Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sat Apr 20th Todays News


Happy birthday and many happy returns for Malyka, little Zee, Dallas BeaufortAdrian Kuswendi and Langley Bui. Born on the same day, across the years. That day, in 1939, Billie Holliday recorded Strange fruit. May your compassion and love be bountiful.
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CAN’T SPELL ‘FUNDAMENTALISM’ WITHOUT ‘MEN’

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 20, 2013 (6:39pm)

Sunrise terrorism scholar Andrew O’Keefe identifies a crucial demographic:

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He’s one of many currently avoiding words beginning with “I” and “M”. I love it when Monday’s column writes itself.
(Via sdog)

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NATION OF SCOLDS

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 20, 2013 (3:42pm)

Nick Cater on wowser power
If the wowsers merely wanted to stop drunk people making idiots of themselves, we could probably put up with them. But they are not prepared to leave it at that because wowserism is not about alcohol, it’s about the cause.
From reusable shopping bags to the war against fast food, many wowser anxieties seem more like disputes over manners than serious arguments for improving society. Compared to women’s rights, the abolition of child labour or the end of the White Australia policy, the reformers are down to the small change of social improvement, yet each of these measures is accompanied with the trumpet and drums of a temperance crusade. 
Do read on. Further from Nick here. To order his new book, The Lucky Culture, which expands on this column’s themes, please hit that last link. 

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BOGREENIAN RHAPSODY

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 20, 2013 (3:18pm)

Brilliant headline in the Ulster Gazette:

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In Australia, of course, we set our fantasy rail prices way higher. 

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SORRY AL

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 20, 2013 (3:00pm)

An apology is owed to Alan Jones, not least from me, after his widely-mocked speculation about the identities of the Boston bombers turned out to be remarkably accurate. Mike Carlton’s columnon Jones arrived in several Sydney houses just as a foreign-born Islamic Boston student who conspired with his foreign-born Islamic Boston student brother was being arrested. Perfect timing, Mike: 
Surely the FBI could have saved itself a lot of time and trouble if it had rung our very own Alan Jones, the visionary broadcaster, to find out who was behind the Boston bombing.
Possessing powers beyond those of mortal men, Alan knew instinctively who had done it: left-wing students. The carnage had barely been cleared away before he was on breakfast television to reveal the ghastly truth behind the attacks. It springs from those sinks of terrorist conspiracy, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which, believe it or not, are quite close to Boston.
‘’I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a conspiracy amongst students, left-wing radical students in Boston, and I think we have to think also very seriously here about our own student numbers,’’ he explained.
This warning – this tocsin, dare I say it – must not be ignored. The pursed lips, the knowing frown, the ruddy cheeks, the matching tie and hanky set, all indicate a thinker of great purpose and wisdom. And there was more: ‘’We’re very keen to have foreign students pay the way of universities in this country without a lot of discernment about who comes in,” he added.
Quite right. There they are: your hordes of illegal, disease-carrying, Islamic foreigners again. 
Well, Jones didn’t mention anything about disease, so we’ll score this one to Carlton. Both brothers suffered varying degrees of lead poisoning.

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THEY SET US UP THE BOMBERS

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 20, 2013 (3:45am)

As police scour Boston and Cambridge for suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his father claims a set up: 
Two brothers of Chechen origin suspected of staging the Boston marathon bombings, one of whom has been shot dead by police, are innocent of any crime, the Interfax news agency quotes a man identified as their father as saying.
“In my opinion, my children were set up by the secret services because they are practising Muslims,” Anzor Tsarnaev told the Interfax news agency on Friday from the North Caucasus Russian city of Makhachkala. 
The suspect’s uncle is also furious, but for a different reason
“He put shame on our family. He put shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity. Turn yourself in!” Ruslan Tsarni told reporters from his home in Maryland.
The uncle told the Herald earlier today he’s feeling “anger, anger, anger. I can’t come up with the words. Unhuman. I’m not being able to feel anything. Anger for the people they murdered.”
He said his nephews — Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, who is still on the run, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 — came to the United States in 2001. The men left Chechnya long ago and went to Central Asia, then moved to Dagestan, a Muslim republic adjacent to Chechnya, the Associated Press reports. 
Tamerian, dead, once spoke to a photographer about his beliefs: 
“God said no alcohol,” he told a photographer. “There are no values anymore… people can’t control themselves …”
Tamerlan was a keen amateur boxer, and was photographed at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Centre by photographer Johannes Hirn …
In one photo he is sparring without his shirt on, with a woman. In another she is unwrapping his strapping, and the caption reads: ‘Tamerland says his girlfriend is half Portuguese, half Italian girlfriend and converted to Islam: “She’s beautiful, man!” ‘
In 2009, Tamerian was arrested for domestic assault and battery after assaulting his girlfriend. 
Nice guy. And now we have a potential local angle: 
In April 2012 Tamerlan was clearly watching radical Islamist content on the internet. His YouTube channel includes several posts by Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, an Australian ex-boxer, now resident in Lebanon.
One rant by Mohammed includes a denunciation of Harry Potter films as promoting “paganism, evil, magic and the drinking of unicorn blood”. 
“Unicorn blood” would be a great name for a cocktail. This site cautions that “it is not clear yet whether the user is the same Tsarnaev as the deceased suspect”. Here’s someone else who perhaps should have taken precautionary steps.
UPDATE. Further from Anzor Tsarnaev, father of the two suspects: 
“I will never believe my boys could have done such a terrible thing,” he said in a telephone interview from Makhachkala, the capital of the Dagestan region. “I have no doubt they were set up.”
“My older son is killed and now they are after my little boy,” he said. “It is a provocation of the special services who went after them because my sons are Muslims and don’t have anyone in America to protect them.”
He argued that his sons didn’t know how to handle firearms, let alone explosives. 
They don’t know how to handle cars, either. Meanwhile, another uncle was reportedly contacted by the elder Tsarnaev on Thursday night, seeking forgiveness: 
But he wasn’t seeking forgiveness for the bombing. Rather, he was asking for forgiveness because he hadn’t spoken to him in so long …
They spoke for about five minutes, he said. Tamerlan, who is Muslim, started out by saying, “Salam Aleikum,” an Arabic greeting meaning “peace on you.” He then praised his uncle for keeping up with his Muslim prayers. 
Gotta have priorities. Readers may recall post-9/11 anti-US leftist sentiment blaming America for Islamic attacks. That feeling is still alive, as the Boston Globe‘s Kevin Cullen discovered: 
I was on an NPR show this morning, talking as I drove back from Cambridge to write this column, and a caller came on the air and started talking about how we’ve got to look in the mirror and askwhat we as Americans have done to create angry young men like this.
I almost drove off the road.
No one who lost their life or their limbs on Boylston Street last Monday did anything to create angry young men like this. 

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FACTS CHECHED

Tim Blair – Friday, April 19, 2013 (5:58pm)

UPDATE. The image posted earlier here of the suspect previously identified by police radio has been removed. Latest news:
This changes things, yet again: 
Authorities have not yet released the names of the Boston bombing suspects.
Citing official sources, NBC News has reported that they are from “overseas” and may have been in the U.S. for more than a year. NBC also reports that they may have had military training.
As for where they’re from NBC’s Pete Williams reports that they may be from Turkey or are Chechen refugees who came through Turkey. 
UPDATE II. Associated Press
BREAKING: AP: Surviving Boston bomb suspect identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. 
UPDATE III. Here’s Tsarnaev, said to be the brother of the other (dead) bombing suspect.
UPDATE IV. Your basic primer on Chechen terrorism.

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Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (2:01pm)

How Labor lost a multi-billion-dollar bet on global warming.
Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt on the collapse of Europe’s carbon market. Is the warming hysteria now over?
Michael Kroger and John Della Bosca debate. The premiers tell Gillard to be gonski. And lessons to learn from Boston?
The sports scandal. Still waiting for evidence.
On Channel 10 at 10am. 

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Second Boston bomber: “suspect down”

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (9:48am)

The second Boston bomber may have been shot dead:

THERE are reports of gunfire and a ’suspect down‘ near the Watertown Mall in Boston.
Fox 25 reports it is possible it is the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. But there is no official confirmation.
UPDATE
Not “down” but cornered in a houseboat boat in a back yard. Police feared he was wearing a suicide vest. Now they don’t think so.
UPDATE
Police can be seen clapping. I assume they have caught the second bomber.
UPDATE
Bomber reported caught alive. 

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A taxpayer-funded love-in of the Left

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (9:27am)

Media Watch Dog barks:

Last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald carried the program of the taxpayer subsidised 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival – which will be held from 20 May to 26 May.
A quick glance revealed the following leftist, left-of-centre or social democratic participants. Here we go. Phillip Adams (of course), Louise Adler, Waleed Aly, Monica Attard, Julia Baird, Jonathan Biggins, Frank Bongiorno, Tim Bowden, Katharine Brisbane, Bob Brown (of course), James Button, Jennifer Byrne, Mike Carlton (of course), Jane Caro, Michael Cathcart, Neil Chenoweth, Natasha Cica, Matthew Condon, Sophie Cunningham, Bob Debus, Mary Delahunty, Andrew Denton, Catherine Deveny (of course), Elizabeth Farrelly, Mia Freedman, Michael Fullilove, Jane Gleeson-White, Marieke Hardy (of course), Wendy Harmer, Jacqueline Kent, Gretel Kileen, Dominic Knight, Ramona Koval, Benjamin Law, Amanda Lohrey, Robert Manne (of course), David Marr (ditto), Kate McClymont, Maxine McKew, Jeff McMullen, Ross McMullin, George Megalogenis, Christine Milne (of course), Matthew Moore, Julian Morrow (making seven appearances, of course), Linda Mottram (of course), Jenna Pryce, Margot Saville, Julianne Schultz, Annette Shun Wah, Tim Soutphommasane, Jeff Sparrow (of course), Dale Spender, Anne Summers (of course), Linda Mottram (of course), Chris Taylor, Andrew Upton, Tom Uren, Sally Warhaft, Robyn Williams (of course), Naomi Woolf, Elisabeth Wynhausen and Arnold Zable [Is that all? Check that you haven’t missed any. Ed]
So there you have it. Some three score and more leftists/ left-of-centre types/ social democrats will address the 2013 taxpayer-subsidised Sydney Writers’ Festival.
And what about right-of-centre types and social conservatives?  Well, it seems that fewer than a dozen fit this category. That’s a balance of six to one. That’s your typical Sydney Writers’ Festival.  That’s your taxpayer dollar working for – well, you be the judge.

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Why was the investigation called off?

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (8:48am)

I’d assume the links to Labor are purely incidental, but I’d like assurances of that:

A Chinese businesswoman who has been a generous Labor Party donor and long-time benefactor of influential federal MP Joel Fitzgibbon engaged in a sham marriage and swore false statutory declarations to obtain permanent Australian residency.
Fairfax Media has uncovered evidence of Helen Liu’s migration fraud despite the Immigration Department aborting its own probe into the matter without conducting a thorough investigation or interviewing key witnesses.
The federal opposition is now demanding to know why the Department of Immigration and Citizenship failed to conduct a proper investigation. Its immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, referred the case of “a possible act of migration fraud” involving Ms Liu and others to the department’s secretary last year.
Fairfax Media has spoken to key players involved in the sham marriages that occurred more than 20 years ago – none of whom were contacted by Immigration officials last year. It has also obtained documentary evidence to show that Ms Liu obtained permanent Australian residency after she and her then Chinese boyfriend and business partner, Harry Xu, married two young Australians in a bogus arrangement…
Ms Liu and her companies have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the NSW ALP branch and paid for two trips to China for Mr Fitzgibbon in 2002 and 2005, which the then opposition MP failed to declare to Parliament.  Ms Liu is also close to Foreign Minister Bob Carr and his wife, Helena.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 

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Coalition backs off surplus promise

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (8:26am)

The May Budget is going to show how badly Labor has bungled our finances, and the Coalition is already getting ready, backing off its promise to deliver a surplus in its first year:

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey told a forum organised by The Australian Financial Review on Thursday it was important to be prudent. ‘’We are not going to go down the path of austerity simply to bring the budget back to surplus because it would end up being a temporary surplus, depending on how big the deficit is that we inherit.’’

His remarks are a departure from a commitment he made on the ABC’s AM program in January.

‘’Our commitment is emphatic,’’ he said then. ‘’Based on the numbers published today we will deliver a surplus in our first year and every year after that.’’
I would hope the figures will shock the Coalition into dropping another promise - to pay working women half their annual salary, up to $75,000, to have a baby. That kind of entitlement is not just outrageously generous but now completely unaffordable. 

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The Boston bombers: by sheer coincidence Muslim

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (8:16am)

image image
This, of course, might seem a clue:
THE aunt of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says the older brother recently became a devout Muslim.

But the uncle of the Boston Marathon bombers says don’t blame Islam:

Though the family is Muslim, their religion played no role in the attacks, the uncle insisted. “Anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it’s a fraud, it’s a fake,” he said. He described the family as peace-loving, ethnic Chechens. “Somebody radicalized them, but it’s not my brother, who just moved back to Russia, who spent his life bringing bread to their table, fixing cars,” he said. ”
The father of Tamerlan (left) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says don’t even blame his boys:

Someone framed them. I don’t know who exactly did it. But someone did. And being cowards, they shot the boy dead. There are cops like this.
The president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, says blame America instead:
It’s all America’s fault because these kids were brought up in America, not Chechnya.
And the Boston Globe‘s Kevin Cullen hears the same calls:
I was on an NPR show this morning, talking as I drove back from Cambridge to write this column, and a caller came on the air and started talking about how we’ve got to look in the mirror and ask what we as Americans have done to create angry young men like this.
I almost drove off the road.  No one who lost their life or their limbs on Boylston Street last Monday did anything to create angry young men like this.
Indeed.
Here’s what wicked America did to these men, Chechens raised in Kyrgyzstan. It let both into the country.

A federal official said the younger brother arrived on a tourist visa in the United States on July 1, 2002, at age 8. After seeking asylum, he was granted citizenship on September 11, 2012.
It let Tamerlan study engineering at Bunker Hill Community College. It offered his younger brother a place at the University of Massachusetts and even gave him a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge. 
And when Tamerlan beat up his girlfriend three years ago, the US didn’t throw him out:
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old killed in a wild shootout with police, was a legal U.S. resident who never the less could have been removed from the country after a 2009 domestic violence conviction, according to a Judicial Watch source. That means the Obama administration missed an opportunity to deport Tsarnaev but evidently didn’t feel he represented a big enough threat.

Dzhokhar’s neighbor thought the “lovely” boy was grateful:

He was so grateful to be here and to be in school and so grateful to be accepted.
So it could have been America’s fault that these two men set bombs which killed three people - including an eight year old boy and a Chinese student - and then shot dead a campus security officer.
Or we could look to other influences in their life.
But in captions on an undated boxing photo album operated by photographer Johannes Hirn, Tamerlan Tsarnaev said, “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”

He also told the photographer he was a “very religious” Muslim boxer who did not smoke or drink. One caption said he usually did not take his shirt off so girls wouldn’t get bad ideas.
“There are no values anymore,” he said, and worried that “people can’t control themselves.”
Then there’s Tamerlan’s YouTube account:

A user by that name has posted a video to his YouTube playlist extolling an extremist religious prophecy associated with Al Qaeda…
The YouTube page includes religious videos, including one of Feiz Mohammad, a fundamentalist Australian Muslim preacher who rails against the evils of Harry Potter. One playlist includes a video dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan, which is embraced by Islamic extremists—particularly Al Qaeda. The prophecy states that an invincible army will come from the region of Khurasan in central Asia.

Some of the material on Tamerlan’s page:
image
The video of Australia’s Feiz Mohammad that so impressed Tamerlan:



Dzhokhar also had a social media site, praising the religion of peace:

On his VKontakte page, Dzhokhar lists his world view as “Islam” and follows several pages devoted to the topic.
Of course, religion is not everything. There are always family influences.

The [bombers’] father warned, however, “If they killed him, then all hell would break loose.”
“If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame,” the father told ABC News. “Someone, some organization is out to get them.”
Now, why would the US do that?

In my opinion, my children were set up by the secret services because they are practising Muslims.
So don’t blame Islam for the bombings. Blame Islamophobia for “setting up” the bombers.
And:

The mother of the two Chechnyan brothers suspected of setting off two bombs at the Boston Marathon was arrested last year for allegedly stealing $1,600 worth of clothes from an upscale department store.
Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva, 45, was charged with two counts of malicious/wanton damage and defacement to property after allegedly swiping the merchandise from a Lord & Taylor in Natick, Mass. in June 2012.
Whatever, the bombers seemed proud of their work, even after learning they’d killed an eight-year-old who just wanted to hug his dad at the Marathon:

Soon after the shooting, the brothers allegedly carjacked a Mercedes SUV from Third Street in Cambridge. They forced the driver of the car to stop at several bank machines to withdraw money, and succeeded in taking $800 from one location.
The driver, who was released unharmed on Memorial Drive, told police that the brothers had bragged to him that they were the marathon bombers, law enforcement authorities said. 
But in the culture of Chechen militancy, what is one more dead child?


The conflict in Chechnya began in 1994 as a separatist war, but soon becamse an Islamic insurgency whose adepts vow to carve out an independent Islamic state…
Militants from Chechnya and neighbouring provinces have launched a long series of terror attacks in Russia, including a 2002 hostage-taking raid in a Moscow’s theatre, in which 129 hostages died, a 2004 hostage-taking in a school in Beslan that killed more than 330 people, and bombings in Moscow and other cities.

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Mad spenders, betting everything on China

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (8:16am)

A sharp warning from Terry McCrann:

THE decision by Woodside and its partners to abandon the $40 billion liquefied natural gas project at James Price Point in north-western Australia signalled the beginning of the end of Australia’s greatest and most extraordinary resources boom…
What of course makes this boom different is that it is built entirely on the extraordinary, utterly unprecedented growth, both in size and speed, in demand from China. And the fact that this coincided with the global financial meltdown and the worst recession in the developed world since the 1930s—with, critically, fundamental and massive economic and financial structural fault lines, entrenched in every major developed economy.
In short, if this boom does come to a shuddering halt, it will be not simply worse than any previous end-of-boom, but both the context and the consequences will be severe and unpredictable.
One thing would be very predictable. A budget which is already in significant and arguably sustained deficit would plunge deep into catastrophic levels of deficit…
Put all those realities and contexts together, and it would not be a good time to be running two—perhaps large—budget and current account deficits. To put it, at its mildest.

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Don’t mention the war

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (8:04am)

Among these more than 6000 words of The Age coverage of the two Boston bombers, the word “Muslim” occurs just once (as of 8.30am). And even then, the word is introduced very late as a purely incidental fact:
The brothers are Muslims believed to be of Chechen origin, but there is still no clear motive for the attack.
(Another AAP story on The Age website does mention the link to an Australian sheikh.)
On ABC AM this morning, the report from Boston didn’t mention “Muslim” at all. The bombers were only said to have been Chechens possibly inspired by “terrorist ideology”, with one dying with an apparent bomb strapped to his chest.
Only in AM’s third report on the bombers, a backgrounder from Russia, was mention made of “Islamist” forces fighting in Chechnya.

UPDATE
How the New York Times first profiled the bombers - as people “trying to fit in”. You know, like by killing a child and blowing off people’s legs:

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UPDATE
AM yesterday warned against assuming the bombers were as Muslim as they turned out to be:

TONY EASTLEY: As mentioned, the FBI has released photos of two suspects. It’s hard to tell about the ethnic backgrounds of the men from the fairly grainy photos that the FBI has released. Nonetheless, American Muslims say regardless of who is responsible for the Boston bombing they have already suffered a backlash from it…
Muneer Awad is the executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations… It must have concerned you that at the height of the Boston bombings suspicion at first fell on a Saudi man quite incorrectly.
MUNEER AWAD: Right, you know again people were very quick and ready to look for someone who fit the stereotypical Arab, South-Asian or Muslim suspect. But unfortunately again although the news in Boston might have made bigger headlines than usual, the case is law enforcement and government agencies have cast that shadow on American Muslims, Arabs, South-Asian for over a decade now. So unfortunately we’re not surprised. We’re still trying to do the kind of work that makes sure it doesn’t happen…
TONY EASTLEY: How much does the media have to play in those perceptions of Muslims in the American community?
MUNEER AWAD: A substantial part. And I think media outlets that are acting irresponsibly and are quick to cast judgements and are looking for someone who fits the stereotypical build, who they would like to paint as being an attacker or someone that has done a terror related incident in America, is troubling, it’s concerning. 

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Too sick to work, or too sick of work?

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (7:38am)

Judith Sloan says the blowout in the number of people on disability pensions is a warning the NDIS could become even more unaffordable:

In 1981, there were just more than 200,000 on the DSP; by December 2011, the numbers had reached 832,000. From the beginning of 2000, the proportion of the workforce receiving the DSP has been higher than the unemployment rate. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, “no other income support program has seen this level of sustained increase over the past 20 years”.
... we do know that most of the growth in our DSP numbers across the past decade or so has been at the mild end of the disability spectrum, covering psychological conditions and soft tissues injuries. Burkhauser describes these as “difficult to measure” impairments.
It seems increasingly clear that many of the unemployed simply prefer to the on the more generous disability pensions, which come without any obligation to seek employment.
I’m also struck by the fact that men seem curiously more prone than women to disability:
image

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Abandoned even by Labor states

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (7:23am)

Julia Gillard has lost her authority, and yet again has painted herself as a divider:

After starting yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments trying to force a deal to inject an extra $14.5 billion over six years into schools, the Prime Minister suffered a setback when not one state signed on to the plan…
After setting a June 30 deadline for the states and territories to agree to the Gonski plan, Ms Gillard faces having to defend cutting funding to schools in those states that fail to reach agreement - six weeks before the start of the official election campaign.
Ms Gillard yesterday confirmed that states that chose to continue under existing funding arrangements would have their federal funding cut, meaning they would lose millions of dollars in targeted funding programs.
Kevin Rudd in 2007 promised a new “cooperative federalism”. Julia Gillard in 2013 can’t even persuade Labor states to agree to a “reform” she desperately needs.
And now she’s going into the election threatening to punish state schools?
UPDATE
Justine Ferrari:

The government has effectively wasted a year since releasing the Gonski report. Funding should have been settled and tied up with a ribbon to present to the electorate during the election campaign. Instead, Ms Gillard will enter the campaign with at best some states signed up, and the extra funding for schools as a “high-risk” policy: vote Labor or lose the money.
Worse, in states that refuse to sign, she will have to defend funding cuts in schools as targeted federal spending on education is withdrawn. Schools, not state governments, will bear the brunt of the funding cuts. And Gillard at the ballot box.
UPDATE
Yet Age political reporter Michael Gordon, Gillard’s preferred outlet, still maintains hope:

From next week, for the first time in a long while, dejected federal Labor MPs will have something positive to say to their alienated, disengaged and even hostile constituents. At train stations, school gates and in door-knocking drives across the nation, they will be handing out material about, and arguing the case for, the biggest reform of school funding in more than a generation…
The failure to obtain the signature of a single premier at yesterday’s heads of government meeting in Canberra represents a tactical defeat for Julia Gillard, but what looms is a 10-week opportunity to reconnect with voters after federal Labor’s horror start to this election year.
For all the pessimism in Labor ranks - and it is nigh impossible to overstate it - there is a degree of cautious optimism in the Gillard bunker that the reforms could, just could, represent a game-changer.
UPDATE
Gillard slaps down a female reporter who asks the premiers to indicate which could sign her education plan by June 30. See from 26 seconds. A little sensitive?
UPDATE
After a disaster like that, Laurie Oakes naturally discusses the leader who’s upsetting Premiers like Queensland’s Campbell Newman. Or who was going to upset Newman but now won’t, damn it:

The Abbott who wrote the book only four years ago is Newman’s worst nightmare...
If Newman read Battlelines, he must have been close to apoplectic by the time he finished the Federation chapter. As it turns out, though, he and other premiers - along with states’ righters everywhere - can breathe easily. The draft referendum legislation - Commonwealth Alteration (Commonwealth and State Powers) Bill - that formed an appendix to the Abbott book will not be rolled out if he becomes PM on September 14…
Reform of the system under an Abbott government, we’re now told, would mainly involve making COAG more transparent, tidying up its over-loaded agenda and putting a stop to the hijacking of that agenda by Canberra.
That’s far from the big talk in the book.
The obituaries for Margaret Thatcher all featured her famous words about political U-turns: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.”
Abbott has no such aversion.
Abbott Abbott Abbott.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 

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And he teaches at Sydney University

Andrew Bolt April 20 2013 (6:30am)

Gerard Henderson fact-checks Professor John Keane’s ranting commentary on Margaret Thatcher’s funeral for the ABC:
It’s quite an achievement – even for the Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney – to make so many howlers and errors in so few words.  Here’s a list:
- Left-wing ranter Glenda Jackson was a brilliant actor who proved to be a poor politician.  Currently she is the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.  Ms Jackson is not a member of the House of Lords.
- Margaret Thatcher ceased being prime minister of Britain in 1990 – over two decades ago.  After Thatcher came the governments of John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.  The idea that Margaret Thatcher is responsible for all Britain’s unresolved problems is ridiculous – outside of Sydney University that is.
- When Thatcher left 10 Downing Street, there was no devolution with respect to Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland.  The decision to establish a referendum on Scotland separating from Britain was made by the Cameron government.
- It is pure nonsense for John Keane to imply that Thatcher’s opposition to the communist regime in the Soviet Union got her and Britain offside with Europe.  After all, many of the nations of Western Europe at the time were members of NATO.
- There is no crisis with respect to Britain’s exports to the European Union.  In any event, the learned professor seems unaware that Britain has been a member of the European Union for some four decades.  For all its current economic difficulties, Britain remains one of the strongest economies in the Eurozone.
- If Glenda Jackson is correct and Thatcher unleased a “culture of greed” – then it must have been continued by Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron.  Keane seems unaware of this.
- Ed Miliband’s problem is not to build a post-Thatcher economic strategy but, rather, a post-Blair/Brown economic strategy.
- In the lead up to the Global Financial Crisis, the Australian financial system was well regulated – thanks to the policies of the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments.  This was not the case with respect to Britain.  The person most responsible for Britain’s unpreparedness for the GFC was former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown who presided over the government’s policy of regulation with a light touch.  Yet Professor Keane does not seem to know this.
A transcript of Keane’s comments is at the first link. 

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Boston university shootings. UPDATE: Bombing link claim

Andrew Bolt April 19 2013 (6:17pm)

The link is natural, given the youth of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects:
A GUNMAN has shot dead a police officer on the campus of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology near the US city of Boston, authorities said…
MIT is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from Boston, where three people were killed and 180 injured in a double bomb attack on the city’s marathon on Monday.
Authorities made no immediate link between the two incidents.
UPDATE
More gunfire and explosions have been reported in the Boston area as police pursue a gunman responsible for the shooting of a police officer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
UPDATE
American ABC 2 reports:

Homeland security is on the scene in #watertown MA..1 individual in custody..1 at large..MIT police Officer shot dead..Explosives used
UPDATE
Suspect arrested:
image
UPDATE
There’s been so many false reports, I hestitated to pass on this, from the Boston Globe:

One suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings has been apprehended, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation. Another appears to remain on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police.
“We are aware of the situation, we are being involved, and we are monitoring,” said an FBI representative who requested anonymity because of not being authorized to speak publicly. The FBI source said early Friday it is “too early to speculate” on a relation to the Marathon bombing.
UPDATE
Boy, bomb, bomber?:

image
UPDATE

New York Times:

Andrew Kitzenberg, 29, said he looked out of this third floor window to see two young men of slight build in jackets engaged in “constant gunfire” with police officers…
The two shooters, he said, had a large, unwieldy bomb. “They lit it, still in the middle of the gunfire, and threw it. But it went 20 yards at most.” It exploded, he said, and one of the two men ran toward the gathered police officers. He was tackled, but it was not clear if he was shot, Mr. Kitzenberg said…
Meanwhile, the other young man, said Mr. Kitzenberg, got back into the SUV, turned it toward officers and “put the pedal to the metal.” The car “went right through the cops, broke right through and continued west.”
The two men left “a few backpacks right by the car, and there is a bomb robot out there now…
At least two people, one of whom appeared to be a police officer and the other a man in handcuffs were taken from the scene in ambulances…
Mr. Procopio, the police spokesman, told reporters that one suspects was being taken to an area hospital ...
UPDATE
The suspect is reported to have died.
UPDATE
I doubt the “white Right-wing extremist” angle will fly.  Sunil Tripathi is being sought as a potential suspect: [NOTE: SEE UPDATE BELOW: Other reports say police say he’s not a suspect. As a result, the image of Tripathi has been removed.]
Note: potential suspect.
UPDATE
The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday:

Broadcaster Alan Jones is facing an online backlash after suggesting on national television that “left-wing radical students” were behind the Boston Marathon bombings and that Australia should reconsider its intake of foreign university students in response.
In a segment on Channel Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning, the controversial 2GB host said Boston was a student city home to prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and suggested that students could be the culprits…
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a conspiracy amongst students, left-wing radical students in Boston, and I think we have to think also very seriously here about our own student numbers,” Jones said on Sunrise…
The online response to Jones’ comments was swift and damning...
UPDATE
Claim, based on monitoring of Boston police radio:
image
Note: the names are not confirmed. (An image from one of the men’s Twitter page has since been removed.)
UPDATE
Ben Wofford, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Brown Political Review at Brown University:

I pray for Tripathi’s family, and I pray for our family at Brown.  I truly pray that this wonderful world of students, mentors, and friends can stand together. 
Wofford superimposes Tripathi’s face on that of one of the bombing suspects. Check for yourself the match.
But Tripathi has reportedly been cleared as a suspect:

NBC News reported Friday morning that a missing Brown University student — the subject of intense speculation on social media — is not in fact a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Authorities say these people came from overseas… had overseas military training [and have] been here about a year,” NBC’s Pete Williams — the most reliable source through a chaotic week in Boston — reported Friday, citing multiple sources.
“There’s been a lot of speculation that one of these suspects is a student that went missing from Brown,” Williams said, dismissing the speculation.
Rather, he reported, they are legal permanent residents “possibly from Turkey or Chechen refugees” and in their early 20s. The two “don’t appear to be students at MIT,” he said.
That speculation reached a fever pitch when police officers mentioned 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi and another man on the police scanner in the early hours of Friday morning. His name had surfaced on Reddit Thursday night.
UPDATE

The Times
reports:
1155: The suspects are believed to be brothers, from Chechnya, who had lived in Turkey before coming legally to the UNited States about one year ago, writes David Taylor. They lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and are said to be legal permanent residents, but are not students.
1152: The suspects were from Chechnya and had lived in the US for at least a year, Boston police sources have told the Associated Press. The man on the run has been identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Massachussetts.
UPDATE

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said the man now known as Marathon bombing Suspect #2, the man with the white baseball cap who actually dropped the bombs at the race finish line, is the person being sought by a massive collection of federal, state, and municipal police.
“We believe this to be a terrorist,’’ Davis told reporters about 4:30 a.m. today. ”We believe this to be a man here to kill people."Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said the man now known as Marathon bombing Suspect #2, the man with the white baseball cap who actually dropped the bombs at the race finish line, is the person being sought by a massive collection of federal, state, and municipal police.
image
UPDATE
Police say the two are the bombers:

The other Boston Marathon bombing suspect, the man seen wearing a black hat in photos released Thursday evening, is dead after firing bullets and launching explosives at police.
“We believe these are the same individuals that were responsible for the bombing Monday at the Marathon,’’ State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said today. “We believe that they are responsible for the death of an MIT police officer and the shooting of an MBTA police officer. This is a very serious situation that we are dealing with.’’ 

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Gillard Gonski

Andrew Bolt April 19 2013 (4:21pm)

COAG was about a big a failure for Julia Gillard as you could imagine:

JULIA Gillard has failed to seal the agreement of any of the states for her Gonski school funding reforms…
Ms Gillard has faced the stiffest opposition from Coalition states, but Labor-led Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory also failed to agree to the proposal…
COAG was also unable to reach agreement on a national plan to tackle gang violence, which was referred back to federal and state justice ministers for further work.
Gillard is now the lamest of ducks. Please, an election now. For the nation’s sake. 

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Title: Music
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me go where'er I will,
I hear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There always, always something sings.

'T is not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There always, always something sings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem: Music

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4 her
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Just got off the phone with a friend who lives in Scotland.
She said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. 
The temperature is dropping far below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.
Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare.
She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let the drunken bastard in.
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From Larry Pickering
BOMBERS’ HERO IS AUSTRALIAN ISLAMIC IMAM

Dead student bomber, Tameran Tsarnaev, 26, idolised Australian Imam, Shirk Feiz (pictured). Fiez featured on Tameran’s facebook page and he had a large collection of his videos.

Fiez also featured on pickeringpost.com last year as a dangerous Islamist who lectures in radical Islam in both UK and Australian mosques. 

As with other Imams and Mullahs who promote terrorism in mosques around the World, Australia has done nothing to stem his activities. He is free to continue to radicalise those of the Islamic faith.

Of the two apparently normal students only Tameran converted to Islam. After a six-month overseas “holiday”, he began praying five times a day, while preparing to kill Bostonians.

His younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, now in custody in a critical condition, had been affected by his radicalised older brother to the extent that he participated in his atrocity.

The Boston bombers were symptomatic of all other terrorists, they stay long enough to meld unnoticed into the community. They attract no attention until they are summoned to act. Then they need to pray that all the virgins aren’t gone, prior to acting.

Home-grown terrorism is the insidious aftermath of US, UK and NATO involvement in foreign countries.

Al Queda has found fertile ground in recent rebel movements in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has now taken root in Syria where the West has wisely refused to get involved and it’s spreading like Patterson’s Curse in Africa, financed by Afghanistan’s insidious heroin trade.

President Bush declared war on Islam. Is not Islam to be expected to declare war on us?

Afghanistan’s Taliban just wants to be left alone to administer their decadent Sharia law... Al Queda and its hundreds of cells wants revenge.

Pakistan, nurtured as a lone but untrustworthy link to the West, is aligned with Afghanistan’s Al Queda.

Proof-positive of that was the Egyptian Bin Laden’s safe sanctuary... officially arranged adjacent to a Pakistani Military Base in Abbottabad.

Unfortunately Australia is an active junior ally of US, NATO and UK involvement in these ill-conceived wars and to suggest we aren’t a yummy target is blind foolishness.

Why do we expect to be able to kill thousands in the homelands of these rogue states and not expect some sort of retaliation?

The ALP’s politically correct open border policy is a dangerous threat to Australia. Handing out thousands of E Bridging visas to Islamic ‘unknowns’ is about as negligent as any government could get.

Our ‘Welcome pack’ may as well include suicide vests and bomb construction instructions.

No other developed Western or Eastern country would even consider allowing illegal, unprocessed, Islamic immigrants loose in their country.

They are too busy trying to deport them. Many have banned further Islamic immigration, others have always banned it.

Ok, so we can’t deport them, we are too beholdin’ to a corrupt Islamic-dominated UN to do that and anyway 10% of our carbon tax has been promised to them. Now that wouldn’t make sense would it?

But surely Australia’s mosques should not be allowed the luxury of promoting and inflicting terrorism on their hosts. Surely the ‘freedom of religion’ ethic has gone too far?

Mosques with their evil mullahs and imams are nurseries for terrorist activities yet are no-go areas for authorities. Why?

Do we need to suffer the disgusting attitudes of Islamists in the US, UK and France, do we need to suffer the similar murder of Boston’s sports patrons before we act?

Guess we do.

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Fort Apache – Trailer
- Video -

At this link:
http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/fort-apache-trailer/
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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-news-michelle-obama-visited-saudi-national-hospital-155429954.html

Follow Silence is Consent
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Go home sign, YOU are drunk
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Scientists still don't know why nearly 1,300 sickly sea lions have beached themselves on the shores of southern California since the beginning of the year, but a weird oceanic phenomenon may be blocking off the sea lion pups' source of food, scientists reported Wednesday (April 17).http://oak.ctx.ly/r/441s
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His secret revealed - we're very excited to announce that the final episode of series 7 will be called "The Name of the Doctor". 

More info on the BBC Doctor Who site:http://bbc.in/11q3hpO
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Finish sewing my prototype Gumnut Design cushion with an invisible zip closure Kirsten Katz
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4 her
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Check out today's devotional to understand the value of being baptized with the Holy Spirit! Be blessed!http://bit.ly/11pgUJj
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And the cross, Jesus bore the stripes so that we don’t have to. His body was broken so that ours can be whole, and by His stripes, we are healed!
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Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case...—Jer 50:34

Boaz, in the story of Ruth, is a picture of our kinsman-redeemer, Jesus. Boaz redeemed Ruth, who was poverty-stricken, childless and a widow, from her plight. 

Today, Jesus is our kinsman, born into this world as one like us. And He is our Redeemer, having redeemed us with His shed blood on the cross.

As your kinsman-redeemer, not only is Jesus willing, but also able to restore to you all that you have lost. What Boaz did for Ruth, Jesus, your heavenly Boaz, will do the same, and more, for you.

Have you suffered losses in your health, finances or relationships? Whatever your situation, Jesus has already redeemed you from the curse and blessed you with wisdom, deliverance, restoration and liberty!http://josephprince.com/

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You will always win the fights of life when you know you are God’s beloved! Check out more in today's devotional and be blessed! http://bit.ly/10yi5DO
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Billie Holiday

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