Saturday, April 02, 2011

Crooked Muslim jockey

He has been in trouble with the Stipes before. They suspended him for 9 months for testing positive for cocaine, for instance. Not mentioned below is that, following his second placing at Eagle Farm, Bold Glance won the $100,000 Gold Coast Stakes on March 19 when ridden by another jockey

JOCKEY Bobby El-Issa was resolute and composed as racing stewards hit him with a two-year disqualification.

Racing Queensland Limited stewards issued El-Issa with three charges emanating from his ride on runner-up Bold Glance in the $100,000 Falvelon Stakes at Eagle Farm on February 26.

El-Issa appeared resigned to the lengthy penalty but declared: "I have not broken any rules of racing. I will beat these charges on appeal."

An appeal was lodged late yesterday and a stay of proceedings granted allowing him to ride at Eagle Farm today.

The charges effectively were based on the fact El-Issa did not show his usual vigour over the final 200m when Bold Glance was challenged by the odds-on favourite Essington.

Stewards took exception to the fact El-Issa had used the whip only in a back-hand motion on three occasions in contrast to his ride at Bold Glance's previous start, when he rode aggressively in the straight to win at the Gold Coast. The charge stated El-Issa had "deliberately and consciously ridden to deprive Bold Glance of a real and legitimate chance of wining the race".

El-Issa's defence on his riding style was that "Bold Glance was trying his heart out and I chose not to punish the horse".

"The charge you face is one of the most serious, if not the most serious, a jockey can face," Racing Queensland chief steward Wade Birch told El-Issa. "It goes straight to the heart of the integrity of thoroughbred racing. And this was in a feature race at the state's premier venue. You have betrayed the trust and offended people (punters) who in effect keep it going."

One of the charges against El-Issa was that he had colluded with professional Sydney punter Stephen Fletcher to succeed with bets to win on Essington and backing Bold Glance to lose.

Fletcher's betting records in the previous three months with betting exchange Betfair showed he had bet heavily against horses ridden by El-Issa in 10 southeast Queensland races.

An inquiry into Fletcher's betting on the Bold Glance race was later adjourned to allow him until Wednesday to provide evidence of his normal betting activities.


How I lost faith in multiculturalism

Greg Sheridan

In his speech Bowen sets up a neat dichotomy between a good Australian multiculturalism and a bad European multiculturalism.

Bowen is right to point out that Australian official policy, whether at any given moment describing itself as multiculturalism or not, has always stressed English as the national language and the need for immigrants to commit to democracy and the rule of law. But at the declaratory level, European multiculturalism has also stressed the national language and a commitment to democracy.

There are two obvious, logical flaws in the way Bowen treats immigration into Europe.

The first is that he puts the entire burden for the success or failure of an immigrant community's experience down to the attitude of the host society and places absolutely no analytical weight at all on the performance and behaviour of the immigrants themselves.

Second, the problems that Bowen is talking about are problems with Muslim immigrants, not with immigrants generally. Chinese and non-Muslim Indian immigrants have been immensely successful in Britain. Indeed, being Indian in Britain is extremely chic.

These minorities for the most part have done OK in France, too. Certainly immigrants to Britain from the rest of Europe don't display anything like the alienation of a serious minority of Muslim immigrants.

So this must, logically, lead to one extremely inconvenient, politically incorrect and desperately fraught question. Could it be that the main difference between Europe, with its seething immigration problems, and the US, Canada and Australia, with their success, is not actually a difference based on some footling interpretation of multiculturalism?

There is one other variable that is consistent with the results. The US, Canada and Australia have far smaller Muslim migrant communities as a percentage of their total populations than do most of the troubled nations of Europe. Could this be the explanation?

Several trends in Australian society give pause to wonder whether we, all unintentionally and all fast asleep, may be heading away from the US-Canada-Australia success story and towards a European future. That would be a very bad outcome for Australia.

Discussing these issues is very difficult. It goes without saying that most Muslims in Australia are perfectly fine, law-abiding citizens. The difficulty with discussing Muslim immigration problems is that you don't want to make people feel uncomfortable because of their religion.

Muslims are not only individuals, wholly different from each other, but national Islamic cultures are very different from each other. The Saudi culture is different from the Turkish culture, which is different from the Afghan culture. So generalisations are dangerous.

Then there is the ever present risk of being labelled a racist. No matter how calmly the discussion is conducted, that is a big danger.

But the only people who don't think there is a problem with Islam are those who live on some other planet. The reputation of Islam in the West is not poor because of prejudiced Western Islamophobia, still less because Western governments conduct some kind of anti-Islamic propaganda. Instead, it is the behaviour of people claiming the justification of Islam for their actions that affects the reputation of Islam.

In January, the governor of the Punjab province in Pakistan, Salman Taseer, was murdered because he opposed the severity of the nation's blasphemy laws.

One of his last acts was to visit a Christian woman sentenced to death for insulting the prophet. The governor's murderer won wide public support.

ABC television recently showed a documentary on the killing of Ahmediya sect members in Indonesia, among the most liberal Muslim nations, because their Muslim murderers regarded them as a deviant sect. On YouTube you can watch scenes of a young Afghan woman being publicly flogged because she was seen in the company of a man who wasn't her husband or brother.

In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive cars. In Iran, government thugs beat protesters to death to safeguard the rule of the mullahs.

This list could go on and on. It may very well be that the overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims reject such actions. But it is fatuous to try to find a similar pattern of Christian, Buddhist or Jewish behaviour. You can find extremists in every religion and from every background, but there is no equivalence in the size and strength of the extremist tendency in other religions. The Australian Muslim population is still relatively small, perhaps 400,000 or just under 2 per cent of the population.

Because of my passionate commitment to the refugee issue, it took me a long time to wake up to the routine scamming of refugee processes today.

The same is happening in northern Australia now, and as the Gillard government loses control of the situation, the number of illegal immigrants, almost all Muslim, will increase, exactly replicating the dynamics of Europe's disaster, though of course on a much smaller scale.

Lakemba and surrounding areas such as Punchbowl had a large Lebanese Muslim population, many of whom had come when Malcolm Fraser crazily instituted a come-one, come-all admissions policy for those claiming to be refugees from the Lebanon conflicts of the 80s.

Replicating the European experience that the second generation had more trouble than the first, it was the sons of some of these immigrants who figured heavily in anti-social activities.

I was shocked to discover the growth of jihadi culture in Lakemba. We used to go to its main street for shopping and for food.

One day, waiting for a pizza order, I wandered into the Muslim bookshop. I was astounded to see titles such as The International Jew or The Truth about the Pope, amid a welter of anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and pro-extremist literature.

The revenge attacks on white Australians after the Cronulla riots originated out of Punchbowl. A number of media crews were attacked when they went to local mosques. A large number of those charged with terrorism offences in Australia stayed in or had associations with the area.

Due to the brilliant and fearless reporting of this paper's Richard Kerbaj, who spoke perfect Arabic, we found that at a number of the mosques in the area outright hatred was being preached: anti-Semitic, misogynist, conspiratorial. Most of the time, these sermons didn't advocate violence. The speakers were what Britain's David Cameron has called "non-violent extremists".

The advent of satellite television made it easier for these folks to live a life apart. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station was available on satellite packages. Most Arab homes you went into had Arabic TV playing in the background.

The anti-social behaviour became more acute. One son was playing cricket with friends when they were challenged by a group of teenagers, whom they presumed to be Lebanese but may have been of other Middle Eastern origin, who objected to white boys playing cricket. A full-scale, if brief, fist fight ensued.

One son was challenged by a boy with a gun. Lakemba police station was shot up. Crime increased on the railway line.

The worst thing I saw myself was two strong young men, of Middle Eastern appearance, waiting outside the train station.

A middle-aged white woman emerged from the station alone. She was rather oddly dressed, with a strange hair-do.

The two young men walked up beside her, began taunting her and then finished their effort by spitting in her face. They laughed riotously and walked away. She wiped the spittle off her face and hurried off home. It was all over in a few seconds.

These events in Lakemba and nearby are not unique. Lots of people from lots of different backgrounds commit violent crime in Australia. There is a good deal of unemployment, combined with a highly advanced informal culture of welfare exploitation, often freely discussed at the local schools, in the area. But Lakemba is different from most of Australia.

A senior policeman from nearby Bankstown once told me that policing in the Bankstown area was unlike working anywhere else in Australia, and he was amazed how much violent crime went unreported by the media.

Does Islam itself have a role in these problems? The answer is complex and nuanced but it must be a qualified, and deeply reluctant, yes.

This is the only explanation consistent with the fact other immigrant communities, which may have experienced difficult circumstances in the first generation, don't display the same characteristics in the second generation.

Australia has been a successful immigration country. But the truth is not all immigrants are the same. And it may be much easier than people think to turn success into failure.

Much more HERE

Catholic school bans gay 'cure' seminar at Caboolture

Some ideas may not be expressed -- even ones that the Holy Father would endorse!

A CATHOLIC school has kiboshed a "curing homosexuality seminar" set to be held at their Caboolture college.

The meeting sparked outrage on Facebook, with a protest page set up against it.

But the group holding the meeting has accused Catholic Education of discrimination over the decision.

A statement released by Brisbane Catholic Education says St Columban's College at Caboolture "immediately" withdrew permission for its hall to be used as a venue by the Miracle Christian Center when they realised what the meeting was about.

"Permission was given by the school, on the basis that the nature of the meeting would need to be in line with the college's Catholic Christian values," the statement said.

Principal Ann Rebgetz said the group had deliberately withheld from the school the real nature of the event.

But Miracle Christian Center president Dorian Ballard denied the accusation, saying when they hired halls they didn't advise what they would be preaching about.

He denied the group was homophobic. He said they had been discriminated against and the case was now with their lawyers.

"We are not homophobic, many of us have come out of the homosexual lifestyle," he said.

"We are not afraid of homosexuals; we love them, we've ministered to them for years.

"This topic is always up for debate. It's great to hear a lot of different views in the broad spectrum and we have been silenced, we have been discriminated against."

Former student and Facebook "Protest against the curing homosexuality seminar" page organiser Lexi Ryan said the school had done the right thing and she had cancelled the protest, which had 353 people who had replied they would be attending.



Four articles below:

Carbon pricing could add $860 to annual household bills, Treasury documents show

THE carbon tax Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised never to introduce will cost average families $860 a year, Federal Government modelling has revealed.

Based on a carbon price of $30 a tonne, families would pay up to $218 more for electricity, $114 for gas, $187 for petrol and $88 for food, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Treasury documents, released under FOI, revealed households would pay the fixed price for between three and five years (before moving to an emissions trading scheme), leaving families with a bill between $2589 and $4315 over that time.Heavily censored documents claim price rises would "drive household behaviour change, with households substituting to less carbon intensive goods over time".

But it was acknowledged in a Treasury executive minute last October that low-income families would suffer the most because they spend more on things like electricity and are least able to afford low emissions technology.Treasury also raised fears the tax would reduce people's wealth.

"A carbon price will also affect wealth as the change in prices flows through to the value of financial assets, including shares, and reduces the real value of savings," the minute states.

It also shows the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme proposed in 2009 by former PM Kevin Rudd would have raised electricity prices by a maximum $120 a year and gas by $52 - half the cost of the Treasury estimates now.

"This just demonstrates that the Government has known all along that its carbon tax won't clean up the environment but it will clean out your wallet," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said.

Treasurer Wayne Swan hit back yesterday, claiming the figures were preliminary numbers and he said he could not nominate how much assistance families would be given by way of compensation.

"Until the final design and modelling have been settled, anyone who uses these figures to scare families about prices is engaging in a scare campaign," he said.

The Government is reportedly considering tax and welfare breaks of between $600 and $1500 a year.

It comes as an exclusive survey by The Daily Telegraph reveals why voters are so angry about the proposal. A quarter of the 2500 households surveyed said they were already struggling to make ends meet and almost 9 per cent said they didn't have enough money to pay bills.

"I think it might be an unnecessary tax, I could probably do better with the money in my pocket and make a concerted effort to reduce my carbon emissions, rather than be taxed," Greg Hudson, 32, from Neutral Bay, said yesterday.


Labor at war with climate adviser Ross Garnaut

ENERGY Minister Martin Ferguson has slapped down the government's chief climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, flatly rejecting calls for more regulation on electricity markets and warning that mandatory renewable energy targets are pushing up power prices.

Mr Ferguson rejected Professor Garnaut's claims that electricity price rises were a result of "gouging" by electricity generators.

The senior cabinet minister said electricity prices had risen because of costs in replacing ageing plants and he warned that prices would rise by 30per cent in the next three years because of investment costs, a carbon price and the mandatory target for renewable energy generation.

Mr Ferguson and the Australian Energy Market Commission both warned that the government's compulsory target of 20 per cent electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020 was coming at a "cost to the community" and could "challenge" the national electricity grid.

Professor Garnaut this week recommended coal-fired power electricity generators not be compensated for a carbon tax and that a new energy regulator be formed.

At an energy conference in Melbourne yesterday, Mr Ferguson said Professor Garnaut had a role in advising the multi-party climate change committee, which includes the Greens, but he "does not speak for the government, nor for the Ministerial Council on Energy", which represents every government.

Mr Ferguson's comments come as the Labor government fights with the Greens over "extreme" policies.

It has also indicated that compensation for industries for a carbon tax will be the same as that offered in 2009, a policy the Greens voted against on the grounds it was too generous.

Mr Ferguson said: "The regulatory framework for Australia's energy sector is leading edge, and as such the Ministerial Council on Energy and the energy market bodies often review different aspects of our regulatory environment to ensure it delivers optimal outcomes for the community.

"Residential electricity prices have increased by about 40 per cent over the last three years and are forecast to increase in the order of 30 per cent in the three years to June 2013. As those who study these issues will know, there is no quick fix to rising prices.

"Prices reflect the cost of investment to maintain and replace ageing assets to ensure the community gets the reliability it has come to expect. We must ensure investment occurs to reduce emissions and meet demand, while importantly, maintaining sufficient competition and avoiding concentration in the sector."

Professor Garnaut this week released his final report on climate change for the government and said the owners of the transmission and distribution networks were overinvesting in their assets to increase their returns.

Calling for an urgent inquiry into power sector regulatory arrangements, Professor Garnaut said the current arrangements had allowed too high a rate of return for power companies, which "increases electricity prices that (are) just passed right on to the consumer".

He put the cost of a carbon tax on electricity prices at $4 to $5 a week for the average household and called for an urgent inquiry into what he believes is a "prima facie" case of excessive increases caused by electricity regulation in Australia.

Professor Garnaut conceded there might have to be commonwealth loan guarantees to keep high carbon emitting generators operating if they failed financially under the proposed carbon tax from July 1 next year.

Mr Ferguson said the nation's energy ministers tried to keep "away from the spotlight of the daily media cycle". "It is not in the public interest to trivialise these matters in a high level public debate over the network regulatory regime," the Energy Minister said.

"The market bodies and institutions already exist and have responsibility for finding the appropriate balance between reliability and value to the community.

"Trying to suppress prices ultimately leads to pain in the future when catch-up is required, as some jurisdictions are now finding."

Mr Ferguson said that, as Australia moved towards a price on carbon, "we have to be very mindful" of damaging asset values of power generators because these financial considerations can have "real energy security and market stability implications". "I am also conscious of the imminent refinancing requirements of the generation sector, with an estimated $6.4bn needed to be refinanced prior to the end of 2012.

"The expanded Renewable Energy Target, through supporting wind capacity, has delivered significant new investment over the last 15 months.

"The expanded Renewable Energy Target is effective in displacing generation investment that would otherwise come from non-renewable technologies; however, it is doing this at a cost to the community," Mr Ferguson warned.

"The fact remains that if we are hoping to achieve abatement from the electricity sector we will need to see significant investment in new generation capacity in the years ahead. At some point in the future we will need additional investment in baseload capacity."


Background on an Australian "Green" senator

Being Green is the way to get on in politics for a far Leftist. She's a Trot so the fact that she disowns Stalinism means nothing. The Trots and Stalin never did get on. Before Stalin rose to power, however, Trotsky led the Red army and murdered hundreds of thousands

AS the child of Australian communists and a former member of the Socialist Party, Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon insists she's been unfairly tagged as a hardline left-winger or "watermelon" -- green on the outside but red inside.

She says her parents were among many Australians who became disillusioned with Moscow after Soviet tanks crushed Czechoslovakia's move towards "socialism with a human face" in 1968.

That was when the Communist Party of Australia formally split from the Russian communists.

Ms Rhiannon is the daughter of women's rights activist Freda Yetta Brown and Bill Brown, who were both CPA members.

She has insisted that her parents joined the CPA because of their deep commitment to social justice and equal rights and not for any subversive reason.

But the association was enough to have her feature in an ASIO file when she was just seven years old.

During last year's election campaign, Ms Rhiannon insisted that she would support Bob Brown's pragmatic approach to politics, and said she had no wish to lead the party.

"I am not a communist," Ms Rhiannon told The Weekend Australian in August. "I and Greens members condemn the crimes committed under Stalin."

She strongly denied then that she wanted to steer the Greens towards a more radical agenda and said dealing with climate change was her priority.

Ms Rhiannon, 59, was elected last year to one of the six NSW seats and will join the Senate in July. She joined the Greens in 1991 and was elected to the NSW Upper House in 1999.

Among her priorities in the Legislative Council were better public transport and a ban on the building of any new motorways.

In the 1970s she was arrested during anti-apartheid protests and in the 1980s she helped organise the peace camp outside the joint US-Australian intelligence facility at Pine Gap in central Australia.


Eight myths of a carbon tax

Even a Warmist (below) can see that the arguments for an Australian carbon tax don't stack up

1. The greatest myth is that if we lead the world in carbon pricing the rest of the world will follow. We produce 1.5 per cent of the world's CO2; China and America account for 40 per cent. A 5 per cent reduction in Australia's emissions would be cancelled out by as little as a 0.3 per cent increase in China's emissions.

2. Another myth is that we have to lead the world because we are a carbon-based economy and will be more affected when and if the world introduces carbon pricing. Our carbon-based economy is one of our main competitive advantages. To lead on a carbon tax puts our industry at a serious disadvantage against our competitors.

Eighty per cent of power is generated from coal. This low-cost power has underpinned our standard of living by encouraging manufacture and giving low-cost electricity to consumers.

A carbon tax on imports from countries without CO2 pricing is unworkable. We would need to significantly increase the Customs Department and we would still be at risk. Such a move would undo the hard won reforms of the 1990s.

3. Another myth says if we introduce the tax now it will give industry time to adapt. Industry needs years to make the investment to meet the new environment. Planning approval alone can take four or more years. The logic of starting a carbon tax in barely 12 months' time has not been thought through; five years would barely be enough.

It would be better to advise industry that CO2 will be taxed at about $50/$60 a tonne in 10 years' time when our trading partners also start to price carbon and industry should start to adjust its long term capital plans and debt financing accordingly.

The rise in the cost of fossil fuels is already affecting local prices. We must be careful not to hit the domestic and business consumer with a double whammy. If the domestic price for gas continues to rise the price for CO2 will have to rise further to force the change from coal to gas generation.

4. Another myth is that Big Business should have known a carbon tax was coming and should have been prepared. Most of our coal-fired power stations were built and owned by state governments. The taxpayer is the largest single owner with 36 per cent capacity overall, 54 per cent in NSW and 67 per cent in Queensland.

The recent sale in NSW was at a deep discount to the replacement value because of the threat of carbon pricing; NSW taxpayers virtually lost their equity on the threat of a tax.

In Victoria power stations were sold at huge prices largely to foreign investors expecting a proper electricity market that never eventuated. The owners invested in good faith with the reasonable expectation that if a price were put on CO2 they would be given adequate notice and compensation.

Indeed, CO2 trading in Europe, the obvious precedent scheme, was accompanied by the issue of close to 100 per cent free permits to the power generators for the first decade. If we can purchase permits globally as planned why not adopt common measures with the EU?

To say to government and private investors that the federal government will wipe out your equity without compensation is patently unfair. It will introduce a dangerous level of sovereign risk for long-term investment in Australia.

5. Then there is the myth that we are morally obliged to lead the way because we generate a larger proportion of carbon dioxide a head of population. Yes we do, but there are good reasons for this. We are rich in resources such as coal, iron ore, bauxite and uranium. It gives us one of our few competitive advantages.

We also have a significant agricultural sector and are a large exporter of beef and lamb, which are high CO2 emitters. Given the size of the country, our transport consumption is higher than more densely settled economies.

Exports contribute to more than 30 per cent of Australia's carbon emissions. If we want to cut emissions sharply, should we just stop exporting?

6. Closer to home is the myth that the carbon tax will hit the so called 1000 big polluters and consumers will be protected. In the end the consumer, whether local or overseas, will always pay. If the cost is not passed on, trade exposed industry in particular will either fail to survive (and jobs will be lost), or move elsewhere (loss of jobs again).

The other illogicality in this myth is that the consumer should be protected. If the government wishes to discourage the production of CO2 then the end consumer must be sent a price signal.

The concept of charging the big emitters and passing the proceeds back to the consumer is fatally flawed. The big emitters will reduce emissions or be forced out of the economy. Then there will be no money for compensation and the shock will be large.

7. Then there is the myth that renewable energy can replace coal and gas-fired energy production without a substantial cost to the consumer or business.

Putting aside the serious issues of reliability, availability and transmission, the cost of all of the available renewables, such as wind, is far higher than coal.

8. And then there is the myth that a carbon tax or ETS will force the same big polluters to invest in alternative technologies that will create jobs. The expectation that investors who have seen their investment seriously impaired by a carbon tax will race to invest in new high-cost technologies is illogical. Banks won't lend to the impaired incumbents.

Where is the plan for what Australia will look like in 2020 or 2030? Will we still have an aluminium or steel industry or any form of processing requiring energy such as food or an agricultural sector?

California legislated to introduce a cap and trade scheme in 2006, with effect from 2012. There has been no explosion in green jobs there and unemployment stands at 12.5 per cent. Jobs have simply moved across state borders.

Global emissions are a global problem. A global solution is the only answer. If we reduce our carbon emissions unilaterally there will be no benefit to the global environment.

What is the negotiation benefit of giving away our hand now, when we should be seeking to agree an emissions trajectory for Australia as part of a global deal?

This is a momentous decision and we appear to be relying on a business and investment community that we are proposing to punish. A cross your fingers approach is just not good enough when we are considering the very basis of our economic future.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Introducing a tax (disguised as a charge, therefore twice removed but still a tax) then promising compensation to certain groups only means other certain groups will bear the full brunt of the tax. We pay these increased "charges" and the Gillard government or whoever else sends money to the UN under treaty obligation to "fight climate change) and before you know it we have accepted the first global taxation regime, administered by unelected, unaccountable, offshore bodies. Some people call this conspiracy thinking. It's what is too happen, not a merely a conspiracy. The money will not be used to fight climate-anything as you well know.