other members of staff who seem to feel that secular education means one doesn’t admit to an understanding of Christianity. It was harder for me as I was only a young Christian when I first became a teacher and had been raised as an atheist. I didn’t understand etiquette and I could not handle my own prayer life.
Some times I felt embarrassed by the work of my fellow Christians, and sometimes I felt resentful of the prosyletising of the Atheists on staff. I now feel it is like religion in politics. I prefer politicians who are Christians, and want them to be honest about their Christian life. But I want them to adhere to secular policy. I feel it is wonderful a girl might be able to pray with her teacher. I feel it is important that Atheist students don’t feel obliged. But I want them to know that adults have made choices.

God forbid a Year 8 girl find peace

Miranda Devine – Sunday, April 10, 11 (10:41 am)

AN enthusiastic chaplain in a NSW south coast school who has inspired a few children’s faith in God has sent the ABC, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby and Education Minister Peter Garrett into a tizz.

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LANES OF MYSTERY

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 11 (09:59 am)

Millennia from today, when archeologists happen upon remnants of 21st century Sydney, what on earth will they make of Clover Moore’s bicycle lanes?

Footpaths should be easy enough to understand, and roads will always be roads. No trouble figuring those out. But these smaller, secondary deals, with their own elaborate traffic-management micro-systems and running parallel to proper streets … good luck getting a handle on those, hover-kart driving denizens of the future.

Popular theories may include:

• Additional footpaths for the morbidly obese

• Access roads for the tumbrils used to haul convicted Labor ministers away from Macquarie Street

• “Baby lanes” for pre-school driver training in little pedal cars

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NATIONAL SOCIALIST

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 11 (02:17 am)

A German socialist seeks to lead Britain’s National Union of Students. Mark Bergfeld is a fan of window-smashing and general mayhem:

He has described the invasion of Millbank tower, during which thousands of students besieged the HQ of the Conservative Party last November, as “brilliant”.

Despite disturbing scenes which saw windows smashed and a fire extinguisher thrown from the roof of the building, Mr Bergfeld refused to condemn the students’ actions, stating: “There was no violence taking place and I don’t condemn any action that was taken on that protest.”

It all sounds vaguely familiar.

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HIT AND HIT AND HIT AND RUN

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 11 (01:19 am)

Location: Kings Cross, Australia’s urban brawling capital. Cablog’s Adrian Neylan records two furious thugsattacking one of his fellow taxi drivers.

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449 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S ABC TAX

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 11 (01:04 am)

Remarkably, Al Jazeera provides more balanced coverage of Australian carbon tax debates than do some local news outlets:



Compare and contrast.

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THAT’S WHY WE SMOKE IT

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 11 (12:42 am)

Attributed to federal health minister Nicola Roxon, although further verification is required:

“There is no safe amount of tobacco you can drink.”

Sounds too stupid to be true, but you never know with Labor types.

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DAB OF OPPO

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 10, 11 (11:50 pm)

Opposition leader Kevin Rudd works the electorate:

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Protocol at Lakemba

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (09:36 am)

Not reassuring at all in dispelling “myths”:

A MOSQUE in western Sydney was selling copies of the inflammatory anti-Semitic book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the same weekend it opened its doors to the wider community to dispel some of the myths surrounding Islam.

The bookstall on the ground floor of the Lakemba Mosque had in stock about 15 bright-pink paperback editions of The Protocols for sale for $8.

The Protocols is a hoax document first published in Russia in 1903 that purports to be an account of a meeting of Jewish leaders discussing plans for economic world domination. The books were for sale in a small makeshift bookshop lined with ornate copies of the Koran in a room off a car park underneath the mosque.

On a large table in the middle of the room was a jumble sale of books ranging from early childhood education to cookbooks, including a couple of stacks of The Protocols among the piles of Islamic literature.

When asked by The Australian why the mosque was selling The Protocols, the bookshop volunteer hurriedly grabbed the books and said he would take them off the table. ``We’re not racist. I don’t want any trouble,’’ he said. ``I can’t read, I don’t read the books, I don’t know what’s in them. I don’t decide what books are chosen.’’

(No link to The Australian article.)

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Should Liberals boycott Q&A?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (07:00 am)

John Pasquarelli has advice:

The ABC has got away with blue murder for years with “Red” Kerry O’Brien the ex-Whitlam staffer doing over Coalition interviewees as he liked on the 7.30 Report. I have never been a fan of Barry O’Farrell but I warmed to him immensely on the NSW election night ABC coverage when he gave O’Brien the flick; I hope he doesn’t renege.

From now on, Coalition MPs should firmly resist the efforts of their media enemies to participate in mindless and destructive stunts saying, “thanks for the offer but with all respect I haven’t come here to make a fool of myself for your cameras; I’ve come here to listen to the concerns of ordinary Australians”.

The next target for a Coalition determined to take on their media enemies is the ABC’s Q&A which is simply a disgrace where Coalition dummies are set up to be shot down: I can’t understand how people can be so desperate to get their heads on TV that they jettison all pride and dignity.

Boycotting Q&A will destroy the show as it will not survive just having Greens and Labor on the panel so Tony Jones will be left with Lateline. Chris Uhlmann and Leigh Sales on 7.30 should be given a fair go, as to date they have proved to be objective.

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Smith at war with his generals

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (06:35 am)

While I share Defence Ministe Stephen Smith’s concerns - given the facts alleged - I did think he went in unusually hard and fast. Now he has trouble:

THE defence leadership is in a stand-off over the handling of the sex scandal at the Australian Defence Force Academy, with the military brass refusing to bow to Stephen Smith’s demand to act against the academy chief.

The Defence Minister last week asked the Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Houston, to discipline ADFA commandant Bruce Kafer for his handling of the case in which a male cadet used Skype to broadcast himself having sex with a female cadet.

But at a meeting of defence chiefs at their Russell Hill headquarters in Canberra on Friday evening, no decision to take action was made.

Defence sources told The Australian yesterday there was now a “Mexican stand-off” between the minister and the CDF over the fate of Commodore Kafer…

After the scandal broke, Mr Smith refused to back Commodore Kafer, accused Defence of acting insensitively, said he would seek to have the charge against the 18-year-old woman, an air force cadet, quashed and heavily criticised the handling of the incident.

The minister’s public statements were criticised last week by some as interference, with one source expressing the view that it was wrong for Mr Smith to “hang out to dry” the commandant in public without full advice.

Senior Defence officers are arguing that Commodore Kafer has done nothing wrong in the handling of the affair, and acted immediately he was aware of the incident…

Mr Smith said last week that the ADFA’s decision to put the female cadet through a disciplinary hearing (on the charge) was “inappropriate, insensitive or completely stupid”. He wanted action taken against Commodore Kafer on these grounds as well....The chiefs have been told that ADFA gave Kate the opportunity to have the “misdemeanors” she faced delayed for hearing, but with legal advice she had decided to have the matters dealt with immediately.

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Saying no to the burqa

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

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It is a debate we should have while still few women wear it. Later is too late:

THE federal opposition has backed a West Australian minister’s controversial comments on the burka, saying the dress goes against Australian culture and should not be worn.

WA Minister for Women’s Interests Robyn McSweeney sparked heated debate when she spoke out against the burka at the weekend, labelling it “alien” to Australia’s way of life. “I’m saying that it’s confronting when somebody’s face is not showing and I personally think that they’re being oppressed,” Ms McSweeney told The Australian yesterday. “I would just love for them to have the freedom to show their faces.”

Opposition parliamentary secretary for the status of women Michaelia Cash said the burka had nothing to do with religion because Islam stipulated modesty only, not the wearing of a face covering. She said the dress deprived women of their identity and isolated them from society. “It is inconsistent with our culture and values and I truly believe that women should not do it,” she said.

Both Senator Cash and Ms McSweeney said they were not advocating legislation to ban the burka but wanted Australians to have a “conversation” about whether it should be worn.

As for the Government’s role, is it to encourage everyone else to accept the burqa or encourage the few who support them not to?

Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis said ... her view was that governments should support a person’s choice in dress and encourage understanding of diversity.

What does “encourage understanding of diversity” even mean?

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Of course we’ll pay - and so will Labor

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (05:34 am)

Professor Sinclair Davidson nails the obvious deceit the Gillard Government is frantically perpetrating about its carbon dioxide tax:

Andrew Leigh—first-term ALP backbencher and former professor of economics at the Australian National University—recently said that the policy consisted of big polluters being taxed and money given to households, while the Coalition policy consisted of households being taxed and the money being given to polluters.

On the ABC’s Insiders yesterday, Finance Minister Penny Wong said: “This is not a tax that people pay; this is a tax that polluters pay.” That sounds all very reassuring, until we remember that Treasury thinks that household expenditure will go up by $860 per year for a $30 a tonne carbon tax.

What many people don’t know is that the carbon tax will have to be much more than $30 a tonne to be effective.

As both Leigh and Wong know the argument that only the big polluters will pay is nonsense, some might say dishonest. There are two points to remember. It is household demand for goods and services that gives rise to carbon pollution. In any event big polluters will simply pass on the cost to their customers. So we know the carbon tax will be paid out of the household budget through higher prices and in some cases job losses.

The reality is that while big polluters will have to pay money to government , the burden will fall on people.

It’s so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be pointed out - unless we had a Government now trading in the most demeaning spin.

But what else can it do? The Government’s negotiations over its tax seem a one-way ticket to a brawl it knows it cannot survive:

But the Greens are still insisting the 2009 industry compensation—which they voted down in the Senate with Tony Abbott’s Coalition—is too generous, while industry, now much more assertive against a minority government, is arguing it doesn’t go far enough…

It’s little wonder Wayne Swan left business leaders last week with the clear impression that a carbon tax was the last thing he wanted to talk about and Greg Combet made clear his views on the Greens.

UPDATE

Worse and worse ... so the business lobby is at least speaking out:

Don Voelte, chief executive of the biggest Australian-owned LNG company Woodside Petroleum, yesterday warned that the carbon tax could be the breaking point in deferring or even cancelling some of the $130 billion to be invested in gas projects in Australia in coming years.

Mr Voelte said Australia was “going it alone” in the world with its plans for a carbon tax, which would penalise gas as a clean energy source, push up domestic gas prices and the cost of living, and hurt exports and manufacturing…
e market price only under certain conditions…

The American-born Mr Voelte said that after travelling the world talking to investors it was clear people were “dreaming” if they thought the US was going to legislate on emissions trading or a carbon tax and that Australia was “going way out on point”.

He warned LNG producers would “dump” the extra costs of a carbon tax as well as the “huge hidden costs” of implementing the tax on to consumers in the domestic market.

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If the Government is doing so well, why is it so broke?

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, April 10, 11 (05:36 pm)

If unemployment has fallen, the economy must really be more sluggish than most think to produce this shortfall:


THE federal budget will return to surplus in 2012 despite new figures showing a $4.5 billion shortfall in revenue from company and personal income tax revenue, Treasurer Wayne Swan says…

Mr Swan today released new figures showing commonwealth tax collections had fallen short by $4.5 billion over the first eight months of this financial year.

Personal income tax collections are down by about $1 billion while business tax collections are $3 billion lower than expected, compared with Treasury’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook forecasts released in November.

“The summer’s natural disasters, continued consumer caution, the subdued recovery in household wealth, and the higher dollar are all weighing heavily on government revenues,” Mr Swan said in an economic note.

Finance Minister Penny Wong was sounding the same dire warnings on Insiders this morning, before adding this spin on the Government’s planned carbon dioxide tax - spin that made me wonder if this Government is capable of ever telling a frank truth:

This is not a tax that people pay, this is a tax that polluters pay.

If that’s so, then why did she promptly go on to talk about paying compensation to the consumers? Compensation for what, Penny?

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Towards a nation of tribes

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, April 10, 11 (05:14 pm)

Marvellous multicultural Melbourne:

THREE men were stabbed and another knocked unconscious during a brutal attack in Melbourne’s south east overnight. ...

Police said a group of about 15 men were walking home from a party along Springvale Rd, near the intersection of Balmoral Ave, just before 1.30am when they got into an argument with another group of 15 men…

Three men, aged in their early 20s and of Pacific Islander appearance, received stab wounds to their arms and hands… The second group of men who assaulted these men are perceived to be of African appearance.

(Thanks to reader Chris.)


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