Saturday, July 23, 2011

News items and comments

What a pack of burqas

Piers Akerman – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:42 pm)

In the middle of its cold summer holiday, Europe is struggling with two major issues - the fragile Euro economy and unwanted Islamic migration. The Left’s obsession with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is no longer news.
Those among France’s hard-working middle class who do mention Murdoch, proprietor of this newspaper, do so with admiration for the drive and determination he has displayed throughout his corporation-building career.

The big topic is the economic survival of the European community. French president Nicolas Sarkozy held a press conference last Thursday night after an all-day summit with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek prime minister George Papandreou and other European leaders and bankers on Greece’s debt crisis.The Clayton’s solution Sarkozy outlined embraces a lowering of the interest rates on Greece’s crippling loans and an extension of the period in which the nation may repay them. This is not an end to the problem, it merely places Greece on an economic drip and its loans on the never-never.

It’s a classic European dodge. Push the problem into the future and hope that when it next erupts, someone else will have to deal with it.

I like migration and want more. I think it is important that the law be applied too. Equally and fairly. I think if we didn’t nuke our ability to grow, by not having water available, people would be less inclined to complain. Also bad immigration policy is an aggravating factor. The pacific solution was fair. The current policy is unfair.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 23 Jul 11 (06:07pm)

Call for media inquiry is just a witch hunt

Piers Akerman – Thursday, July 21, 11 (09:30 pm)

FEW issues are capable of drawing out and exciting the ignorant and the conspiracists as vigorously as discussions about the media.

As transparent as most media operations are and as open as most media employees tend to be, those who seek to create a distraction, sow confusion and reap the rewards like to flog the messengers when their own political support begins to flag.

great piece of commentary Piers.

The main reason the Greens are starting to call for a “look” into the media is that they are coming under greater scrutiny given their increase in power in the Senate.

The type of chatter coming from the likes of Brown and now Gillard about the media was probably akin to what was being said in Nazi Germany in the 30’s. Great for democracy to shut up voices of dissent isn’t it.

The trouble is the lack of media scrutiny in the past (present company and notable others excepted) has helped the greens electororally. I hope the main stream media are proud of themselves.

As for Gillard feeding an anti “News Ltd” line its a distraction from yet another blunder, namely the Carbon Tax. One can only hope that when the parliament is democratically rid of the Greens and Labor gets back to its traditional values we can once again have sensible government in this country.

Until then we will have this unholy coalition of a Labor Party made up of (as Kim Beazley Senior so famously said in the 1970’s) the dregs of the middle class using the Labor Party as a spiritual spittoon and the Greens complete with their Carbon Cult and their totalitarian, one could even say fascist tendencies trying to stifle democratic debate.
God help our country if they ever get their way.

Remember those who don’t learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

Von Trapp of Canberra (Reply)
Thu 21 Jul 11 (09:48pm)
DD Ball replied to Von Trapp
Fri 22 Jul 11 (07:13pm)

Well written, Von Trap. That is the song reasonable people sing. One contributor the Bolt Report supporters group posted a link to an article claiming that Russian intelligence had stung Newscorp who were publishing how Obama was descended from Christ. The same article had side links to the start of WW3. The kind of stuff I usually associate with extremists. The world is a scary place with leftists as leaders. It is some 90 years since the US debunked the Russian intelligence furphy “the protocols of the elders of Zion.” I think we have collectively learned nothing, sometimes

Jim Common Sense Non Progressive replied to Von Trapp
Fri 22 Jul 11 (07:49pm)

As well as the boycott of Israel by the Greens controlled Marickville council. Rising anti-semitism - yes it’s looking more and more like Nazi Germany.

Ivan Denisovich replied to Von Trapp
Fri 22 Jul 11 (09:24pm)

As for Gillard feeding an anti “News Ltd” line its a distraction from yet another blunder, namely the Carbon Tax.

Gillard suggets News Limited here has hard questions to answer without a shred of evidence of illegal activity but refuses to answer a fundamental question about her carbon tax - namely, by how much will it lower the world’s temperature. The hypocrisy is shameless.

They had an excuse in Salem. Wheat with an LSD type mold may have created hallucinations. McCarthy had the virtue of being right, but wrong in the Way he prosecuted it. Gillard is only doing it to maintain a corrupt advantage

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Fri 22 Jul 11 (02:54pm)
RoseB replied to DD Ball
Fri 22 Jul 11 (07:05pm)

It was a fungus on the rye seed-Claviceps purpurea, but it did have the hallucinogen effects as you state


Not just a political broken promise

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 20, 11 (09:03 pm)


I DON’T like the “Juliar” meme any more than the next lefty. It’s rude and boring. But that doesn’t mean the Prime Minister didn’t win the narrowest election in 70 years on false pretences, when she famously declared, “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.

Julia Gillard’s lie, mis-statement, fib, unforeseen circumstances, inadvertent misleading, mistake, falsehood - call it what you will - wasn’t just any old broken political promise.

It was the mechanism that allowed Labor to scrape over the line last August.

No one who wanted a carbon tax would have voted for Tony Abbott. But a fair few in marginal Labor seats would have been reassured enough by Gillard’s vow to overcome their urge to vote for the climate realist Opposition Leader.

Carbon pricing is a vote killer, as politicians in the US and Canada understood when they scrapped their own plans.

I don’t use the meme Juliar often. But I do make the point the policies she espouses have ALP provenance, although they are also Green friendly. I understand she had treasury costing the policy as she and Swan were denying it last election. That is not the only dishonesty. She promised a new era in IR laws prior to the ‘07 election and she has never been held to account for that. She also promised an improvement on the Pacific Solution she never delivered. She promised Medicare Gold but because the ALP lost in that election she never had to address that failure. She tried to hurt wharfies with her dumb ideas, and failed there too. I don’t need the meme, I have the examples.

D D Ball of Carramar (Reply)
Thu 21 Jul 11 (07:35am)
Geoff of the Central Coast replied to D D Ball
Thu 21 Jul 11 (10:11am)

Don’t forget that when denouncing the opposition for raising the suggestion of a carbon [dioxide] tax before the election, Swan described them as hysterical.

Who is hysterical now?

Don’t you know about the politicians, they just basically do anything to snatch the vote. Once they got elected then they didn’t care about the promises made to the people. Thats what it had been and will remains like this in the future.
removalists Sydney

Jeremy Heyes (Reply)
Wed 20 Jul 11 (09:23pm)
BILLYBOY replied to Jeremy Heyes
Thu 21 Jul 11 (10:14am)

There is no greater liar in politics than Abbott. He has just said he has never supported an ETS despite being presented with his own statements which showed he supported it.


DD Ball replied to Jeremy Heyes
Thu 21 Jul 11 (10:52am)

And yet I don’t see the LNP abusing due process in this way. I hear the allegations made against them, and see many inflations. Yet it appears to be the ALP which gets away with little media examination of their apparent corruption

Time for a Change replied to Jeremy Heyes
Thu 21 Jul 11 (01:28pm)

You miss one important point. Abbott went with part lines on the ETS until he became leader of the opposition. He is a global warming realist and will look at implementing solutions that do not impact unfavourably on Australian people and industry. He will also not do this, I would imagine, until the big businesses (notive they are not polluters, but employ most of the workforce) of the world fall into line, you will find very little done here. AS IT SHOULD BE.

Floyd replied to Jeremy Heyes
Thu 21 Jul 11 (06:25pm)

DD Ball the ALP gets away with little or no media scrutiny of corrupt activities because the mainstream media are left-biased organisations and practice disinformation tactics to suit their leftist agendas. Never let the truth or logical argument get in the way of a good story - another mantra of the leftist MSM.


A network of nastiness

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:52 pm)

Sweet, pretty and popular, 14-year-old Dannii Sanders had almost 2000 Facebook friends. Whether or not cyberbullying played a part in her suicide last week, as her friends claim it did and those closest to her deny, it’s clear social networking was a big part of her short life.

And it’s also clear that after her death, a memorial Facebook page in her name was bombarded with vile hate messages and images.

“Deserved it. I (laughed out loud) hard,” one poster wrote. “She can’t read this because she’s dead,” wrote another. We won’t repeat the more depraved comments because that would just provide pleasure to those who create them.

Yes, pleasure.

The normal human reaction to the suicide of a child is a desire to ease the family’s pain, with kind words and sympathy. Yet there are people who lurk on the internet, feeding off the suffering of others.

David Daniel Ball
Good people have to be engaged with the medium to mitigate the horror. People with authority who have a role in the lives of young people. I get it that many don't want to go near it because of the dangers. But it means a lot when kids are getting into a spaz if an adult is on hand to play a cool, middle line. I don't mean a parasite who gets pleasure associating with the young to recall their own youth. But a person who has an online presence which intersects with the lives of young people.
One thing I am involved with but take no part in is local youth work in film and television and creative work. I am not an artist. I cannot help kids get gigs. I make suggestions where I can and try to promote what I can. For free. The result is I know many young people and are in touch with them through social networking. They tolerate my daily bible readings and conservative politics. I don't interfere with their social chatter. But when the community was in mourning over the tragic murder of a young woman I was there and a mature presence. Kids still want that.

Bryan Caplan on

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 22, 2011


Nick Gillespie interviews Bryan about his parenting book. It opens with Gillespie reciting perhaps the greatest R-rated poem of all time, Phillip Larkin’s anti-paean to parenting. Bryan takes it in stride. Not the R-rated part, but the challenge implicit in the poem.


While many myths compete with “the-world-is-over-populated-with-humans” myth for the honor of being the myth with least empirical and theoretical support, no myth surpasses the over-population myth in groundlessness and, really, absurdity pregnant with totalitarian impulses. I like the take of the Boston Globe‘s Jeff Jacoby.

And see here just how out of touch with reality is the myth of over-population. (HT Chris Meisenzahl)



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:55 am)

Terrorists strike in coordinated attacks at two Norwegian locations. Up to 20 dead. The group suspected of theatrocities is said to be motivated by cartoons:

NRK is reporting that an unknown group called “Helpers of the Global Jihad” have posted a message that this is only the beginning of the reaction to Norwegian periodicals publishing the Muhammed cartoons, according to Andrew Boyle, a journalist in Norway.

The above links will provide updates. S_dog also recommends Sky’s Twitter feed.

UPDATE. The murderer is a solitary psycho Norwegian:

A lone political extremist bombed the government center here on Friday, killing 7 people, the police said, before heading to an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party and killing at least 80 people.

The police arrested a 32-year-old Norwegian man in connection with both attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.

Apologies for no earlier update. Flying today.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:54 am)

The carbon tax is still almost a year away, but the scams have already begun:

Insider trading has emerged as an unintended consequence of the introduction of a carbon tax/emissions trading scheme. Someone made a killing out of trading steel industry stocks, BlueScope and OneSteel, before the announcement of the carbon tax package’s details.

The embarrassing aspect in this instance is that the leaking of market-sensitive information may have come from the government or from public servants who were aware of the details of the package before it was released on July 10.

As Elizabeth Knight reports, the money involved is huge:

In the months before the announcement, the steel makers’ share prices had been marked down. But in the week before the announcement the share price of each ran up by more than 6 per cent, adding more than $300 million to their sharemarket value.

Surprisingly, the SMH appears to have left this story in Friday’s business section. Meanwhile, the biggest of the big polloodahs is facing hard times:

Macquarie Generation boss Russell Skelton told a senate hearing that the state-owned corporation would make no profit within two years of the carbon tax coming into effect.

Hit that link for a list of the 50 most polloodiest and the massive bills they’ll pay.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:50 am)

Iranian censorship is a clumsy affair:

Censors go as far as advising writers to substitute certain words with other “appropriate” phrases, should they wish their book to be approved.

In an interview with the semi-official Ilna news agency, another writer, Mohammad Baghaei Makan, said he was asked to change “wine” to “coffee” in a text he wrote in which he, ironically, expressed contempt for wine.

Banned words include “kiss”, “beloved”, “wine”, “drunk”, “pork”, “dance”, “dog” and “meditation”. Readers are invited to compose a sentence using that lot – the perfect banned-in-Tehran literary masterwork.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:33 am)

“I have seen Rupert Murdoch give a direct editorial instruction to one of his editors.” – Dennis Shanahan exposes the boss! Also, the illegal hacking that leftists love.

(Via Currency Lad)



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:30 am)

Londoners who missed out on the swinging 1660s can now relive that era by visiting nearby Reading.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (04:23 am)

Bodyguards as a fashion accessory:

Italian MPs sent themselves bogus death threats in order to qualify for bodyguards, a whistleblower has claimed, amid a furious backlash over parliamentarians’ cushy lifestyles.

The whistleblower is said to be a former official in the Italian parliament who blogs under the name “Spider Truman”.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 23, 11 (02:03 am)

Power-shifting climate activist Anna Rose recalls a Monday evening when the terror began even before Q & A:

An hour or two before I was due at the ABC studio for Q & A that night, my fiancé and I ate dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in the city. It was a quick meal – I was too nervous to eat much and obviously wasn’t drinking alcohol before a national TV appearance! I was on the phone for most of the time to a friend discussing solar thermal, as I was hoping the topic of renewable energy would come up. My fiancé Simon, who is also heavily involved in climate change through the online progressive movement GetUp, was on the phone too, busy with the latest campaign – a usual occurrence for us at dinner!

Fun couple.

After we finished dinner (and our respective phone calls), I was in the final preparation stage for theshow. I had gone over all the topics I’d guessed would come up, jotted down key points I’d like to make, and practiced staying calm whilst being in the close vicinity of two people with vastly different views to me.

Were they Islamic? Because that would be raaaaacist.

And then, we received a text message from a friend. “Have you seen Twitter?” it said. Immediately, I looked online.

It turns out someone had been watching us at the restaurant.

Read onif you dare! (Spoiler alert: people on Twitter are rude.) Interestingly, despite being a co-founder of theAustralian Youth Climate Coalition, Anna doesn’t know the group’s web address. She’s omitted the .au, which means that people who click on her cheery icon get sent to Korea.

At least she has the support of Sandy Composta, son of the late Alene.

(Via Kae)



Tim Blair – Friday, July 22, 11 (09:21 pm)

South Australian Liberal senator Mary Jo Fisher has been charged with theft and assault. The senator “will becontesting the matters.” She is due in court on September 1. Senator Fisher is said to be battling depression.

UPDATE. Another top-level political arrest:

A protest group claims one of its members has been arrested for damaging a military helicopter with a garden mattock.

Peace Convergence campaigners say Bryan Law has been taken into custody over the alleged act at Rockhampton, in central Queensland.

(No comments on this post)


Don’t mention the party

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:48 pm)


Kate Jones is fighting to keep her Queensland seat of Ashgrove, against a challenge from LNP leader Campbell Newman.

Odd thing, though. Which party is she with?

(Thanks to reader Danny.)


Spelling out a message

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (02:17 pm)


A NSW reader wonders if his son’s Grade 2 spelling list is meant to send a subliminal message.

It’s a state school, as you might have assumed.


Monckton challenges Turnbull

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (10:02 am)

A challenge is issued:

Challenge to an absolute banker

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, following what the great Alan Jones has described as his “6-0, 6-0, 6-0 victory” over the director of the Australia Institute in a debate about the climate at the National Press Club in Canberra early this week, has today issued the following challenge to Malcolm Turnbull, the former leader of the Liberal/National Coalition, whom his party recycled last year for his naïve belief that “global warming” is some sort of “global crisis” –

Whereas one Malcolm Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Goldman Sachs, self-appointed leader of the Absolute Bankers’ Get-Rich-Quick, Gimme-the-Money, Subsidy-Junkies’, Profiteers’-of-Doom and Rent-Seekers’ Vested-Interest Coalition Against Hard-Working Taxpayers, has this day demonstrated wilful but indubitably profitable ignorance of elementary science by declaring that since all relevant matters of climatology are settled no one should pay any heed to a mere Peer of the Realm who dares to question the imagined (and imaginary) scientific “consensus” to the effect that unless the economies of the West are laid waste and destroyed we are all doomed;

And forasmuch as it is easy to identify the said Turnbull’s aircraft when it arrives at Canberra Airport because when the engines are turned off the whining carries on;

Now therefore I, The Right Honourable Christopher Walter, by the Grace of God and Letters Patent under the Hand and Seal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second (whom God preserve) Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, do by these presents challenge the said Absolute Banker to a Debate on live television, during which each party shall have the opportunity to state his case and to examine the other’s case, with a view to informing Hard-Working Taxpayers and allowing them to decide for themselves whether the truth is being told by me or by the said Member for Goldman Sachs, upon whom I call to take up this challenge, if he dares.

Given under my sign manual this twenty-second day of July in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eleven,


What I find remarkable is that the Turnbull-type disparagement of Monckton seems to be in inverse proportion to any success in disproving him. Hence no debate is likely.


On the muzzling of Hinch

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (09:02 am)


TWO things about the sentencing of broadcaster Derryn Hinch make me fear even more for free speech here.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg on Thursday didn’t merely sentence Hinch to five months of home detention for breaching suppression orders by naming convicted rapists released into the community.

He also gagged Hinch from expressing any opinion in the media, including Twitter, and from “causing others to act in a manner that would contravene those conditions”.

Precisely what that last bit means is unclear, but it’s interpreted as stopping Hinch from inspiring others to speak on his behalf.

To ban Hinch from earning a living during his home imprisonment, or even giving interviews, is fair enough.

After all, if Hinch were not so weak from his liver transplant this month, he’d be in jail. And prisoners don’t do interviews.

But if Hinch were indeed in jail, he would not normally be banned from asking visitors to publicly plead his case.

True, Hinch shouldn’t be free to maintain his media career through go-betweens, but this ban doesn’t just limit that.

It could also make his friends scared to speak up for him, for fear of putting him in danger.

A second aspect of the sentencing also worries me.

I don’t know the political views of Rozencwajg, who was involved with Community Legal Centres before being appointed to the bench by Labor attorney-general Rob Hulls.

Nor do I at all suggest those views influenced anything he said or did.

But the appointment of judges under the former government did become highly politicised, with many judges selected from Left circles.


The excuse Labor needed to shut down its critics

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (08:51 am)

THE BBC reporter ringing from London had a question for me, a columnist on one of Rupert Murdoch’s papers.

“Will you resign?” she asked.

After all, see what Murdoch minions did at the News of the World in London?

Yes, so evil is Murdoch considered by the Left, it made sense to this woman that even employees in Australia would resign rather than work for him.

Wow. As if I needed a reminder of how hysterical the Murdoch haters have become, and in orgasmically vengeful ways that threaten you, too.

Here’s the scandal. Several journalists on one tabloid newspaper in the News Corp empire some years ago allegedly hacked phones, paid off police and - in one particularly disgusting case - rummaged through the phone messages of a murdered schoolgirl.

Almost all Murdoch’s 53,000 employees would consider such behaviour vile. He says he’s appalled, and has closed the News of the World.

But, as I tried to tell the BBC, what happened in London seemed more a reflection of British culture than of Murdoch and his empire.

No one has alleged that Murdoch papers in Australia, for instance, have hacked phones, bribed police or paid crooks to steal information. That’s very English.

Indeed, on Thursday came news that British police had reopened investigations into the client list of a private investigator hired by News of the World - a list including 300 journalists from 31 publications, including the non-Murdoch Daily Mail and the Left-leaning Daily Mirror.

Those journalists reportedly lodged some 4000 requests for confidential information; much obtained illegally.

Yes, there’s something about the British public and its appetites that has invited such wide-boy journalism, with its grotesque impertinences, envious prying and gleeful comeuppances, little of which would be tolerated by the public here.

Nor would much of it be tolerated by our laws, which already make it an offence to hack into stored communications, including SMS and voicemail messages.

That’s not to say there haven’t been journalists who’ve breached the privacy of those they write about or even used stolen information.

It’s just that they happen to be among those jeering loudest at Murdoch.

Take Bruce Guthrie, a sacked editor of the Herald Sun now claiming he’d known Murdoch as a boss who saw “ethics or, at least, the discussion of them, as an inconvenience”.

Yet Guthrie not only worked happily for such a man, but then wrote a book in which he reported on dozens of private conversations with his former colleagues, including two with me, breaching my privacy.

Or see The Age, thundering that Murdoch must go, and gloating how its own code “ruled out the unethical and illegal behaviour that has been exposed in Britain”.

Well, ours does too, actually. Yet this same Age signed a deal for the exclusive local access to thousands of stolen US diplomatic cables that it has published with little public benefit to excuse it.

Of course, the hypocrisy and kick-them-while-they’re-down instinct of competitors is understandable.

What is mad, though, is the conviction among many of the Left that Murdoch is truly evil and unimaginably powerful.


It’s just Malcolm again

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (08:37 am)

The restraint of the response to Malcolm Turnbull’s deliberate needling - and his deeply unscientific demand for loyalty to just one side of a scientific debate - shows how far his stocks have fallen within the Liberals, and with the public, too.

If he counted for more, he’d get more back than this:

SENIOR Liberals have accused the frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull of making a ‘’gratuitous’’ and ‘’unhelpful’’ intervention in the carbon tax debate with a speech imploring colleagues to stick with the ‘’scientific consensus’’ on human-induced global warming rather than being seduced by sceptics and dubious pseudo-scientific websites....

Mr Turnbull insisted he had not deviated from Liberal Party policy, which recognises human-caused climate change and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said Mr Turnbull was entitled to ‘’put things in his own way’’.

But the Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce criticised Mr Turnbull’s ‘’self-management’’ and the frontbencher Andrew Robb said there were ‘’wide-ranging views in the community about the science’’, with ‘’some peer-reviewed science contradicting the so-called scientific consensus’’ and some science that formed part of the global warming consensus ‘’not peer-reviewed at all.’’

Robb is right, of course. And Turnbull’s appeal to authority rather than science shows how desperate his own argument is. And the lack of ripple when he throws his stones shows he’s almost not here already.


So Laurie Oakes tries to sell him to Labor instead, which is growing desperate for a new leader:

THE next time one of the big opinion poll companies asks voters who they’d prefer as Labor leader, it would be fascinating to throw Malcolm Turnbull into the mix…

The former Liberal leader has been a much more convincing advocate than Gillard of the need for market-based action on carbon pollution....

Australians are now so hostile towards the Prime Minister that they pay little or no attention to the Opposition Leader’s inconsistencies, lack of conviction and hollow policies.

Abbott is not Gillard. That is enough.

Which is why, despite all the public denials, the leadership issue is a matter of serious discussion among Labor MPs…

On the basis of opinion polling, the only change that might give the Government a chance of winning the next election is to bring back Rudd.

An Essential Media poll last month found Labor’s primary vote would jump a huge 13 percentage points if the deposed PM were reinstated.

There are Rudd supporters who claim at least a third of Labor MPs take note of this and want him back as leader…

Replacing Gillard with any of the others mentioned in dispatches - Crean, Smith, Combet and Shorten - would simply be about rebuilding the party’s base…

And then there is the question of when to act.

If Labor MPs really panicked and came to the view that they needed to jettison both Gillard and her carbon tax, it would make sense to move before the legislation goes through Parliament.

That leaves very little time. Maybe it’s all too hard.


Embattled Oakeshott wants inquiry into the media and its politics

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (08:26 am)

Another politician under scrutiny for his appalling performance wants an inquiry into new rules to tame the media:

ANOTHER parliamentary kingmaker has joined calls for a media inquiry in the wake of the British phone hacking scandal and renewed local debate over media ownership.

Rob Oakeshott has joined the Greens and fellow cross-bencher Tony Windsor in arguing an inquiry is necessary, given that the last substantial examination of the Australian media was in 1991....

He suggested cross-media ownership restrictions needed another long, hard look, saying some business leaders wanted to become ‘’Australian versions of Silvio Berlusconi’’ - dabbling in both politics and the media…

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy will hold talks next week with government colleagues, the Greens and lower house independents to determine the scope and tenor of an inquiry.

This is a very sinister development. Note Oakeshott’s linking of politics to the media issues he wants to investigate. I don’t think he means the politics of the ABC.


Are soldiers being sold out for votes?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (08:16 am)

Surely this Government wouldn’t put soldiers’ lives at risk for a few votes?

THE Gillard government has been accused of interfering in a Defence tender process to buy the next generation of army trucks, pushing a generous portion of the multibillion-dollar contract to the Victorian-built Bushmaster.

Defence and industry insiders have told The Saturday Age the government has tried to circumvent recommendations from the Defence Materiel Organisation, which favoured a cheaper armoured truck made by German company Rheinmetall MAN. It beat both Mercedes-Benz and the modified Bushmaster Ute, which is made in Bendigo by French company Thales, in the Defence tender.

The Bushmaster Ute not only came last in trials, but costs up to three times as much as its rivals. It is more expensive to service and rolled twice in initial testing due to a high centre of gravity.

Despite this, a source in the DMO told The Saturday Age a message came back from the government after the German company topped the tender process: ‘’Any option that doesn’t include Thales is no option.’’

Another insider said: ‘’The government wanted to keep Bendigo open and it would close if we didn’t give them some work.’’ ...

The department denied being asked to include Thales as a successful tenderer....

In March, Mercedes-Benz Australian president Hans Tempel wrote to Defence Minister Stephen Smith to express concerns about ‘’the overall process of selecting a final tenderer … and whether undisclosed factors will play a role’’.

The letter ...was written after Labor’s Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons ...told the ABC that while the DMO might ‘’overlook Bushmaster, we may be able to overturn that … because ultimately it will be a government decision’’.


Trucking a protest to Canberra

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (08:02 am)

I do not know if this national convoy - or actually convoys - by the National Road Freighters will work, but if it comes off it will be a magnificent sight. And a very powerful symbol.

It’s called the Convoy of No Confidence in the Federal Government:

Convoy number 1.

16th of August Port Hedland WA to Halls Creek WA

17th August Halls Creek WA to Katherine NT

Please note People from Darwin are to travel down to Katherine this day 17th of August.

18th Katherine NT to Mt Isa Qld

19th Mt Isa Qld to Blackall Qld

20th Blackall Qld to Bourke NSW

21st August Bourke NSW to Cowra NSW

22nd August Cowra NSW to Canberra

Convoy number 2.


We’re not after “regime change”, just better government

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (07:58 am)

Dennis Shanahan is bemused by the Gillard Government’s paranoia over the “Carmel meeting” and the Murdoch papers’ alleged campaign for “regime change”.

But he does concede some interfering from the top:

IN almost 40 years of journalism, with most of them in political reporting, I’ve seen a fair bit of the interplay between newspapers, reporters, governments and media companies and their proprietors.

I have seen Rupert Murdoch give a direct editorial instruction to one of his editors; I’ve seen a Murdoch editor call his sleeping boss to complain about a breach of faith and security between rival newspapers; I’ve been working at a newspaper when the executive editor was ordered to vet a series of articles by the chairman of the board because the reporter was taking a “typical communistic approach”; and a senior executive “informed” me political articles being written were costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue because of a government ban on advertising....

As for aforementioned moments of journalistic history, let me make clear that I witnessed Murdoch brandishing the late race edition of the rival Sydney Sun, telling the acting editor of the Daily Mirror to get off his arse on a Saturday afternoon and get a picture on his front page of the downtown Sydney fire that could actually be seen out the window.

When I was a copy boy for the Sunday Mirror, a bum-and-tits paper Murdoch closed down, the editor, the late Ian Smith, rang his boss in London to complain the newly acquired Sunday Telegraph had pinched the Sunday Mirror’s exclusive about a lost guide dog it had found.

All the other incidents occurred in the 17 years when I was working at The Sydney Morning Herald, dealing with Fairfax editors and executives and a state Labor government.

Terry McCrann on the Greens-Labor attack on the media, using Britain’s News of the World scandal as an excuse:

Bob Brown’s move to use it to muzzle not simply local News Limited papers but indeed all Down Under media should surprise no one given the Greens’ record of totalitarianism with a genial smile. That Julia Gillard rather clumsily picked it up showed her as some combination of being in thrall to Brown, sharing his inclinations, desperate, and simply being clueless.


There’s a pattern here:

THE inspiration? Julia Gillard, July 11, 2006:

I think Gough Whitlam, for people my age, is just a legendary political figure—he changed this country, he changed our lives.

The pioneer. Alan Reid in his book The Whitlam Venture, 1976:

During the [1975] election campaign, Whitlam was to attack the media bitterly for the anti-ALP attitudes the media was allegedly taking and later to suggest that the media had a considerable influence in producing the ALP’s electoral disaster. Main targets for Whitlam’s wrath were Rupert Murdoch and the newspapers Murdoch published in Australia, notably The Australian and Sunday and Daily Telegraphs. These incidents provided Whitlam with something to distract public attention from the issues of employment, inflation, the economy, government mismanagement and the like, which [Malcolm] Fraser was belting ruthlessly and doggedly and to which Whitlam was belatedly forced to turn and give some attention to late in the campaign. Evan Williams, Whitlam’s press secretary, was probably as realistic as anyone when he asked “was Labor so far down the drain in public estimation that it didn’t matter much what the newspapers said?”


Terrorists attack Oslo. UPDATE: No, a single madman

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (07:28 am)

Once the identity of the attackers becomes known, the consequences for Norway’s immigration policies could be profound:

A BOMBING and a separate shooting in Oslo, which appear to have targeted Norway’s prime minister and have left at least 11 people dead, are believed to be linked, police say.
Police say seven people have been confirmed dead following a bomb blast outside prime minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office in Oslo.

Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told broadcaster NRK that investigators suspect today’s bombing was linked to a shooting spree that killed four people at the Labor Party’s youth camp later in the day by a gunman in a police uniform.

The bomb left seven people dead and another 15 injured, two seriously, police said.

Already the unconfirmed reports suggest our immediate suspicions are correct (UPDATE: No, they aren’t), although the shooter’s appearance tells us to still be cautious about our conclusions:

Abu Suleiman al-Nasser, an Islamist with links to Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups, has claimed responsibility for today’s bomb in Oslo.

The ‘Helpers of Global Jihad’ group, of which al-Nasser is a member, made the claims in an email circular issued to various sources. The group does not appear to have any past history.

It is thought that the bombings are a belated response to Norwegian newspapers and magazines republishing cartoons of Mohammed originally published by Jyllands-Posten of Denmark…

Knut Storberget, Norway’s Minister of Justice confirms this evening the arrested shooter, who is believed to have carried several guns, is a Norwegian.

More on that shooter:

Police said the gunman, described by witnesses as tall and blond, had been arrested.


In fact:

“Explosives were found on the island,” deputy Oslo police chief Sveining Sponheim told reporters. He said a man detained by police was aged 32 and ”ethnic Norwegian.”

Even so, the history of Islamic violence in Scandinavia suggests Muslim immigration there has been a bad deal for the locals:

It was not immediately known who was behind the bombing, but Norway’s intelligence police agency (PST) said in February that Islamic extremism was a major threat to the country…

... police last year arrested three Muslim men based in Norway suspected of planning an attack using explosives in the Scandinavian country.

Norwegian prosecutors earlier this month also filed a terrorism charge against Mullah Krekar, founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, who was accused of threatening a politician with death over his potential deportation from the country.....


The 32-year-old Norwegian man arrested for gunning down children on the holiday island of Utoya has been named locally as Anders Behring Breivik.

Described as 6ft tall and blond, he is reported to have arrived on the island of Utoya and opened fire after beckoning several young people over in his native Norwegian tongue.

Reports suggest he was also seen loitering around the site of the bomb blast in Oslo two hours before the island incident - and also before the capital’s explosion.

His Facebook page? He claims to be a Christian.

He seems to live with his mother.

He runs a “Geofarm”, which suggests he’d have access to chemicals and lots of fertiliser.


A terrible, terrible toll:

Police say more than 80 people have been killed in Norway after twin attacks in the capital Oslo and at a political party’s youth camp on a nearby island.

A 32-year-old Norwegian man is thought to have opened fire on teenagers at the Labour Party youth camp on Utoya island shortly after detonating a huge explosion outside the prime minister’s office in the capital.

Norwegian police said at least 80 people had been killed on the island alone and said the attacks had taken on “catastrophic dimensions”.

Witnesses described how the gunman, who was dressed as a policeman, kicked wounded people in the head to check if they were still alive before shooting them dead.

Another Bryant?


John Hinderaker:

What happened on Utoya island was that the murderer, dressed as a policeman and heavily armed, took a boat to the island, ordered teenagers to assemble around him, and started shooting. His rampage continued, as I understand it, until a SWAT team apparently dispatched from Oslo arrived on the island and shot him. In the meantime, he murdered at least 80 kids.

Many facts are still unknown, but at this point it appears that a key ingredient in the tragedy was the fact that the killer had the only gun on the island.


No comment

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 23, 11 (12:01 am)

I am not able, under legal advice, to comment on this special group of alumni of Melbourne University. For legal reasons I may not permit you to comment, either.

(Thanks to a reader who, for legal reasons, I shall refer to only as M.)


Liberal Senator charged

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 22, 11 (08:43 pm)


Bad news for her and for the Liberals:

FLAMBOYANT South Australian federal politician Mary Jo Fisher has been charged with allegedly stealing groceries from a supermarket and assaulting a security guard who apprehended her.

In a sensational development, the Liberal Senator could face the loss of her Senate position if she is convicted of either charge in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, Adelaide Now reports.

Senator Fisher, who in March attracted national prominence when she mocked Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s proposed carbon tax with a dance routine in the Upper House, has hired prominent silk Michael Abbott, QC, to defend her.


ABC’s Latika Bourke on Twitter:

It’s understood Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher is suffering depression; around 12 months ago she approached Andrew Robb for help.

(No comment for legal reasons. Thanks to reader Victoria 3220)


Business writes off Gillard Government

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 22, 11 (07:25 pm)

The verdicts alone are damning:

BUSINESS leaders have slammed the Gillard government’s handling of the economy, with corporate captains saying relations are the worst in recent memory with a government that is not on top of major issues.

Speaking at The Australian-Deutsche Bank Business Leaders Forum in Melbourne today, Transurban and incoming Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted said issues of both illegitimacy and execution were affecting the government’s performance.

“It’s probably the most difficult relationship I’ve seen between business and a federal government,” Mr Maxsted said.

He said everything the government was planning seemed to be about short-term gain, as opposed to what was in the long-term interests of the country.

Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford said the government did not have a good grasp of the major issues facing the economy, which he said were industrial relations, infrastructure, carbon and mining taxes and skills shortages....

Former Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski, who is the chancellor of RMIT University, said there was a “whiff of illegitimacy” about the Labor government, in part due to how the carbon tax has been introduced, following an election campaign pledge by Prime Minister Julia Gillard that no such tax would be imposed.

Worse for Labor is that business leaders rarely speak out like this - unless they know the government is too weak or terminal to punish them.


How many broken promises would that make?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 22, 11 (07:10 pm)

Another backflip coming?

THE Gillard government is under mounting pressure to process 521 asylum-seekers currently in limbo on Christmas Island, with Malaysia refusing to accept them under its deal with Australia to be signed on Monday.

Sources familiar with the sector said Immigration Minister Chris Bowen would be soon be forced to overturn an earlier pledge that all arrivals after May 7 would be processed in a third country.

The government had hoped to send the group to Malaysia or Papua New Guinea for processing.But Malaysia has refused to make the deal retrospective and talks with PNG have stalled over the reopening of an Australian detention centre on Manus Island.

(Thanks to reader puzzled.)

It is all good.
In high school science, we were taught of the four basic units that make up DNA -- adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine -- by which genes code for life. In recent history, scientists have expanded that list from four to six -- and now to a whopping eight.
Thank you Gillard
ONE desperate pastoralist has begun shooting cattle stranded as a result of the Indonesian live export crisis, an industry group has claimed.
This is a costly policy failure. Who trusted those terrorists? Who helped them?
An explosion has caused injuries and building damage near the Norwegian Prime Minister's office and the building of Norway's biggest tabloid newspaper, VG.
How did he commit the crime? That will have some bearing on how this gets evaluated.
ANDREW Grant DeYoung, condemned to death in America for the murder of his parents and sister, has been executed on camera, the first time in nearly two decades a US execution has been filmed.
Some criminals do not deserve freedom.
A Queensland pedophile ruled by a court last year as being too dangerous to let back into the community has been granted immediate release from jail.
THE husband of a woman killed when a small boulder smashed through the windscreen of their four-wheel-drive said it was not a freak accident.
Sydney doesn't have the roads
VICTORIA'S Opposition has warned that NSW is moving to poach the Grand Prix as the Government dithers over a $50m taxpayer bill.
Christmas decorations need to be stored appropriately.
STUDENTS and teachers were evacuated from a public school north of Newcastle after a fire started in a laundry room attached to a classroom.
He wants to be incarcerated
A PRISON escapee has been arrested in Sydney after eight days on the run and police are questioning him about the kidnapping of a child in western NSW.
The likelihood of something bad happening wasn't high, but the outcome could have been life changing. No teacher has the right to make that decision.
A WA primary school teacher who let 16 students check their blood sugar levels using the same needle is not expected to lose his job.
Sounds like she needs a break from politics.
FLAMBOYANT South Australian federal politician Mary Jo Fisher has been charged with allegedly stealing groceries from a supermarket and assaulting a security guard who apprehended her.
Good on the parents
A MAN charged over the whipping of a Muslim man as punishment for drinking alcohol has had his bail conditions changed in a Sydney court - because his parents don't want him living with them.
Democrats feel they have another pet.
WHAT do Sarah Palin, the Federal Election Commission, the United Farm Workers of America, Wikipedia, U.S. Speedskating, pop singer Rebecca Black and Northwestern University have in common?
I hope the request is denied
CARNITA Matthews is pushing forward with her attempt to win back the court costs resulting from her overturned driving conviction.
Probably looking for a safe place to land.
A FATHER of three and his pilot have been identified as the two victims of today's Sydney helicopter crash.

Issues overstated
APPLE fans have been left wondering which way is up after a software upgrade that changed the way people scroll.
I am sure the journalist hasn't canvassed everything here. What about Nile's group?
ATTORNEY General Greg Smith has refused to sign-up to a nationwide push to introduce stricter restrictions for violent video games.
David Daniel Ball recommends a link.
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Foreign journalists on Friday spoke of their distress after being asked to remove their bras for a security check before being allowed into the offices of Israel's prime minister.

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