Thursday, February 12, 2009
Headlines Thursday 12th February 2009
REVEALED: Government bungling silenced fire warnings
It has been revealed a nationwide fire-alert system, which could have warned those devastated by the Victorian disaster, had been delayed because of bureaucratic bungling by the Federal Government....
Done deal: House, Senate agree on US stimulus plan
US lawmakers have announced an agreement on a compromise $US789 billion stimulus plan, and say they hope to have it ready for President Barack Obama's signature in the coming days....
Motorist 'bashed with hammer' in road rage attack
Two men have been charged over a violent road rage attack at Colyton in Sydney's west, which saw a motorist bashed in the mouth with a hammer. ..
Chris Brown choked Rihanna over car keys: report
Rihanna has reportedly claimed Chris Brown choked her until she was unconscious during an alleged assault on Sunday....
Usher's wife suffers heart attack during liposuction operation
Usher's wife, Tameka Foster, was due to undergo the cosmetic surgery at Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Friday but fell seriously ill when she was being anesthetised for the procedure. ...
Strike Force Tuno makes two new murder arrests
There have been two more arrests in the biggest murder investigation in NSW history, with Strike Force Tuno detectives arrested two men over the murder of a Victorian man at Wolli Creek in Sydney's south.
Orbiting satellites collide in historical first
Two communications satellites have collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, NASA said today.
Body dragged 27km under a van
Xenophon not backing down on stimulus
Queenslanders brace for more flooding
More money for Uni students welcome
While it won't make page one headlines, more money to Universities is always welcome says Tim Brunero. - I never had a mouthpiece although I had to pay union fees. I'm sure they'd have shouted me a beer if I showed at a function of theirs praising some ALP or green leader, or abusing some conservative, the US or Israel. The students are being sold a pup .. and you, Tim have bought it. Sounds fairly innocuous? Well it is, until people die from neglect .. as with bushfires. - ed.
Rudd stoops as low as greenie policies
IT HAD to be seen to be believed but there was the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, playing politics with bushfire relief money.
Obama forgets global warming
Marc Sheppard notes:
Last night, Barack Obama promised the nation that the so-called “stimulus package” would “create or protect” 4 million jobs that “America desperately needs,” and offered a few examples. But there was a curious omission on his part when so-called “green jobs” were incorporated. In promoting the building of wind turbines, solar panels, and fuel-efficient cars, the only benefit he attributed was lowering “our dependence on foreign oil.” Not a single word about “global warming” or its intellectually dishonest surrogate, “climate change.”
Remember, it was just last November that the newly elected Obama told the Governors Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles that “few challenges facing America—and the world—are more urgent than combating climate change,” adding the Gore inspired lie that “the science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.”
If you can’t reconcile yourself….
Reconciliation Australia cannot even reconcile its own staff:
The organisation announced on Monday that it had chosen Paul O’Callaghan, a former Australian high commissioner to Samoa and previous head of the Australian Council for International Development, as its new chief executive.
But many staff and indigenous activists across the country reacted in shock and disbelief because they knew there was a strong indigenous candidate in the field.
“It’s heartbreaking,” one staffer told The Age. “I just don’t get it. Many people just sat and cried after we were told.”
Gee, all this when Australia’s top reconciler has actually spent days on working his special magic:
Complicating the decision, the indigenous candidate — Reconciliation Australia programs and strategy director Jason Glanville — has long been mentored by board chairman and Australian of the Year Mick Dodson.
Green rules, black forests
This nature-first faith must now be junked at last:
LAST year the Wilderness Society published a six-point action plan to “reduce bushfire risks and help to protect people, property, wildlife and their habitat”. The society asserted that a “massive increase in hazard reduction burning and firebreaks is destroying nature, pushing wildlife closer to extinction and in many cases increasing the fire risk to people and properties by making areas more fire prone”.
Roger Underwood, a former firefighter and now chairman of Bush Fire Front, sets the record straight:
In fact there has been no massive increase in prescribed burning; statistics demonstrate that this practice has declined since the 1980s right across southern Australia. And no species of wildlife in Australia can be said to be on the brink of extinction because of prescribed burning. As we saw last weekend in Victoria, the real threat to wildlife is killer bushfires, which are a consequence of insufficient prescribed burning.
An example of what this faith led us to:
THEY were labelled law breakers, fined $50,000 and left emotionally and financially drained. But seven years after the Sheahans bulldozed trees to make a fire break — an act that got them dragged before a magistrate and penalised — they feel vindicated. Their house is one of the few in Reedy Creek still standing....
Mr Sheahan is still angry about his prosecution, which cost him $100,000 in fines and legal fees. The council’s planning laws allow trees to be cleared only when they are within six metres of a house. Mr Sheahan cleared trees up to 100 metres away from his house.
More on fuel reduction burns - and why we didn’t do them - tomorrow.
Now we know
At least some lessons are being learned - if late:
VICTORIA is set to introduce Australia’s toughest building codes for bushfire-prone areas in an effort to avoid a repeat of the nation’s worst natural disaster… Mr Brumby’s longstanding opposition to any changes that would make housing more expensive has been rocked by the huge death toll in the town wiped out by Saturday’s bushfires.
A LIFE-SAVING bushfire early warning system could finally be activated after talks between John Brumby and Kevin Rudd. The Prime Minister and Premier have discussed the scheme and the need for it after a delay of almost four years since it was successfully tested…
The Herald Sun reported yesterday that the CIWS had been stalled since 2005 while governments argued about who should pay for it and whether it would be adopted nationally. The system allows all landline and mobile phones in an area to be called simultaneously to send warning messages in an emergency.
More on that delay:
Victoria had wanted the early-warning system operational in time for this year’s bushfire season, but became so frustrated by political red tape that Mr Brumby officially complained to the Prime Minister in the months leading up to this week’s deadly firestorms, having first raised it with Mr Rudd last June.
Privacy and data-security restrictions in the Telecommunications Act, combined with interstate squabbling over funding, had been delaying the scheme’s introduction… The Australian understands that Telstra first sought access to the numbers in the database it manages in July 2007, but was ignored by the communications minister at the time, Helen Coonan.
Former prime minister John Howard wrote to Mr Brumby shortly before the last federal election, saying he had decided to move on the system. The election intervened and the proposal was placed on the backburner until Victorian Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron wrote to the federal Attorney-General in January last year. The scheme was tied up in COAG for nine months, until Julia Gillard gave policy approval for the legislative change on January 8, when she was acting prime minister.
Cry for them, even bleed for them
The giving of so much money to the fire victims is one measure of the compassion of this nation. Here’s an even more astonishing one, in an email from the Red Cross:
(Y)ou are one of 20-thousand special Australians who by Tuesday had already pledged to give blood. We will be contacting you as soon as we can to make you an appointment to give a life-saving blood donation. The sheer number of responses means this may take up to 3 weeks...
Please don’t kill us
What an astonishing - and whimpering - campaign Britain is now launching:
Prominent British Muslims are being recruited to star in a government-backed advertising campaign aimed at preventing people in Pakistan from engaging in extremist activity, the Guardian has learned.
I certainly hope that telling jihadists that Britain isn’t anti-Muslim will work. But two things worry me.
First, Britain hasn’t even managed to convince a frightening number of its own Muslims that it’s too nice to bomb. Second, when you crawl like that to men of such violence, you are likely to get not sympathy for your pleas, but contempt for your weakness.
Flannery: Killed by our pollution
The crowing of global warming preachers has been disgraceful, but Tim Flannery’s effort ranks among the worst:
As the worst greenhouse polluters, per capita, of any developed nation, there is an urgent need for Australians to reduce our dependency on coal. I believe that if we want to give ourselves the best chance of avoiding truly dangerous climate change, we should cease burning coal conventionally by around 2030. No such policy is currently being contemplated. Instead, as perhaps anyone would, Australians have been focusing on the immediate cause of some of the fires.
Rudd has said that the arsonists suspected of lighting some fires are guilty of mass murder, and the police are busy chasing down these malefactors. But there’s an old saying among Australian fire fighters — “whoever owns the fuel, owns the fire”. Let’s hope that Australians ponder the deeper causes of this horrible tragedy, and change our polluting ways before it’s too late.
Ironically, Flannery’s deeply ignorant piece appeared in The Guardian, published in a country now enduring its worst, and possibly deadliest winter, in nearly 20 years. He, too, is a Danny Nalliah of the green movement.
Omani editor: Jews deserved Holocaust
Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali is the chairman and editor-in-chief of the Times of Oman, the sultanate’s oldest English-language newspaper. That such a man could write this filth says plenty about the Middle East, and none of it good:
Some of the Jewish people used to live in Arab countries. There they lived like Arab citizens enjoying all the rights and duties. In fairness, however, we should say that the Arab Jews were far more polite, well-behaved and good-hearted than the European Jews.
But as it happened, the Europeans, the Russians and the Americans had a different attitude towards the Jews. They must have had their own reasons or justifications for expelling the Jews out of their countries and looking for an alternative homeland for them. The Jews were found to be harmful, racial, hateful and hypocritical and that was why they were hated by the governments and the peoples of their host countries and why those countries, especially Britain, agreed to find, as quickly as possible, a homeland for the Jewish people outside Europe…
It is illustrative to browse through the relevant pages of history to know the real history of the Jews in Germany. You would then come to know why Hitler had taken harsh measures against them. The entire economy of Germany, including banks, publishing houses, jewellery stores, light and heavy industries and almost all economic organisations of consequence, was under the total control of the Jews.
They muddied every aspect of the economy by perpetrating fraud after fraud on common people. This unprepossessing situation annoyed the German citizens no end and impelled Hitler to punish the Jews for their bad deeds.
Utterly loathsome. Here’s the author’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our own fault
There are global warming ideologues everywhere, and everywhere they seem peculiarly pitiless. Fancy thinking that the first thing you must do, when so many people are dead or dying, is to lecture them on their environmental sins.
Guess which is banned from Britain?
Britain has banned Dutch politician Geert Wilders as a threat, on the grounds that its imported Islamists will be violent if they see him:
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Secretary of State is of the view that your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society. The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK…
If, in accordance with regulation 21 of the immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, the Immigration Officer is satisfied that your exclusion is justified on grounds of public policy and/or public security, you will be refused admission to the UK under regulation 19.
Let’s get this straight: A Dutch politician is banned from Britain not because he’s violent himself, but because the Islamists that have been welcomed to Britain could tear the joint apart.
Who’s running that madhouse now?
A Wilders speech here. I don’t necessarily endorse it, but I abhor the banning of the man who made it.