Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wed 24th Oct Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Suezane Lam andJ.w Show. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

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Childless Gillard whines like a baby

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (4:09am)

IN the great Baby Debate, Tony Abbott has no reason to apologise to Julia Gillard.
He speaks from experience, she reads from a script.
Gillard is still trying to capitalise on her feminist attack on Abbott over his simple declaration that theLabor-Green-Independent minority government lacks experience in the motherhood area.
The small but vocal group of feminist activists attempted to savage Abbott and laud Gillard over her defense of the ugly sexist Peter Slipper a fortnight ago – a defense she constructed to falsely and malicously claim Abbott was a misogynist.
Abbott, it has been acknowledged by a number of Labor Ministers, is no misogynist.
He doesn’t even fit the hastily redefined entry of misogynist provided by the acquiescent Macquarie Dictionary.
In a demonstration of Labor’s inability to defend its threadbare MYEFO Budget statement, the only thing Gillard could come up with yesterday was an attack on Abbott for his remark that the government lacked experience in the baby area.
She claimed that was a personal attack - possibly because she has never had any children.
As Abbott said, “If she wants to take offence, of course I’m sorry about that. And if she would like me to say sorry, I’m sorry.”
His office denied he was making a personal reference to the Prime Minister, but Gillard thought he was and said he would have to explain the remark.
At issue is a measure announced Monday to reduce the Baby Bonus for second and third children from $5000 to $3000.
Simpleton Treasurer Wayne Swan had said the extra cash was not needed because a cot and pram bought for a first child did not have to be bought again for subsequent children.
Abbott disagreed saying: “One child is still in the cot when the next one comes along. One child is still in the pram when the next one comes along, so you actually need to get an extra cot or a double-sized pram.

“I think if the Government was a bit more experienced in this area, they wouldn’t come out with glib lines like that.”
Gillard clearly was not impressed and replied on ABC radio, “Well I think Mr Abbott can explain what he meant by that line.”
“We understand many families are struggling to make ends meet.’’
Gillard has no children, Swan has three and Finance Minister Penny Wong has a newborn daughter but, if it means anything, more Coalition MPs have children than the government MPs.
A spokesman for Abbott said he was not referring to Gillard.
“He was criticising the Government for its out of touch statement that the more kids you have the less it costs families,” the spokesman said.
Gillard yesterday stood by her over-the-top claims earlier this month that Abbott was a misogynist.
What about the big issues - the boats, the carbon dioxide tax, the cost of living?
Nothing from Gillard.
The strategy is clear. The only thing this government can do is attack Tony Abbott over inconsequential remarks.
Bring on the election.

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Lesson for Gillard: Women are just people

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (6:50am)

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ECHOES of Australian politics can be seen in the US presidential campaign as Republican challenger Mitt Romney again performed well yesterday in his third debate against President Barack Obama, despite the instant commentary awarding points to the incumbent.
The extraordinary turnaround in opinion polls Romney has enjoyed since the first presidential debate three weeks ago has lessons for Julia Gillard.
Like Tony Abbott, Romney has been demonised by his opponents as an anti-woman religious extremist, an out of touch elitist, a dangerous joke to even consider as president.
But when voters finally had a chance to see him in the first debate, up close and unfiltered, they were pleasantly surprised. The real Mitt Romney came across as reasonable, likeable, and economically competent.
“Forceful, compassionate, presidential, confident, dynamo, winner”, is how a focus group of undecided voters on Fox News put it after the second debate.
And it is among women that Romney has won support away from Obama, whittling away the president’s lead from 11 points to six points, according to Politico.com.
While Obama has the support of single women, Romney leads with married woman by 55 percent to 42 and with childless women, 50 to 46.
The Obama campaign has responded to this surprise erosion of its female vote by redoubling efforts to portray Romney as a “misogynist”, a description retweeted by Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria.
But the caricature isn’t working any more.
“I can’t think of anytime or any place that I’ve ever seen Mitt Romney say we are going back to the stone ages and we are going to make abortion illegal,” said one woman in the Fox focus group.
“I don’t know where this came from but I don’t think it came from Mitt Romney.”
In another focus group of undecided voters on MSNBC, a young married mother who said she lived “pay check to paycheck” said of Governor Romney: “He has more of a plan. He’s a businessman.  He took care of Massachusetts. I think he can take care of us.”
In the end, women are just people.
What Romney’s turnaround in the polls tells you is that dishonest characterization of a political opponent can only get an incumbent so far. Eventually, when voters find they have been deceived, the backlash can destroy you.

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Demonising drinking is wowserism at its worst

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, October 23, 2012 (7:12pm)

IT’S HSC time, the eye of the hurricane, socialising-wise, between Year 12 graduations and schoolies’ celebrations.
So ‘tis the season for partypoopers to get into the business of creating petty crime where there is none.
Take a snapshot of suburban Sydney one Friday night last month, at a small bowling club where a group of Year 12 school leavers and some of their parents gathered for an informal drink after a graduation dinner.
Over about two hours, two undercover female police officers in their late 20s skulked around, chatting to the young men before showing their badges and demanding IDs.
Along with three uniformed police who arrived separately, they had been deployed to harass a well-behaved group consisting of about 60 adults and a couple of 17-year-olds, who may or may not have sipped a beer to celebrate completing 13 years of school.
Is this really where scarce police resources should be targeted?
It’s a scenario played out all over Sydney at this time of year, and when the HSC is over, no doubt there will be a fresh crackdown on underage drinking.
But does assigning five police officers to criminalise people aged 17 years and nine months for having a quiet drink really make the streets safer?
This crackdown on underage drinking is just one of those bread and circuses ploys staged by unimaginative governments.
Now Premier Barry O’Farrell wants to throw parents in jail for up to 12 months if underage drinking occurs at their son or daughter’s 18th birthday party.
The Liquor Act of 2007 already carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail or an $11,000 fine for supplying alcohol to a minor who is not your child, unless you have permission of the other parents.
You’d think that law was tough enough but O’Farrell wants it even tougher, so you go to jail even if you have permission of the other parents to serve their 17-year-old a glass of wine.
O’Farrell has launched a parliamentary inquiry into the “provision of alcohol to minors” aimed at toughening up the Liquor Act, with two public hearings beginning next Wednesday.
Almost all of the 26 submissions agree with O’Farrell, to the point of extreme wowserism.
A submission from one Karen Newton wants the drinking age to be raised to 21, and claims champagne is “deadly”.
“It dries skin and causes sagginess in skin as well.”
Even the Australian Hotels Association wants “monetary penalties and an infringement record imposed against any underage person who attempts to or enters licensed hotels and clubs,” or bottleshops, or who uses a fake ID.
NSW MPs David Elliott and Dominic Perrottet want people who are “guilty of antisocial behaviour while under the influence of alcohol” to be punished by losing their drivers licence for three years. There would soon be no cars on the road.
A lone sane voice came from the NSW Council for Civil Liberties: “Criminalising relatives who give young people a sip of wine at Christmas will do nothing to reduce drinking by minors.”
Other submissions point out the pitfalls of tougher laws, such as the need to “increase police powers to enter a private residence”.
The Australian Drug Foundation even wants parents banned from drinking at school functions.
The federal government is getting in on the teenage drinking “crisis” with an inquiry by its National Preventive Health Agency proposing a “floor price” on alcohol to eradicate cheap booze.
So expect a four-litre cask of wine to quadruple in price to $52, with the aim of stamping out the communal teenage tipple of a “goon sack”.
But demonising the demon drink has a perverse effect. Young people are acutely price sensitive. You are never going to stop their desire to party (unless you limit late night trading, which no government seems game to do).
If you make a night out with alcohol prohibitively expensive and the regulations for serving alcohol needlessly bureaucratic, all you will do is convince young people they will get a better bang for their buck spending their $30 on drugs rather than on alcohol.
You will drive law-abiding young people to take cannabis and pills, which is a far worse outcome.
It seems that with legal alcohol there is zero tolerance from authorities but when it comes to illegal drugs, the approach is all blind eyes and harm minimisation.
But where is the evidence that underage drinking has become such a problem it needs ever more draconian legislation?
There is none. Statistics point to a decline in underage drinking, according to the Australian Secondary School Students’ (drugs and alcohol) Use survey.
Contrary to popular myth, and compared to baby boomer legislators, Generation Y is relatively abstemious and sensible.
That is how most parents see their teenagers as they help them to make their way in the world. But what is increasingly noticeable to parents is how disrespectful and unforgiving the world is to these emerging adults.
Punishing young people for learning to drink alcohol is just mindless control-freakery. 

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ALABOMBER

Tim Blair – Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (12:19am)

A rare example of 1930 photobombing discovered in Birmingham, Alabama:

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With technological advances, photobombing is now popular even among farm creatures.
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White House told truth about Benghazi within two hours

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(5:41pm)

So why didn’t Barack Obama’s team say so?

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks…
Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.
While officials did mention the possible involvement of “extremists,” they did not lay blame on any specific militant groups or possible links to al Qaeda or its affiliates until intelligence officials publicly alleged that on Sept. 28…
The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department’s Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of Sept. 11…

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07pm Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”
So explain this, from Ambassador Susan Rice blaming some YouTube video instead on September 16, five days later:
Chris Wallace, FOX News Sunday: This week, there have been anti-American protests in two dozen countries across the Islamic world. The White House says it has nothing to do with the president’s policies. Let’s watch.

Jay Carney: This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive.
Wallace: You don’t really believe that?

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN: Chris, absolutely I believe that. Because, in fact, it is the case. We had the evolution of the Arab Spring over the last many months but what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world. Now, our strong view is that there is no excuse for violence. It is reprehensible and never justified. But in fact there have been those in various parts of the world who have reacted with violence. Their governments have increasingly and effectively responded and protected our facilities and condemned the violence and this outrageous response to what is an offensive video. But there is no question what we have seen in the past with things like Satanic Verses and cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad there have been such things that have sparked outrage and anger and this has been the proximate cause.

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Inflation up, carbon tax blamed

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(11:12am)

Just as the economy gets the staggers, here comes the carbon tax, driving inflation higher than expected:
Data out today showed inflation rose 1.4 per cent in the three months to the end of September following the introduction of the carbon tax on 1 July. Economists polled by Bloomberg tipped a 1 per cent rise as the impact of the carbon tax filtered through the economy.

On an annual basis, inflation increased 2 per cent, up from a 1.2 per cent rise in the year to June, the ABS said…

RBC Capital Markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the carbon tax had moved inflation up faster than anticipated...
And remember, this tax - which costs us money and jobs - will do absolutely nothing to stop any global warming.
In fact, the planet has not warmed in 16 years.
From the carbon price Treasury modelling: 

Carbon pricing will change the relative prices of goods and services and there will be an initial increase in the level of consumer prices. An initial impact will occur in 2012-13 with the introduction of the price, with a smaller step up in 2015-16, when the scheme moves to the international carbon price. For the core policy scenario, carbon pricing is estimated to raise the overall consumer price level by 0.7 per cent in 2012-13 and by a further 0.2 per cent in 2015-16, for a total of 0.9 per cent in 2015-16. Beyond 2015-16 there will be minimal implications for ongoing inflation.

Today the CPI figures are out. The Australian reports: 
The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose 1.4 per cent in the September quarter, after rising by 0.5 per cent in the June quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
It is the first set of inflation data released since the introduction of the federal government’s carbon tax on July 1.
The CPI was expected to rise by 1.1 per cent in the September quarter for an annual rate of 1.7 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 15 economists.
Read on. 

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Thomson’s home raided

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(11:01am)

Time Julia Gillard gave another speech about misogyny or something:

Just after 7am the NSW police executed a search warrant at the central coast home of Mr Thomson and his wife, Zoe.

NSW police obtained the warrant on behalf of the Victorian police who are investigating allegations that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.
Thomson says he is innocent.
UPDATE
Doh! If only Thomson had sent police his handwriting months ago, all this would have been cleared up:

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Business protests against big-taxing government

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(9:34am)

The Government, unable to control its own spending, once again clobbers the people it needs to keep generating our wealth:
AN angry business community has rounded on the Gillard government’s strategy of slugging business to fill the budget shortfall, warning the move threatens to shackle growth, increase perceptions of sovereign risk and add to the woes of the struggling manufacturing sector.

As companies were yesterday poring over the implications of the government’s surprise announcement that will raise $8.3 billion across the next three years by forcing large businesses to pay tax earlier, former BHP Billiton chairman and former National Australia Bank chief executive Don Argus urged the government to apply a “corporate perspective” to running the economy.
“You can play around with numbers and do creative accounting adjustments but . . . if we don’t start to look at what our forward position is, then we will have grief because the world is on a knife edge.”
Manufacturing Australia executive chairman and former Reserve Bank of Australia board member Dick Warburton said the tax move would be a problem for manufacturers…

Aussie Home Loans chairman John Symond said the move was “a cheating in the maths”, Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes said the change would cost his company about $1 million a year in extra interest costs and Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien said it would be an additional cost.
UPDATE
Australia’s longest serving and arguably best Treasurer, Peter Costello: 
Since its first budget in 2008, the government has set its policy as “achieving budget surpluses, on average, over the medium term"…

Over four budgets from 2008, deficits have cumulated 12.8 per cent of gross domestic product. Taking this year and the following three budgets, this will be followed by cumulative surpluses of 0.8 per cent (provided the economy grows at trend). Four years of surplus will pay back 1/16th of the four years of deficit. At that rate it would take half a century before we get to the stated goal of “surplus on average”. That is not the medium term…

UPDATE
Wayne Swan simply isn’t trusted by economic forecasters - suggesting the Government will have to go to the polls before the May Budget proves he’s lied about that surplus he insists is coming: 
Independent forecasters have warned the Labor government’s mid-year review won’t deliver a surplus because it is overly optimistic about economic growth and export income.

Analysis of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook by Canberra-based modelling group Macroeconomics suggests if growth slows to the pace forecast by many economists, Treasurer Wayne Swan’s $1.1 billion surplus target will turn into a $7.6?billion deficit.
Mr Swan downgraded his forecast for growth to around 3 per cent this financial year and next financial year, 0.25 of a percentage point slower than anticipated at budget time in May…

The government’s economic outlook, which was prepared by a Treasury forecasting division headed by David Gruen, is at the high end of most estimates and well above National Australia Bank’s 2.3 per cent. Macroeconomics director of budget and forecasting Stephen Anthony predicts the economy will grow 2.6 per cent this year.
UPDATE

SENIOR Labor minister Martin Ferguson has flagged division within the government over the decision to make companies pay their tax monthly rather than quarterly…
“I appreciate the announcement from the Treasurer in terms of bringing forward the monthly payments and on that basis he thinks it’s appropriate and he has given industry plenty of notice.”

However, Mr Ferguson refused to directly back the changes himself.

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Timber workers make green millionaire pay for taking their mill

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(8:26am)

Here’s real people power - and not the social media kind.
A Green millionaire buys a woodchip mill to close it. Despairing locals call for a boycott of her own stores so she can share their pain. Now her own stores are going broke, too.  Read on…
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has been told Gunns will close its Triabunna woodchip mill on Tasmania’s east coast, with the loss of 50 jobs.

Mill workers were stood down temporarily in April as part of a two-month shutdown caused by volatile woodchip markets…
Mr Clark says while market volatility is to blame, the situation has been exacerbated by pressure from green groups.

“The minority groups which have run a propaganda campaign for some time now has very cleverly brought the forestry industry to its knees,” he said.
Last week’s sale of Tasmania’s Triabunna woodchip mill to prominent business identities, Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood, raises serious questions about the extent to which the personal wealth and whims of just two people (one of whom does not even live in the state) could be allowed to derail a democratically-elected government’s control and management of a public resource – Tasmania’s multiple use State Forests – and the socio-economic activity that depends on it.

The Triabunna mill has operated since 1972, but Cameron and Wood intend to close it after a short period of transition, ostensibly to develop a tourism and wine-growing venture. Unless new uses for low grade wood can be quickly explored and developed, this will close southern Tasmania’s native hardwood industry, including the sawmilling sector whose viability largely relies on being able to profit from harvesting and processing residue sold for chipping and export. If the industry closes, it could wipe perhaps $0.5 billion per year from Tasmania’s GDP and put several thousand people out of work in a state in an already parlous economic situation…

Cameron, with an estimated worth of between $250 - 500 million, founded and ran the Kathmandu outdoor clothing and equipment empire before retiring in 2006 and then moving from her native New Zealand to live on Tasmania’s east coast. She has donated $ tens of millions to a range of causes over the intervening years, particularly in relation to animal welfare, and funds this from the profits of various other retail outlets that she continues to own, including the iconic Chickenfeed chain which largely sells cheap goods imported from China.
The owners of the Triabunna woodchip mill on Tasmania’s east-coast have called for expressions of interest to run the operation.

Triabunna Investments, owned by entrepreneurs Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood, bought the mill from Gunns earlier this year.
The mill’s general manager, [former Wilderness Society directer] Alec Marr, says the company has advertised nationally for a five-year lease.
He says the operator will have to run it in line with the forest peace deal…
“It’s quite clear that the areas that the environment movement has identified for protection won’t be going through the mill and we won’t be having endangered species habitat from private land going through the mill either.
He concedes it could be a difficult task to find an operator…

The Forest Industries Association is urging the owners to be more flexible on what timber residue they will accept.
WAR is being declared on discount chain Chickenfeed by growing numbers of angry timber workers and their supporters.

The brother of North-West heavy equipment magnate Dale Elphinstone is leading the charge against environmentalist Chickenfeed owner Jan Cameron and hotel booking company Wotif’s like- minded founder, Graeme Wood.
“I strongly urge you and your families to avoid shopping at Chickenfeed stores and to boycott the use of Wotif to book anything,” Triabunna- based businessman Graeme Elphinstone writes in an email which is going viral among timber folk and has gone to MLCs.
“The owners of these two businesses are supporters and financiers of shutting down the livelihoods of many Tasmanians.

“These same millionaires who are supporting these cult people might just find they have stood on the toes of their very own customers.”
Cheryl Arnol, a long-time Glamorgan Spring Bay Councillor and President of Timber Communities Australia, East Coast Branch, is sceptical of tourism becoming Triabunna’s lifeblood, especially as tourism numbers are presently decreasing.

“Everyone is saying that tourism is the panacea of the area,” she says. “There is no way that the tourism industry in the Triabunna area could absorb all the displaced direct forest workers, even if they wanted to be baristas or tour guides, let alone those people supported indirectly through the industry."…
“Without employment opportunities our young people move away, our shops and stores close, infrastructure suffers, and communities stagnate. Our depression and suicide rates increase placing a greater burden on an already struggling health system....
“We have heard for more than 30 years that the forests are threatened. It is now time that the government, the greens and their supporters realised that we (the people) are now the threatened species.”
Graeme Elphinstone’s Triabunna-based engineering and trailer business has seen a substantial drop in business since the closure of the mill. It is all the more frustrating for Graeme as he believes the mill closure was unnecessary and that forestry in Tasmania is sustainable.

Graeme knows of 40 former forestry workers now working in Townsville in Queensland...
THE tough retail market may be about to claim the discount store business owned by Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron, with questions growing about the number of stores closing amid reports of mounting losses and unpaid bills.

Ms Cameron acquired Retail Adventures - the operating company behind Go-Lo, Sam’s Warehouse, Crazy Clark’s and Chickenfeed - for $70 million in 2009, after it collapsed.
The business has reportedly cost her another $70 million in the past two years alone ...
The appointment of high-profile spokesman Grant Vandenberg has not led to any explanation for recent closures, or responses to claims that the company has been behind on its rent and payments to suppliers…
Last week, Tasmanian publications reported that 12 Tasmanian Chickenfeed stores would close over the coming month.

According to the Retail Adventures website, the company still has 300 stores, down from 350 in 2009.
DISCOUNT store Shiploads has wasted no time in moving into the vacuum left by the recent closure of the Huonville Chickenfeed store.

Managing director Ashley Wilson said the chain’s fifth store would create 25 permanent and casual jobs by late November.
He said the recently closed Chickenfeed store in Huonville had created an opportunity to open in an area needing employment opportunities and true discount retailing.

TRIABUNNA is facing another blow with the future of Seafish Tasmania in doubt after it invested millions in a super trawler set to be banned from Australian waters for two years. 

Seafish Tasmania is based in Triabunna where it operates a fish processing factory employing about 25 people.

Yesterday, company director Gerry Geen told ABC radio the company had invested ``millions’’ in bringing the super trawler to Australia and could not say if the existing business could continue in the wake of the federal government’s last minute intervention to prevent it using the 142-metre long vessel. 
UPDATE
Reader Nonna2:

It wasn’t just the timber workers that boycotted ‘Chicken Feed’. I and many others did not shop there simply because this green person, Jan Cameron espouses her green virtues, supports Greens, says she is anti pollution (Gunns and the Pulp Mill were going to bring on the end of the world), yet she was quite happy to sell plastic rubbish from China (I suppose because it was made in China it did not pollute). 
Reader Jude: 
Good to see this in print - I’m not connected to the timber industry but stopped shopping at Chickenfeed for the reasons outlined in this article so I’m happy to know it may have an effect.
(Thanks to reader TassieRooster.) 

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Rudd wants your help

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(8:11am)

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Kevin Rudd wants help in his campaign for his seat in the Lodge Griffith: 

As you probably know – I am pretty dedicated to good fashion.
But when it comes to campaign election t-shirts, they can be a little… boring.
So it is over to you. If you can come up with a better design – I’ll use it.
The rules are simple: the t-shirt has to say “Kevin Rudd”, the shirt will be white, and I get to pick the winner.
If you have a design – email it to KRuddTShirt@gmail.com - get them in by 9 November 2012.
There’s no prize – apart from my never-ending appreciation and the satisfaction that there will be 100’s of people wearing your design. (more detail available here http://www.kevinruddmp.com/2012/10/design-krudd-tshirt.html )…

Kevin Rudd
Gillard’s pitch is to divide and smear. Rudd’s is to yuk it up.  Take your pick. 

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Climate change a complete non-issue in US election

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(7:39am)

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet as recently as last month was pretending the United States was taking a lead in policies to “stop” global warming:
In fact, Anthony Watts notes a change in the climate in this year’s presidential and vice-presidential debates:
The video above shows how much global warming figured in previous debates. But this time ... silence.

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The great echo chamber of the Leftist media

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(7:06am)

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Age reporters are impressed that Guardian reporters just like them have opinions just like them after reading what Age reporters just like them wrote:
“‘Misogynist’ politician in new row”. That’s how The Guardian website summed up the latest chapter in Australian politics today. 
Cultural cringe meets group think meets social media.
Oh, and note how a single item on a single Leftist website is puffed by The Age as the “world press”.
UPDATE
What The Age does not report is that there are also journalists not like them with opinions notlike theirs who also write for foreign websites and newspapers on the very same issues. Take Brendan O’Neill of The Telegraph:
In what was essentially a gratuitously ostentatious display of Gillard’s own emotional sensitivity to certain words and ideas, the Aussie PM continually played the offence card…

This promiscuous and weirdly proud offence-taking – where saying “I am offended” is now basically another way of saying “I am a good, moral person with high-level sensitivities” – is a very bad thing. It implicitly demands an end to offensiveness, to anything that certain people or groups might find upsetting. But some of the greatest gains in history were only made possible by people’s willingness to offend against cultural norms or accepted wisdoms – from Copernicus’s offensive suggestion that the earth orbited the Sun to Sylvia Pankhurst’s offensive proposal that women should be equal to men… So, Madam Prime Minister Gillard, please man up. You are one of the most powerful women in the Southern Hemisphere. You should be bigger than this.
Nor does it report that British journalists not like them have protested against the witchhunt against Alan Jones, for instance. James Delingpole of The Telegraph:
But you’re not going to hear news outlets like the ABC apologising for having promulgated such egregious untruths any more than you’re going to hear them apologising for or correcting the woefully inaccurate prognostications about rising sea levels and increasing droughts regularly spouted on its airwaves by alarmists such as Tim Flannery.

So why, given that the ABC (and its fellow-travellers in the print media such as the embarrassing and lame Sydney Morning Herald) get it badly wrong on climate change pretty much every time they cover the subject have they not also been hauled up for censorship by the Australian Communications and Media Authority? Why are not their crappy environmental correspondents, their hysterical leftist beardies (that means YOU, Jon Faine) and their vast batteries of union-protected support staff being subjected to a day or two’s lecturing on hard climate science by Ian Plimer or Bob Carter?

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They really want Gillard’s rant to have worked

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:59am)

If there’s one thing Labor does well, it’s spin. Mind you, it helps to have a media only too willing to hail yet another ”turning point” for Labor:

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has surged to a 10-point lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister.

Tingle, AFR, Monday:
LEADERS’ personal approval ratings tend to be a lead indicator for party votes.
Preferred PM in last Newspoll before the 1996 election: 
PAUL Keating, Feb 28-29: 45; John Howard: 40.
Significant shift in two-party-preferred! Paul Murray Live, Sky News, Monday: 
MARK Latham: In a two-horse race there’s got to be a winner or a loser . . . And what’s happened with Gillard, the carbon tax dragged her down, the broken promises and the like, but there’s a lot of public sympathy there over her father, particularly in the light of the Jones comments and the like. This has humanised her—people can relate to a grieving daughter—and it’s had a big impact in her personal standing and that’s coincided with a significant shift in two-party-preferred outcomes.
Significant shift in two-party-preferred? Phillip Coorey, The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday: 
THE latest Herald/Nielsen poll, the first big public opinion survey since the tumultuous events in parliament a fortnight ago, shows Labor’s primary vote stuck at 34 per cent while the Coalition’s primary vote fell two percentage points to 43 per cent. Due to a small increase for the Greens to put them on 11 per cent, Labor trails the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis by 48 per cent to 52 per cent (compared with 47 to 53 in favour of the Coalition one month ago).
Significant shift? Essential Media poll, Tuesday: 
COALITION: Two weeks ago 53 per cent. One week ago 53 per cent. This week 53 per cent.
Labor: Two weeks ago 47 per cent. One week ago 47 per cent. This week 47 per cent.

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How did we let ourselves get conned by Big Wilderness?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:44am)


In the absence of the discovery of a nest of pandas sheltering in the Tamar Valley, the Gunns pulp mill protesters sought out the nearest available trophy victim, which happened to be a whale…
Cartological pedants may have noticed that the pulp mill was to be situated in the Tamar estuary, several kilometres from the sea. Nonetheless, Gunns agreed to deploy certified marine mammal officers during construction, equipped with range-finder binoculars and two-way radios. Should a whale be sighted within a 3km radius, construction of the $2.3 billion project would stop while the little fellow meandered past. Similar care would be taken for the welfare of fur seals, wedge-tailed eagles and the central north burrowing crayfish. Bubble curtains were to be erected to protect the Prototroctes maraena, or cucumber mullet to its friends.
It was to no avail since the wilderness industry - big wilderness as we should perhaps start calling it - was playing with Gunns in the same way a cat toys with a mouse… Gunns...went into liquidation.
Three decades after Franklin, it is surely time to recognise that the environmental movement now effectively controls Australia’s future… The Franklin was the last noble battle in the war to save the wilderness…
Such is the environmental industry’s appetite for fresh causes, however, that it has been forced to campaign beyond the boundaries of what was once considered wilderness.
Gunns’ pulp mill was to have been built next door to an aluminium smelter. Environmentalists stopped the Traveston Dam from being built on the degraded Mary River catchment in southeast Queensland, out of concern for a turtle so common that it used to be sold in pet shops.

Now, with the banning of the super-trawler, it appears that the wilderness industry does not even need the backing of science. All it needs is backing of social media, an unaccountable and unrepresentative vehicle for the expression of public opinion.

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Are you ready to be a parent?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:35am)


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Nice Romney still ahead

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:22am)

Much depends on just where the votes fall, but Mitt Romney is looking strong: 
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday showsMitt Romney attracting support from 50% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 46%
As I’ve argued before, Obama’s snarly win in the second debate and his draw, at very best, in the third did not advantage him when it came to the real question - not “who won the debate?” but “who will you now vote for?”:
Mitt Romney crossed a major threshold early this week, moving above 50 percent in his favorability rating with voters, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls — and for the first time in the campaign he now leads President Obama on that measure.

The Republican presidential nominee has clearly benefited from the debates. He had a 44.5 percent favorability rating at the end of September, before the debates. But by Monday, when he and Mr. Obama faced off for the final debate of the campaign, Mr. Romney’s favorability average was up to 50.5 percent…
Mike McKenna, a Republican pollster, said Mr. Romney used the three 90-minute debates this month, with the largest national audiences he’s ever had, to humanize himself for voters who’d only seen snapshots in campaign commercials. news accounts and negative ads from the Obama campaign.
Mr. McKenna said the Republican candidate’s performances punctured the Obama campaign’s effort to disqualify Mr. Romney in voters’ minds, through a bruising barrage of attack ads aimed at Hispanics, young adults and, chiefly, women voters.

“Six months of work and $400 million of ad buys went up in smoke in about 10 days,” Mr. McKenna said. 
UPDATE
Moreover, the last debate gave Romney a nice ad:
UPDATE
President Louis XIV
UPDATE

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Hacking reflects a British disease

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:09am)

I’ve long argued that phone hacking scandal was less a symptom of the News Corp culture than of the British:
THE British phone-hacking scandal has spread to include the first legal actions against newspapers outside Rupert Murdoch’s News International operations.


Apart from Eriksson, the other people seeking damages from the Mirror Group are Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, former Blackburn Rovers football captain Garry Flitcroft and Abbie Gibson, a former nanny for David and Victoria Beckham. [Piers] Morgan, who is now a celebrity broadcaster for CNN, was the Mirror’s editor at the time that Goran-Eriksson claims its reporters hacked into his voice messages.

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Can we borrow that judge to sort out our alarmists?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(6:05am)

A few Italian judges could sure sort out our climate alarmists,who predicted permanent droughts, empty dams, more hurricanes and dangerous sea level rises:

The seismologists were charged not with failing to predict the earthquake but for wrongly reassuring the public about the risk. Witnesses told the court that family members had died because after the reassurances they stopped leaving their houses when they noticed tremors, which had gone on for months before the earthquake on April 6, 2009.
In more primitive times, of course, people responded to tragedies like earthquakes, plagues, and famines by assuming that someone had angered the gods or was practicing witchcraft. The offender was identified often by the sort of procedures parodied by Monty Python, and then hanged, burned, or thrown into a volcano. This didn’t do much to address the problem, but it let the survivors feel better, and let the authorities look like they’d done something about a problem that was in fact beyond their reach.

You would like to think that we’ve have moved beyond such primitive responses. But these responses stem from human nature and are only avoidable through education. The Italian convictions suggest that we’re not doing enough.

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Kennett: I give up on the divisive Prime Minister who demeans her high office

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(5:54am)

WHAT sort of country are we becoming, when our Prime Minister becomes so desperate that she uses her gender to deliberately and personally attack her opponent in the most unbecoming way in Parliament.
To accuse Tony Abbott of being a misogynist, a hater of women, is as irresponsible as one can get.
It is a charge without truth and an insult to Abbott’s wife, Margaret, and his daughters.
But clearly our Prime Minister has no respect for the truth or the office she holds. Life is all about Julia, her interests, her desire to survive…
Julia Gillard and the party she leads have failed every measure of good government.
She now has only personal invective left in her arsenal on which to base her argument for re-election....
Many of you will have heard me on many occasions defend the Prime Minister…
But this latest abuse of her office has somehow broken my spirit.
I have given up… I will never again respect her for the standard of leadership she is providing this country.
It is personal, it is bitter, it is divisive, and it is short-sighted, and it is simply unprofessional.
Julia Gillard is insulting and demeaning the high office she holds.

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Union checks out Rudd’s popularity. Next move?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(5:28am)

A union creating trouble for Julia Gilliard:
United Voice’s national branch is angry about the potentially destabilising move but the state branch - fighting Queensland government job cuts - argues it is important to quantify the electoral impact of a federal leadership change.
Formerly known as the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, it represents 130,000 members in a wide range of occupations including hospitality, childcare, teachers aides, aged care, property services, health, manufacturing, ambulance workers (in some states) and community services.
The polling calculated the impact of a return by Mr Rudd in four marginal electorates held by strong Gillard supporters - Blair and Moreton in Queensland, Greenway in NSW and Deakin in Victoria.
It found Mr Rudd would boost Labor’s primary vote by 11 per cent, by as much as 18 per cent in some electorates, by 17 per cent among swinging voters, by 13 per cent among men and by 9 per cent among women.
You wouldn’t commission such a poll if you weren’t prepared to act on the findings. 

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A MOSAIC: OBAMA, ISLAM, COMMUNISM
By Marshall Frank on February 7, 2012 in Politics & Government, Radical Islam

I’ve made it no secret. I believe Barack Obama is a colossal fraud and that his true mission leading up to, and during his reign as president, is far more sinister than most people are willing to believe.


Arguing about the legitimacy of Barack Obama always gets mired in minutia — single issues – because people don’t stand back and look at the big picture. We argue Reverend Wright, or Bill Ayres, or socialism or the suspicious birth certificate, and so on. The left accuses the right of dirty politics. The right accuses the left of protecting a non-patriot.

To understand the real person behind that endearing facade is to know every segment of his life and look at him in a mosaic. Mosaic art is made of many tiles fitted together. Each tile has shapes and colors but no form. It’s those formless tiles that we waste time arguing about because none of them show the big picture. But in order to know the truth we must see all the tiles in place, for then they are no longer just shapes and colors, they show the entire mural of who and what Barack Obama really is.

So let’s start with one tile after another and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.

1) Obama’s mother had an affair with and married an African-Kenyan, a Muslim.

2) There is also plethora of literature to suggest that Obama’s father was a committed communist at the time he and Obama’s mother were involved in their relationship.

3) Obama’s mother divorced his father, and then remarried to another man who was also a Muslim and citizen of Indonesia.

4) Barack Obama lived mostly in environments dominated by Islam until he was ten years old.

5) Obama’s religion was listed in his Indonesian school as “Islam.” With an Islamic father and stepfather, and registered as an Islamic, it is reasonable to assume he was subjected to Islamic indoctrination and teachings.

6) He went by the name Barry Soetoro during the years he was adopted by his stepfather.

7) After age ten, his mother left the stepfather and Barry Soetoro returned to Hawaii where he was cared for by his maternal grandparents.

8) Obama’s grandparents were known to have strong political/socialist leanings

9) Obama’s close mentor during his high school years was Frank Marshall Davis, an ardent member of the CPUSA (Communist Party)

10) Obama’s roommates during his first two years at Occidental College, California, were Muslims from Pakistan.

11) In 1981, Obama traveled with his Muslim friends to Pakistan on vacation, when Pakistan was in political turmoil and most American visas were not accepted. (This was in addition to a leg of his journey to see his mother in Indonesia) This leaves open the yet unanswered question of what passport he traveled with. (Unlikely it was American)

12) I have found no evidence that Barack Obama ever legally changed his name back from Barry Soetoro

13) There is no evidence that Barry Soetoro, AKA Barack Obama, changed his citizenship back from Indonesia to the United States or that he traveled and/or entered college with an American passport and/or I.D.

14) Following Occidental College, he enrolled in Columbia University and later Harvard. To this day, Obama does not explain why he — this “transparent” president — refuses to release any college/university records regarding his registration, finances, passports, birth records, school papers, writings, grades — nothing.

15) Despite many Columbia U. enrollees interviewed from that period, same major (political science), including George Stephanopolous, no one remembers Obama on campus or in class.

16) The former president of Manhattan Borough, Percy Sutton, a prominent attorney, (now deceased) revealed in 2008 that in the 1980′s, Obama was being supported and promoted by notorious radical Muslim cleric Dr. Khalid Al-Mansour who acted as an in-between for a wealthy Saudi named Al Waleed Bin Talal. The Saudi was interested in helping Obama get into Harvard. Sutton wrote a letter at the Al-Mansour’s request to help the Saudi, Bin Talal, get Obama into Harvard.

17) Raised by atheists and Muslims, never a Christian, Obama strangely becomes a Christian and joins the Trinity Christian Church headed by anti-American, Marxist, racist, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in 1988. Obama not only attended this church for 20 years, he was deeply involved in its activities. Note: Being labeled as a “Christian” strongly helps achieving political power, certainly more than atheist or Muslim.

18) 1992, Wright presided over the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama. However, there is no record that can be found of a prior relationship Obama had with any other women, until Michelle. No past girl friends.

19) Obama becomes deeply involved in Chicago politics, primarily mustering blacks to register to vote.

20) In 1991, Obama graduated law school and began writing his biography, “Dreams Of My Father”, an autobiography which is published in 1995. But why? Curiously, he’s a young man who has yet to accomplish much of anything significant, but he writes and publishes an autobiography?

21) Obama was instrumental in assisting the Jew-hating leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrahkan, in formulating the Million-Man March on Washington in 1995.

22) With very little, or no experience as a practicing attorney, Obama decides to run for state senate. He is hand-picked by then state senator, Alice Palmer, D – Ill., to succeed her as she runs for the U.S. congress. Palmer wrote for the Communist Party newspaper, “People’s Daily World” and had appeared in the Soviet Union to attend the 27th congress of the Communist Party in 1986.

23) 1995, Obama’s political career for the Illinois State Senate was launched by communist advocate Alice Palmer at the home of William Ayres and Bernadine Dorn, known anti-American Marxists/Activists, and past terrorists. Obama also shares a table and worked closely with terrorist Ayres on the board of directors of the Woods Foundation

24) During his seven-year tenure as a state senator, Obama voted “Present” 129 times, thereby avoiding a left/right stand on selected issues.

25) Obama developed a close relationship with radical Islamic professor, Palestinian, Rashid Khalidi, who he associated with at the U. Of Chicago. In 2000, Khalidi held a fund raiser for Obama during his failed bid for the U.S. Congress.

26) Obama runs for and wins U.S. Senate seat in 2004. Almost immediately, he hits the ground running for president.

27) During the campaign, Obama is endorsed by many radical organizations, including the American Communist Party, while Palestinians in the Middle-East form phone banks to raise money for his election. Gaddafi refers to Obama as a Muslim.

28) Obama’s half brother Obongo “Roy” Obama is a Luo activist, militant Muslim and Marxist.

29) Obama’s Kenyan cousin, Odinga, whom Obama later supported in his quest for political power, is an avowed Marxist and militant Islamist dedicated toward establishing Sharia (Islamist) courts in Kenya.

30) After his election, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says that Obama privately told him in confidence, “I am a Muslim.” (As reported in Israel Today, May 2010)

31) During his first trip as president to the Middle East, Obama speaks passionately to the Egyptian assembly, lauding his early life in a Muslim land….claiming that Islam has always been a great part of the American experience. (?)

32) During an interview on TV, Obama misspeaks: “John McCain has not made an issue of my Muslim faith.” To which George Stephanopolous corrects him, “You mean, your Christian faith.” (How many of us have made such a slip?)

33) Obama has hired one at least one devoted communist to be a part of his Czar team, Van Jones, who has since resigned. Many others are questionable. His 38 czars are not vetted by congress and supercede many of the functions normally within the purview of cabinet posts.

34) Obama has employed devout Muslims with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood in his White House staff and within the Department of Homeland Security. These people have access to the inner workings of our government and the highest of classified information. The top aide to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is a devout Islamic woman with family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

35) Obama ( and Eric Holder) do not permit the mentioning of Islam in any references to terrorism. Mentioning Islam in terrorist training for federal officers, is banned. The military’s Fort Hood massacre report — where 41 people were shot — does not mention Islam, or terror, or the Muslim shooter, Nidal Hassan, anywhere in the report, despite the obvious motivations. Eric Holder, when questioned in congress, will not acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorism. Janet Napolitano is under orders to avoid the use of terms like “war on terror” or “Islamic terrorism” and instead, call it “Man-Caused Disasters”

36) Every act/decision of Barack Obama before and during the so-called Arab Spring has been to the advantage and support of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, including the removal of Mubarak of Egypt, Gadaffi of Libya, the leader of Tunisia and now the effort toward removing Assad of Syria. In all these places, the Muslim Brotherhood is now rising to power. Interestingly enough, Obama did not call for regime change in Iran when their citizens took to the streets to demonstrate in 2009 and 2011.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s formative documents, and their many secret manifestos recovered by law enforcement agencies since, show — unambiguously — that their goals are to spread Islamic caliphates, and Sharia law, across the western world, to conquer from within, using deception and infiltration. This is a known fact to those who endeavor to pay attention.

Get the picture?
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Boats, boats

Andrew BoltOCTOBER242012(7:07pm)

 Boat people policy
No stopping them:
...four asylum seeker boats were intercepted in 24 hours, with a total of more than 140 passengers. Three of the vessels were at Cocos Islands, the other at Christmas Island.

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Journalists come to Obama's aid after Romney's 'apology tour' attack


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Climate scientist Michael Mann sues over comparison to child molester


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Obama's real record on Israel


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It may look like a photo, but this amazingly realistic portrait is actually a pencil drawing



A SENSATIONAL pencil drawing by a self-taught 22-year-old Italian artist has drawn hundreds of positive comments on the deviantART community.
The large drawing by Diego Fazo appears on the popular community website alongside photographs of its remarkably talented creator at work.

"WOW!!! This is amazing!! Blew me away. I thought there's no way that's NOT a photo! Great work!" Gidge275

"This photo made me speechless, if I didn't know it was done by pencil I would have thought it was a digital photo and a high quality at that too!!! Amazing talent." biba257
"You are INSANELY talented good sir!" StuckInADayDream
Inspired by the great artists of Japan's Edo period, Fazo is now working on perfecting his photo art technique.
Diego Fazio pencil portrait
Pencil portrait: hours of work went into creating the hyperreal drawing. Picture: Diego Fazio/DeviantArt
The artist, who began his career designing tattoos, has won several awards in his native Italy, including an international prize at the Laguna di Venezia, an event featuring 7000 participants.
Simon Crerar is News Limited's Visual Story Editor, follow him attwitter.com/simoncrerar


Diego Fazio pencil portrait
Pencil portrait: hours of work went into creating the hyperreal drawing. Picture: Diego Fazio/DeviantArt


Diego Fazio pencil portrait
Pencil portrait: work in progress. Picture: Diego Fazio/DeviantArt


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