Friday, May 13, 2011

News items and comments

This post has been affected by a Blogger crash. So formatting is wonky and youtube items didn't post, but the links are here ..


A system developed by those of his followers who had been jailed for drug use, wearing women's clothes and theft.


How Osama bin Laden sent and received thousands of emails without being detected

DESPITE having no internet access in his hideout, Osama bin Laden was a prolific email writer who built a painstaking system that kept him one step ahead of the US government's best eavesdroppers.


An atheist demands another atheist to limit religious work.


Former NSW Premier Bob Carr calls for scrapping of school chaplaincy program

THE $220m school chaplaincy programs should be immediately scrapped to prevent religious influence on state schools, former NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr said today.


Only an election will correct the mistake of Gillard to have lied about her policy.


Tony Abbott appeals to Australia's 'forgotten families'

TONY Abbott last night appealed to "the forgotten families of Australia" who he said had been let down by a wasteful Government.


Rudd claimed he was an economic conservative. That worked.


What Obama Needs to Say to Get Reelected

An Obama reelection campaign based on the same 2008 slogan Yes we can! will like be greeted cynically or worse in the 2012 presidential election campaign.




Mona Lisa Dig Unearths Tombs and a Crypt Beneath Former Italian Convent

Archaeologists searching a former Italian church for the remains of the noblewoman thought to have inspired the Mona Lisa have unearthed a series of crypts, ANSA reported Thursday.


AGW believers publishing under a different name. If they were right, why would they need to lie?


Green Smoke and Mirrors? Vatican Weighs in on Climate Change

A scientific branch of the Vatican is touting a climate-change report that fears for the fate of the world's glaciers, appearing to support an erroneous conclusion from the United Nations' climate panel that skeptics have loudly debunked.


It isn't about popularity. It is about what is appropriate. One shouldn't deny the blood sacrifice of patriots for a cheap thrill.


Taking Liberties: Florida Man in Push to Get Confederate License Plate Approved

To John Adams, you are what you drive…


AS good as they are they can't make up for the abysmal Obama


President Obama Holds on to Bush-era Intelligence and Military Chiefs

Even though he objected many of the practices and missions they executed, President Obama has shown confidence in many of the Bush-era military and intelligence leaders, and looked for ways to keep them in his administration.


There is much in this article that suggests that it is corruption which pervades the court system. The Mallard case was not so much junk science as corruption. by the ALP with willing acceptance by the victim of the ALP's role.


Australia lags in junk forensics remedies

RECENT calls for courts to crack down on junk forensic evidence are welcome, but do not go far enough




Nazi guard, 91, found guilty

JOHN Demjanjuk has been found guilty of helping to murder tens of thousands of Jews in a Nazi death camp.


The claim made by the opposition is substantial. Gillard must show why she rejects it or she must admit it.

Gillard rejects class war claim

JULIA Gillard has rejected Coalition claims her budget is an attack on aspirational families, as she challenged Tony Abbott to back Labor's measures in parliament or find alternative savings.


Let him first raise that child from the dead.


Bridge dad appeals against life term

THE father who was jailed for life with a 32-year minimum term for tossing his daughter off the West Gate Bridge has appealed against the severity of his sentence.


All this pain to fix a problem which doesn't exist.


Carbon tax may choke car industry

AUSTRALIA'S struggling car industry is facing job losses - and additional manufacturing costs of up to $460 million - under the Gillard Government's carbon tax.


There are currently too many in non teaching executive positions. Piccoli may be concerned that the ALP are trying to secure these positions against the needs of students.


Schools' fear over purse strings control

NSW school principals fear a program that aims to give them full control over spending and staff hiring will be axed by new Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, despite a $480 million injection into the...


Global warming?


Out-foxed by wily, cold-blooded killer

THE coldest winter snap in four years envelopes us as we wait in the darkness for a flash of red to scurry across the paddock.


What a dear man.


Full life supporting those in need

THE world would be a better place if we had more people such as Barry Watson. That's what his former neighbour and friend Wendy Truman believes.


This is appropriate. So much of it was ALP pork.


Project control goes back to council

DEVELOPMENTS worth more than $9 billion will be scrapped and sent back to the drawing board due to the State Government reinstating power to local councils to control major building works.


NSW supported the ALP federally in the last election. We are being taken for granted by those we elected.


Freeze hits Sydney families

LABOR'S savage attack on Australia's middle-income earners will punish Sydney almost 10 times as hard as Adelaide, a city where living costs are more than 20 per cent lower.


He wasn't betrayed by his colleagues. They are complicit.


Nuttall guilty despite plea for mercy

FORMER minister Gordon Nuttall was found guilty of contempt and fined $82,000 in a historic day at Queensland Parliament yesterday.


Conduct unbecoming of officers or men. I feel sorry for the girl .. And the Corp.


Academy ejects Skype sex cadets

TWO cadets at the centre of the Australian Defence Force Academy Skype sex scandal have been ejected from the institution.


Abbott has provided 27 detailed actions he would undertake in office. He produced this in two days after the ALP spent months on it's budget. But media has claimed to be confused by Abbotts detail while the media accept the smoke and mirrors of the ALP.


Abbott sets sights on middle ground

TONY Abbott has called for 10-year maximum sentences for people smugglers and a $1 billion cut in red tape for small businesses in his budget reply speech to Parliament last night.


I don't know what the issue is but I empathize. I have endure much over the Hamidur Rahman issue. But closing the bridge is not the way to protest.


Protester causes Harbour Bridge chaos

THE Sydney Harbour Bridge has been closed in both directions due to a police operation after a man climbed the bridge and attached protest banners to its pylons.


That lifestyle doesn't appeal to me.


Tears from son of Sydney bikie boss

IT CAN be dangerous being the son of a leading bikie gang boss. Dallas Fitzgerald, whose father cannot be named for legal reasons, broke down in tears yesterday as he told the Downing Centre District ...


The surplus is imaginary .. Unless one considers the pork.


Swan goes to water on surplus question

IT wasn't a good start to the morning for Wayne Swan, but he had no one to blame but himself - or perhaps an unruly jacket sleeve.


And although I have nothing to do with drugs my home town gets shot up by this scum.


Argument over drug cash sparked gang war

A FIERY altercation inside Sydney's exclusive Ivy bar between Fadi Ibrahim and a rival was the alleged catalyst for a violent war involving the notorious family, a court has heard.


To be fair they could give 'em digital television sets instead.


$350 to sub-contract an $84 installation job

COMPANIES being paid $350 a time to install set-top boxes for pensioners are offering sub-contractors the work for as little as $84.


According to that dill Chopra, everything is the result of choices you made. But this just seems unlucky.


Lightning strikes girl inside home

A 10-YEAR-OLD British girl was struck by lightning inside her home after the bolt shot through her window


Left wing governments are bad money managers.


Greece errupts over budget

THOUSANDS of Greeks took to the streets on Thursday as a general strike shut down the country.


Seven's programming is abysmally bad. So is ten. Reality tv is killing science fiction in the years fiction should be thriving.


Seven 'winner' in TV war

CHANNEL Seven has won its fight to stop its former sales chief James Warburton from starting in the top job at rival Ten this year.


Nuttall should just name Beattie and Bligh as his corrupt partners.

MPs told to behave at Nuttall hearing

QUEENSLAND politicians have been told to behave while their corrupt former colleague Gordon Nuttall addresses parliament today, as former premier Peter Beattie warns it will be an attempt to seek reve...


Truth is stranger than fiction


Wrong turn! Solving 'hot Jupiter' problem

SCIENTISTS say they can now explain why heat-seared giant planets in other solar systems sometimes orbit their star the "wrong" way.


Abbott is giving us good advice. Gillard is failing badly.


Opposition steps up attack

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's move to lift the amount of the money the government can borrow makes a mockery of its economic credentials, the opposition says.


Farr is confused and overstates Abbotts position to make a point. But the reality is what the ALP are doing is wrong.


Abbott's Budget backflip over $150,000 'battlers'

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has previously backed the welfare freezes he is now attacking as a harsh treatment of $150,000-a-year "battlers".


Happy to be of service to ya, Andrew. Even if you don't like my poetry.


Thanks again - Andrew Bolt

Andrew writes for Melbourne's Herald Sun, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Adelaide's Advertiser. He runs Australia's most-read political blog, is on MTR 1377 mornings. He’ll host Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am


David Daniel Ball recommends a link.


Arctic air blows away South Pacific - Piers Akerman

Piers has been one of The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph's best-read columnists since 1993. One of the nation's most respected journalists he has worked in New York, London, Washington and Los Angeles.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 13, 11 (05:19 am)

Previously suckered by Kevin Rudd’s eco-mobile handouts, car makers wise up:

Australia’s struggling car industry is facing job losses and costs of up to $460m under Gillard’s carbon tax …

For the first time, the motor vehicle lobby has weighed into the carbon tax brawl and warned of a wave of “green unemployment” if the Government doesn’t get it right.

What are the odds? But certain mining companies are now supporting the carbon tax:

In a meeting with Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, leaders from the nation’s biggest mining companies – BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and Anglo American – yesterday backed a carbon price that required industries trading overseas to buy a small percentage of the carbon permits they needed for their emissions.

Who would pay for the rest? Well, since you ask …

They said the rest of the permits should be supplied free by the government.

That definition of “free” needs to be nailed down. Speaking of which, Tony Abbott did a fine job in last night’s budget reply speech:

The Government lacks legitimacy, not because it lacks a majority but because it lacks integrity.

This is what should gnaw at the consciences of MPs who support the carbon tax. Only an election can give Australia a government with authority to make the tough decisions needed to build a better future.

Abbott’s full speech is here. The best moments are almost idealistically conservative, which is a flavour of politics rarely heard.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 13, 11 (04:58 am)

Australia’s official hopeless mate tries to install digital TV boxes:

Companies being paid $350 a time to install set-top boxes for pensioners are offering sub-contractors the work for as little as $84.

Tender documents show the Government is making lavish incentive payments for quick installations under the controversial scheme to give all pensioners access to digital television. But Victorian-based Skybridge, one of two companies which have so far won the bulk of the installation work, has offered businesses in western NSW just $84.

The company is linked to another operation set up under a similar name in 2009 to install home insulation under the Government’s bungled pink batts scheme.

A friend of mine went over to his 92-year-old grandfather’s place last December and set him up with a digital receiver he’d bought for $50 or so. This situation is ridiculous.



Tim Blair – Friday, May 13, 11 (04:30 am)

Fired Fairfax subeditors might find work at Crikey, where corrections are always in demand:

Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood has ignored union pleas to backflip on outsourcing subeditors, forging ahead with the controversial proposal and sending moral inside newsrooms at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald plummeting.

(Via Dylan Kissane)



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (01:40 pm)

An anti-leaking order from Wikileaks:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now makes his associates sign a draconian nondisclosure agreement that, among other things, asserts that the organization’s huge trove of leaked material is “solely the property of WikiLeaks,” according to a report Wednesday.

“You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information,” the agreement reads, “the misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”

The penalty for leaking: nearly $20 million.

(Via Instapundit)



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (12:56 pm)

Nature’s delicate balance is threatened:

Climate change doesn’t just mean a threat to polar bears and penguins – it could damage your precious Wifi signal as well, a UK government report has warned.

Add it to the list. Meanwhile, an Englishwoman complains:

Today, I had to explain to my mother that the eruption of volcanoes is mainly caused by the earth’s crust moving about, not by global warming. She’s a primary school teacher.

(Via Nicole, who emails: “Sounds about right.")



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (12:44 pm)

Last seen standing in front of an empty $7 million bicycle lane, Clover Moore has other transport options:

Lord Mayor Clover Moore enjoys two publicly-funded carpark spaces in the CBD, a chauffeur and a $50,000 garage at her private residence. You get a bike rack.

Under a plan before Sydney Council, every new apartment will get its own bicycle locker, yet only one in six will have a car space. But the Lord Mayor has reserved parking spaces just 1km apart at Town Hall and Parliament House.

Empty bike lockers and empty bike lanes. Sydney is a city on the grow!



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 12, 11 (12:18 pm)

Via the bold new urban musical form known as “rap” – never before parodied by white people, so far as I’m aware – a group of climate scientists take down denialism:

Naturally, it’s tax-funded. Anthony Watts: “I have to wonder this about the actual scientists that participated in this farce: what were you thinking?

(Via the Blaze and Kenny H.)


Abbott’s most impressive performance yet

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (09:44 am)

Tony Abbott’s Budget reply last night should terrify Labor.

It didn’t just attack the Government powerfully, with some very good and genuinely funny lines.

It also marked just how far Abbott has come on his mission to rebuild his personality and assume a leader’s mien. He looked and sounded authoritative, strong and passionate. The references to Aboriginal mentors in Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson were well chosen and authentic. There was none of that near-fatal exhibition of self-doubt and almost painful humility - virtues normally, but vices in a leader - that nearly finished him last year. Abbott is growing in the role, and as months go by with no mistakes and no sudden lurches, trust must build in in, too.

But the speech also mapped out a convincing and attractive identity for Abbott’s Liberals and a powerful plan of attack for however long until the next election. He has tapped directly into the fury of the “forgotten families” - the “forgotten people” who make Menzies - by reminding them of how they were lied to by this illegitimate government, and have had their money so lightly squandered by it in an abuse ot trust. The appeal to coal miners were to the kind of people who, if they shift, will decimate Labor and leave it fatally torn between its old class supporters and the New Class ones who treat the former with disdain.

If I hadn’t already declared Gillard’s leadership effectively dead, I would now.


As the Australian reports it:

TONY Abbott has assured Australia’s middle-income earners he does not believe they are rich and demanded Julia Gillard call an election to seek a mandate on her plan to introduce a carbon tax....

Mr Abbott, who has relentlessly toured blue-collar workplaces in recent months campaigning against the carbon tax, also intensified his assault on Labor’s heartland…

“If the ghost of Ben Chifley now hovers over this side of the parliament, it’s because the Coalition is much closer to workers’ real interests than a Labor Party that’s sold its soul to senator Bob Brown,” Mr Abbott said.

“The government lacks legitimacy, not because it lacks a majority but because it lacks integrity.”


How far Abbott has come....


Abbott wanting an election, not a coronation?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (06:38 am)

Tony Abbott has had a think and last night seemed to answer the question I first put to him on Sunday:

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has ruled out doing any deal with the independents to form government and would now only seek to govern with a mandate from a new election

“Only an election can give Australia a government to make the tough decisions needed to build a better future,” he told Parliament.

If that really is his answer, it is the right one.


Cutting benefits here, raising them for Palestinians

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (06:34 am)

Why have we just doubled funding to the greatest welfare ghetto in the world anyway?

ASKED in July 2009, in the aftermath of the Gaza War, if Australia would deal with the Palestinian government if Hamas were to be included, Julia Gillard was unequivocal in her response: “Hamas obviously is a terrorist organisation that has been engaged in violent actions against the Israeli people, and in order to be part of any process it needs to completely renounce that violence.”

So it should stand to reason that following the announcement last week that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group and rival Hamas had agreed to end their long-standing feud and form a unity government, the Australian government must re-assess its relations with the Palestinian Authority.

But in Tuesday night’s budget, it was announced that ”Australian aid to the Palestinian territories and Palestinian refugees in surrounding regions will double to around $70 million per annum by 2012-13”.


Hitting the roof does work, then?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (06:27 am)

As I’ve said, it would be funny if up to 200 people had not died at sea since Labor loosened its laws:

REFUGEE advocates claim two of the 22 asylum-seekers accused of involvement in the torching of Sydney’s Villawood detention centre have been told by immigration officials their refugee claims have been approved…

As seven detainees charged with offences relating to the April riot appeared in court yesterday, refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said two of the detainees said to be involved in the riots had been told their refugee claims would succeed pending security clearances.

According to Mr Rintoul, one detainee had been given the news while still protesting on top of the roof at Villawood.


Ya feel lucky, punk?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (06:21 am)

Of course, the Gillard Government could simply assume these employers are bluffing and just bet all those blue-collar jobs on its tax not hurting...:

TALKS between the coal industry and the government have ended in deadlock, with key coal representatives telling the government they cannot accept the industry compensation package on the table…

In a submission to the government, the Australian Coal Association argued: “It is perplexing that the government has arrived at variations on its old proposals previously shown to deter investment, reduce Australian competitiveness and destroy Australian jobs in favour of enhanced opportunities for overseas competitors for no environmental gain.”

The car industry, meanwhile, warned that the cost of the current scheme, even after assistance arrangements based on the criteria developed for Kevin Rudd’s carbon pollution reduction scheme, would cost the industry between $30 million and $46 million a year. A failure to offset increased costs would adversely affect the ability of the automotive industry to attract future international investment and to sustain jobs. It could also lead to car-makers increasingly sourcing components from overseas.

And remember what all this pain, all these lots jobs, would achieve in lowering the world’s temperature.




Moral to the West’s emboldened rivals: just carry a big gun

Andrew Bolt – Friday, May 13, 11 (06:05 am)

NATO’s ineffectual war in inconsequential Libya drags on into stalemate

Libya’s rebel forces need their international allies to supply them with more weapons if they are to make a breakthrough in their fight against Muammar Gaddafi, rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Thursday… The fighting has reached a stalemate, with the government in control of the capital and most of western Libya, while the rebels hold Benghazi and other towns in the oil-producing east.

Meanwhile in the lynchpin of Syria, worse outrages go uncountered:

A Geneva-based jurists’ group said troops have killed 700 people and rounded up thousands while indiscriminately shelling towns during the nearly two-month crackdown, the biggest challenge to Assad’s 11-year authoritarian rule.

Still, the Libyan disaster has helped to expose how weak some NATO partners have allowed themselves to become, hiding behind a US which is itself now weakening:

NATO’s secretary-general says the alliance’s Libyan operation has made plain a growing gap in military technology between the United States and other members.

In a speech in Washington Thursday, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that aspects of the Libyan operation could not have been carried out without U.S. technology. He cited drones, surveillance equipment and precision weapons.

Noting the declining military budgets of some NATO allies, he said he is worried that European allies risk falling behind.

Meanwhile, the US is being drained of precisely what it no longer has to spare, as a key objector to this folly now points out:

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday the air war in Libya has cost the United States roughly $750m to date, more than initially anticipated by the Pentagon.


Malaysians aren’t so keen on Gillard’s swap, either

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (03:38 pm)

Malaysian commentators seem no keener on Julia Gillard’s five-boat-people-for-one swap than do journalists here.

Take Dennis Ignatius, Malaysia’s former High Commissioner to Britain and Ambassador to China, and now a columnist of the Malaysian Star newspaper:

Malaysia already plays reluctant host to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and refugees. It is a well-documented fact that they endure great hardship and abuse.... All refugees are treated as illegal immigrants and are subject to arrest, detention, punishment, and deportation.

According to Amnesty International, more than 6,000 refugees are caned every year, while others have been trafficked to Thai gangs by corrupt local officials.

Given this situation, there should be genuine concerns as to the fate of those who are now going to be transferred from Australia. In an attempt to assuage public concern in Australia, our High Commissioner in Canberra has stated that the transferees would not be detained in Malaysia but would be allowed to “mingle” with the population at large.

What this “mingle” means is anybody’s guess, but one thing is certain: they will join the vast sea of suffering humanity that comprises Malaysia’s illegal population which is now estimated to number in excess of a million people…

Furthermore, there is a good possibility that rather than discouraging the use of Malaysia as a transit point it might well make us the principal holding area for would-be Australian asylum seekers. Do we want such a dubious distinction…

Becoming a dumping ground for unwanted illegals or doing Australia’s dirty work, however, neither serves our interests nor does justice to asylum seekers.

(Thanks to reader David.)


Wyatt’s waiting

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (11:49 am)

Parliament’s youngest MP, Wyatt Roy, celebrates his upcoming 21st birthday by asking the Treasurer the best question of the year in Question Time.


Add this, and Labor has a terrible story for the news tonight:

TREASURER Wayne Swan has been caught out unable to nominate the year in which Labor last delivered a budget surplus, accidentally dropping a glass of water after conceding he could not answer the question.

Two days after handing down his fourth budget deficit, Mr Swan said he was unsure when his party last had the budget in the black.

Quizzed on morning radio he said: “We’d have to go back to the 1980s, I should think. But Labor wasn’t in power when that great growth spurt came through in the late 90s and early 2000s.”

Pressed again, he replied: “I can’t nominate a date.”

Mr Swan then broke a glass, spilling water in the ABC studio.


Swan’s stumbles are killing Labor:

May 2010:

BARRIE CASSIDY: Peter Costello says that the trick in your budget was to focus attention on the bottom line three years from now and not talk at all about the $50 billion plus deficit that exists right at the moment.

WAYNE SWAN: Well Barrie, we’re bringing the budget back into surplus in three years and three years early - the best performance of any major advanced economy. And we’re halving peak debt. We are making very substantial progress here, Barrie.

May 2011:

Swan was asked directly on Tuesday night to give Australia’s peak debt figure. When he said it would be 7.2 per cent next financial year, he was asked for it in dollars.

“Well, it’s relatively modest,” he told Sky-TV’s David Speers. “I haven’t got the figure on me at the moment.”

Adds reader Alan RM Jones:

Last year’s peak debt forecast was 6.4 per cent of GDP.

This figure that Swan didn’t have on him “at the moment” is one of the key measures upon which he is to be judged. If he were running a company or a CFO and couldn’t say immediately and unhesitatingly to his shareholders at an AGM what the company’s debt was and was forecast to be in a dollar amount, he could expect to be sacked.


The answer to the question Swan could not answer is 1989.

(Thanks to readers Daniel and others.)


Er, right. So that proves the theory, does it?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 12, 11 (11:21 am)

What on earth were these “climate scientists” - most actually students - thinking? Using abuse and foul language rather than argument? Demonstrating the herd instinct and appeal to fashion that is the very reason to suspect them most?

And can the ABC explain why taxpayers’ money was used on this?

(Thanks to many readers. WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE.)

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