Brainless Leftist fools
Negus should have known better. He is a current affairs journalist and interviewer from way back -- but his Leftism has always been obvious. Putting him in front of the Taliban might rearrange his attitudes somewhat
HE'S one of the nation's greatest war heroes, receiving a Victoria Cross for single-handedly storming a Taliban bunker manned with machine-gunners.
They host a lightweight morning gossip show. Now the hosts of The Circle are under heavy fire after airing a photo of a shirtless Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith and calling him brainless.
Among the giggling troupe was veteran journalist George Negus, who laid the astounding sledge that Cpl Roberts-Smith "he could be a dud root".
Just a day earlier, Cpl Roberts-Smith had appeared on Sunday Night for a candid interview about how he and his wife had used IVF treatment to conceive their twin daughters.
Those daughters were just five months old when Cpl Roberts-Smith stood up to draw machine-gun fire towards himself near the village of Tizak in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. That allowed his commander to lob a grenade in the Taliban bunker.
Cpl Roberts-Smith then stormed the bunker alone and killed the two Taliban members inside. His actions allowed the troops to move through and clear the village of Taliban soldiers.
It also saw him become only the second person to be awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, after it was established in 1991
"I'm sure he's a really good guy, nothing about poor old Ben," Negus said yesterday on The Circle where he was guest co-hosting at the time of the comment. "But that sort of bloke, and what if they're not up to it in the sack?"
Former Channel [V] host Yumi Stynes chimed in on the picture of Cpl Roberts-Smith poolside with: "He's going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there."
This morning and back on the air Stynes revealed she was getting married, leading some online commenters to suggest it was a stunt to distract from a growing backlash over yesterday's comments.
Yesterday The Circle made an apology on its Facebook page: "Gotta love live T.V.!," the apology read. "What started out as an innocent admiration of one of Australia’s heroes today unfortunately ended up changing direction. "I hope you all know us well enough by now to know that we would never set out to upset anyone. "Your feedback is very important to us and we appreciate your input on a daily basis. "So sorry if we offended any of you today."
SOURCE. More reactions here
Conservatives target free speech restrictions in racial discrimination laws
FREE speech restrictions in racial discrimination laws would be wound back under a federal coalition government.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has revealed the plan to change the laws if he was made prime minister.
The plan would see sections of the Racial Discrimination Act that were used to prosecute Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt last year, after he wrote about light-skinned Aborigines, repealed by the Coalition.
The Australian newspaper reports Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis saying that would mean the removal of provisions that prevent the use of words that could offend or insult.
"We consider that to be an inappropriate limitation on freedom of speech and freedom of public discussion – as was evident in the Andrew Bolt case," he said.
"Offensive and insulting words are part of the robust democratic process which is essential to a free country."
The changes would bring the Act's restrictions on free speech closer to limits found in defamation laws, The Australian reports.
Liability for racial vilification would be limited to comments that humiliate or intimidate.
The Speaker of the House shuts Julia up
It was tempting to rush out and scan the sky for a blue moon or flying pork. The Speaker had ordered Prime Minister Julia Gillard to clam up and sit down. His reason? She was being irrelevant. No one could remember the like of it.
Prime ministers and their ministers have traditionally spent large portions of every question time avoiding what most people would recognise as a semblance of relevance in responding to questions.
The Speaker, Peter Slipper, has the quaint view that questions should be answered.
Resplendent in black robe, white bow tie and barrister's tabs, fresh from his latest ceremonial procession to the House, Mr Slipper decided to enforce his edict at the first opportunity yesterday.
His mood was possibly sharpened by the appearance of the fellow he replaced as Speaker, Harry Jenkins, sporting his own silvery bow tie. The view around Parliament was that Mr Jenkins was gently taking the mickey.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opened combat with his favourite subject: reminding Ms Gillard that she had promised during the last election campaign that there would be no carbon tax. Now she was introducing just such a tax and had admitted she had made mistakes she regretted, would she "rescind her deception" and put aside the tax until she took it to the next election?
Mr Slipper ordered Mr Abbott to withdraw the word "deception". But when Ms Gillard launched into her answer the full might of the Speaker was exerted.
"Putting a price on carbon was the right thing to do and I stand by it," Ms Gillard began, her eyes turning flinty in the style she has assumed following the Great Unpleasantness of the past week.
And then, in her well-practised manner, Ms Gillard turned the question on its head and got stuck into the opposition, declaring that Coalition MPs might like to explain why they had promised to introduce a price on carbon during the 2007 election campaign. As she reached full throttle, Mr Slipper called for her to be "directly relevant" to the question.
Ms Gillard sailed on, and the Speaker hollered again for her to get back to the subject at hand.
The Prime Minister, who appeared to have been studying Meryl Streep's Oscar-winning depiction of Maggie Thatcher in The Iron Lady, wasn't for turning. It was a battle of wills.
Mr Slipper triumphed. He simply turned off the Prime Minister's microphone, told her she would no longer be heard and sat her down.
Ms Gillard appeared thunderstruck. Speakers in the past have found themselves defrocked for lesser slights to a prime minister's dignity.
But Mr Slipper pretty clearly knows Ms Gillard can't afford to have him back on the benches voting with the Coalition. She needs him exactly where he is, and he is free to behave as independently as he likes. Which, it appears, is quite a lot.
One reason why 39% of Australian teenagers are sent to private high schools
Both episodes below occured at government schools
A BULLIED teenager who suffered horrific injuries when he attempted suicide has died more than two years after his tormenters drove him to despair.
Dakoda-Lee Stainer, 14, suffered brain damage when deprived of oxygen for more than 20 minutes after he tried to take his own life in 2009 following severe bullying.
Left in a wheelchair, unable to speak or walk, and taking food and liquids through a tube to his stomach, the teen died on Valentine's Day this year.
After Dakoda-Lee's tragic story was revealed in The Daily Telegraph last year, close family friends launched a campaign against bullying of the kind that drove the north coast teenager to try to end his life.
Sharon Grady of Yarravel, near Kempsey, yesterday said no one deserved the treatment Dakoda-Lee had suffered, but bullying was still happening. "We have now lost this precious, loving and caring young man who was talented in so many areas," Ms Grady said.
On the day he tried to end his life, the teen, who attended Melville High School at Kempsey, had been accosted by a gang of youths on the school bus after months of relentless attacks by bullies.
About a year earlier another 14-year-old, Alex Wildman, took his own life at Lismore after violent run-ins with fellow students, forcing education authorities to investigate how effectively schools were combating bullying.
Alex's stepfather, Bill Kelly, is suing the Department of Education and Communities for damages, claiming it breached its duty of care to the student.
A major offensive against cyber bullying has been launched in schools.
It involves graphic videos showing the dangers of online bullying designed to frighten students out of using the internet as a weapon to attack other children.
The graphic films, using male and female teenage actors to depict savage bullying scenarios, are so realistic they have shocked children into changing their online behaviour, parents and educators said.