Sunday, May 22, 2011

News items and comments

Love Pell's incisive observations
Nobody could claim that the finalists each year in the Archibald Prize for portrait painting give us an accurate snapshot into the Australian soul, despite many of the artists relying heavily on photo...
Obama spends money but lacks vision
As Star Trek's James Kirk famously said, space is the final frontier. After years of its space program not looking to boldly go where no man has been before, the US is finally looking to test the limi...
Misleading headline about an Obama failure.
ISRAELI leader Benjamin Netanyahu tried lecturing the US president during a visit to the White House

How many could the boat safely hold?
SIXTEEN people, including a three-year-old boy, drowned after their boat sank during a child's birthday party.
Another failed ALP policy
JULIA Gillard faces an investigation into Australia's detention centres following fresh revelations of violence, communicable diseases and a $3 million-a-month bill to house asylum-seekers in hotels.
I made Picking Cotton to support police.
PIGS, idiots, a**holes - that's the alarming opinion some Muslim teenagers in Sydney's western suburbs have of police officers.
We don't need an ALP minister in a Liberal government. This scab is well rewarded.
ELECTRICITY union supremo Bernie Riordan sits on the board of the NSW energy industry's biggest superannuation fund as well as on the board of two companies which provide the fund with financial servi...
Canley Vale and Cabramatta benefit from their collective heritage. While some schools suffer from community poverty.
PUBLIC schools across Sydney are experiencing a "white flight" of students. Anglo-Australian parents are choosing to enrol their children in private schools over public because there are less children...
It is selfish to fail to vaccinate
DEADLY diseases eradicated decades ago are making a comeback because more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children.
Another failed ALP policy
EXCLUSIVE tests reveal salmonella and Third World parasites are present in human faeces fertiliser spread on farms, even after it has been treated, leading to calls for foods grown with the substance ...
Worked well in the past. Why did ALP stop it?
YOUNG drivers could be forced to meet injured victims of road accidents and families who have lost loved ones in car crashes, under a new State Government program.
Best to avoid crime
JUST about everyone in John Ibrahim's inner circle is either in jail, before the courts or dead. His brothers are on trial, his mother's house has been shot up, he has a contract on his head and some ...
Hopefully they got integrity elsewhere
RENE Rivkin's twin sons, Dion and Shannon, say they learned everything they know about business from their flamboyant late father.
They could make a reality DIY tv program
IF HOLLYWOOD doesn't work out, Abbie Cornish has a back-up plan with younger sister Isabelle. The pair could make their own wildlife documentaries.
A failed ALP promise
MORE than 80 of the Federal Government's 500 boards have no female representation, whereas just nine have no male members.
It was always money wasted.
TAXPAYERS won't be asked to cough up any more money for another tilt at hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup if vote-rigging allegations against Qatar are proven.
It is good they feel comfortable with their looks
TEENAGE girls are flaunting more skin than ever, raising the eyebrows of older women across Sydney as the hemlines get shorter and shorter.
Placebos work but don't have to be expensive
MANY vitamins, herbs and Chinese medicines make false claims and don't work, an audit has revealed.

Did he bowl?
WHEN Shane Warne played his last cricket match, there was only one person he wanted by his side. The Aussie spin king's A-list girlfriend, Liz Hurley, rushed on to the field at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadi...
Imagine what could be achieved if we had effective managers in government, and not the ALP
ORDINARY Australians have turned public spies for the Federal Government as the number of informants dobbing in welfare cheats is set to reach the highest on record.
Julia Gillard and Jason Clare's BER did this. This isn't all that is wrong.
GOVERNMENT officials have admitted to a giant "stuff-up" after a pole was erected in the middle of a stairwell of a $3 million classroom complex, funded under the Building the Education Revolution sch...
Some kids are heroes.
HE'S just nine years old and has only been surfing for a year, but Gregory Gurtata didn't hesitate to dive into dangerous surf and rescue two adults at North Curl Curl beach.
Thanks to ALP protectionism there are books one cannot buy in Australia.
AUSTRALIANS are being charged up to double the price of the US and Britain to download music, movies and games from Apple's iTunes.
I don't like the portrayal, suggested by the writer of this article, that the girl needed to play a prostitute to be successful
AUTHOR Tim Winton has rendered actress Emma Booth star-struck. Despite working with some of the world's biggest actors, Booth said it was the Western Australian novelist who provoked her awe.
ALP Nick Lalich found by abrogating responsibility he could accept both pay slips.
ALMOST a third of Barry O'Farrell's Liberal MPs are moonlighting in second jobs as mayors and councillors.

Another failed ALP policy
INSPECTORS will be sent into thousands of homes across the State to urgently check the safety of solar panels after a secret Government audit revealed roofs are riddled with dodgy and dangerous instal...
It is only fair to mention this is entirely the fault of the ALP who lied about the project to get it passed
ORDINARY families across the state are furious government subsidies are under threat after paying up to $22,000 for solar panels in the hope they would one day have free electricity.
David Daniel Ball recommends a link.
Apologies for the lack of posts - unexpectedly engaged in other things. But the two most ridiculous stories of the last day or so must be Bob Brown's

Aha, the reason for all of this coming out of the blue is explained here -
"Gillard support crashes in Qld"
TONY Abbott looks like the giant-killer of Australian politics but according to new research, it was his unpopularity that cost the Liberals and Nationals the last election.
Need and deserve protection
Coptic Christians in Egypt, the largest contingent of Christians in the country, are under severe attack — so much so that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom announced just recently that Egypt made the list of “Countries of Particular Concern.”
There are no illegitimate children
I keep hearing chattering heads on TV referring to the boy as Schwarzenegger's illegitimate son. It makes my blood boil.
A great film that few should watch. I am not among that lucky number.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's latest thriller, The Skin I Live In, had filmgoers fleeing the theater Thursday night at its gala premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, due to some aggressively violent and disturbing content.


Tim Blair – Sunday, May 22, 11 (04:12 am)


The general secretary of the powerful NSW branch, Mark Arbib, said Mr Beazley had his full support.


Kevin Rudd was given just a"narrow window of opportunity” in December to overthrow Kim Beazley as Labor’s federal leader, under a takeover plot driven by NSW party chief Mark Arbib.


Breaking his silence to defend the decision to overthrow Mr Rudd, factional boss Mark Arbib told The Sunday Telegraph that elevating Ms Gillard to the leadership saved Labor.


Senator Mark Arbib says Prime Minister Julia Gillard has the full support of the ALP.

Just to remind you what kind of genius it takes to bring down Labor leaders, take a look at Arbib in 2009 attempting to explain a key Labor policy.

(Via Currency Lad)



Tim Blair – Saturday, May 21, 11 (11:55 pm)

Puzzling lines from a rattled Prime Minister:

Julia Gillard has described Tony Abbott of acting “like the love child of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump”.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the State Labor Party Conference at Monash University today.

Comparing the Liberal leader with the moose-shooting “soccer mom’’ and the American billionaire Mr Trump, the Prime Minister rallied the Labor troops in Victoria to continue prosecuting the case for a carbon tax.

And don’t those troops look well and truly rallied. Check all the empty seats:


It was a Claytons rally in Clayton:

Some federal MPs were no-shows at Robert Blackwood Hall in Clayton yesterday. The PM began by acknowledging her state and federal colleagues – “far too many to name”.

It might have been true of the many state MPs who were out in force to welcome new leader Daniel Andrews, but the list of absentees from the federal caucus was a long one – including Cabinet ministers Nicola Roxon and Martin Ferguson.

And among those who did turn up there was reluctance to talk about why Australians don’t seem to have taken to Prime Minister Gillard or to answer the difficult question of how high the carbon tax should be.

The answer might be evident in the lack of enthusiasm for Gillard from her own party:

When he was prime minister, John Howard liked to enter Liberal gatherings from the rear of the hall, shaking hands as he walked the aisle, exiting by the same route, basking in the love of his party.

Ms Gillard arrived late, was ushered on to the stage from a side door and left as soon as she finished speaking.

At least non-attendees had decent excuses:

The reasons for MPs’ empty seats included McEwen’s Rob Mitchell saying “I was out chopping firewood”.



Tim Blair – Saturday, May 21, 11 (03:45 pm)

From an important essay by P.J. O’Rourke:

I’ve got this friend – a prominent man in the automotive industry – who flipped his MG TF back in the fifties and slid on his head for a couple hundred yards, and had to spend a year with no eyelids and a steel pin through his cheekbones while his face was being rebuilt. Sure, it wasn’t much fun at the time, but you should hear him tell about it now. What a fabulous tale, especially during dinner.

I first read that piece in 1983, and – besides being taken by the instructive life lessons outlined by P.J. – was intrigued by who this crash victim might be. No internet then, obviously, so an online search wasn’t possible. Gradually, by reading Car & Driver, I kind of worked out that it must have been that magazine’s editor, David E. Davis. The occasional hint was dropped.

Some years later, chatting to Australian reporters who’d met Davis, his face-scraping identity was confirmed. By then I’d developed an appreciation for Davis’s work beyond any connection to O’Rourke. He was an automotive advocate, who saw in cars the meaning of a free people. He was also a fascinatingly bad-tempered and feud-prone fellow, who nevertheless was able to build and maintain a sequence of industry-changing publications.

David E. Davis died on March 27 at 80. He kept working right up until the end. What a fine life.



Tim Blair – Saturday, May 21, 11 (03:12 pm)

A shocking revelation:

North Melbourne footballers were active members of a Facebook group sharing photos of women in bikinis and lingerie, the club conceded last night.

(Via Imre Salusinszky, who emails: “Sometimes I wonder just what the world is coming to.")


Too bored to discuss their great moral concerns

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 22, 11 (06:04 am)

Such pressing moral concerns that not even Labor delegates can be bothered turning up to argue for them:

A DIVISIVE debate that would have condemned Julia Gillard’s stance on gay marriage was yesterday derailed at Labor’s state conference due to a low turnout...In the first Victorian ALP conference since the federal and state elections, progressive forces within the party put up an urgency motion calling on same-sex marriage to be a part of federal Labor’s national platform…

Senior figures from Labor’s Left faction were outraged when the debate had to be abandoned, with some accusing members of the Right of deliberately leaving the room so that the quorum - which requires at least 152 delegates - could not be met. Only 147 were present for the count.

Debate on other contentious issues, including asylum seekers and gay adoption, also had to be abandoned due to inattendance.

If these issues are of such low interest even to Labor acivitists, why does the party and the mainstream media keep presenting them as of such overwhelming importance and interest to the public?


Super bills for super clinics

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 22, 11 (05:47 am)

This doesn’t seem a good deal, but, then again, socialised medicine was never cheap:

More than three years since her predecessor Kevin Rudd promised to roll out 36 GP Super Clinics across the country, just 10 are operational…

According to data tabled in Parliament in response to MPs’ questions, the GP Super Clinics provided 280,000 services as at the end of January, costing taxpayers an estimated $450 for each visit, on top of the standard Medicare fee.

(Thanks to reader Kai-Erik.)


Charming people, the Greens

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (07:44 pm)

Weren’t the Greens meant to be the party of compassion? The party of superior morality?

STAFF of Greens leader Bob Brown have taken his fight with the media to Twitter.

In a series of tweets yesterday, Senator Brown’s director of media, Marion Rae, attacked members of the Canberra press gallery personally, while also saying newspapers in which her boss appeared and even wrote for were good for soaking up cat pee.

She posted a photograph of The Australian’s James Massola, with the caption: “There’s a hypertroll outside the window.”

Of the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann, she said: ”Some are born great, some become great and others have talented wives, eh mate?

Uhlmann’s wife is the ALP MP for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann.

This is the strategy of the Greens’ media expert?

As Bertrand Russell put it:

Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.


Gillard asks Labor for two more years of patience

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (07:25 pm)

Does Julia Gillard really have to play the shrew?

“Tony Abbott has said of himself that he is John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop’s political love child,” she said.

“Heaven knows that’s bad enough but the truth is he is acting more like the love child of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.”

Most un-Prime Ministerial, Indeed, her whole speech at the Victorian Labor state conference seemed a bit desperate, pleading for patience in the hope that in two years time the Liberals will have run out of puff:

“There is a reason they are begging for an election in 2011,” Ms Gillard told the Victorian Labor Party conference today.

“And it is not because they think they can win in 2013. It is because they know that in 2012 this mindlessly negative campaign will be exposed before every Australian.”

Of course, by then the electorate may have really, really decided that it’s Labor that stands exposed instead.

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