I have made up my mind before to stop posting on Qohel: too many other calls on my time, and in the little spare time I have I want to concentrate on other writing projects.
But I keep coming back to it!
However, after four years I really do need to draw a line under this project. Thank you for visiting. Keep reading. Keep thinking. Keep doing what is right. May God bless and keep you.
In the mid 1990s Julia Gillard had a sexual relationship with a corrupt union official, Bruce Wilson. At the time she was a partner in law firm Slater and Gordon.
Julia Gillard has attempted to squash any discussion of that relationship, and of her involvement in setting up an illegally constituted entity – the AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc – into which stolen union funds were deposited. Pressure was brought to bear to have two journalists, Michael Smith and Glen Milne, sacked for trying to bring this to public attention. That in itself is scandalous.
She was asked to resign from Slater and Gordon, or resigned of her own accord in almost inexplicable circumstances – she was in a well paid position and had no other job to go to.
Gillard was either completely ignorant of the law relating to the setting up of incorporated associations, or if she wasn’t, she knowingly arranged a drop box for stolen union funds for her boyfriend.
Slater and Gordon’s credibility has been diminished by this. The media is taking a growing interest, and seems less willing to be cowed. This is not going to go away.
On the facts, Julia Gillard is either dangerously incompetent, dishonest, or both. In any case, the people of Australia can have no confidence in her leadership.
If the Federal Government is to continue to have any integrity (don’t laugh!) Julia Gillard must stand down until there has been a full enquiry.
More details in the latest Alan Jones interview with Michael Smith.
It used to be that inn-keepers could be fined if they were found to be profiting from immoral earnings. Now they can be fined of they don’t.
From the UK Guardian:
Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from.
The judgment has stunned hoteliers, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.
The woman, identified only as GK, had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state civil and administrative tribunal after management refused to rent her a room.
The motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said on Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the discrimination claim. Edwards confirmed the woman was seeking damages, reported in The Australian newspaper to be 30,000 Australian dollars (£20,000).
Richard Munro, is chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia.
“It’s absolutely illogical,” Munro said. “If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, ‘Hang on, that’s a different business operating out of my business.’”
“If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here,” he said.
Janelle Fawkes, chief executive of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association, said the ruling was a major win for the sex work industry throughout Australia.
“Accommodation discrimination is a major issue for sex workers, but it is not by any means the only form of systemic discrimination that sex workers experience,” she said.
They are not ‘sex workers.’ They are prostitutes. Prostitution is demeaning to both men and women, it is damaging to families and to society. One may not wish to judge the motives of any indivdual man or woman who offers sexual services for a price, but prostitution is still wrong.
If Queensland law demands such a ruling because prostitution is legal in Queensland, and it is forbidden to discriminate against a person engaged in a legal business, then the law needs to be changed. No one should be forced to allow prostitution to take place at their home or place of business.
In March a group of forty-nine NASA scientists wrote to Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, expressing their concern that NASA’s climate alarm advocacy is not based in science and is undermining NASA’s credibility:
The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr. NASA Administrator NASA Headquarters Washington, D.C. 20546-0001
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.
The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.
As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.
For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.
Thank you for considering this request.
A month ago the journal Nature Climate Change published a paper by a group of German scientists demonstrating that the world’s temperature has been declining for the last 2.000 years:
How did the Romans grow grapes in northern England? Perhaps because it was warmer than we thought.
A study suggests the Britain of 2,000 years ago experienced a lengthy period of hotter summers than today. German researchers used data from tree rings – a key indicator of past climate – to claim the world has been on a ‘long-term cooling trend’ for two millennia until the global warming of the twentieth century.
This cooling was punctuated by a couple of warm spells. These are the Medieval Warm Period, which is well known, but also a period during the toga-wearing Roman times when temperatures were apparently 1 deg C warmer than now. They say the very warm period during the years 21 to 50AD has been underestimated by climate scientists.
Lead author Professor Dr Jan Esper of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz said: ‘We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low.
Marc Morano and Lord Monckton explain why the whole notion of climate refugees is bunk:
And if you need more, try the NIPCC 2011 interim report which lists dozens of peer reviewed papers published in the last two years questioning the science of man made global warming.
Consensus? Pull the other one.
I have always liked Apple products. Although they are a little expensive compared to other products, they are stylish and reliable.
I would love to be able to sell them. I recently signed up with a new wholesaler who is an Apple distributor, and began to go through the process of becoming an Apple reseller.
Normally Apple require a commitment to sell a minimum of $30,000 worth of their products per quarter. Our total IT sales easily exceed that, but Kangaroo Island is an isolated community with a very small population; less than 5,000 people, so I did not feel able to make a commitment to that level of sales from day one.
I explained this to the Apple rep, a pleasant seeming young woman named Charmaine. It was not necessarily a problem, she said. She asked me to send her photos of the shop and of the space in the shop where Apple products would be displayed. After I had done that she sent me a Reseller Application and told me that once that was completed and returned, we would be ready to go.
A week later I heard from a third party that my application had been declined. I emailed Charmaine to check whether there was anything in the form I had missed, or if there was something else I needed to do. No reply. A week later I emailed her again. No reply. Another week later I tried again. Still no reply.
I was beginning to think that if Apple treated its customers the same way it treated potential resellers, I was probably better off not selling its products. That is a decision we have made before with companies which do not keep their promises. See this earlier story about OKI printers.
Co-incidentally, at about the same time, I read about an Apple Store in Sydney which had been copying personal files and photos from client computers for the amusement of staff:
The Sunday Telegraph revealed last week that the inner-city store – an accredited and official Apple reseller – copied private pictures of the household-name star and his wife in numerous sexual acts.
He had taken the computer to the shop to be repaired…
The Olympian is among a number of celebrities – as well as members of the general public – caught out.
This was not an isolated incident, or one or two staff members who were swiftly dismissed:
Shop staff scan machines for intimate material under the encouragement of the store’s owner and upload sensitive photos and videos to a shared drive…
The store owner denied targeting sexual images but said: “If people choose to put photos and personal information on their computers that’s their decision.”
I was gobsmacked. That is a shocking betrayal of trust. People’s computers are their private property. The only time we ever look at client files or emails is if we are asked to recover and check particular files. Otherwise, client privacy is sacred. Even if there are photos on the desktop, we simply ignore them. I don’t even tell my wife what I have seen on client computers.
What was Apple’s response to this?
Apple spokeswoman Fiona Martin … called on any customers who feared their privacy had been compromised at an Apple store to contact the company immediately. However, she would not guarantee Apple would take steps to protect its customers, or that it would withdraw the store’s licence.
What does that mean? Let us know, but don’t expect us to do anything about it? As far as I know the store is still operating, is still an Apple reseller, and existing staff are still in place. Nor has Apple revealed publicly which store it was.
So clients going into an Apple store and having their private files searched and personal photos filched for the prurient entertainment of staff is OK, but when someone with a long-standing interest in Apple products, a high level of technical qualifications, a commitment to customer service, and a solid trading history wants to introduce Apple products into a new market, that’s not even worth replying to emails about.
It seems an odd set of priorities.
CFS-Live and ESL Trader are a simple but very slick share trading software scam. The pattern is that they cold call to test interest, send a polished looking brochure, make follow-up calls, give you a few websites (all fakes) to check to confirm their stories, tell you there only a couple of licences left for your state, that because of the demand they can only hold one for you for a day or two. If you still hesitate they will give you a directors’ guarantee that you will make back the cost of the programme within the first twelve months or they will refund your money.
But you won’t make any money, and they won’t refund your payment.
I rarely write negatively about any person or company. When I do I am careful to be fair and factual. I always allow people to respond and will make changes if they can show I was wrong. All the CFS ESL crowd needed to do was demonstrate that their products really do work, and that they treat people who are unhappy fairly and honestly, and I would have been delighted to have said so.
Instead, they responded with threatening phone calls, abusive emails, and numerous vicious and misleading comments to the posts about JBC, CFS and ESL.
More recently, they have set up a couple of websites or blogs making vile allegations about me and my family, or pretending to be people who have shopped with me and are dissatisfied. It is silly, childish and nasty. I am not bothered by them, because no-one who knows me or my business would believe them for a moment.
In the last few days someone has attempted to organise an attack on this website. Again, silly and shortsighted. Everything is backed up, and even if the attack was successful and the site went down, it would be up again the next day
By doing these things, Rhys, Phil and co have confirmed what I have heard from the hundreds of people who have contacted me or made comments on the various earlier posts – that they are not only dishonest, but vicious and vindictive. Not the kind of people you want to be doing business with.
Who could not be in favour of helping the disabled? Who wants to pay for that help?
The delectable Philippa Martyr writes in Quadrant Magazine:
The Federal government has recently committed $1 billion to start up a National Disability Insurance Scheme for as many as 20,000 people with serious lifetime disabilities, and their carers and families.
This certainly makes a nice change from cuddling up to a union that has plundered the wages of the very workforce that helps to care for these people.
However, here are some of the ways in which the NDIS – a scheme which is supposed to help genuinely disadvantaged people who are doing it really, really tough – could have been funded from as far back as 2007, when this government was first elected.
- Estimated cost of the unnecessary pink batts scheme, whose graft and waste is well-documented: $2.45 billion, followed by another $424 million to fix the dangerous installations
- Estimated cost of the Building the Education Revolution scheme, ditto: $16.2 billion
- Estimated cost (so far) of the National Broadband Network, as WiFi conquers the known universe: at least $36 billion
- Resources available to the Climate Change ministerial portfolio in 2010-2011, to fix a ‘problem’ whose tractability and indeed existence is questionable: $1.57 billion
- Labor’s ‘literacy and numeracy partnership’ (4 years) which has produced no measurable improvements in either: $540 million
- The dramatically unsuccessful Productivity Places Program which was so badly administered that it is impossible to tell who benefited from it, if anyone: $2.1 billion
Sadly, this catalogue of over-administered political bankruptcy tends to point to one conclusion: the NDIS will become just another unauditable and potentially tragic botch-up. Only time will tell.
Only $1 billion on the latest feel good scheme. That’s only $50 from every every Australian resident. We should probably be grateful. The NBN looks like costing more than $50 billion. That’s at least $6000 from every household – for an internet connection.
I have written about the utter madness of the NBN before, but let me say that again. A minimum of $6000 per household for an internet connection, an amount you will pay through taxation whether you need an internet connection or not.
Perhaps we wouldn’t mind the incredible cost if we were getting an incredible product. But the NBN relies on technology that was outdated before it even began. Most households, even those that connect to the NBN’s overpriced services, would have been better off with newer, mostly wireless, technologies that would have been introduced had the market just been allowed to do its thing.
I use PayPal frequently; at least once per day on average. About ten pecent of my business payments are made through PayPal.
On Saturday my account was restricted. Without any notice whatever, I could not make payments.
PayPal sent me an email saying they had some security concerns and asking me follow a procedure to regain access to my account.
I logged in and entered a new password and two security questions. Up to this point the process was inconvenient, but nothing more.
Then it asked me upload or fax a utility account or government ID showing my registered PayPal address.
That’s when it became a major problem.
As far as I can gather, this happened because I had logged in to my account and made a payment from a computer I do not normally use. Either that or PayPal has a programme which randomly takes a wrecking ball to its customers’ acccounts.
Think about when a client make might make a payment from a computer he does not normally use. When he’s on holiday, perhaps. Or on a business trip. Or away from home for some other reason. Just the sort of circumstances when obtaining, scanning and emailing utility accounts is going to be impossible. That’s when PayPal demands you produce them, and won’t let you use your account until you do. Good thinking, PayPal!
However, my problem was different. Like thousands of other businesses, my registered PayPal address is a delivery address; my physical location. No normal mail, utility accounts or anything else, comes to that address, it all goes to our PO box. So what am I meant to do?
After I had logged in to my account, I used the ‘contact us’ link on the PayPal website to send a message describing the problem and asking that it be fixed. No response.
Twenty-four hours later I hit the ‘contact us’ link again and sent another message. No response.
Another twenty-four hours later, and I still have not heard from them.
This is extremely poor customer service.
Apart from that, I cannot understand how a business like PayPal could have so little understanding of its clients’ needs. We are encouraged to rely on PayPal as a safe, reliable, always available payment method. But if your account can simply be stopped without warning, then PayPal cannot be relied on.
I understand the need for security measures.
But surely, if PayPal thinks an unauthorised transaction might have been made, the easiest thing for both PayPal and client would be to send the client an email asking him or her to check. If the situation is so dire that an account must be closed down immediately (using a different computer from usual certainly does not come into this category), wouldn’t a responsible business do everything possible to help a client get her account back as soon as possible?
PayPal problems update:
Fours days later, four messages to PayPal, still no response. Still can’t use my account. This is a mixture of monumental dumbness (see above) and an appalling disinterest in customer service.
If there were any other realistic option I would dump Paypal in a second.
Anthony Watts’s blog has not been updated for past couple of days. Anthony says he has something big to post in the next day or so.
There are rumours that Richard Muller of the University of California has prepared another article based on the temperature studies about which he wrote last year in the Wall Street Journal.
Basically, Muller said his work proved the world really was warming, so there was no excuse for global warming scepticism.
Sadly for Muller, he had missed the point. He, like most global warming alarmists, seemed to have no idea what the sceptics were actually saying. No one denies the world has warmed over the last one hundred and fifty years. No one denies that human activity can influence climate. The argument is about the extent of human influence, whether current climate change is unusual or dangerous, and if it is, what are the most economical and effective ways to deal with it.
Marc Morano summarised the scientific responses to Muller’s earlier article at Climate Depot.
This is a capture from Steven Goddard’s blog Real Science:
Anthony’s major post has nothing to do with any new work by Muller, but is a ‘pre-release’ of an important paper by Watts, Jones, McIntyre and Christy on NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward.
These factors, combined with station siting issues, have led to a spurious doubling of U.S. mean temperature trends in the 30 year data period covered by the study from 1979 – 2008.
The legacy media has a habit of getting the wrong end of the stick; taking a set of facts, some of which are interesting, and then ignoring those interesting facts in order to focus on something which fits the current (liberal) paradigm.
One example is the extraordinary ganging up on Michelle Bachmann over her calls for security screening for members of government and government advisors who have family or other links to islamism.
Congresswoman Bachmann’s concerns included Huma Abedin, a close advisor to Hilary Clinton. Abedin’s mother is a radical islamist. Huma introduced her mother to Hilary Clinton, and has never publicly distanced herself from her family’s views.
But Huma is married to a Jew – ex congressman Anthony Weiner. Perhaps an unfortunate choice. But being married to a Jew almost certainly means that Huma Abedin is not a raving islamist. There have been recent fatwas against such marriages. It certainly hasn’t won her any friends in the Islamic world:
Really disappointed, she claims she is a practicing Muslim but is married to a pathetic scum Yehudi (haram in Islam) who is caught in a internet scandal…
Born to an Indian Muslim father Pakistani Muslim mother in Michigan lived in KSA speaks fluent Arabic…AFAIK she doesn’t speak Urdu…smh
Really disgusted by this lady.
Bachmann’s concerns about Huma Abedin are probably misplaced. But the real story is not her sensible calls for routine security screening for people with links to Islamism.
The real story is that the only recorded threats to Huma have come from muslims. But even when that fact is mentioned, it is only mentioned to push the party line about how dreadful Bachmann is.
What’s the story?
AD/DC are one of the all time greatest rock bands. Now it seems they have made a substantial contribution to world peace.
Over the weekend, I received a series of emails from Iran. They were sent by a scientist working at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
I am writing you to inform you that our nuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom.
According to the email our cyber experts sent to our teams, they believe a hacker tool Metasploit was used. The hackers had access to our VPN. The automation network and Siemens hardware were attacked and shut down. I only know very little about these cyber issues as I am scientist not a computer expert.
There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC.
Via The Jawa Report.
Quadrant Magazine has posted a transcript of an important 2GB radio interview between Alan Jones and Michael Smith.
A few paragraphs:
Jones: Cambridge has been calling on the one hand for a Royal Commission but then is appointed (to FWA). He was the author of the affidavit when McClelland was the solicitor. Cambridge is now in the union controlled Fair Work Australia, which has delayed the investigation into Thomson and, as I understand it, he has not pursued the Wilson-Gillard matter since.
Smith: That is true. He swore an affidavit with penalty of perjury if falsely sworn. You read it; read what he said about Slater & Gordon, and its role and Ms Gillard was a partner who was involved in this position where she had a conflict of interest having a sexual relationship with the man who headed up her client, the AWU, that was undisclosed to her partners. The Law Council would have a view about the appropriateness of that.
Jones: Did she, as a lawyer, set up accounts into which extorted funds were diverted? This union heavy was going around saying: I want this money, 25 thousand from you and 30 thousand from you in order to get work done. This was 20 years ago, and that money was shoved into another account the AWU would not know about. Did she set up those accounts?
Smith: I know that her handwriting is present. I have had that analysed by the country’s pre-eminent forensic handwriting analyst, Paul Westwood. He is the same guy who helped me out on the Craig Thomson matter, who analysed the hand-writing on the credit card chits, the signature.
I am a layman. I can look at her handwriting, I have a copy here and the handwriting on that form. It is identical. But the forensic analyst tells me it is in all likelihood, balance of probabilities, written by the same person, by her.
Jones: The accounts set up that she as a lawyer opened at the direction of Wilson and Blewitt have been described by an AWU executive as unauthorized, invalid, irregular and used for quote, possibly illegal purposes. There were 13 of them.
Smith: Yes, a large number of accounts were set up. Wilson was given the flick from the AWU when the accounts that were established in Melbourne were discovered and he was allowed to leave the union, and in fact got redundancy payments. The money was paid back to the organisations that had paid the money into those accounts, in Melbourne. Julia Gillard was questioned in Melbourne and said: I have done nothing wrong. At that point the account she had set up in 1992 in Perth had not been discovered. It was discovered later, after he had left the union and after she had made the public protestation that she did nothing wrong. She had a duty as a lawyer acting for the AWU, upon a report to her law firm that fraud had been discovered, she had a duty to assist her client to find the location of any further monies that might be owing to it, including her knowledge, the fact that a cheque drawn on the association she had set up, had been used to buy a house for a person, not for the union, and she said nothing. This was in March 1993. Slater & Gordon were involved in the purchase of this property at 85 Kerr St, Fitzroy, and money that Thiess Contractors paid was used to pay for the property. Wilson’s signature was on the cheque …
Jones: A final comment: Julia has said previously when questioned that she was young and naïve, and she was terribly distressed when she found out what the boyfriend Wilson had been up to. Would that be Wilson’s account of things?
Smith: (laughs loudly), Alan, no.
Jones: According to her, Wilson was concealing it all from her.
Smith: Yeah (laughs). Bruce Wilson lives in a coastal town, he goes to work in a very old car, he is working in the kitchen at a registered club, he works shifts there cooking meals. He looks at Tim Mathieson and Julia Gillard getting on the plane and thinks to himself about what he knows. What if he was approached by the authorities? What would he have to say under oath? His account is very different from hers. And look Alan, you just add this up, the weight of Cambridge’s affidavit, what Ludwig has to say, what his offsider Blewitt has to say, and all the documents, all the bank statements, all the handwriting analyses, put that on one side of the scale, on the other side of the scale put this statement: “I did nothing wrong, I was young and naïve.”
Was Julia Gillard dishonest; an accessory or active participant in the theft of union funds? Or is she simply incompetent?