Saturday, October 06, 2012

Sat Oct 6th Todays News

Beyond courage

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 06, 2012 (10:30am)

“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones”
- Julius Caesar; Act 3, Scene II
The latest Atlantic magazine features the inspirational and ultimately tragic story of the Polish resistance fighter Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to go to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp where as many as 1.5 million people were murdered during World War II.
It is based on one of Pilecki’s intelligence reports from Auschwitz, which was recently published in English as a book titled The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery.
A fact of WWII rarely acknowledged is that Poland lost six million people, one-fifth of its population, in the Holocaust, which is why Poles are so upset by the casual description of Auschwitz as the “Polish concentration camp”. Poles might have been its first victims but Auschwitz was a Nazi concentration camp.
The story of Pilecki’s betrayal, his torture and execution by the Soviets after the war, mirrors the betrayal of Poland by the West.
It is a shameful story that is only beginning to be understood outside Poland, thanks in no small part to the work of British historian Norman Davies.


Hysteria only adds to daughters’ trauma

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 06, 2012 (5:26am)

YOU couldn’t fail to be distressed by the harrowing scenes at Brisbane airport this week, when four girls at the centre of a bitter custody dispute were dragged by Australian officials onto an airplane to take them home to their father in Italy.
But you also have to question the behaviour of the mother who escalated the hysteria, rather than soothe her children’s fears in the face of an inescapable ruling by the Family Court.
The mother, who cannot be named, wailed and shrieked, threw herself at the police vehicle carrying her daughters, aged between nine and 15, and continued in this fashion at the airport, in front of assembled media.
No one doubts her distress, but the priority for all adults involved in this case ought to be the welfare of the children. She created the unfortunate situation for her daughters in the first place, by abducting them from their father in Italy two years ago.
The court found she and members of her matriarchal family have influenced the girls against their father, and anyone with any knowledge of child psychology knows how an absent parent can be demonised by an estranged spouse.
The court had no choice in this matter, and treated the mother gently, considering her wilful flouting of the law.
In child custody matters, international treaties must be honoured if we are not to have an epidemic of selfish or vengeful parents taking the law into their own hands.
Spare a thought, too, for the poor officials given the unenviable task of implementing the court’s orders. They are now immortalised on camera, as the mean men restraining a kicking and screaming little girl.
While the upsetting scenes played into the mother’s version of events, which she has amply aired in the media, the father has suffered silently, through no fault of his own, his children taken away from him without warning two years ago, and gradually becoming alienated from him.
Just before he drove from his home outside Florence to Rome airport on Thursday to pick up his daughters, he told me he was “excited, confused, too many emotions”.
“Finally, after 2 ½ years the justice has finally triumphed.”
But he now has to cope with four traumatised children, who are missing their mother and have been uprooted yet again. 


The Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(7:33pm)

On Sunday: Tony Abbott, Tim Wilson and former Keating Government Minister Gary Johns.
On smears, sliming and economy that should be the real topic.
On Channel 10 at 10am and 4.30pm.


Margie is brave, but the cruel are many

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(10:07am)

There have been many spiteful and ungracious things said and written about Margie Abbott’s defence of her husband yesterday - things which sure shine a light on the Left’s faux outrage over Alan Jones.
I won’t link to Catherine Deveny, but marvel again at how such a cruel, unbalanced and viciously abusive woman can still be treated seriously by the ABC. Depravity rules.
Laurie Oakes gets another excuse to revel in his contempt for Abbott, and Liberty Singer and Beverley O’Connor apparently believe real modern women should not be like one of Abbott’s daughters, now in Europe, but in Libya instead. And, yes, O’Connor and Sanger were sitting in Melbourne as they said it. 
This piece, though, was appalling - using the writer’s miscarriage to damn Margie Abbott for responding to a question by briefly mentioning Tony Abbott’s reaction to her own:
If Tony or Margie Abbott had talked about their miscarriage without the intention of improving Tony’s likeability or scoring a few political points I’d be writing a very different piece.
This line occurs in a piece in which the writer talked about her own miscarriage with the intention of scoring a few political points.


Will Labor keep a Speaker with this attitude to women?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(9:23am)

Labor Ministers have been desperate to paint the Liberals as anti-women:
“The modern Liberal Party ... says anything goes, engages in personal abuse day in and day out, (and) is particularly strong in its abuse against women,” [Transport Minister Anthony] Albanese said.
In evidence before Justice Steven Rares in the Federal Court, counsel for James Ashby (Slipper’s accuser and former aide) read aloud text messages sent by Slipper to Ashby which had listeners stunned.
Florid vulgarity
Describing female genitalia, Slipper texted: “They look like mussel removed from its shell. Look at the bottle of mussel meat.” ...
With a major campaign under way against Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for the women’s vote by trying to pigeon-hole him as a misogynist, the government will have to address Slipper’s cheapened language about women before backing his return to the Speaker’s chair – should the court clear him.
If Labor keeps Slipper as Speaker, it will have plumbed the very depths of hypocrisy. 


No comment

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(9:11am)

 Free speech
image image
One of these men apparently stole Australia from the other:
Jason Wing’s artwork does not treat the English explorer credited with being the first European to land on Australia’s east coast with reverence.

Wing’s Australia was Stolen by Armed Robbery features a bust of Captain Cook wearing a black balaclava, pictured. ‘’Australia was stolen from the Aboriginal people by lethal force,’’ he said…
James Cook is on the left. Aboriginal artist Jason Wing is on the right.
(No comments, for fear of legal action if people make some obvious points.) 


One day that projection will be beamed on more of France

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(8:56am)

Some very dangerous sensitivities - the kind that need riot police - have been imported into France:
Up to 80 young people, many called in from the city’s housing estates, gathered on the bridge to stop pedestrians from treading on the verses.
One woman was slapped after she accidentally walked onto the projection, police said, although some protesters claimed she had deliberately provoked them.
Police sent in a riot squad, but a local imam and representatives of the Muslim community went to the scene and successfully appealed for calm.
The excuse is that Muslims in the area are particularly touchy since police rudely shot dead a Jew-hating child killer:
“This was essentially one big misunderstanding,” Hassan Idmiloud, vice president of the Toulouse Muslim Association, told FRANCE 24.
Idmiloud explained that tensions had been high in Toulouse since Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist, went on a killing spree in March 2012 and was subsequently shot dead by police besieging his apartment.
(Thanks to reader Correllio.)


Fairfax will believe anything that may silence Jones

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(8:47am)

Early on in the gag offensive, the Silly Moaning Herald’s Phillip Coorey was delighted to announce the petition’s existence by reporting it had “already gained more than 12,000 signatures.” The next day, when Coorey’s byline was joined by that of colleague Damien Murphy, their news was of sponsors “lining up to withdraw advertising as more than 36,000 people signed an online campaign”. By week’s end, Michelle Grattan had wheeled herself to the keyboard, where she tapped out an update. “A petition to put pressure on advertisers and sponsors,” she noted, had garnered “more than 100,000 signatures"…
As anyone who has read Finko & Ricketty’s lament for Australia’s dearth of quality journalism will know, your reputable reporters always make sure sources are credible, their journalists’ eyes forever sharp for scams or fiddles intended to mislead the public… We can therefore assume that Coorey, Grattan and all the rest checked out the online petition’s mechanics and satisfied themselves that it is impossible for those who detest Jones to sign the petition with a false name or, more to the point, a bunch of false names…
Who would have thought that Cotton Mather, godfather of the Salem witchhunts, might take up the crusade against 2GB’s embodiment of opinionated evil?
Well his signature was accepted and added to all those other Jones-a-phobics, along with Anton Drexler, founder of Germany’s National Socialist Party. Even Andrew Bolt has signed up, no doubt because he has come to appreciate at last that free speech is a liberty from which his vile opinions preclude him.
Other signatures organisers may find on the petition’s manifest include a Mr D. Duck and his life partner, Mr M Mouse; former TV personalities Bobby Limb and Dawn Lake; explorers Burke and Wills, Phar Lap, the Magic Pudding, and Ronald Ryan, whose reputation for having been the last man hanged in Victoria is no barrier to expressing a loathing for Alan Jones.
Why, even Jones himself is backing the anti-Jones petition, according to the ever-updating roster of the latest signatories on the site!
(Thanks to reader Gab. Links at the link.)


Post suddenly not so sensitive

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(8:04am)

Remember that manufactured horror about the “cross-hairs” - actually crop marks - used by that wicked Sarah Palin? James Taranto does:
- “[Sarah] Palin’s map is of a similar vein, though it is more personal. The markers on the map, showing the location of the congressional districts, look like the crosshairs of a rifle sight, and it was accompanied by a list of names. . . . It’s silly for her aides to claim she did not intend these to be gunsights."–"fact check,” Washington Post website, Jan. 11, 2011
- “Paul Ryan in the Crosshairs"–headline, Washington Post website, Oct. 3, 2012


The return of the real Bond?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(7:53am)

Brilliant. Adele delivers a Bond song that returns the franchise to its much-loved roots. It’s back (almost) to the best:
Adele’s “Skyfall” is the most classic Bond theme since the classic Bond themes. The song may not be as infectiously hummable as some of Adele’s other hits, like “Rolling in the Deep,” but it fits perfectly within the James Bond tradition…
You can’t listen to this song and not immediately think of Shirley Bassey, though Adele throws in a little more melisma…
The rising fifth in the hook ("… let the sky fall") is reminiscent of “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” and “The World is Not Enough,” which all have same interval in the main melody. Also like “The World is Not Enough” and Sheryl Crowe’s “Tomorrow Never Dies,” the verse ends on a suspended fourth chord.
Other Bond themes here
Can we hope for a return at last of other traditional Bond touches such as the “Bond. James Bond” and especially the Bond theme music?  Less Jason Bourne and more Bond, please. 


Tutu and the Jew-haters

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(7:00am)

The website of the Free Gaza Movement, a sponsor of the Gaza Flotilla, lists some impressive celebrity endorsements. One of the most impressive names on the list is that of Desmond Tutu, revered throughout the world for his courageous stand against South Africa’s apartheid government and for his leadership of initiatives like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which did so much to heal the wounds apartheid left behind.

But there was something the Free Gaza Movement didn’t tell the archbishop: its co-founder and board chair is a Jew-hater named Greta Berlin who uses the organization as a platform form which to spread the ugliest anti-Semitic legends and, literally, Nazi propaganda and lies…
[Free Gaza has now] posted this on its Twitter Feed: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews” with a link tothis awful video
Sorry,… but there’s no reason to believe Tutu didn’t know whom he was in bed with–and many good reasons to believe he approves. The great hero of apartheid has a long and inglorious history of anti-Semitism—as Google auto-fill confirms.

Take, for example, this Front Page Magazine story by Alan Dershowitz: 
[Tutu] has minimized the suffering of those killed in the Holocaust. He has attacked the “Jewish"–not Israeli–"lobby" as too “powerful” and “scar[y].” He has invoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish “arrogance”, “power” and money.  He has characterized Jews a “peculiar people,” and has accused “the Jews” of causing many of the world’s problems. He once even accused the Jewish state of acting in an “unChristian” way….

Tutu has asserted that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism,” thus echoing the notorious and discredited “Zionism equals racism” resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations and subsequently rescinded.  He has accused the Jews of Israel of doing “things that even Apartheid South Africa had not done.”
(Via Instapundit.)


The lazy president, the astonished media

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(6:41am)

Of all the explanations for Barack Obama’s terrible performance in the debate, the most obvious seem to me the most likely. First, he’s not as smart as sold by the adoring media, and second...:
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney campaign co-chair and top surrogate, railed against President Barack Obama today after last night’s debate, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that the president was ‘lazy and disengaged.’
‘What people saw last night was, I think, a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, and how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economic problems of the country are,’ Sununu said on MSNBC’s ‘Mitchell Reports.’
Mitchell was taken aback.
‘Governor, I want to give you a chance to — to maybe take it back,’ she said. ‘Did you really mean to call Barack Obama, the president of the United States, lazy?’
‘Yes. I think you saw him admit it the night before when he delivered the pizzas’ to the Obama campaign’s Nevada field office, Sununu said. ‘He said, “They’re making me do this work.” He didn’t want to prepare for this debate. He’s lazy and disengaged.’
Love Mitchell’s astonishment and dismay that anyone could criticise the president like this.  Check her stunned silence when Sununu just doubles down on his criticism.
Talk about the media bubble.  Talk about the media riding shotgun for Obama.
Love also Mitchell doing what American ABC network also dfd the day after - making all the points for Obama they wished Obama had made in the debate. Cleaning up afterwards.
The Left cannot believe their God was beaten. So it must have been a trick!  The New Yorkerreports: 
Just as George W. Bush was accused by Internet sleuths of wearing a wire during a 2004 debate with John Kerry, online paranoids have decided that Mitt Romney must have cheated to win Wednesday’s presidential face-off. A slow-motion YouTube clip circulating today shows Romney removing something from his pocket as he approaches the podium, and if it were pre-written zingers, that would be a violation of the debate’s “no props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings” rule. That theory has been floated by the usual suspects of left-leaning message boards, including Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, and Reddit, but even made its way to CBS. Juicy! Except it was a handkerchief.
(Via Instapundit.) 


Hear it now from Treasury: this reckless spending must stop

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(6:26am)

The money is gone:
Dr Parkinson, in a speech in Perth yesterday, warned that the growing community expectations of what governments should provide were compounding pressures on the budget at a time when revenue growth was slower than expected and the nation faced increased spending in health and aged care because of an ageing population.
The mining boom may have peaked already: 
AUSTRALIA’S investment pipeline appears to be thinning as local costs surge and global demand wanes, prompting a “flight to quality” that threatens up to two-thirds of resource projects, more than $300 billion of investment, and 150,000 jobs.
In fact, if the deteriorating investment environment convinces investors to bin projects pencilled in but not yet committed, the resource boom has already peaked, according to a new report from ANZ and Port Jackson Partners.
Australia can’t do anything to boost global demand, but surging costs in the resource sector, which are rising faster in Australia than overseas, owe a great deal to poor policy settings at home.


Antarctic refuses to melt as the models insist

Andrew BoltOCTOBER062012(6:23am)

 Global warming - dud predictions
Once again, the models are wrong but the certainty can’t be shifted:
ANTARCTIC sea ice has expanded to cover the largest area recorded since satellite mapping began more than three decades ago, in stark contrast to this year’s record melt on the northern pole.
The expansion continues a trend of increasing Antarctic sea ice cover of about 1 per cent a decade and is at odds with predictions of climate change models that continue to forecast a long-term decline.
Rob Massom from the Australian Antarctic Division and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre in Hobart said this week: “The message is there is a lot of work to better understand what processes are occurring around Antarctica and the role of these processes in affecting sea ice.” Dr Massom said the most authoritative climate change models forecast a loss of up to 30 per cent of Antarctic sea ice by the end of the century, and did not indicate the present expansion.


'Vota por ti': The three words that can save Venezuela

As this Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela looms, voters are daring to think the unthinkable: the fourteen year reign of Hugo Chavez may finally be coming to an end.
Credit for this groundbreaking change in attitude goes to one man-the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. Capriles is a democrat who believes in the rule of law. I can personally attest to his good character and his heartfelt desire to change Venezuela for the better. I was at school with Capriles' father and I know the family well. Henrique may be only 40 years old, but he has the potential to be a great president.
Especially in the last few weeks, Capriles has enjoyed a remarkable surge in the opinion polls. These same polls show that around 20 percent of voters remain "undecided." When Venezuelans tick that particular box, it's because they are wary of confessing their voting intentions to a pollster, in case the Chavez regime fnds out and penalizes them. And that is precisely why the Capriles campaign can expect strong support from this particular pool of voters, who have the potential to swing the election in his favor.
What is Capriles' secret? A few weeks ago, I joined him for a public meeting in which he unveiled his plans-in the event that he is elected–for his first one hundred days in power. What struck me most was a short and simple phrase that he used. Asked by a journalist why Venezuelans should vote for him, he answered by saying that every ballot cast in his favor is a ballot in favor of the voter too. "Vota por ti," Capriles said. Or, in English: "Vote for you."
If an American politician uttered a phrase like this one, it might come across as a cheap ploy to win votes. However, in the Venezuelan context, those three words sing with hope.
Under Chavez, the Venezuelan people have been told to vote for revolution, not themselves.

Along comes Capriles, and we start to hear about policies that can make an actual difference to our lives. With the country groaning under the $140 billion of debt accumulated under the Chavez regime, Capriles emphasizes the importance of reforming our state-owned oil industry, which accounts for 95 per cent of our foreign export earnings. His message is that these revenues need to spent for the benefit of the Venezuelan people, instead of being wasted on the pet political projects of Chavez. These include giving free oil to Cuba and Nicaragua, buying arms from Russia, and cultivating alliances with brutal tyrannies like Iran and Syria.

Capriles has run a unique campaign which has involved going to the cities, towns and villages of this country to listen to the people directly. And here is what they have been telling him:

In the face of growing lawlessness, crime and gang-related violence, Venezuelans want security. Our murder rate, at 69 per 100,000, is the highest in the world. A Capriles administration will tackle the root causes of crime: lack of educational and career opportunities, the need for police reform, rampant corruption in the Chavez-controlled judicial system, and overcrowded, dangerous prisons that become incubators of crime rather than centers of rehabilitation.

In the face of growing impoverishment, Venezuelans want jobs and economic opportunities.  More than 27 percent of Venezuelans live below the poverty line. A grave crisis in housing, frequent power cuts and even food shortages are established facts of life. Under Capriles, a strategy of economic reform will do away with the nepotism and corruption that has destroyed our economy.

In the face of a regime that regards itself as above the law, Venezuelans want their representatives to be governed by the rule of law. Freedom of speech and of the media is subject to the whims of Chavez and his cronies; private media outlets are fined, suspended and even closed down, while the government pushes it propaganda through its network of 244 radio stations and 36 TV channels. Under a Capriles presidency, Venezuela will benefit from democratic values, and not just democratic procedures.

Chavez knows that the message of Capriles is getting through. That is why he is responding with threats. “They (the opposition) are getting ready to cry fraud and reject the people’s triumph. I advise them not to dare,” Chavez barked at a recent rally in the city of Merida. This was a veiled reference to the militias that Chavez himself has armed, who may well play a similar role to that of the Basij militia in Iran when Chavez's good friend, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stole the 2009 election.
Which is why I say to the outside world, if Chavez decides he prefers bullets to ballots, you cannot say you were not warned.

Diego Arria is a former Ambassador of Venezuela to the United Nations, and chief spokesman of, an international campaign to support the Venezuelan opposition.

If only Celebrity in Chief Obama had been asked about his iPod in debate

Claims that President Obama’s poor performance in the debate Wednesday night was due to poor preparation are grossly unfair.  He was well prepared;  moderator Jim Lehrer just didn’t ask the right questions.

If instead of boring stuff like the economy and health care, Obama had been asked about his favorite chili recipe and super hero, and what’s on his iPod, he’d have done fine.

After all, those are the kind of probing, scintillating questions the president’s been facing this campaign season, and it showed Wednesday night.

The questions about chili and iPods, for example, come from his August interview on a radio show in an Albequerque radio show station, which also wanted to get his opinion on Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit single “Call Me Maybe.” 
A half-time interview on ESPN2 in July had him wrestling with the question of whether the 1992 Dream Team could beat our Olympic basketball team, while a sit-down with People magazine gave him the chance to compare himself and Michelle to Beyonce and Jay Z.  

Obama advisers are calling this the president’s “soft media campaign.” Actually, it only confirms what we’ve been watching these past four years: the emergence of a new kind of president, the Celebrity in Chief, who’s more comfortable with Glamour magazine and Entertainment Tonight, where he also did an interview in August, than with the White House press corps (Obama has held exactly one formal press conference in all of 2012).  
It’s a president who prefers the golf course to the Oval Office, and  hanging with fellow performers from Hollywood to meeting pesky officials from the CIA or Pentagon or even members of his own Cabinet (he finally saw them in July after a lapse of six months).   

It’s a president who passes up meetings with world leaders at the United Nations to appear on "The View," and regularly skips face-to-face intelligence briefings while making sure he gets face time with David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Miami DJ “Pimp with a Limp.”

And those are the voters Obama’s courting this election season: the other 47 percent  who can name Kim Kardashian’s ex before they can name the author of the Declaration of Independence, who really miss "The Hills," and think Libya would make a cute name for a baby girl.

So how confusing to them and the Celebrity in Chief to be quizzing Obama about the budget deficit or Fast and Furious (like those nasty interviewers from Univision who turned him into the Pinata in Chief on that one).  For the next debate, they need Joan Rivers to pose the questions Obama is really prepared to answer, and the nation really wants to know:  
“What are you wearing?  And who designed the watch?”
“Some people say rapper Stalley’s debut Lincoln Way Nights is the missing link between OutKast and Miami Bass.  What do you think?”  
“What color drapes should the Romneys choose when they move into the White House next January?”
Historian Arthur Herman is the author of the just released "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II" (Random House May 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize finalist book "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age" (Bantam, 2008).

$1.2 billion examples of ABC News' bias

The slimiest news coverage of 2012 has nothing to do with the presidential election. It concerns a massive ABC News campaign against an American beef company. Led by national correspondent Jim Avila, the network bombarded a South Dakota firm with a seemingly endless barrage of stories claiming that its lean beef was – it doesn’t get uglier than this – “pink slime.” According to that company, ABC’s reports cost it hundreds of millions of dollars, and cost more than 700 people their jobs.
Now that company is suing ABC – for $1.2 billion.
The heart of ABC’s campaign lasted nearly a month as story after story, wave upon wave attacked every aspect of Beef Products Inc. – its record, its reputation and the food it makes. ABC called the USDA-approved lean beef made by the firm “filler,” “not really beef,” and even “economic fraud.” The network has used the term “pink slime” at least 178 times between newscasts and Avila’s Twitter feed.
That is the kind of assault that the national outlets reserve for true villains. Except in this case, Beef Products, Inc.  says it has done nothing wrong. And they back up their position with facts.
In fact, BPI has been doing just about everything right, and to great applause. It has received awards from the Consumer Federation of America, International Association for Food Protection and National Meat Association. According to the USDA, lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is safe and healthy; and industry sources acknowledge it is less expensive and an essential component of lean ground beef. And, newsflash, Americans have safely consumed 5 billion pounds of it over the last 20 years.
None of that has mattered. One activist reporter, one out-of-control network and a couple, surly former USDA employees wanted to destroy BPI and almost succeeded. In less than an hour of actual broadcast time, ABC’s culinary crusade nearly sabotaged a family company that took more than 30 years to build.
BPI decided it was left with only one option: to file suit. In its Sept. 13 complaint, the company charged the network made “nearly 200 false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and its product, lean finely textured beef.” Statements like these would make Pinocchio proud:
  • “Defendants repeatedly told consumers that LFTB was ‘widely known as’ or was ‘commonly referred to as’ ‘pink slime.’” Only it wasn’t. The term wasn’t commonly used until ABC shouted it to millions of viewers night after night.
  • The whole premise of the ABC report was that lean beef had been called “pink slime” back in 2002 at the USDA. But even the USDA couldn’t find any copy of such an e-mail, according to BPI’s complaint.
  • ABC relied on claims from Kit Foshee, who they said, was the “number two” person at BPI. Not ever true, says BPI. Instead, BPI says he was a “quality assurance employee who was fired” because he didn’t support “more rigorous safety procedures.”
All of this happened after ABC had problems with its previous coverage. Back in 2011, ABC’S chef Jamie Oliver said the beef was “not fit for human consumption” and was bleeped when he described the lean beef as “s---.” According to Oliver’s “Food Revolution,” BPI was washing the beef in a “water and ammonia solution.”

BPI responded to those allegations with a letter from the head of the American Meat Institute who told them Oliver’s comments were “false and malicious.” He then gave the network more accurate information. ABC’s response came less than a year later. The network ignored the information they had been given and added even more errors.

The “news” team generated a national uproar as viewer comments flooded into the on-air coverage and the website, outraged by the thought of “pink slime.” In its complaint the company  quoted some of the typical comments still available on that include: “Cancer stew, anyone?” or “I wouldn’t feed it to my dog!”

According to the complaint, the stories caused incredible harm to the company and the industry. For example in March, before the “pink slime” stories oozed across the TV, BPI sold 4.9 million pounds of lean finely textured beef and made an average profit of $2.3 million each week. By the end of the month, that had dropped to 1.8 million pounds and a loss of $368,000 – per week. And don’t forget the more than 700 lost jobs. BPI has tried to adapt, but three of its plants are still closed.
The company is asking for $400 million in damages, but  under South Dakota agricultural disparagement laws, ABC News may be on the hook for three times those damages, or  $1.2 billion.

ABC News almost singlehandedly damaged a business with what the company has rightly called a “disinformation campaign.” The network first attacked the beef, was told it what it was reporting was inaccurate and then it came back with a vengeance.
Author and journalism entrepreneur Steven Brill came down hard on ABC, calling the suit “the most detailed, persuasive complaint of its kind that I have ever read.” Brill, who founded Court TV, The American Lawyer Magazine and 10 legal newspapers, knows a bit about media law. He said that ABC appears to have disregarded any opposing view may establish a “‘reckless disregard’ for the truth that would put ABC in real legal jeopardy.”

BPI’s fight began with ABC’s deliberately harmful use of the term “pink slime,” and who can blame them? “There is not a more offensive way of describing a food product than to call it ‘slime,’ which is a noxious, repulsive, and filthy fluid not safe for human consumption,” they wrote.

That’s a good way to describe the truly disgusting ABC coverage – “noxious, repulsive” and “not safe for human consumption.”
Brent Bozell is founder and president of the Media Research Center.

What the 7.8 percent jobless number really means

The official unemployment rate of 7.8% means we are finally back to the level when Barack Obama became president, at the height of the recession. That may seem like great news. However, a more serious analysis of the job market numbers indicates continued gloom.
First of all, full-time employment actually fell last month. Total jobs rose only because part-time employment increased so dramatically.
Even so, the number of jobs, full-time and part-time, is falling short of the ever-increasing working-age population. Last month there was a net gain of 114,000 jobs. But with an expanded working age population of 206,000 and 63% of those working, 131,000 jobs would have had to be added to keep the fraction employed from falling.

Unfortunately, even this anemic growth in the total number of jobs only came about because several hundred thousand full-time workers were forced to accept part-time work. While total jobs rose by 114,000, people who are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "part time for economic reasons" soared from about 8 million to 8.6 million, a 581,000 increase.
There are two different reasons for this. Some job seekers have had to settle for only part-time jobs because they have failed to find full-time employment. Other workers who have stayed at their old firm have found that their jobs were downgraded from full-time to part-time status due to a downturn in the demand for the firm's products. 
This second reason is the most important one, and it shows that the positive unemployment numbers are not much reason to cheer. After all, businesses shifting workers from full-time to part-time in large numbers is not signaling a general economics upswing.
Indeed, this factor is the reason that the government's broader measure of unemployment has remained unchanged at 14.7 percent (the so-called U6 measure), still well above 14.2% rate when Obama became president.
This increase in part-time jobs was somewhat offset by those who voluntarily cut back on part-time work, a drop in part-time jobs for “non-economic reasons.” These are people who choose part-time jobs because of family obligations. Some also cut back to part-time because they are in going to school.
A drop in full-time employment of 216,000 shows that the economy is still not performing well. The lower unemployment numbers do not reflect more people working so much as they show Americans being forced into part-time work.

Sydney inner west power cut hits thousands

POWER has been cut to 25,000 customers in Sydney's inner west.
The outage has led to dozens of sets of traffic lights being blacked out and motorists have been urged to take extreme care.
Ausgrid emergency crews were working on Saturday evening to restore power after a fault occurred on a major power line supplying their Marrickville substation.
The suburbs of Marrickville, SydenhamPetersham and Stanmore have all been affected.
The Transport Media Centre said about 70 sets of traffic lights are not working in the region and warned drivers to slow down and follow the directions of emergency services personnel.
- The price of ALP government is loss of service - ed

Harsanyi: Debate Exposes Obama's Ridiculous Tax Myth

By David Harsanyi 

Not long ago, a former Obama staffer working with a left-wing think tank concocted a study using an assortment of cooked-up assumptions that claimed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have to increase taxes on the "middle class."
In Washington, this is referred to as an "independent study." At the Denver debate, the president called this an "impartial" analysis.
The report, by the Tax Policy Center, "estimated" that Romney's revenue-neutral tax plan would necessitate an $86 billion tax increase on the middle class, and more crucially, it allowed every Democrat in the country to pretend that an objective group had run the numbers somewhere and found that the GOP nominee was going to hike taxes on every family by -- I don't know, let's say -- $2,000 a year! Why not, right?
Few in the media were particularly put off by the fact that this fictitious assertion was endlessly repeated by Obama and friends. As the president explains it, there's simply no way to cut taxes and grow revenue at the same time. Math is math, after all. The president, likely because of his own record, seems to have forgotten about economic growth.
A recent (independent!) paper by the American Enterprise Institute found that even using the Tax Policy Center's parameters, Romney could reform the tax code and cut taxes by 20 percent and, with the modest growth encouraged by cuts, the plan could remain revenue-neutral. Would it? Economic forecasting is about as reliable as campaign tax plans. The president's economic policy, on the other hand, has been deployed and has been focused on wealth transfer in the name of fairness and spending in the name of recovery -- all of it rooted in the necessity for higher taxes.
Take this piece of warped logic from Obama: If Romney were to keep tax rates exactly where they are, he would be in fact cutting taxes for the rich. Only raising taxes can keep the status quo.
The president's plan already features a slew of increases. Some, such as taxes on investments, might not be felt directly by you -- at least not yet. Obamacare, as we know, is loaded with tax hikes you'll pay soon enough, one way or another. And the individual mandate is a tax (at least according to the administration) that promises to be one of the largest in American history.
Moreover, the American Action Forum recently released a study (an independent one!) examining the Obama administration's tax plan itself: To achieve primary budget balance by 2022, as Obama claims he can, taxing only millionaires would require raising their taxes to 123.9 percent. Taxing people making $500,000 would require an increase to 95.5 percent, and assuming the deficit reduction Obama promises, taxpayers making $30,000 would see a $1,500 hike in taxes every year over the next 10.
So even if someone could conduct a study factoring in every make-believe tax-cheating plutocrat of the liberal imagination, there simply aren't enough people to pay for Obamaworld. But it's one thing to believe in the supernatural ability of raising taxes to fix the economy and lift the poor; it's another to argue that lower tax rates can cause mass destruction.
Democrats regularly maintain that the George W. Bush administration's policies have driven the country into a metaphorical "ditch." Which policies, exactly, caused this wreck? Obama claimed in Denver, as he has often, that lower tax rates helped cause the recession. Now, blaming tax cuts for a recession is a contention so ridiculous that even a fake economic study doesn't exist to prove it.
David Harsanyi is a columnist and senior reporter at Human Events. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.

ZOA Critical of Obama Sending Extreme Anti-American, Anti-Israel Islamist Marayati To Speak Overseas on Human Rights
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized President Barack Obama for dispatching an extremist, anti-American, anti-Israeli Islamist, Salaam Al-Marayati, to speak overseas on behalf of the U.S. to a human rights conference Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Salaam Al-Marayati, the director of the Islamist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), is a vocal Israel-hater and apologist for Islamist terrorism who has called for Israel’s destruction; suggested Israel be placed on a suspect list as the possible perpetrator of the 9/11 acts of terrorism; condemned already in the 1990s American air strikes of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Sudan; and defended the rights of Holocaust deniers. 

In 1999, Marayati was appointed to a U.S. congressional committee on terrorism but, following a ZOA campaign in the media and on Capitol Hill that exposed his extremism, Marayati’s appointment was rescinded. (The ZOA’s campaign included ZOA President Morton Klein debating Marayati for an hour on KTLA, a major Los Angeles T.V. network, and an appearance on PBS’ MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour).

October 4, 2012

Labor's 'faceless men' to deny Wong top spot on Senate ballot

FINANCE Minister Penny Wong will be locked out of the top spot on Labor's SA Senate ticket by one of the "faceless men" who helped topple Kevin Rudd.
With the State ALP to decide its Senate line-up for the 2013 election later this month, the dominant Right faction is expected to easily win the prime spot for its candidate, the relatively low-profile former union boss Don Farrell.
The Right in SA controls between 55 per cent and 60 per cent of the 200 voting delegates on the floor of the State Convention.
While Senator Wong is unlikely to lose her Senate spot because of the move, it will surprise many voters that one of Australia's most powerful and successful female politicians will be forced into second spot by a low-key factional heavyweight.
Senator Farrell who, as a convenor of the national Right, played a central role in the coup against Kevin Rudd in June 2010.
He was seen to have been rewarded by Mr Rudd's successor as prime minister, Julia Gillard, who appointed Senator Farrell Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.
However, he is still two steps below Cabinet level, where Senator Wong is chief controller of all Commonwealth spending.
The ALP's rules in SA dictate that positions on the ticket are decided on a proportional basis, meaning the person with the most votes at the State Convention is given the best chance of winning in the general election.
The Advertiser understands Senator Wong's Left faction has informally approached the Right to seek a one-off break from normal practice to put her at the head of the ticket.
A key argument is that it may be a "bad look" for the party to have a "faceless" factional heavyweight promoted ahead of one the Government's strongest performers.
However, others in Labor played that down, saying it was "invariably" the case in SA that the No.1 spot went to the candidate who secured the highest vote in the party's pre-selection contest.
"Last time that was Don (Farrell) and this time it will be again," one Labor source said.
Others believe that argument ignores the fact Senator Wong was not a minister at the time.
Senator Wong, who returns from Jakarta today after meetings with Indonesia's Finance Minister, declined to comment.
Another ALP insider said it would be "preferable" to have the high-profile Senator Wong as the face of Labor's Senate team.
"Of course, it's preferable to have Penny heading the ticket," one insider said.
"She's well-known, well-liked and she's one of the most senior people, not just here in SA but in the Gillard Cabinet, and it just looks a bit strange to have her behind someone else."
Six Senate seats are up for grabs in SA. Labor can be confident of winning no more than two.
The most likely outcome is two seats each for the major parties, and one each to senators Nick Xenophon and the Greens Party's Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Farrell, now 58, secured the first-place position on the Labor ballot paper for the 2007 election with one of the highest-ever Convention votes ahead of the then Opposition frontbencher, Senator Wong.


Treasurer Wayne Swan claims credit for the Reserve Banks latest interest rate cut

WAYNE Swan is claiming - no, demanding - credit for the Reserve Bank's latest interest rate cut.
In quivering fear of being lashed yet again by the Treasurer's tongue, I'm more than willing to accede.
Take it Wayne, take all the credit for:
THE resources boom coming to a screeching halt.
MAJOR sectors of the economy such as housing and retail operating under great stress.
AN overvalued Aussie dollar shredding manufacturing and making life tough for tourism operators dependent on foreign visitors.
Take the credit, please Treasurer. When a wood duck waddles but thinks it's a rooster strutting, who am I to stand, so to speak, in its way.
There's a surreal perception about interest rates which has taken hold in Australia, that our Treasurer in the full flowering of his unknowingness continually embraces and projects.
This is that an official interest rate cut is the Reserve Bank sticking a gold star on the economy, and putting an even bigger one on the Treasurer's exercise book, as if he were still at primary school. Well done, young Wayne!
In Wayne's World, the US and European economies and their respective finance ministers, must have gold stars stuck all over the place, awarded for cutting their rates and cutting their rates, all the way to zero.
Does Wayne sincerely believe that the US and European economies have been delivering gold star-winning performances?
At its most basic, a cut in the official rate is completely value-free. It is certainly not a gold star; both it and indeed an increase in rates, is just the RBA doing its job.
That is, the RBA is adjusting rates to respond to what is happening in the economy or being done to the economy, to best deliver sustained low inflation growth in the economy.
But more specifically, a cut in rates to the levels we are now at, is telling us two big and disturbing things.
That either the economy is grinding to a stop or we are headed for a big problem in 2013. Or some combination of both.
Does our Treasurer really want to take 'credit' for that?
Especially when the RBA's decision is completely non-judgmental. It's not blaming the Treasurer for anything. Not even irresponsible fiscal policy. The RBA has determined that inflation is not going to rear its head in any seriously threatening way through 2013 and indeed into 2014.
Absent a dramatic plunge in the value of the dollar, which would send the prices of imports up sharply.
But even with some fall in the dollar - which the RBA would like to see but which it is not going to try to trigger - the inflation threat would remain minimal.
While it does not see the economy grinding to a halt, the RBA is considerably less convinced than the Treasurer that everything is coming up roses.
Some sectors of the economy could do with a boost from lower rates; and the economy overall could benefit. In short, it was able to cut, so it cut. And given all that, there was no point in waiting.
Does it also mean we are headed for a, to put it gently, 'big problem'?
No, not necessarily. But the RBA can see plenty of threats out there. Europe will remain mired in a mess at best, and could always trigger a GFC-like 'event'. The US is struggling to come out of stall speed.
And the most important of all, China is a riddle. A worrying riddle, if not yet a disturbing one.
None of this is the Treasurer's fault. Just as the RBA's prudence is not his gold star either

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