Saturday, February 28, 2009

tell that story!

February 26, 2009
the funny one!
Hey guys, apparently my last video didn't show up in subscription boxes so just in case, I'll try annotate it or some shizz.
Hope you guys are all well and have a great start to the weekend.

Bruce Lee: YES WE CAN!

What would Bruce do?

Headlines Saturday 28th February 2009

Fitzgibbon blames 'incompetent' Defence Force
Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has accused his own department of incompetence and says they have altered information to cover up mistakes and protect personnel. - Of course, the department is not at fault for Fitzgibbon facing parliament unprepared after many months. - ed.
Obama declares August 2010 Iraq pullout
Six years after the US invasion of Iraq, President Barack Obama announced he will pull out most troops and end combat operations by the end of August 2010. - by pullout, Obama means leaving 50k troops behind - ed.
Woman swaps kids for cockatoo
Police a have arrested a woman who allegedly traded two young children in her care for a bird and a bit of cash.
Pacific to reconsider job cuts
Clothing company Pacific Brands will consider a federal government request to rethink its decision to cut 1,850 local manufacturing jobs.
Budget airline to introduce toilet tax
Forget about paying for airline food and drink, one budget carrier is considering charging passengers to use the toilet.
50 in another brawl at Rosemeadow
Two police officers have been injured while trying to break up another brawl in the notorious Rosemeadow estate in Sydney's south-west.
Man dies after downing bottle of Viagra in 12-hour threesome
Ita Buttrose's nephew arrested in multimillion dollar drug raid
Man shot dead by police after domestic dispute
Pools being investigated after 201 people fall sick
=== ===
Tim Blair
If my local Anglican church had this guy, I’d be there every Sunday:

Tim Blair
Negative don’t sell.
This hysteria will pass
Andrew Bolt
From an interview with brilliant young Israeli physicist Nir Shaviv:

In what state do you expect the struggle over global warming to be a decade or more from now?

“This struggle will fade away. In the past, we were afraid of the Y2K bug that was going to paralyze the world, we were afraid of the tail gases of a comet that was supposed to strike the earth - none of this happened. In the last 10 years, the earth’s temperature has not risen. Over the last century, it has risen 0.75 degrees. Less than a degree. My guess is that even if we double the amount of carbon dioxide by 2100, the temperature will only rise by one degree, and we needn’t be afraid of that.”
Green slum
Andrew Bolt
The Sydney Morning Herald finds an Australian family that could be the poster children for its Earth Hour campaign:

A striking feature of the Delaneys’ lifestyle is their small environmental footprint. They use very little electricity, create only a small amount of waste and rely exclusively on public transport.

How sweet. And how has this family managed to produce this striking feat of eco-living?

For 13 years they have lived in the shanty towns of the Indian capital, New Delhi… The family home, in a neighbourhood called Janta Mazdoor Colony, is about the size of a typical Australian bedroom. They have no running water, no TV, no fridge and no washing machine. Two mattresses, used to sleep on at night, double as a “lounge” during the day. Meals are eaten sitting on the floor and they share with neighbours a squat toilet in a small bathroom. (O)pen drains still run along the slum’s maze of narrow alley ways and empty into a putrid canal not far from the Delaneys’ front door…

To help the family cope, Cathy got a small solar panel worth about $100 for her 40th birthday that powers a lamp during the blackouts.

Greens would applaud. Behold their future.


The NSW Government does its bit, with plans to force people to use less of the stuff that makes life easier:

The State Government also outlined a plan to force electricity retailers to cut 4 per cent of their electricity sales a year within five years by working with customers to introduce energy efficiencies.

I suspect this bunch of stumblebums will actually achieve its target simply by just driving the state into the dirt.
Defence Minister declares war - on our army
Andrew Bolt
I don’t think this is smart way for a bumbling Defence Minister to do his job better:

THE Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, has described his department as at times incompetent and says it “nuances” information to cover up mistakes and protect personnel…

“Have I seen incompetence? Absolutely yes. Have I seen attempts to nuance information to cover for mistakes? Yes. Have I seen nuanced information in an attempt to produce outcomes that are more favourable to those who are responsible for the issue? Yes."…

Responding to the comments, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, defended his organisation’s integrity.

“I work for the minister, my job is to serve the minister who represents the government of the day. I will do that as professionally as I possibly can. I will never mislead him, I will never ever lead him astray, I will never cover up anything, and I will give him the advice that he seeks. Now will I always give perfect advice? Probably not.”

If Fitzgibbon thinks getting accurate information from Defence is like drawing hens’ teeth, he might reconsider Labor’s hysterical claims that the Howard Government must have, should have, known that what Defence told it about “children overboard” was not true.
Don’t blame workers for middle-class terrorism
Andrew Bolt
No, this is not a movement of the downtrodden poor, suddenly crushed by the financial meltdown:

While youths in Athens protest by throwing Molotov cocktails, in Paris by toppling barricades, and in Budapest by hurling eggs at politicians, protesters in Berlin rage at their economic plight by targeting the most expensive cars—symbols of German wealth and power.

Check the rest of the article. These car-burnings are almost certainly political terrorism by the green Left instead. And, I’d bet, done more by the university-educated offspring of the pampered middle-class than by horny-handed sons of toil:

Berlin has a history of political protest, with anarchist demonstrators regularly clashing with police on the streets of Kreuzberg during May 1 marches. Kreuzberg, which abutted the Berlin Wall, is represented in parliament by the Green Party’s Hans-Christian Stroebele, a former lawyer who defended members of the Baader-Meinhof gang in court.

Likewise, arson attacks on cars are not new: a Web site, “Burning Cars,” was set up to track the incidents in May 2007, one month before a summit in the northern German resort of Heiligendamm of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.,,

“I wouldn’t advise someone to park their Porsche on the street” in Kreuzberg, Berlin police commissioner Dieter Glietsch told the Taz newspaper in June last year.

Check the dates on the map of the Burning Cars site. Most predate any economic downturn.
It’s now 19 months - and 50,000 left over
Andrew Bolt
You mean you actually believed Barack Obama when he said US troops would be out of Iraq within 16 months of becoming President?

Q. Following that up, what is your schedule for withdrawing forces from Iraq? How fast would these withdrawals be carried out? What time frame?

A. [W]e believe that you can get one to two brigades out a month. At that pace, the forces would be out in approximately 16 months from the time that we began.

More fool you:
Amid complaints from has own party that he’s moving too slowly to end the war in Iraq, President Barack Obama will announce Friday that U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn by Aug. 31, 2010, but that as many as 50,000 Marines and soldiers would remain until the end of 2011.

It’s not as though you weren’t warned that Obama’s promise came with so many strings it was meaningless. Or that there’s plenty of other things he says that are not matched by what he does. But I guess it’s the way he says them,
Too bloated to fly
Andrew Bolt
Burt Rutan once told a group of us how to make a space vehicle so beautiful and cheap that private citizens could use it for joy rides.

Get private enterprise - not NASA - to build it.

Now confirmation of the Rutan rule:

While NASA lost a $285-million US satellite this week, a Canadian microsatellite that does the same job is chugging along happily in orbit –at 1/1,000th the cost.
Grovelling to Gillard
Andrew Bolt
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard is spending $14.7 billion on new school facilities. Sure, it’s your own money she’s spending, but Gillard wants schools to grovel to her - and her party - if they want a cent of it.

Here is what she formally demands “as a minimum” the schools do to say thank you to her. No estimate of the substantial cost these absurd thank-yous - the most ridiculous of which I’ve highlighted - is given:

To receive funding under BER, there is a requirement to recognise and acknowledge the Commonwealth’s contribution. As a minimum, schools must adhere to the procedures and
requirements set out in these Guidelines.

Recognition ceremonies: Schools receiving funding under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century and the Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools elements of BER must hold recognition ceremonies as part of their conditions of funding:

1. the Deputy Prime Minister must be invited to all opening ceremonies;

2. a convenient date for the ceremony for all parties should be chosen. Schools are required to choose three dates to allow greater flexibility for the Deputy Prime Minister or representative to attend;…

5. provide the Deputy Prime Minister with at least two months notice of any openings and public events relating to the projects;

6. hold an official opening or ceremony within three months of the completion of the project, unless otherwise agreed by the Deputy Prime Minister; and

7. make provision in the official proceedings for the Deputy Prime Minister or representative to speak.

Publicity: Schools should acknowledge the Commonwealth’s assistance in publicity issued by the school regarding its BER funded project such as newsletters, web sites, articles in the local media, school outdoor signs and any other form of advertising available to the school.

Plaques: Schools will be required to affix a plaque, to be supplied by the Commonwealth, to all completed projects. This includes, but is not limited to, new buildings and substantially refurbished buildings…

Schools will be required to affix a roadside sign, to be supplied by the Commonwealth, in front of the school for projects being funded under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century and Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools.
ABC finds neo-Luddite
Andrew Bolt
It’s a sign of how completely we’ve lost our senses under Kevin “blame neo-liberalism” Rudd that a guest on ABC TV’s Q&A can seriously praise Luddites:

JONATHAN BIGGINS: ...I think that whole notion of looking at economies, what I don’t quite understand, we’re trying to re-stimulate the economy to get the economy back to the point that got the economy in the bad position it was in the first place, and that doesn’t make any sense to me. The other thing, and you can tie it in, you know, the Luddites can’t have got it right, really, didn’t they? I mean they predicted 200 years ago…


JONATHAN BIGGINS: No, excuse me, let me finish, if I may. The Luddites in a - in a sort of curious way, I mean ok, sure, we’ve got free trade, we’ve got the benefits of the industrialised society, that’s all very well and good, but there’s this other little sort of thing hanging over our heads, despite what the denialist may say, called global warming etc,...

Reason is in retreat. It may even be near defeat.
Bill’s strange hatred of the rich
Andrew Bolt
The ludicrous hate-campaign waged by the Rudd Government and the unions against Pacific Brands is a stunt to deflect public anger from Labor. They are whipping up resentment of CEO Sue Morphett, claiming she callously doubled her salary to $1.86 million while virtually cackling over the sacking of honest workers.

A “corporate crime‘’, sneered ACTU president Sharon Burrow, now being quietly advised on defamation law.

In fact, Morphett’s increase came after she was promoted to boss, and her salary is now half that of her predecessor. Second, there is no proof that offering uncompetitive salaries to CEOs improves company performance. Third, if Morphett was paid $17,000 instead, not one fewer worker would have been sacked. And fourth, Morphett hopes that sacking 1850 workers will at least save the jobs of the other 8000 workers at her troubled company.

But there’s a fifth reason to by sickened by the cynicism. Just look at the kind of politicians ranting loudest about greedy CEOs. Here, for instance, is parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten, the former union boss, claiming that banking executives “steal” their severance payouts and thundering:

So let’s all understand, we all want to rein in excessive wages.

How bracing to hear Bill Shorten sermonising against the rich. This is the same man who married the stockbroker daughter of a multi-millionaire investor and former oil man Julian Beale. Who for years had as his donor, mentor and patron the billionaire Dick Pratt, owner of Raheen, where Shorten married. Who serves now under perhaps Australia’s richest ever prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Whose partner is now the daughter of the best-paid Governor General in our history, Quentin Bryce, whose salary Labor bumped up to around seven times the average wage.

Spare us the homilies about the wicked rich, Bill. If they were that bad, why are you so very much in their company?


The campaign is getting more hysterical:

UNIONS will block Pacific Brands from shipping taxpayer-funded machinery to China amid growing anger at the textile giant’s sackings… Treasurer Wayne Swan said he was “sickened” by the pay rises and threatened to cap the pay of corporate fat cats who put their interests ahead of Australian workers.
Bet you my house against alligators in the Thames
Andrew Bolt
Hands up anyone who seriously believes this scenario - given serious treatment by a newspaper - is remotely likely within 100, let alone 50, years:

ALLIGATORS bask off the English coast, the Sahara desert stretches into Europe and 10 per cent of humans are left.

Science fiction? No, this is the doomsday prediction if global temperatures make a predicted rise of 4C in the next 100 years. Some fear it could happen by 2050…

Climate experts told New Scientist they were optimistic that humans would survive but .... (n)ational borders would have to be knocked down and humans would become mostly vegetarian with most animals being eaten to extinction… The number of humans could drop to a billion or fewer.

This kind of panting eco-porn is precisely what most discredits global warming alarmism. And, yes, you were right - James Lovelock is indeed involved.
Too much even for Ridout and co.
Andrew Bolt
When even Heather Ridout’s bunch are now screaming for a delay in Kevin Rudd’s huge new tax to “stop” global warming, it’s clear it’s in deep, deep trouble:

Plans to start emissions trading next year are in trouble after a powerful business group withdrew its support. The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has called for the scheme to be delayed until 2012 because of the economic crisis. This caps off a horror stretch for the federal government’s scheme. The Ai Group’s policy change is significant because it had previously been quite supportive of the government’s plans.
Bottom reached
Andrew Bolt
“Natural living” advocates unveil their latest planet-saving invention - the reusable toilet wipe.

Surely it’s time global warming believers marked their houses with some sign, a green pentacle or something, as a warning to visitors to enter at their own risk.
Gassing on is healthy
Andrew Bolt
Humans evolved when carbon dixoide levels were much higher than now, so what’s the panic?

Dr. William Happer, currently a professor of Physics at Princeton University, was once fired by (Al) Gore at the Department of Energy in 1993 for disagreeing with the vice president on the effects of ozone to humans and plant life, also disagrees with Gore’s claim that manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) increases the temperature of the earth and is a threat to mankind…

“Many people don’t realize that over geological time, we’re really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene [geologic epoch] – 280 [parts per million (ppm)] – that’s unheard of,” Happer said. “Most of the time, it’s at least 1,000 [ppm] and it’s been quite higher than that.”

Happer said that when CO2 levels were higher – much higher than they are now, the laws of nature still managed to function as we understand them today.

“The earth was just fine in those times,” Happer said. “You know, we evolved as a species in those times, when CO2 levels were three or four times what they are now. And, the oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So it’s baffling to me that, you know, we’re so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started.”

Friday, February 27, 2009

"the price tag" :p just saying hi

June 28, 2007
ok there you go, took away a 'sorry'. Sorry, it's just a habit i have. BY the way:

Headlines Friday 27th February 2009

Home Loan Default Day .. for me. Thank you Joe Tripodi (My local state member) and John Della Bosca (my then minister for my workplace).

Pacific Brands execs double their pay before mass lay-offs
Sacked Pacific Brands workers have taken another hit with revelations the company's directors were handed massive pay rises just last year....
Victoria braces for extreme fire danger
Firefighters have acted quickly to get on top of two new fires that have broken out in Victoria's southwest....
Holocaust-denying Bishop apologises
British bishop Richard Williamson apologised to all those he offended with his Holocaust-denying remarks, in a letter to the Vatican released on Thursday through a Catholic news agency....
Hughes fails as Australians struggle on Day 1
Australia have fought back from 3-38 to reach 5-254 at stumps on rain-shortened day one of the first Test against South Africa, after debutant opener Phil Hughes fell for a first-over duck.... Thank the selectors. That is an experience he will never forget - ed.
British house prices in free fall, biggest drop since 1952
British house prices fell at their biggest annual rate since at least 1952 during February, despite tentative signs that massive interest rate reductions from the Bank of England are beginning to stoke interest in the market....
Blanchett and Crowe to team up for Robin Hood
Cate Blanchett will star as Maid Marian alongside Russell Crowe in 'Robin Hood' after Sienna Miller was dumped from the role....
Chris Brown to plead self-defence
Chris Brown will reportedly plead self-defence in his court case, claiming Rihanna attacked him. ..
Woman 'swapped kids for cockatoo, cash'
A US woman is accused of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and $US175 ($A269) in cash from a couple who had been trying for years to have their own child, police said on Thursday.
A million pensioners could have payments cut
A million pensioners could lose at least part of their payment to allow for an across-the-board increase.
How coffee can prevent skin cancer
Scientists are getting closer to understanding how drinking tea or coffee can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Children found naked, bound and gagged at home
Police rescued a girl and a boy whose relatives kept the children gagged, bound and naked inside a water tank at their home, a Mexico City prosecutor said.
'No one's job is safe': Govt accused of creating panic
Paraglider stuck in tree... for five hours
$4.5m amphetamines haul seized
=== ===
Pac Brands down... what other businesses will Woolies and Coles kill?
Woolworths and Coles killed Pacific Brands and yet the government does nothing to stop their stranglehold. We must act now, according to Alan Jones.
Woolworths to blame for Pacific Brands collapse
Bonds, Kings Gee, Berlei... they're all viable brands. So what's to blame for Pacific Brands' catastrophic collapse? Alan Jones points the finger at an uncompetitive retail sector.
Tim Blair
Muzzammil Hassan – the let’s-show-the-peaceful-side-of-Islam TV exec who cut off his wife’s head – had prior form as a wife beater, according to the Guardian‘s Wajahat Ali:
Asma Firfirey, the sister of the deceased, stated Aasiya suffered last year from injuries that required nearly $3,000 of medical bills – allegedly the result of spousal abuse.

According to Zerqa Abid, first cousin of Hassan’s first wife, “Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses … it took [my cousin] several years to get rid of the fear of living with a man in marriage.”

Despite his shameful history, Hassan mind-bogglingly remained a prominent and adulated figure in Muslim American circles for his contributions to the media. His example, amongst several others, highlights the egregious failure of foresight and insight of American Muslim leadership to carefully vet, screen and ultimately renounce appointed representatives with reprehensible backgrounds.

Click for the whole article, which makes the point that “millions of Muslim, Pakistani and immigrant couples who share the same joys and burdens of marriage like any other, yet never resort to violence, abuse or murder.” True, but – as Ali points out – many women are trapped in a culture hostile to females:
Imam Tahir Anwar, an Imam at South Bay Islamic Association located in San Jose, California, concurs and says instead the problem lies in a “culture” of misogyny that induces fear and shame: “Culturally, women are taught to ‘not speak out’ even if they are beaten. They have to ‘save’ the family and honor.”

Rima Chaudry, a domestic violence victims advocate and counselor based in San Francisco, CA, says survivors of abuse often “face a community that is ignorant about domestic violence and unsupportive.”

Steps are apparently underway to improve matters, or at least to drag them out of the Stone Age:
A nationwide, unified effort entitled “Imams Speak Out: Domestic Violence Will Not Be Tolerated in Our Communities” has commenced to ask all imams and religious leaders to finally discuss this recent tragedy, as well as domestic violence, in their weekly sermon on their upcoming Friday prayer services.
Good luck with that. Imams – particularly those who turn up on YouTube – seem to be the main problem, writes Mona Eltahawy:
Type Muslim+woman+beating into an online search engine and you get a monster’s parade of what I call “YouTube imams” explaining how to beat a woman according to “Islamic teaching.”

Exhibit A: an imam telling his congregation that, according to “Islamic teaching,” there are three types of women for whom nothing but a beating work. I’m proud to say I scored two out of three.

Muslim denial over the abysmal status of women is deeper even than the one over the use of Islam to justify radical violence. Centuries of male-dominated and misogynistic interpretations of Islam are strangling us. We’re told on the one hand that God says men can beat us and yet, when we complain and demand our God-given right to a divorce, we’re told that’s a man’s prerogative.

And when we complain publicly, as I am now, we’re told that we’ve abandoned our faith and that we’re giving ammunition to the Islam haters.

Here’s a crazy idea: how about Islamic men stop bashing women? All Islam haters would then be completely without ammunition. Eltahawy continues:
Let’s start naming and shaming the violent men among us and boycotting their businesses. Given the choice between the “community” and the sister, we must always choose the sister.
Sounds fine to me. Meanwhile:
Under arrest in his wife’s brutal death, Muzzammil Hassan is “almost in shock,” his attorney said Wednesday following a court appearance in Orchard Park.

“He’s having difficulty coping with this,” attorney James Harrington said.

His wife isn’t doing so well, either.
Tim Blair
The word “global” kind of suggests that no particular place is safe, but that didn’t stop global warming escapee Adam Fier fleeing the US:
Adam Fier recently sold his home, got rid of his car and pulled his twin 6-year-old girls out of elementary school in Montgomery County. He and his wife packed the family’s belongings and moved to New Zealand—a place they had never visited or seen before, and where they have no family or professional connections. Among the top reasons: global warming.
What were the other reasons? Fondness for rugby union? Respect for the mixed member proportional electoral system? A chance to meet the cast of Outrageous Fortune?
“The guy who moves from here to New Zealand is no different than the guy who moves from the lowland in the Philippines to the highland, or from El Salvador to Honduras,” said Rafael Reuveny, a political economist who studies ecomigration at Indiana University at Bloomington.
Well, he’s a little different. He’s moving to New Zealand for no reason at all. Someone moving to New Zealand should probably first ask why so many New Zealanders move away.
Fier, 38, a computer security professional who used to work at NASA, said he thought hard about the risks of global climate change. He knew moving to a new country would be difficult but thought that the dangers of staying in the United States were worse.
But Obama is lowering the oceans!
Several years ago, he drew up a list of countries and studied how they might fare over the next century. He examined their environmental policies, access to natural resources and whether they would be safe from conflict. He decided that New Zealand would offer a comparable quality of life, has an excellent environmental record and is isolated from global conflicts by large tracts of the Pacific Ocean. Its tropical, subtropical, temperate and arctic zones also offer a variety of “bioenvironments” as a hedge against the vagaries of climate change.
Also, Jonestown shut down years ago.
“I am not going to predict how the climate might change and how it might affect New Zealand,” Fier said. “But quite honestly, I feel in 100 years, one of my daughters is still going to be alive and this planet is going to be a mess. If I didn’t have two daughters, I would not be doing this.”
His 106-year-old daughter is going to be stuck in Taranaki wondering: “What the hell am I doing here?” (By the way, how come only one of Fier’s twins gets to survive past 100?)
[Fier] argued that people who do nothing in the face of risk are the ones who are being irrational …
Hey, you 300 million Americans who haven’t moved to New Zealand: irrational!
“This is an absolutely rational way to do things,” agreed Reuveny, who moved from Israel to Indiana with an eye on environmental concerns.
He’s moved to the very country that Fier has just fled. This lunatic has a death-wish.
Tim Blair
Joe Biden can’t remember the website number for

UPDATE. And Obama can’t remember who invented the automobile.
Tim Blair
Was Peter Garrett a co-spiker or merely a tree stander?
Anti-whaling activist Paul Watson has admitted spiking trees in Canada—with Peter Garrett standing beside him.

The Steve Irwin’s captain made the statement at a packed talk to about 600 people at the University of Tasmania last night.

He said Environment Minister Peter Garrett had been standing alongside him at the protests of the time.

“We spiked them and I know people don’t want to hear that here, but it works - it’s inoculation against a disease called clear-cutting,” he said.

“We spiked them then put out a press release saying we had. I know it’s controversial but nobody ever got injured. Certainly I have no remorse.” …

Tree-spiking, which involves the hammering of a metal or another hard substance rod into trees, has not been considered acceptable by Tasmania’s conservation movement and is considered dangerous to loggers.
Perhaps Watson – who should be run out of town as a matter of general policy – was only joking.

UPDATE. Garrett’s office “strongly denied” the claims. Maybe Watson is messing with Garrett’s big shiny head, due to them no longer being friends:
Capt Watson was scathing of the Federal Government, saying it was worse than the previous government and Mr Garrett far worse than predecessor Ian Campbell, now an adviser to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Campbell signed up with these lunatics last month.
Tim Blair
Organic food gurus Al and Erin Rosas stand accused of picture piracy. The green duo are alleged to have stolen images of eggplant parmesan, a pork chop and Nobu cod for use on their site. Worse still, Al Rosas is accused of stealing and renaming a dish as Chef Al’s Rabid Raisin Rice Pudding. Hit the pudding link for further foodish details.
Tim Blair
Eric Rieseberg, the guy who said mean things to a nosey lawyer, has faced court on a charge of criminal threatening. Here’s the verdict.
Bitter biter bit better
Andrew Bolt
One of the editors hired by Mr Eric Beecher, campaigner for ”quality journalism”, writes to Tim Blair:

Hi Tim,

I know we’re not the best of Internet mates, but I was hoping we might be able to put that aside for a few minutes. A blogger who I assume you have had dealings with from time to time, J.F. Beck, has written a post about me that is quite clearly defamatory by suggesting that I have paedophilic thoughts. This is in addition to a previous post where he makes a similar suggestion. Now, I’m all for political name-calling on the blogosphere, but this has the potential to seriously damage my name, reputation and career. The word “paedophile” is about as bad as it gets.

I have emailed Beck and asked him to remove the posts. I would like, if possible, to avoid having to take the matter further. I’m sure that you can see that these posts cross a line and perhaps you might have a quick word to Beck for me and encourage him to take the posts down.

Tim Blair replies:
Hi Scott,

Considering that your site has labelled me a racist male prostitute who f...s dogs, I’m probably not the right person to ask about this. I have difficulty finding the “line” you believe has been crossed.


Gibbering Fitzgibbon
Andrew Bolt
Dennis Shanahan says Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon is not just floundering, but drowning:

But an ineffectual response (in this week’s SAS pay debacle) contained on a page torn out of a spiral notebook, blame shifting, and a typically - but completely out of place - smiling and flippant manner, are not Fitzgibbon’s only problems. All that could pass with Prime Ministerial support.

Fitzgibbon’s problems are much wider and are feeding his colleagues’ perceptions that he was promoted beyond his capability and is failing in the defence portfolio.

Certainly, there appears to be confusion about the Defence White Paper; there is tension between the minister and the military chiefs; rivalry exists between the minister and his highly efficient Parliamentary Secretary, Greg Combet; there are continuing cost blowouts in some of the Government’s biggest budget items; and none of this is helped by a stultifying and unresponsive defence bureaucracy.

All encouraging for the Opposition, of course. But it’s all for nothing until it gets right its position on emissions trading, and sharpens its attack on the Government’s astonishing spending spree.


As Alan Wood says:

Ask yourself, do you believe that the worst global recession since the Depression, with job losses accelerating, is the time for Australia to introduce a carbon trading scheme that will squeeze growth, jobs and investment?
Beware the neo-interventionists
Andrew Bolt
Michael Costa coins a perfect label:

The way Garrett’s department administers the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act provides a perfect rebuttal of Rudd’s recent neo-interventionist call for greater government involvement in economic development.

And the instance he gives of Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s neo-interventionism shows how absurdly hostile to development this green-preaching government is, even as thousands of Australians are losing their jobs each week:
The handling of a residential development at North Cooranbong in the Hunter Valley, undertaken by the Johnson Property Group, shows just how out of control Garrett’s department has become.

This project was approved by all relevant NSW government departments, complied with the state government’s regional strategy and conservation plan and the developer had provided environmental offsets in accordance with NSW legislation.

Despite this, after eight years of assessments, Garrett’s department intervened at the last moment and is demanding more land be quarantined for ecological reasons, which will have the effect of increasing the price of land packages by $30,000, making the project financially unviable.
A charter of their rights only
Andrew Bolt
He’s right, of course:

THE head of a government-picked committee investigating whether Australia should adopt a charter of rights has taken aim at Victoria’s model, dismissing it as “legislative window-dressing” used to enact a soft-Left political agenda.

In a speech in Melbourne yesterday, Jesuit intellectual Frank Brennan (said)....Victoria’s charter of rights had failed its first test by not enforcing a freedom-of-conscience clause in new laws decriminalising abortion that would have excused doctors who objected to performing abortions from referring patients to other doctors they knew did not…

He warned the Victorian model was ”a device for the delivery of a soft-Left sectarian agenda -- a device which will be discarded or misconstrued whenever the rights articulated do not comply with that agenda”.

Exactly like Victoria’s laws against racial vilification, which have been used less on hatepreachers than on their critics.
Rudd’s racism
Andrew Bolt
Why only free tests for city folk who are Aboriginal?

KEVIN Rudd has taken the fight against indigenous disadvantage to the cities, promising free health checks to urban Aborigines to detect disease early...

So Ernie Dingo can now get free tests, but not his white wife?
Forgiving Obama’s flopping
Andrew Bolt
GOOD thing for Barack Obama that he isn’t George Bush. He’d have been slaughtered for starting so badly that he’s picking a Cabinet of tax cheats.

But a month since he was sworn in as President, Obama has lost not a fleck off his golden tongue.

Nor has he stopped entrancing opinion makers as America’s first African-American leader.

So for those impressed more by words and racial symbols than performance, the most unqualified president since before even John F. Kennedy remains above the kind of vicious media criticism routinely heaped on Bush.

But how loudly would the people who cheer Obama have screamed if Bush had, for instance, surrounded himself with this extraordinarily long list of spivs and chiselers?

There’s Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader whom Obama picked as Health secretary, but was forced to quit for having failed to pay more than $150,000 in taxes - and for pulling a mysterious $1.5 million a year as an influence-peddler to a law firm.
A rescue that’s drowning us
Andrew Bolt
THE sacking of 1850 workers by Pacific Brands this week showed why the Rudd Government risks turning a disaster into a catastrophe.

Just one month ago, Treasurer Wayne Swan dismissed concerns that his first big stimulus package - its $10.4 billion free money giveaway in December - had not worked by claiming we were at least buying a lot more undies (and, boy, do we need them now).

“The evidence from Woolworths ... showed that there was a very significant impact on spending on the basics of life, such as school shoes, such as socks and jocks, such as polo shirts and so on.”

But it turns out that if we were spending our free money on socks and jocks, rather than booze and pokies, they weren’t sock and jocks made here.

Pacific Brands, maker of said jocks, said competition from imports - not to mention its inefficient, overgeared operation - had forced it to close its clothing manufacturing in Australia.

The Government still claims that without its stimulus package last year - and now its $42 billion sequel - this crunch would be even worse.

But really? When the evidence so far suggests the Government’s rescue packages aren’t working as advertised?
Queensland Lib Nats looking sunny
Andrew Bolt
It seems voters have worked out that Anna Bligh is treating them like mugs, rushing to an early election before they find out how sour the economy has gone under her:

QUEENSLAND voters have turned against Anna Bligh and the Labor Party, according to the latest poll, which puts the Liberal National Party in a strong position at the start of the campaign. The Galaxy poll of about 800 voters, taken on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and made public last night, shows the major parties locked 50-50 on a two-party-preferred basis.

Small poll, though, Big margin of error.
Which tyrant would hate Obama’s new pick?
Andrew Bolt
Barack Obama has posed as a champion of human rights, a foe of tyrants and a staunch defender of Israel. But much that Obama says is not matched so far by what he actually does. And so it is here, with his not-denied slating of Charles “Chas” Freeman (right), the former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as his gatekeeper to US intelligence.

Freeman seems certain to be made chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for compiling intelligence from 16 US agencies into National Intelligence Estimates for the president. Gabriel Schoenveld explains why this would be a terrible mistake:

Either way, if those complaining loudest about politicized intelligence have indeed placed a China-coddling Israel basher in charge of drafting the most important analyses prepared by the U.S. government, it is quite a spectacle. The problem is not that Mr. Freeman will shade National Intelligence Estimates to suit the administration’s political views. The far more serious danger is that he will steer them to reflect his own outlandish perspectives and prejudices.

Judge for yourself from the man’s own words.

Freeman on Tianamen Square:

I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than—as would have been both wise and efficacious—to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo’s response to the mob scene at “Tian’anmen” stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action.

Freeman on Israel:
American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs. For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel’s American backers as against Israel itself. Under the circumstances, such retaliation – whatever form it takes – will have the support or at least the sympathy of most people in the region and many outside it. This makes the long-term escalation of terrorism against the United States a certainty, not a matter of conjecture.

Freeman on calls for Palestinians to end terrorism:

The fact is, of course, that Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent. Occupations are acts of violence. The dispossession of people from their land is an act of violence. Preventing people from coming to and going from their own country is an act of violence. And as long as such Israeli violence against Palestinians continues, it is utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance and retaliation against Israelis.

Freeman on the cause of Middle East terrorism:

And the problem of terrorism that now bedevils us has its origins in one region the Middle East. To end this terrorism we must address the issues in the region that give rise to it. Principal among these is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation that is about to mark its fortieth anniversary and shows no sign of ending.

Freeman on the Saudis:
It is widely charged in the United States that Saudi Arabian education teaches hateful and evil things. I do not think that is the case.

Freeman on Hamas and Hezbollah:

I’m a very practical man, and my concern is simply this: that there are movements, like Hamas, like Hezbollah, that in recent decades have not done anything against the United States or Americans, even though the United States supports their enemy, Israel. By openly stating and taking action to make them--to declare that we are their enemy, we invite them to extend their operations in the United States or against Americans abroad.
Pilger pinged
Andrew Bolt
John Pilger does it again, perfectly demonstrating how little he can be trusted. Here is his latest claim - typically alleging dark conspiracies by a democracy:.
In 1983, the Thatcher government sent the SAS to train the “coalition” in landmine technology - in a country more seeded with mines than anywhere except Afghanistan. “I confirm,” Thatcher wrote to opposition leader Neil Kinnock, “that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with Khmer Rouge forces or those allied to them.” The lie was breathtaking. In 1991, the Major government was forced to admit to parliament that the SAS had been secretly training the “coalition”.

Oliver Kamm shows how baseless is Pilger’s claim - so baseless that Pilger and his publishers once paid plenty for it, leading Pilger’s QC at the time to read out this grovelling apology:

The defendants now accept that neither plaintiff has ever trained Khmer Rouge or any other guerrillas and particularly not in mine-laying or any other military techniques which would be directed against civilians. Neither plaintiff would ever contemplate any such thing and would refuse to do it if ordered.
Super warning
Andrew Bolt
Alan Kohler says get out of super:

It’s simply because investments (by super funds) in direct property, direct infrastructure, hedge funds, and private equity are valued only periodically, often just once a year. What’s more, market valuations are not used, but rather discounted cashflows and net present value of income flows using capitalisation rates.

The future cash and income flows are little more than a guess these days, and capitalisation rates are moving sharply against the funds.

So it is imperative that super fund members get out while they can. The risk of staying in a superannuation default fund is now incredibly high.

If you can cash your fund in, do so; if it’s too early to retire, then switch to a 100% listed option within the fund. You will be overpaid by at least 10% for your default fund units and make an instant profit of that amount.

(Thanks to reader James, who suggests that Kohler’s comments apply more to industry funds, and that the balanced investment options of funds such as Colonial and Perpetual are not exposed to the types of investments Kohler warns against. I don’t know myself, so can’t say.)
Let someone else save the planet
Andrew Bolt
I think these Australian National University researchers are trying too hard to find a green commitment that their own survey tells them isn’t there:

Australians are willing to put their money where their mouth is to address climate change, but not to pay anywhere near the expected costs of the government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

That’s the key finding from a survey from researchers at the Australian National University.

Actually, the key finding is that Australians are prepared to pay no more than lip service to stop a catastrophe they’ve not sure is coming.


Michael Stutchbury explains one reason why they are right to cling to their wallets:

Take the Government’s porky that its fiscal stimulus plan to put ceiling insulation in every Australian home will cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50 million tonnes by 2020. That’s now turned into what some claim to be the “fatal flaw” of the Rudd Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme, or ETS. Neither ceiling insulation, solar panels nor riding a bike to work will actually cut one tonne of overall carbon emissions, at least not at first.

Such efforts will simply provide room for “big polluters” to pump out more greenhouse gases underneath the Government’s overall emissions cap out to 2020.

Here’s that “porky”:

Kerry O’Brien: Is it true that individuals who decide to reduce their own personal carbon footprint may end up subsiding the big polluters because of the way you have structured your carbon emission scheme?

(Climate Change Minister Penny) Wong: Well, no. What I’ve said very clearly is voluntary action does contribute to Australia meeting its targets, and does contribute to the Government being able to reach targets that it sets and set more ambitious targets into the future. And secondly, what we will be able to do, as we set our targets, is to ensure - is to recognise the fact - that a range of measures can contribute to those targets. And the carbon ... and the cap be reduced the following year.

And here’s the truth:

Not according to section 4.3.2 of the Government’s CPRS white paper, which says the 2020 target is fixed and the cap can be adjusted only five years in advance:

A FIVE-YEAR indicative trajectory strikes a reasonable balance between predictability and flexibility. To maintain a reasonable level of guidance, the indicative trajectory can be extended by one year, every year, from 2010 onwards, so that the trajectory for the current year and four future years (is) always known.
How to praise Bush, the Age way
Andrew Bolt

The Age’s Philippa Hawker says I’m wrong:

IF YOU were expecting director Oliver Stone to skewer George Bush, you’ll be sorely disappointed with W.

Boy, do I feel silly. So Stone has instead made a film showing Bush much as he is - honorable, disciplined, determined and courteous?

Hawker continues:

An almost indulgent Stone presents us with the younger Bush .. as an amiable goof with spurts of resentment who wins the love of a good woman (Elizabeth Banks) and the presidency but is vulnerable to manipulation.

He is a frat boy who never grew up, an Oedipal figure whose constant, instinctive rebellion against his remote, unappreciative father (James Cromwell) leads him unwittingly to the White House. There is something almost as unconsidered and Oedipal, according to Stone, about his decision to invade Iraq…

There is an element of satirical critique in the depiction of the machinations of Bush’s closest advisers, on whom he bestows trust and nicknames.

The chief manipulators are shown to be Dick Cheney (played by Richard Dreyfuss with a delightful mixture of restraint and relish) and Karl Rove (Toby Jones). Scott Glenn is a somewhat under-imagined Donald Rumsfeld, while Thandie Newton presents Condoleezza Rice as an impossibly buttoned-up figure, as rigid as a Thunderbirds marionette.

Gee, Philippa, don’t save those kisses for me.


Mark Naglazas of the West Australian is also guilty of false advertising - or clueless typing. W, he claimes, is:

Oliver Stone’s surprisingly understated and even-handed account of the life of the man his harshest critics are gleefully describing as the worst president in American history.

But then:

(Stone) has set out to trace the source of George Walker Bush’s jaw-dropping career arc, from coke-sniffing party animal to leader of the free world to political punchline, back to the struggle with his impossible-to-please father… However, the 1960s veteran Stone ... cannot resist depicting Bush as he has been for much of his presidency — a shallow buffoon who, in a just world, would struggle to get a job cleaning toilets in the White House.... And later when George W.’s band of merry men and one woman plot war against Saddam Hussein ... Stone brings up the theme song from the TV show Robin Hood (Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen . . .).

Understated. Even-handed. You know, like the ABC.
A freak, not a trend
Andrew Bolt
William Kininmonth, former head of the National Climate Centre, explains the freak weather that helped to create the Black Saturday fires, and concludes:

It is fashionable to promote climate change as being a contributor to changing fire frequency and intensity. The pattern of rainfall over the past century does not point to a trend of reduction in rainfall. Nor has any link been offered between global temperature trends and the meteorology of Victorian heatwaves. Extreme bushfire events are rare events and must be analysed according to the statistics relating to rare events; the breaking of a previous temperature record established 70 years earlier does not establish an underlying trend.

Remarkably, and to its credit, this piece appears in The Age.
Obama’s windy words, words, words
Andrew Bolt
AP fact-checks Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, subjecting the new president to rare scrutiny.

The findings? No, Obama’s new housing plan won’t stop money going to dumb speculators. No, America didn’t invent the car. No, the US isn’t importing “more oil today than ever before”. No, his “$2 trillion in savings over the next decade” aren’t real. No, his new budget doesn’t “end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them”. No, his budget does not “finally end… the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas” No, his recovery plan will not “double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years”. No, we cannot be sure his plan “will save or create 3.5 million jobs”.

The rest of the speech was pretty good, though. Except for the bits that weren’t.
Iran insists on confronting Obama
Andrew Bolt
Iran refuses to use the excuse that would let Barack Obama off the hook:

Iran denied it had slowed down its nuclear activities and said it planned to install 50,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium over the next five years, a senior Iranian nuclear official said on Wednesday.

The U.N. nuclear agency watchdog said last week that Iran had slowed the expansion of its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz but had built up a stockpile of nuclear fuel…

U.S. President Barack Obama has said the United States is prepared to talk to Tehran, in a break from his predecessor’s approach, but his administration has also warned of tougher sanctions if Iran refuses to halt its nuclear work.
Students hot for Gaia
Andrew Bolt
It seems the Rudd Government would rather children sweat than sin against the environment, and pray to Gaia rather than God:

Some $12.4 billion set aside for major projects in primary schools can’t be used “for the building or refurbishment of any facility which has religious worship as its primary purpose”. The same restriction applies to $1.3 billion dedicated for minor refurbishments in all schools, along with a ban on the installation or refurbishment of airconditioning.
Teaching Pearson, not the kids, a lesson
Andrew Bolt
What Pearson should understand is that the Rudd Government will not set a target that would actually force it to get tough:

INDIGENOUS leader Noel Pearson yesterday launched a scathing attack on the Rudd Government for refusing to take up the challenge of low school attendance and its “miserable” targets for reducing indigenous disadvantage.

Mr Pearson told The Australian that ensuring children went to school could open the way to tackling many more difficult issues in indigenous affairs.

But despite a strong public response to the proposal, which he backed, from fellow indigenous leader and Australian of the Year Mick Dodson that every indigenous child be enrolled in school by January 26 next year, there had been “not a word” from the Government, he said.

Imagine what the Government would have to do to reach this essential target. No wonder the targets it does set are in the never-never land of 2020 or, even betterm 2050.
What stimulus?
Andrew Bolt
Treasurer Wayne Swan in January explaining why the Government’s $10.4 billion December stimulus worked:

Well, the evidence from Woolworths just yesterday, showed that there was a very significant impact on spending on the basics of life, such as school shoes, such as socks and jocks, such as polo shirts and so on.

Pacific Brands, maker of socks and jocks, in February showed why it didn’t:

Pacific Brands workers are reeling from the news that 1850 of them will be sacked over the next year as the company shuts down its clothing manufacturing in Australia by 2010.

Terry McCrann warns that “stimulus’’ money isn’t helping where politicians hope and how we should want:
The story of Dunlop/PacBrands is the story in microcosm of the country’s broader, long, slow retreat from protection and local manufacture. Just as the various ‘car plans’ are the Canute-like attempt to turn back the irresistible rise of imports....

It should be self-evident that all the budget billions thrown to consumers ain’t going to keep those PacBrands factories open and the workers in jobs… What if the spending prompted by the budget billions and the lower rates just pours overseas? Into imports?

Lenore Taylor seconds McCrann’s first point:

The $10 million a year the Government has been giving Pacific Brands over the past two financial years now doesn’t seem like money well spent.

Yet Industry Minister Kim Carr, the Socialist Left faction heavy, is actually still boasting that he’s wasted those millions:

But this is a case where the Government has done all that it can, it’s providing up to $10-million per annum to this company...

And worse is that he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd are pumping hundreds of millions more dollars to prop up another fading industry:

The figures for Kevin Rudd’s latest bail-out to Holden - ostensibly to make a new “green” car - ... works out to taxpayers giving $100,000 a year for three years to every worker involved in this project, including even those working only part-time…

Why the cash for the car and clothing industries - and Rudd’s $4 billion Ruddbank for commerical construction projects? Former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa explains:

Maybe it’s a coincidence but these also tend to be highly unionised sectors represented by politically significant ALP-affiliated unions....

Once again we see the Left in charge of the economy, splashing billions of money we don’t have to prop up pet industries that still face collapse, while “stimulating” short-term demand that still stays flat, leaving us with rising job queues and mounting debts.

Next, Rudd’s plan to hit manufacters with a new tax on their emissions - a tax that can only help the Chinese factories now making Pacific Brand’s stuff offshore. And help any other Chinese company competing with our own.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Uncovering Hamidur Rahman's Death

Regarding the death of Hamidur Rahman and the scandal of the cover up of the bungled coroner's investigation and the government bragging about covering it up.
links to the coroner's report and to the senate question showing the cover up are included at the link.


Queensland Senator Sue Boyce said she expected an inquiry into immigration criteria for people with disabilities to be finalised next week.

“The Immigration Minister, Senator Evans, answering my questions at a Senate Estimates Hearing today said he expected to finalise the terms of reference in the next few days and refer the matter to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration next week.

“The ongoing problem has been that the system has treated people with intellectual disabilities have been treated as though they were ill and always going to be a drain on society.”

“It’s good to know that Community Services (FaHCSIA) have had input so we can get away from the antiquated notion that disability equals illness”, Senator Boyce said.

Discriminatory aspects of migration law have been highlighted recently by the case in Victoria of Dr Moeller and his son with down syndrome.

Following Dr Moeller’s successful appeal Senator Boyce has assisted two other families migrate. There are believed to be dozens of other families affected.


A simple short film about communication.
Created by Publicis Mojo and @RadicalMedia

Join the Facebook Fan Page:

If you like the soundtrack, you can check out @

Director: Patrick Hughes

Hey... I heard you YouTube...

June 21, 2007

Headlines Thursday 26th February 2009

Govt admits stimulus failed as manufacturers struggle
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the government did everything it could to avoid the Pacific Brands job cuts but has now warned there could be further massive shedding to come, as the clothing industry struggles.
Man won't get $1.5m kidney payout from wife
A court has rejected a surgeon's claim that he should get $US1.5 million ($A2.31 million) in his divorce settlement because he donated a kidney to his wife.
Teen killed in school 'Fight Club'
A high school fight club is being blamed for the death of a teenage boy in Sydney's south west.
Pension going to 'millionaires'
Thousands of millionaires are claiming the aged-pension, prompting calls for an urgent overhaul to the system.
Vic firies dig in as horror day looms
The fight to control Victoria's bushfires has turned overnight in a battle to hold hard-won ground ahead of horror bushfire conditions predicted for Friday.
Plane crash in Amsterdam kills nine
A Turkish Airlines plane carrying 135 people slammed into a muddy field while attempting to land at Amsterdam's main airport, killing nine people.
Eight children found living in drug houses
Brutal gang bashing captured on film
Nine dead in Turkish Airlines crash
ACA journo to be charged over hidden camera
=== ===
Biting the hands that cleaned up the Harbour
Piers Akerman
SHARKS are as Australian as flies but in the past couple of decades they’ve been given their own affirmative action program and now they’re biting the hands (and occasional leg) of the public, even though feeding them was not part of the Save Our Sharks plan.
Tim Blair
As usual, Crikey gets it wrong:
It’s a bit late for Blair to now claim that anonymous leftists are leaving offensive messages on his blog.
Small problem: I didn’t make that claim, as the link obviously reveals. If Crikey correspondent Irfan Yusuf can’t understand a simple sentence, it’s probably best not to trust him on more complicated matters of interpretation and analysis.

UPDATE. Irfan’s latest:
Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Be the change you want to see”. But in George W Bush’s so-called “war on terror”, the extreme opposite applied.
The extreme opposite … “Be the see you want to change”? “Be the same you want to not see”? ”Don’t be the change you want to see”? Got me beat.
Each and every account I have read from former Guantanamo detainees describes some of the most gruesome (or, as recently released Briton Binyam Mohamed describes it, “medieval") forms of torture. In Mohamed’s case, the torture took place in Pakistan, Morocco, Afghanistan and Guantanamo over a period of seven years. Being some six feet tall, Mohamed lost one quarter of his body weight. He now weighs a mere 57 kilograms.
By an amazing coincidence, that’s one quarter of Irfan’s body weight.
Tim Blair
Lateline host Tony Jones to Barnaby Joyce:
You know, amongst the eco-totalitarians or fanatics would presumably be members of your own frontbench.
Tragically, Jones is right. The list starts with Malcolm Turnbull. In other Lateline news:
An ABC television crew from Lateline hosted by Tony Jones has been arrested inside the restricted zone of Kinglake on suspicion of breaching the Coroner’s Act.
Also facing legal action: A Current Affair‘s Ben Fordham and producer (and mate) Andrew Byrne. They expect to be charged tomorrow over some kind of listening devices allegations.
Tim Blair
A gentle sea kitten capers playfully with his friend the sky bunny. Trained kitten wranglers are then deployed to collect various bunny components distributed throughout the area.
Tim Blair
Barack Obama’s approval rating is down to 59 per cent. Disapproval is up to 25 per cent, and 16 per cent vote “present”.
So why spend so much on so little now?
Andrew Bolt
So we had time to spend wisely, after all:

AUSTRALIA faces a longer period of low growth, higher debt and higher unemployment than predicted just four weeks ago as the wave of job losses gathered strength, with clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands axing 1850 staff across the country....

Reserve Bank director Roger Corbett said the global situation looked “very dangerous”. “I think the situation is a lot more serious than it was at the end of last year, and I think it will be well into 2010 before we see any significant recovery,” Mr Corbett said…

Speaking in Canberra yesterday, (Treasury secretary Ken) Henry said ... the intensity of the downturn was testing Treasury’s long-standing practice of preparing thorough economic forecasts for no more than the next 12 months while relying on projections that it would grow at the long-term trend rate of about 3 per cent a year beyond that. “We all know that is not how the economy will behave,” he said.

Dr Henry said the forecast that the Government’s debt would grow to no more than 5.2 per cent of gross domestic product by 2011-12 was built on these optimistic projections.

This suggests several things:

1. It is mad for the Government to spend all our savings at once, when we’ll need them for a battle that will last years.

2. We actually have time, after all, to spend those billions on productive investments such as rail, airports, internet, ports and tax cuts, rather than the quick-quick sugar rush of pink batts, public housing, free cash handouts and school halls.

3. Our debt is now likely to be much more significant that the Government claims, leaving us with much less to show for it than it hopes.
Start your own
Andrew Bolt
It says something about the emptiness of the New Age faiths that so many of its priests need to hijack real churches:

The Socialist Alliance posters outside St Mary’s Catholic Church in Brisbane said it all. “Dump Intolerance, not Father Kennedy.” “Who would Jesus sack?” The father in question is Peter Kennedy, the 70-year-old Catholic priest who is being forced out of the church he has turned into a green-leftist New Age drop-in centre…

Footage of Mass - or whatever it is - at St Mary’s on ABC-TV this week showed a pony-tailed man - not a priest - in a bright shirt waving around a giant Communion host in a haphazard way, while people sat on the floor at his feet. It looked more like a yoga session, with meditation and lay people taking to the pulpit to give “sermons” which have nothing to do with the Bible.

A weekend newspaper report recounted the “sermon” at one St Mary’s service which consisted of a reading from a letter from a supporter of Kennedy’s: ”I don’t come to St Mary’s because it is a Catholic place of worship. I come because it has everything I seek in my own life - love, truth, authenticity, integrity, justice, unity, compassion, openness and friendship.” Quite a smorgasbord. The only problem is that St Mary’s is a Catholic place of worship - and has been since 1864.
Warming dissent: Emperor has no kimono
Andrew Bolt
From Watts Up With That:

Japan Society of Energy and Resources ... is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel…

Three of the five leading scientists (in the JSER report) contend that recent climate change is driven by natural cycles, not human industrial activity, as political activists argue.

Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology. After listing many faults, and the IPCC’s own conclusion that natural causes of climate are poorly understood, Kusano concludes:

“[The IPCC’s] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonous increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis,” he writes.
Shunichi Akasofu, head of the International Arctic Research Center in Alaska, has expressed criticism of the theory before. Akasofu uses historical data to challenge the claim that very recent temperatures represent an anomaly:

“We should be cautious, IPCC’s theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis. ”
Subsidising the menace
Andrew Bolt
Britain is crazy. It bans a Dutch MP for warning against the very thing that British taxes subsidise:

Several men considered by MI5 to pose a grave threat to public safety are receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance, according to figures from the Department of Work and Pensions. Other terror suspects are being paid benefits including incapacity benefit and income support.

Control orders are imposed on people whom the Government says are too dangerous to be at large but who cannot be prosecuted in an open court…

A total of 15 control orders are currently in place. Of the 15 subjects, nine are receiving some sort of welfare payments. Seven of them are receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance, which is worth £60.50 a week to people over 25.

And, no, we don’t really need to be told what cause these people are believed to serve.
Defence Minister turns into a human bomb
Andrew Bolt
I’d overlooked this issue, assuming it was mere bureaucratic bungling that would be instantly fixed. Stupid me. Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon is struggling so badly in his answers in Question Time again today that a case of stupid petty-fogging accountancy is fast turning into a land-mine right under one of Rudd’s keenest supporters:

OPPOSITION Leader Malcolm Turnbull continued to target beleaguered Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon in question time this afternoon over the SAS pay bungle as the Liberals sniff blood.

Members of the elite special services squad have been hit with debt recovery notices of up to $50,000 for overpayments of allowances.

The soldiers have also been threatened with disciplinary action and warned of expulsion from their unit if they complain about the bungle.

Astonishingly, Fitzgibbon still did not know in Question Time today how much the soldiers had been docked. A censure motion is now on.

As Turnbull asks, how could the families of the men fighting on the frontlines in Afghanistan find that their paypackets had been docked by as much as the entire amount of their wages? And how the hell is it that Fitzgibbon still doesn’t know how much they’d been made to repay - four months after the issue was first raised in Parliament? Four months after Fitzgiibon gave a “guarantee’’ that this would be fixed?

What makes this even worse for Fitzgibbon that sloppy bureaucracy is precisely the kind of thing that would enrage his Prime Bureaucrat most.


Turnbull is on fire:

Soldiers on the frontline, (their) families on the breadline..


He’s too incompetent and slovenly to hold his job.


Fitzgibbon’s reply for the first five minutes is to sook that the Opposition made this public, rather than come to him quietly. Yes, really. The debts, he says, have been extinguished.
Warming panic not so cool
Andrew Bolt
Steven Hayward reviews nine of the latest green books, and detects the beginning of the end of eco-alarmism:

“On what principle is it,” wondered Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830, “that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” Environmentalism didn’t exist in its current form in Macaulay’s time, or he would easily have discerned its essential pessimism bordering at times on a loathing of humanity. A trip down the environment and earth sciences aisle of any larger bookstore is usually a tour of titles that cover the narrow range from dismay to despair…

Yet some cracks are starting to appear in their dreary and repetitive story line. Although extreme green ideology won’t go away any time soon—the political and legal institutions of the environmental movement are too well established—there are signs that the public and a few next-generation environmentalists are ready to say goodbye to all that…

Opinion surveys show that the public isn’t jumping on the global warming bandwagon despite a multi-million dollar marketing campaign and full-scale media hysteria. More broadly there are signs that “green fatigue” is setting in. Magazine publishers recently reported that their special Earth Day “green” issues generated the lowest newsstand sales of all issues published in 2008.

The National’s Barnaby Joyce is sure doing his bit, despite having to contend with an interviewer far keener on kicking the policy of the out-of-office Liberals than examing the imminent job-killing scheme of the actual Government::

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, global - there’s no argument that if global warming is a threat, there is a debate and conjecture about what we can do about it. But there’s no debate at all, Tony, that what Australia is proposing will do nothing, nothing to reduce global warming. That is a fact. Five per cent of 1.5 per cent is 0.0075 per cent - three fifths, five eighths of nothing. Yet for that, for that political statement, we are going to be tossing Australians out onto the street and out of work....

TONY JONES: OK, earlier this year you did use the term “eco-fanaticism”. What did you mean by that exactly?

BARNABY JOYCE: I mean that this debate to try and corral people, what has happened, Tony, as you well know, it’s become a thing that if you dare doubt you are a heretic, you are a denier, all this sort of emotive language that has been sort of foisted on people so that they don’t dare step out of line. So that they are corralled without reason. And I find that dangerous, irregardless of what the subject is. That there should always be the expression of an ability to debate. And this is an issue on climate change that should be open to debate. It is not something that should be in the same vestige as a religious debate. It’s a debate about science, it’s a debate about effect, it’s a debate about government policy. And let’s make sure that it stays at that level, and not put some sort of laurel on it that doesn’t belong there.

Read the full transcript, and admire.

(Thanks to readers David. Owen and Chris.)

Meanwhile reader Warren writes in exasperation to the ABC’s Jon Faine, a warming believer, suggesting a better way to interview his next global warming alarmist. It involves requesting from the guest an audit of of their own emissions before they lecture us on ours. Read on:
Health claim alcopopped
Andrew Bolt
You’re astonished, aren’t you, that the $1 billion-a-year tax on alcopops may not be quite the health measure the Rudd Government brightly claimed:

The (industry-funded) Access Economics report found hospital treatment rates for alcohol-related harm among 12- to 24-year-olds in May and June last year were higher than in previous years.

“If anything, hospitalisation rates of young people due to acute intoxication and harmful use of alcohol worsened in the months following the Government’s tax increase on ready-to-drink products,” report author Lynne Pezzullo said.

She said the analysis showed young people who moved away from premixed drinks, such as vodka and lemonade or rum and Coke, to other alcohol could end up buying more standard drinks for $20 than before they switched.

With Family First threatening to withdraw its support for the tax, the Government may have an even deeper hole in its Budget than it’s so far dug.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parliamentary Inquiry into collapse of Storm and Opes

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has today decided will hold an Inquiry into the collapses of Storm Financial Services, Opes Prime and other similar financial product and service providers.

Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce, who is a member of the committee, moved the motion for the committee to establish the inquiry.

“It is very important that we get to the bottom of how these financial service providers have been allowed to collapse and strip hundreds of Australians of their life savings,” Senator Boyce said.

“The Inquiry will examine the general regulatory environment underlying these products and services and will examine the role played by advertising and marketing campaigns designed to encourage people to purchase these products”.

“The Inquiry will also consider the adequacy of professional indemnity insurance arrangements as well as the need for any other regulatory change to avoid similar collapses in the future”.

“With an economy on the slide and heading towards recession, we need to ensure that investors, particularly small investors, can be confident that all arms of government are doing their best to ensure that all investments made are based on sound advice.”

Senator Boyce said that submissions to the parliamentary joint committee’s inquiry will close on July 31 and the Committee will report to the Parliament on November 23.

Senator Boyce encourages individuals and organisations interested in making submissions to the inquiry to lodge their submissions as soon as possible so that the committee has the opportunity to have a further examination of the lead up to and collapse of these financial service providers.

Terms of reference will be able to be obtained from the Committee’s website.

The truth about Caitlin and me (read the description)

June 13, 2007
The "i" was meant to be a type of reference to "the king and i" but i just realised i didn't even use that joke when talking about the kids in the video. Oh well

I know this isn't my usual style so i'm sorry if you don't like it but i needed to do one back to caitlin because I think she's awesome.
Also, sorry about the dodgy ... VERY dodgy photos... i don't have access to photoshop anymore so these are paint jobs.. blah. lol

Check out Caitlin

Headlines Wednesday 25th February 2009

Executives must cut their salaries, says Rudd
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called on corporate executives to rein in their own salaries, as the global financial crisis takes hold....
Horror bushfire conditions to return on Friday
More horror conditions are expected in Victoria by Friday, as firefighters work to bring six major blazes under control and strengthened containment lines....
Lapthornes banned from Croatia search
The Croatian government has barred the family of Britt Lapthorne from searching for the young Melbourne backpacker's missing remains....
'Boob job will help you find a boyfriend': doctor
Australians are being warned to check the qualifications of cosmetic surgeons, with some accused of trying to coerce women into having breast enlargements in order to find a partner....
Bernanke eyes possible recovery... but not for a while
US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says he sees a "reasonable prospect" for an end to the deep recession this year if the numerous rescue and stimulus programs work as intended....
Nine News story 'had racist overtones'
A Nine Network news broadcast last year had racist overtones towards Aboriginal people in a news story, the media watchdog has found....
Mickey Rourke goes the grope on Jessica Alba
Mickey Rourke tried to grope Jessica Alba at the Independent Spirit Awards....
Alcopop tax faces scrapheap
The fate of the Alcopops tax hike is in jeopardy, as new figures show more people are being rushed to hospital because of alcohol related incidents.
Divorce 'hurting the planet': Family First
Divorce adds to the impact of global warming as couples switch to wasteful single lifestyles, Family First senator Steve Fielding says.
Man shot dead at $3m cannabis plantation
=== ===
Sydney putting cruise tourism at risk
The cruise liner industry is the fastest growing sector of tourism in NSW, but the government's putting that all at risk, according to Alan Jones.
Making sense of loss by words and pictures
Piers Akerman
SUNDAY’S national day of mourning is not the end of the grieving process for those involved in the Black Saturday bushfire tragedy. - Thing about grief is a need to be able to speak of it. The expression of that need is different depending on the community. Asian communities are tightly bound with family, and discussing grief with strangers is not natural for them. That isn’t generally the case for Westerners who have a need for grief counsellors who will listen. I know this because of several former workplaces which dealt with substantial grief.
As for the behavior of press in times of tragedy, it is not very different than other times, but individual members of the press generally try to be good people and often will put themselves out to help those in need. - ed.

Tim Blair
I talked my way out of a speeding ticket the other day. Not bad for someone whose driving record is basically Gitmo-worthy. But I’ll never compare with ticket-dodging maestro Prawo Jazdy:

Irish police have solved the mystery of a Polish recidivist who clocked up 50 traffic offenses on different addresses and who was never caught, after one officer noticed his name meant driving license in Polish.
Irish cops thought “Prawo Jazdy”, printed on Polish driver’s licenses, was the holder’s name. The next time you’re tempted to tell a Polish or Irish joke, please recall this story and remember who wins.
Tim Blair
A NASA satellite intended to track global warming has crashed near Antarctica after failing to reach orbit:

Tim Blair
Following criticism, Al Gore gives up one of his lies:
Former Vice President Al Gore is pulling a dramatic slide from his ever-evolving global warming presentation. When Mr. Gore addressed a packed, cheering hall at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago earlier this month, his climate slide show contained a startling graph showing a ceiling-high spike in disasters in recent years.
One hopes this wasn’t the cause of all that cheering.
The graph, which was added to his talk last year, came just after a sequence of images of people from Iowa to South Australia struggling with drought, wildfire, flooding and other weather-related calamities. Mr. Gore described the pattern as a manifestation of human-driven climate change.
The only pattern here is that everything – too much rain, not enough rain, fire everywhere, water all over the place – is blamed on The Great Warmening.
“This is creating weather-related disasters that are completely unprecedented,” he said.

Now Mr. Gore is dropping the graph, his office said today.
Tim Blair
Joe Hildebrand reports:
A Greens politician has been told to stop bringing her husband to council meetings because he eats too much of the food.

Waverley councillor Prue Cancian was told not to bring her activist husband Chris Maltby to meetings because the ratepayer-funded catering could not sustain it.
God descends to earth
Andrew Bolt
With his bumbling, it’s a miracle Barack Obama hasn’t fallen even further from the stratosphere:

We have approval ratings for each of the last nine elected presidents after their first month in office, back to Dwight Eisenhower. (We’re leaving Johnson and Ford aside.) There’s been a healthy range, from a low of 55 percent for George W. Bush after the disputed election of 2000 to a high of 76 percent for his father 12 years earlier. (I’m using ABC/Post polls since Reagan, Gallup previously).

But the average? Sixty-seven percent. And Obama’s? Sixty-eight percent, as we reported in our new poll yesterday. His initial rating, then, is strong – but it’s also generally typical for a new guy.
Garrett’s playlist shrinks
Andrew Bolt
Annabel Crabb wonders how many of his old hits Peter Garrett now dares sing when Midnight Oil reforms for a bushfire benefit next month:

But can Midnight Oil field 20 whole minutes of material that wouldn’t get Mr Garrett sacked if he were to read it out in Parliament rather than shrieking it while twitching violently to guitar music?…

US Forces, obviously, is right out… Power And The Passion? With its references to Uncle Sam and Pine Gap? Best left out, on the whole. And as for Truganini - “I see the Union Jack in flames; Let it burn”, well - are you kidding? The Dead Heart looks OK for a bit, but disqualifies itself in the final stanza: “Mining companies, pastoral companies, uranium companies. Collected companies; Got more right than people.”

This is very off-message stuff here in Ruddland.
Bligh’s excuse thrown overboard
Andrew Bolt
Not a good start for a bunch of cheap opportunists, dashing to a poll before voters realise how bad things have got under Labor:

THE Queensland Government’s top investment adviser has undermined Premier Anna Bligh’s justification for an early election, saying there is no evidence political instability has hindered business investment in the state…

Queensland Investment Corporation chief executive Doug McTaggart told a Brisbane lunch yesterday: “You can’t find evidence that things like elections have an impact.”

Ms Bligh had claimed speculation of an early election was adding to economic uncertainty in Queensland, and partly justified her decision to call an election for March 21, six months early....

“I think it would be a very foolhardy business, and whoever runs that business, to think about basing their information or their business’s information on the outcome of an election,” Dr McTaggart said.
Until we drop
Andrew Bolt
Living longer, getting poorer - so no wonder:

MORE than a third of older Australian workers now plan to work until they are at least 70, in an astonishing cultural change, the Bureau of Statistics reports… If this eventuates, it will transform the Australian workforce and concepts of retirement. The bureau found people already retired, on average, did so aged just 52 (58 for men, 47 for women).

Besides, who wants to spend their last 20 years redundant?

Another reason to doubt we need quite so many immigrants, or need quite to fear the greying of the population.
Free money isn’t
Andrew Bolt
NEVER have we handed so much free money to the reckless, careless, brainless and plain lazy.

Not good at all. Rewarding fools risks making us all dumber.

Go through just the recent handouts.

Don’t work? Poor because you gamble or drink? Never bothered saving in your life?

Here, have a $1000 “stimulus” cheque from the Rudd Government’s $10.4 billion bag of December handouts. Oh, and there’s another $900 coming to you in a fresh round of handouts, in case you’ve already splurged the last lot.

Didn’t bother insulating your house? Here, let the Government spend another $4 billion doing that for you, too, and for free. Free to you, that is.

Didn’t insure your house or contents, now burned in Victoria’s fires, and thus skipped the 20 per cent insurance levy for the fire services that tried to save you?
Disunity in death
Andrew Bolt
WAS Sunday’s memorial service for the bushfire dead really a time to preach race politics?

Was the State Government’s mistimed show at the Rod Laver Arena really the place to divide mourners into First Australians and the rest?

No wonder the stadium was left more than half empty. This was not a ceremony for the victims, most of whom wisely refused to get on the fleet of buses sent to Whittlesea to fetch them.

This was instead a show run by and for our political class, who divided rather than united, and preached the stalest of fashionable pieties.

The ringing of the bells at trendy Birrarung Marr that started this National Day of Mourning was just a warning that the ceremony would not be designed with the victims’ needs, culture, tastes or loyalties in mind.
A Liberal only a journalist could love
Andrew Bolt
Gerard Henderson is not surprised that John Hewson, arguably the Liberals’ least successful leader but now one of its most spiteful critics, gets such a good run in the media:

Most journalists prefer Labor to the Coalition. This makes Liberals critical of their own party of particular interest to the media.

(Malcolm) Fraser is one case in point. Hewson is another. Last year Hewson appeared three times in ABC1 Lateline’s Friday Forum, where a pro-Liberal commentator is supposed to be ranged against a pro-Labor commentator. These particular discussions resembled a tennis match where two players on one side of the net score points at will against an absent opponent. These days Hewson is so beloved by sections of the media that he can even comment about economic matters without anyone asking him to explain his role in Elderslie Finance Corporation. He resigned as chairman shortly before the company collapsed owing some $200 million. It is unlikely that any former politician who is, or was, associated with a failed business venture would receive such an exemption from genuine media inquiry.
I guess that’s a yes
Andrew Bolt
Reporter Matthew Franklin puts Tony Abbott’s claim to the Prime Minister:

Mr Rudd, are you a toxic bore?

A toxically boring reply follows.
Dead wood spends $8 million on dead wood
Andrew Bolt
I know it’s a Labor shrine, but why doesn’t Labor use its own money to preserve it?

Meanwhile, controversy builds in Barcaldine, in central Queensland, over the size and shape of the state-backed memorial to the Tree of Knowledge. Locals have nicknamed the $8 million, 18m structure “Barky’s box” and “the gallows” as they grapple with the size and meaning of the monument.

Striking miners met under the original ghost gum tree in 1891 in a gathering that eventually led to the formation of the Australian Labor Party, but the tree was poisoned in 2006....

The structure is a towering cube in which 4000 suspended timbers of various lengths form the canopy of the Tree of Knowledge, the trunk and limbs of which have been preserved in Brisbane. The preserved parts will soon be transported to Barcaldine, the trunk stood upright and the limbs reattached.

I know these are tree-worshipping times, but this still seems an awful lot of money and fuss for a dead one.
Spending what Obama says he’ll save
Andrew Bolt
A comedy routine, right? Maybe Obama’s rewriting of St Augustine’s “O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet”:

President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to dramatically slash the skyrocketing annual budget deficit as he started to dole out the record $787 billion economic stimulus package he signed last week.

Surely the best way to get out of debt involves not getting deeper into it.
Give poor Mugabe a feed
Andrew Bolt
Zimbabwe’s famine must be serious if a poor dictator can’t even scare enough people into paying for his catering:

ZIMBABWE began a week of lavish celebrations yesterday to mark the 85th birthday of President Robert Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader, with a party at a luxury hotel in the capital.

A crowd of 2,000 was expected to feast on beef in sauce or roast chicken, rice and vegetables last night, with serenades from a variety of musical acts at the Rainbow Towers in Harare.

The dinner was in part a fundraiser to make up a short-fall in donations for further celebrations next weekend.... Last year his supporters raised £175,000. This year, with the country bankrupt, almost half the population needing food aid and unemployment at 94%, donations have failed to meet targets.
Who will guard the police?
Andrew Bolt
When even the police need more protection from the crooks, West Australia sure has a problem:

The State Opposition has lashed out after the latest attack on the Warwick police station, saying more should have been done to improve security at the compound after earlier incidents.

In the latest attack about 1.40am this morning, a police officer was doused in accelerant and set alight after he disturbed an intruder inside a secure car park at the rear of the station…

“This is the third attack at Warwick in as many months,” (shadow police minister Margaret) Quirk said.
What Rudd must do - instead of what he’s doing
Andrew Bolt
In an excellent analysis, Michael Stutchbury warns that Kevin Rudd can’t keep borrowing big and spending bigger, hoping to stave off a slowdown:

Australia mistook the surge in iron ore and coal prices for a permanent increase in national income, which provided the misplaced confidence to spend up and borrow big. The bursting of this bubble has yet to fully hit Queensland and Australia because the boom-time contract prices for iron and coal exports run until April.

That’s when the commodity price collapse will spread from the wealthy, who have been hit by margin loans on borrowed shares, to the mass of voters…

By then it will be clear Australia is already in recession. Kevin Rudd’s strategy of using budget borrowing to stimulate demand will run into the excess of government debt hitting stressed global capital markets. The Reserve Bank’s pre-emptive interest rate cuts will run into the limit set by the need to attract foreign capital. This should create an urgency to genuinely get ahead of the policy curve. There are several obvious options.

* Shelve the looming windback of labour market deregulation. As unemployment rises towards 7 per cent, it is against workers’ interests for governments to it make less attractive for business to hire them…
* Call an end to more taxpayer-funded entitlements. Tony Abbott is right that the budget cannot afford the increase in the government aged pension that Rudd promised…

* Maintain tax cuts… (W)e need to sharpen incentives to work and save, not blunt them.

* Postpone the carbon impost… When banks aren’t lending and industrial capacity is being junked is the wrong time to tax Australia’s advantage in fossil fuels…
We didn’t actually write it
Andrew Bolt
One of the editors hired by Mr Eric Beecher (above), campaigner for ”quality journalism”, denies an accusation I never made - that he or his staff posted vile comments on this blog in order to discredit it. What I actually said is here, and the editor’s non-reply is in the comments that follow.

Readers tell me that the sudden attack I reported of vile comments posted by newcomers purporting to agree with me coincided with a post on one of Mr Beecher’s publications that included this exhortation:

Hands up if you’ve ever had a comment rejected at (Andrew Bolt’s) blog. Hands up if it was nowhere near as poisonous as a published comment who agreed with the writer…

So it’s collect the most poisonous examples of comments at the blogs of Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair. Every month I’ll kick off a comment thread where you can cut-and-paste the poisonous comments you find (try to include a link where possible.) Remember that we’re looking for poisonous comments from commenters who agree and disagree with Bolt and Blair.

We can’t be surprised, I guess, if some people - frustrated by the lack of poisonous material on this blog - decided to supply the evidence they were convinced should be there. Not that I hold Mr Eric Beecher or his quality staff personally responsible, of course, any more than I’d blame a dog for its fleas.
Resisting the Chinese raid
Andrew Bolt
Paul Monk says China’s grab for some of most important mining resources should be blocked by the Rudd Government:

INTERESTING as it is, the debate over the Chinalco bid for a bigger stake in Rio Tinto needs to be seen in a larger context… The problem is that the buyer is the Chinese state. Chinalco is an arm of the Chinese state, not a normal commercial enterprise. That Xiao Yaqing, Chinalco chairman, has been tipped to take a leading political appointment as point man for China’s global resources strategy is one symptom of this, but it is only a small part of the bigger picture.

The Chinese Communist Party, with a monopoly on political power, has retained a commanding heights role in the economy to an extent altogether at odds with the notion that China is a market economy… The problem lies in ... state-owned resource companies, state-owned financial institutions and state-owned military enterprises, all run by a secretive and dictatorial party..

(T)he kind of information Chinalco would be privy to if it gets the stake it seeks in Rio Tinto is not available to the Australian or British governments, it will go directly to the Chinese Government. This has considerable strategic implications.

Terry McCrann suggests Wayne Swan at least exploit the opportunity:

The opening is there for Swan to do to Rio Tinto what the Keating government did not do in 1995 and what Costello did do to BHP Billiton: to lock it into Australia. At the same time endorsing and strengthening our China growth future.

Here’s a tick to what you, Rio, propose with China’s Chinalco. But here are the conditions that go with the approval. They will be in writing, they will be policed and they will be enforced.

Rio Tinto’s head office will be in Australia. The chairman and CEO will live in Australia. The majority of board meetings will be held in Australia.

In this increasingly globalised world, despite the GFC (global financial crisis), it’s probably neither wise nor practical to require that a majority of directors be Australian. But it WOULD be wise to limit the number of representatives from Chinalco