Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wed 30th Jan Todays News


Happy birthday and many happy returns Mickey TranJo Ymcmb Gunz and Matthew Mason-Cox. 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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Mahatma Gandhi

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Events

[edit]Births

[edit]Deaths

[edit]Holidays and observances


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Lie launches Gillard election campaign

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (1:12pm)

With the announcement of the September 14 federal election, Julia Gillard has set in place an eight-month election campaign, no matter what she may say.
In telling the nation she had set the date and would be able to differentiate between the time she spends campaigning and the time she spends governing, she also told the first lie of the official campaign.
Everything Gillard does is designed to perpetuate her tenuous hold on government.
Everything she has done since she cajoled the willing Independents to support her minority Labor-Green government has been about hanging on to power.
The national press corps representatives assembled at the Press Club today seemed to swallow the lie.
The first question dealt with national disasters.
The second, from the sycophantic Paul Bongiorno, was a Dorothy Dixer on parliamentary behaviour which Gillard ignored.
The atmosphere in politics, she said, was due to the Opposition’s stance – not her shambolic and disingenuous government.
The third, from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lenore Taylor, was also gentle as would be expected from a strong soft-Left gallery voice.
Followers of this election will have to keep firmly in their minds the numerous failings of this government in almost every policy area.
It has made promises – and it will rely on those promises (such as the NDIS and the NBN) as the campaign continues to pretend that it has been effective.
But the reality is that its policies have failed.
The border protection policy is a model case.
A successful policy dismantled by Labor to pander to fringe supporters and Green voters and it has been an abysmal failure.
Now, promising certainty and good governance, Gillard has ushered in a year of electioneering.
As for certainty in planning – the only certainty a majority of Australians want is to see the back of the Labor government. 

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LONGEST CAMPAIGN EVER

Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (12:59pm)

Julia Gillard has just announced that the 2013 election will be held on September 14.
UPDATE. The SMH reports a “nine-month campaign”:

image

Try seven months and 16 days.
UPDATE II. This will be the first September election since 1946.
UPDATE III. Gillard’s first comment after calling the election: “I do so not to start the nation’s longest election campaign. Quite the opposite.”



So it’s the shortest campaign, according to Gillard logic.
UPDATE IV. The Guardian‘s Australian edition has been launched. More than one hour after the Prime Minister’s announcement, no mention at all of the election.
UPDATE V. Bill didn’t know:


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BIZARRE AND INACCURATE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (12:37pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald previously reported: 
A sister pro-tobacco lobbying organisation and corporate member of ALEC, the Heartland Institute, paid for Senator Bernardi’s accommodation and travel to the US on four separate occasions in 2010 and 2011. The institute recently ran a two-day conference in the US entitled‘’Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?’’ 
Predictably, that line won considerable attention. But now the Heartland Institute responds
Ms. Wright claims The Heartland Institute ‘recently ran a two-day conference in the US entitled “Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?” ‘ This is bizarre, inaccurate, and plainly intended to defame The Heartland Institute. The event she apparently is referring to was a 75-minute workshop titled‘Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?’ which Heartland helped organize at ALEC’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City last year.
The speaker, Prof. Brad Rodu, is one of the country’s (indeed, the world’s) leading authorities on the use of smokeless tobacco products to encourage smokers to smoke less or stop altogether. Given that message, it would be more accurate to say that Heartland sponsored a seminar on ‘how to stop smoking.’ 

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KEVIN ASH

Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (12:04pm)

A sad note from Michael Stahl
Don’t know if you’ve heard about Kevin Ash, the fabulous British motorcycle journo and totally top bloke, who was killed a week ago on the BMW R1200 GS launch in South Africa.
You and I met him in the garden at that fancy hotel/castle where we stayed on the Can-Am Spyder launch. He was one of the nicest, most approachable guys on the launch – and as much a scientist and engineer as he was a motorcyclist.
That was the only time I met him, but I’ve been well aware of his writing before and since meeting him. In my opinion, for whatever it’s worth, he was absolutely the only guy in bike-journodom who knew how to write worth a crap.
This tribute from his oldest daughter, 20, brought a tear to my eye. 
I do remember Kevin, who was exactly as Michael describes.

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On 2GB, January 30

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:55pm)

 2GB podcasts
On 2GB with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here.
Last night’s show here. With lawyer Justin Quill - and talk about Tim Mathieson.
UPDATE
On tonight’s show from 8pm: Anthony Albanese, Michael Kroger, Antony Green.

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Smearing Bernardi

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:50pm)

The latest Fairfax attempt to smear Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi as some extremist in the pocket of Big Tobacco seems to have relied on quite a few mistakes.
UPDATE
Bernardi writes:
FYI - the article by Ms.Wright is now the subject of defamation action by me. It contains many inaccuracies which the SMH should have been aware of. Additionally, the line ‘my spokesman refused to comment’ was actually a phone call to my office on a public holiday where she left a message on an answering machine that said the office was closed. At no time did she call me or my media assistant.

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A convincing chronology

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:43pm)

Labor is at risk of losing about 18 seats at this year’s federal election according to an opinion poll focused on Australia’s most marginal electorates. The poll of 54 seats conducted by JWS Research shows an average swing against the Government of 4.8 per cent, giving the Coalition a two-party preferred lead of 54.9 per cent to 45.1 per cent.
Essential Report: Labor 46, Coalition 54.
JULIA Gillard has announced Australians will go to the polls on September 14
Police charges?
Sorry. That last bit probably has little to do with the calculations.

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There will be a September 14 election under a government I lead

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:26pm)

Julia Gillard’s latest promise: 
I will advise the Governor-General to dissolve the House of Representatives with writs to be issued on Monday the 12th of August for an election for the House and half of the Senate, to be held on Saturday the 14th of September.
Her claim:
... the benefit of fixing the date now is not just the end of speculation about election timing.
Hmm. End speculation?
Well, it would if it weren’t for Gillard’s track record with promises. Some examples....
And today I can assure every Australian that their Budget will be back in surplus in 2013.
Status: broken.  Treasurer Wayne Swan dumped the promise five days before Christmas. Figures suggest a multi-billion-dollar blowout.
And it is as disappointing to me as it is to millions of Australians that we do not have a price on carbon… But first we will need to establish a community consensus for action.
Status: broken. No consensus sought or reached. A carbon tax introduced against the public’s wishes.
There is another question on which I will seek consensus and that is the proposed Resources Super Profits Tax. Australians are entitled to a fairer share of our inheritance, the mineral wealth that lies in our grounds. They are entitled to that fairer share.
Status: being broken. Tax has failed to raise any money in its first six months.
I am full of understanding of the perspective of the Australian people that they want strong management of our borders and I will provide it.
Status: broken. Boat people arrivals last year were a record 17,202.
… we will cut taxes for all businesses in this country… [Abbott] wants to put company tax up.  I want to put it down. 
Status: Broken. Company tax not cut. Taxes effectively lifted instead in last year’s MYEFO. 
...we will recognise the first Australians in our Constitution.  
Status: broken. Promise postponed indefinitely.
There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.
Status: broken. Tax imposed.
Gillard’s ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme… Old car owners will score a $2000 rebate if they buy a new fuel-efficient vehicle, under a “cash for clunkers” scheme announced by Julia Gillard today. 
Status: broken. Scheme scrapped.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is defending Labor’s climate change credentials, including the much-ridiculed plan for a citizens assembly. A re-elected Gillard government would appoint 150 randomly-selected Australians to assess published climate science and policies to combat the impact of climate change, such as an emissions trading scheme. 
Status: broken. Scheme scrapped.

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Gillard tells Greens what she wouldn’t tell Shorten

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:52pm)

Who did Julia Gillard tip off about the September 14 election date?
Greens leader Christine Milne says the Prime Minister’s office gave her a half-hour heads up that Ms Gillard would be announcing the election date in her speech today.
Ms Gillard has confirmed she spoke with NSW Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott about the election date before making the announcement today.
Someone even tipped off the Daily Telegraph’s Simon Benson: 
image
But tell her own Cabinet colleagues? Forget it: 
Her colleagues are bastards who could leak.

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ABC rebukes Faine over AWU scandal “interview”

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:41pm)

 MediaThe AWU scandal
Michael Smith, the journalist who has done most to uncover the AWU scandal, wins an apology for the ABC for the hostile heckling which ABC host Jon Faine subjected him to in an ”interview”: 
Thank you for your email regarding Jon Faine’s interviews about the AWU slush fund allegations with Mark Baker, Editor-at-Large at The Age, and Michael Smith, former 2UE talkback host, on 23 November 2012.  Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding.
In accordance with the ABC’s complaint handling procedures your concerns have been reviewed by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent from ABC program areas. The role of Audience and Consumer Affairs is to investigate complaints alleging that ABC content has breached the ABC’s editorial standards.  We have assessed the interviews against the ABC’s editorial requirement for impartiality, specifically standard 4.1 of the ABC Code of Practice which states: “Gather and present news and information with due impartiality”.
Audience and Consumer Affairs have concluded that the interviews were not conducted in keeping with ABC impartiality requirements.  The argumentative style of the interviews by Mr Faine, combined with a pattern of strongly stated personal opinions that at times oversimplified the issues at hand, was not in keeping with the ABC’s rigorous impartiality standards for current affairs content. 
ABC Radio apologise for this lapse in standards. This matter has been brought to the attention of ABC Radio management and Jon Faine has been reminded of his obligation to gather and present news and information content with due impartiality.  A summary of this finding will be published on the ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs website at:  http://about.abc.net.au/talk-to-the-abc/feedback-and-enquiries/upheld-complaints/
I’d say Age reporter Mark Baker deserves an apology, too, for what Faine went on to do to him.
Despite the ABC’s reluctance to credit the scandal, the truth will out…

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Revealed: the new real Julia

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(4:46pm)

From tomorrow’s column: 
Wearing glasses publicly for the first time I can recall, Gillard sold herself instead as the bringer of a year of “cool and reasoned deliberation”.

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Great! Election called. Bad! It’s September 14

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(1:44pm)

Julia Gillard says the next election will be on September 14.
This will make the election campaign the longest in our history - eight months.
Not so, insists Gillard. It will show the Government is getting on with business. It gives “certainty”.
In fact, we have been in what seems a permanent election campaign for two years, thanks to the tight numbers.
This may do little more than formalise a reality - and even dampen the frenetic politicking and speculation which makes the Government seem constantly on the edge of chaos.
It also adds to the pressure on the Coalition to put up its policies, which may force it to announce a campaign launch date.
But the announcement is also an admission of Labor’s weakness.
If the polls were as tight as Labor and many in the media like to suggest, there is no way Labor would deny itself the chance of a dash to a quick election.
For Gillard personally there is this one further benefit. Her declaration is likely to pressure her party critics into rallying behind her. She also gets credit for making a decision, and ends the latest bout of criticism about her management - whether over the Nova Peris pick or the Mathieson joke embarrassment.
Advantage to Abbott: Gillard loses the advantage of surprise. Abbott can plan his year ahead. Gillard also has to deliver a May Budget with yet another deficit.
And voters now have no hope of an early election.
Unless, of course, Labor does still topple Gillard.

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Essential poll: Labor still in wipe-out territory

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(8:26am)

The latest two polls suggest the narrative Labor’s spinners have built of a Gillard comeback is just more hot air:
Essential Media: Labor 46, Coalition 54.
JWS Research (poll of more marginal seats): Labor 45.1, Coalition 54.9.

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Police still digging on AWU scandal

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(7:44am)

 The AWU scandal
The Prime Minister could be caught up in a criminal investigation. Victoria Police appear to be taking seriously an allegation made by serial campaigner Michael Smith.
The allegation is extremely grave and if proved, it attracts a penalty of imprisonment (10 years maximum) as outlined in Section 83A of the Victorian Crimes Act.
Last October, Smith sent police a written complaint alleging Julia Gillard created a “false” document, a power of attorney, that enabled a house in Fitzroy to be purchased in 1993 with money from a union “slush” fund…
Victoria Police confirmed its fraud and extortion squad is investigating a complaint regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds from a union and, quite properly, would not confirm who may or may not be under investigation.
Those waiting for police to confirm that the Prime Minister is a person “under investigation” before they ask questions may wait too long.
However, in the bewildering array of rumour and innuendo in the AWU scandal, there is one formal allegation on the public record and that allegation makes an accusation only against the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister denies any wrongdoing. She also says she had no knowledge of her then boyfriend’s scams and did not profit from them.
(Full article here.)

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Another NSW Labor premier to flee to Canberra?

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(7:23am)

Federal Labor may take in a second of the premiers who made NSW Labor such a crowd-pleaser:
With a 6.9 per cent margin in Mr McClelland’s seat of Barton, and swings of about 5 per cent against Labor expected in Sydney at this year’s federal election, Labor officials see Mr Iemma’s candidacy as a key to winning the southern Sydney seat.
If Mr Iemma were to stand, he could become the third of the past six premiers (after Liberal John Fahey and Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr) to move from the state to the federal arena.
IF the ALP selects Morris Iemma to succeed Robert McClelland in the seat of Barton, it will not only be selecting a lacklustre former premier whose government heralded the decline of NSW Labor.
It will also serve as a reminder that his political ascendancy was due in part to Eddie Obeid, now facing allegations before the Independent Commission Against Corruption…
Today, Iemma is a biting critic of modern Labor and a divisive figure who has a deep hatred towards those who destroyed him… Inside the counsels of the party, he denounces the rise of the “political class” of MPs and party officials with no real life experience or genuine links to the community.
But Iemma’s CV reads straight from the political class playbook: university degree, union official, political staffer and then into parliament. Soon he’s a minister and then he’s premier.

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Egypt risks “collapse”, says Defence Minister

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(7:17am)

Some “Arab Spring”. The general is either right that Egypt risks collapse - or is himself threatening a coup:
Failure to resolve the situation ‘’could lead to grave repercussions if the political forces do not act’’ to tackle it, General Sissi said on his Facebook page.
‘’The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations,’’ he said.
The comments posted on Tuesday were extracts from a speech he gave to students at a military academy…
Earlier, thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Egypt’s three Suez Canal cities in defiance of a night-time curfew imposed by President Mohammed Mursi after dozens were killed in clashes with police…
The protesters chanted slogans against Islamist rule, ‘’Fall, Fall the rule of the guide [of the Muslim Brotherhood]’’, referring to Dr Mursi who hails from the Brotherhood.
Not surprisingly:
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments have sparked fears that the military might once again intervene in the day-to-day governance of Egypt, a country effectively ruled for most of the past century by army officers.
Is “fears” the right word?

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As German tribes made Rome their own…

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:51am)

No longer is distance much of a problem in this age of cheap mass transport. And around the world, the poor are moving to where the wealth is that they have seen on their TV screens.
Australia still has a giant moat to deter what the Press Council says I cannot call illegal immigration. But the United States is more vulnerable, and the numbers of illegal immigrants - while down on their peak eight years ago - are astonishing: 
The Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2012, up from 327,577 in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by The Washington Times. Border Patrol officials estimate that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up, it means that the flow of illegal immigrants is going up as well.

Last year’s increase marks a reversal. Apprehensions peaked in 2005 at 1.2 million and had been steadily dropping every year since as first President George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama committed more manpower and resources to the border.
That leaves the US lawmakers having to accept a fait accompli - an illegal immigration population too massive and too well-entrenched to deport:
From the halls of Congress to the streets of Los Angeles, supporters of a plan to legalize the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants celebrated a rare glimmer of hope Monday as a bipartisan group of legislators outlined a broad plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws for the first time in a generation.
Even bankrupt Greece is overwhelmed, thanks to being the doorway to Europe:
Greece has been clamping down on illegal immigration as the country’s economic woes make it increasingly difficult to support the growing numbers of immigrants. It’s believed that as much as 10 percent of the country’s population is living there illegally.
Greece is also under pressure from the European community because the country is viewed as a gateway to the EU - almost 95 percent of Europe’s illegal immigrants enter via Greece.
More than 60,000 people have been stopped in the streets since the operation began in August last year.
This, plus legal immigration and high birth rates among immigrant communities, could profoundly change the culture of some countries: 
Today, the U.S. is home to about 11 per cent of the world’s 460 million hispanohablantes (Spanish speakers). According to the 2010 U.S. census, more than 50 million Americans – about 16 per cent of the population – are Latino; of these, an estimated 70 per cent (35 million) speak Spanish.
This puts the U.S. fifth among Spanish-speaking nations, after Mexico, Spain, Colombia and Argentina. And if demographic predictions pan out, the U.S. will become the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country within a generation.
Some US cities are effectively Latino already. More than 64 per cent of people living in Miami-Dade County are now Latino. New Mexico is living up to its name, with nearly half its population of Latino descent.
“When you go swimming, it’s much healthier to keep your whole body completely covered, you know.” The Muslim lady behind the counter in my local pharmacy has recently started giving me advice like this. It’s kindly meant and I’m always glad to hear her views because she is one of the few people in west London where I live who talks to me.
The streets around Acton, which has been my home since 1996, have taken on a new identity. Most of the shops are now owned by Muslims and even the fish and chip shop and Indian takeaway are Halal…
Of the 8.17 million people in London, one million are Muslim, with the majority of them young families. That is not, in reality, a great number. But because so many Muslims increasingly insist on emphasising their separateness, it feels as if they have taken over; my female neighbours flap past in full niqab, some so heavily veiled that I can’t see their eyes. I’ve made an effort to communicate by smiling deliberately at the ones I thought I was seeing out and about regularly, but this didn’t lead to conversation because they never look me in the face…
More worryingly, I feel that public spaces are becoming contested. One food store has recently installed a sign banning alcohol on the premises. Fair enough. But it also says: “No alcohol allowed on the streets near this shop."…
Perhaps he and his fellow Muslims want to turn the area into another Tower Hamlets, the east London borough where ‘’suggestive’’ advertising is banned and last year a woman was refused a job in a pharmacy because she wasn’t veiled…
Since the start of the year there have been several reports from around London of a more aggressive approach. Television news footage last week showed incidents filmed on a mobile phone on a Saturday night, in the borough of Waltham Forest, of men shouting “This is a Muslim area” at white Britons…
Worse, though, is film footage from last week, thought to have been taken in Commercial Street, Whitechapel, which showed members of a group who also called themselves a “Muslim patrol” harassing a man who appeared to be wearing make-up, calling him a “bloody fag”. In the video posted on YouTube last week, the passer-by is told he is “walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag” and ordered to get out…
There are, of course, other Europeans in my area who may share my feelings but I’m not able to talk to them easily about this situation as they are mostly immigrants, too… Poles have settled in Ealing since the Second World War and are well assimilated, but since 2004 about 370,000 east Europeans have arrived in London… Not surprisingly, at my bus stop I rarely hear English spoken…
In the Nineties, when I arrived, this part of Acton was a traditional working-class area. Now there is no trace of any kind of community – that word so cherished by the Left. Instead it has been transformed into a giant transit camp and is home to no one. The scale of immigration over recent years has created communities throughout London that never need to – or want to – interact with outsiders…
But now, despite the wishful thinking of multiculturalists, wilful segregation by immigrants is increasingly echoed by the white population – the rate of white flight from our cities is soaring. According to the Office for National Statistics, 600,000 white Britons have left London in the past 10 years…
I, too, have decided to leave my area… I’m a stranger on these streets...
(Thanks to readers Terry and Bradly.)

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How has such immigration left us better off?

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(6:27am)

How smart have our immigration and multicultural policies been? Here comes more evidence that some communities struggle to integrate - at some cost and danger to us all:
HUNDREDS of NSW police officers have mounted a series of aggressive raids across western Sydney over the past five days, marking a dramatic shift in the force’s response to the city’s escalating gun violence.
For the first time, senior police say, Sydney’s Islamic leaders are co-operating with their investigations…
While the violence has seen six men shot dead in the past four months, detectives fear a possible escalation through the use of more powerful, military-grade weapons or homemade bombs…
The recent raids, which included officers from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad and the anti-bikie Strike Force Raptor, targeted individuals thought to be involved in both the shootings and the city’s illegal firearms trade…
NSW police acting Organised Crime director Arthur Katsogiannis said it was vital the city’s Middle Eastern community broke down the “wall of silence” surrounding the recent crimes. “They know who’s got the guns,..”
Australia has more Buddhists than Muslims.

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Looting from the prudent to pay for more handouts

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:57am)

The Government has spent too much. Its promise to return the Budget to surplus is shattered. It can’t find the money for its massive new disability insurance scheme. The Prime Minister’s boyfriend is in trouble,
Time for more class war:
Never mind the cultural damage. Let’s attack prudence and virtue in a scrabble to pay for welfare and waste:
This could include changes to family payments, cuts in concessional tax arrangements for self-funded superannuation contributions, a further tightening of the private health insurance rebate, a decrease in the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount, and a clampdown on loopholes such as the exemption from fringe benefits tax for employees of churches and charities.
This Government is brutalising Australia.
UPDATE
Gillard has already supervised the spending of $16 billion on something she called “Building the Education Revolution” and another $2 billion on the ”Digital Education Revolution” - which included free laptops for senior high school students.
But after two expensive education “revolutions” comes this implied admission of failure, and a demand for yet more billions for one more revolution:
“I will put to April’s Council of Australian Governments the critical decisions to implement the National Plan for School Improvement: quality teaching and learning, power for principals, new transparency on results, and in return, the future funding arrangements will meet the needs of every student,” she will say. 
Is Gillard really to be trusted with yet more billions of our money?
UPDATE
Reader AndrewS:
Is Tim Mathieson part of the “Digital Education Revolution”?

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Mathieson must pay for Gillard’s extremism

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:43am)

The Australian is right.  Tim Mathieson’s silly joke is only an issue because of the hypocrisy, cant and illiberalism of his partner, Prime Minister Julia Gillard: 
WHILE his partner Julia Gillard might not thank him for it, the man affectionately known as the first bloke has done the nation a great favour. Tim Mathieson’s tasteless joke - complete with mildly racial and sexist undertones - has exposed the cant of the Prime Minister’s misogynist campaign against Tony Abbott, and even underlined the absurdity of the government’s proposal to further impinge on free speech through new anti-discrimination laws…
This time, if Mr Mathieson has generated political embarrassment for Ms Gillard, she should reflect on how she has brought this upon herself. Her confected outrage over misogyny, devised as a political attack against Mr Abbott, has helped to introduce an unreasonable new standard that few people could live up to. When the Prime Minister claimed to be “very offended” by a reference to housewives and ironing, and chastised the Opposition Leader for “now looking at his watch because apparently a woman’s spoken too long”, she helped create a “gotcha” environment that has now enveloped her partner. To make matters worse, her government is pursuing an extension of anti-discrimination laws that in many circumstances will criminalise words that “insult or offend”.
Under those laws, Mathieson could be sued by people who merely took offence at his remarks about female Asian doctors.  Two Asian callers to my 2GB show with Steve Price last night said they were indeed offended. Defamation lawyer Justin Quill confirmed this established a prima-facie case that Mathieson would then have to defend, with the onus now on him to prove innocence.
So the questions for Gillard are these:  does she admit her proposed laws would make what Mathieson said potentially unlawful? Does she agree that this demonstrates her laws are dangerously broad?
How will she change them so that her boyfriend - and no other Australian - need not fear being dragged to court for saying something so harmless?
UPDATE

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Putting us in our tribal box

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:29am)

In Australia, ...  I see the ruling party now reacts to criticism by alleging its opponents are “offending the feelings of Australian women”, are “anti-women”, “misogynistic” or “do not understand women"…
But identity politics as played in the modern Western world ...  attempts to assert that because a person belongs to a particular racial, sexual or other identity group, their views on a subject cannot be questioned. Second, it encourages members of an identity group to perceive their identity as synonymous with holding particular views… Third, it delegitimises and denigrates all those who disagree.

This is exactly how Beijing thinks and operates. Chinese who disagree are labelled “traitors” or not “real” Chinese....
Similarly, women who dissent from the party line are labelled not “real” women (Margaret Thatcher) or “traitors to their sex” (Sarah Palin)… Lately, Aboriginal women with different views (Bess Price) are told they are being “offensive” and “divisive”.

Identity politics is thus inherently tyrannical. It impoverishes political debate as it rules off limits certain subject matter. It makes our democracy less a battle of ideas and more a battle of strictly enforced identities.

You can have a rational conversation with someone who says: “I strongly disagree with you, here are my reasons why.” You can’t with someone who says: “As a (insert identity group), I am offended.”
But in our laws against free speech, in calls to make judges much race-sensitive when sentencing, in the absurd demonisation of Tony Abbott as a woman-hater, in attempts to change the constitution, in multicultural policies - in these and so much more we see a great push to reduce individuals, rich in complexity, into mere caricatures of racial types and symbols of collective grievances.
We are being diminished. Made cartoons. 

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Shut-up laws to treat us like children

Andrew BoltJANUARY302013(5:19am)

Christopher Bantick on the Gillard Government’’s shameful attempt to shut down free speech by broadening the kind of laws once used against me:
Given that the Bolt case has made me and others unnecessarily cautious about what is said in the classroom, it has also stymied what others can say.

The [Government’s proposed new anti-discrimination] laws go beyond this and in effect place on all in education a devolved role of censorship. Teachers and academics would have to monitor the insult and offence index and curtail what has hitherto been accepted as free speech and legitimately held opinions. So much for what Voltaire said: “I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Still, if there is a further pernicious element to the foreshadowed restriction on [saying something that offends in] “public life” then it is this. The commonwealth will make the decision on what an individual can hear and in what form.

This point was articulated by Kerryn Pholi, a former Aboriginal bureaucrat and social worker, in a piece in The Spectator earlier this month, appositely headed: “The final insult”.

Pholi wrote: “As an autonomous adult, I cannot think of a single human being I could ever trust to decide on my behalf what I could and could not bear to hear about myself and I deeply resent anyone who presumes to do so.

“This proposed law strips me of my dignity in a way that another’s malicious remark could never do; it reduces me to the status of a child.”

There is an astringent irony here as well. Roxon’s law, should it come to fruition, will result in another stolen generation - a generation of young people and children who have had their freedom of speech stolen from within their classrooms, lecture theatres and tutorial rooms where open discussion should be welcomed.

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Refuse to follow evil tyrants
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Meet Staff Sgt. Moshe, one of the IDF’s everyday heroes. Yesterday, he neutralized a terrorist who had stabbed an Israeli civilian.
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IT'S ABOUT TRUST 

Whom do you trust to return the budget to surplus, whom do you trust to stop the boats, whom do you trust to protect freedom of speech ?

The choice could not be clearer. >


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Eden Farms Booyan rd. I block ( to the right) copped a twister right through the centre.
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Another casualty of the long election is Jason Clare. How can he be expected to stay away from his electorate for seven and a half months? He was absent last election and the papers covered for him. How will the Fairfield Advance or Fairfield Champion help him over this sustained time?
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Frances Abbott with Chris Dumaresq supporting her Dad to the Lodge.
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Killer Cats: According to research published today (Jan. 29) in the journal Nature Communications, cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds, and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals, each year. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/2329
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MUSK LORIKEET
uncommon nomad
lives south-east Australia
BY Kelli Dene

PLEASE VISIT MY PAGE..Australian Parrots and Birds
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I did teach that. They just didn't listen. I'm reminded of the story of the blind man, his guide dog and the friend of the blind man who meets him after a long time. "Hey, Barak! How is it going?" "David? You scared me. You sound white. Remember I cannot see." "It is good to see you Barak, who is this? Your friend? He is wagging his tail." "That is my dog, Joe. Joe is my guide dog." "Friendly fellow." "I taught him to whistle." "Really, make him whistle for me." "David, I taught him. I didn't say he learned." - ed
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Nazis Would Be Proud of Sunday Times Racist, Anti-Semitic Israel Cartoon
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This is amazing - and all it took was a little video camera on a biker's helmet. Take a bike tour through the heart of Jerusalem, the marketplace, and the Old City, and get a good sense of all of the streets and sights in Jerusalem. This is such a simple yet brilliant idea!

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/biking-through-jerusalem
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"I'm cute, but don't mess with me!" - Astro Boy
(Pic taken in the Ximending District of Taipei, Taiwan)

All Images: Copyright © 2013, AISEN Photography & Design.
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Day 18 | Baby Hair

I came home from work today to a sooky little girl and a very bored father and son. Alannah hugged me and touches my face so gently. It was as if she missed me a lot and wanted to remember my face. Quoc & I took them out to a park nearby and there I watched my husband and son playing chasing on their scooter and Alannah looking at them smiling wanting to join in the fun. I sat just behind her looking. I felt so soft and calm as I admired how the light rest so softly on her hair and I just love the way her long baby hair swept in the wind. I love her hair. I love it more so because it’s her hair from birth. What will I do the day I need to cut her hair for the first time ever?
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Turning an office room into a small animation studio today. Hard work yet super duper fun :)
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Beautiful. In US, you could bring an assault rifle.
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Jesus loves you just as the Father loves Him (Jn 15:9). He wants you to abide in & be nourished by His love today! Check out today's devotional. Be sure to click "like" to help spread the word! Thanks, all! http://bit.ly/SD8ix3
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michelle at garden of the gods
Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for January 29th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Reporter to Jay Carney: So, how often does the president shoot skeet? Carney:Squirrel!

In an interview with The New Republic, President Obama said that he shoots skeet “all the time” at Camp David...

Washington State Lawmaker: Let’s raise money by selling naming rights to publicly owned facilities

Jesse Ventura once suggested that politicans be required to wear NASCAR-style racing suits sporting patches prominently featuring the names of their donors...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Glad to have your readership, Aljorie!
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