Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sun Remembrance Day Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Kathy-Kim Pham. Born on Remembrance Day in a beautiful tribute. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

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Labor turns to US for lessons in dirty tactics

Piers Akerman – Saturday, November 10, 2012 (11:41pm)

It’s no secret that both our major parties have close ties with their US counterparts and are receiving extensive debriefings on the successful Democrat and losing Republican campaigns.
What has not been pointed out is that the relentlessly negative, unprincipled and very personal campaign which Labor has been running against Opposition leader Tony Abbott is a direct lift from the strategy US President Barack Obama’s team used against challenger Mitt Romney.
According to master political strategist Karl Rove, a former deputy chief-of-staff and senior adviser to president George W. Bush, Obama was ruthlessly efficient in executing what his campaign manager, Jim Messina, described as “a grand bet” - an early negative campaign that began in May and targeted Romney’s character, business ethics and wealth.
Labor’s close ties with the Democrat campaign strategists have long been accepted. While Labor frequently accuses the Coalition of attempting to follow conservative US policies, it has never hesitated to embrace left-wing US economic and political strategy. In October, my colleague Laurie Oakes noted that “Gillard’s staff are in close contact with Obama’s. One of her senior advisers recently held talks with the president’s pollster in New York.”
On Friday, The Financial Review revisited that story outing Gillard’s political strategist, John McTernan, as the “senior adviser” in cahoots with the Obama camp’s lead pollster, Joel Benenson. In a front-page piece, it said McTernan, who usually does not travel overseas with Gillard, had accompanied her to the US for the UN vote on Australia’s bid to join the Security Council last month and noted that he spent time with the Obama polling team on the trip.
“US political analysts say one of the triumphs of the Obama campaign was that it succeeded in defining Republican candidate Mitt Romney on its own negative terms rather than the Romney team’s positive terms,” the article said. “Soon after returning from the US, Ms Gillard used a parliamentary speech on sexism and misogyny to try and define Mr Abbott’s image on Labor’s terms.”
The article overlooked the fact that the attempt to smear Abbott began earlier with a former Fairfax writer’s publication of unsupported allegations about Abbott’s activities as a student leader 35 years ago, and the claims were immediately followed by an unprecedented blizzard of attacks by the Handbag Hit Squad of female Labor ministers and MPs in and out of parliament in what was clearly a well-orchestrated campaign.
It also neglected to mention Gillard’s shrill parliamentary speech on sexism and misogyny was made as her contribution to the rebuttal of an opposition motion of no confidence in former speaker Peter Slipper, whose serial texts about women’s genitalia were grossly offensive to men and women alike, but were insufficiently demeaning for Labor, Gillard and her fellow female supporters to waver in their support for him.
The sheer hypocrisy of Labor taking lessons in negativity from the US while branding the opposition leader as relentlessly negative is beyond staggering. As Rove pointed out in a reflective post-election piece, Obama charted an unusual and impressive course to victory, defeating Mitt Romney by 2 per cent (50-48). Using sophisticated databases to identify individual voters’ concerns and target them with direct messages, they managed to hold around 92 per cent of the 2008 vote but they lost white votes as they gained young and minority voters. Obama became the only president to secure a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than in his first election, every other re-elected president expanded his coalition. Obama merely kept his from shrinking too much, Rove noted.
While the Democrats ran a successful class war strategy and painted Romney as anti-women, Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan are still trying to ignite a class war in Australia and, with the quota queens from Emily’s List, are actively trying to portray Abbott as anti-women to mobilise young female voters.
While the unhygeinic Occupy Wall Street mob attracted media attention in the US, the debate in Australia did largely mature beyond cloth-cap class war back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, thanks to the reformist Labor governments of former prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, who implemented reforms introduced into the policy discussion by John Howard during his years as treasurer under the leadership of former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser.
Labor has attempted to grow the entitlement class with a series of handouts but has been restricted to a degree by its own desperate attempt to construct a budget surplus.
The Obama strategy also relied heavily on capturing the minority vote, and apart from a few heavily ethnic inner-urban electorates, the minorities don’t yet have the same clout in Australian politics as they do in the US. As noisy as the US campaign appeared, the turnout was smaller than it was in 2008.
According to Rove’s statistics, Obama got roughly 7.8 million fewer votes from whites, 1.6 million fewer from African-Americans, 1.8 million fewer from those aged 19-29, and four million fewer from women.
Like Labor, Obama could offer no governing vision only unprecedented negativity and ugliness. We have seen that Labor has learnt and adopted these strategies. We don’t need a gender war, we don’t need a class war. We need to rebuild confidence in our economy through a solution that is not reliant on greater borrowings and increased taxation under the guise of saving the planet.
We need genuine border security, not Labor’s gimcrack patchwork of excuses that has seen the flow of illegal people-smuggler boats increase. If there is to be an examination of character, it must be fair and transparent and based on forensic examination of all available material, not the sort of smears based on nothing more than rumour, innuendo and adolescent recrimination. Labor, unfortunately, has learnt lessons we do not need from the US election.

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‘Dead heat’ Tony has hope

Miranda Devine – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (8:06am)

AT Tony Abbott’s 55th birthday party at Manly last Sunday, John Howard sang the praises of the opposition leader who, “brought the party back from the dead at the 2010 election”.
It was encouragement Abbott sorely needed in the midst of sagging opinion polls, and an ascendant prime minister coasting on a barrage of misogyny allegations against him.
Friends had noticed the Opposition Leader looking gaunt and tired lately as political foes and the media turned to nitpicking at everything from his “relentless negativity” to his swagger, which is reportedly coming though in focus groups as a turnoff to uncommitted voters.
But a sunny Howard, 73, who once was derided as “Mr 18 Percent” before becoming Australia’s second longest serving Prime Minister, had nothing but praise for his protégé and anointed successor.
For one thing, Abbott’s vintage was a good omen, he told the crowd of 300 seated for lunch in a marquee in the grounds of the seminary-turned hospitality college, where Abbott once studied to be a priest.
“Around 55, 56 has a good ring about it in the lineage of former Liberal leaders who ended up prime minister.
“Bob Menzies was 56 when he came back as prime minister in 1949 and [ahem] somebody else was 56 when he became prime minister so, Tony, you are in very friendly territory there.”
Now writing a new book to follow his best-selling autobiography Lazarus Rising, on the history of the government between 1949 and 1972, Howard said his research showed how remarkable was the “dead heat” Abbott had achieved at the 2010 election.
The only time since Federation when a one-term government was defeated was the Scullin government in 1931.
“And do you know what brought about that defeat? It not only took the occurrence of the Great Depression, it also took the splitting of the Labor party whereby senior members of the Labor party, Joe Lyons and several others, left, joined the opposition Nationalist party and formed a new party called the United Australia Party.
“To give you an idea of how improbable that is, it’s rather like Wayne Swan and Penny Wong leaving the Labor party and joining with Tony Abbott and other members of the Opposition, and Tony agreeing to stand aside in favour of Wayne Swan so he could become prime minister.
“Now … it took all of that to bring about the defeat of that [Scullin] government. But without any of those circumstances, Tony achieved a dead heat at the last election.”
Surrounded by a female-weighted support team of wife Margie, two of his three daughters, Frances and Bridget, two sisters, Christine and Pip, and parents, Fay and Dick, Abbott basked in Howard’s approval.
“I can see in Tony a wonderful Australian asset,” said Howard, “and that is a strong, united, loving family, because at the end of the day there’s nothing more wonderful that anyone can be a part of...”
Of Abbott’s time in Cabinet: “There was no better read person around the cabinet table when I was Prime Minister. Whenever something came up about philosophy or history or values or human behaviour you could always rely on Tony to provide an observation that was relevant ... I count him as a close and dear friend and I admire the work he has done.”
When it came his turn to address the gathering, Abbott remarked ruefully: “We did say for years that John Howard was the best prime minister Australia never had. I hope it is never said of me that I was the best opposition leader never to become prime minister. So that is my challenge, to avoid that judgement.”

The pressure is on him now, with Julia Gillard maintaining her lead over Abbott as preferred prime minister, 45 to 34 percent, according to Newspoll, and the Coalition’s previous unassailable lead in the two-party preferred vote disappearing as the government steps up its campaign of maligning the Opposition leader’s character and judgement, especially to women.
But, as Howard admitted in a phone interview last week, “I had bad periods. I certainly had low approval ratings when I was opposition leader.”
For the last nine months of the Keating government, despite the fact the Coalition’s primary vote was consistently six or seven points ahead of Labor, Paul Keating remained preferred prime minister over Howard.
That was the Keating who used regularly to bombard Howard with invective stronger than anything in politics today, insults such as “Mangy maggot”, “Old tart”, “Bowser boy” “Little whinger” and “His Oiliness”.
In December 1995, three months before the election landslide that swept Howard into office for four terms, Keating was preferred prime minister to Howard by five points, 40 to 35 per cent. On who was better to handle the economy, Keating was ahead by eight points.
Social researcher Hugh Mackay declared at the time:  “Howard … lacks the firepower of a persuasive set of alternative policies.”
And on the eve of that election, commentator Michael Gordon wrote: “John Howard is contemplating the prospect that maybe, just maybe, he might not get there after all.”
The more things change the more they stay the same.
“I certainly went through some very difficult times,” says Howard. “They ended…”
devinemiranda@hotmail.com 

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Camilla fans royally ticked off

Miranda Devine – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (7:19am)

image
THE rehabilitation of Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, in the eyes of the Australian public appears to have been a riproaring success, judging by the response to her first tour of our shores.
Crowds at the royal couple’s numerous public engagements around the country have been small, but overwhelmingly supportive, with cheers and smiles wherever they go.
Buckingham Palace is delighted with the reception to the pair who have won hearts with easygoing charm, and a program filled with small towns and ordinary Australians.
Once reviled as the usurper of Charles’ late first wife, Diana, Camilla has come full circle.
So last week when I wrote a mildly disapproving column poking fun at her use of a parasol on tour, I was bombarded with complaints from irate readers, as was 2UE radio host Jason Morrison when he ventured a similar comment on air.
“Camilla is actually renowned for being unpretentious, unlike your self,” wrote Richard.
“Camilla seems a pleasant person and I don’t know if that can be said about you,” Josephine wrote.
“How dare you criticise Camilla – and, to make matters worse, compare her to Diana – why in the hell can’t she use a ‘parasol’?” wrote Cecily.
“I hope you reflect on your stupidity and your bias against the Duchess of Cornwall,” wrote Chris.
“Princess Di was a very beautiful woman but had the brains of a dimwit. The Duchess of Cornwall leaves her for dead in terms of intelligence.”
Another Margaret wrote that Camilla was “admirable considering that she does not like flying and she has undertaken several overseas trips with Prince Charles that necessitate long flying hours. It shows her deep devotion to her partner that she overcomes her fears so that she can be with him, something many women these days do not have.”
Who would have thought, after decades of Princess Diana adulation in this country, that the woman she blamed for destroying her marriage, Camilla Parker Bowles, would have become so popular?
In the end, it shows that people are suckers for a true love story. And it says a lot for both Prince Charles and Camilla that they have emerged from the scandals of the Diana years with their dignity intact. 

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PREPARE THE CHAMBER

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (1:34pm)

To paraphrase the Prime Minister: “I do believe Australians, watching all of that happeningoverseas with the BBC, are looking at the ABC here and wanting to see the ABC answer some hard questions.”
Well, it seems fair enough. Previous events in the UK, after all, led to a media inquiry in Australia. And the ABC does broadcast a substantial amount of BBC-sourced content and employs a number of ex-BBC staffers. By the Prime Minister’s own standards, we need a further probe to ensure that the BBC’s lamentable journalism has no influence here:

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THE ENDARKENMENT

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (1:23pm)

Thursday’s climate change clowns are said to be journalism tutors. One of them clambered on to Parliament House in Victoria a couple of months ago to unfurl a banner
It reads: ‘‘Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet.’’ 
It might be, if everyone ate it. The other protester, delightfully-named tutor-activist Fregmonto Stokes, is similarly creative: 
In 2010, he wrote and directed The Endarkenment, a pedal powered opera (composed by Angus Leslie and Julius Millar). Set in the wake of a collapse in electricity supplies, the show’s lighting was generated by a combination of batteries and audience ridden bicycles. Fregmonto completed an Honours degree in Political Science in 2011 … He would like to be involved in a collaborative project someday where the audience, overcome by a righteous fervour, march out of the theatre and storm the nearest coal power station or stock exchange building. 
It’s bound to happen one day, Fregmonto. Here’s an interesting claim from their Ferguson-disrupting appearance earlier in the week: 
The two protesters were among about six members of the Quit Coal group at the event, some of whom were sitting in the media section. 
But of course.

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ALL THE WORLD’S A SUNNY DAY

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (11:48am)

stunning gallery of WWII images assembled by Pavel Kosenko. Many further brilliant images may be found here. Do take a look.

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FOUND IT

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (4:19am)

Many observers cannot understand why former CIA boss David Petraeus is excused fromtestifying about Benghazi now that he’s confessed to an affair and resigned. Turns out the answer is right there in the Constitution, Article IV, Section 2: 

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More recent documents continue pursuit of the Petraeus probe:

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UPDATE. Another twist
The scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus started with harassing emails sent by his biographer and paramour, Paula Broadwell, to another woman … 
Hmmm.

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PEER REVIEW

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (4:12am)

Following child sex allegations – aired, remarkably, without offering any right of reply – a former British Conservative Party treasurer calls in the lawyers
The BBC and several dozen Twitter users face the prospect of legal action after Lord McAlpine indicated that he could sue for libel over what he described as “wholly false and seriously defamatory” reports linking him to north Wales child abuse allegations.
The Conservative peer issued a statement on Friday after days of frenzied speculation in the wake of a BBC Newsnight report last Friday.
McAlpine has reportedly instructed Sir Edward Garnier QC, the Conservative MP and former solicitor general, to act on his behalf in any potential libel claim.
Newsnight did not name McAlpine in the programme but the peer was linked by internet rumours to the allegations.
Now media lawyers have said the BBC could be successfully sued for libel if McAlpine can prove that Newsnight aired enough material for some viewers to “reasonably infer” that he was the unnamed politician. 
Given that he was subsequently named all over Twitter, McAlpine seems to have a case. His lawyers are no doubt aware that George Monbiot has more than 50,000 followers: 
George Monbiot, the Guardian columnist, has apologised for naming Lord McAlpine on Twitter amid intense speculation about the identity of a senior Tory politician allegedly linked to the North Wales child sex abuse scandal. 
The BBC’s source for the claim has since recanted
A former resident of a North Wales care home has apologised for wrongly claiming that the Conservative peer, Lord McAlpine, had sexually abused him.
Steve Messham, a victim of sexual abuse in care homes in North Wales in the 1970s, issued a statement on Friday evening in which he said that his claim was based on a case of mistaken identity. 
McAlpine might have told the BBC himself, if only the BBC had asked
It emerged that the broadcaster had decided not to contact the ‘’leading Conservative’’ for a right of reply before going to air. 
Failure to offer a right of reply can be expensive.
UPDATE. Resignation
The BBC’s director-general has dramatically quit over the corporation’s smearing of an innocent politician as a paedophile.
George Entwistle said his position was untenable after a day of humiliation in which he admitted knowing nothing of a Newsnight investigation which led to Lord McAlpine being falsely named as a child abuser – and nothing of it unravelling …
He has lasted just 54 days in the job. Mr Entwistle’s decision plunges the BBC into its deepest-ever crisis and leaves it leaderless at a time of mounting questions over its journalism. 
Jonathan Holmes frequently tweets about News Corp’s British woes. Nothing from him as yet on the BBC.
UPDATE II. Correction. Holmes did, in fact, write a couple of pieces on the BBC – largelydefending the broadcaster and its director-general – prior to the latest disgrace.

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BANGLADESH WITH KNISHES

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (2:44am)

Post Superstorm Sandy, a New York pal emails: 
My office had five feet of Gaia juice in the lobby, which completely flooded the basement and totally wiped out just about all the systems. Every tenant in the building is out of there for several months and perhaps forever as this may have also caused structural damage.
Many businesses down here have been wiped out, and many more are dislocated and scattered about trying to keep going. I frankly am very fearful for lots of these companies’ survival, including my own.
There were probably billions of dollars worth of goods in containers on the piers here in NY that got flooded to more or less degrees by the storm surge. Every one has to be individually looked at and assessed.
It’s a complete disaster. It’s like Bangladesh with knishes. 
Never a good sign when ferris wheels are left hovering above the ocean. And the news getsworse
Floodwaters from the massive hurricane smashed a New Jersey liquor distributor, causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to its supply of top-shelf alcohol, the company said …
The devastating deluge smashed bottles of pricy libations such as Grey Goose vodka and Cristal Champagne, leaving a river of booze pouring onto a pile of soggy cardboard. 
This tragic cocktail needs a name. Considering the ingredients and location, perhaps it’s a Goose Springsteen.

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SWINGING VOTERS

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (12:46am)

Birmingham, Alabama, has seen some changes. Once a manufacturing and mining powerhouse, the southern US city is now trying to fight its way out of recession. Inner-city buildings, some of them abandoned for decades, are slowly finding occupants.
A memorial in the city’s Linn Park salutes Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War. For nearly 100 years following that conflict, Alabama remained an overwhelmingly Democrat state. Since 1964, however, Alabama has voted Republican at every Presidential election except for two, when southerners George Wallace and Jimmy Carter were on the ticket.
Alabama again voted strongly Republican – 60 per cent – during last Tuesday’s contest between that party’s Mitt Romney and victorious Democrat president Barack Obama.
But now another change may be coming Alabama’s way.

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MANNING UP

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (12:41am)

An intriguing legal move for little Mr Innocent
Bradley Manning, the US soldier who is facing life in prison for allegedly having leaked hundreds of thousands of state secrets to WikiLeaks, has indicated publicly for the first time that he accepts responsibility for handing some information to the whistleblower website.
Manning’s defence lawyer, David Coombs, told a pre-trial hearing ahead of his court martial that the soldier wanted to offer a guilty plea for some offences contained within the US government’s case against him. This is the first time the intelligence analyst has given any public indication that he accepts that he played a part in the breach of confidential US material. 
Even with the plea, he could still cop a life sentence. Taking a break from working on his martyrdom complex, moon-tanned Julian Assange offers views on the recent election: 
“Obama seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem,” the 41-year-old told AFP, speaking from his room in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.
“It’s better to have a sheep in wolf’s clothing than a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he said. “All of the activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under an Obama administration.”
And that’s one reason to applaud Obama’s re-election.

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Spectator debate

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(6:55pm)

The propostion: foreign investment is out of control. The Spectator has got good speakers, too:
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About that unpopular Opposition leader being slagged off…

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(5:26pm)

For the last nine months of the Keating government, despite the fact the Coalition’s primary vote was consistently six or seven points ahead of Labor, Paul Keating remained preferred prime minister over Howard.
That was the Keating who used regularly to bombard Howard with invective stronger than anything in politics today, insults such as “Mangy maggot”, “Old tart”, “Bowser boy” “Little whinger” and “His Oiliness”.
In December 1995, three months before the election landslide that swept Howard into office for four terms, Keating was preferred prime minister to Howard by five points, 40 to 35 per cent. On who was better to handle the economy, Keating was ahead by eight points.
Social researcher Hugh Mackay declared at the time:  “Howard … lacks the firepower of a persuasive set of alternative policies.”
And on the eve of that election, commentator Michael Gordon wrote: “John Howard is contemplating the prospect that maybe, just maybe, he might not get there after all.”

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These hecklers are journalism tutors? Really?

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(10:55am)

 Culture wars
Tomorrow’s journalists are taught by tutors who are global warming extremists and anti-nuclear irrationalists who think it their right to shout down those who disagree, hijacking audiences who have no interest in hearing from them: 
The pair, Dominic O’Dwyer, 24, and Fregmonto Stokes, 25, took to the lectern in character as mining advocates as Mr Ferguson was delivering a speech on the white paper’s release…
Quit Coal is part of Friends of the Earth, which campaigns for action on climate change, protests against all things nuclear and wants to strengthen laws to protect nature.
Last week both men heckled Tony Abbott at the Melbourne Institute/The Australian 2012 Economic and Social Outlook conference at Melbourne University.
Mr O’Dwyer ...  said he and Mr Stokes, who are journalism tutors at Melbourne and Swinburne University respectively, had decided to conduct their protest just an hour before the event.
If O’Dwyer and Stokes are indeed tutors, this raises several questions.
Shoud unversities employ tutors who manhandle ministers?
Are students allowed to dissent on global warming when taught by such extremists?
Should academics show more tolerance of the right of others to speak?
Do journalism courses employ any sceptics at all, or is it wall-to-to Leftism? 

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The Bolt Report today

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(10:30am)

The Bolt Report today:
How Obama’s campaign looks like Labor’s against Abbott - smear and divide.
Tim Wilson on how Abbott must fight back now that Labor is using the Obama playbook - calling out the division. And how Romney’s fall is a warning to Turnbull.
Amanda Vanstone and Richard Dennis - on misusing Treasury, the White paper blowing the clean energy dream, the boats disaster and more.
This phoney “war on women” and Martin Ferguson wins our prize.
Repeat at 4.30pm on Channel 10.
(Apologies that Mark Textor did not appear as advertised. Events beyond our control.)

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Don’t dare say what you see

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(6:13am)

 Free speech
FORMER University of Canberra vice-chancellor and former chairman of the National Capital Authority Don Aitkin is being sued for $6 million for alleged racial discrimination.

Ngambri Aboriginal elder Shane Mortimer alleges the adjunct professor’s blog contravenes Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and has lodged an application for damages in the Federal Magistrates Court.

But Professor Aitkin said the application was preposterous.

‘’I offered to talk to him and discuss with him, but he simply rejected it,’’ he said. ‘’I am a supporter of the Aboriginal people in their struggle for respect … I’ve been a proponent for restoration for Aboriginal people since I can remember. I was a member of the ACT conciliation council while it existed for 10 years.’’
Mr Mortimer said he was offended by an article from August 27 that says: ‘’He looks about as Aboriginal as I do, and his constant references to his ‘ancestors’ makes me scratch my head.’’

Mr Mortimer said he was horrified that such an educated and prominent Canberran had equated indigenous ancestry to skin colour…
Professor Aitkin apologised for the comment but refused to retract it. ‘’There is nothing offensive in saying that Shane Mortimer doesn’t look Aboriginal because looking Aboriginal isn’t one of the criteria. The criteria are do you claim to be and are you accepted by others as one.’’

Mr Mortimer said the case was very similar to that of Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. Bolt was accused of breaching the Racial Discrimination Act and was found to have contravened Section 18C of the act.

But Professor Aitkin said there was no comparison. ‘’That’s stupid, I’m an academic, I’m an emeritus professor of the University of Canberra....”
So the laws are fine to silence journalists but not academics?
Doesn’t work that way. 

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Not a conspiracy, but just a naughty boy

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(5:49am)

There’s a lot of conspiracy mongering about the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus over his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell - as in: was this to nobble him as he prepared to blow the whistle on the Obama Administration’s cover-up on Benghazi? But the facts, as reported, seem to speak for themselves:
[A]n FBI source says the investigation began when American intelligence mistook an email Petraeus had sent to his girlfriend as a reference to corruption. Petraeus was commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan from July 4, 2010 until July 18, 2011.
The investigation began last spring, but the FBI then pored over his emails when he was stationed in Afghanistan. …
Given his top secret clearance and the fact that Petraeus is married, the FBI continued to investigate and intercept Petraeus’ email exchanges with the woman. The emails include sexually explicit references to such items as sex under a desk. 
At some point after Petraeus was sworn in as CIA director on Sept. 6, 2011, the woman broke up with him. However, Petraeus continued to pursue her, sending her thousands of emails over the last several months, raising even more questions about his judgment.
“Thousands of emails” in just the last few months sounds like a man obsessed, and an indiscreet one for a CIA boss.
Then there is this:
The biographer for resigning CIA Director David Petraeus is under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information, law enforcement officials told NBC News on Friday.
So I’m inclined not to buy the post-election conspiracy theorising of a Lt Col Ralph Peters, among many:
The timing is just too perfect for the Obama administration. Just as the administration claimed it was purely coincidence that our Benghazi consulate was attacked on the anniversary of September 11th. Now it’s purely coincidence that this affair—extra-marital affair—surfaces right after the election, not before, but right after, but before the intelligence chiefs go to Capitol Hill to get grilled. As an old intelligence analyst, Neil, the way I read this—I could be totally wrong, this is my interpretation—is that the administration was unhappy with Petraeus not playing ball 100% on their party-line story. I think it’s getting cold feet about testifying under oath on their party-line story. And I suspect that these tough Chicago guys knew about this affair for a while, held it in their back pocket until they needed to play the card. 

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Turnbull fails to see Romney is his reflection

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(5:28am)

There is one thing wrong with Malcolm Turnbull’s self-serving analysis: 
Former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull also issued a thinly veiled criticism of Tony Abbott’s negative attacks on the government and personal criticism of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, using Barack Obama’s election victory over Mitt Romney.
‘’The lessons for that for everybody is that if you run off to the extremes in politics, which is what the Republicans did, some of their candidates were saying some really bizarre things, which resulted in them losing,’’ he said.
Mitt Romney was no extremist. In fact, he was the Turnbull of American politics - the most Left wing of the Republican candidates in the primaries, and also the richest.
Sound familiar?
He was savaged in the campaign as too rich to be “one of us”, as Obama ads crudely put it, and failed to excite his base, which meant he won fewer votes than John McCain.

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Who wouldn’t assume a Conservative peer was dodgy?

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(5:15am)

The BBC and several dozen Twitter users face the prospect of legal action after Lord McAlpine indicated that he could sue for libel over what he described as “wholly false and seriously defamatory” reports linking him to north Wales child abuse allegations.
The BBC’s problem: 
A former resident of a North Wales care home has apologised for wrongly claiming that the Conservative peer, Lord McAlpine, had sexually abused him.
Steve Messham, a victim of sexual abuse in care homes in North Wales in the 1970s, issued a statement on Friday evening in which he said that his claim was based on a case of mistaken identity.
The BBC’s problem magnified::
It emerged that the broadcaster had decided not to contact the ‘’leading Conservative’’ for a right of reply before going to air.
On one level you can understand why the BBC felt no need to ask McAlpine if he really was a pedophile. After all, 
- McAlpine is a Conservative, isn’t he?
- victims must always be believed, right?

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Outrage!  Scandal! True traditional owners honored

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER112012(12:01am)

 Culture warsReligionThe politics of race
This country is sounding more like Salem every day. In truth, the Benedictines are indeed the traditional custodians of St John’s College, founded as a Benedictine Foundation by a former Benedictine monk:.
A leading Sydney barrister and senior counsel at the trouble-plagued St John’s College has sparked outrage after mocking the Aboriginal community at an official dinner at the University of Sydney.
Jeffrey Phillips, SC, stood in the college’s 150-year-old Great Hall and, in front of more than 250 staff, students and guests, paid tribute to the “traditional custodians of this place” whom he identified as being the “Benedictines who came from the great English nation”. 
The comment was made in the presence of several indigenous students, one of whom has lodged a formal complaint and, according to senior staff, remains “deeply traumatised”. 
Mark Spinks, a respected member of Sydney’s Aboriginal community and chairman of the Aboriginal men’s group Babana, said: “How disgusting, how disgraceful, how disrespectful are those comments. I am outraged and I am disturbed. For that to have been said at the university, in a room full of students, I am almost speechless.”
The sociologist Eva Cox said: “It’s totally unacceptable but what he’s saying is acceptable, or has been deemed acceptable within the culture of the college. It’s just an indication of how deep the rot goes.”
Watch: Phillips will be made to apologise for his gentle speech in praise of tradition, tolerance and contrition to save the college and his career.
Liberals will also figure it would cost votes to stand up against this new racism and the ludicrous offence-taking, humor-killing and tradition-denying sanctimony, but there comes a time when I, at least, would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
UPDATE
The Age is already delighted to call this an “outrage”:
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The Sydney Morning Herald is just as certain a crime against right thinking has been committed: 
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