Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sun 18th Nov Todays News


Happy birthday and many happy returns Lucy O'Callaghanand Peter Dutton. 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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Susan B. Anthony

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Births

[edit]Deaths

[edit]Holidays and observances


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Marine park lock-up is a national folly

Piers Akerman – Saturday, November 17, 2012 (8:14pm)

LOCKING up more than 2.3 million square kilometres of ocean around Australia is not the act of a world-leading smart nation, it is the folly of the world’s leading stupid nation.
We already import more than 70 per cent of our seafood, much of it grown in dubious conditions in the murky waters of Asian nations that don’t pass any environmental muster.
In the future we will import more tasteless coarse fish grown in muddy ponds, while the Gillard government panders to local and international green movements and penalises Aussies who want to eat tasty fresh fish from our own waters.
Environment Minister Tony Burke says the move, which came into effect at midnight on Friday, will make Australia the world leader in marine protection - but increasing costly seafood imports can only make us look dumb.
There is no point in having one-third of the world’s marine parks right off our own beach when it means we have to bring fish in from other nations. The great marine park lock-up has been perpetrated without any proper consultation, peer-reviewed scientific study or social and economic impact assessments.
Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who warned of this disaster, says there will be immediate damage to commercial and recreational fishing businesses.
It is no cause for celebration for the families in fishing sectors, allied marine industries, tourism or coastal communities, for whom it will be a tragic day when their investments, skills and life experience will be further devalued by a government desperate for Green support, at any cost.
Since the management plans will not be finalised until mid-2013 and won’t take effect until July 2014, it means the Labor government will not pay any compensation to fishers for 12 to 18 months. This is something else Labor is putting on the credit card.
“Regardless of that,” Boswell said, “it has pushed ahead with the declaration. Why? Because the government depends on the Greens politically and it panders to environmental activists. Our fisheries management is internationally recognised as amongst the very best in the world. These commercial and recreational fishing bans are completely unnecessary.”
Boswell said government ministers had talked about $100 million in compensation but past experience demonstrated that would not be enough money and it would not be available to enough businesses.
Professional fishers directly impacted have been told they will be able to apply for some compensation but charter-boat operators will miss out entirely and so will all the related businesses, such as tackle shops, seafood processors and wholesalers, ships’ chandleries, repair facilities, and all the other suppliers of goods and services. Nothing about the lock-up of the seas makes sense.
It is as flawed as the carbon tax which has seen Australia move from being a low-energy-cost nation to a high-energy-cost nation - and lose industry, income and jobs in the process. It has no strategic underpinning, making us more reliant on imports than ever. It has no intellectual structure, being based on thought bubbles from environmental groups funded by overseas interests like the Pew Environment Group.
As Burke was unveiling his marine parks plan, Prime Minister Julia Gillard presented her Australian Education Bill based on the Gonski review. But opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne said there was nothing but motherhood statements in the 1400-word Bill. “All foam and no beer,” was his description.
Since there is no mechanism for funding described in the legislation, the bill actually includes a section making it not legally binding.
“If the Prime Minister wanted to slap the schools sector and state governments in the face and insult the intelligence of Australians, then this Bill delivers on both counts,” Pyne said.
The marine national parks, the education Bill, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the royal commission into child sex abuse are all just part of a string of distractions being run up the parliamentary flagpole by a desperate Labor-Green-independents government eager to distract the public from its failures.
Chew on that the next time you spit out a piece of unappetising Asian catfish bought at your local beachside fishos.

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Petraeus & me

Miranda Devine – Sunday, November 18, 2012 (12:03am)

I met General David Petraeus once, in the hot Baghdad August of 2007, in his cramped office on the first floor of Saddam Hussein’s sumptuous presidential palace in the Green Zone.
It was hard not to be in awe of the warrior scholar, the four-star general with the Princeton PhD who had commanded the legendary 101st Airborne during the 2003 invasion and had risen to lead the Multi-National Force.
He had just crunched the data to show the surge of forces in Iraq was working, and was about to fly to Washington DC to present the good news to Congress.
But before he did, he gave the scoop to two Australian journalists who were travelling with then Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston and Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.
So when Petraeus strode around his desk and thrust out his hand, I was suitably impressed.
But I can’t say that my fingers tingled with electricity when they touched the bird-like general with the kind eyes.
Lothario was not the adjective that sprung to mind as our hands clasped.
But nor did he invite me on an 8km run, which reportedly is how he broke the ice with his biographer turned mistress Paula Broadwell.
I’ve been dining out on that line all week, ever since the news broke of the tawdry scandal that has embroiled the CIA, the FBI, the US military and even President Obama.
It’s the story with everything, the hubris of the four-star celebrity general turned chief spymaster, set against the bloodsoaked backdrop of the war in Afghanistan.
It’s Anna Karenina meets Real Housewives of Tampa.
There’s Broadwell, the lithe 40-year-old femme fatale biographer turned bunny boiler, who boasted about being “embedded” with the general in Kabul, the glamorous Tampa socialite she believed was her love rival, Jill Kelley, 37, a Kim Kardashian lookalike, and her “psychologically unstable” identical twin sister, a shirtless FBI agent, and another married four-star general, John Allen, who is said to have exchanged thousands of pages of emails with Kelley.
Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus reportedly ended in July, two months after she allegedly sent a series of anonymous emails to Kelley warning her to, “Stay away from my guy… I know what you did… Back off.”
After Kelley reported the emails to an FBI agent she knew, Frederick W. Humphries II, 47 (who once sent her a picture of himself, shirtless) investigations uncovered the Petraeus affair.
You couldn’t make this stuff up. Are the gods bored? Has life jumped the shark?
It’s easy to forget, however, amid all the riveting revelations, that these are people’s lives, with spouses and children to consider.
Broadwell is a wife and mother of two small sons back home in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the most poignant photographs to emerge in the past week was of a love heart chalked on the driveway of the family home before the scandal broke: “Dad (hearts) mum”.
Then there is Holly Petraeus, the smiling, homely figure in glasses and grey bob, formerly the blonde hippy-chick daughter of the superintendent of the West Point Military Academy, where she was swept off her feet in the early 1970s by an ambitious cadet named David Howell Petraeus.
A friend of mine thinks Holly Petraeus looks like a neglected wife. If that is the case, then a decade of war is at fault for the neglect as much as the absent husband who was so busy running those wars.
Perhaps she fell out of touch with her general in the same way the rest of the country – both the US and Australia - has fallen out of touch with their military - the one percent of volunteers who shoulder the burden of war for the rest of us. How could we understand their moral purpose and sacrifice on foreign battlefields, where life and death are etched in technicolour?
It is pathetic that a man with such a distinguished career of service has wound up the butt of jokes, his character reassessed, his penchant for wearing medals with civilian clothes mocked.
But beyond the tragi-comedy are more serious issues.
The story began with Petraeus’ resignation as head of the CIA, citing an extra-marital affair as the reason, a week before congressional hearings into the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens. Petraeus has said his resignation had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.
But the CIA’s role in the delay getting help to the Americans as they fought off terrorists is under scrutiny.
Broadwell added to the fire in a speech last month when she claimed to have inside information that Libyan militia members had been detained in the CIA annex which came under attack. The CIA denies her claims.
There’s an Australian angle too. US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta are in Perth for AUSMIN meetings, and so are unavailable to attend the Benghazi hearings, leading to accusations Clinton is avoiding cross examination in order to sip wine.
Then there is the timing. As America’s two most senior generals are embroiled in scandal, the Middle East is set to explode, and Israel is on the brink of war.
And finally, there is the psychological impact of the downfall of one of the last American heroes.
The fact the top brass are involved in salacious scandals must mean they are not exercising optimal judgement or focussing as they should on the troops on the ground. It implies a military command out of touch with those who are losing their lives. That can only lead to disenchantment for Generation Y.
Maybe Bob Hawke is right, that ours is an era devoid of outstanding leaders. It certainly lacks heroes.

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ALL IN

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 18, 2012 (10:14pm)

It might be easier to list the people not facing legal action: 
Alan Davies, the British comedian, could face legal action after mentioning false sex abuse allegations against Lord McAlpine on Twitter, it has emerged …
Experts today warned the case involving the 70-year-old could potentially involve the largest number of defendants in British legal history. 
bird is also involved. And look who’s been thrown under the bus
Guardian columnist George Monbiot will not be supported by the newspaper in any legal action brought by Lord McAlpine, a spokesman has confirmed, leaving him funding his own potential legal costs …
Today, Guardian News & Media moved to distance itself from the columnist, as a spokesman confirmed it would not be paying his legal fees.
“George Monbiot is not a member of the Guardian staff and was tweeting in a personal capacity,” he said.
“George has acknowledged that his tweets were wholly inappropriate and a serious error and has posted a comprehensive apology on his own blog.
“The Guardian cannot and will not take responsibility for comments that were made by a contributor in a personal capacity …” 
So much for the collective. Instead, it’s the conservative elites who are demonstrating solidarity
Lord McAlpine was greeted with applause when he arrived for lunch at The Wolseley this week in a warm expression of support from fellow diners after he was wrongly linked to child abuse claims.
The manager of the famous restaurant on Piccadilly even said he “would not dream” of charging him for his meal … 
Absolutely beautiful.

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MORNING SHOE

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 18, 2012 (9:50pm)

Guess the mystery celebrity in Year 12 formal attire:

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The ballet shoes are a bit of a worry. Seeing as our Famous Person of No Identity is prepared to get out the school formal album, readers may also wish to indulge. Email your shots:trblair@ozemail.com.au 

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The Bolt Report today

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(12:12pm)

The royal commission into the sexual abuse of children already risks doing more harm than good.
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop on revelations on the AWU slush fund scandal now threatening Julia Gillard. And on a box, strangely missing the papers inside.
Cassandra Wilkinson and Peter Reith on Australia as the “seventh economic wonder of the world”, the amazing NDIS blow-out, a split on Israel between Bob Carr and Julia Gillard, and Tim Mathieson lounging in the Lodge.
A Labor MP’s astonishing explanation for the rise in violent crime. And an invitation to a hate-Abbott session.
 
(This will be the only open thread today. Apologies for the lack of moderators.)
UPDATE
Asked today on Insiders about Julia Gillard’s involvement in the AWU slush fund scandal, Small Business Minister Brendan O’Connor agrees it’s time some questions were answered about the legal work. To be precise:
Julie Bishop indeed has some questions to answer.
Much discussion ensues about Bishop as a lawyer. Insiders can now say it’s covered the AWU scandal.
Much the same was famously tried by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek when asked about Gillard’s hypocritical defence of the sleazy, sexting Peter Slipper:
UPDATE
Insiders does it again. The panel is invited to discuss the AWU scandal by commenting on ... Abbott. Is Abbott playing the good cop to Julie Bishop’s bad cop? David Marr and Lenore Taylor pooh-pooh the scandal.  Barrie Cassidy demands to know if the media has “the right” to ask why $5000 from her corrupt boyfriend was allegedly dropped into Gillard’s account.
Then they are back to discussing what Abbott said that could (if you misquote and misrepresent him) was silly about Aborigines.  Don’t worry about what Gillard actually does, yammer instead about what Abbott allegedly said.
UPDATE
I am told a fourth set of documents has gone missing. If what I’m told is true - and given the alleged place from which they disappeared - this will become a very big story.

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New Zealand makes an exhibit of its gullibility

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(6:36am)

Astonishing. Tony Thomas discovers New Zealand’s top science museum uses the discredited “hockey staff” graph in its global warming display - and not as an example of bad science..

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Labor wishes you Vicious Christmas

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(6:06am)

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They are mad, you know. Labor can’t even let Christmas go by without turning the season of the goodwill into a mass hate of of Tony Abbott:
So rancorous are relations between the government and the opposition thateven the humble Christmas party invitation is being used as a political weapon. At least in Labor’s case.
(Thanks to reader Cal and others.) 

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A song for Australia, of the kind that will soon be dangerous

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(6:02am)

(Via Catallaxy.)

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Pallywood: CNN uses faked footage

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(5:27am)

That beige jacket must have saved him, after all:

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Don’t do as they say in Mandarin

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER182012(5:17am)

You’re surprised by such an amateur mistake from this Government, right?
One critic said it looked like the job was done using the Google Translate website.
Ms Gillard released the Australia in the Asian Century paper last month, urging schools and universities to embrace Asian language lessons.
But the Chinese (simplified) version of the paper contained broken sentences, grammar and syntax errors, inappropriate vocabulary and incomprehensible expressions, leading many to question how it was prepared.Some English words were translated without preserving the original meaning, regarded as an amateur mistake.


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