Monday, February 16, 2009
Headlines Monday 16th February 2009
Rudd told to take over health services .. in a reform aimed at matching the previous government
The Federal Government will be urged to take over several state-run health care services when a health reform commission reports back to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today....
Vic fires still burning out of control
Eight bushfires are still burning out of control around Victoria this morning, but no towns are under direct threat....
Man 'bashed to death' in Sydney home
Detectives are investigating the suspected murder of a man near Campbelltown overnight....
Voges' screamer helps Aussies beat NZ
Adam Voges has taken a dramatic outfield catch as Australia ended their tough home summer on a positive note with a one-run Twenty20 triumph over New Zealand....
Rio investors urge BHP to make new bid in wake of China deal
Top institutional investors have urged BHP Billiton to relaunch a takeover bid for mining rival Rio Tinto in a move to scupper Rio's deal with Chinalco, a UK newspaper reported on Sunday....
Police call for calm as alleged arsonist faces court
Victorians have been urged not to threaten the safety of an accused fire bug scheduled to appear in court on Monday over the lighting of a fire that killed 21 people.
Teens come forward to claim they fathered 13-year-old Alfie's daughter
Two teenagers have come forward to claim paternity for the baby girl fathered by 13-year-old Alfie Patten, amid reports the child's mother Chantelle Steadman was sleeping with as many as eight boys.
Bullying victims 'turning to guns'
Man 'bashed to death' in Sydney home
Armed thieves steal bushfire donations
DOZER BORROWED, TOWN SAVED
As the fires raged around his little town, Eric Notley took swift, dozer-style action – only to face possible charges:
A Victorian man who borrowed a bulldozer to help create a firebreak during the bushfires could be charged over the incident.
Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment owns the bulldozer which Buxton pub owner Eric Notley used to create firebreaks to save houses and other buildings in the tiny town.
“The place is saved,” he said.
“The dozer was sitting there, so it had to be used for something so it was used.
“So to me, [I did] something for the community and it should be right.”
A DSE spokesman says the matter will be investigated.
They can’t win in the open market, so they try to shut down the contest:
More and more Democrats in Congress are calling for action that Republicans warn could muzzle right-wing talk radio.
Representative Maurice Hinchey, a Democrat from New York is the latest to say he wants to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine,” a federal regulation scrapped in 1987 that would require broadcasters to present opposing views on public issues.
“I think the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated,” Hinchey told CNNRadio. Hinchey says he could make it part of a bill he plans to introduce later this year overhauling radio and t-v ownership laws.
Instapundit: “But I thought dissent was the highest form of patriotism!” Actually, a re-introduced Fairness Doctrine for radio and television might not be an entirely bad thing. Imagine all the conservative content you’d suddenly see on CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NPR and Air America and …
KIDS FOR BENZ
The Peace Organisation of Australia is apparently branding children with Mercedes-Benz symbols:
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Peace Merc. They used to be very popular. Lately, demonstrators prefer an alternative German design.
ALL POWER TO THE CONSORTIUM
The Consortium of Pub-Going, Loose and Forward Women – further information here – continue their inventive battle against Hindu extremists. Consortium founder Nisha Susan is a heroine to all cocktail-drinking floozies, and we admirers of cocktail-drinking floozies.
NO HEAD, NO HEADLINES
Mark Steyn on a domestic event of little consequence:
Just asking, but are beheadings common in western New York? I used to spend a lot of time in that neck of the woods and I don’t remember decapitation as a routine form of murder. Yet the killing of Aasiya Hassan seems to have elicited a very muted response.
When poor Mrs Hassan’s husband launched his TV network to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims, he had no difficulty generating column inches, as far afield as The Columbus Dispatch, The Detroit Free Press, The San Jose Mercury News, Variety, NBC News, the Voice of America and the Canadian Press. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle put the couple on the front page under the headline “Infant TV Network Unveils The Face Of Muslim News”.
But, when Muzzammil Hassan kills his wife and “the face of Muslim news” is unveiled rather more literally, detached from her corpse at his TV studios, it’s all he can do to make the local press …
More billions, please
There are two warnings here - that Britain’s banks are in even worse shape than you’ve been told, and that governments of the Left are gambling with your cash in trying to prop some up:
Taxpayers could have to spend billions bailing out the banks again after massive and unexpected losses were disclosed by Britain’s new superbank.
Shares in Lloyds Banking Group fell 32 per cent to 61.4p yesterday after it reported losses of £10 billion in HBOS, making it worth far less than thought when it was taken over in November.
The news, a huge embarrassment for Gordon Brown, who helped to broker the deal, triggered speculation that the bank will have to come back to the Government for more capital.
Andrew wrote this
Bad news for Jhaiydn and Apple in a new study:
The more unpopular your name, the more likely you are to land in the juvenile justice system.
No, it’s not because your weird name becomes a curse:
Kalist and Yee instead believe that, while names themselves do not cause their bearers to commit crimes, more unusual names are often associated with factors that lead to juvenile delinquency, such as disadvantaged home environments (single parents, low socio-economic status and residency issues). Low PN1 individuals may be more susceptible to bullying at young ages, and thus have difficulty forming relationships. Kalist and Yee hypothesize that these individuals act out, consciously or unconsciously, because they dislike their own names.
It’s more about the parents, no doubt choosing to assert themselves by giving the two fingers - and not considering the effects of their gesture on their child.
Names to avoid, according to the study:
Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, Malcolm and Preston
Names to prefer? Well, note that this study is the work of researchers called David and Daniel.
Australia - size counts
David Dale learns the lesson of Baz Luhrmann’s Australia:
Australians will go to see an Australian movie … even when much of its dialogue is embarrassing, its acting is hammy, its special effects are unconvincing, it is an hour too long, its leading actress is unpopular and many critics say its one of the worst movies of the year … as long as the story is stirring, the budget is huge, it is massively hyped, and it is showing on more than 500 screens during a holiday period.
So now future filmmakers in this country know how to create a hit - and Australia was definitely that, selling $36.5 million worth of tickets in 12 weeks. This means it was seen by more than 3 million of us (or seen by Baz Luhrmann 3 million times).
It is the third-highest-grossing local film in history (after Crocodile Dundee, which made $48 million in 1986, and Babe, which made $37 million in 1995) and our 14th-biggest money maker, just ahead of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.
The reverse also applies
Mouth some popular pieties - multiculturalism then, global warming now - and you may be forgiven for actually being an utter shite. Paul Sheehan nominates an example:
And yet we have, in the foyer of a public gallery in Civic Centre, Canberra, a life-sized bronze image of a smiling Grassby, paid for by the taxpayers, via the ACT Labor Government, at a cost of about $72,000. It commemorates Grassby’s role as the “father of multiculturalism” in Australia.
When the Chief Minister of the ACT, John Stanhope, successfully championed this statue, the evidence of Grassby’s corruption and treachery was both abundant and widely known. For many years, Grassby had acted as an agent of influence for the Calabrian criminal network known as the ‘ndrangheta, which continues to thrive in Australia’s illicit drug trade.
In the report of the Nagle special commission of inquiry in 1986, John Nagle, QC, found that Grassby had engaged in a smear campaign to protect the real murderers of Donald Mackay. He wrote that “no decent man” could have propagated “the scurrilous lies” that Grassby distributed about the Mackay family. He described Grassby’s performance as a witness as “long-winded, dissembling, and unconvincing, constantly driven to uneasy claims of defective memory”.
United Despots hold a meeting
The United Nations is to hold a World Conference Against Racism. But in typical UN style, this conference against meanness is being run by some of the meanest:
A key Israeli objection is that the UN committee managing the conference is chaired by Libya, with vice-chairs from Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey.
Fire-proof every school
A ghastly scenario; a sensational idea:
SCHOOLS may need to be built with bunkers to keep children safe from bushfires, Victorian federal MP Fran Bailey says.
The recent bushfires have destroyed some schools and kindergartens in Ms Bailey’s electorate of McEwen, which was the epicentre of the fires.
“Just imagine if that fire had happened on the previous Wednesday (when children were in school) and not the Saturday,” The Liberal MP told ABC Television.
“All of those schools that were just demolished in that fire ... it’s just too horrific to really dwell on that.”
Earlier last week I was urging that we build a hall, cultural centre or sports facility at each fire-prone town that was completely fire-proof, so that everyone had a known place of refuge. Bailey’s suggestion is a clearly suprerior modification, and must be adopted.
In case you doubt, note this - and imagine the scene had the fires roared in on a school day:
Three government primary schools - Middle Kinglake, Strathewen and Marysville - were burnt to the ground.