Tuesday 28th of May 2024

another snow job .....

PM can't rule out premiums rise
with Medibank sale .....

Prime Minister John Howard says he cannot guarantee insurance premiums
will not rise when the Commonwealth sells Medibank Private. 

The major insurer is expected to be
sold in the next 12 months. 

The Federal Opposition says a
document inviting tenders for the public relations campaign shows Medibank
Private cannot guarantee premiums will not rise, and that it fears a class
action from members. 

when the music stops .....

President Bush has claimed in the past,
"We are making
progress in the march of freedom
- and some of the most important progress
has taken place in a region that has not known the blessings of liberty: the
broader Middle East." (Last month, the New York Times found this
assessment to be overly

the dambusters .....

From the ABC …..

Prominent Australians' Snowy letter given to Parliament

A letter signed by a group of prominent Australians calling for the sale
of the Snowy Hydro scheme to be suspended has been handed to Federal

The signatories include former
prime minister Malcolm Fraser, actor Cate Blanchett and poets David Malouf
and Les Murray. 

an "ethical" army .....

From the ABC …..

US orders ethical training for troops 

A top US commander in Iraq has
ordered combat troops to be trained to abide by moral and ethical
standards on the battlefield. 

The move is an apparent reference
to allegations Marines killed civilians last year. 

Adelaide Universities Become Military Schools

Three major defence companies yesterday signed deals with local universities to create "tailor made" defence degrees, and enable more work on defence technology to be carried out on South Australian campuses.

BAE, Tenix and ASC signed the joint agreement with Flinders University and the Universities of South Australia and Adelaide.  The Universities will provide courses dedicated to the companies' contract requirements  

 The announcement closely follows British university Cranfield's decision to create a defence campus in Adelaide.  Cranfield recently won a billion -pound contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to implement defence-based training programs.

Oil On The Fire- Alexander Downer VS The IAEA

Is the Bush Administration's preferred IAEA Director going
toe-to-toe with the UN's nuclear watchdog?  While Mahomed ElBaradai is
telling the US to back off in its aggressive nuclear stance with Iran,
the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister is using the threat of
sanctions as a diplomatic weapon.

A week after energy giant General Electric announced its acquisition of Australian-developed uranium enrichment technology (see Justin Tutty's
last post here)   Mr Downer today has supported US State Secretary
Condoleeze Rice's diplomatic proposal by urging Iran to cease the
enrichment of uranium, and engage in a nuclear dialogue with the U.S.

as crook as rookwood .....

Big Bonuses Still Flow, Even if Bosses Miss Goals

By Gretchen Morgenson
Published: June 1, 2006 

It was the kind of mistake that wage
slaves can only dream of.  

Because of what the company
called an "improper interpretation" of his employment contract, Sheldon
G. Adelson, chairman, chief executive and treasurer of the Las Vegas Sands
Corporation, received US$3.6 million in salary and bonus last year, almost
US$1 million more than prescribed under the company's performance plan. 

premature ejection .....

from the ABC …..

Andrews brushes off workplace survey 

The Federal Workplace Relations
Minister Kevin Andrews has dismissed a survey that shows that penalty
rates have been removed from more than 60 per cent of agreements under the
new WorkChoices legislation. 

The Office of the Employment
Advocate surveyed 250 employers and found that 63 per cent of new
agreements had no penalty rates, and a similar number had removed leave

in search of wmd .....

‘The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
bans the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition and retention of
microbial or other biological agents or toxins, in types and in quantities that
have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.
The Convention also bans weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to
use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. 

latest rodent award .....

‘US antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan denounced the
Australian government for its participation in the Iraq war and called for the
release of David Hicks from Guantánamo Bay and the closure of the notorious US
military prison camp at a demonstration in Melbourne last Friday. 

Sheehan rejected US and
Australian government claims that Guantánamo inmates “did not deserve civil
rights” because they were “illegal enemy combatants”. The four-and-a-half-year
incarceration of Hicks, in violation of Geneva Conventions and his basic legal
rights, has been fully endorsed by the Howard government. 

no disrespect intended .....

This is the Leunig cartoon that the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald refused to publish.

Editorial "sensitivity" or political censorship? 

the importance of principles .....

‘We have a Congress that jumped on the Executive’s
war-making bandwagon and allowed the Executive to go to war without exercising
its own legislative authority by questioning WMD claims that were bushwa. 

We have a Congress that, as
occurred before with Viet Nam, lacks the brains and guts to exercise its own
power to stop the war. 

We have a Congress that has
itself done nothing effective – zippo – to stop the Executive torture that
violates Congress’ own anti-torture statute, that has done nothing to stop
rendering for the purpose of torture or to force the closure of secret prisons
in awful foreign countries, a Congress that wouldn’t even dream of – and surely
does not want to so much as mention – exercising its power to curb these
illegalities by impeaching and convicting their perpetrators. 

kyoto revisionism .....

‘President Bush’s new nominee for Treasury
Secretary, Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr., not only endorses the
Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse emissions, but argues that the United
States’ failure to enact Kyoto undermines the competitiveness of U.S.

Here’s a
statement from the Nature Conservancy
, where Paulson serves as chairman of the board:

drunk on power .....

once a pisspot …. always a
pisspot …..

May Mars lose this
fundamentalist power-drunk disciple and may Bacchus welcome him again...

at least the receptionist appeared helpful .....

Cole questions AWB's document
compliance ….. 

The oil-for-food Commissioner
Terence Cole says he is not fully satisfied that AWB has handed over all
the documents that his inquiry has demanded. 

Commissioner Cole is heading the
inquiry investigating almost $300 million worth of payments made by wheat
exporter AWB to the former Iraqi regime in contravention of UN sanctions
against Iraq. 

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