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Saturday, November 29, 2014

UKIP wins second seat

Nigel Farage (L), leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), shakes hands with Mark Reckless, the former Conservative Party member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, during the by-election ballot count at Medway Park in Gillingham, southeast England, November 21, 2014.

It's amazing what a difference the new British political party has made. UKIP has frightened the life out of David Cameron and he's now promised to do what should have been done a long time ago - migrants will have to wait four years for benefits and will have to leave the country after six months if they don't find work.

But he knows he will have a huge fight on his hands with the EU who will try to stop him, particularly Angela Merkel, and if they do, he's dropping hints that the UK may well leave the 28 nation union.

Under current arrangements, EU citizens are free to come to the UK and compete for jobs without being subject to any immigration controls and you have to wonder how this ridiculous situation ever came about.

But it's only a promise - a carrot held out to the British people to re-elect him because he knows they are angry and likely to turn to UKIP in droves.  

If elected, he's promised to renegotiate ties with the EU followed by a referendum in 2017 for the country to vote on whether to stay or leave the EU.

Polls show that immigration is the number one priority for voters and UKIP has just won its second seat in Parliament.

“I will negotiate a cut to EU migration and make welfare reform an absolute requirement in renegotiation,” Cameron said at a factory in central England.  “If I succeed in the negotiation that I am going to undertake, I will, as I have said, campaign to keep this country in a reformed EU. (But) if our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out."

If implemented, Cameron's new rules would affect over 400,000 EU migrants.  Welfare payments for migrants' children would be stopped and jobless EU migrants removed if still unemployed after six months. But all these changes would need the agreement from other EU states.

Under the EU's freedom of movement rules, EU citizens are entitled to work anywhere in the bloc but there's only one problem - they all want to come to the UK and why wouldn't they?  People are fed up watching unemployed EU migrants abuse the welfare system and not before time.

Change is well overdue and if the new UKIP party's recent success is any indication, Britain's general election next year should be very interesting. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

German-owned Aldi in Australia

Aldi started slow in Australia.  When they first opened in 2001, shopping at Aldi was just too hard.  We knew everything was supposed to be cheaper but the aisles were too narrow, they didn't stock the particular item you wanted which meant an extra shopping trip to Woolworths or Coles, and packing your own groceries was the pits.

I shopped at Aldi yesterday and would still describe it as being somewhat disorganized - a hodgepodge of items in bins that you have to rummage through - unlike the ordered displays of the two big supermarket giants. 

There is also a good chance the grocery item you bought two weeks ago won't be there today and you won't find a staff member to ask a question, they are very thin on the ground.   But despite all this inconvenience, it's much cheaper than shopping at Woolworths or Coles.

Internet shopping has proved that Australians pay far more for groceries (and everything else) than any other country in the world and Aldi sell some very good quality items for half the price.

They have already brought fundamental changes to the Australian supermarket sector with Coles and Woolworths following their lead to use private label brands which now make up about 20 per cent of all grocery sales.

But the big news is that Aldi now sells alcohol and word is spreading that it's cheaper than the Bottle Shop.  Even though Woolworths and Coles have their own liquor stores, alcohol isn't available in the supermarket and it's a whole new experience to find it there.

Thanks to Aldi, the myth that a good wine has to be expensive has been shattered.  Wines made for Aldi took out three top awards at this year's Sydney International Wine Competition.

The six wines, including a $4.99 Spanish Tempranillo and three other Aldi labels priced below $10 were ranked in the top 280 wines in the competition.

Two other Aldi wines - a $6.99 local cab sav and the AC Byrne & Co semillon sauvignon blanc from Margaret River - ranked in the top 100 wines.

Bruce Tyrrell, managing director of Tyrrell's Wines agreed Aldi offered good value. "Basically what you get from Aldi is cheap and bloody good quality" he said.

So I'll be shopping at Aldi much more in the future, it's worth the inconvenience.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Newborn baby left in drain


The news was too horrible to be true, how could anyone throw a newborn baby down a 7ft drain and walk away? 

But the most incredible thing about this tragic case is that the baby survived for five days of searing heat before being found by a father and daughter cycling past, who thought they heard the distressed sounds of a kitten. 

It's believed that his concrete tomb was cool enough to protect him from the brutal Sydney heatwave that rose to 40C on the day he was found.

The 30 year old mother is from Samoa and came to Australia ten years ago and lives with her aunt and uncle. Her parents and siblings still live in Samoa. 

The whole family is very religious, in fact her father is a Seventh Day Adventist minister.  Nobody knew she was pregnant and the family suspect the father of the child is not Samoan.

But what this woman did is pure evil and unless she is diagnosed as mentally ill, she knew full well when she threw him down there how he would suffer. The Daily Telegraph reports that authorities have given her permission to name the child which is outrageous, she has no right.

A neighbour said the family had lived in the area for a long time and were well-respected, decent people.

Court documents show the baby was placed in the drain on Tuesday - less than 24 hours after he was born in Blacktown hospital.  After giving birth following a 30 hour labour, she left the hospital, caught a bus and train to Quakers Hill and left him there.

Cyclists David Otte and daughter Haley saved the baby's life

The drain was covered by a concrete slab which took six men to lift and the baby was brought out wrapped in the hospital blanket with the peg still attached to his umbilical cord.

Germany, Canada and many other countries have what they call 'baby hatches,' mostly attached to hospitals.  When the mother places the baby inside one of these hatches, she can be assured of its health and safety and the prospect of being adopted into a happy home.

If one of these hatches had been available in Sydney, this woman wouldn't be sitting in jail today, denied bail, with the wrath of the world coming down on her head.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

End to Aboriginal remote communities in WA

Ian Trust

Political correctness has stopped us from saying that Aboriginal remote communities aren't doing indigenous people any favours. Because the children are denied an education, for reasons we won't go into, they have no place in mainstream Australia and generations are lost and denied a decent life.  

One of the most important state government moves is about to change the lives of Aboriginal people in Western Australia forever.

There are 270 remote indigenous communities in Western Australia, home to 12,000 people.  These communities allow Aboriginal people to live apart from mainstream Australia, they have their own rules and prefer it that way.

The WA government plans to close 100 of these communities and there is both outrage and acceptance.

WA Premier Colin Barnett says he can't afford it anymore.  The cost of providing municipal and essential services works out at $85,000 per person per year and he wants the federal government to take over the responsibility.  "There is no way the state government can fund that into the long-term future" he said.

Broom's Catholic Archbishop fears community closures will increase indigenous homelessness in places like Broome and Derby.  And we know this is true.

Kimberley Aboriginal leader Ian Trust said the idea made sense to him. "It should be seen as something, that in the end, Aboriginal people look back 20 or 30 years from now and say 'that was a great move.'

But there's another point of view.

Mr Ivan Deer, Ardyaloon Community resident says city life was sapping him of his soul. "In a big city, I found I was losing my heart....and my pride.  In the city you have to do things to survive, you know, so it was pretty rough" he said.

"It's good being back home in the community where you don't have to have money in your pocket just to go down the road to catch a bus.  Or instead of going to the shop to buy a feed, we can just go to our shop here, the ocean, and catch a feed."

"My future looks so rich and that's the one word that describes everything in this place.  You might have nothing, but you are a rich person when you are here."

Friday, November 21, 2014

National shearing and woolhandling championships this weekend

The historical Old Errowanbang Woolshed is hosting the 2014 Sport Shear Australian Association (SSAA) National Shearing and Woolhandling Championships this weekend at Carcoa, near Bathurst.

Set in the beautiful Errowanbang Valley, the competition will see the best in action and is being held to coincide with the Old Errowanbang Woolshed annual open day.

New Zealand and South African teams are ready to take on the Aussies in machine shearing, blade shearing and woolhandling matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Reigning World Champion blade shearer, South African Mayenzeke Shweni, loves to shear with the blades.  "With the blade, you control the sheep through the skin" he said.  "With the machine, it feels like it's chasing me, but with the blade, I'm in control.

Mayenzeke Shweni

But wait, I know what you're thinking.  He's crazy, right?  Wrong. Mr Shweni can shear 110 to 150 sheep per day by hand.

Seventy per cent of  South Africa's wool clip is still removed by blade.  President of the South African Shearers' Federation says blades remain popular because of their simplicity. "It's very easy, it's cheap and he can go and shear anywhere" he said. 


It would be interesting to see all these men in action.

Website: Click here

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jacqui Lambie - champion of the underdog

When Jacqui Lambie was young, she joined the Army and lost a stripe for punching a colleague.  She left after 11 years due to a back injury caused from carrying a 40 kg pack on a two-day course. Veterans Affairs said she was malingering and it took her five long years of fighting before she was finally granted a disability pension.

Since leaving the Army, Jacqui's life was tough and at her lowest point, she even contemplated suicide.  This is why people are calling her 'champion of the underdog' because she knows what it's like out there on struggle street.

For the 2013 election, she tried and failed for Liberl pre-selection so decided to run as an independent.  But when Clive Palmer came along and invited her to join his new PUP Party, she happily agreed because she knew she had no chance of bankrolling her own independent campaign.

So one would expect her to have a modicum of respect for Clive Palmer, but apparently not. Jacqui has decided she doesn't like Clive anymore and has cut off all communication with PUP members and won't attend their meetings.

Today Clive has hit back by sacking her as deputy Senate leader and deputy whip of the Palmer United Party.  "We haven't asked her to leave, she's a member of PUP and was elected as a PUP Senator and she should follow our procedures like the Labor Party or the Liberal Party" he said.

Some are calling Jacqui Lambie a Bogan but it doesn't matter, all she has to do is keep on saying "I just want to do something positive for Tasmania" and she can't lose.  If only we had a representative this stubborn to represent us.

Clive called her a "drama queen" who won't change things on her own.  "The only way we can bring some meaningful change to Tasmania is by having our whole team of Senators voting together and me negotiating with the government to ensure we get some real change in Tasmania, that's the only way it can happen" he said.

I feel a bit sorry for Clive, I'm sure he never expected such disloyalty - he made her famous and now she's dropped him.  She doesn't need him anymore and is ready to join the growing group of other powerful independent rebels who can change the course of our country.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

No "shirt-fronting" at G20 in Brisbane

Vladimir Putin was the elephant in the room at the G20 Meeting on Saturday.  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told him "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you - you need to get out of Ukraine."

Rude and arrogant?  Definitely, but he was the only one game enough to say out loud what the others were thinking.

President Obama, speaking at Brisbane university told the audience that Russia's aggression towards Ukraine was a "threat to the world", citing the murder of 37 Australians on board MH17.  "As your ally and friend, America shares the grief of these Australian families and we share the determination of your nation for justice and accountability" he said.

Tony Abbott's announcement last month that he intended to "shirt-front" Putin didn't help.  "I am going to say to Mr Putin that Australians were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian-supplied equipment. We are very unhappy about this."

But there was no shirt-fronting and the two men politely shook hands and exchanged a few words before posing for photographs.

On Saturday afternoon, Russian state television released a "sensational" satellite photo of the last seconds of flight MH17 over Ukraine which shows a fighter jet firing a missile towards a commercial aircraft.  

Online aviation communities tore the error-ridden image apart, as well as the investigative journalism site Bellingcat.

The MH17 plane in the photo appears to be a Boeing 767 rather than a 777, the Mayasian airlines logo is in the wrong place and a near identical image can be seen when goggling "Boeing top view."

Julie Bishop and John Kerry

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denounced the photo as "quite clearly Photoshopped." 

"It would seem that the picture of the jet was something just downloaded from Google" she said.  "So if that is another attempt by Russia to blame Ukraine for what is clearly in our mind, from the evidence that we've seen, a matter involving Russia, then it's a pretty sad state of affairs."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bill Cosby's past catches up

Canadian woman Andrea Bowman, nee Andrea Constand, filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby for rape multiple times, when she was an aspiring 17 year old actress.  Cosby gained her trust by posing as her mentor and father figure.

The lawsuit grew to include 13 women, all of whom reported being drugged and raped by the star.  It was settled out of court by Cosby for an undisclosed amount.

Barbara Bowman

Ms Bowman alleged that when she visited Cosby's home for acting lessons, he gave her pills he said were "herbal medication" for stress. After taking the pills, she felt hazy but remembered Cosby touching her breasts and genitals.

She reported her allegations to police in Ontario Canada but was told the case against Cosby was weak and there was no point in going ahead.

Bowman talks about the incident that ended her relationship with Cosby.

“The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had travelled for an industry event. I was staying in a separate bedroom of Cosby’s hotel suite, but he pinned me down in his own bed while I screamed for help. I’ll never forget the clinking of his belt buckle as he struggled to pull his pants off.  I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up, angrily called me “a baby” and sent me home to Denver.”
“I first told my agent, a woman, who did nothing.  A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up.”

Fast forward thirty years.

 Hannibal Buress

“It was only when Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist in a comedy act last month did the public outcry begin in earnest. The original video of Buress’s performance went viral and this week, Twitter turned against him, too, with a meme that emblazoned rape scenarios across pictures of his face.

“He can no longer be charged for his crimes against me because the statute of limitations is long past. That is also wrong. There should be no time limits on reporting these crimes, and one of my goals is to call for legislation to that end.

“Famous and wealthy perpetrators use their power to shame and silence their victims. It often takes years for young women to overcome those feelings and gain the confidence to come forward (by which point physical evidence is long gone). Our legal system shouldn’t silence them a second time."

Barbara Bowman is an artist, married with two children.  She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The drug that killed Georgina Bartter

The drug that killed Georgina Bartter - the beautiful 19 year old girl who died after taking one and a half tablets of MDMA last weekend, was called a "purple speaker" - a stamped tablet thought to have originated in Europe.

Now an anonymous man who attended the Harbour Harbourlife Dance Festival last Saturday night says that taking MDMA at dance parties is the norm and much more socially acceptable than getting drunk on alcohol.  

Georgina Bartter

He said the police dogs were a waste of time.  After being sniffed, he walked into the Harbourlife festival with six MDMA capsules in his underwear.  

Most people put their drugs in their underwear because police would have to strip you naked to check, and they won't do that. Sniffer dogs have more success with powders like cocaine and heroine, he said.

The capsules cost him $40 each and he took one every couple of hours with a few beers in between. The tablets were plain black, unlike the purple pills that killed Georgina Bartter.

"I met plenty of people using MDMA, including a corporate lawyer from a well-known law firm" he said.  "He was there with his wife and they took a large number of pills, I think he took four."

He went on "It's far more prevalent than people think and it's not junkies taking these things, it's people with white colar jobs, that's how widespread it is.  I get them through a social network, through friends, that's how the vast majority of people get them - it's not from dodgy underworld bikie dealers."

"A friend of mine gets them for me on the Thursday night from a drug dealer.  I usually go to three or four festivals a year and I'll take MDMA, but I don't do it on the weekends, unless it's a 21st or something."

" removes inhibitions.....people just want to feel good, they just want to be happy at these events."

So these young people, who we assume are reasonably intelligent, are prepared to swallow an MDMA tablet, not knowing what it contains, yet convinced that it won't hurt them.  The mind boggles.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Georgina Bartter dies at Sydney dance party

The Harbourlife Dance Festival went ahead on Saturday night at Mrs Macquarie's Chair, even though a young woman died after taking one and a half tablets of ecstasy.

At around 4.40 in the afternoon Georgina Bartter was found by paramedics, lying at the bottom of stairs convulsing and by the time she arrived at hospital, she had gone into cardiac arrest.

Afternoon crowd gathering

The event was advertised as "the annual outdoor dance festival with one of the best views on the planet....price $115."

Georgina, from longueville on Sydney's North Shore, had only just returned from a European holiday during a study break from university. She graduated from Wenona private school last year and was one of their brightest students.

She was the eldest of three children and the daughter of Simon Bartter who once owned Bartter-Steggles, one of the biggest poultry companies in the country.

Professor Fulde, director of St Vincents Hospital emergency was on duty on Saturday night and gives an account of what happened.

"We were notified by ambulance through the emergency red phone and informed of a critically ill 19 year old girl who was thought to have taken pills.  A full resuscitation team, led by a consultant, several senior emergency doctors and nurses who had all practised roles got ready, awaiting the patient.
As she was critical, within minutes, the intensive care consultant and team were mobilised and rushed down.  It was quickly evident the only chance of survival was to put her on a heart lung machine.
This equipment mechanically gives her blood flow and oxygen.  The cardiothoracic surgeon and operation theatre staff and the hi-tech mechine were brought.  During this time, advanced life support tests were continuing."

But it was too late, she didn't make it.

When will they ever learn? 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby Gammy's parents get to keep baby Pipah

David John Farnell, a convicted paedophile, went to Thailand with his wife to seek a surrogate.  A deal was struck with a woman who gave birth to twins - Gammy a boy with Downs Syndrome and his twin, a baby girl.  

The surrogate said the parents didn't want anything to do with Gammy but were happy to take the little girl home.

One would assume that when it was discovered that the father was a convicted paedophile who sexually abused two girls under 13 and served three years in jail, social services would step in and take the baby away but this didn't happen.  The baby Pipah is being sent home and will remain in the custody of the couple.

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua poses with baby Gammy. 

I think WA Child Protection Minister Helen Morton has made a terrible mistake sending this child back into the arms of her father. We all know paedophiles can't be cured so what is she thinking?

She's decided that the appointment of a child lawyer, a safety plan and continued monitoring by the department is going to guarantee her safety.

"I am satisfied that the rigorous safety planning and interim orders that have been granted by the WA Family Court will provide for this child's safety" she said.

Well Ms Morton, this child's future is on your head.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Australian Army pay cut disgrace

Air Chief Marshall Binskin

The Defence Remuneration Tribunal confirmed on Monday that Defence personnel would get a pay rise of 1.5 per cent a year for three years. With inflation running at 2 per cent, this amounts to a wage cut.

It's just another sign of just how out of touch Tony Abbott and his government really are.  After Joe Hockey's shock budget which penalises the unemployed, the working poor and the elderly, they now want to penalise the people prepared to die for our country.

And we all know what happens when the government awards themselves a hefty pay increase.   Absolutely nothing.

Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert described Defence personnel's current salaries as "generous", citing an "enormous
number of allowances," subsidized housing and health care benefits.

In defence of the pay offer, Tony Abbott said "We'd all like to pay our serving Defence personnel more but there's going to have to be a very tight pay restraint across the public sector, including the Defence personnel.  I regret that."

Cuts to leave is also a sore point.  Christmas leave will continue but will now come off their annual leave and extra recreational leave will also be cut.

Corporal Daniel Keighran

Air Chief Marshall Binskin wrote in an email "As you will be aware, we are in an economic and budgetary climate where government has indicated the need for managed reduction in costs.... and the inequitable way that ERL (extra recreational leave) has been applied across the ADF workforce in the past, these offsets are reasonable."

Corporal Mark Donaldson and Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith 

Well Air Chief Marshall Binskin you thought wrong.  We think our soldiers are worth more than that and your decision and your name should resonate throughout the country as being beyond contempt.

Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird (deceased)

We're not talking about Army personnel sitting on their backsides all day somewhere in Australia pushing paper around, we're talking about young men and women surrounded by crazy jihadists who enjoy chopping soldiers' heads off.

And you, Chief Marshall Binskin, need to think again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ISIS war comes to Sydney

Rasoul Al-Musawi

Rasoul Al-Musawi was about to walk his family home from a prayer centre in the Sydney suburb of Greenacre in the early hours of yesterday morning when he was shot twice in the back.  His wife and four of his children were with him at the time and his wife fainted with shock.  "My dad held his neck and ran inside" his daughter said.

"They called us Shia dogs" his unnamed friend said and before the shooting, a car drove past several times yelling out "IS lives forever."

Jamal Daoud, a prominent member of Sydney's Shiite community said a group had been harassing Shiite Muslims entering the centre to observe Ashura, a 10 day ritual to commemorate the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Muhammad.  On Friday night around 8pm, a man volunteering as a security guard at the centre was punched in the face by three men.

After surgery, Mr Musawi is expected to make a full recovery.

Police said there is no evidence to suggest that the shooting is linked to IS who consider Shia Muslims the enemy because they dominate the Iraqi government.

Police have some CCTV footage to go through which may help with their enquiries and have urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers online reporting page 1800 333 000.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Jayden Morrissey killed by lighting bolt

On Saturday, the first day of November, 2014, it was unusually hot, around 35C - way too hot for a Spring day and sure enough, a severe thunder storm was predicted for late afternoon.  And when it hit, it was one of the wildest storms I've ever seen.  Trees were down all over Sydney and thousands of people had their power cut off.  It didn't last long but the build up of the wind was frightening.

Before the storm hit, people up and down the NSW coast flocked to the beach, including 15 year old Jayden Morrissey and his friends who were on a strip of sand at One Mile Beach near Anna Bay.  As the storm rushed in, he was struck by a lightning bolt.

One mile beach

A family friend who owns an onsite van at the Caravan Park, had been surfing with Jayden and his friends, moments before the storm hit. They immediately headed for the safety of the beach when suddenly Jayden fell to the ground holding his chest.  The family friend began CPR and soon after, paramedicals worked on him for almost an hour, but he died on the beach.

Mark and Peta Morrissey

Jaydon was the second eldest of four brothers and a year 9 student at Francis Greenway High School. His father said "We need people to understand he was not in the water when the storm hit, police said there was no warning, it came straight over the hill and they didn't have time to react."

His parents and brothers Brodi 19, Jarryd 11, and Logan 8, are left devastated but said there was no one to blame.  "If he wasn't up there, he would have been at Nobbys - he would have been at a beach somewhere" Mr Morrissey said.

"He never gave me one ounce of grief, he was the best kid you could ever ask for."