Thursday, May 27, 2010

Curtains For

Antisemitic Leftist hate-site wonders why it attracted few advertisers. Excerpt from their announcement below. Picture of Marni Cordell, the writer of the piece below, also follows. Some background on the publication here

It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the end of the site will cease publishing on Friday, 25 June.

What’s brought us to this? The short answer is: we’ve run out of money. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that has never operated on a profit. However, we had projected that the site would break even by 2010.

We’ve now come to realise we were being too optimistic and that we’re unable to continue publishing into the next financial year. This is in large part due to the sheer difficulty of selling online advertising in the current media environment.

When was bought by its current owner Duncan Turpie in February 2007 the site was operating at a significant financial loss. That year we made the decision — perhaps too hastily in hindsight — to drop subscriptions in an effort to boost our readership and to increase our revenue from advertising.

We’ve certainly achieved the first of those aims: each year for the past three years our hits have more than doubled. There’s a steady and growing cohort of readers who return daily to for news and analysis.

However, the advertising simply hasn’t followed. Moreover, as the site has increased in popularity, so have our running costs — and with them the knowledge that we are unable to subsidise the project indefinitely. The big media players are struggling to find a workable online business model that allows them to pay their writers and maintain high standards — and so are we. Since we already run a very lean operation, cutting costs is not an option and we are taking the only path available to us at this time.


Rudd to backflip on mining tax rate

Still making policy on the run without proper consultations. He hasn't got a clue

THE Rudd Government is moving towards a major backdown on its $12 billion tax on resources and is now expected to increase the threshold at which its proposed super-profits levy kicks in from 6 per cent to 11 or 12 per cent.

Only three weeks after unveiling the new resource super-profits tax, the Government is preparing to lift the threshold definition of a super profit following a ferocious campaign by the mining companies,

Despite this expected backdown, the big mining companies have already declared the changes do not stop the risk to investment in Australia.

To offset the lost revenue in raising the threshold to the same level as the existing petroleum resources rent tax, which applies to offshore gasfields, the Government intends to withdraw the 40 per cent taxpayer-funded compensation originally offered for mining projects that fail....

But all the major mining companies have rejected the new proposals as "tinkering at the edges" and not addressing the main risk to mining investment in Australia.

The mining companies are demanding more negotiation with the government on the issues of the retrospective application of the new tax, different rates for different minerals and the 40 per cent tax rate.

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers declared last night that any thought the petroleum tax would work for minerals was "naive" and demonstrated "a lack of knowledge as to how investments are made".

And Xstrata chief executive Mick Davis said from South Africa: "The Government needs to do what it should have done all along and enter into full and open consultations with the industry where every aspect of the super tax is open for debate. Tinkering at the margins will not avoid the significant long-term damage this tax could do to mining investment in Australia.

Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis told the company's shareholders that Australia's reputation had already been damaged by the super-profits tax proposal.

"We are concerned that the proposed resources super tax will erode Australia's competitiveness, severely curtail investment and limit jobs growth," Mr du Plessis said yesterday.

More here

Conservative coalition insists refugees work for their keep

REFUGEES would be forced to work for their welfare benefits and may only be permitted to stay in Australia for as little as six months under a tough new border security policy to be announced by the Coalition today.

In an attempt to capitalise on rising community anger at the continued flow of boats that have brought 2805 asylum-seekers to Australia so far this year, the Coalition will unveil a suite of measures designed to harden its border security credentials.

At the heart of those measures is a new, tougher class of temporary protection visa to be issued to all unauthorised asylum-seekers.

In echoes of the Howard government's Pacific Solution, the Coalition is expected to announce new measures to process asylum-seekers offshore.

The Coalition will also flag its intention to dump the suspension of new refugee claims for Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, which was unveiled by the Federal Government in April. The suspension freezes new Sri Lankan asylum claims for three months and new Afghan claims for six months.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison told The Australian that abolishing the suspension would restore the non-discriminatory tenets of Australian asylum-seeker policy. "We have tough policies but they are applied equally to everyone," Mr Morrison said.

"We have a clear view that people who arrive illegally will get different treatment to those who arrive legally. "We don't seek to hide the fact what we are trying to do is ensure there is a different outcome for those who come illegally and those who don't."

The new announcements are designed to silence Coalition critics who for months have accused the opposition of failing to provide convincing alternative policies to stop the rising number of boats.

They are also an attempt to capitalise on growing disquiet in marginal electorates in the months leading up to this year's Federal Election.

Mr Morrison yesterday defended the proposed temporary protection visa, saying it was a fairer, more versatile method of providing protection. "Refugee status is not a permanent condition and you need a policy to reflect that," he said.


Malcolm "Trousers" Fraser: A bitter old failure

No wonder he consorts with the Left these days. Bitterness is their shtick

Now comes news that Fraser formally quit the Liberal Party in December because it's too conservative for him. The former prime minister quit in spirit a long time ago. He seems eaten up with the need to settle old scores and be proved right on every little point, a sad state to be in at the age of 80. Listening to him is a reminder of how unelectable the Liberal Party would be today if he had any say in it.

He has always gone out of his way to malign and belittle John Howard, his one-time treasurer who well and truly eclipsed him in the PM stakes. How it must have rankled that some half-deaf nerd from Canterbury Boys' High could best him, the tall imperious scion of the Victorian squattocracy who speaks as if he has a mouthful of cotton wool.

He showed himself on Monday night to be no better a friend to Tony Abbott, describing Langton's fair-minded but uncompromising appraisal of the Opposition Leader as "extraordinarily kind".

"… Instinctively it's in your nature either to try and tell the truth even when you're losing your temper, or it's not, and if it's not you're entitled to say, every time a man [i.e. Abbott] says something, 'Well, is this fair dinkum or is it not?' "

He also accused the opposition, laughably, of not pursuing government wrongdoing hard enough. Better yet was his confident claim that the British and American governments knew Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and the Howard government, if it didn't know, "should have".

He's obviously been reading too much Green Left Weekly, or perhaps he gets his history from the Hollywood conspiracy genre of Green Zone. Even the host, Tony Jones, didn't pursue this fruitcake line.

The Freudian highlight of Monday night's show came when Jones inadvertently referred to Fraser as "Malcolm Turnbull". Fraser looked pleased, and you can see some similarity in the two men's unscrupulous ambition and capacity for destruction. But Turnbull is positively humble by comparison, can admit mistakes, and does not eat himself up with old grievances. He is a far sunnier fellow.

While spruiking his memoirs earlier this year, Fraser denied that he had become a leftie, insisting he had not changed but the Liberal Party had lurched to the right.

That is his perception. But to many observers the Reinvention of Malcolm Fraser is a fascinating study in internal psychological conflict writ small into the craggy creases of his former matinee-idol face.

He used to be a cartoon version of the jut-jawed, born-to-rule elite, the "Life wasn't meant to be easy", razor-ganging, Nixonian supply-blocker who became the most loathed politician of his time; now he resides in the very bosom of the progressive left which once reviled him, the pin-up boy of the GetUp! crowd.

It's as if he has a permanent case of Stockholm Syndrome - the defence mechanism in which captives identify with their tormenters and eventually adopt their beliefs.

There he was, having come to office in 1975 in a most ruthless and unorthodox manner, by overthrowing Labor's progressive darling Gough Whitlam, violently hated by those who saw him as an illegitimate symbol of oppressive patriarchy, and soon enough snubbed by his own party. On university campuses the family name was defaced with a swastika in place of the "s". For a long time he was not welcome in fashionable circles and was ridiculed for losing his trousers in Memphis. Regarded as disappointing and a bit of an embarrassment by colleagues, the prime minister who once lionised Mugabe and Mao was blamed for making the Liberals unelectable for 13 years.

It would have broken lesser men. So in a way you can understand his eager acceptance of the small kindnesses which started to come from former opponents. Whitlam always had an amused, half-bemused look on his face as he posed with his new best friend, a convert to all sorts of progressive convictions. The more Fraser converted, the kinder his former foes were to him, and the more he must have boiled at the petty injustices from his own indifferent party.

The odd thing is that he would have done a lot more damage to conservatives if he'd remained in their ranks. Instead, he's turned into the crabby old muppet Statler, harmlessly heckling the rest of the cast from his balcony seat.


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