Canadian case sparks constitutional challenge

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Christian campaigner attacks the law under which he was wrongfully charged
"The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case today that challenges the constitutionality of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.

The case involves Bill Whatcott, who was found by a lower court to have violated the code by delivering hate-filled messages against gay people in flyers he distributed. However, that finding that was reversed by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in 2010.

Whatcott is questioning part of the code that allows the commission to charge people with hate speech. His lawyer has said human rights commissions have an obligation to protect freedom of religion.

Whatcott was found to have violated the code when he put pamphlets in mailboxes objecting to the teaching of same-sex relations in Saskatoon public schools.

Source

Whatcott pulls no punches, as you can see here, so Canada must be learning the meaning of free speech to let him continue with his leafletting.

New Satellite Data Contradicts Carbon Dioxide Climate Theory

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John O'Sullivan

Industrialized nations emit far less carbon dioxide than the Third World, according to latest evidence from Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Global warming alarmism is turned on its head and the supposed role of carbon dioxide in climate change may be wrong, if the latest evidence from Japan's scientists is to be believed.

Japanese national broadcaster, NHK World, broke the astonishing story on their main Sunday evening news bulletin (October 30, 2011). Television viewers learned that the country's groundbreaking IBUKU satellite, launched in June 2009, appears to have scorched an indelible hole in conventional global warming theory.

Standing in front of a telling array of colorful graphs, sober-suited Yasuhiro Sasano, Director of Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies told viewers, "The [IBUKU satellite] map is to help us discover how much each region needs to reduce CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions."



Indeed, the map at which JAXA spokesman Sasano was pointing (see photo above) had been expected by most experts to show that western nations are to blame for substantial increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, causing global warming. But to an officious looking TV interviewer Sasano turned greenhouse gas theory on it's head.

According to UN science the greenhouse gas theory says more CO2 entering the atmosphere will warm the planet, while less CO2 is associated with cooling.

Gesturing to an indelible deep green hue streaked across the United States and Europe viewers were told, "in the high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere emissions were less than absorption levels."

Sasano proceeded to explain the color-coding system of the iconic maps showing where regions were either absorbing or emitting the trace atmospheric gas. Regions were alternately colored red (for high CO2 emission), white (low or neutral CO2 emissions) and green (no emissions: CO2 absorbers).

Bizarrely, the IBUKU maps prove exactly the opposite of all conventional expectations revealing that the least industrialized regions are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet.

Yes, you read that correctly: the U.S. and western European nations are areas where CO2 levels are lowest. This new evidence defies the consensus view promoted by mainstream newspapers, such as the New York Times.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had long claimed that, "there is a consensus among scientists that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide (CO2), are harming global climate."

The Japanese satellite map shows regions colored the deepest leaf green (net absorbers of CO2) being predominantly those developed nations of Europe and North America; thus indicating built up environments absorbed more CO2 than they emitted into the atmosphere.

By contrast the bulk of the regions colored red (so-called 'carbon polluters') were in undeveloped, densely-forested equatorial regions of Africa and South America.

More HERE

Darwin named among the world's best cities to visit in 2012 in Lonely Planet list

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This is not as odd as it sounds. About 20 years ago, an American tourist was taken and eaten by a croc near Darwin. The result was an upsurge in American tourist arrivals. Excitement even of a dangerous kind is a valued commodity

DARWIN has been named as one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2012 by Lonely Planet.

Famous for its monster crocodiles, the Northern Territory capital has a lot more to offer, the travel guide says.

Darwin wasn’t the only surprise entry on the list. While London came in at number one, other lesser-known cities such as Muscat in Oman, Bengaluru in India, Cadiz in Spain and Guimaraes in Portugal also made the cut.

Described as “multicultural, free-wheeling and vibrant”, Darwin received a glowing review.

"With a pumping nocturnal scene, magical markets and restaurants, and world-class wilderness areas just down the road, today Darwin is the triumph of Australia's Top End," the book says. "It's now a hip city to visit rather than just the end of the road for lost souls."

Cities in the top ten list were chosen by Lonely Planet's in-house travel experts, based on topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor.

Lonely Planet’s Charles Rawlings-Way, one of the authors of the book, admitted that Darwin was an unlikely entry. But he said that Darwin has a lot to offer.

“It is a bit of a surprise for Australians in particular to see Darwin shaping up as a vibrant tourist destination,” Mr Rawlings-Way said.

The city has had a major face-lift in recent times, growing from a town full of fisherman, hippies and “redneck truckers” to a very young and energetic city, he said.

“In the 80s and even 90s it was pretty grim up there and its appeal was limited. Cyclone Tracey levelled the place and taken long time for Darwin to rebuild from that," he said.

"Darwin is gathering pace, it's not somewhere Aussies think of going for a holiday but its position is really interesting in the world."

As well as the famous Mindil Beach Markets, Darwin is close to a host of national parks including Kakadu, and is the closest major Australian city to Asia.

While Lonely Planet recommends a trip to the waterfront precinct and buying indigenous art, it warns travellers about dorms without air-conditioning, monsoonal rain and “over-boozed backpackers”.

If you’re after a bizarre sight then check out the 5m-long, 780kg stuffed saltwater crocodile called Sweetheart” at the NT’s Museum & Art Gallery.

Visitor numbers to the Northern Territory have dropped in recent times, with figures showing tourist arrivals falling by 9.5 per cent during the 12 months to June 2011.

NT Tourism Minister Malarndirri McCarthy said she was pleasantly surprised to see Darwin on the list, but she wasn't surprised people were impressed by the incredible sunsets, the markets, the nature and the historical sites.

"It puts Darwin certainly on the map as one of the best cities," Ms McCarthy said.

Last year Lonely Planet created quite a stir by putting Newcastle in the list, urging travellers to check out its beaches, night-life and art. Sydney and Melbourne have never made the list before as they are "too dull".

SOURCE

British father-of-two beaten up and left for dead by Pakistani gang for being white

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Probably Bangladeshi Muslims. They're the most aggressive group

A father-of-two was subjected to a racist and brutal attack by a gang of Asian men who targeted him - simply for being white. Andrew Goodram, 31, suffered a punctured lung and two broken ribs after the gang of four thugs shouted: 'white b*****d' at him before subjecting him to a vicious assault.

During the assault Mr Goodram, a labourer, was repeatedly kicked in the head, face and body at Queens Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester. One of his attackers then stood over him and stamped on his chest causing what police described as 'significant injuries'.

The beating only came to an end when one of the men decided the group should leave and they all ran off in different directions.

Mr Goodram, a father of two managed to stagger home after the assault but had to spend six days in hospital.

Greater Manchester Police yesterday confirmed that the attack, which took place at 7pm on October 19 was being treated as a racially motivated incident.

Mr Goodram who has two sons said: 'I was in such terrible pain after the attack, I was yelping and my eyes were watering. 'I'm scared now and when I see groups of Asian people. This attack has changed how I feel about going out. 'When I'm walking around especially on my own I feel intimidated and worried I might get attacked again.

'The fact is, I am not racist, I have got loads of Asian friends, and I'm really saddened that this has happened to me. 'I do believe the attack was racially motivated because I am white but I don't understand why. 'I thought we are supposed to live together in peace'.

On the night of the attack, Mr Goodram was taking a shortcut through the park when he encountered four Asian men - who were with four friends. As he walked past, one said: 'what did you say you white b*****d'?' before launching the attack. Mr Goodram added: 'I carried on walking and put my hood up and ignored them, but then they jumped me and I was pulled to the ground. 'They were kicking me and hitting me and one of them twisted my arm behind my back. 'One of them jumped on me and, when I winced in pain, they ran off.'

Police say the attackers were Asian and aged between 20 and 30. One of the men has been described as in his early 30s, 6 ft 2in, of heavy build, with a bald head and a thin 'lined' beard. He was wearing a dark hooded top with tracksuit bottoms and white NIKE trainers. Mr Goodram was unable to describe the other members of the group.

A spokesman from Greater Manchester Police said: 'The victim was walking through the park at about 7pm when he was attacked by a group of Asian men. 'The man was repeatedly kicked in the head, face and body, one of the men stood over him and stamped on his chest causing significant injuries. 'Racist abuse was shouted at the man before the attack.

'One man in the group shouted for them to leave and they all ran off in different directions. 'A group of four men are wanted for the assault'.

SOURCE

Ad for gun training bars Muslims and Obama voters, PC police go ballistic

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No freedom to teach?

A radio ad for a handgun training class that bars Muslims and Obama voters has sparked an investigation in Texas.

"We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License]," the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: "If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."

And then: "If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America."

The ad ran for six days on KHLB, Mason's local station. It's also been heard tens of thousands of times on Youtube.

The Department of Public Safety said in a statement that certified instructors of handgun training are required to comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and added: "Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor's certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation."

It seems unlikely that Keller will back down, though. "I'm not going to do it," he told the local news. "I will give up my license to teach before I will teach them," he said, referring to Obama voters and Muslims.

Source

Increased illness due to warming?

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I do a terrible, wicked thing when I read press reports about scientific findings that surprise me. I look up the original journal article that the report is based on! Doing so very often gives me a chuckle. In the present case, I was surpised to hear how very ill I and my family must have been as we grew up in the very warm weather of the tropics. And, true to expectation the journal abstract behind the report below is amusing. It reveals something you would never guess from the article.

Excerpt: "A total of 211,697 inpatient BSIs were reported during 9,423 hospital-months. Adjusting for long-term trends, BSIs caused by each Gram-negative organism examined were more frequent in summer months compared with winter months, with increases ranging from 12.2% for E. coli (95% CI 9.2–15.4) to 51.8% for Acinetobacter (95% CI 41.1–63.2). Summer season was associated with 8.7% fewer Enterococcus BSIs (95% CI 11.0–5.8) and no significant change in S. aureus BSI frequency relative to winter."

In other words, some types of infection rose but other types FELL during summer. So conclusions about a systematic effect of warming are unjustified


What makes hospital-acquired infections so intractable? There’s no question that some of the organisms that cause them are tricky: MRSA hangs out on the skin and and in the nostrils, and E. coli resides in the gut, making it easy for them to be carried into hospitals undetected. Hospital workers’ poor performance on hand-washing is well-documented. And recently, researchers have begun to wonder whether hospitals have missed an opportunity by not emphasizing environmental cleaning —- of rooms, computers and equipment, for instance -— given how persistently some bacteria can linger.

A new paper in PLoS One, though, says there’s another factor contributing to the problem, one that has missed consideration until now: weather. An 8-year study of infection data from 132 hospitals finds that as outside temperatures rise, in-hospital infections with some of the most problematic pathogens rise also.

The analysis is a warning to healthcare institutions to be additionally on guard when it is warm outside. But the authors say it’s also a warning to the rest of us: If global climate change raises ambient temperatures, it could increase the likelihood of deadly hospital infections as well.

The study — by researchers from the University of Iowa, University of Maryland, Princeton University and the nonprofit Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy — used a privately maintained national database of almost 212,000 clinical bloodstream cultures taken between Jan. 1999 and Sept. 2006. It plotted the infections’ incidence against data on mean temperature and dew point and total precipitation from the US National Climate Data Center. It accounted for the potentially confounding effect of seasonal variation in hospital admissions.

And it found: From winter to summer, Gram-negative bacteria, the most problematic hospital pathogens, rose anywhere from slightly to dramatically. E. coli infections rose 12.2 percent; Pseudomonas infections rose 28.1 percent; Klebsiella infections rose 28.6 percent; and Acinetobacter infections rose 51.8 percent.

Moreover, for every 10-degree Fahrenheit rise in mean temperature, there was a rise in infections with those same Gram-negatives. The increase varied from 3.5 percent for E. coli to 10.8 percent for Acinetobacter, independent of any changes in the season, the humidity or amounts of precipitation. Changes in temperature also affected S. aureus and MRSA, but much less: Those infections rose 2.2 percent for every 10-degree change.

More HERE

Bloody-minded unions set to make Qantas another Ansett

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Ansett was once a major Australian airline but it went broke because its management failed to stand up to insatiable union demands. Alan Joyce was one of the executives at Ansett at that time. He is doing his best not to repeat the Ansett experience. His press conference speech yesterday below

ALAN JOYCE: A crisis is unfolding within Qantas.

Industrial action directed by the leadership of three unions the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) representing the licensed engineers, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing ramp, baggage and catering staff, and the Australia and International Pilots Association (AIPA) representing the long-haul pilots is aimed at applying so much pressure on Australian business, that we will give in to their demands.

In the 15 months Qantas has reached agreement with more than 10,000 employees represented by four unions on five Enterprise Agreements or one-third of the Qantas workforce.

Over the same period we have been doing all we can to reach agreement with the ALAEA and AIPA and more recently with the TWU. What makes these union negotiations different? Two things.

First, these three unions are sticking by impossible claims that are not just to do with pay, but also to do with unions trying to dictate how we run our business.

The pilots' union wants to force us to pay Jestar pilots on codeshare flights the same high rates that they get at Qantas.

This would set a wages precedent that would soon put an end to Jetstar and slash low-cost travel in Australia.

Our only alternative would be to remove Qantas codesharing for Jetstar which would have the effect of making some key Qantas routes uneconomic.

The licensed engineers want to bind Qantas maintenance to the past; to thumb their nose at world's best-practice regulations, including those endorsed by Australian's Civil Aviation Safety Authority; and continue with outdated work practices on the new generation craft.

The TWU was offered an exceptional deal but is sticking to its completely unrealistic claim that would prevent us from the sensible use of contractors.

These are impossible demands. We cannot agree to them because they could ultimately put the Qantas Group at risk.

The second thing that makes these unions difference is that they are running utterly destructive industrial campaigns against Qantas and our customers, hurting all our employees and undermining Australian business. The situation is unsustainable.

More Leftist disconnection from reality

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Biden's audience whooped and applauded last week in Flint when he said that without Obama's jobs bill, police will be "outgunned and outmanned." (Wild applause!)

I suppose liberals would claim they were applauding because they believe Obama's jobs bill will prevent these murders. Which reminds me: Republicans believe the death penalty prevents murders! Which belief bears more relationship to reality?

In a case I have previously mentioned, Kenneth McDuff was released from death row soon after the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty in 1972 and went on to murder more than a dozen people.

William Jordan and Anthony Prevatte were sentenced to death in 1974 for abducting a teacher, murdering him and stealing his car. They came under suspicion when they were caught throwing the murder weapon from the stolen vehicle in a high-speed car chase with the cops and because they were in possession of the dead man's wallet, briefcase and watch.

The Georgia Supreme Court overturned their capital sentences in an opinion by Robert H. Hall, who was appointed by Gov. Jimmy Carter.

Hall said that the death sentences had to be set aside on the idiotic grounds that the jurors had overheard the prosecutor say that the judge and state supreme court would have the opportunity to review a death sentence, which might have caused them to take their sentencing role less seriously.

(If the facts had been the reverse, the court would have overturned the death sentences on the grounds that the jurors did not take their sentencing decision seriously, under the misapprehension that no judge or court would second-guess them.)

Prevatte was later released from "life in prison" and proceeded to murder his girlfriend. Jordan escaped and has never been found.

As president, Carter appointed Hall to a federal district court.

Darryl Kemp was sentenced to death in California in 1960 for the rape and murder of Marjorie Hipperson and also convicted for raping two other women. But he sat on death row long enough -- 12 years -- for the death penalty to be declared unconstitutional. He was paroled five years later and, within four months, had raped and murdered Armida Wiltsey, a 40-year-old wife and mother.

Kemp wasn't caught at the time, so he spent the next quarter-century raping (and probably murdering) a string of women. In 2002, his DNA was matched to blood found on the fingernails of Wiltsey's dead body. Although Kemp was serving a "life sentence" for rape in a Texas prison, he was months away from being paroled when he was brought back to California for the murder of Wiltsey.

His attorney argued that he was too old for the death penalty. He lost that argument, and in 2009, Kemp was again given a capital sentence. He now sits on death row, perhaps long enough for the death penalty to be declared unconstitutional again, so he can be released to commit more rapes and murders.

Dozens and dozens of prisoners released from death row have gone on to murder again. No one knows exactly how many, but it's a lot more than the number of innocent men who have been executed in America, which, at least since 1950, is zero.

What is liberals' evidence that there will be more rapes and murders if Obama's jobs bill doesn't pass? Biden claims that, without it, there won't be enough cops to interrupt a woman being raped in her own home -- which would be an amazing bit of police work/psychic talent, if it had ever happened. (That's why Americans like guns, liberals.)

Obama's jobs bill tackles the problem of rape and murder by giving the states $30 billion ... for public school teachers.

Only $5 billion is even allotted to the police, but all we keep hearing about are the rapes and murders that Democrats are suddenly against (as long as being "against" rape and murder means funding public school teachers and not imprisoning or executing rapists and murderers).

Finally, did Flint use any money from Obama's last trillion-dollar stimulus bill to hire more police in order to prevent rape and murder? No, Flint spent its $2.2 million from the first stimulus bill on buying two electric buses.

Even if what Flint really needed was buses and not cops, for $2.2 million, the city could have bought seven brand-new diesel buses and had $100,000 left over for streetlights.

Rather than reducing the rate of rape and murder, blowing money on "green" buses is likely to increase crime, since people will be forced to spend a lot more time waiting at bus stops for those two buses.

It's going to be a long wait: The "green" buses were never delivered because the company went out of business -- despite a $1.6 million loan from the American taxpayer.

But if I were a liberal, I wouldn't acknowledge these facts, or any facts. I would close my eyes, cover my ears, demand that MSNBC fire Pat Buchanan and the FCC pull the plug on Fox, and pretend to believe that taxpayer-funded "green" projects and an ever-increasing supply of public school teachers were the only things that separated us from Armageddon.

SOURCE

Warmist Muller's actual data are more consistent with him being a skeptic

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CO2 rose at an unprecedented record rate over the last decade, and temperatures went down. By contrast, from 1910 to 1940 temperatures rose very fast while CO2 hardly increased at all.

So the BEST data Proves That Muller Is A Skeptic



SOURCE

Muslims say crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights”

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We read:
"The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

Source

So why are they going to a private Catholic university? They will certainly find no crosses at a State university

Workshy Black British cop says it was racist not to give him special treatment

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Readers of literary classics may be remninded by the story below of "The N*gger of the 'Narcissus' " by Joseph Conrad



A senior Metropolitan Police officer forced to resign in the wake of the phone hacking scandal was racist and homophobic, an employment tribunal heard today. Assistant Commissioner John Yates, due to formally step down in November, was allegedly 'extremely brief' when dealing with the case of a black, gay officer who was off sick with depression.

Detective Constable Kevin Maxwell, who is suing the force based on claims he was bullied due to his race and sexuality, wanted discretion to keep his £40,000-a-year salary longer than the normal six month period.

However, Mr Yates refused to grant him the special treatment, usually reserved for hero officers injured in the line of duty, traumatised child abuse investigators and the terminally ill.

Kweku Aggrey-Orleans, representing Detective Constable Maxwell, told Mr Yates: 'I suggest that you dealt with Mr Maxwell's application for an extension of pay extremely briefly and without properly considering it because you knew that he had raised allegations of racism and homophobia.'

Mr Yates replied: 'No that's complete nonsense. I gave very careful consideration to this. 'I was very concerned about Kevin, very concerned about his well being.'

Mr Aggery continued: 'And also that you dealt with the appeal extremely briefly because Kevin was black and gay.' Mr Yates replied: 'That doesn't merit an answer but it's absolute nonsense.'

Detective Constable Maxwell claims he was bullied by colleagues at Heathrow Airport and witnessed racism while on duty. He claims a colleague refused to eat a curry on a trip to a mosque aimed at building community relations because 'they would have spat in it', and said fellow officers did not like being lectured to by imams.

However, Mr Yates said it was not his responsibility to deal with issues related to Detective Constable Maxwell's claims he was off sick because he was discriminated against at work.

Mr Yates said in written evidence to the tribunal: 'I did not reject Detective Constable Maxwell's appeal on the ground of his race or his sexual orientation. 'I rejected his appeal because his case did not meet the criteria. 'I have declined to extend the full pay of other officers who did not meet the criteria.'

The tribunal heard how Detective Constable Maxwell was offered any job he liked as senior Metropolitan Police officers were left 'bending over backwards' trying to get him back to work. He was told he could move to a different part of London where he would never see the officers who he worked with at Heathrow Airport again.

However, he turned down the offer and the tribunal heard how he wanted the Met. to address his concerns about racism and homophobia, rather than simply moving him elsewhere.

Detective Inspector Ajoy Gosain, his welfare officer, said: 'When I met Det. Chief Insp. D'Orsi we discussed the issue of identifying a suitable post for Detective Constable Maxwell to return to. 'I thought that Detective Chief Inspector D'Orsi was taking a genuine and generous approach towards Kevin Maxwell in that regard. I felt he was bending over backwards to try to assist Detective Constable Maxwell in getting back to work.

'In that he had such an open ended offer, Detective Constable Maxwell was in a favourable position.'

Detective Inspector Gosain, a former president of the Kent Black Police Association, described how he met the officer in June 2010 to try and convince him to return to work. 'The following day Detective Constable Maxwell emailed me to say that he didn't feel he could return and to ask me not to raise the issue of returning again. 'I was deeply disappointed with Detective Constable Maxwell's reaction.

'I had genuinely tried to help get him back to work in any way possible and I was disappointed that he seemed to totally dismiss what I had been saying.'

Detective Constable Maxwell, of Wilmington Square, London, is facing dismissal from the force under the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedure after being off sick since July 2009.

He said he developed depression after being bullied at work due to his race and sexual orientation. He had worked his way up to Detective Constable after first joining the Greater Manchester Police in 2001. He transferred to the Met Police in October 2008.

SOURCE

An army of "offended" people always lurking

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David Penberthy writes from Australia:

One of the interesting features of modern public debate is the emergence of a small army of thin-skinned souls on permanent stand-by to be offended by pretty much everything.

And they call that entertainment.And they call that entertainment.

The way we talk, the jokes we crack, the way we describe each other, all these things are subject to such an increasingly prohibitive set of strictures that it is easier to keep your mouth shut for fear of upsetting someone.

While the scourge of mental illness is not to be taken lightly, and is something which has touched us all, it still puzzles me that one of Australia’s leading mental health organisations is spending its time vetting newspaper articles and sending letters to journalists asking that they excise certain figurative expressions from their writing.

My colleague Tory Maguire wrote a piece last year where she used the term “policy schizophrenia” to describe the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s inconsistency on border protection. She received a letter saying the term was an insult to schizophrenics everywhere and that she should not use it again.

If we take this approach we will end up with a language where ideas are never stillborn and pauses never pregnant, where movement can be impeded but not retarded, where we rewrite all of Shakespeare’s plays, and receive letters from the haemophiliacs association if we write a column stating the bleeding obvious.

One of the weirder examples of the new squeamishness came from an unusual source this week, those supposedly libertarian sensualists at the Eros Foundation, who issued a press release under the cracking headline “Customs seizes dwarf porn.” The press release was interesting not so much for the news that the films Midget Mania (Volumes 7 and 8) have been refused classification – well, that’s my weekend buggered – but more for the politically correct gymnastics the Eros Foundation used to tip-toe around the word “midget”.

The intro was pure gold: “The Australian Customs Service has set a new benchmark for the importation of adult films into Australia by confiscating two of the latest release US titles featuring vertically challenged people.” Eros CEO Fiona Patton said the ruling was “discriminatory to short-statured people and quite possibly offended the Federal Discrimination Act.” It will be interesting to see if it stands up in court.

It is in the area of racism where the trend is most pronounced. I received a yawn-inducing string of outrage this week after writing the most limp-wristed pro-republican column, which was barely republican at all, more a pathetic form of surrender at the fact that we all seem to like the royals so much and can’t agree on an alternative model that we’re stuck as a constitutional monarchy. In passing I noted that this was all a bit disappointing for republican ultra-minimalists who simply wanted an Australian head of state, and would also be happier if the Pommy flag no longer sullied our national ensign.

The use of the word Pommy sent several readers into apoplexy, no doubt because they were, you know, Poms.

From one reader: “Pommy flag? That’s a racist slur. Lucky it’s a racial attack against the white majority, otherwise, you’d be before the courts like Andrew Bolt was.” From another: “Getting the pommy bit off our flag are downright pathetic comments in fact they border on racist.” And another: “I have no interest in anything you have to say, it’s rude, tactless and uncivil…to talk about the pommy flag is just so rude I can’t believe you actually printed it.”

And so the whinge-fest continued. Another recent column, about the Andrew Bolt vilification case, was highly critical of his writing but said the judgment posed a threat to free expression as it put the onus on anybody to prove they were not racist should somebody take offence at their sentiments. Examples included declaring that the Serbs who disrupted the Australian Open should maybe bugger off to Serbia, the opinion that female circumcision by some African communities is barbaric and inhumane, the belief that Israel is a pariah state whose businesses should be the subject of a formal boycott. Several censorious folks wrote in saying that each of these opinions were potentially racist and should also be the subject of legal action under the Racial Discrimination Act. See you all in court, along with the people of short stature.

The stink over the performance of the Haka by the All Blacks in Sunday’s final was a double treat for those who enjoy being offended. First, there was there were claims that one of the Kiwis had made an apparently offensive throat-slitting gesture while performing the chant. So what if he had? This ain’t the chicken dance or the bus stop. The haka in its origins was a war dance performed by pumped-up Maori warriors shortly before they killed their enemies. The idea that it should be rendered more genteel is absurd.

After this kerfuffle it emerged that the French had not shown due deference to the haka by stepping forwards towards the All Blacks as it was being performed. This was also offensive and the team was fined, in keeping with the view that, out of respect for Maori tradition, opposing teams should stand there and do nothing. This too seems kind of absurd. If a bunch of blokes are sticking their tongues out and threatening to murder you, it seems only fair that opposing teams can respond, perhaps in a manner which is culturally appropriate –some mooning from the Wallabies, Morris dancing from the Poms, the French standing around waiting to be saved by another nation, in keeping with their historical traditions.

Meanwhile the Adelaide Zoo has cancelled its Free Rangas Day after complaints from redheads. Turn it up. Even Julia Gillard could crack a quality gag about her state of ranga-ness when she spoke to fellow blood nut Cameron Ling at the AFL Grand Final breakfast. Someone was probably offended by that too. Still what would you expect from a Prime Minister who wouldn’t curtsy before the Queen. Even though protocol says she didn’t have to, and did nothing wrong.

The whole thing is just offensive.

SOURCE

Repeat offenders responsible for half a million crimes in Britain

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Rehabilitation is a fantasy for these people. Only permanent detention can protect the community

More than half a million crimes were committed by known offenders last year, with half carried out by career criminals. The crimes were all committed by repeat offenders and included 3,400 serious violent or sexual offences. It is the first time such figures have been released and more than 270,000 offences were by criminals who had at least 25 previous convictions or cautions to their name.

Separate figures showed 134 dangerous criminals were suspected of carrying out serious further offences such as murder, rape and other violence despite being monitored by the authorities.

The figures once again raise questions over the ability of the justice system to rehabilitate offenders. Prisons minister Crispin Blunt said: “Reoffending in this country is unacceptably high and these statistics underline the urgent need for steps to reform the system and introduce a rehabilitation revolution to our prisons and community sentences.”

A total of 510,000 offences were committed in 2009 by criminals within a year of them completing a previous sentence, the Ministry of Justice figures showed. More than 10,000 burglars went on to commit another 1,800 domestic burglaries within a year, and almost 3,000 thefts.

And more than 6,000 serious violent offenders went on to commit more than 650 violent offences, 48 of which were classed as serious.

The breakdown of figures also showed that more than 8,000 sex offenders, including more than 4,000 who abused children, went on to commit more than 1,200 further sex crimes, including 330 against children.

Of the 134 dangerous or sexual offenders charged with a serious further offence last year, 26 were managed with regular multi-agency public protection (Mapp) meetings, other figures showed.

Three of these were assessed as posing the highest risk to the public and eight serious case reviews were ordered after the offenders went on to kill or rape, or tried to murder or rape, despite being monitored.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) panels, which include police, councils and other Government agencies, were set up to manage the risks to the public from dangerous criminals after they leave prison.

In raft of justice statistics, it also emerged that the prison population is still on course to hit 92,000 by 2014, despite Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary’s plan to cut the population by 3,000.

However, the projections do not take in to account sentencing reform measures currently going through parliament.

It is also estimated that the summer’s riots will result in numbers behind bars increasing by 1,000 for the next 12 months.

SOURCE

Conservatives ARE more squeamish than liberals: Study finds right-wingers are more easily disgusted

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This is a good confirmation of Haidt's research about the greater moral complexity of conservatives and shows why Leftists are unmoved by such things as abortion and Communist mass-murder. They really are emotionally deficient. Like psychopaths, their only real emotion is hate

How easy do you find it to look at revolting images such as a man eating worms? If the answer is 'difficult', it might offer an insight into your politics.

Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln showed 50 volunteers a series of 38 disgusting images - including one of a man eating worms (the actual image is pictured, right).

Others included an incredibly emaciated body, a bloody wound and an open sore with maggots in it, as well as human excrement floating in a toilet.

The researchers then measured the electrical 'disgust' response in the skin of their 50 volunteers. When people are disgusted, their reaction causes a measurable change in the electrical conductivity in their skin. It's a 'disgust' response that cannot lie.

They found, as they had predicted, that people who expressed strong conservative political views had a far stronger disgust response. People who were repulsed by the images were particularly likely to disapprove of gay marriage.

The researchers accept that people of all political hues are unlikely to accept their ideas - people like to imagine their political views are rational, rather than physical.

But they pointed out that it's far more likely that the disgust response could influence a person's politics than the other way round.

The researchers wrote, 'Individuals with marked involuntary responses to disgusting images, such as of a man eating a large mouthful of writhing worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative and, especially, to oppose gay marriage than are individuals with more muted physiological responses to the same images.'

Sex-related issues appeared to be most strongly influenced by the 'disgust' response - a primitive instinct designed to protect people from disease.

The researchers suggest that basic, physical responses might be closely tied to our politics. Interestingly, that suggests that politics could be influenced far more strongly by genetic factors than previously believed. [That is already well-confirmed]

'Mounting evidence points to the relevance of subconscious factors in political decision-making situations,' wrote the researchers.

SOURCE

In the evolutionary scheme of things, disgust about homosexuality and incest obviously has survival value as both are detrimental to reproduction. As Haidt has shown, conservatives have the full set of emotional responses; Leftists do not

Another Leftist Jew hater

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He's a pro-Castro Cuban who is employed to teach Latin American history!
"A Kent State history professor, who has allegedly been linked to elements of Muslim extremism, reportedly lashed out at a former Israeli diplomat speaking at the university Tuesday night.

The event was co-sponsored by the undergraduate student government and entitled “An Evening with Ishmael Khaldi.” Khaldi spoke in regards to his book, A Shepherd’s Journey, which details his life journey from a small tent in a Bedouin village to the inner-circles of the Israel Foreign Service.

When his speech ended, Khaldi opened the floor to a Q&A, where History Professor Julio Pino rushed to be the first to question Khaldi.

Pino began to question how Khaldi could justify speaking of foreign aid given from Israel to countries like Turkey, when that aid was financed by “blood money that came from the deaths of Palestinian children and babies.”

The exchange ended as Pino stormed out of the auditorium shouting ‘Death to Israel!’”

Following the altercation, Khaldi remained calm and continued to take questions, telling the crowd “Let’s respect each other; it starts from there.”

Joshua Burton, Chairman of the Ohio College Republican Federation, has urged that Kent State officials investigate the educational practices of “this dangerous professor, to ensure this hateful and violent rhetoric is not being instructed in the courses he teaches.”

Source

He's a real nutcase. See here. Like old Karl Marx he seems to hate just about everybody. Another brilliant use of taxpayer dollars.

Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong

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But climate models are right? Both types of model are of the same ilk. What the guy below says is what my son tells me: He builds mathematical models of flows in liquids so he can always test his models against reality. And what he tells me is that the tiniest inaccuracy in the parameter input can send the model output completely away from reality. And climate models are full of guesswork and unproven assumptions so are just as certainly wrong as are stockmarket models

When it comes to assigning blame for the current economic doldrums, the quants who build the complicated mathematic financial risk models, and the traders who rely on them, deserve their share of the blame. [See “A Formula For Economic Calamity” in the November 2011 issue]. But what if there were a way to come up with simpler models that perfectly reflected reality? And what if we had perfect financial data to plug into them?

Incredibly, even under those utterly unrealizable conditions, we'd still get bad predictions from models.

The reason is that current methods used to “calibrate” models often render them inaccurate.

That's what Jonathan Carter​ stumbled on in his study of geophysical models. Carter wanted to observe what happens to models when they're slightly flawed--that is, when they don't get the physics just right. But doing so required having a perfect model to establish a baseline. So Carter set up a model that described the conditions of a hypothetical oil field, and simply declared the model to perfectly represent what would happen in that field--since the field was hypothetical, he could take the physics to be whatever the model said it was. Then he had his perfect model generate three years of data of what would happen. This data then represented perfect data. So far so good.

The next step was "calibrating" the model. Almost all models have parameters that have to be adjusted to make a model applicable to the specific conditions to which it's being applied--the spring constant in Hooke's law, for example, or the resistance in an electrical circuit. Calibrating a complex model for which parameters can't be directly measured usually involves taking historical data, and, enlisting various computational techniques, adjusting the parameters so that the model would have "predicted" that historical data. At that point the model is considered calibrated, and should predict in theory what will happen going forward.

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many different sets of parameters that seemed to fit the historical data. And that made sense, he realized--given a mathematical expression with many terms and parameters in it, and thus many different ways to add up to the same single result, you'd expect there to be different ways to tweak the parameters so that they can produce similar sets of data over some limited time period.

The problem, of course, is that while these different versions of the model might all match the historical data, they would in general generate different predictions going forward--and sure enough, his calibrated model produced terrible predictions compared to the "reality" originally generated by the perfect model. Calibration--a standard procedure used by all modelers in all fields, including finance--had rendered a perfect model seriously flawed. Though taken aback, he continued his study, and found that having even tiny flaws in the model or the historical data made the situation far worse. "As far as I can tell, you'd have exactly the same situation with any model that has to be calibrated," says Carter.

That financial models are plagued by calibration problems is no surprise to Wilmott--he notes that it has become routine for modelers in finance to simply keep recalibrating their models over and over again as the models continue to turn out bad predictions. "When you have to keep recalibrating a model, something is wrong with it," he says. "If you had to readjust the constant in Newton's law of gravity every time you got out of bed in the morning in order for it to agree with your scale, it wouldn't be much of a law But in finance they just keep on recalibrating and pretending that the models work."

SOURCE

Be prudent with climate claims

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Cardinal George Pell is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. His Eminence approaches Warmism by looking to the scientific facts, not religion -- and notes religious fanaticism in Warmism:


SCIENCE and technology have already achieved considerable mastery over nature, and massive local achievements. But where is the borderline separating us from what is beyond human power?

Where does scientific striving become uneconomic, immoral or ineffectual and so lapse into hubris? Have scientists been co-opted on to a bigger, better-advertised and more expensive bandwagon than the millennium bug fiasco?

We can only attempt to identify the causes of climate change through science and these causes need to be clearly established after full debates, validated comprehensively, before expensive remedies are imposed on industries and communities.

I first became interested in the question in the 1990s when studying the anti-human claims of the "deep greens". Mine is not an appeal to the authority of any religious truth in the face of contrary scientific evidence. Neither is it even remotely tinged by a postmodernist hostility to rationality.

My appeal is to reason and evidence, and in my view the evidence is insufficient to achieve practical certainty on many of these scientific issues.

Recently Robert Manne, following fashionable opinion, wrote that "the science is truly settled" on the fundamental theory of climate change: global warming is happening; it is primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide; and it is certain to have profound effects in the future.

His appeal is to the "consensual view among qualified scientists". This is a category error, scientifically and philosophically. In fact, it is also a cop-out, a way of avoiding the basic issues.

The basic issue is not whether the science is settled but whether the evidence and explanations are adequate in that paradigm.

I fear, too, that many politicians have never investigated the primary evidence.

Much is opaque to non-specialists, but persistent inquiry and study can produce useful clarifications, similar to the nine errors identified by the British High Court in Al Gore's propaganda film, An Inconvenient Truth.

The complacent appeal to scientific consensus is simply one more appeal to authority, quite inappropriate in science or philosophy.

It is not generally realised that in 2001 at least, one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report's workinggroups agreed: "In climate research and modelling, we are dealing with a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

Claims of atmospheric warming often appear to conflict and depend upon the period of time under consideration.

* The earth has cooled during the past 10,000 years since the Holocene climate optimum.

* The earth has cooled since 1000 years ago, not yet achieving the temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period.

* The earth has warmed since 400 years ago after the Little Ice Age three centuries ago.

* The earth warmed between 1979 and 1998 and has cooled slightly since 2001.

The following facts are additional reasons for scepticism.

* In many places, most of the 11,700 years since the end of the last ice age were warmer than the present by up to 2C.

* Between 1695 and 1730, the temperature in England rose by 2.2C. That rapid warming, unparalleled since, occurred long before the Industrial Revolution.

* From 1976 to 2001, "the global warming rate was 0.16C per decade", as it was from 1860 to 1880 and again from 1910 to 1940.

My suspicions have been deepened through the years by the climate movement's totalitarian approach to opposing views. Those secure in their explanations do not need to be abusive.

The term "climate change denier", however expedient as an insult or propaganda weapon, with its deliberate overtones of comparison with Holocaust denial, is not a useful description of any significant participant in the discussion. I was not surprised to learn that the IPCC used some of the world's best advertising agencies to generate maximum effect among the public .

The rewards for proper environmental behaviour are uncertain, unlike the grim scenarios for the future as a result of human irresponsibility which have a dash of the apocalyptic about them.

The immense financial costs true believers would impose on economies can be compared with the sacrifices offered traditionally in religion, and the sale of carbon credits with the pre-Reformation practice of selling indulgences.

Some of those campaigning to save the planet are not merely zealous but zealots. To the religionless and spiritually rootless, mythology - whether comforting or discomforting - can be magnetically, even pathologically, attractive.

Whatever our political masters might decide at this high tide of Western indebtedness, they are increasingly unlikely, because of popular pressure, to impose new financial burdens on their populations in the hope of curbing the rise of global temperatures, except perhaps in Australia, which has 2 per cent of the world's industrial capacity and only 1.2 per cent of its CO2 emissions, while continuing to sell coal and iron worth billions of dollars to Asia.

Extreme weather events are to be expected. This is why I support the views of Bjorn Lomborg and Bob Carter that money should be used to raise living standards and reduce vulnerability to catastrophes.

The cost of attempts to make global warming go away will be very heavy. They may be levied initially on "the big polluters" but they will eventually trickle down to the end-users. Efforts to offset the effects on the vulnerable are well intentioned but history tells us they can only be partially successful.

Sometimes the very learned and clever can be brilliantly foolish, especially when seized by an apparently good cause. My request is for common sense and what the medievals, following Aristotle, called prudence.

The appeal must be to the evidence. First of all we need adequate scientific explanations as a basis for our economic estimates. We also need history, philosophy, even theology and many will use, perhaps create, mythologies. But most importantly we need to distinguish which is which.

SOURCE

The enduring appeal of the Monarchy in Australia

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As in Britain, it has deep emotional roots that the politically correct brigade will never even begin to understand



The papers have now given up billing this as the ‘farewell tour’. Anyone watching the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh steadfastly working their way through the multitude and boarding a tram in Melbourne yesterday could understand why.

No one was saying: ‘Goodbye.’ So what if they are, respectively, 85 and 90? The question on Australian lips now is: ‘When are they coming back?’

Even the most ardent monarchists Down Under have been surprised by the euphoria for the Queen in recent days as she has travelled coast-to-coast across her colossal realm.

Monday saw 45,000 people crammed 30-deep on the riverbank in Brisbane just to see her step off a boat. Many required first aid for heatstroke after waiting since before dawn.

Yesterday’s scheduled 15-minute walkabout in Melbourne’s Federation Square stretched on for more than half an hour after tens of thousands turned out for a glimpse. There were so many flowers for the Queen the royal party ran out of hands.

Even more remarkable, perhaps, has been the behaviour of Melbourne’s ‘Occupy’ protesters.

This is the same anti-capitalist movement currently camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. But whereas the ‘Occupy London’ crowd won’t budge for anyone, the ‘Occupy Melbourne’ brigade yesterday agreed to suspend their protest in the city centre. Organisers decided it would be counter-productive and ‘belligerent’ to spoil the Queen’s day. So they called a truce.

Extraordinary stuff.

As for the royal couple, they have not betrayed a flicker of fatigue from the moment they landed in Canberra last week and embarked on a full schedule without so much as a rest day. One might say that she hit the ground reigning.

All those around the Queen — her staff and footsore veterans of the royal press pack — have noticed she is positively relishing the pace and atmosphere of this tour, happily letting the schedule slip when the crowds show no sign of letting up.

This may be her 16th tour of Australia but there is seldom a dull moment. Today she visits Clontarf Aboriginal College where pupils have devised an unusual royal menu: scones and kangaroo stew. As for the Duke, one royal official observes: ‘People keep asking us what he’s on. He’s in cracking form.’

Indeed, as the royal launch came into dock in Brisbane on Monday, Prince Philip could not stop his old nautical self and started helping to moor the thing. Now the world’s most hyperactive nonagenarian, he is off to Italy next week for a multi-faith environment conference.

Aside from one Brisbane construction worker arrested for ‘mooning’ at the monarch (it turned out to be a wager rather than a statement), this has, thus far, been a glitch-free tour.

So what on earth happened to the republicans? Is this the same feisty, self-confident nation which, just 12 years back, was the cheerleader for replacing the Sovereign? Of all the Queen’s 16 realms, which cover a large part of the planet, Australia was the one which seemed most likely to seek a new constitutional settlement.

And then came that referendum in 1999. With the liberal establishment and most of the media batting for a republic, metropolitan Australia put on its party clothes and prepared to celebrate.

But the public, as they so often do in these matters, had other ideas. In the end, 55 per cent of them preferred the Queen to the republican model of a president chosen by the politicians. [It was nearly two thirds in favour of the monarchy in my home State of Queensland -- JR]

Received wisdom, at the time, was that support for the monarchy would gradually wither away and that the republicans would waltz like Matilda through the next referendum. Except it did not work out like that.

The Royal Family continued to visit on a regular basis and Australia turned its attention to more pressing world issues.

And as royal fortunes have improved in Britain, so the mood has changed in Oz. Few countries could match Australia’s enthusiasm for this year’s Royal Wedding.

It came just weeks after Prince William had made an emergency visit Down Under, on behalf of the Queen, to meet those afflicted by a series of natural disasters — a visit which had a profound impact on the victims.

And now we have this week’s scenes. Opinion polls show that supporters of a presidential system have dwindled to 34 per cent. The activists have all but given up. Not so long ago, the Australian Republican Movement was a multi-million-pound organisation drawing the cream of the chattering classes to its champagne-fuelled soirees. Today, it is so hard-up that it can run only to a single part-time employee.

The reason? It certainly helps that the Queen and the Duke are so conspicuously happy to be in Australia. But it goes much deeper than that. We are witnessing, as one royal official put it to me this week, a ‘revival’. And much of it, surely, is down to the age-old attraction of a constitutional monarchy.

In times of uncertainty and trouble, there is something reassuring in an institution which stands for permanence and stability. And there is no greater symbol of continuity than a monarch who has been on her throne for longer than half of the countries on Earth have existed in their present form.

At the time of Australia’s referendum, republicans made much of the fact that one in four modern Australians was born overseas and, therefore, lacked a link with the ‘mother country’.

What social commentators are now discovering, however, is that support for the monarchy is just as strong among the immigrant community because newcomers feel a 1,000-year-old Crown offers greater protection of their freedoms than a fledgling president.

But there is something else here. Having spent the last two years with privileged access to the Queen and her staff for my new book, Our Queen, I have seen the way in which the aura around her has changed.

People who may seldom have given her much thought suddenly find themselves overawed by the most famous — and some would say respected — public figure on the planet. The sentiment was epitomised by one man in the Melbourne crowd yesterday. Dick Johnson told ABC Australia that he was surprised at how emotional he had suddenly become. ‘I’m not a terribly strong monarchist and I’m not a republican, but it just seems there’s something special about it,’ he said.

To which republicans say that the mood will be very different come a change of reign. But the Prince of Wales, part-educated in Australia, has a deep attachment to the place which does not go unreciprocated.

The new Duke of Cambridge can expect Queen-sized crowds when he brings his new Duchess Down Under. And, in any case, these are enduring bonds which go far beyond a mere popularity contest. Back in 1954, when she was the first reigning monarch to visit Australia, the Queen drew unprecedented crowds.

Millions of people — up to three-quarters of the population it was suggested — turned out to see her. Inevitably, her subsequent tours could not compete; comparisons would always invite a sense of anti-climax. Hence, the sense of monarchy in decline.

Well, now there is a sense of things going the other way. It may not be for ever. Australia will, doubtless, one day seek a new constitutional arrangement. For now, though, we are seeing the way in which historic symbols of kinship and shared values are sometimes more appealing than hard, rational modernity.

It is a fact worth remembering in a week when brutal European realities are set against the warmth of old Commonwealth friendships.

SOURCE

Thousands of students failed the Australian visa test

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FOREIGN students caught skipping class or flunking courses are being deported in record numbers, courtesy of a federal government crackdown on student visas.

The Immigration Department has already cancelled 15,066 foreign student visas in the past year, a 37 per cent spike from the previous year, The Daily Telegraph reported.

About 3624 students are facing deportation for flunking subjects or missing classes.

A further 2235 visas were cancelled on students who quit their original courses and were either working illegally - in some cases in brothels.

The crackdown, coming after the number of cancellations was steady for four years, has targeted lax students who had won visas to study at a vocational training level, such as cooking or hairdressing.

Indian students have been hit the hardest, while the biggest foreign contingent - Chinese - fare much better because they are less likely to be studying for a trade. Trade students are not only under the spotlight but a change in policy preferencing university students has now made entry to Australian courses harder.

University graduates will have the right to work here for two years after they graduate, leaving vocational training students to wait on a second tranche of changes, due next year, to find out where they stand.

Of the 332,709 international students in Australia in June, more than half were studying at university, while a third were on vocational training visas studying diploma courses.

One in every five international students is Chinese, while one in every six is Indian. Courses are also popular with South Korean, Brazilian and Malaysian students. The majority of international students study in NSW and Victoria.

To receive a visa they must be enrolled in a course and show they can pay tuition and living costs and meet health and English language tests.

Of the 15,066 cancellations by DIMIA in the past year, 3624 students lost their visas because they flunked some or all subjects or were no-shows to class. A further 2235 visas were cancelled for students who quit their courses and 212 were from students who finished their courses early.

The Immigration Department offers eight kinds of student visas - including vocational training, university, English language courses or school education visas.

Despite oversight by the department, some students end up as illegal immigrants after failing to return home.

The department's annual report said that 8309 student visa holders became "unlawful" in the past year because their student visa expired and they did not apply for a new one, such as a bridging visa.

In some cases, foreigners were not genuine students and use the work rights of a student visa as a back door to higher wages and working conditions in Australia.

Some women have come to Australia on student visas to work in illegal brothels.

SOURCE

British Wind Farms Shut Down Again Because It's Too Windy

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NATIONAL GRID has been forced to ask wind farms to shut down for the second time in a MONTH - because it's too windy. Seven wind farm operators switched off their turbines on Monday night. It leaves taxpayers with yet another bill.

National Grid said they were generating TOO MUCH power as storms ripped across Scotland.

It leaves taxpayers with yet another bill. National Grid has to pay wind farm operators compensation when asking them to stop the turbines.

National Grid said: "It was very windy yesterday and there was some curtailment of wind generation."

Despite huge subsidies for wind farm operators, National Grid claims its network is not ready to handle the power surge in storms.

Demand for electricity also drops off late at night.

National Grid paid out almost £3 million to wind farm operators in compensation in mid-September when a dozen wind farms were shut for three nights in a row.

Fred Olsen Renewables pocketed £1.2 million.

The Grid spokesman insisted: "This is all a normal part of how we balance the electricity transmission system and manage constraints on the network."

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Contempt for ordinary Australians among the self-selected arts and media elite

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I SUPPOSE it takes a special form of moral courage and artistic sensibility to mount a comedy television series that "satirises people living in public housing" (The Diary, Monday). It promises to be a hoot. The individual responsible, one Paul Fenech, has uncovered "a whole bunch of people in Australia who spend so much effort not working that it would be easier to get a job". I cannot wait. Such clever japes have not been heard since the Murdoch family comedy troupe were at their peak.

It is comforting to know that Fenech is not on his own in the creative community in teaching us about the debased lower orders. Only last week, the Herald's Spectrum pages ("Career on track" October 15-16) marked the arrival of "an artist with promise", a Mr Nigel Milsom, a latter-day resident of Glebe. This chap likes to draw dogs, apparently as "metaphors for our own nature".

However, Milsom has had a nasty surprise of late. As he tells it, "it seems that every Friday and Saturday there's an influx of weirdos into the area". These freaks are the people who attend the Wentworth Park greyhounds and who do so in order to "change their lot in life" and gain a "golden ticket out of their situation". Mr Milsom knows all this because he took his crayons to the course one night and observed these worse-than-senseless things in the flesh.

In times past, these "weirdos" were actually known in and around the inner city as "residents" before the whole area was much improved by the land clearing occasioned by the arrival of sensitive and creative people who are good at colouring-in and such. Over the decades many thousands of families have been forced out, some even to public housing in the city's outskirts where Fenech can now expose to the world their essential worthlessness.

Such developments are sadly consistent with some other trends in the creative and performing arts. The television series Kath & Kim consistently depicted its subjects as crass, materialistic and emotionally stunted. There was a form of characterisation in it that provided a superior and condescending perspective for the viewer. We laugh at them; not with them.

Worse still is the work of Chris Lilley, who moves well beyond gentle mockery. His work sneers at the ordinary people with everyday lives he focuses on.

There was a time when satire was directed at exposing the follies of the privileged, the powerful and the self-important. Apparently, modern Australia has rulers who are doing a cracking job. Our rich are beyond reproach. Marie Antoinette would approve.

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The Shocking Trend In U.S. Individual Income Inequality 1994-2010

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Perhaps the most common measure of income inequality in a nation is the Gini Coefficient (aka the "Gini Ratio"), which ranks the amount of inequality there is in a country on a scale from 0, which represents perfect equality, where everyone would have an equal share of the nation's income, to a value of 1, which represents perfect inequality, where one person would have all the income, but everyone else has none.

So now, thanks to so much media attention being focused on the Occupy Wall Street "movement" (aka "politically-oriented publicity stunt"), where many activists (aka "not-too-bright people") appear to be upset at "the Top 1%" (aka "really high income earners"), who they claim have "gotten too rich" (aka "earned a high income by doing things that satisfy other people's needs"), we thought we'd use the "Gini coefficient" (aka "a well-established mathematically-based method for measuring inequality") to find out how out of whack things have become in the United States over the years.

Or more specifically, the years from 1994 through 2010, for which the U.S. Census has published detailed data related to the incomes earned by Americans based on their annual surveys of the U.S. population. Our chart showing the trend in income inequality for all individuals as measured by the Gini ratio for these years is below:


Gini Coefficient for the U.S. Population, 1994-2010

We were shocked to see the overall trend from 1994 through 2010 take the path it has, because it's so completely contrary to what we keep hearing in the news.

We only ask that someone ask the media for their reaction to this disturbing data!

SOURCE

An amusing -- but revealing -- defeat for the Queensland wallopers

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On Sept. 15 I reported on the case of Eaves v. Donnelly in which Renee Eaves was awarded the sum of $93,000 against ex-cop Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland.

One would have thought that the Queensland Police Service would have been deeply embarrassed to find that a private prosecution was needed to establish the culpability of one of their officers after they had proclaimed that he had no case to answer.

Had there been any decency at the top one would have thought that prompt payment of the award accompanied by profuse apologies to Ms Eaves would be the order of the day.

Their actual response however established what low types run the Qld. cops. They say that fish rot from the head and it seems that the Qld cops are still in that category. The Fitzgerald enquiry put the Qld. police chief in jail so rottenness at the top is a reasonable expectation in Qld.

And that expectation would seem to be borne out in the Eaves vs. Donnelly matter. Instead of showing any contrition, the police decided to appeal the verdict. The scathing comments about them from Judge Samios were apparently like water off a duck's back. And that decision to appeal can only have come from somewhere close to the top if not the top itself.

But here's the amusing part: Their grounds for appeal were so weak that they had to back out of the appeal. They went to the Court of Appeal (a division of the Qld Supreme Court) but the court either point blank refused to hear them or they were quietly advised that they had no case.

What scum!

Needless to say, Renee is feeling in a very good mood at the moment after the failure of the appeal (though she still hasn't got the money) so she sent me some pix:


Renee's comment on the Pic above: "The boy's club army all to sort out one lil blonde single mum....... Chickens ... but expensive ones for the taxpayers. Sherman Oh is the Asian one and Mark Hinson the senior counsel is front right"


Renee in a place she now rather likes


A meditation

The amount the cops must have spent on legal services in the matter rather boggles the mind. It would have been MUCH cheaper for the taxpayer if they had settled out of court. But to do that would have required at least an implicit admission of fault and they were clearly not adult enough for that.

Bleak socialist Britain driving its own people away

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If homesickness is the curse of life as an expat, then millions of Britons abroad are bearing up manfully. As Britain’s economy continues to stall and the country recovers from the summer riots, hundreds of thousands have decided to scrap plans to come home.

Of the 5.5million Brits living abroad, 69 per cent say they will stay away from Britain permanently – an increase of 13 per cent in the past year – as the UK is now ‘more expensive, less safe and offers a lower quality of life’.

More than two thirds of expats, 3.74million, say they are happier living abroad, with 825,000 having cancelled their plans to come back during the last 12 months, according to research.

Seventy four per cent of expats say their quality of life is better abroad, 64 per cent say they are wealthier and 52 per cent say their cost of living is lower, a study for Lloyds TSB International found.

And 51 per cent think their country of residence is a better place to raise children.

Furthermore, many believe that living abroad is beneficial for their children as it offers the experience of another culture while learning a language.

Tony Wilcox of Lloyds TSB said: ‘Expats have an enlightening view of the UK, having experienced life both home and away. ‘So it is worrying that life in Britain appears so bleak when viewed through their eyes.

I think their happiness with life overseas also reflects that large groups of people in the UK are gradually becoming more outward-looking with increased global travel, more international business and generally coming into contact with other cultures.

‘It has become easier and a more natural transition than it would have been 20, even ten, years ago.’

The top ten expat destinations are Australia, Spain, U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

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Even the Arctic is letting the Warmists down

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It's really only the Antarctic that matters as 91% of the earth's glacial ice is found there. But the Antarctic is stubbornly refusing to show any overall melting. So the Warmists turn to the Arctic -- as it is subject to a number of influences (wind changes, variable ocean currents, subsurface vulcanism etc) that make it satisfyingly unstable. So by judiciously cherrypicking the data, Warmists have been able to assert that the Arctic is melting.

BUT: Even that applecart has now been upset. The latest research shows that a key glacier melted 1400 years ago (long before SUVS and power stations) and only reformed 800 years ago. So there is every indication that Arctic changes are natural too


Arctic shelf ice has been in the news of late due to its shrinkage over the past few decades that most attribute to global warning. Thus, its levels and seemingly constant calving have become ecological barometers that environmentalists have come to use to show just how fast our planet is heating up.

Now however, new research by a team from Universit√© Laval in Canada, led by Dermot Antoniadesa, have found, after studying sedimentary material on the bottom of the Disraeli Fiord, created by backup from an ice shelf in Northern Canada, that it experienced a major fracture that resulted in an overall reduction of the ice shelf some 1,400 years ago. Which means this isn’t the first time that the shelf ice has melted and broken apart. The team has published the results of its survey in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

The research team found that the ice shelf first appeared approximately 4,000 years ago and hung around for several thousand years. But then about 1,400 years ago, a major fracturing occurred that caused the shelf to shrink. It didn’t fully recover until about 800 years ago. After that, it held steady till the shrinkage that began nearly a hundred years ago and continues to this day.

At this point, it doesn’t appear that the shelf ice around Ellesmere Island is any smaller now than it was during the previous period of warming

The journal abstract:

Ice shelves in the Arctic lost more than 90% of their total surface area during the 20th century and are continuing to disintegrate rapidly. The significance of these changes, however, is obscured by the poorly constrained ontogeny of Arctic ice shelves. Here we use the sedimentary record behind the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Ellesmere Island, Canada), to establish a long-term context in which to evaluate recent ice-shelf deterioration. Multiproxy analysis of sediment cores revealed pronounced biological and geochemical changes in Disraeli Fiord in response to the formation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and its fluctuations through time. Our results show that the ice shelf was absent during the early Holocene and formed 4,000 years ago in response to climate cooling. Paleoecological data then indicate that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf remained stable for almost three millennia before a major fracturing event that occurred 1,400 years ago. After reformation 800 years ago, freshwater was a constant feature of Disraeli Fiord until the catastrophic drainage of its epishelf lake in the early 21st century.

More HERE

Gillard good on free trade

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JULIA GILLARD has declared that the decade-old push for global free trade has failed and unless a new, more realistic approach is adopted, the world could lurch back towards protectionism - and developing nations would suffer.

In a speech to more than 1200 business figures from around the world in Perth last night, the Prime Minister said that while a new approach was being pursued, Australia would continue to encourage other developed nations to embrace free trade by continuing to accept all imports from about 50 developing nations without tariffs or quotas. "I believe this is a path other developed economies should pursue - and it is one they could pursue now," she said.

"To encourage global action, Australia is prepared to keep leading the way in opening doors for developing nations."

Ms Gillard said the all-or-nothing Doha free trade push for a global free-trade agreement had to be abandoned because after 10 years there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Instead, a global free-trade agreement should be pursued sector by sector, such as in agriculture, manufacturing and services. "It is time to consider breaking the Doha round into more manageable parts and bringing them to successful conclusion as negotiations are completed," she said.

"We know that some issues are very close to resolution. It makes sense to conclude and implement these."

Ms Gillard said there were disturbing early signs that the world was retreating towards closed-door policies.

When trade ministers next met in Geneva in December, Australia would pledge to receive imports from the poorest countries free of tariffs and quotas, and not to adopt any protectionist measures while the free-trade pursuit continued.

The Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, who conceived the new approach, told the Herald the pledges would apply a gold standard. "We would ask other countries to meet that standard or go as close as they can."

SOURCE

You Can't Wait? Neither Can We

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President Obama couldn't have chosen a more fitting slogan than "We can't wait" to promote his latest legislative elixir for our ailing economy. What could be cleverer than to employ double meaning in aid of doublespeak?

CBS News reports that Obama will use the phrase to sell his jobs bill and to justify his plan to take unilateral executive action on the economy.

Obama has enlisted the phrase to argue that America can't wait on the private sector to generate economic growth. He can't wait on the people to get up to speed with his superior wisdom or for Congress to rubber-stamp his latest destructive scheme. He will not be denied; he will not be delayed; he will not wait.

So he "is going to begin a series of executive branch actions that will not require action from Congress -- or the assent of Republicans," including a "major overhaul" of the government's refinance program for federally guaranteed mortgages to assist homeowners who haven't been able to secure refinancing.

How many times do we have to go through this song and dance, in which the executive branch arbitrarily alters already-existing contracts? How many times will this policy have to fail before Obama quits trying it?

This is a perfect scam for Obama. Just as we watch the Occupy Wall Street protesters condemning the banks for actions forced on them by liberals, Obama is again forcing them into similar actions so that the protesters will have something to protest next year.

Audacious is no longer an adequate word to describe this president. He forced through his first stimulus through crisis-leveraged fear-mongering and then never really used but a fraction of that money for so-called stimulus purposes. Why would anyone still believe a thing he says?

Who is he to tell us "we can't wait" on the proper constitutional safeguards against such precipitous executive action? He is not America's king. The Framers deliberately placed safeguards in our system to prevent such capricious executive action.

Where does Obama get the authority to force banks to make loans on terms he prefers, irrespective of the sound banking practices that guide such decisions? The answer is that he doesn't believe he needs authority, only "noble" intentions.

Just like the liberals who crammed through their affordable housing policy, he believes that people ought to get a break. It doesn't matter that most of them won't be able to pay back these loans. What matters is that Obama wants to take money from people who he believes have too much and give it to those who he believes don't have enough. To him, that is the highest purpose of government. Call it "economic justice," because that's what he and his fellow radicals call it.

The concept of "We can't wait" is nonsensical on its face -- not that the absence of reason and common sense is any deterrent to such emotion-driven policies. He is implying that because we can't wait for the private sector to create jobs and he can't wait on Congress to pass his jobs-destroying jobs bill, he must order banks to make their loans less creditworthy. It's a classic non sequitur.

He's using the phrase as a ploy to deceive us into believing that his regulatory action would also help the economy when the only thing it would do is shift money around. This is no more about creating jobs than was his stimulus bill, but like the stimulus bill, it would be a lawless, unconstitutional redistribution of wealth.

It's true; Obama can't wait for Congress to sign on to his insane plans, because it won't, and he can't wait on the will of the people to embrace his patent statism, because they won't.

What we really can't wait on -- what America can no longer wait on -- is for this president to quit spending more money than we take in. We can no longer wait another 900 days on the Senate to produce a budget. We can no longer wait on structural reform to our entitlement programs. We can no longer wait for the Supreme Court to nullify Obamacare or for Congress to repeal it. We can no longer wait for Obama to quit behaving like an absolute monarch with no accountability.

But sadly, we have to wait on these things -- until 2012, when we can throw out of office those who refuse to obey the law by waiting to act until they have the constitutional authority to act.

SOURCE

Demoted for not backing gay marriage: British Christian's pay slashed for criticising proposed new law on Facebook

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We read:
"A housing manager has been demoted, and his salary slashed, after he criticised a controversial new gay rights law.

Adrian Smith, a Christian, was found guilty of gross misconduct by his publicly funded housing association for saying that allowing gay weddings in churches was ‘an equality too far’.

He posted the comment in his own time, on his personal page on the Facebook website, which could not be read by the general public.

But after a disciplinary hearing, he was downgraded from his £35,000-a-year managerial job to a much less senior £21,000 post – and avoided the sack only because of his long service.

Campaigners attacked the housing association’s decision – the latest in a series of cases in which Christians have clashed with employers – as a ‘complete over-reaction’ by an organisation ‘drenched in political correctness’.

Lawyers for Mr Smith, whom friends describe as affable and non-confrontational, say his comments were merely expressing an ‘honest belief’ based on his Christian faith.

Source

He is now suing

"Clean" Energy's Dirty Secret: Cancer

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Abound Solar is Colorado’s homegrown Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar panel manufacturer. With more than $400 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and tax incentives, Abound employs roughly 350 people with plans for another 850 to 1000 employees in an Indiana facility sometime in 2012 or 2013.

GE’s entry into the Colorado market comes on the heels of its acquisition of Colorado-based PrimeStar Solar, culminating in plans to develop a $300 million project that promises those 355 jobs—at a cost of $28 million in municipal and state-based incentives.

What kind of solar panels will GE’s Colorado plant manufacture? Cadmium telluride, the same as Abound Solar, which the New York Times declared would put the loan guaranteed Abound—and by extension, taxpayers—“at risk.”

All of these solar panel producers have something in common; they need raw materials, specifically rare earth minerals, to manufacture their products. The U.S. currently does little mining or processing of rare earths.

When the Denver Post fawned over the taxpayer-subsidized GE solar manufacturing plant coming to Colorado, it concluded with the typical appeal to “energy independence.”

But solar energy does not equate to “energy independence” because it relies upon other countries, namely China, for the necessary supply of rare earths. Late last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) acknowledged the problem and published a report titled “Critical Materials Strategies” which focused on rare earths used in the production of various “clean” technologies.

‘Current global materials markets pose several challenges to the growing clean energy economy. Lead times with respect to new mining operations are long (from 2–10 years). Thus, the supply response to scarcity may be slow, limiting production of technologies that depend on such mining operations or causing sharp price increases. In addition, production of some materials is at present heavily concentrated in one or a small number of countries. (More than 95% of current production capacity for rare earth metals is currently in China.) Concentration of production in any supplier creates risks for global markets and creates geopolitical dynamics with the potential to affect other strategic interests of the United States.’

So the country that is challenging the U.S. economically and is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt also controls the very materials needed to ensure our “energy independence.”

Rare earths are needed for more than just solar panels. They are used for wind turbines and hybrid car batteries. And if our “energy independence” comes from renewables such as solar, they will have to compete with iPods, cell phones, computers, batteries, and more.

The myth that green energy is “clean” energy

Manufacturing solar panels isn’t clean. Two of the three solar companies profiled earlier, GE and Abound, already produce or plan to make Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin film photovoltaics (PV). CdTe is a compound formed from Cadmium and Tellurium. While Tellurium is rare, Cadmium is a highly toxic human carcinogen. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the compound CdTe is also a carcinogen. Depending on the level of exposure, health effects range from kidney damage, fragile bones, lung damage, and death.

Because the U.S. doesn’t mine these much of these elements here, U.S. manufacturers look elsewhere. Sadly, individual tragedy in China’s “cancer villages” reveals the dirty secret of “clean energy.”

‘Yun Yaoshun's two granddaughters died at the ages of 12 and 18, succumbing to kidney and stomach cancer even though these types of cancers rarely affect children. The World Health Organization has suggested that the high rate of such digestive cancers are due to the ingestion of polluted water.

The river where the children played stretches from the bottom of the Daboshan mine…Its waters are contaminated by cadmium, lead, indium and zinc and other metals.’

Mining in China has turned towns and hamlets into “cancer villages.” Rivers run murky white to shades of orange. Fish and ducks are dead. And villagers bury friends and neighbors who die of cancer in their 30s and 40s reports Intellasia.

Another eye-opening news report on rare earth mining and processing from the Channel 4 in the United Kingdom claims, “it doesn’t look very green, rare earth processing in China is a messy, dangerous, polluting business. It uses toxic chemicals…workers have little or no protection.”

We still don’t know how large solar installations covering thousands of acres in the desert over long periods of time will affect the ecosystem.

To answer our earlier question, is the taxpayer “investment” in solar power worth the cost to achieve “energy independence” with “clean” power sources? It’s a trick question because solar is neither a domestic product nor a clean one.

The bottom line is that all energy sources come with some type of risk and to assume that solar panels are an economic and environmental panacea is wrong, despite what the Denver Post and other New Energy Economy cheerleaders would like us to believe.

If we are going to continue on the path of alternative energy, we should do so with out eyes wide open.

SOURCE

Government trying to hand over a legitimate business to loan sharks

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The demand for easy loans to poor people will always be there and will always require high interest rates to offset the costs and risks. So criminals will move in if such loans are banned or made unviable to legitimate business. And the crims will be MUCH worse to deal with than the present legit guys. Government regulation has already worsened the situation with their restrictions and they think more restrictions are going to make things better?


QUEENSLANDERS are losing their cars and their homes to payday lenders who exploit loopholes despite a State Government crackdown three years ago.

National Legal Aid has told the Federal Government that despite Queensland capping short-term loan costs at 48 per cent, lenders still find ways around the limit, including the use of high brokerage fees.

The Courier-Mail revealed the practice of writing loans in formats that don't attract the cap just after the law changed in 2008, prompting a fair trade investigation.

The Federal Government has been warned loophole schemes are still being used as it is on the cusp of introducing a new national cap of 2 per cent per month on loans under $2000.

"There are some (lenders) who have business models that are far more complex and no doubt there will eventually be litigation," Legal Aid consumer advocate Catherine Uhr said.

In one instance, a 25-year-old man on a disability pension and living with his mother had up to 35 loans with a series of providers using "anti-avoidance" techniques to get around the 48 per cent cap.

Ms Uhr said that in Queensland, many loans were secured over cars and property. "We see loans escalate. And the reason they've come to get legal advice is because they're losing their car or losing their home," she said. "There's nothing stopping you charging up to 48 per cent and taking security over the house in Queensland."

It comes as the industry yesterday tried to ramp up its opposition to the national cap on small loans, arguing the limits would make loans unviable and leave a hole in the lending market.

The Federal Government inquiry into the new legislation heard how most people took the loans out to cover spiralling utility bills, before finding themselves in a disastrous debt crisis.

Payday lenders attempted to defend themselves in the inquiry yesterday, with Money 3 chief Robert Bryant saying: "We don't sell money, we sell self esteem."

Cash Converters, the biggest provider of short-term loans in the country, told the inquiry the Bill would force them out of business.

Its submission to the inquiry, kept secret until yesterday, admitted that the company had turned to brokerage fees in Queensland in order to get around the cap.

SOURCE

Origin of the term "Nazi"

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A recent book born of research in the British library gives the following nonsensical explanation:
Nazi - an insult in use long before the rise of Adolf Hitler's party. It was a derogatory term for a backwards peasant - being a shortened version of Ignatius, a common name in Bavaria, the area from which the Nazis emerged. Opponents seized on this and shortened the party's title Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, to the dismissive "Nazi"

I think that explanation shows that you can't always look things up. The author obviously knows little of German pronunciation.

"National" is the same word with the same meaning in both English and German. The difference is in the pronunciation. In German it is pronounced (approximately) as "Nartsiohnahl". But in German the letter "z" is pronounced as "ts". So substituting "z" for "ts" in "Nartsiohnahl" gets us "Nazionahl". And "Nazi" is simply an abbreviation of that. Any nationalist would therefore tend to be called a "Nazi". I suppose an equivalent process in English would be to call any nationalist a "Nasho". But nationalism was never popular in the Anglosphere so that didn't happen. In time, of course, the prominence of Hitler's party made the term specific to members of Hitler's party rather than being applicable to nationalists generally.

For what it's worth, Friedrich Engels (Karl Marx's co-author) was a fervent German nationalist so he could theoretically be termed a Nazi, but I don't know that he ever was described that way.