Thursday 31st of July 2014

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 16:44


From the American Conservative

The downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17 was a great tragedy, and the world wants to make sure that such an event never happens again. People all over the globe, not least Australians and the Dutch who have lost more than 230 civilians, have been understandably angry about the failure of the Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine to respond satisfactorily to this calamity.

But it is imperative that we think clearly and, if necessary, coldly, about the underlying cause of the Russia-Ukraine standoff, which sparked the military blunder. If we fail to do so, we’ll have little hope of trying to solve it. Alas, there is a real danger that the West’s response—more sanctions against Russia, diplomatic isolation of Vladimir Putin, increased military support to Ukraine—could exacerbate tensions.

The conventional wisdom in the West blames the turmoil on Putin’s goal to recreate the former Soviet Empire. The Bear is on the prowl again, we’re told, and it must be put back in its cage.

But the United States and the European Union are hardly blameless. As John Mearsheimer, one of America’s leading experts on international relations, points out in a forthcoming issue of Foreign Affairs, it was the West’s efforts to pull Ukraine away from Russia’s strategic orbit that was guaranteed to cause big trouble.

By expanding NATO up to Russia’s borders in the Clinton and George W. Bush eras, and by helping bring down a democratically elected, pro-Moscow—albeit corrupt and thuggish—government in Kiev last February, the West has poked at the Bear and failed to see how those decisions look from its perspective.

It has repudiated the implicit agreement between president George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990-91 that the Atlantic alliance would not extend into Eastern Europe and the Baltics, a region that Russia has viewed as a necessary zone of protection long before Stalin appeared on the scene. In so doing, the West has taken no account at all for Russian susceptibilities and interests.

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 16:20


While the Palestinian Holocaust continues, with the death toll in Gaza reaching 1,360 – mostly women and children – Prime Minister Tony Abbott remains silent, writes Lyn Bender.

ISRAEL’S OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE began on the 8th of July. There have been several brief humanitarian ceasefires; but the bombardment of the Gaza Strip continues with extreme vengeance.

In the current bombardment and military ground incursion, at time of writing, over1,360 Palestinians have died and over 6,000 have been injured so far.

On 17 July, Russian separatists in the Ukraine shot down Malaysian airliner MH17. It was mistakenly identified as a Ukrainian cargo plane as it flew over a war zone. The death toll was 298.

Both these events are immensely sad. However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, seems able to pay attention to only one of these tragedies. In stark contrast to the attention he has paid to the MH17 tragedy, Tony Abbott ignores the suffering in Gaza.

Considering the incessant, breathless statementsinterviews and regular updates and calls for accountability being offered in the wake of the MH17 airline loss, the contrasting lack of empathy and concern for the dead and injured in Gaza, is breathtaking.

Until the recent announcement by Julie Bishop of  $5 million in humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, the Abbott Government has shown no concern for the plight of Palestinians.

Fairfax reports that 27 Greens and ALP parliamentarians have condemned

'... the ongoing Israeli military bombardment and invasion of Gaza.'

Julie Bishop has at last issued a limp statement on behalf of the Government, expressing

"...deep concern about the violence in Gaza."



read more:,6722


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 16:07

Lack of bladder control (incontinence) is a common health problem for many people at different times in their lives. About four million Australians have bladder control problems. It is most common amongst older people.

Any unexpected leaking of urine from the bladder is not normal. It may be just the occasional leak when you laugh or cough, or you may be suddenly unable to hold your urine at all. Often a very simple lifestyle change or treatment can help to cure, improve or manage it, no matter what the cause.

Answer the questions below for a quick check of how your bladder is working.

  • Do you leak when you laugh or sneeze?
  • Do you leak when you lift something heavy?
  • Do you leak when you play sport?
  • Do you have to rush to use the toilet?
  • Do you leak before you get to the toilet?
  • Are you often nervous because you think you might lose control of your bladder?
  • Do you wake up more than twice during the night to go to the toilet?
  • Do you plan your day around where the nearest toilet is?
  • Do you sometimes feel you have not emptied your bladder?
  • Do you leak when you change from sitting or lying to standing?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions you may have a bladder control problem and it is important you seek help. Poor bladder control can be embarrassing and distressing. If left untreated, it will not go away.


There are various causes of poor bladder control and many treatments. For men, once they reach the age of 40, they are more prone to having poor bladder control, often due to prostate issues. For women, if they have had a baby are three times more likely to have poor bladder control and leak than other women. 

read more:

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 15:30

Mr Abbott did not declare the ­scholarship in 2011 and continues to deny that he has any obligation to do so, saying his daughter won the scholarship on merit. He has previously said his daughter was awarded the scholarship for her academic potential and she maintained a distinction average while studying at the college.

Monique Rappell, a former head of interior design at the institute, said that “the entire scholarship system was extremely vague”.

She said she had put forward a ­student for a scholarship who had topped her year, whose work had been used in the school’s marketing ­materials and who had experienced financial hardship. That student failed to secure a scholarship, she said.

Despite the award being known as the Chairman’s Scholarship, the Whitehouse chairman, Mr Taylor, told Fairfax Media in May he did not know how scholars were selected.

The institute said in a statement it had “offered a variety of scholarships for 25 years . . . all scholarships are ­discretionary and awarded on merit”.

The scholarship story has prompted clashes between student protesters and police at the design school.

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 14:45

Poor graduates would pay about 30 per cent more than their richer counterparts for their degree under the federal government's plan to charge real interest on student debts for the first time, according to the architect of the HECS system.

Leading education economist Bruce Chapman, who has conducted the most detailed modelling of the government's proposal, says the ''unfair'' policy undermines a fundamental tenet of Australia's internationally-lauded HECS repayment system.

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 14:40


On Monday, Jewish communities around the world will sit in collective mourning on Tisha b'Av, the day of Jewish tears. So many tears. For the destruction of the First and Second Temples. For the defeat of the Bar Kochba rebellion. For the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290 and Spain in 1492. For the day on which Himmler was given the go-ahead for Die Endlosung, "The Final Solution" - that is, the extermination of the Jews of Europe.

Yet as one of the generation born after the Holocaust, whose identity was shaped in the wake of the Six Day War, I believed that Tisha b'Av and its sensibility belonged to the world of my parents and theirs. It was not ours. They were ha-zorim be-dim'a and we were be-rinah yiktzoru. They had sown in tears so that we could reap in joy.

This has made the past three weeks very difficult indeed for Jews around the world, but above all for Am Yisrael be-Medinat Yisrael. After the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian teenager, rocket attacks from Hamas intensified. The result was a sustained assault of a kind no country in the world has had to face: worse than the Blitz in World War II. (At the height of the Blitz, on average 100 German missiles were launched against Britain every day. On average during the present conflict Hamas has been firing 130 missiles a day against Israel.) We felt the tears of the injured and bereaved. We felt for the Palestinians too, held hostage by Hamas, a ruthless terrorist organisation.


I have news for you, cobber, Hamas is no more ruthless than Israel... And Hamas may have a different tradition about the ownership of that region...


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 14:33


This week came yet again the calls from business that “we’ll all be rooned”. They started with the release of a report by the Business Council of Australia, and were accompanied by Gina Rinehart yet again suggesting we need to be more like Africa.

The great thing about Australian business leaders is they always have something to whinge about, and almost without fail the amount they have to pay their workers will be top of the list.

On Tuesday, the Australian’s front page pictured Rinehart looking across the Indian Ocean with wistful longing. Under the headline High costs hurting mining, she argued that an example of Australia’s poor competitiveness was that “Rio Tinto, which has been in Australia for decades, and made most of its revenue from Australia, is now arranging multibillions of dollars of investment for a major resource project with substantial infrastructure in Guinea in Africa”.

Her positive view of Africa compared with Australia is long held. Back in 2012 she was saying that “Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”

It’s worth noting that she wasn’t worried about what having people work for $2 a day in Australia would do to the social fabric of this country.

It’s also worth noting that Rio Tinto does continue to invest heavily in Australia. It’s 2014 second quarter report noted it has projects in Australia in the earliest stage for aluminium, copper and uranium, at the advanced stage for copper, and at the evaluation stage for copper, aluminium, uranium and iron ore.

read more:


I have an idea: Send Gina and her cash to Africa... 


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 14:28

Victoria has banned religious organisations from running prayer groups, handing out Bibles and delivering other unauthorised information sessions in state schools during school hours.

The directive has been issued by the Education Department under recent changes to the delivery of Special Religious Instruction (SRI) to students in public schools.

A government spokeswoman said the directive only affected religious activities that were run by unaccredited teachers or external groups.

But Dan Flynn from the Australian Christian Lobby said the guidelines appeared to cover all activities by students.

"In the SRI policy, the formal wording appears to ban prayer groups, youth groups, clubs, info sessions or workshops," Mr Flynn said.

"It says that those forums or the events constitute promotion of specific religions in schools outside SRI and are not permitted.

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 13:50


Turkish women have posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter to protest comments by the country's deputy prime minister, who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values".

Bulent Arinc has criticised the media for taking his comments out of context and focusing on a small part of his speech, in which he said he advised both men and women to adopt "ethical behaviours".

"Some people criticise me by picking up only a part of a one-and-a-half-hour speech. What a baseless and disgusting claim. People who have listened to all of my comments have realised this," Mr Arinc was quoted as saying in the Hurriyet newspaper.

"I believe I have made a useful speech. If I had only said women should not laugh then I have done something irrational, but my speech was about manners and moral rules."


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-07-31 11:14

The national inquiry into children in immigration detention has heard evidence of attempts by the Federal Government to cover up the extent of mental health problems.

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Young was the director of mental health services at International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) until earlier this month.

He still works at IHMS as a consultant and has been compelled to give evidence at the inquiry by the Australian Human Rights Commission.