Saturday, February 26, 2011


Swan won't give away fuel tax position

Treasurer Wayne Swan has refused to rule a petrol tax in or out of the government's proposed carbon tax.

Mr Swan said it is inappropriate for people to suggest anything is included or excluded from the tax, given that it is still being formulated.

He said Prime Minister Julia Gillard had announced the ``broad architecture'' of a scheme to reduce carbon pollution and to deal with climate change.

"What she said was we will go through detailed discussions about the detailed design, and that's what we're going to do, so it's inappropriate for anybody to be making calculations about a particular item being in when those discussions haven't even been had yet,'' Mr Swan said.

He said details would firm up after months of discussions with the broader community, business, environmental groups and the minor parties.

Mr Swan said "every single dollar'' raised under the tax would be returned to assist individuals, households and business who will be impacted.

He rejected claims by Greens Senator Christine Milne that fuel will be taxed under the scheme.

He said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was running a scare campaign over the issue.

"He's all opposition and no leadership,'' Mr Swan said.

"There is no cost-free way of dealing with climate change and reducing carbon pollution.

"There's a responsibility on anyone who aspires to lead our country to face up to that, because our future prosperity, jobs in our community, depends upon governments dealing with the long-term challenges.''



More than 600 residents objected to plans for a McDonald's outlet in Knoxfield. Source: HWT Image Library

McDONALD'S has been forced to ditch plans for an outlet in Knoxfield after residents won a David and Goliath court battle to keep the fast-food giant off their turf.

A VCAT ruling this month upheld a decision by Knox City Council to refuse a permit to construct the eatery on the corner of Ferntree Gully and Kathryn roads, ending a 15-month legal battle.

More than 600 residents voiced their objection through a petition to council.

VCAT arbitrator Laurie Hewet ruled the outlet's impact on surrounding properties through increased traffic and late trading hours outweighed the economic benefit it could bring to the area.

"The nature of this site's residential interfaces and its broader residential context ... has led me to conclude that this proposal is not acceptable for this site," Mr Hewet stated.

Knoxfield resident Michael Colling, who led calls to have the junk-food giant banished, said the campaign was not meant to be anti-McDonald's.

"It is clear that the site is too close to residences and has been chosen because of the skate park across the road," Mr Colling said.

"As a youth worker, I have seen young people cross that road and it can be dangerous.

"It would happen far more if the restaurant was there."

But a Facebook group administered by Mr Colling, rallying residents behind the push to have the restaurant barred, said residents feared "bogans in their 'doof doof' cars all hours of the night, rubbish all over the place and the stench of fries and fake meat wafting through our streets."

, with Mr Colling now hoping the site will become a childcare centre or kindergarten.


WEST POINT, N.Y. — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates bluntly told an audience of West Point cadets on Friday that it would be unwise for the United States to ever fight another war like Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the chances of carrying out a change of government in that fashion again were slim.

“In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Mr. Gates told an assembly of Army cadets here.

That reality, he said, meant that the Army would have to reshape its budget, since potential conflicts in places like Asia or the Persian Gulf were more likely to be fought with air and sea power, rather than with conventional ground forces.

“As the prospects for another head-on clash of large mechanized land armies seem less likely, the Army will be increasingly challenged to justify the number, size, and cost of its heavy formations,” Mr. Gates warned.

“The odds of repeating another Afghanistan or Iraq — invading, pacifying, and administering a large third-world country — may be low,” Mr. Gates said, but the Army and the rest of the government must focus on capabilities that can “prevent festering problems from growing into full-blown crises which require costly — and controversial — large-scale American military intervention.”

Mr. Gates was brought into the Bush cabinet in late 2006 to repair the war effort in Iraq that was begun under his predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, and then was kept in office by President Obama. He did not directly criticize the Bush administration’s decisions to go to war. Even so, his never-again formulation was unusually pointed, especially at a time of upheaval across the Arab world and beyond. Mr. Gates has said that he would leave office this year, and the speech at West Point could be heard as his farewell to the Army.

A decade of constant conflict has trained a junior officer corps with exceptional leadership skills, he told the cadets, but the Army may find it difficult in the future to find inspiring work to retain its rising commanders as it fights for the money to keep large, heavy combat units in the field.

“Men and women in the prime of their professional lives, who may have been responsible for the lives of scores or hundreds of troops, or millions of dollars in assistance, or engaging or reconciling warring tribes, may find themselves in a cube all day re-formatting PowerPoint slides, preparing quarterly training briefs, or assigned an ever-expanding array of clerical duties,” Mr. Gates said. “The consequences of this terrify me.”

He said Iraq and Afghanistan had become known as “the captains’ wars” because “officers of lower and lower rank were put in the position of making decisions of higher and higher degrees of consequence and complexity.”

To find inspiring work for its young officers after combat deployments, the Army must encourage unusual career detours, Mr. Gates said, endorsing graduate study, teaching, or duty in a policy research institute or Congressional office.

Mr. Gates said his main worry was that the Army might not overcome the institutional bias that favored traditional career paths. He urged the service to “break up the institutional concrete, its bureaucratic rigidity in its assignments and promotion processes, in order to retain, challenge, and inspire its best, brightest, and most battle-tested young officers to lead the service in the future.”

There will be one specific benefit to the fighting force as the pressures of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan decrease, Mr. Gates said: “The opportunity to conduct the kind of full-spectrum training — including mechanized combined arms exercises — that was neglected to meet the demands of the current wars.”


Special Comment From Alex Thomas In Regards To Cable TV covering FEMA Camps:

Theories as to whether or not all this information has been released on purpose in order to scare the public have become all the more credible after the astonishing admissions of FEMA camps on cable TV. I think ALL alternative researchers should sit back and ask themselves, WHY is this information being openly announced? Tru TV is owned by Turner Broadcasting. The idea that they have all of a sudden decided to expose the truth after years of working to cover it up is insane and at the very least highly unlikely. It is very important for individual people to research these camps and not stop at the information that is now being released through the mainstream.

The Intel Hub
By Avalon

Jan 25, 2011

Anyone familiar with the recent Conspiracy Theory Television Series with Jesse Ventura will be somewhat familiar with the FEMA Camps that have been reported on throughout the United States. The release of the Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory FEMA Camps episode caused so much controversy that the episodes were supposedly pulled after airing. How this was done and by who still remains a mystery and also highly suspicious.

Astonishingly, FEMA has also been active for years in Australia which is news to many Americans.

One particular YouTube Channel has documented not just FEMA Camps activity in Australia, but HAARP and Chemtrail (Aerosol GeoEngineering) in Australia as well. He includes an interesting diagram of the World Power Structure which has been put together from research over the years by numerous individuals. Nearly all of this information is verifiable and factual – exactly how these organizations are connected remains unclear, but they exist and are controlled centrally for all intents and purposes.

Secret Detention Centers In Australia




The FEMA head came to Australia last year to give instructions (see P1) how to build the detention camps suitable to take Australians who reject the UN global government take over of the country when this region becomes the ASIAN UNION.. – Something that has been kept secret. – The IMF banking cartel will take over government as it has in Argentina, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain Ireland etc. Already 850 similar camps are built in America to hold over 40 million when the expected civil unrest begins, which will hold detainees for forced vaccinations and dissidents..

The Australian people have been completely duped and deceived concerning the NWO-UN-CFR, planned take-over, and the corrupt media, also under the control of the IMF banking cartel. demonise any whistle blower who raises the warnings as ‘conspirators’.

In this planned attack on Australia, as in all previous take-overs, FIRST the UN coerce the Governments which are also CORPORATIONS to SELL OFF all public assets into private corporations, and it is found the BUYERS of such CORP’s are from the USA ADMIN such as Halliburton, Rockefeller, KBR etc. then squeeze the economy, close the banks, take possession of all properties, and enforce vaccinations.

details: http://cleanairandwater.net. NLE09 involved Australia as well as Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile in America, FEMA has put in requests for millions of packets of food, blankets, water, and fuel specifically for the gulf region.

FEMA has issued multiple RFI’s(Request For Information) in regards to the availability of 140 million packets of food specifically for a disaster in the New Madrid Fault System. Normally this sort of information would seem like disinformation or fear mongering but this particular situation is heavily documented. Source

Citizens are encouraged to research this information and send any Video iReports to Tips@theintelhub.com. The people of the world need to work together to continue to expose these camps worldwide with or without the help of cable TV shows.

To research FEMA Camps, individuals are encouraged to Google – REX 84 FEMA Camps – and check out http://maps.google.com as well for interesting information on locations of FEMA Camps.











Friday, February 18, 2011


By Yasmin Alibhai-brown 18th February 2011

Betrayal: Beyonce's change of skin tone appears to deny her heritage and send out a bad message to the youngsters who see the images

Betrayal: Beyonce's change of skin tone appears to deny her heritage and send out a bad message to the youngsters who see the images

Not so long ago, I sat in a nursery class in Wandsworth, South London, where a teacher was conducting a test to discover how the children felt about their race.

She asked each youngster to hug the doll in the classroom that looked most like them.

Naomi, a black girl, at once grabbed a blonde, blue-eyed doll and wouldn’t let go. Tears rolled down her face when it was gently taken from her.

What, I wonder, was the poor mite thinking and feeling? How could it be that even at nursery school she somehow understood this was the most beautiful, desirable doll — the one she wanted to look like?

Too many black and Asian children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is to be somehow inferior.

The young daughter of one of my relatives even tried to scrub her ‘dirty’ skin off with a Brillo Pad, such was her loathing for her natural colour.

Of course, black and Asian parents work hard to give their children a positive self-image and confidence in their appearance, despite the cultural forces stacked against them.

But when black celebrities appear to deny their heritage by trying to make themselves look white, I despair for the youngsters who see those images.

One black friend of mine, who has a 13-year-old daughter, was incandescent this week when she saw the picture of U.S. singer Beyonce at a pre-Grammy awards party.

Her complexion and limbs were translucently pallid, her locks long, straight and blonde.

Now, racial mixing since the days of slavery means ‘black’ Americans come in a whole range of skin hues, but in recent years Beyonce’s tone seems miraculously to be changing from dusky to peachy.

The Knowles we knew: Beyonce on stage at the Grammy Awards
Classy: Her skin looked much lighter than usual as she showed off her bare legs in jade suede Daffodile heels by Christian Louboutin

The Knowles we knew: The pop star on stage in 2008, left, and stepping out earlier this week

In truth, it is hard now to tell she is the daughter of an African-American father and Creole mother. It was three years ago that L’Oreal was accused of whitening Beyonce’s face in a magazine advert, a charge denied by the company. But now there she is, looking like a willowy Caucasian.

When she saw the pictures, my friend told me: ‘My little girl Ciara is 13, her hair is curly and I don’t let her straighten it, and she has a beautiful toffee-coloured skin tone.

‘In our small village, everyone else is white and it’s never affected her. But now, she has seen Beyonce and she is telling me she hates her hair and wants to lighten it and straighten it.’

Changing face: Once Bollywood's top actresses were all curvy and a range of skins shades, but now they are all fair and skinny

Changing face: Once Bollywood's top actresses were all curvy and a range of skins shades, but now they are all fair and skinny

On one level, you might say this altering of appearance is just women enjoying themselves — selecting different colours, shapes and styles to become what they want. But there is more to it than that; precisely because they never make themselves look darker.

In Bollywood, top actresses were once curvy and a range of skin shades. Now, they are all fair, skinny and are chosen for their green or blueish eyes — or they simply wear coloured contact lenses.

Women of colour across the world spend a lot of money, time and emotional energy on treatments to achieve an appearance which the Western world defines as perfection: usually blonde, thin, light skinned and with European features.

Ella Fitzgerald did not feel the need to make any adjustments and did not enjoy the same success as Tina Turner

Ella Fitzgerald did not feel the need to make any adjustments and did not enjoy the same success as Tina Turner

So what, they would say. If it’s OK for white women to turn to plastic surgery, diet to the point of extinction and colour their hair, why can’t black and Asian women reinvent themselves without being accused of betraying their racial heritage?

The answer is that every woman of colour has an important social and cultural history that cannot simply be bleached away or denied by the use of hair straighteners. That’s why I passionately believe that Beyonce’s ignorance of how this betrays her heritage is so insidiously damaging to all peoples of colour.

At a time when the U.S. has a half-Kenyan President whose wife and daughters are black and proud, why are non-European features, body shapes and colours still thought not beautiful or alluring? And why has Beyonce just reinforced that message?
It could be that she felt she needed a more mainstream image to survive in a highly competitive entertainment industry.

Superstar Tina Turner modified her appearance so she wasn’t seen as a black singer by dyeing her hair blonde, and when she and I once met, her skin looked lighter to me than it once had.

Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, on the other hand, didn’t feel they had to make adjustments to their appearance, though they never came close to Turner’s success.

Today, Hollywood may love Halle Berry with her light brown skin tone, but obviously black actresses by and large don’t make the A-list.

The truth is that though things are slowly changing for the better, skin still matters and, on the whole, the world believes it is better not to be dark.

Surveys in the U.S. have proved that, all things being equal, the lighter skinned that people are, the more chances they get in life, and the more respect they receive.

In most countries, even in Africa and on the Indian sub-continent, black and dark brown skin and frizzy hair are seen as an impairment and a curse.

My mother was a just and good woman and believed we were all God’s children, yet she didn’t let me drink tea or coffee because she thought they darkened the skin.

Instead, she plastered my face with a paste of flour, lemon and milk — her very own skin-lightening cream.

I found the stuff hateful, as much for what it revealed about my mother’s beliefs as anything else. If you doubt the power of this prejudice against colour, consider that only last week an Asian mother who lives in London contacted me to describe how she has just been thrown out by her husband and in-laws.

And her crime? Five days before, she had given birth to a daughter who was not, as she described it, the colour of a Milkybar. And this was a child with two Asian parents.

These prejudices are vile. And the more celebrities deny their racial heritage in the way they alter their appearance, the more desperate young women will keep using the often untested and damaging skin-lightening creams sold in ‘ethnic’ beauty shops around the world, including in Britain.

Proud: The Obama family are rightly proud of their skin, but why is it that non-European body shapes and colours are still not thought to be beautiful?

Proud: The Obama family are rightly proud of their skin, but why is it that non-European body shapes and colours are still not thought to be beautiful?

Demand is high, too, for dangerous hair-taming products, some of which burn the hair and scalp.

So why do all these women want to be whiter? The warped values they subscribe to evolved out of colonialism: white people were not only powerful but like mythical gods, physically superior and invincible.

The rulers believed it, and their subjects ingested the message. In India, the skin hierarchy was set down before the time of the Raj by Mogul aristocrats who were light-skinned.

So why do these attitudes persist so long after independence in the 21st century? Academics studying these trends say it is because of globalisation and the emergence of ‘international beauty’ prototypes, based on the looks you see in fashion magazines and films.

And so it is that cosmetic surgeons are inundated — particularly in the Far East, in countries such as Singapore, where hundreds of women pay to have plastic surgery to make them look more Western.

In other words, they are wilfully shedding their own cultural heritage in favour of a more recent and more fashionable ideal. Anything goes now — if you can pay for it you can become what you want, and like many black and Asian stars, turn black to white.

But these idols are shallow and do not understand how their frivolous choices affect and undermine the self-esteem of women and children of colour.

I know these stars are under pressure to sell records and magazines.

But do they have to go white? Do they know what effect that has? Clearly not.

Beyonce’s unique, sensual beauty owed much to her racial and ethnic background.

That, it seems, was just not good enough, not even for her, a woman who has conquered the world. What hope then for all the rest?


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.

In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.

“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.

“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.

Asking how abuse exploded within the Church, the Pontiff called on senior clerics “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message.

“We cannot remain silent about the context of these times in which these events have come to light,” he said, citing the growth of child pornography “that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society” he said.

But outraged Dublin victim Andrew Madden last night insisted that child abuse was not considered normal in the company he kept.

Mr Madden accused the Pope of not knowing that child pornography was the viewing of images of children being sexually abused, and should be named as such.

He said: “That is not normal. I don't know what company the Pope has been keeping for the past 50 years.”

Pope Benedict also said sex tourism in the Third World was “threatening an entire generation”.

Angry abuse victims in America last night said that while some Church officials have blamed the liberalism of the 1960s for the Church's sex abuse scandals and cover-up catastrophes, Pope Benedict had come up with a new theory of blaming the 1970s.

“Catholics should be embarrassed to hear their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterise this heinous crisis,” said Barbara Blaine, the head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,

“It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal,” she added.

“The Pope insists on talking about a vague ‘broader context' he can't control, while ignoring the clear ‘broader context' he can influence — the long-standing and unhealthy culture of a rigid, secretive, all-male Church hierarchy fixated on self-preservation at all costs. This is the ‘context’ that matters.”

The latest controversy comes as the German magazine Der Spiegel continues to investigate the Pope's role in allowing a known paedophile priest to work with children in the early 1980s.


By Jerome Taylor Friday, 18 February 2011 Belfast Telegraph

Online activist group Anonymous has uncovered a proposal by a consortium of private contractors to attack and discredit whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Last week Anonymous volunteers broke into the servers of HB Gary Federal, a security company that sells investigative services to companies, and posted thousands of the firm's emails on to the internet.

The attack was in revenge for claims by the company's chief executive Aaron Barr that he had successfully infiltrated the shadowy cyber protest network and discovered details of its leadership and structure.

Hacktivists, journalists and bloggers have since pored over the emails and discovered what appears to be a proposal that was intended to be pitched to the Bank of America to sabotage WikiLeaks and discredit journalists who are sympathetic to the whistle-blowing website.

The PowerPoint presentation claims that a trio of internet security companies – HB Gary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies – are already prepared to attack WikiLeaks which is rumoured to be getting ready to release a cache of potentially embarrassing information on the Bank of America.

The presentation, which has been seen by The Independent, recommends a multi-pronged assault on WikiLeaks including deliberately submitting false documents to the website to undermine its credibility, pioneering cyber attacks to expose who the leakers to WikiLeaks are and going after sympathetic journalists.

One of those mentioned is Glenn Greenwald, a pro-WikiLeaks reporter in the US. Writing on Salon.com Greenwald stated that his initial reaction to was "to scoff at its absurdity".

"But after learning a lot more over the last couple of days," he added, "I now take this more seriously – not in terms of my involvement but the broader implications this story highlights. For one thing, it turns out that the firms involved are large, legitimate and serious, and do substantial amounts of work for both the US government and the nation's largest private corporations."

A separate email written by Mr Barr to a Palantir employee suggests that security companies should track and intimidate people who donate to WikiLeaks. Security firms, Mr Barr wrote, "need to get people to understand that if they support the organisation we will come after them. Transaction records are easily identifiable."

The Bank of America does not seem to have directly solicited the services of HB Gary Federal. Instead it pitched the idea to Hunton and Williams, a law firm that represents the bank.

A Bank of America spokesman denied any knowledge of the proposals: "We've never seen the presentation, never evaluated it, and have no interest in it." A spokesman for Hunton and Williams declined to comment. HB Gary Federal has acknowledged in a statement that it was hit by a cyber attack but has suggested the documents online could be falsified.

However, the two other security firms named on the presentation have not denied the authenticity of the documents. Instead, both Berico and Palantir issued angry statements distancing themselves from HB Gary Federal and severing ties with the firm.

But a statement from Anonymous claimed the presentation showed how sections of corporate America were "entangled in highly dubious and most likely illegal activities, including a smear campaign against WikiLeaks, its supportive journalists, and adversaries of the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America".


Saturday, February 12, 2011


February 9, 2011 By ASHLEY PARKER
WASHINGTON — When a blizzard blanketed Chicago last week, “Rahm Emanuel” took to Twitter to chronicle his day — making a snow angel on Lake Michigan, shoveling out David Axelrod’s Civic, drinking whiskey in an igloo made by a tireless campaign intern named Carl.

Except, of course, these urgent updates were not from the actual Mr. Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff who is running for mayor of Chicago and who has his own — far more professional and less profanity-laden — Twitter feed. They were from a fake account in his name, an online alter ego created anonymously.

Fake Twitter personalities mock actors like Chuck Norris and world leaders like President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, whose faux feed suggested that “Muslim Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants!” would be a great “political movie mash-up.”

But figures from the worlds of Washington and politics are particularly attractive targets for the mock Twitter treatment.

There are several phony accounts for Sarah Palin, including one in which she confuses North and South Korea and another where she boasts, “I can check in to Russia on FourSquare from my house!”

There is the Twitter doppelganger of the executive editor of the Politico Web site, @FakeJimVandeHei, a wisecracking, tyrannical presence in the newsroom, threatening to fire reporters who link to rival news organizations in their articles and waking dozing colleagues with a bullhorn.

There is @DCJourno, a self-described “important political reporter in Washington” who recently advised cable television bookers that he would be happy to appear on their shows to talk about Egypt — he has, after all, “been following this stuff pretty closely for almost a week.” And there was a short-lived Twitter feed in the guise of Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.

“I love that we have no idea who is behind them, and that’s part of the fun,” said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist. “The fact that people are facilitating those conversations anonymously is in many ways completely anti-Washington, where you have such a name-obsessed culture, and now some of the most pointed observations are coming from people who don’t have real names. In that regard, it’s even more perfect.”

But that has not stopped people from guessing. The Washington parlor game of the moment is trying to puzzle out just who is behind each new parody account. Casual conversations in newsrooms, at bars and even over Twitter are peppered with allusions to “fake Rahm Emanuel” and “DCJourno” as the city’s insiders laugh about the accounts and lament that they did not think of them first.

The real Jim VandeHei jokingly says that he thinks John F. Harris, who co-founded Politico with him, might be behind @FakeJimVandeHei, “though he’s much funnier than the posts suggested.”

“I have suspected he wanted a way to unload on me, but didn’t have the heart to do it in person,” Mr. VandeHei said in an e-mail.

Twitter allows parody accounts as long as they are labeled as such, and many of the site’s most popular tweets are comedic — in 2010, the most re-tweeted message was a 10-word missive about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from the comedian Stephen Colbert: “In honor of oil-soaked birds, ‘tweets’ are now ‘gurgles.’ ”

The person behind the handle @DCJourno, who would not reveal his identity and agreed to be interviewed only via e-mail, said that he started the account in the hope that it might make its targets a bit more self-aware. His tweets totter between fact and fiction so closely that he said: “Several of my followers still don’t understand that I’m a parody. They think I’m just a cool D.C. journalist, which really says it all.”

Betsy Rothstein, the editor of Fishbowl DC, a media and gossip blog, offers her own take on Washington by mining the real Twitter feeds of the chattering class for embarrassing fodder. And not every fake account carries a household name. Someone, for example, has created a fake account for Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant.

“Whoever does this does it to mock me. And while on the one hand it’s flattering that someone would take the time to follow my life so closely, on the other hand, it makes you realize how ridiculous you are,” Mr. Mackowiak said. “The one thing everyone in Washington can use is a check on their own ego.”

A few minutes later, he e-mailed with an even more optimistic perspective: “Finally, I can say Brad Pitt and I have something in common.”