Private child-care fails our kids

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Another day, another child-care conglomerate goes belly up, another facebook message from a friend at the ‘Nationalise ABC Child-care’ facebook group. Today it’s CFK, which runs 43 centres with 4000 kids, that has failed. Surely it must be time for Kevin Rudd, who after all pours $2.5 billion a year into subsidising child-care centres, to realise that either private sector operators need to be punted or regulation needs to be improved. Surely we can have more of a… click HERE to read on.

Groupies: a users guide

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Groupies, they’re as old as time itself. They date back all the way to the first man who stood on a stump and grunted out the first song to the first throng of adoring – if exceedingly hairy – fans. They’re even in the Bible – Jesus himself had at least 12. But what do you usually think of when you think groupies? Is it nubile teenage hotties who listen to too much commercial radio and can’t wait to have their innocence scrambled? Is it obsessed toothless fatties who will do anything for an autograph? Well the answer is… click HERE to read on.

The Jonestown Massacre: 30 years on

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Few events elicit quite the horror and disbelief of the Jonestown ‘revolutionary suicides’ of November 18, 1978. On this day 30 years ago, 918 followers of the drug-addled preacher and communist Jim Jones drank poison in the largest mass suicide of modern history. Jones had called the action after a visit by United States congressmen Leo Ryan to his remote ‘utopian community’ in Guyana, South America, to check on the welfare of his 1000 – predominately American – followers. Ryan was killed shortly before the mass suicide when… click HERE to read (WARNING: DISTURBING VIDEO CONTENT)

Smashing Coke’s spin campaign

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So we’ve discussed Coke’s bizarre ‘myth-busting’ campaign in these pages before. I’ve been asking Coke for weeks for an on-air interview – and the best I could get was an offer to email them my questions so I could get some written answers. Call me cynical, but sending off my queries so they can be pored over for days by an underemployed professional spin doctor with a corner office and a company car doesn’t strike me as conducive to getting a fair dinkum response. In fact it’s even more gutless when you consider their chief spinner is former Sydney breakfast radio host Sally Loane – you’d think she’d be able to handle herself. Anyway… click HERE to read on.

We deserve China’s trash talk

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You’ve got to hand it to the global warming deniers – they really have figured out their argument. The ragtag of big business finger-lickers and luddites that make up the climate change naysayers in Australia have stopped trying to attack the science – the line they now trot out is… click HERE to read on, and to LISTEN to my interview with Australian Conservation Foundation honcho Don Henry.

Why Obama won

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Yes America was tired of the blunders of George Bush. The counter-productive war-mongering, the sell-out to corporate America, the environmental vandalism, and the lack of services like basic health care for the nation’s millions of poor. But it was more than that which drove Obama over the line. And it wasn’t just the blunders of McCain either. Not his flip-flopping on the economic crisis, his appalling running mate or the fact he is hated within his own party for his “liberal” positions on immigration, campaign finance, Supreme Court appointments and stem cell research.  It was… click HERE to read on and to SEE the campaign in pictures.

When Coke won’t talk

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You realise you’ve rattled Coke’s cage when they just shut up shop and refuse to talk to you. Won’t return you calls, won’t return your emails. It’s kind of irritating. Especially after they had been sending me smarmy emails through my website since my last spray against their stupid “myth-busting” campaign – saying they were happy to chat. I couldn’t speak to them. So I spoke to the author of Anti-Coke bible Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes Us Fat. Click HERE to read on, an to LISTEN to the interview.

Libs and kids don’t mix

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Of all the mean things Howard did, locking up women and children in desert detention centres, putting teenagers on AWAs, refusing to say sorry to the stolen generations and killing our chance to become a republic – destroying student organisations was by far the meanest. It was a vindictive and nasty move, initiated by David Kemp and Peter Costello, purely because they had been unsuccessful student politicians in a milieu which favours the left. Young people are, by nature, idealistic and progressive. Click HERE to read on.

Boobs, babes and summer sun

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What do you do when someone offers to fly you to the Gold Coast to party with the uber-hot contestants of Miss F1 at the ultra-swank Palazzo Versace? Well, if you’re still trying to hold onto a few scraps of left-wing principle like me you politely refuse… or do you?  Click HERE to find out… and to WATCH the footage.

Openness could be Scientology’s salvation

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You only have to say the word ‘Scientology’ to get a response. Sometimes it’s a laugh, sometimes it’s a roll of the eyes, but usually it’s a quip about Tom Cruise. However in the world of the internet mention Scientology and you’ll get a storm of commentary. And it won’t be for giggles. Both supporters and opponents will go at it hammer and tongs at the slightest mention of anything remotely connected to the religion / cult / scam (depending on who you listen to). A recent story… click HERE to read on and to LISTEN to my interview with the Scientologists.

Sex and disability: The last taboo?

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People’s reaction to yesterday’s story – that staff allegedly had been asked to masturbate intellectually impaired clients at a New Zealand disability services company – was startling. It ended up being one of the most read of the day. And sure, it was probably mostly because of the giggle factor.  But as usual behind something funny is actually something serious… i decided to look deeper, click HERE to LISTEN.

Albrechtsen Watch: Teachers are lying to your kids

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Fear has long been one of the mainstays of the conservative side of politics. You know the line: “Don’t dare to change anything, or dream of a better society, because you’ll bugger the whole thing.” But it has to be said fear, paranoia and suspicion are extraordinarily useful – especially if you’re part of the activist right who get to pen a weekly missive in the pages of Rupert Murdoch’s ultra-stodgy Australian. So what was Albrechtsen choosing to scare us about this week? Teachers. You see Albrechtsen… click HERE.

Australia: if you don’t like it, get stuffed

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Joe Hockey was on the radio this morning sticking up for his mates in the big end of town who earn over a $1 million a year. Nothing new about that. But it was more the manner in which he was doing it which will get up people’s noses. Let me explain. Basically he was reacting to proposals by think tank The Australia Institute to punish the corporate cowboys who have got us into this unprecedented financial crisis by slapping them with… click HERE to read on.

Gabriella, Veronica’s, Sam Sparro they all have a yak

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So me and LIVENEWS.com.au went to the ARIA’s.  It was heaps of fun.  Have a watch… click HERE.

Is anyone serious about slashing executive greed?

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You know a lot people have the hump with executive greed when even the cheerleaders for crash and burn capitalism begin making some of the right noises, albeit grudgingly. The only problem is while harrumphing a little for political expediency’s sake, most of these cheerleaders also want to tell you all the reasons why executive pay can’t be limited. People like Malcolm Turnbull, who made $50 million while he was boss of Goldman Sachs… click HERE to read on.

How much more coke can we drink?

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What is Coke trying to achieve with their new controversial ‘myth-busting’ advertising campaign?  Australians are the biggest consumers per capita of Coke in the world.  So the question has to be asked – how much more do you want us to drink? What’s the goal?  A 10% increase?  A 20% increase?  Should we use it to bathe with or to brush our teeth?   What I’m saying is – click HERE to read on.

Why the Coalition can’t do funny

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You have to feel sorry for the opposition.  Any opposition. Constantly having to feign indignation, outrage and chortling disbelief.  But having said that, the latest press release from Senator Ron Boswell’s office sets new records for destructive blinker wearing and pointless wannabe point scoring.  Basically, his release seeks to lampoon Ross Garnaut’s suggestion that more land be turned over for kangaroo meat production.  You’d think a guy like Senator Boswell, who’s constituents include… click HERE to read more.

The smell of dreams being broken

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You’re hardly going to turn down a chance to go to a model audition. The concept conjures up all kinds of saucy, sexy images; bold and beautiful women striding powerfully down catwalks, pouting hotties draped over rocks as surf pounds in the background… So yesterday when I was asked to go out and cover the first cattle call for Foxtel’s ratings juggernaut, Australia’s Next Top Model, I jumped at it. But it’s not what I thought. It wasn’t the serene airbrushed world I expected. In actual fact, I found myself in a massive suburban shopping centre with hundreds of desperate girls corralled behind… click HERE to read on.

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