Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sun 25th Nov Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Peter Huynh. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. Did you know you share your birthday with New York's celebration of Evacuation Day? I don't know how that is celebrated .. I was born there

A flooded tunnel in King Abdullah Street, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia




[edit]Holidays and observances


Carr stuck in the mire

Piers Akerman – Saturday, November 24, 2012 (10:45pm)

QUESTIONS of judgment swirl around Prime Minister Julia Gillard and now they are enveloping Foreign Minister Bob Carr. Carr may have thought he left the Macquarie Street mire well behind when he was sworn in as foreign minister in March, but no amount of globetrotting will free him from the jetlag of NSW Labor corruption allegations.
After winning the first of his three terms as premier in 1995, he quit - or was pushed - when his popularity slumped in 2005.
The factional hitmen who were later to throw their support behind Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, only to dump him during his first term, were kinder to Carr. While Rudd still chafes in exile, Carr made his mark as Labor’s longest-serving premier.
His cabinet, however, contained, unrestrained, the powerbroker Eddie Obeid, now the subject of a major ICAC hearing in which it has been alleged that Obeid and his family stood to gain hundreds of millions of dollars through corrupt practices - to the detriment of NSW taxpayers.
Carr, with his ABC-trained baritone and experienced media manner, was once touted as a possible PM-in-waiting should the mounting allegations surrounding Gillard’s former career as a partner at the law firm Slater & Gordon prove too much for the federal Labor Party.
But the image of the Macquarie Street Miracle is starting to look decidedly tarnished as Liberal senators, led by NSW senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Victorian senator Mitch Fifield, question why, when NSW Premier, he promoted Obeid and ignored the flashing red lights and wailing sirens that seemed to accompany him from the moment he entered the NSW Legislative Council in 1991 until his premature exit in 2011. Last Tuesday, Senator Fierravanti-Wells launched the assault under cover of a question about Australia’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption, which the nation signed up to in December 2003.
“Is the minister aware that the convention imposes an obligation upon national governments to use their best endeavours to eliminate corrupt practices within their jurisdictions and that that obligation extends to the elimination of corrupt practices by state and territory governments?” she asked.
“Is the minister confident that the Commonwealth is and has at all times been compliant with its obligations under the Convention against Corruption,” she teased.
After Carr confirmed his confidence, she fired her first shot: “Does the minister feel compromised in advocating Australia’s support for the convention in the international arena given that, at the time Australia became a signatory to the convention, he, as premier of New South Wales, presided over a government riven by corruption, as revealed by the Eddie Obeid scandal?” “No,” he replied.
The following day she followed this up with a reflection on the exchanges in the NSW parliament which raise issues relating to Carr’s judgment in relation to Obeid.
“The basic question is whether Mr Carr should have been aware of what Mr Obeid was up to but simply averted his eyes and looked the other way,” she said.
“Clearly, Mr Obeid’s actions raised questions about his suitability for office and most especially about his being made a minister.”
She then asked rhetorically whether Carr ever paused and reflected that, had he not promoted, protected and defended Obeid, Australia would not now be in a position where its international reputation was “at risk of being stained by the activities of his mates in the New South Wales Right, or is the minister just a hand-washer in a remorse-free zone?”
She reminded the senate of the extraordinary level of power Obeid wielded during his nearly 20 years in the NSW upper house.
Fierravanti-Wells told the Senate: “Mr Obeid had bad luck when it came to fires. In July 1983 fire destroyed the offices of his newspaper, El Telegraph, in Garners Avenue, Marrickville. Bad luck was to follow him to his newspaper’s new premises in Marrickville Road, where, in 1992, there was another fire. Mr Obeid also had the misfortune of having two fires at his former home in Concord.”
She noted Obeid’s time as NSW Minister for Fisheries and Minister for Mineral Resources was wholly during Carr’s premiership. “Mr Carr should have remembered the old saying ‘Where there is smoke there is fire’. In Mr Obeid’s case, there was lots of smoke and many fires,” Fierravanti-Wells told the Senate.
Then she recited questions put to Carr as premier about Obeid by numerous NSW opposition figures, including former leader Kerry Chikarovski, who asked Carr in September 1999 whether he had sought an explanation from Obeid as to “why he asserted yesterday that he held no shares in Hapgeti when the company’s own annual returns - prepared by Mr Obeid’s son - shows the minister to be the sole registered shareholder?”
Carr’s response to Chikarovski was a dismissive reply about a disgruntled company representative.
Three years later, in September 2002, new opposition leader John Brogden asked Carr when he first learnt of allegations of attempted bribery by Obeid over the Oasis Liverpool development, and what steps Carr had taken to satisfy himself of Obeid’s innocence before describing the allegations as “utterly false and reckless”.
Carr was again dismissive, ridiculing the opposition leader as “the only one trying to breathe life into ludicrous allegations”.
Carr was asked why he continued to believe that Obeid was honest, when documents showed that he failed in the Register of Disclosures 1994-95 to declare that he continued as a director of Al Constantinidis’ company Jensay, and also as a director of Constantinidis’ piggery company Olympia Group.
Carr again mocked his inquisitor and brushed the question aside.
The Senate was told of Carr and Obeid meeting during the caretaker period for the 1988 election campaign over changes Obeid sought for his Valhalla Stables snow lease development.
Carr was reminded he had frequently boasted “this is the period of best governance in the history of New South Wales”.
Now it is being compared to the corrupt reign of the Rum Corps, and Carr was in command.
Two former NSW premiers, Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees, who inherited Obeid from Carr, have told ICAC of their experiences with him.
Carr must explain why he promoted and protected the powerbroker.


In love with a robot

Miranda Devine – Sunday, November 25, 2012 (6:58am)

IN the new movie, Robot & Frank, an elderly man with dementia is given a carer-bot by his adult son. Imagine a sleek white 1.5m high iPhone that can clean the house, shop for groceries, cook nutritious meals, exercise with you, engage you in conversation and even plant you a vegetable garden.
Those of us who can’t wait for the future to catch up with our science-fiction childhoods will be thrilled by the robot’s starring role.
Whether it’s the Jetsons’ robot maid Rosey, Star Wars’ prissy C-3PO, The Stepford Wives’ mouth ATM or Mrs Robinson’s washing machine in Lost In Space that used to wash, dry, iron and fold clothes in a nanosecond, we know exactly what we want from inanimate househelp.  But technology has been annoyingly slow to deliver (where are our jet backpacks and hovercraft cars?). Until now.
There has been a quiet revolution in recent years in which household artificial intelligence has moved from the theoretical to the robustly useful.
Robot vacuum cleaners are the first domestic droids that really do lighten the load.
I’ve fallen in love with my robovac. The brand will remain nameless, because this is not an ad, but there are a few on the market now, at price points between $500 and $1200, and mine is at the lower end.
Like a flying saucer with little spinning brushes and mini cameras, it whizzes around the house collecting dust, dirt and truckloads of hair from our perpetually moulting dog.
No sane person would vacuum six times a day, but thanks to the dog, it’s what the house needs, and the robot is always happy to oblige. I feel like hugging it each morning as I pad around in bare feet on a floor so clean it almost squeaks.
I switch it on before bed, and sometimes linger, watching in silent admiration as it scoots industriously across the floorboards, marvelling at its ability to navigate furniture. It uses cameras, ultrasound, infrared and sophisticated algorithims to map our house, learning where our stuff is and navigating via the ceiling.
When it runs out of battery it calls out: “Battery is low. Searching for the home station” and scurries off back to its home base to recharge. Even more miraculously, once replenished, it returns to the exact spot where it left off to continue the job.
Are there any more welcome words a robot can utter than “cleaning begins”?
Occasionally it gets caught under a couch that is exactly the wrong height off the ground, and sometimes it swallows the edge of a rug. At those times of distress it calls for help and if none is forthcoming, it simply goes to sleep with a melodic sigh.
Perhaps this happens more often than I think, because the children call my robot “The Moron” and mock the close attachment I’ve formed with it. Soon they’ll be calling me Raj, after the lovelorn astrophysicist from The Big Bang Theory who falls in love with Siri, the voice-activated “personal assistant” on the iPhone 4S.
Robot is Korean, and, just as if it were an adopted child, I have suddenly grown interested in the land of its birth. Asia’s fourth largest economy? Well good for you, Robot.
It (he?) is pretty much indestructible. He did once seize-up after ingesting earphones. Turning him upside down to inspect the damage felt like turning over a giant beetle, slightly improper.
There were a few heart-stopping moments during surgery with tweezers and a bright light, when we thought Robot might not make it. But he pulled through and continued vacuuming the minute he hit the floor.
He has become the most useful small appliance in the house, giving us a glimpse of a future in which robots might exceed our sci-fi dreams, and in which we will have to learn to navigate our feelings towards these invaluable inanimate objects.
Pet owners often are accused of anthropomorphism - projecting human emotions onto animals, imagining they are guilty, sheepish, passive-aggressive and so on.
How can it not be the same with robots, when artificial intelligence can seem like sentience.
There is something hardwired into humans that wants to find emotional connection with other beings, even if they are blobs of silicon. This will bring up ethical dilemmas in the future, as robots become more intelligent.
Robots are already used in surgery, and industry. There is a type of robot exoskeleton invented in the US that allows paraplegics to walk. But robots are active on the battlefield, too. There are predator drones which act as robot assassins.
Foxconn, which makes iPhones, has announced plans to install 1 million robots in its factories, putting Chinese workers out of jobs.
And according to the book Love And Sex With Robots, we will be marrying robots by 2050. Certainly in China, where there is an oversupply of males, robot wives would be an improvement on wives reportedly kidnapped from neighbouring countries.
If you mistreat a robot is that wrong? Those of us who grew up on a healthy diet of John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert know this will be fertile ground for debate.
Even though IBM’s Big Blue beat chess world champion Garry Kasparov 15 years ago, we have not yet reached, “the singularity”, that moment envisaged by computer scientists in the 1960s when robots become smarter than us and the post-human future begins.
But maybe we should start figuring out how to react if our robots decide that they have better things to do than vacuum. 



Tim Blair – Sunday, November 25, 2012 (5:04pm)

At least seven Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims from Iran and Pakistan were killed in Iraq on Saturday when a car bomb went off … 
A suicide attack on a Shiite Muslim procession in Pakistan’s city of Rawalpindi overnight killed 23 people and wounded another 62 … 
At least one person was killed and 16 others were wounded in clashes Saturday night between Shiite and Sunni students … 
Twin bombs ripped through a gathering of a Muslim Shiite celebration in the northern Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Saturday, killing at least three people … 
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Saturday for a blast that killed seven people, including three children, during a Shiite religious procession. 
Two suspected Islamic extremists have been arrested after threatening a mosque in Sydney’s south, witnesses say …
A witness at the mosque at the time who did not want to be named, said he saw members of the congregation drag a man wearing Islamic clothing from the mosque around 1pm.
The witness said worshippers hauled the man out of the mosque and took him “down the street’’, before police arrived and apprehended him.
He said the man appeared to be an Anglo-Saxon Australian and said he thought he may have been a Wahabi extremist, a conservative Sunni Muslim group …
Jamal Daoud, of the Social Justice Network, said he was contacted by a member of the Muslim community who said two Wahibi extremists had threatened Shia Muslims gathered to observe the day of Ashura at the Masjid Fatima Al Zahrah mosque. 



Tim Blair – Sunday, November 25, 2012 (12:29pm)

Saturday: “In 140 Test innings over eight years, Clarke has never once been dismissed for 38.”
Sunday: M.J. Clarke lbw b Steyn 38


LNP vote slumps

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(6:41pm)

Sobering news for the Queensland LNP, and especially for its crash-through leader, Campbell Newman. I fear he and some of less disciplined ministers haven’t learned from Jeff Kennett’s surprising fall - that with more power comes more need for humility. Voters do not like politicians who seem to feel beyond their control:
More here.
And more bad news for Newman:

Mr Hopper says he has held discussions with eight disgruntled government MPs weighing up their options on whether to follow him.
He’s confident four will defect early in the new year putting the KAP in striking distance of replacing Labor as the official State Opposition.
Mr Hopper, a long-serving LNP member who held a series of Opposition portfolios, is incensed at what he believes is a deliberate internal campaign to gut the LNP of National Party influence.
He’s convinced the LNP has transformed into city-centric Liberals…

Mr Hopper says old National Party identities are treated appallingly by an “arrogant” Premier Campbell Newman and deputy Jeff Seeney.


Bolt Report today

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(4:15pm)

 Bolt Report
The boat people catastrophe - the cruel price of Labor’s compassion.
Nationals Leader Warren Truss, vilified by Julia Gillard three years ago when he warned her boat people policies were luring people to their deaths, says the latest changes won’t work. He defends paying boat people here starvation wages of just $30 a day of welfare, even when they work for their dole. He challenges Bruce Wilson to go to the police if he really thinks Gillard did nothing wrong with his slush fund. He urges Campbell Newman’s government to work harder on communicating the tough changes it’s making. 
Former Finance Minister Nick Minchin and former Labor Senator John Black, who fought to defeat Gillard’s notorious former boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, in AWU elections, both call for a royal commission into the slush fund scandal. Minchin says the Liberals should pay boat people more than $30 a day if they work for their dole. Black is appaled by his own party’s police. Black’s tip: Kevin Rudd now has about 40 votes in Caucus, Shorten is building up his own numbers - about 12 - and the maths then becomes obvious. He says Gillard will not last to the election.
Barack Obama wins some women and loses another on his trip through Asia. And poor Tim.


AWU scandal: Is Roxon’s denial a fabrication?

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(4:11pm)

 The AWU scandal
This denial of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on Meet The Press this morning is curious. What exactly is the “complete fabrication” she refers to?: 
HUGH RIMINTON: Could I quickly get you to resolve one thing? It has been said - you were a lawyer at Maurice Blackburn in the 1990s - and it has been reported in the papers that the AWU files came across your desk, when they shifted from Slater and Gordon to your company. Did you see them, did you?

NICOLA ROXON: No, look, this is also another complete fabrication. It’s true that I worked at Maurice Blackburn, and it’s true that the new union leadership were one of the clients. But there is a number of years between these issues. Again, people are just trying to make a link, because they want this story to keep running, they want to distract the Government from getting on with its serious work, and I’m not going to let it do that.
First, a “number of years”?
When Julia Gillard formally resigned - under a cloud from the scandal - from Slater & Gordon: 
When Roxon was with Maurice Blackburn: 
Industrial lawyer: Senior Associate, Maurice Blackburn and Co 1996-98.
That’s not “a number of years” at all. It’s two at most, or arguably three.
Second, is the fabrication that Roxon didn’t see any of the AWU files?  In fact:
Legal correspondence obtained by The Australian shows that Ms Roxon, as a solicitor for Maurice Blackburn & Co, a Melbourne law firm, worked on the AWU’s legal files after Ms Gillard’s departure from Slater & Gordon…

After the alleged fraud was exposed, the matters surrounding the union’s finances became the subject of an investigation by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
As a solicitor for the AWU Ms Roxon was directly involved in the handover of union documents for the investigation, as well as advising the then national union head, Terry Muscat. One of her legal letters to the commission’s then industrial registrar describes a 1998 conference at which ‘‘we identified outstanding documents which needed to be provided to your office for the purposes of completing your investigation’’.
Ms Roxon’s letter sought from the commission an opportunity to make a special case to the registrar ‘‘on the questions of breach, mitigation, consequences and the public or private nature of any final determinations, prior to any determination being made by the registrar in this matter’’.
Ms Roxon declined to answer questions but issued a statement that said she was ‘‘involved, to various degrees, in much of the work the (AWU) referred to Maurice Blackburn including unfair dismissals, discrimination cases, coverage matters and many general industrial disputes’’.

‘‘I have no recollection of any of that work involving Ms Gillard...”
And yet, as The Australian found, there’s written evidence that Roxon indeed worked on the AWU slush fund case: 
So what exactly is the “complete fabrication”? We should be told. Or is Roxon’s denial the fabrication?
(Thanks to reader Erin.)


More deaths

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(9:09am)

 Boat people policy
Another boat load of people lured to their deaths at sea:

Habib Ullah, 22, has told Fairfax Media how he survived three days in the water while watching his shipmates, all ethnic Hazara men from Afghanistan and Pakistan, drown one by one.

Mr Ullah said that, during the ordeal, the men had seen two or three passing vessels, including an oil tanker and a container ship, which had not stopped to help. He was convinced the crew of the container ship saw them.


Abbott victim of “incendiary” language on boat people

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(5:28am)

Lenore Taylor criticises Tony Abbott’s language on boat people rather than Labor’s catastrophic actions - a common form of assymetrical analysis among political correspondents today:
Even his insistence that asylum seekers on bridging visas do some work - a very good idea - is presented with the rationale that it would do away with the ‘’something for nothing mentality’’ and the situation that refugees will ‘’enjoy life on the Australian taxpayer without giving something back’’.

Taylor calls this talk “incendiary” and says Abbott should be more careful with his language.
But perhaps Taylor should be more careful with her own. First, nowhere in his press conference did Abbott say boat people came with the mindset to “expect” something for nothing and “seek” to give nothing back. Abbott made no suggestion that this was their motivation in coming, as Taylor clearly suggests. His argument was instead that such a mindset should not be allowed to take hold by subjecting them to years of enforced welfarism, just as we should not allow that disposition to develop (as it undoubtedly tends to) among Australians on long-term benefits as well. Here’s what he actually said:
But the reason why we have always been welcoming to immigrants is because overwhelmingly the immigrants to Australia have come the right way and they’ve done the right thing in our country…

The other point I want to make is the Coalition is committed, absolutely committed, to ending the ‘something for nothing’ mindset. If it is right for young Australians to do work for the dole, it is all the more important to have people who have come uninvited to this country pulling their weight – that’s why this is very important. ..  If they are going to be supported by the taxpayer, they will be expected to work for their dole, in effect, and the point I make is that people who come here will not be able to enjoy life on the Australian taxpayer without giving something back to the community. We expect it of Australians and certainly we should all the more expect it of people who come uninvited to our country.
Taylor not only misrepresented what Abbott said, she then failed to present the evidence that, indeed, boat people were already likely to stay on benefits for many years. Evidence like this:
The vast majority of boat people say they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, and these are exactly the refugees most likely to be unemployed and living on welfare, even after five years.

Just 9 per cent of Afghan adults have a job and 94 per cent receive benefits, which means every boatload of Afghans landing here is a boatload almost entirely of people we’ll be paying handouts to for years…
It’s the same story among Iranian adults, just 12 per cent of whom work.
Sri Lankans have a better employment rate—34 per cent, but even that is still lower than the rate among African refugees, almost none of whom come by boat, being selected by us from refugee camps instead.
These are just some of the alarming revelations in a first-ever survey commissioned by the Immigration Department of 8500 people accepted under our humanitarian program.

What is “incendiary” is not to warn against deliberately creating a welfarist mindset among boat people, but to refuse to see, admit or end something very true that could well become toxic.
But Taylor repeatedly overreaches to damn Abbott:
But then came the illogical pronouncement that he would save $1.3 billion by cutting 6000 refugees coming to Australia ...
There is nothing illogical in noting the undoubted link between refugee intakes and the cost to the taxpayer. If Taylor actually means it’s inconsistent with Abbott’s offer earlier this year to agree to the higher intake in exchange for support for his package of proposals, that’s a different charge, and admits of easier responses that it is not inconsistent, given the different circumstances.
Surely reducing the chance of coming through normal channels could only make people more desperate and more likely to get on a people smugglers’ boat?
If what Taylor suggests were true, then increasing the chance of coming through the normal channels should have made people less likely to get on people smugglers’ boats. The very reverse has occurred. 
It was wrapped in the old incendiary rhetoric: the asylum increase is a ‘’peaceful invasion’’ (aren’t countries invaded by people wishing them ill, rather than people wishing to join their society?) and the suggestion that the people are ‘’illegal’’, when claiming asylum is not. 
First point: that’s why Abbott actually said “peaceful” invasion, Lenore, just as we may well argue the English hoped to and largely did invade Australia peacefully, wishing those already here no ill. And Abbott did not say the boat people were “illegal” or that claiming asylum was, either, as you claim. He said only what was true: that entering Australia without permission is indeed illegal.


AWU fraud - Wilson says Gillard just helped to register his slush fund

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER252012(5:20am)

 The AWU scandal
To Fairfax, Bruce Wilson offers the same defence of Julia Gillard that she makes for herself:

Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend and one time Australian Workers Union boss Bruce Wilson has broken his silence on the 17-year-old union slush fund saga declaring the Prime Minister has “absolutely nothing to answer for” and “did no wrong”.
“Julia Gillard had absolutely no knowledge of anything that went after and people can search and continue this hunt all they like but they will find nothing. Nothing.”
For a start, this is not strictly true. Gillard also answered a query on the AWU Workers Reform Assocation from the WA Corporate Affairs Commission, and also provided free legal help on the purchase of a Melbourne property for Wilson with (what she says she didn’t know) some of the fraudulently obtained money.
This defence also fails to answer the many questions recently put to Gillard, which I listed in the post last night (see below).


AWU scandal - Bruce Wilson says Gillard is innocent

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER242012(8:00pm)

 The AWU scandal
Bruce Wilson breaks his silence to Steve Lewis:

Breaking his silence for the first time, the former Australian Workers Union boss said the PM “knew absolutely, categorically nothing” about the fraud.
Mr Wilson, who had a four-year relationship with Ms Gillard, said: “They can go on a witch-hunt for as long as they like, and they will find nothing that will do her (Gillard) any harm.
“It’s just a waste of time. They will find nothing.
“(She) knew absolutely, categorically nothing,” he told the Sunday Herald Sun by phone from his NSW Central Coast home…
Ms Gillard, who provided legal advice to Mr Wilson between 1991 and 1995, has been under intense pressure to answer questions about her involvement in the provision of advice for the incorporation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, which she later described as a “slush fund”.
It was used to launder $400,000 of the $1 million misappropriated.
Mr Wilson said: “Whatever people are alleging is a nonsense."…
Mr Wilson is alleged by another AWU official, Wayne Hem, to have given him $5000 cash he said he won at a casino, and asked him to deposit the money in Ms Gillard’s bank account in mid-1995.

Asked whether he had asked Mr Hem to do that, Mr Wilson said: “Look, it’s possible, but I don’t specifically recall.”
More at the link.
This is helpful to Gillard, if - as Wayne Swan said of Ralph Blewitt - you want to rely on the word of a man who allegedly committed frauds netting up to $1 million.  By the way, is this a confession?
The trouble is this does not answer most of the questions actually being put at the moment to Gillard: 
- why did she help to register Wilson’s personal slush fund as something it was not - an association dedicated to workplace reform?
- why did she help to register the slush fund as the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association when she knew it was actually a slush fund, but should have known it was also not an association of the AWU itself?
- does she agree with her Workplace Relations Minister, former AWU secretary Bill Shorten, that the creation of this association was “unauthorised”, “inappropriate” and “out of bounds”.
- why did she not notify her firm’s principal client, the AWU, she had used its name in the title of a slush fund she’d created for Wilson?
- why did she keep this work secret from other partners in Slater & Gordon by not opening a file?
- why did she not alert the AWU or police when she realised the slush fund had actually been used to commit fraud?
- can she still rule out receiving any AWU or slush fund money either in her account or as payment for her renovations? Can she explain the $5000 allegedly deposited in her account on Wilson’s instructions?
- does she deny the claims of Ralph Blewitt that she was in another state when she claimed to have witnessed him donating his power of attorney to her boyfriend to buy a house in Fitzroy for Wilson in Blewitt’s name? Does she deny Blewitt’s claim that this power of attorney was backdated after he signed it?
- has she ever repaid money to the AWU for renovations done to her home? If so, on which date and following which inquiries?
- at what stage did she realise her boyfriend was a con man? What did she do as a consequence?
- did she deceive her partners at Slater & Gordon, as alleged by former partner Nick Styant-Browne, when she declared in 1995 she did not know the firm had issued a mortgage to her boyfriend (in the name of Blewitt) for the purchase of the Fitzroy house?
(Gillard insists she did not know of the frauds, did not profit from them and did nothing wrong.)



Tim Blair – Saturday, November 24, 2012 (7:33pm)

Tony Abbott is exposed as a “raving Zionist”
Speaking at a rally outside the Israeli embassy in Canberra, Unions ACT secretary Kim Sattler said she was a student activist involved in the Australian Unions of Students (AUS), serving as a delegate to the AUS conference in Melbourne in 1974.
That gathering debated the proposal for a delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to visit Australia.
At the time the PLO group was classified a terrorist organization …
Ms Sattler said the AUS vote backed hearing from the PLO.
“Guess who was on the other side at that time – Tony Abbott,” she said. 
So Abbott was opposed, even as a student, to terrorism. Good to know, but Sattler was on the PLO’s side: 
“That was my first introduction to Tony Abbott and I’ve been his enemy ever since …
“He is a raving Zionist and has been since he was about 18 or 19. I don’t understand why he is, but he is,” she said.
“Thanks to Tony, I have been an avowed Palestine supporter ever since,” she said. 
Ms Sattler might be the only person on earth whose position on the Middle East was decided for her by a teenage Australian.
UPDATE. Kim Sattler last found herself making news in February.



Tim Blair – Saturday, November 24, 2012 (7:23pm)

Fashion for the hefty:



Tim Blair – Saturday, November 24, 2012 (7:15pm)

A gentlemen’s club named Scores has exploded in the US, thankfully without any fatalities. Still, this could provide Kevin Rudd with the opportunity to reminisce – in the manner of Labor camp survivorPaul Howes – on the whims of fate.

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