Monday, March 31, 2008
Nicola had nothing to do with the Cronulla riots, but in a real sense, the Cronulla riots have everything to do with Nicola. Racial tension had been brewing along the Sydney beaches for many years. The police were not wanted as security for the beaches by the local council. When a security scare occurred, and some life guards were injured, racial tension spilled. The government refused to close the bars fueling the worst of the loutish behavior. Then the government decided to use police to quell the resulting riots.
Racist rapes: Finally the truth comes out
So now we know the facts, straight from the Supreme Court, that a group of Lebanese Muslim gang rapists from south-western Sydney hunted their victims on the basis of their ethnicity and subjected them to hours of degrading, dehumanising torture. The young women, and girls as young as 14, were "sluts" and "Aussie pigs", the rapists said. So now that some of the perpetrators are in jail, will those people who cried racism and media "sensationalism" hang their heads in shame? Hardly.
The journalists, academics, legal brains and politicians who tried to claim last August that the gang rapes of south-western Sydney were just a run-of-the-mill police blotter story being beaten up by racists, scaremongers and political opportunists don't ever want to acknowledge the truth about that ugly episode in Australian history. They don't want to acknowledge the fear and tension that ran through a part of Sydney they rarely visit and can never understand.
2005 Cronulla riots
The 2005 Cronulla riots were a series of racially motivated mob confrontations which originated in and around Cronulla, a beachfront suburb of Sydney, New South Wales. Soon after the riot, ethnically motivated violent incidents occurred in several other Sydney suburbs.
On Sunday, 11 December 2005, approximately 5000 people gathered to protest against recently reported incidents of assaults and intimidatory behaviour by groups of non-locals, most of whom were identified in earlier media reports as Middle Eastern youths from the suburbs of Western Sydney. The crowd assembled following a series of earlier confrontations, and an assault on three off-duty lifesavers which took place the previous weekend. The crowd initially assembled without incident, but violence broke out after a large segment of the mostly white Australian crowd chased a man of Middle Eastern appearance into a hotel and other youths of Middle Eastern appearance were assaulted on a train.
The following nights saw several retaliatory violent assaults in the communities near Cronulla and Maroubra, large gatherings of protesters around western Sydney, and an unprecedented police lock-down of Sydney beaches and surrounding areas, between Wollongong and Newcastle.
Retaliatory violence in Sydney's south
December 12, 2005
A day of racially motivated violence at Cronulla has turned into a night of retaliation along Sydney's southern beaches.
A 23-year-old man was with friends when he was stabbed in the back outside a Woolooware golf club, police said.
After the riots: city's map of racism
By Tony Stephens and AAP
December 26, 2005
RESIDENTS of Mosman and Woollahra have joined those in the Sutherland Shire as among the Sydney people least tolerant of cultural diversity and multicultural values, a map of the city's racial attitudes reveals.
Two weeks after the Cronulla race riots, tens of thousands of people returned to Sydney's beaches for Christmas Day, while church leaders called on Australians to be tolerant and to take responsibility for the violence in the beach suburbs.
On the beach
Why the recent riots in Australia should surprise no one
By Yvonne Abraham | December 25, 2005
FOR THOSE whose image of Australia involves alabaster-skinned actresses, braying reptile-handlers, and sun-soaked hedonism, recent news from the Antipodes has been profoundly jarring.
After two Anglo-Australian lifeguards were assaulted by a group of Lebanese-Australian men on Sydney's Cronulla Beach earlier this month, some 5,000 young Anglo-Australians descended on the sands, attacking anybody who looked Middle Eastern. Revenge followed: Convoys of Lebanese men rampaged through Cronulla with baseball bats, smashing windshields and storefronts. Lebanese-looking men were set upon in other Australian cities. Politicians shut down the beaches and enacted a series of strict laws to quell the unrest. Amazingly, no one was killed, but police were still seizing weapons caches this week.
When most Americans think of Australia, this is not the kind of thing that leaps to mind. But to those of us who grew up there, and grew up Lebanese, the dynamic was depressingly familiar. The riots were but the latest, and most violent, manifestation of tensions between ''Aussies" and ''Lebs" that have simmered for years.
Part of the animus can be explained by familiar factors. Sept. 11 and the terrorist attacks in Bali and London have bred anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiment. And as in France, young Muslim men in Sydney's heavily Lebanese west and southwest, with disproportionately high unemployment and poverty rates, are disaffected. Additionally, Lebanese gangs have committed several violent, high-profile crimes in recent years, including a series of horrific rapes, feeding stereotypes and ill will.
But another part of the tension is peculiarly Australian. Despite its reputation for welcoming immigrants-30 percent of Sydney's current population is foreign-born-Australia can be a difficult place to be one. Especially if you're Lebanese. And especially lately. Over the past 10 years, Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal-National coalition government has taken a harder official line against immigrants in a quest for more conservative votes. Further widening the divisions between Lebanese and Anglo-Australians, many Lebanese youth live in more insular communities than the generations that preceded them. They are also less willing to behave like guests in somebody else's country.
Tall tales from a whistleblowing ex-cop
By Stephen Gibbs
February 20, 2006
IT HAS become a celebrated story, told by the whistleblowing former policeman Tim Priest. The trouble is, it isn't true.
Before an audience of the literary journal Quadrant, on November 12, 2003, Priest rose to deliver an after-dinner speech which, according to him, has become "a defining article on Middle Eastern crime in this country". He tells the same story in his next book.
"I believe that the rise of Middle Eastern organised crime in Sydney will have an impact on society unlike anything we have ever seen," Priest told his Quadrant audience, and paused.
When he resumed, he told of his first encounter - as a drug squad detective - with Middle Eastern drug crime gangs. It was an experience that Priest says was his awakening to a menace that 20 years later he saw on Cronulla's shores.
The speech, "The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia", was printed in Quadrant, and widely discussed during the race riots. A search for it on the internet brings up hundreds of hits.
Priest, now out of the police force, has become a prominent commentator on crime and policing. His political influence has reached as far as the Prime Minister's office.
But Priest's Quadrant story does not match any police records. And yesterday, when approached by the Herald, Priest explained why. His story was not - as he had asserted - an account of a single police operation. Instead, he said, it was the result of combining about six. He was compressing good detail to make a point, and saw nothing wrong with that.
"It was just convenient to get it all in one," he said.
Nicola joined the police in Louisiana post Katrina. Police were needed by the community, but not liked. She was tasked to do a job that required back up, and she got into trouble for being under resourced. Sadly, Cronulla and Nicola were linked.
Innocent fun from Stephanie Rice a swimmer representing Australia at the Olympics. But the picture and pose highlights an issue that may skewer Department of Education claims that it can protect its students.SEXUALLY deviant teachers are preying on students, luring them into improper relationships and committing sex crimes.
Teenage students report teachers and volunteer workers in public and private schools have drugged them, exposed themselves over the internet and sexually assaulted their victims.
The Daily Telegraph has learned volunteers have also been caught taking jobs in schools without disclosing backgrounds of serious sexual offences against children.
Evidence has emerged predator teachers, once caught, have been allowed to move to other schools where they continued to target children.
As Ben has noted, there is a newly promoted Deputy Principal who humiliated a year 7 girl instead of referring the child to a counsellor, as had been agreed.
The child had asked her teacher, Ben, if he was a virgin. Ben had been concerned at what had prompted the question, and suggested that a referral to the counsellor might be appropriate.
Instead, the acting Deputy Principal removed the girl from class and interrogated Ben on an open party line and then made the girl shake hands with the teacher in apology.
Later, the girl transferred to a private school, leaving the public system. The acting Deputy was promoted to full Deputy.
IRAQI troops will continue their six-day-old military operation in Basra despite a call by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr for his followers to stop fighting, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said overnight.
"The operation in Basra will continue and will not stop until it achieves its goals. It is not targeting the Sadrists but criminals," Mr Dabbagh said.===
SYRIAN Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said overnight Damascus is prepared for all scenarios in its worsening relationship with Washington, including the use of US military force. Of course, Syria isn't yet seeking peace.
PAKISTAN'S Taliban movement overnight welcomed an offer by the country's new premier to hold talks with militants but urged Islamabad to abandon the US-led war on terrorism. Of course the Taliban probably killed their former protector, Bhutto.
http://www.ted.com Neuroscientist and inventor Christopher deCharms demos an amazing new way to use fMRI to show brain activity while it is happening -- emotion, body movement, pain. (In other words, you can literally see how you feel.) The applications for real-time fMRIs start with chronic pain control and range into the realm of science fiction, but this technology is very real.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
http://www.ted.com Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." He shares projects from throughout his career, from the pioneering roof-gardened Willis Building (1975) to the London Gherkin (2004). He also comments on two upcoming megaprojects: a pipe to bring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, and the new Beijing airport.
NSW Liberal/Nationals Welcome Autism Annoucement On Proviso More Is Done
Shadow Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance today welcomed the autism announcement on the proviso the Iemma Government does more to address the crisis facing families across the State.
Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner and The Nationals MLC for Bathurst Rick Colless today expressed concern over the future of the Blayney MPS following revelations of a 160% blowout in its cost.
Morris Iemma’s Transport Infrastructure
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell said today revelations there is virtually no new money for transport infrastructure projects left in the budget projections confirms the Iemma Government has condemned the people of NSW to a continuation of the poor services they currently receive.
Morris Iemma Asleep At The Wheel As NSW Loses Out On All Fronts
Labor Mugged By Kyoto Reality: Now They Know It Costs Money
TAXPAYERS are paying failed Labor candidate Mike Bailey $12,500 a month to provide "strategic advice" to NEW South Wales Government minister Tony Kelly.
Bailey, a weatherman also employed to read weekend weather on Channel 9, was handed the four-day-a-week, taxpayer-funded job after he failed to beat Joe Hockey in the seat of North Sydney at last November's federal election.
He is among a raft of failed federal and state ALP candidates who have landed plum jobs with the State Government.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Defend your freedom!
Film on Islamic threat threatened
Fitna, Geert Wilders’ film on the threat of militant Islam to Western values, has proved its point. Liveleak.com has removed it from its servers, and posted in its place this apology:
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
I understand it’s a lot to ask staff to stand up to death threats, but I also think it’s a mistake to reward the violent by surrendering your free speech. And so here is an alternative link to Wilders’ film - but CAUTION - IT INCLUDES HORRIFIC IMAGES AND DO NOT CLICK THE LINK IF YOU ARE UNDER 18:
Resist totalitarians. Defend free speech.
(To repeat: Caution, the film contains horrific images, and I do not endorse - or disavow, for that matter - its message, which as I’ve said seems to suggest all Muslims are a threat when most in the West clearly live in peace. )
The reaction to Fitna in fact confirms my last point - no riots, no one attacked, and Muslim leaders in Holland generally turning the other cheek. Excellent, and a much healthier state of affairs than occurred with the Muslim cartoons. It’s the fear and trembling and condemnation and self-abnegation and self-censorship of non-Muslims that is more worrying.
A round-up of that reaction, and alternative links to Fitna, here.
Also at United America Committee UAC About the UAC (at wiki)
The Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:13-21 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
She rejects what she desires
She has what she wants. The love of a good man. Someone she can mold to her will. Someone who is a good companion. Someone who can support her. Someone who can help her achieve her best. Someone she can talk to, who will listen.
But, just as the rich fool rejects all that he has, in favor of having more, she rejects his love for that little bit extra. So that she has the thrill of the illicit, and the promise of the empty gesture.
But a married man cannot provide much love for the mistress. Will not be molded by her. Will not be there for her in her journey. Will not support her. Will not tolerate her exceeding him and will not listen to her.
One does not know why the Rich Man is like he is. But today, we know what drives her. She has been hurt by her father. His infidelity. His rejection of love, to be replaced with a sugar daddy. His starving her of affection, which drives her.
This is not a story of an individual. This is the story of many today. And the world pays a high price for such greed.
Science Minister Senator Kim Carr must today rule out any cuts to the CSIRO, and in particular its National Research Flagships.
Albanese's Great Train Robbery
Rudd Labor has taken policy theft to new heights today by copying virtually word for word an announcement for an Inland Rail study made ten months ago by the previous government.
Eat Less - Live Longer - Feel Better - Save $$$
Australia has the fifth highest adult obesity rate in the world and obesity is shortening the lives of our children.
Agreement welcome on Coalition Murray Plan (after 14 wasted months)
Given Labor’s 14 wasted months on the Murray I am concerned that the time line to implement the water plan is not only late in agreement but too slow in the forward plan for starting work.
Brumby Grabs The Goulburn River
Fears over the new $10 billion Federal Murray-Darling Basin Water agreement have been realised, with the handing over of responsibility for the Goulburn River to the Victorian Government.
Dangerous breakdown in Defence - Fitzgibbon relationship
Today’s report in News Limited newspapers of a “war” between Defence chiefs and Mr Fitzgibbon is deeply concerning.
Is Regional Arts next on Labor’s razor gang agenda?
Call for Labor to support Regional Arts Australia’s push for a continuation of funding in this year’s budget.
Victoria's Water Plan Needs A Broader View
Victorian Premier John Brumby has finally signed up to the $10 Billion Federal Water Plan. He now needs to readjust his Melbourne focused water strategy to plan for the future.
Rudd Pays for 100 Billion litres of Water to Be Stolen from the MDB
The Coalition’s $10 billion National Plan for Water Security has been destroyed and the environment and Murray Darling Basin Communities would be worse off after Kevin Rudd was rolled by Victoria.
Rudd needs to come clean on petrol price promises
Call on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to come clean on petrol prices after the ACCC found the market was operating properly over the Easter period.
Faint hope for free and fair election
It is disappointing that the Rudd Labor Government has been silent on the imminent March 29 elections in Zimbabwe, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne said today.
Missed Mersey deadline no surprise
While clearly frustrated and disappointed, the local community should not be surprised by news that the Mersey ICU report’s public release has been delayed by the Rudd Government.
The Blame Game: Round 1 - Bob Debus vs NSW Labor
Labor Falling Down on the Job
Time to clean up Sydney's coasts of shame
Conroy's digital TV deception
Smith - Disadvantage is more than just socioeconomic status (The Australian)
River Murray: Time for a declaration of a national emergency
Pressure Builds on Aged Care
New platforms should be considered on their merits
Friday, March 28, 2008
From Andrew Bolt
Wow, it’s almost as if the Chinese shot a whale, rather than a protester, the way Kevin Rudd unleashed on the 7.30 Report:
Human rights abuses are never trivial matters, but we need to be clear, contextual, blunt about these difficulties, as well as acknowledging that there are many areas where we continue to work productively and effectively with the Chinese.That will teach them.
They thought it was a church paying them to inquire into children in Iraq, suffering the tyranny of .. ?
But actually, Saddam Hussein had paid them to oppose the US's interests.
Regardless of why, they worked for Hussein.
Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles, the second-ranking Senate Republican at the time, said the Democrats “sound somewhat like spokespersons for the Iraqi government.”
Mr Bolt has pointed out there are some issues here for Rudd.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Future dreams now a reality, at least in part
BY ANDREW RAMADGE
CASHLESS transactions, artificial organ transplants, space tourism and newspapers you can read on a screen may sound like common fare today, but 40 years ago they were the stuff of science fiction fantasies.
A magazine article printed four decades ago containing predictions of what life would be like in 2008 has been republished online, and it holds some surprisingly accurate details.
Some fascinating articles from around the traps
Warming to that money
Add lawyers to activists and the mother of all fear campaigns, and they’ll go jingling all the way to the bank. Meanwhile, all around Australia other lawyers are getting business from companies scared witless by Maurice Blackburn’s this-will-cost-you letter.
Crikey, Antarctica is still there
A comprehensive smackdown of the latest alarmism over an Antarctic ice-sheet. Print and pin onto the desk of anyone hyperventilating.
Warming theory going down, down
Professor Bob Carter is cold, but still laughing:
Round up the children
You know those wicked missionary-run homes where “stolen” children were kept?
We’re worse than the Nazis
Mervyn Bendle agrees with me about Paul Bartrop’s absurd Dictionary of Genocide:
Minister for a town she’d rather avoid
Jenny Macklin’s trip to Aurukun didn’t just see her sleeping in a luxury boat off-shore rather than in the primitive in-town accommodation that visiting white bureaucrats in that hell-hole must endure:
US Presidential Elections
King’s child: Obama rewrites his birth story
Now Barack Obama turns out to have rewritten his own life to prove he’s really black.
Kind words, tight wallet
Barack Obama releases his tax returns, and TaxProf observes
The Games People Play
FRANCE’S Nicolas Sarkozy has upped the stakes in the stand-off over China’s harsh treatment of Tibetan protesters by suggesting he may boycott the Beijing Olympics.
Mao, the hero of the SBS
The SBS presents Mao - the killer of 70 million Chinese - much as Mao would have wanted:
Time Rudd stood up to China
Greg Sheridan says Kevin Rudd should get a lot tougher with China over Tibet:
Did China’s cash flow to Rudd?
Did the Chinese Government in fact sponsor some of Kevin Rudd’s trips overseas?
Rudds Small Change
PRIME Minister Kevin (Lu Kewen) Rudd has demonstrated a keen appreciation for the art of shadow boxing, dancing around the Opposition’s legitimate questions about his involvement with the mysterious Chinese entrepreneur Ian Tang
Most strange Chinese whispers
KEVIN Rudd is looking more and more like the Manchurian candidate and less like the canny Christian Mandarin-speaking former diplomat he persuaded the electorate he was, as details of his contacts with his Chinese sponsors unravel.
A New Age
No bridges from fear and hate
THE weasel-like Indonesian Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir and his Australian doppelganger Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly returned to form over Easter, reminding realists of the underlying hatred these so-called fundamentalist leaders hold for Western civilisation.
Costello has ways to make you pray
World Vision boss and warming alarmist Tim Costello warns staff in an email to observe his own Earth Hour tomorrow or undergo a public shaming:
Knocked back into deferential line
By Andrew Bolt
The ABC headline at 6:01am:
Rudd departs to strut world stage
The ABC headline at 6:58am:
Rudd departs to walk world stage
A triumph of bureaucracy
A triumph is announced by the Bureaucrat in Chief:
Politics is contact sport
THE Australian newspaper has taken some members of the Canberra Press Gallery to task for attempting to be “insiders” rather than “outsiders” when scrutinising the performance of the Rudd Government.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
In fact, the Chinese Government will be fortunate if it is only the Tibetan independence movement which seeks to exploit the intense media focus on Beijing as the 29th Games draws near. A preview of the possibilities was provided at the ceremony three months ago launching China Central Television’s coverage of the 2008 Olympics. A popular Beijing newscaster, Hu Ziwei, grabbed the microphone and stunned the audience – not to mention millions of viewers – by shouting repeatedly, “If the Chinese have no humane values to present to the world, what is the purpose of the Olympics after all?”
Hu was jailed on charges of “damaging the name of China and the Olympic Games”. We are told that she will be released when the Games are safely over; but the difficulty for the rulers in Beijing is that there will be protesters whose identities even their immense domestic intelligence services will not have been able to ascertain.
Andrew Bolt says
Put that way, Hu’s protest should make her a poster girl for Western journalists concerned about the freedom of the press:
And, of course, her jailing should be condemned. However, her protest was not entirely about human rights in China, as a partial transcript of her comments makes clear:
Today is a special day for the Olympic Channel, for [Hu’s husband] Mr. Zhang Bin, and for me, too. Two hours ago, I found out that Mr. Zhang Bin has been involved in an affair with another woman....
I will finish my last sentence. Let’s be polite. But that French foreign minister said, ‘Until China can export human values, [it] won’t become a great country.’ In front of us, [we] face such a sanctimonious … when Zhang Bin can’t face himself … even can’t face his wife, hurt by him. I feel, China, as a … become a great country… In the end do you have any conscience?! You let go! Still too far away from a great country.
Fascinating. Still, Lawson’s point remains. And the fear on the faces of the people around Hu - as well as the censorship afterwards - says plenty.
NAB lifts home loan rate for the second time in a month. This time by 0.09%.
It isn't much. Westpac is expected to follow.
Treasurer Swan says
"Banks that are able to shield their customers as much as possible from the fallout of the US sub-prime crisis will be rewarded," Mr Swan said.
"Similarly, those that don't act reasonably are likely to be punished and lose customers to their competitors.
"We encourage them (homeowners) to shop around and vote with their feet if they think they can get a better deal from a different financial institution."
Banks cannot allow rates to rise and fall linearly with interest rates because of profit margins. When interest rates are very low, say at 3%, then if a bank has a 1% rate extra, its profit margin is 25%. But, if interest rates are at 9% and the bank has 1% extra, then it's margin is only 10%. Banks measure their profits on the margins, because that is where they compete, capital being a resource.
Swan knows this, but still says something stupid in the hopes people will not know that he is supporting the practice. Swan is not telling customers to leave the NAB.
Wayne Carey is being associated with people who die.
Most recently, Derryn Hinch has claimed that Wayne met with popular sports broadcaster Clinton Grybas hours before the 32 year old died from what Hinch describes as a food allergy and heart condition.
Carey and his girlfriend, Kate Neilson, were understood to be at the event where Mr Grybas was said to have eaten typical barbecue fare - sausages and steak.
The couple were shattered to hear of Mr Grybas's death and told friends he was known for his clean living.
"They were at a very quiet, intimate barbecue in Port Melbourne and no one had used anything, they just ate sausages and steak," said a source close to the case.
Mr Hinch told the Herald Sun he stood by what he said on air.
"Every word I said on air was deliberate," Hinch said.
"I didn't want to cause any more grief to those involved in this, but the truth had to come out. A lot of people are hurting here."
Mr Hinch said he had the full support of 3AW management.
Of course the rumors were ugly in the wake of the death of Chris Mainwaring in 2007. But that was Ben Cousins who was supposed to have been nearby. It is so hard to keep track of the AFL greats who have been high and mighty and fallen far.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
On Wednesday 24th October 2007, a coronial inquiry cleared police of responsibility for the 2005 Macquarie Fields riots. The 2005 riots in the south-west Sydney suburb of Macquarie Fields drove a wedge between the police and the community.
Cars were set alight and police were pelted with rocks and petrol bombs.
Members of the community blamed police for the deaths of two teenagers who died during a police car chase.
But police had not been responsible, and it took two and a half years for a coronial inquiry to find it.
This is the third instalment of Picking Cotton, the Nicola Cotton story. Nicola was a young police woman who was senselessly killed in an act of anti police brutality. The aim of this documentary series is to look at police and humanize them for the young.
An earlier echo of the riot was at the local High School James Meehan. In 1992, the school had had riots divided along race lines existing within the local ghetto. Aboriginal and Pacific Islander students squared off after a school counsellor charged with welfare responsibility for Aboriginal students had given those identifying as Aboriginal permission for activity like smoking or leaving class. Pacific Islander students saw themselves as carrying the load of school pride when the school excelled at Rugby League. After the division, the counsellor was dismissed. The school had previously had as students those involved with killing Anita Cobby and, later, Janine Balding.
The man jailed for causing the fatal car crash that triggered Sydney's Macquarie Fields riots has little prospect of rehabilitation, a judge says. (Friday oct 13th 2006)
Jesse Kelly, 21, was sentenced in the NSW District Court after previously pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death.
He was at the wheel of a stolen Holden Commodore that slammed into a tree in Macquarie Fields, in Sydney's south-west, during a police pursuit in February last year.
Matthew Robertson, 19, and a 17-year-old youth died in the crash, but Kelly fled the scene, giving himself up to police 12 days later.
The Feb 25th 2005 incident triggered four nights of rioting between residents of the suburb and police.
Jesse had started those stories after his friends had died in the car Jesse had been driving. His friends and relatives told Jesse’s stories as truth. The riots that followed involved a poorly educated and mostly high population of young people gathered into a ghetto by ALP public policy. The police were their bogeyman, because the police enforced those laws the ALP gave them.
Kelly had rarely attended school. He was unskilled and unemployable. He smoked marijuana and lived with friends who drank much and smoked a lot of marijuana.
"Listen, reality check," the Premier said yesterday. "There are no excuses for this behaviour and I am not going to have it said that this behaviour is caused by social disadvantage.
"A lot of people grew up in circumstances of social disadvantage and they did not go out and attack police with bricks and light fires in the streets ... There is one blame here and that is the people who went out and threw bricks and caused riots. There's only one thing to say to them: the police will get them, because they are engaged in illegal behaviour."
Bob Carr March 1st 2005
For the fourth night running, about 300 residents confronted police, pelting them with rocks and bottles in revenge for the deaths of Dylan Raywood, 17, and Matt Robertson, 19, who died when the stolen car in which they were passengers crashed during a police chase on Friday night.
The trouble erupted after officers raided a unit on the corner of Cottonwood Crescent and Eucalyptus Drive which Mr Robertson had shared with three men. Witnesses said three young men and a woman were arrested nearby after the raid, in which police seized a rifle and a police baton.
By midnight police had arrested 19 people, including a woman charged for punching a policewoman to the ground. At the bottom of Eucalyptus Drive, as many as 50 youths hurled fireworks which exploded at the feet of a phalanx of about 70 police.
While the dead car thieves and the missing young driver got little sympathy from letter writers and talkback radio callers outside Macquarie Fields, social policy specialists criticised Mr Carr's tough talk and denial of the social causes of the riot.
"He is 100 per cent wrong," said Ross Homel, a commentator on police pursuits and the causes of juvenile crime. The problems of Macquarie Fields would not be solved through a rigid law-and-order stance, but through police convincing the residents they were not "the enemy" by tackling the suburb's social ills with other agencies, said Professor Homel, professor of criminology and criminal Justice at Griffith University in Brisbane.
Local residents and social workers confirmed that life in Macquarie Fields can be bleak, hard and often violent.
They blamed unemployment, poverty, a culture of substance abuse and a lack of infrastructure for the recent unrest.
"Unfortunately, I think everyone has admitted that the estate was one of the worst blunders of the last century," said Molly Thomas, co-ordinator of the South West Multicultural and Community Centre. "They have created terrible social problems."
Scott Marshall, 15, a friend of Matt Robertson, said: "We've got nothing to do here. So the cops harass us, they pull up at four o'clock in the morning and play the song Bad Boys really loud and put their sirens on. We want revenge."
Empty beer bottles and cans litter the streets and parks, graffiti is splashed on most buildings, piles of discarded furniture sit on pavements and derelict houses squat in overgrown yards.
Built in the 1970s, the suburb consists of 2000 public housing properties and 2900 privately owned homes. At 11 per cent, its unemployment rate is almost double that of greater Sydney's 6 per cent, while almost 17 per cent of its youths are jobless.
"There's a number of people who tell me they haven't eaten for a few days. It's a reality in this area," said a Salvation Army welfare office spokeswoman who declined to be named.
NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney today angrily defended his handling of the Macquarie Fields riots in Sydney and accused the state Opposition of politicising his job.
He also hit back at frontline police officers who anonymously complained to the media about poor resources, telling them to come forward and discuss their issues with him personally.
Mr Moroney launched his counterattack as visiting Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) chief Bill Bratton described the south-western Sydney riots as "disturbances", where he saw no problem with the police response.
"I am grossly affronted and insulted by the reported politicisation of the office [of police commissioner]," Mr Moroney said as Opposition leader John Brogden continued his attack on the police response.
"I am not going to be an apologist for driving down crime. That's our function and I'll continue to do it."
Mr Moroney admitted to being "not pleased" with some aspects of how police let crash fugitive Jesse Kelly escape custody for 12 days and let rioting continue night after night.
"We will get to the bottom of the issues," he said.
Several police officers, who have not given their names, have held Mr Moroney responsible for a lack of training and experience that undermined the response to the unrest in Macquarie Fields.
"I can't deal with things anonymously," Mr Moroney said.
"I'd like to be able to talk to the officer or officers concerned."
Mr Moroney said he would face "any inquiry" into police resources, training and pursuit tactics, but said "nothing is to be had by nailing people to the wall".
A police leadership which acted in the interests of politicians, but not its officers or the community. A Police Chief who acts as a government Minister, attacking the leader of the Opposition, but failing to defend his own methods. A community set up to be at odds with the police whose function is to protect and serve. That is the lesson of Nicola Cotton, and the Macquarie Fields riots.
It didn't seem believable at first. But it had the ring of truth. An unwanted one.
I had tried to overcome this barrier that had suddenly appeared. One moment, we were daily going to the gym, and discussing her ambitions. There were some things I needed help with, and I thought she was well placed, and willing to, but she was too busy, and the opportunity when it would be reasonable to broach the thoughts never happened.
When the accident occurred it was a minor thing. Except it became my fault. She had been trying too hard to impress me. Getting up very early, little or no sleep, and showing the lack of judgement peculiar to the very tired. The accident itself was minor, a slight bump on an illegally parked vehicle. Only the local gym gave her personal details to the the driver of the other car, and the driver, and some friends, intimidated her into giving them a lot of money. She only told me about that later. I didn't say anything about my concerns, but she could have been killed for that money.
She went away soon after, and cut me off. A month passed, and she returned to her home, but didn't tell me she had returned. I had tried to make things right in the meantime, but felt that it wasn't me that she had an argument with. A mutual friend brokered a meet, but when faced with discussing what I had wanted to, I tanked, thinking it would be better another time.
We are in her car, and she is trying to tell me what she thinks my problem is, seeing as I'm apparently unlucky.
"You could do anything, but you seem to worry about the consequences. You should just go for it."
Luckily, I slept on the advice, instead of attempting it in the car. The next day, when I made a pass at her, she made it clear that that was not what she had meant.
A fortnight passed, and then a few more days. When the friend brokered another meet. This time she spelt it out. She didn't like me. I made her skin crawl. Her parents didn't trust me. I was never to try and see her again, or her family. She had tried to be nice to me, but I didn't seem to respond well to that. We were still friends, if we ever might meet in public, but not good friends. She left a bag of things I had loaned or given her over the years. And a gift she said she had meant to give at Christmas time.
Afterwards, I couldn't bring myself to open the gift. I had never got one from a woman before. It seemed to have so many more possibilities left unopened. A month passed, and then a few more days. It dawned on me. She had tried to be nice, much as someone would for a wounded animal. But she didn't like me.
Scimone, not Tripodi.
DISGRACED former Labor Party official Joe Scimone has been sacked from his $200,000-a-year government job for not telling bosses he was under investigation by ICAC.
The dismissal is the first official casualty for the State Government as the fallout from the Wollongong Labor Council corruption inquiry - a scandal that shows no signs of abating.
"He knew that he was under investigation - he withheld that information," a government source said.
NSW Maritime had been aware of the sexual harassment claims against Mr Scimone at the time of the interview process for the job - a fact admitted by chief executive Chris Oxenbould.
Mr Tripodi has maintained he was unaware of allegations against Mr Scimone.
Four Labor Wollongong councillors, including the Deputy Lord Mayor, have also all been suspended from the party following the ICAC hearings which concluded two weeks ago.
The council was sacked on the recommendation of ICAC Commissioner Jerrold Cripps and an administrator appointed.
Visit http://www.GoCarpenters.com to help induct the Carpenters into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!
Monday, March 24, 2008
http://www.ted.com To date, there hasn't been an overarching theory of how the human brain really works, Jeff Hawkins argues in this compelling talk. That's because we still haven't defined intelligence accurately. But one thing's for sure, he says: The brain isn't like a powerful computer processor. It's more like a memory system that records everything we experience and helps us predict, intelligently, what will happen next. Bringing this new brain science to computer devices will enable powerful new applications -- and it will happen sooner than you think.
An interesting topic when combined with John Ball's actual application of Thinking Solutions work.
The 2009 Department of Energy (DOE) budget released in early February includes about $30 million for geothermal energy exploration — mostly for the construction of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) demonstration plants. This is the first step toward achieving enough clean, constant power from the earth to provide around 10 percent of our baseline energy needs — a goal put forward by a panel of experts in January 2007.
"We're no longer limited by just discovering the Icelands of the world,"
said Jefferson Tester, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT who chaired the EGS panel. The report estimates that by 2050, EGS could be implemented to a capacity of 100,000 new megawatts of power — more electricity capacity than all of the nuclear power plants in the United States combined.
The most important next step, according to Tester, is to demonstrate that large-scale EGS is even possible and profitable.
"You can’t just calculate this," he said. "You have to go do it."
Increasing production of corn-based ethanol to meet alternative fuel goals will worsen the "dead zone" that plagues the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new study that adds to the growing list of concerns over the fuel.
Each year, spring runoff washes nitrogen-rich fertilizers from farms in the Mississippi River basin and carries them into the river and the streams that feed it. The nitrogen eventually empties out of the mouth of the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico, where tiny phytoplankton feed off of it and spread into an enormous bloom.
When these creatures die, they sink to the ocean floor, and their decomposition strips the water of oxygen. This condition, called hypoxia, prevents animals that depend on oxygen, such as fish or shrimp, from living in those waters. In recent years, this so-called "dead zone" has grown to the size of New Jersey—about 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles)—each summer.
Previous research has shown that corn, one of the three staple crops grown on U.S. croplands, accounts for the bulk of the nitrogen pollution that fuels the dead zone, said study leader Simon Donner of the University of British Columbia.
Donner's study, detailed in the March 10 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds to the growing body of research on the potential ills of ethanol, particularly made from corn. Studies have shown that producing ethanol could consume more energy than the fuel creates, strain water resources, and possibly pose a threat to public health.
More precisely, they are somewhat oblivious to the emotional subtleties of non-verbal cues, according to a new study of college students.
Some might think the results come down to "boys being boys," and so even the slightest female interest sparks sexual fantasy. But the study, to be detailed in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, also found that it goes both ways for guys — they mistake females' sexual signals as friendly ones. The researchers suggest guys have trouble noticing and interpreting the subtleties of non-verbal cues, in either direction.
To unravel it all, Farris and her colleagues examined non-verbal communication in a group of 280 undergraduates, both men and women with an average age of 20 years old.
More surprising, the researchers found guys were also confused by sexual cues. When images of gals meant to show allure flashed onto the screen, male students mistook the allure as amicable signals.
"I would say that there are many factors that could relate to men demonstrating insensitivity to women's subtle non-verbal cues," said Pamela McAuslan, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, who was not involved in the current study. These factors would include socialization, gender roles and gender stereotypes, she said.
Had the government and education authorities not been so inept in handling Ben's case, it would be easy to endorse a suitable person for Oprah's school.
But there is a cover up of the death of a child and responsible people have retained their positions.
One wishes Oprah's venture to be successful. It would mean a lot for future generations, as well as the current enrollment. But can Australia provide a good candidate without first examining what has happened?
Firebrand Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has called on his young Indonesian followers to attack tourists - including Australians - in a fiery sermon.
In the talk given in October last year Bashir urges his followers to "beat up" western tourists, whom he likened to "worms, snakes and maggots", The Australian reported.
"God willing there are none (tourists) here," he told the young Indonesian audience on October 22.
"If there were infidels here, just beat them up. Do not tolerate them.
"Worms, snakes, maggots - those are animals that crawl. Take a look at Bali ... those infidel tourists. They are naked."
Bashir was convicted of conspiracy over the 2002 Bali bombings - which killed 88 Australians - serving 26 months in prison.
Experts have interpreted Bashir's comments as a sign the cleric has become emboldened since being released from prison last year.
The speech was recorded by Australian PhD student Nathan Franklin, who is specialising in Indonesian politics.
"Going to jail, serving a very light sentence, and becoming a media icon - it's the best thing that's happened to him," Mr Franklin said.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Revelations today that former Health Minister John Hatzistergos tried to gag the family of a 13-year-old boy who died in Orange Base Hospital in 2005 shows the disgraceful depths the Iemma Government will go to avoid negative media headlines, Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said today.
Meagher’s Backflip On Hospital Figures; No Guarantee Of Transparency
Reba Meagher’s backflip on publishing more public hospital performance figures is no guarantee the Iemma Government will be more transparent with the public, Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said today.
Della Bosca Lies About TAFE Fees Freeze
Labor’s Decade Of Dithering: North West Rail Line Back To The Drawing Board
New England Residents Must Make Voice Heard At Special Health Inquiry
3,000 jobs under threat
Immigration Minister confirms overseas trained doctors concerns
Carr caught out on Square Kilometre Array
Senator calls for inquest into slipping TV standards
Education revolution "unplugged"
Crean changes the rules for exporters...again
The Rudd Labor Government is laying the foundations for more uncertainty for exporters, Shadow Minister for Trade Ian Macfarlane said today.
North South Pipeline Delay Welcomed
Melbourne Water has announced that construction of the North South Pipeline will be delayed until at least June.
Waste inquiry not a waste for the environment
Waste management will be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, after the Senate passed a motion moved by Senator Simon Birmingham this morning.
Plastic bags: punish the polluter, don't flog the family
The Coalition is today setting out a zero waste plan for plastic bags based on punishing the polluter and not taxing shopping bags.
All toolbox and no tools
Kevin Rudd’s ‘Digital Education Revolution’ is under-funded and riddled with hidden costs that will be borne by parents.
Health research not immune from Rudd razor gang
Alarm bells are sounding for medical research in this country after the Rudd Government confirmed health and medical research will not be immune from the razor gang.
Labor finally adopts Coalition policy on fast tracking 457 visa applications
Until today Labor have actively sought to demonise the 457 visa, today they adopted the Coalition’s 457 visa policy.
Sherry claims credit for Coalition policy
Shadow Minister for Superannuation Michael Keenan MP is today calling on Labor to admit it was the Coalition that removed the ‘double penalty’ that could apply in regards to late superannuation guarantee payments.
Labor admits it is 'roll back' on indigenous affairs
Dr Sharman Stone, was stunned to hear Labor backbencher Daryl Melham admit in Parliament today that Labor’s Northern Territory Intervention measures were to be ‘rolled back’.
Happy days are here
All Australians should rejoice today, safe in the knowledge that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has personally guaranteed that no family will be worse off, due to his government's new industrial relations laws.
The Rudd Labor Government leaves tourism operators stranded
The Rudd Labor Government has created another cloud of uncertainty for the tourism and services sector, with no clarity on the Export Market Development Grants Scheme.
Easter petrol pain ignored
Australian families will receive no relief at the petrol pump this Easter weekend as the Rudd Government takes a holiday from their apparent fight against rising petrol prices.
vocals - ddball
rest - dirigent
Bind Us Together (Bob Gillman)
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken;
Bind us together, lord
Bind us together, lord
Bind us together with love.
There is only one god;
There is only one king;
There is only one body;
That is why I sing ...
http://www.ted.com Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open their own volunteer-driven, wildly creative writing labs. But you don't need to go that far, he reminds us -- it's as simple as asking a teacher "How can I help?" He asks that we share our own volunteering stories at his new website, Once Upon a School.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
THE Defence Department has been ordered to find $10 billion worth of savings over the next decade, including possible staff cutbacks, as the Rudd Government tries to exert greater financial discipline across big-spending departments.
As Andrew Bolt notes;
Four days ago:
THE Howard government left the defence budget in a mess and suffering a shortfall of up to $6bn over the next 10 years, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said today.
THE Defence Department has been ordered to find $10 billion worth of savings over the next decade, including possible staff cutbacks, as the Rudd Government tries to exert greater financial discipline across big-spending departments.
These people are making it up as they go along.
Dying moments ... the brother of top South Korean actor Lee Dong-Gun collapses on the floor of a Sydney shop after he was fatally stabbed / Photo: John Grainger
Iemma campaigned that he had been tough on crime. His critics argued that was a lie. On Thursday morning, the lie was exposed, and a young man was stabbed to death.
The young man had been with a friend. He was near a major thoroughfare. There were no police present, but there is cctv footage.
Iemma did not campaign on the slogan that he had not enough police to mount routine patrols. He did not run on the slogan that Sydney was not safe for for tourists who stuck to the main paths. It is difficult to believe that this tragedy could occur outside of a NSW Government run school or hospital. But it did. Recently, Iemma promoted the lie that Sydney was the best city in the world. If that means he has taken more from Sydney peoples than anyone else, that at least is believable.
http://www.ted.com As she accepts her 2008 TED Prize, author and scholar Karen Armstrong talks about how the Abrahamic religions -- Islam, Judaism, Christianity -- have been diverted from the moral purpose they share to foster compassion. But Armstrong has seen a yearning to change this fact. People want to be religious, she says; we should act to help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help her build a Charter for Compassion -- to help restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Part two of the Picking Cotton series regarding the death of policewoman Nicola Cotton. The 2004 Redfern Riots had nothing to do with Nicola, but they were to do with unreasoned hatred of police. This series seeks to educate about the role of police, and humanize them for young people.
A documentary on Nicola cotton is being compiled
Sydney teen dies after fence impaling
Police 'deserve all they get': dead teen's mum
Police accused of intimidation
Back on Eveleigh Street it's still us versus them
Chased or not, TJ had reasons to run
'Alcohol, heat, grief triggered the riot'
Redfern violence blamed on 'softly-softly' approach
New witness claims police chased teenager who died
Tension simmers as police arrest Hickey's girlfriend
Remove children from risk, says Brogden
Teen's aunt to miss funeral as bail denied
Police meet in secret to ban Block patrols
Time to start again, say Redfern police
Thomas Hickey's cousin in court over riot
Redfern to get new police station
Journalist sacked over Redfern report
Drug raids led up to Redfern riot, says Carr
Music helps smiling April cope with pain of TJ's death
Milton Orkopoulos's electoral assistant has been poorly served by her employer, the ALP
Gillian Sneddon, the convicted paedophile's former electoral officer, is pursuing a claim against the Government, after alleging she has lived in fear since turning police witness.
Central to her claim is that her life had been destroyed by the affair and that the Government had treated her like a pariah after locking her out of the Swansea office in November 2006, following Orkopoulos' arrest.
Ms Sneddon has also alleged that parliamentary officers tipped Orkopoulos off to the investigation after she called them in 2006 to raise the alarm about the allegations of child sex.
This she claimed, put her life at risk and had caused her permanent impairment.
However, Ben has a story with similar shadowy figures of the ALP NSW Government. But Ben has no recourse for action because of the deliberate time wasting of a few government ministers.
Gillian deserves much better than she received. NSW deserves much better than the Iemma government.
Highlighting the size of the racial divide, press are writing glowing stories about the man who said this:
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
The press are mistaken. The race issues Obama has delved in are hurting him. The number of hits he is getting from the press now are nothing to what he will get if he becomes President, and the Islamic world remember that in their eyes he is apostate.
Obama splutters on attack of US mid west conservatives.
reports from March 27th 08
Barak The USA Hater
Obama and Clinton protest laws that work
Journalists love Obama
Clinton or Obama, who is worse?
Hilary determined to lose war
Clintons admit to ..
Obama say "Yes we can." But should we?
Super Tuesday super bad for Democrats
Will Smith thinking outside the box
Hilary caught out. Again.
Obama is struggling with the truth. He verbals McCain, here, falsely.
Hilary cannot now win, so why is she proceeding?
Democrat bloodletting continues with Clinton win
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 23, 08 (03:56 pm)
Hillary Clinton wins - but not enough to do anything but hurt Barack Obama, who has the Democrat nomination sewn up, on a delegate count at least
A Different Take on Mr Wright?
To oppose the now retired Jeremiah Wright view on the world, and ridicule it, one need only quote what he says. His views are well known and he has not changed them in his career as a magnet for bigots and racists.
To support the former pastor, one need only point to the color of his skin, not the content of his character. One might say that they hate the current US President, and declare everything he does as being wrong. Even Cherie Blair knows that is wrong.
One can attack Martin Luther King, decry the racism of America under the Democrats of the past and blame white people. Or one can admit that Mr Wright has backed the wrong pony in trying to address past wrongs.