Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sun 2nd Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Dazzaa Hasselhoff. Born on the same day, across the years, that the Manhattan Project developed the first nuclear reactor. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.


Chicago Pile-1




[edit]Holidays and observances

A JUDICIAL INQUIRY... why not Ms Gillard?  Larry Pickering

It would answer public disquiet over the massive fraud that you were responsible for. Latest polls suggest the majority of Aussies believe you are either hiding something or lying. So why not?

Can’t you see, Ms Gillard, that a judicial inquiry would effectively gag Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and any other curious Australian? I mean, none of us could comme
nt on a judicial process already in train, could we?

McTernan would surely realise a judicial inquiry would put the whole damaging business to bed, and in an election year!

How good would that be? A master stroke! And any judicial inquiry would certainly not be confined merely to your criminal past within the AWU. It would have to canopy the entire union movement.

Wow, Ms Gillard, that would take years! So what’s the problem? It is apparently a win, win all round for you, except...

Oh I forgot, the findings of a judicial inquiry may well see you behind bars.

And did you notice I called you a criminal? Well, so do many other commentators, privately.

But I don’t depend on a wage packet from an employer next week do I?


Insults hide how bad PM’s policies are

Piers Akerman – Saturday, December 01, 2012 (9:22pm)

THE end of the parliamentary year should have brought a freshening sense of relief, but the toxicity of this minority government has left the electorate with a feeling of smouldering resentment.
While conservatives contemplate the growing list of questions that surround Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s brief career as an industrial lawyer and her hasty departure from law firm Slater & Gordon, Labor and Green supporters have their own doubts about their government.
The independents, who more than any other group are responsible for this unhealthy state of affairs, are absorbed in their selfish search for relevance.
While Gillard and her henchmen seek to brand the Opposition as a negative force, the record shows it is the government that has been spewing the most vile comments, supporting the most misogynistic parliamentarians, spinning the most implausible claims.
Having invited a debate on her behaviour and character on Thursday, Gillard’s own responses to Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s reasoned and rational address amounted to no more than a farrago of irrational claims and name-calling invective of the sort that once might have been heard outside a slum saloon.
So much for the new parliamentary paradigm that independent Rob Oakeshott foresaw when he threw his garrulous support behind this rabble. So much for civility.
No one on the Opposition side of the House or Senate has matched former Speaker Peter Slipper for disgraceful commentary on female genitalia, though Gillard sprang to his defence and accused Abbott of misogyny in her now notorious and baseless extremist call to international feminists.
Similarly, no one from the Opposition side can hold a candle to Labor MP Steve Gibbons for utterly disgusting remarks about Abbott and his deputy Julie Bishop - grossly offensive Labor invective.
Just like Gillard’s questionable behaviour as a lawyer and her choice of unsavoury companions, including her former lover, the discredited former union boss Bruce Wilson, and his sidekick and bagman Ralph Blewitt, it goes to character - the character of the ALP as a political body.
It is little over two years ago that Labor announced it had lost its way under Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership and would appoint Gillard to lead it into the future. It should have escaped no one that Gillard has not been able to fix a single issue on which she claimed Rudd had failed the nation.
Further, she has introduced a raft of new policies which are as mad, bad and dangerous as those which were the basis for Rudd’s political assassination.
In the most appallingly divisive fashion, Labor under Gillard has portrayed itself as the party of the battler yet it is the battlers who are being hurt most and will continue to be trampled on while policy is made by young and naive staffers with no real life experience beyond ordering soy lattes in twee inner-urban coffee shops.
Just two days ago, on Friday, the Gillard government killed off the best dental care scheme older Australians had ever enjoyed and it did so using class envy to sell its message.
On the pretext that the Howard government’s successful Chronic Diseases Dental Scheme (CDDS) was treating millionaires and being rorted by doctors, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek chortled as she announced it would be replaced in two years time with two new schemes.
The schemes, for children and low-income adults, are not based on medical needs as the CDDS was, but on income.
The politics-of-envy line was trashed by a study reported in the latest Medical Journal of Australia that found that “Medicare funding is progressive in that a greater proportion of government subsidies for out-of-hospital Medicare items flow to lower income groups.
“Chronic care items, particularly dental plans which have been taken up to a greater degree by lower income groups, contribute to the progressivity of the overall scheme.
“While our study does not shed light on the merits of financing dental care through Medicare, the results do provide evidence the CDDS in the period after its introduction was primarily used by people from lower income households; as the lower-half of the income distribution received more than 2 1/2 times the amount of funding as the highest income group.”
Those most crippled by Labor’s new policy will be low-income earners and Aborigines since it will kill off the involvement of private dentists in public health care.
Sidelining private dentists, according to the report, “is classic Labor policy and places unbearable pressure on public dentistry”. “Wages are simply inadequate to draw enough dentists across to the public sector to pick up this work.
“Aboriginal services employing private dentists will have to lay off staff because, in the absence of the CDDS, around 90 per cent of the revenue model is destroyed.
“Of the Aboriginal services in NSW, seven have dental services which receive NO state funding; they risk losing 100 per cent of their service, unless activity is cross-subsidised from other work, like underpaying doctors and using medicare income to fund dental work.
Aboriginal Australians are least likely to present to private dentists and to complete treatment, and most are reliant on referrals made by Aboriginal health services to collaborating dentists which offer culturally safe care and see large numbers of indigenous patients.
“Regional areas are most affected because of the shortage of dentists. CDDS was the only program making it economically viable for dentists to travel into regional areas.”
Another Labor policy kills a perfectly sound program and leaves the nation’s most vulnerable worse off.
Without reprising the list of Labor failures to which this disaster must now be added, it must be asked why the press gallery ignores a lousy government and demands accountability from the Opposition? Only in Canberra’s comfortably cocooned universe is the Opposition held responsible for governmental failure.


Father prepared to forgive

Miranda Devine – Sunday, December 02, 2012 (10:30am)

Shocking scenes of four young girls being dragged kicking and screaming to the airport by Australian Federal Police last month so they could be reunited with their father in Italy were bad enough.
But revelations by the father, Tommaso Vincenti, 33, that his daughters’ abduction by their Australian mother two years earlier appears to have been facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Embassy in Rome simply beggar belief.
Speaking last week from his home near Florence where he lives with daughters, Emily, 15, Claire, 14, Christine, 10 and Lillian, 9, Tommaso said the family trauma had been exacerbated by Australian officials.
He claims staff at Australia’s embassy in Rome and the Department of Foreign Affairs swallowed claims by his ex-wife, Laura Garrett, 32, that she had to escape his violent abuse, organising passports for the girls, making travel arrangements and escorting them to the airport.
“I had to fight not only against a family but the Australian government,” he said.
He admits he was hospitalised for depression when his marriage ended but denies he was violent to his family and has documents from the Italian Justice Ministry to prove it.
“But the Australian government still believe I am a very scary man.”
Tommaso is now rebuilding the relationship with his daughters, which was severed when Laura took them to Brisbane in 2010 on the pretext of a one-month holiday, and kept them there.
After a rocky start, the girls have settled into a “very normal life”, going to school, studying hard, and mixing with a close family that includes his parents and five cousins.
“It was impossible to establish a relationship quickly because the girls think everything is only my wrong. Then they understand. I don’t look for the love. I just give the love,” Tommaso said."They need to lead a normal life, stay calm, and enjoy the love of the family.”
On a typical evening, “I help the girls with the homework, I make dinner and after dinner we talk. Sometimes we look at films.”
Last Saturday the Wallabies played in Florence so he arranged for the girls to meet the Aussie team as a surprise. But he said they miss their mother and urged Laura to return to Italy and resume joint custody.
“I’m ready to forgive Laura because I understand it is best for the children to have two parents, not just one,” he said. “I know girls when they are younger, they prefer the mother. But the children need also the father.”
The girls speak to their mother once a week for an hour on Skype.
“I know it’s hard without the mother. I very much hope Laura will come back but it’s her choice,” Tommaso said.
But Laura refuses to return, telling Sixty Minutes last Sunday that she would be arrested for abduction, and believes she would end up on probation or under house arrest.
Tommaso agrees: “If Laura wants to come to Italy there will be problems with Italian authorities. But if you love your children then you come… I have talked with Laura about this but she don’t want peace.”
He says Laura did not have a father and nor did her mother, and he did not want to abandon his daughters to a matriarchal household.
“I am sad for Laura,” he said. “But I think Laura need to understand what really has happened.”
In 2008, an Italian court granted Laura and Tommaso joint custody and ordered him to pay her $750 a month in child support on top of Italian welfare benefits.
The girls lived with dad at weekends in a flat attached to his parents’ ancestral home in the Tuscan hills above the village where they lived with mum during the week in a comfortable three-bedroom apartment.
But unbeknownst to him, from 2007 to 2010, Laura and her mother Kate, badgered Australian authorities in Canberra and Rome to return the girls to Australia, alleging Tommaso was abusive and “erratic” with payments.
Australian authorities apparently did not attempt to verify the mother’s claims: “It is not the role of consular officers to investigate legal matters or allegations,” a DFAT spokesman said last week.
Consular staff expedited passports, paid hundreds of dollars towards travel expenses and in June 2010, escorted Laura and the girls to Rome airport. The embassy even changed their booking to an earlier Emirates flight, because Laura was afraid Tommaso might come after them.
Tommaso has obtained consular cables, which show the extent to which Australian authorities intervened. But only once in those three years did they bother to contact him in a 12-second phone conversation days before the girls flew out, to confirm it was his signature on the passport applications.
“I signed knowing that the girls needed the passport for making the one-month holiday in Australia. I never consent to expatriation permanently. Laura has deceived me,” Tommaso said.
An embassy insider speaking anonymously said consular staff working in Rome at the time were too experienced to be duped.
Former ambassador Amanda Vanstone was unavailable for comment, but consular cables show efforts to help Laura escalated after her mother, Kate, emailed then Foreign Minister Stephen Smith in December 2009, complaining of delays.
Kate’s repeated threats to go public clearly weighed on consular staff minds. In March 2010, the embassy drafted a “talking points” memo, in response to a WIN TV interview with Laura and her mother in which they alleged Tommaso was “very violent”.
In May 2010, a consular memo stated Laura had contacted Sixty Minutes and wanted to “make the government look bad”.
The family in Australia proved adept at whipping up a media and Facebook campaign. Their propaganda resonated with the public, and more importantly with Australian authorities, authorities, who helped turn a domestic tragedy into a drawn out international legal dispute.
Tommaso says no one is blameless. But putting the children first means forgetting the past.



Tim Blair – Sunday, December 02, 2012 (7:49pm)

Tim Flannery claims: “Feral cats eat 70 million native animals a day” in Australia.

(Claim at 2:30.)
Flannery, of course, is prone to exaggeration; he even exaggerates his own Panasonic boosting. Might this be another example of Flannerian Flantasy? Few other sources get anywhere close to his cat-kill calculation, which works out to more than 25 billion annual chompings:
• Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection: “It’s estimated that cats kill3.8 million native Australian animals each year.”
• Cosmos magazine: “Domestic cats kill an estimated 100 million native Australian animals each year.”
• Flannery himself, in June: “Cats alone account for millions of native animals each year.”
• The Australian Wildlife Conservancy: “Feral cats kill at least 2 million native animals every dayin northern Australia alone.”
• Further from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, via Nicholas Rothwell: “The research is clear: introduced feral cats in the north kill 2 million small native animals every day (by extrapolation, the figure is 70 million for Australia as a whole).”
Maybe Flannery meant to say “per year”, which would have aligned with the above figure. But he’s recently made the same “70 million per day” claim in at least two other interviews. Again, that comes to 25,550,000,000 fatal cat attacks every year.
Interestingly, Flannery thought differently in 2002:


And in 2003
He argued, for example, that feral cats were not as guilty of sending native animals to extinction as environmentalists believed. 
That’s quite a shift. If this guy ever joins the denial team, he’ll make the rest of us look like a bunch of Christine Milnes.


The Bolt Report today

Andrew BoltDECEMBER022012(10:32am)

 Bolt Report
Editorial: why the AWU scandal hurts Julia Gillard.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on the sexism issue, changing our UN vote on Israel to please Muslim voters, the Brandis “criminal in the Lodge” claim in Parliament and the key difference in election year between the Coalition and Labor.
Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the AWU scandal, the need for a judicial inquiry, Brandis, the disgraceful pandering for the Muslim vote and Bob Carr’s whiteanting of Julia Gillard.

And a goodbye.
(Clips to come.)


Local warming

Andrew BoltDECEMBER022012(6:44am)

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: 
They are both authors with Text Publishing.

Now it seems the esteemed 2007 Aussie of the Year - mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and climate-change activist Tim Flannery - shares a little more than that with stablemate Kate Holden, the acclaimed author and former heroin-addicted prostitute who wrote about her life in her book, In My Skin.
Although they seem to be at opposite ends of the publishing spectrum (she writes about pink dildos, he charts the history of life on our planet), the Melbourne-based couple are, we hear, dating and were spotted at a paper stall earlier in the year but have not been public since.
And while in her blog Holden is willing to gush about Flannery’s book, ‘’which I read too fast, is full of ideas and evocations to blow you away’’, she is too shy to talk about the relationship in print, according to our snoops.

Perhaps they are saving the details for a joint book? 
(No comments.)


The kind of female leader we “sexists” admire

Andrew BoltDECEMBER022012(6:39am)

Julia Gillard is very keen to decry her critics as sexists amd misogynists. Strange, then, that so many of her critics would have thrilled to another female leader.
Perhaps it really is just about character, not gender.
(Thanks to reader Rings Trueeventoday.)


Panicky Ban Ki gets climate spanking

Andrew BoltDECEMBER022012(5:40am)

UN chief Ban Ki Moon is urged by 125 experts in climate-related areas to stop wild fear-mongering over global warming:
On November 9 this year you told the General Assembly: “Extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal … Our challenge remains, clear and urgent: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen adaptation to … even larger climate shocks … and to reach a legally binding climate agreement by 2015 … This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy.”

On November 13 you said at Yale: “The science is clear; we should waste no more time on that debate.”
The following day, in Al Gore’s “Dirty Weather” Webcast, you spoke of “more severe storms, harsher droughts, greater floods”, concluding: “Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States. A nation saw the reality of climate change. The recovery will cost tens of billions of dollars. The cost of inaction will be even higher. We must reduce our dependence on carbon emissions.”
We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions.
The U.K. Met Office recently released data showing that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years. During this period, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations rose by nearly 9% to now constitute 0.039% of the atmosphere. Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years. Whether, when and how atmospheric warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility…

The hypothesis that our emissions of CO2 have caused, or will cause, dangerous warming is not supported by the evidence. The incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased. There is little evidence that dangerous weather-related events will occur more often in the future.
What’s the bet that what 125 experts say gets one 125th of the coverage that the uninformed alarmism of the UN bureaucrat was given?


Galaxy - Labor 46 to 54

Andrew BoltDECEMBER022012(5:07am)

The Galaxy poll’s sample size is small, but Tony Abbott will still take comfort:
AN EXCLUSIVE poll conducted for News Limited this week has found the political fightback of Julia Gillard is stalling after a toxic parliamentary year ended with political attacks, smear and accusations of criminal conduct…

Of 1015 people surveyed across Australia on Thursday and Friday nights, 31 per cent said she had lied and 31 per cent said she was economical with the truth…

Tony Abbott would be elected prime minister if an election were held now with the Coalition ahead 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

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