13 April 2012

Afghan refugee rapist jailed 14 years

Expert evidence that an Afghan refugee didn't fully comprehend the meaning of sexual consent when he raped two women has been rejected by a Victorian judge.

Esmatullah Sharifi was jailed for 14 years for raping the two women, who were both intoxicated, within a five-day period.

County Court judge Mark Dean said the community needed to be protected from the 30-year-old, whom he described as unremorseful and with poor prospects of rehabilitation.

A psychological report had described Sharifi as a man inexperienced in forming relationships with women and said he had "an unclear concept" of what constituted consent in sexual relationships.

"I do not accept that your offending ... was the product of an 'unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relationships'," Judge Dean said.

"The offence committed by you was an extremely serious act of violence, and in my opinion you well knew that the victim was not consenting to the act of sexual penetration that you performed.

"The community does in fact need protection from you.

"Your brutal conduct must be denounced by this court and you must be punished for it."

Sharifi pleaded guilty to one count of rape over a 2008 attack on an 18-year-old woman he picked up outside a nightclub when she was drunk.

He was jailed in 2009 for nine and a half years for another rape committed five days after that attack, on Christmas Day.

Judge Dean increased Sharifi's sentence on Thursday to 14 years with a minimum of seven years and eight months.

Sharifi approached the 18-year-old who was sitting alone and intoxicated on the footpath outside a Frankston nightclub after having a fight with her friends.

He offered to take her to her friends but instead drove her to Mornington and raped her.

Five days later, he again drove more than an hour from his Tullamarine home to Frankston, where he forced a drunk 25-year-old into his car and raped her.

She eventually escaped from the moving car and recorded its registration number.

Sharifi was charged in 2010 over the latest case after DNA taken after his initial conviction was matched to a sample taken from the 18-year-old victim.

The court heard Sharifi suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his Shi'ite Muslim family, from the Hazara ethnic minority, being persecuted by the Taliban, who had killed his father.

Sharifi fled to Pakistan and came to Australia on a temporary protection visa in 2001.

ninemsn.com.au 12 Apr 2012

Just another example of the Australian government importing criminals into the country under the 'refugee' banner.

This trash should be deported and not housed in luxury jails to the tune of $70,000 per person per year.

If he is truly to be incarcerated for 14 years this would cost the Austrlian tax payer just under $1 million.

Cheaper to send this vile piece of rubbish back on a boat.

12 April 2012

Road fatality hushed by police

In a satellite town North West of Melbourne is a small town of approximately 40,000 people called Sunbury. Sunbury has a long history and an accolade of being cricket’s birth place of ‘The Ashes’.

Fraud and corruption are definitely not isolated to large cities and there are no boundaries whether they be geographical religious or cultural.

The government via the police puts a very strong emphasis on road deaths, and how they could be avoided with only one goal in mind, that being to reduce speed. No other factors are entertained.

Corpau has been given details that a road fatality has occurred in Sunbury that involved a police officer, has been handled in such a manner that has breached laws, resulting in the case being swept under the carpet.

The corporate media focus on stories that involve the masses stepping out of line, but rarely expose the corruption within the police ranks, only emphasizing the fact that the corporate media is the government’s voice.

Former Vic cop jailed for online sex chats

A former Victorian policeman who was addicted to luring underage girls into sexually explicit chats on Facebook has been jailed.

Paul Raeck, 34, Facebook "friended" seven teenage girls aged between 13 and 15 during 2010 and 2011.

The Victorian County Court heard Raeck posed as an attractive teenage boy to engage the girls in sexually explicit online chats and webcam meetings where he sought naked photos and sex.

Judge Richard Maidment sentenced Raeck to 33 months jail, with the former senior constable eligible for release on good behaviour after eight months.

The judge said Raeck should have known better as a former police officer and had effectively thrown away his marriage and career.

"You admitted to the police your offending was `like a bloody addiction'," he said on Thursday.

"You masqueraded essentially as that personality with a view to deceiving these girls ... so they may be prepared to let their guard down."

The judge said Raeck had subjected himself to public humiliation brought on by actions that occurred during an emotional low ebb.

One victim was persuaded to remove her top in a webcam conversation where she could only hear Raeck's voice, before the girl's mother walked in.

Another victim was asked for sex and said she could hear Raeck masturbating as he asked her to "help him along", the judge said.

Raeck was arrested in September after police raided his home in July, seizing his mobile and computers.

Judge Maidment acknowledged Raeck's remorse and the fact he had until that point lived a relatively blameless life.

Raeck pleaded guilty to seven charges involving using a carriage service for sexual activity and to transmit indecent communication, and procuring a person under 16 for sexual activity.

12 Apr 2012

‘Dead' baby found breathing in morgue in Argentina

A MOTHER in Argentina says she fell to her knees in shock after finding her baby alive in a coffin in the morgue nearly 12 hours after the girl had been declared dead.

Analia Bouguet named her newborn Luz Milagros, or Miracle Light.

The tiny girl, born three months premature, was in critical but improving condition on Wednesday in the same hospital where the staff pronounced her stillborn on April 3.

The case became public on Tuesday when Rafael Sabatinelli, the deputy health minister in the northern province of Chaco, announced in a news conference that five medical professionals involved have been suspended pending an official investigation.

Ms Bouguet told the TeleNoticias TV channel in an interview on Tuesday night that doctors gave her the death certificate just 20 minutes after the baby was born, and that she still hasn't received a birth certificate for her tiny girl.

Ms Bouguet said the baby was quickly put in a coffin and taken to the morgue's refrigeration room.

Twelve hours passed before she and her husband were able to open the coffin to say their last goodbyes.

She said that's when the baby trembled.

She thought it was her imagination - then she realised the little girl was alive, and dropped to her knees on the morgue floor in shock.

A morgue worker quickly picked up the girl and confirmed she was alive.

Then Ms Bouguet's brother grabbed the baby and ran to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, shouting for the doctors.

The baby was so cold, Bouguet said, that "it was like carrying a bottle of ice.''

A week later, the baby is improving.

Ms Bouguet said she still has many unanswered questions about what happened.

She said she had given birth normally to four other children and doesn't understand why doctors gave her general anaesthesia this time.

She said she also doesn't know why she wasn't allowed to see her baby before it was put into a coffin.

She said she had to insist on going to the morgue's refrigeration room, where she brought her sister's mobile phone to take a picture of the newborn for the funeral.

Her husband struggled to open the lid, and then stepped aside to let her see inside.

"I moved the coverings aside and saw the tiny hand, with all five fingers, and I touched her hand and then uncovered her face,'' she said in the TeleNoticias interview.

"That's where I heard a tiny little cry. I told myself I was imagining it - it was my imagination. And then I stepped back and saw her waking up. It was as if she was saying 'Mama, you came for me!'

"That was when I fell to my knees. My husband didn't know what to do. We were just crying and I laughed and cried, cries and laughter. We must have seemed crazy.''

She says the family plans to sue the staff at Hospital Perrando in the city of Resistencia for malpractice, and still wants answers.

But they've been focused for now on their little girl, whom she described as amazingly healthy despite being born after just 26 weeks of gestation.

So far, she hasn't needed oxygen or other support commonly provided to premature babies, she said.

"I'm a believer. All of this was a miracle from God,'' she told Telam, Argentina's state news agency.

heraldsun.com.au 12 Apr 2012

Unbeknown to the patient doctors can be involved in either the illegal trade of organs or experimentation on newborns.

The families that are usually targeted are the ones that are vulnerable, or seen as ones that do not have the financial means to take matters further.

In Australia, in the 1960's medical experiments were held on newborns, and operations against the will or knowledge of the parents.

This practice is still occuring in Australia, but tis kept away from the mass media, and any 'scandals' are quickly attended to.

Magnate's company paid no tax

A VOCAL critic of the federal government's mining tax, billionaire Clive Palmer, did not have to pay tax in his main private company last year, according to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator.

The company accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported losses for the past three financial years. The profit-and-loss statement shows no tax was payable in 2010-11.

The losses come as Mineralogy's mining projects remain at exploration or development stage. Other parts of Mr Palmer's business empire, including Queensland Nickel and various property interests, are held outside Mineralogy.

The Mineralogy accounts underline the difficulty of valuing Mr Palmer's vast mineral deposits and therefore his personal wealth.

Australia's BRW, published by Fairfax Media, lists his wealth at $5.05 billion, but America's Forbes magazine rates it at $US795 million.

Mineralogy owns rights to huge magnetite iron ore deposits in the Pilbara and thermal coal deposits in Queensland's Galilee Basin, but its mines are not yet in production and generating income.

The accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported net losses of $58.5 million in 2008-09, $29 million in 2009-10 and $11.4 million in 2010-11.

It received a tax benefit of $874,599 in 2010-11, against revenues of $5.6 million, and paid $136,799 in tax the year before.

Over the past two years Mineralogy has tried four times to raise capital to develop its China First coal and iron ore mines by floating subsidiary Resourcehouse on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The failed float cost it $28 million and Resourcehouse has since been restructured, with Mr Palmer's 22-year-old son, Michael, joining the board.

smh.com.au 12 Apr 2012

Some people are allowed not to pay tax, by the ATO (Australian Tax Office), and are NOT hounded to do so.

This is a more widespread practice than ever reported by the corporate media, in effect shielding corporate crime, and at the same time keeping the masses ignrant of this fact.

The 'balance' of figures is picked up by the commoners.

Solomon Lew fights to keep family trust legal stoush quiet

RETAIL king Solomon Lew, like fellow billionaire Gina Rinehart, is trying to keep a court stoush over a family trust out of public gaze.

Mr Lew's lawyer, Jack Fajgenbaum, QC, yesterday applied to the Supreme Court for a blanket suppression of a case in which Mr Lew and his wife, Rose, are seeking a ruling that they are the sole beneficiaries of a $621 million trust.

Mr Fajgenbaum gave few reasons for the application, but it is believed Mr Lew's tax affairs and family disputes will be central to the case.

It involves the trustee, the Lews and the former spouses of two of their children, who may claim a benefit from the trust.

Justice Peter Almond adjourned Mr Lew's suppression application for hearing by another judge after he heard it might involve issues he would have to decide in the battle over the trust.

He also set a new trial date of May 7 after hearing Mr Lew's mother had died on Monday.

Another of Mr Lew's counsel, Leslie Glick, SC, said the death meant Mr Lew would be unable to instruct his lawyers.

Last month, the High Court refused to grant Australia's richest person, Ms Rinehart, leave to appeal against the NSW Supreme Court's revocation of suppression orders that had prevented the reporting of her family trust dispute.

heraldsun.com.au 12 Apr 2012

In Jewish circles family affairs are settled at the synagogue level.

If they spill out into the public arena, the common law system that opposes the masses is seen as a farce and any Jew does not have to abide the verdicts given out.

Melbourne fourth on Asian rich list

MELBOURNE is the fourth richest urban centre in Asia behind Perth and Sydney, fresh economic data reveals.

While Melbourne is the 11th biggest economy by GDP in the region, our GDP per capita ranks us ahead of Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The latest edition of the Department of Planning's Research Matters publication reveals Perth is emerging as a powerhouse of the region, coming second to South Korea's Ulsan for GDP per capita.

heraldsun.com.au 8 Apr 2012

In preperation for an 'Asian' (onslaught of slave labour) into Australia, the politicians with the help of the corporate media are redefining the boundaries, and now calling Australia (e.g. Melbourne) Asian.

09 April 2012

Top cops, politicians say the war on narcotics has failed

UPDATE: PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she does not support decriminalising drugs, despite a report suggesting the controversial step be considered.

A new report, released today, concedes that the war on drugs has failed and calls for a national debate on the controversial step of decriminalising them.

The report urges politicians to face the taboo subject and says a massive re-think is needed to tackle the illegal drug trade that allows organised crime to flourish and is "killing our children".

The report draws on the views of high-profile Australians and health experts.

Its verdict is that the tough law and order approach is doing more harm than good.

Ms Gillard said policing and drug treatment were the answers to combating the drug trade.

"I'm not in favour of decriminalisation of any of our drug laws,'' she said.

"We want to keep on supporting people who need our help to break out of a cycle of addiction.

"And we need to keep policing so that we are tackling those who are seeking to make a profit out of what really is a trade in incredible misery.''

Premier Ted Baillieu said his Government would make no move towards the decriminalisation of drugs.

I think everybody on this issue always is interested in anything which will reduce the use of drugs,” Mr Baillieu said today.

“Certainly as far as we’re concerned, we have no intention of decriminalising the use of drugs.

“We think there is a huge downside to the use of drugs, mental health and a range of other areas. We will continue with the approach we have been taking.

“We will continue to campaign against the use of drugs.”

Charlie Bezzina: We need drastic steps to beat drugs

The argument for decriminalisation won widespread support this morning.

Australian Drug Foundation CEO John Rogerson said prohibition had resulted in stigmatising drug users, making it a legal rather than a health issue.

“Our job as a society is to stop stigmatising people who use drugs and give them the support they need to seek treatment, and give their families support,” Mr Rogerson said.

He said there was “no better example” of the failure of prohibition than the decline of disgraced footballer Ben Cousins.

“I think the challenge for us as a community is, how do we address this issue that hasn’t worked?” he said.

“We certainly need to look at how we decriminalise drugs and try some approaches to see if they work.”

He pointed to the Portuguese system as an example of successful discrimination, whereby drug dealers were criminally punished but users were put through rehabilitation.

“The point to make around this is its still tough on those supplying drugs,” he said.

The Law Institute of Victoria said it supported a review of laws as the current system wasn't working.

CEO Michael Holcroft said he wanted to see the Victorian Law Reform Commission investigate the pros and cons of decriminalisation.

"We start off with the fundamental principal that we don’t want to encourage more people to try drugs, but what we’ve got at moment doesn’t seem to be really working that well," Mr Holcroft said.

"The Law Institute of Victoria would certainly support a therapeutic look at drug use but we wouldn’t be at the stage where we could support any lesser penalties as far as trafficking and distribution goes."

Put together by not-for-profit think-tank Australia21, the report includes the views of former federal law enforcement officers, health ministers, and premiers.

Australia21 stops short of directly backing decriminalisation but one former top prosecutor says in the report drugs should be legalised and taxed to control use.

Former Victorian homicide detective and drug squad member Charlie Bezzina also backed decriminalisation.

And Tony Trimingham, whose son Damien, 28, died of a heroin overdose, said drugs should not only be decriminalised, but regulated in a similar way to tobacco.

“I think we need to stop pouring all those millions into supply reduction, which is customs, prison and the police, and use that money more affectively, use that for education and create another revenue stream through taxing drugs," he said.

“It’s a waste of money when every sniffer dog costs $180,000 a year – it picks up 2 or 3 people…to me that’s a totally waste of time and money.

“It targets the wrong people and makes victims of people who apart from smoking the odd joint are law abiding citizens."

Mr Trimingham established Family Drug Support after Damien’s death in 1997.

“Its 15 yrs now since my son died of a heroin overdose. Before that I had the trauma of discovering he was using it,” he said.

“The worst possible thing happened to me, and going through the grieving process and realising there are an awful lot of other families affected.”

Mr Trimingham said countries such as Spain and Portugal had effective models of decriminalization.

“I know that those places haven’t collapsed by changing their policies,” he said.

The Punch: War on drugs just a political smokescreen

The Australia21 report - called The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are letting it happen - was formulated after a panel of Australians, including now-Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, former Howard government health minister Michael Wooldridge and former Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer, met in January to discuss a global report on the ''war on drugs'' and its failures.

The report is understood to say prohibition has increased the problems drugs cause by driving it underground.

The group decided drug dependence and use should be managed within health and education systems, not law enforcement.

It is understood there were a mix of views around the table, but the consensus was that a tough "law and order" approach had failed.

Senator Carr today stood by the report's recommendations, arguing that police targeting marijuana users could be a waste of resources.

He said his stance on the drug prohibition debate hadn’t changed since he was drafted into the Federal Cabinet.

“I believed it then, I believe it now. I think it’s a mater of matching the seriousness of the offence, which is really a victimless crime, with where you want to have your police resources,” he told Channel Nine's Today this morning.

“As Premier I introduced a medically supervised injecting room because I thought that if people were struggling with a heroin addiction, the least we could do is to see if they had clean needles and that they had a place to go where medical assistance would be available if something went wrong, and where we could persuade them to get off the wretched addictive white substance - and that worked. There’s no doubt that that medically supervised injecting room saved lives, and it got people off heroin.

"But I found it frustrating that the police were so enthusiastic to have sniffer dogs at railway stations during one phase, when I thought they would be far better off putting those resources into beating crime, instead of pursuing people who were making a mistake, in my view, in having quantities of marijuana in their office bags."

But he stopped short of arguing illicit drugs should be decriminalised, saying that a debate was a necessary step forward.

“I think it’s very difficult to imagine a situation where drugs are legalised, I don’t know how that would work. It would result in significantly increased use of drugs, there’s no doubt about that to me, in my mind, and people are using such a variety of drugs today that legalisation would be a huge step," he said.

“But I just think we can think intelligently about marijuana use for people who are dying and want some pain relief, and we can think intelligently about medically supervised injecting rooms where there’s a need for it, and we can think intelligently about where police are best deployed raiding night clubs to find ecstasy or standing at railway stations with sniffer dogs to catch someone with marijuana.

“I don’t like these drugs. I believe a healthy lifestyle is a better way to devote your days, but it’s a matter of police resources and whether all the fuss is justified."

Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery is quoted in the report as being "strongly in favour of legalising, regulating, controlling and taxing all drugs", but he did not advocate making all drugs available to "anybody wanting them".

Dr Wooldridge said he was not pushing for legalisation of drugs, but the "war on drugs" approach had failed.

"It's possibly the least successful war we have fought in the past 40 years," he said.

heraldsun.com.au 3 Apr 2012

Also, speed cameras have not deterred speeding motorists so all forms of speed control and subsequent fines should also be abolished.

The taxation department has worked out that it can make more money taxing drugs than the authorities fighting against drugs making it onto the streets.

A drugged out society would be of benefit to the authorities, as their fraudulent rule would go unnoticed.

Legalising drugs would also create many more business opportunities (e.g. drug counselling centres, etc) in which the government would rape more tax paying dollars.

The drug industry in Australia is worth an estimated $1,200,000,000 per month.

A lot of political backing, and corrupt cops can be bought from this amount of money.

08 April 2012

War analysis 'doctored'

AUSTRALIAN officials have rejected an expert report critical of conditions in Afghanistan, demanding that it be rewritten to match upbeat government claims of dramatic progress and improved security.

The independent consultants' report, commissioned by the government's aid and development agency AusAID, is at odds with optimistic official assertions about conditions in Afghanistan's Oruzgan province, where Australian troops operate.

The Sunday Age has learnt that AusAID pressed for changes in the report, with some sections relating to security toned down and others cut entirely. The pressure came as the government accelerated the phased withdrawal of Australian troops, citing greater security and the growing ability of the Afghan army.

While AusAID denied trying to dictate the content of the report, a spokeswoman said it was standard practice for the agency to seek corrections to ''factual inaccuracies'' and ''clarifications between fact, perception and analysis''.

She confirmed that AusAid ''suggested'' the consultants cut a chapter on Afghan views on Australian and US troops in Oruzgan, as this ''did not fit within the terms of reference''. Similar chapters were included in earlier reports by the consultants.

A Canberra source familiar with the draft report said pressure on the consultants appeared to be part of government efforts to ''accentuate the positive'' in Oruzgan where, despite improvements, security is fragile, the Taliban are resilient, and the Afghan army's performance is patchy at best.

The government and military chiefs insist Australian troops will begin handing responsibility for security to the Afghan army this year, with most of the Australians out by 2014.

Speaking at a community cabinet last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said defence personnel could ''vividly'' outline progress in Oruzgan. Defence Minister Stephen Smith recently referred to ''substantial'' gains in security and the performance of Afghan forces.

The consultants' report has been prepared by a respected non-government organisation, The Liaison Office, which focuses on research, peace building and human rights. It has about 200 staff in Afghanistan.

AusAID's annual report reveals The Liaison Office is contracted to provide ''conflict analysis'' in a project jointly funded with the Dutch government. Australia budgeted $US3.6 million for the project.

Senior analysts with The Liaison Office declined to comment when contacted by The Sunday Age, citing the confidential nature of their relationship with AusAID.

The report assesses changes in Oruzgan in the 18 months since Dutch troops pulled out. It is believed to be guardedly optimistic, noting improved security and an increase in territory controlled by the government. But this was still not positive enough for Australian officials, the Canberra source said.

The source said the report, which drew on hundreds of interviews, found locals thought Australian and US troops had become more assertive since the Dutch left, a change welcomed by some and resented by others.

The report stated that the Taliban, while weakened, were far from defeated and were capable of launching major attacks.

Retired major-general John Cantwell, who commanded Australian troops in the Middle East in 2010 and retired from the army in February, said he feared the federal government would declare Afghan forces were ready to operate alone, regardless of their actual abilities, to meet a withdrawal timetable.

''It depends on what standards you expect,'' he told The Sunday Age. ''We've come up with the term 'operational viability', which is so flexible it can mean almost anything. The government must tell us what the Afghans can and can't do when we leave; anything else will be fudging it.''

As for the long-term outlook, Mr Cantwell said: ''It will be ugly. Afghanistan won't be a peaceful place. It will be violent and backward, riven by corruption and crime and tribal feuds.

''But our troops are doing the best they can do, given their mission and the resources they've been given by the government. The same is true of our aid effort … [But] it would be disingenuous to say it's all good in Oruzgan province. It's not and it probably never will be.''

theage.com.au 8 Apr 2012

Fraudulent reports are common eminating from government hands.

This is done to support a politicial / financial agenda rather than providing factual information.

Dishonesty, treachery and fraud are just a few of the positives of governance.

Super unfair, says its creator

THE architect of Australia's compulsory superannuation scheme says it has become ''inequitable'' and should be changed to reduce its bias towards the better off.

Vince FitzGerald, whose advice underpinned federal Labor's dramatic retirement policy overhaul two decades ago, said tax breaks for those wealthy enough to make extra superannuation contributions skewed the system towards higher income earners.

The superannuation system - set to balloon with the forthcoming increase in compulsory contributions from 9 to 12 per cent - is ''not a terribly wonderful deal'' for people on low incomes, said Dr FitzGerald, a director of the Allen Consulting Group.

They could get barely any tax concessions by making extra contributions and they had more immediate needs than superannuation, such as paying for housing and their children's necessities, he said.

Mike Rafferty, a senior research fellow at Sydney University's Workplace Research Centre, said superannuation was an extraordinary piece of social engineering, which had not attracted the dissent it deserved.

''There are two systems. One for the rich, who make use of the massive tax concessions - and the punters who have 9 per cent taken out whether they like it or not,'' he said.

Critics of the system say the rise in compulsory contributions will also tip the benefits of the scheme even further towards men.

''If the objective of the government was to close the gap between women's retirement income and men's, it would be hard to imagine a worse way of doing it than relying simply on a shift from 9 per cent to 12 per cent,'' said the executive director of the Australia Institute, Richard Denniss.

The chief executive of the Australian Council of Social Service, Cassandra Goldie, said: ''The superannuation system benefits people who are able to be in full-time paid work on a high income. And who would that be? That would be men.''

Dr FitzGerald said attempts to mitigate inequity in the system had been only partially successful.

''Women don't do well out of it, but it is not entirely due to the system. If a couple stay together throughout their family-raising life, presumably they share the superannuation if one has more than the other, but that is not the way everybody lives,'' he said.

People earning $100,000 to $150,000 a year ''are not Kerry Packer or his son James, or one of the Murdochs'', but they had good reasons to save for retirement and could be taxed less generously, he said.

''The high income concession has been pegged back by putting limits on contributions you can make to superannuation and in one way you could say that addresses the issue, because the limits are pretty low for people on any substantial income. But in my opinion, it is the wrong way to go about it,'' Dr FitzGerald said.

''You should tax it properly, rather than put straight out restrictions on it.''

But Dr FitzGerald welcomed the rise in compulsory contributions, to be phased in over seven years from July next year, saying it would mean working people's incomes would not drop as dramatically in retirement as in the past.

In about 20 years, through compulsory superannuation and the age pension, ''life in retirement will be provided for'', Dr FitzGerald said.

But there were still drawbacks for certain groups, he said. Extra money flowing into superannuation would make it harder for younger workers to pay off study debts and mortgages. Australian superannuation funds' heavy reliance on share investments would mean they performed well in the long-term, but had adversely affected some, he said.

''If you retire when funds have been low on average for a few years, it's the last throw of the dice that goes against you. By the same token, if you are lucky and retired before the global financial crisis, when the sharemarket had been booming for a decade, you would have done well,'' he said.

The chief executive officer of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Pauline Vamos, said that 90 per cent of tax concessions go to people below the highest tax bracket and people in the lowest tax bracket get half of all the concessions. ''It is equitable because it allows most people on middle and low incomes to have retirement income,'' she said.

theage.com.au 7 Apr 2012

"I would like to remind you that before the establishment of "compulsory" superannuation, member contributions were tax deductible.

When it became compulsory , the tax deduction was passed on to the employer and any member contributions were then taxed at the members marginal tare. So anyone who had sought to look after their own future through superannuation, prior to the 1980's finished up worse off. Another case of Labor dragging everyone down to the common lowest level."

Commenter Max Location Stafford Heights Date and time April 07, 2012, 11:25AM

Ref: http://www.theage.com.au/business/super-unfair-says-its-creator-20120406-1wh7z.html#ixzz1rPocdrha

Another money for mates scam for the corporate boys club, at the expense of the masses.

Grog at AA dinner comes under fire

ALCOHOLICS Anonymous has been slammed for its decision to serve booze at its national conference gala dinner in Melbourne this weekend.

Victorian members have spoken out in disgust that alcohol will be for sale tonight.

A source said that many AA members in Victoria thought that not only would it put vulnerable new members at risk, it went against the principles of the organisation.

"It has caused huge uniform disgust at the grassroots level that it would even be contemplated," a concerned member who did not want to be identified told the Herald Sun.

"There are quite a few people that are boycotting the event on the back of this, it goes against everything that AA stands for. It's incredibly conflicting health message to be sending out there."

A spokesman for the 2012 Alcoholics Anonymous Australian National Convention, being held at the Regent Theatre Plaza Ballroom this weekend, defended the decision yesterday.

He said the event was not just for AA members, but also their family and friends who should be able to buy alcohol.

The conference website states that it was up to each individual convention committee to make the decision on alcohol availability for guests at AA events.

news.com.au 7 Apr 2012

There is zero care whether or not the masses are addicted to alcohol.

The purpose is purely financial, i.e to put people in jobs and to give 'money to mates' creating an industry that is fed by taxpayer dollars with the illusion that something good is done for society.

The government reaps plenty of tax dollars from the sale of alcohol in many cases triple taxes before the consumer purchases any alcohol.

Another farce in the face of the general populous.

No carcinogenic coke for Jews

From the article:

Coke isn't it for Passover feast

Coca-Cola may be off the menu for the Passover feast - at least in California.

As millions of Jews celebrate the Biblical story of the exodus from Egypt, Coke says it has been forced out of California by state laws on toxic chemicals.

Coke directed its suppliers last year to change the way they manufacture caramel to reduce levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, which California has listed as a carcinogen.

Although the manufacturing changes didn't affect the formula or the taste, the resulting product did not meet Jewish dietary laws for Passover, the company said.

As a result, the company announced that it would not offer "kosher for Passover" products in California until 2013.

Passover feasts are better known for ritual wine-drinking, but soft drinks can be included, although many observant Jews will not use products made with corn during Passover.

Although most Coca-Cola uses corn syrup sweetener, the Passover version is made with sugar.

Jason Moss, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, said Passover without Coke was disappointing.

"I think it would be wonderful for the community to be able to drink a Coke and have a smile," he told the Pasadena Star-News.

For those who can't do without the soft drink, there may be hope. Some kosher stores have stocked Passover Coke from other states.

And there's always Pepsi. It is offering its sugar-based Pepsi Throwback, which uses real sugar and is acceptable for Passover, spokeswoman Andrea Canabal said.

theage.com.au 7 Apr 2012

ref: http://www.theage.com.au/world/coke-isnt-it-for-passover-feast-20120407-1whoy.html

Carcinogenic Coke should be banned for human consumption, as it it designed to create cancer with it chemicals.

On the other hand, Coke for canon fodder is acceptible.