The panel segment of Sunday’s Bolt Report highlights the paucity of choice voters have between the major parties. Abbott is essentially positioning himself to be Labor Lite, or at least not as bad as Gillard, while adopting the Kevin Rudd, ‘me too’ tactic. Even former Howard government minister Peter Reith had some difficulty in justifying him: The whole coalition position needs to be rethought, and the party needs to grow a pair and make a few tough decisions. It was mentioned that Rudd campaigned essentially as a conservative but found socialism a month or so later. Don’t expect Abbott to find capitalism after the election, or free enterprise either, other than as a rhetorical device.
May 29, 2013
Fresh from making massive inroads in the local elections in Britain, libertarian leaning UKIP seems to be on a roll in polling for next years European elections. It managed to gain 26% of the vote and one hundred and forty seven seats in the recent election and appears to be holding a bit better than that for Europe.
It is hardly surprising given the strength and charisma of leader, Nigel Farage:
… The survey found that 27% of those certain to vote in the 2014 contest would support UKIP, with Labour on 23% and the Tories on 21%.
The rise of Mr Farage's party has caused major headaches for the Conservatives, and the ComRes study for the Open Europe think tank found that almost two-fifths (39%) of those who voted Tory in 2010 would back UKIP if the European election was held now.
In a general election, the poll suggested Labour would take 37% of the votes, an 11-point lead over the Conservatives on 26%, with UKIP on 20% and the Liberal Democrats on 9%.… It seems like a short time ago that David Cameron and his Conservatives rode to power in a general election, forming government with the support of the Liberal Democrats. Now they are running second to Labour with UKIP snapping at their heels and supported by the rapidly collapsing Lib Dems.
May 28, 2013
... Cruz said on Thursday on the floor of the Senate that old-school Republicans had been working with Democrats to spend more money and raise the debt ceiling. Such Republicans, Cruz said, “would very much like to cast a symbolic vote against raising the debt ceiling and nonetheless to allow our (Democratic) friends on the left side of the aisle to raise the debt ceiling.” Mike Lee said something similar earlier in the day.
Then McCain went off. He ripped on the Tea Party senators, stating that the set-upon Democrats would surely react by attempting to curb Republican minority rights. “That would be the most disastrous outcome that I could ever imagine,” said McCain. He added, “Isn’t it a little bizarre … Basically what we are saying here on this (Republican) side of the aisle is that we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority, Republicans.” ...
May 27, 2013
The notice to close Couples International by June 26 will leave the city's "thriving" swinging set with nowhere to go and has pushed owners Bryan and Leesa Horn to the brink of financial ruin. They say the move will push "the scene" back into the seedy underground of dodgy hotels and suburban homes.
Mrs Horn, 48, said a Brisbane City Council inspector turned up at their Holden St address, in Woolloongabba, and notified them of the complaint last November. The long-time couple, who are mild-mannered building designers by day, began making plans to ensure their "BYO nightclub" complied with disability requirements, including a lift and wheelchair access throughout.
"The problem is we couldn't get a building permit for the changes," Mrs Horn said, adding the cost of making the building compliant under the Town Planning Act was not economically viable.
Mr Horn, 62, said Couples International, which holds paid parties from Thursday to Saturday nights, had hosted several guests in wheelchairs "with no complaints." Mrs Horn said: "They came quite a few times, actually.” …
May 26, 2013
Benjamin Flatters, from Lincoln, was arrested last night after complaints were made to Lincolnshire Police about comments made on Facebook, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature. He was charged with an offence of malicious communications this afternoon in relation to the comments, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said.
A second man was visited by officers and warned about his activity on social media, the spokesman added. …
Flatters has been remanded in police custody and will appear before magistrates in Lincoln tomorrow. The charge comes after two men were earlier released on bail following their arrest for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder.
Complaints were made to Avon and Somerset Police about remarks that appeared on the social networking website, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.
May 25, 2013
The NSW Police revealed that the force has created and tested two 3D-printed firearms. The police used the Liberator pistol blueprints produced by US-firm Defense Distributed. The original plans for the gun were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the company pulled them from its site under pressure from the US State Department.
Police believe that despite this, the files are still circulating.
The commissioner said that a Liberator pistol had experienced a catastrophic misfire during testing. The failure would have been capable of seriously injuring the person using the firearm, the police chief said.
One of the motivations for holding today's press conference was to warn of danger to the user if someone attempts to print, assemble and fire a Liberator out of curiosity.
When the pistol successfully fired, it propelled a bullet with sufficient force to kill a target, the police revealed. When tested using a block of so-called ballistic soap – a block of gelatine used for firearms testing – the shot penetrated 17cm, which could be a fatal wound, the police said. …
The police spent $35 on materials to create a Liberator and used a $1700 desktop 3D printer. The only metal parts used in the pistol's construction where the firing pin, created with a nail, and a .380 ACP calibre pistol cartridge. The all-plastic body means that the pistol is hard for security forces to detect.
Inspector Wayne Hoffman said the creation of a pistol took the police around 27 hours. Assembling the pistol's 17 parts took around a minute. Hoffman said that the police had exactly followed the original instructions for creating the Liberator, with a number of modified versions of the file currently in circulation. …
… The Liberator is "truly undetectable, untraceable, cheap and easy to make."
The government will have to consider whether regulating CAD files used to create 3D-printed firearms needs to be regulated, the commissioner said, but added he is "not sure that we're well placed globally to deal with he transfer and downloading of thee files" and that he doubts that regulations would be able to stop the files being shared and downloaded.
May 23, 2013
The Australian Bankers' Association has accused the Government of putting its "own financial circumstances" ahead of customers' needs, leaving them facing "months of delays trying to reclaim their own money".
ASIC says the money can be claimed "at any time by the rightful owner", but banks have pointed out the process can take as long as six weeks.
Toowong resident Adrian Duffy is now looking at a lengthy battle to have his savings restored. The 75-year-old spent 21 days in hospital following quintuple heart bypass surgery and a second operation in April. When he and his wife, 57-year-old Mary-Jane, went to check their Suncorp account, they discovered their balance had plummeted from $22,616 to zero. A note on the May 1 entry read: "Closing WDL Govt unclaimed monies."
The couple had saved for 14 years in preparation for major health-related costs.Suncorp claims a letter was sent at the end of March notifying the account - held in Mrs. Duffy's name - had been inactive for more than three years and would be closed if no action was taken. It says attempts were made to call the couple on April 16, followed by an "account closed" letter on April 30.
Mr and Mrs. Duffy are adamant they received no warnings of the closure of the account. "I called it stealing," Mr Duffy said.
"My understanding of the definition of stealing is to take something without somebody's knowledge and not tell them. As far as I'm concerned, that's exactly what happened - (the Government) took it without telling us."
The couple are working to recover the money, but say they were lucky to have other savings. "If we didn't have the money elsewhere, we would now have to be paying for cardiologists, visits to surgeons, ECGs, x-rays, whatever is involved in the follow up," he said.
"We would have to find money to pay them, because those people aren't going to say to you, 'we'll wait six weeks'.
May 22, 2013
Julia Gillard met with the Queen in England . She asked her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"
"Well," said the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."
Julia frowned, and then asked, "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?"
The Queen took a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle."
The Queen pushed a button on her intercom.
"Please send David Cameron in here, would you?"David Cameron walked into the room and said, "Yes, Your Majesty?"
The Queen smiled and said, "Answer me this please, David, your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"
Without pausing for a moment, David Cameron answered, "That would be me.""Yes! Very good," said the Queen.
Julia went back home to Australia and asked Wayne Swan, her Deputy Prime Minister the same question. "Wayne , answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"
"I'm not sure," said Wayne . "Let me get back to you on that one." He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him an answer.
Finally, he ended up in the men's room and recognized Tony Abbott's shoes in the next stall.
Wayne asked, "Tony, can you answer this for me? Your mother and Father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"
Tony yelled back, "That's easy, it's me!"
Wayne smiled, and said, "Thanks!" Then, he went back to speak with Julia."Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Tony Abbott"
Julia got up, stomped over to Swan, and angrily yelled into his face, "No, You idiot! It's the English Prime Minister, David Cameron!"
May 18, 2013
It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well disposed, industrious, and decent men. – HL Menken
It was somewhat difficult to decide whether to use the Menken quote above, or Joseph Sobran’s “Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your government is doing to you.”
American conservatives and libertarians are discovering just what excesses their government and it’s agencies is prepared to do to them in one of the latest scandals to hit the administration; the targeting of conservative PACs by the IRS.
Rep Kelly (R-PA) while grilling former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller, who appears to be the fall guy for that action stated what we have long believed, “This kind of reconfirms that, you know what! They [the IRS] can do almost anything they want to anybody they want anytime they want. This is very chilling for the American people:”
May 16, 2013
A NORTHERN Territory minister has come under fire on Facebook after bizarrely weighing in on Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. Country Liberal Party member and MP for Katherine, Willem Rudolf Westra van Holthe sparked a flurry of angry Facebook responses after posting this on news.com.au's Facebook page last night:
Mr Westra van Holthe was referring to a story in which Brad Pitt called his fiancee "heroic" and praised her decision to undergo the radical surgery after discovering she carried the breast cancer gene that killed her mother at 56.
Pitt was quoted saying: "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus.