Monday, March 16, 2009
Headlines Monday 16th March 2009
Pauline Hanson denies posing for nude photos
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Queensland election candidate Pauline Hanson is denying she is the woman posing in raunchy nude photos sold to the media by a man claiming to be an ex-boyfriend....
Govt to cut immigration intake to preserve jobs
The federal government is to cut immigration intake in an effort to preserve jobs during the global financial crisis. ..
Ship's captain faces $200,000 fine over Qld oil spill
Maritime authorities have served legal papers on the captain of the cargo ship that caused the biggest environmental disaster on Queensland's coast last week. ..
Toddler and man found dead inside Adelaide home
The bodies of a two-year-old and 24-year-old man have been found inside a home in Adelaide’s Davoren Park.
Hundreds to farewell executed Sydney drug boss
The funeral of an alleged drug boss shot dead in a hail of bullets in Sydney's southwest will be held later today.
Motorists fed up with Harbour Bridge congestion tax
There are more claims time-of-day tolling on the Sydney Harbour Bridge isn't working.
Rabbitohs Crowe-ing after Roosters rout
The Rabbitohs found their attacking mojo to destroy the Sydney Roosters 52-12 in an NRL massacre at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday....
'We're not moving jobs to India': ANZ insists
The ANZ bank says it does not expect to make any "material" cuts to jobs in 2009, including jobs in Australia, and will not be shifting 500 jobs to India....
When models attack! Auditions get ugly in NYC
VIDEO: Three people were arrested and six others hurt on Saturday after bedlam broke out while they waited to audition for America's Next Top Model, police said....
Josef Fritzl trial begins today
Domestic dispute in US leaves five dead
Assaults on police increase in West Australia
Stupid scientists are going to get us all killed.
Onion: Experts Agree, Giant Crabs Pose No Threat
GO FOR BROKE
A daring idea from 1930:
Fortune was aimed at America’s business elite. Launched as the depression hit its deepest trough, this monthly celebration of the power of US capital was a brazen gamble on the part of its impresario publisher, Henry Luce.
Despite the timing of its launch and a cover price equivalent to $12 in today’s terms, Fortune became a success. Bad times actually increase interest in business news, which makes this decision interesting:
The Washington Post will stop publishing a business section six days out of the week and move business news to the front section of the paper at a time when finance stories dominate world headlines.
It just don’t add up.
Further proof that bad times can be good:
After several months of soaring ratings, the numbers have dipped a tad over at Fox News. But they’re not complaining, because the numbers are in absolute freefall at MSNBC.
Looks like the election of President Obama is the best news Fox News has heard in years.
FACTS OF BOGAN LIFE
US magazine Newsweek recently ran a cover story on our need to cope with religious extremism. “Radical Islam is a fact of life”, the cover declared, offering this promise: “How to live with it”.
That edition was still on sale when a gang of suspected radical Islamists murdered several police in Pakistan and attempted to kill the entire Sri Lankan cricket team. “How to live” with radical Islam first involves not being killed by it.
This sort of thing can lead to prejudice.
“I have developed strong views on Muslims,” wrote a Canberra public servant last month on her website, where she is identified only as Pauline. “And these have coalesced around the fear that if I do indeed require childcare at some point, my child may wind up at the mercy of those who I prefer not to sit next to, for around eight hours a day. And if that happens, my child may become a Muslim. This is not a laughing matter.”
Such awful bigotry. But wait! I’ve changed a couple of words. Pauline wasn’t really complaining about Muslims. She was complaining about bogans.
Why would anyone be alarmed about their child growing up to be a bogan?
A bold new promotional plan for this year’s Earth Hour:
Going for credibility in the absence of high-profile corporate backing, the campaign enlisted American street artist Shepard Fairey, the man behind the famous Obama “hope” poster seen during his run for the presidency.
If you’re going for credibility, Shepard Fairey is your man.
Mr Fairey produced the theme of a “global election”, with a poster encouraging people across the world to vote with their light switch to symbolise their desire for leaders to address climate change.
We actually already have elections to decide these issues. We call them “elections”. They aren’t symbolic. But back to Fairey and his light-switch posters:
The poster has been produced in six different languages and in an alternate version for non-democratic countries in which the word “vote” has been replaced with “choose”.
Well, you don’t want to offend anyone. It may have been easier if they’d simply used an earlier Fairey poster. In non-democratic North Korea, by the way, an illumination choice has already been made – although ordinary citizens probably had little to do with it.
But the primary flaw in Fairey’s global anti-lightglobe “vote with your light switch” poster plan is that light switches aren’t subject to a global standard. In the US, up is on and down is off. In Australia, the UK and New Zealand, among other countries, the opposite is the case. So if you’re outside the US and you vote for this, for example, you’re voting for beautiful, earth-eating electricity:
And here’s actressivist Cate Blanchett voicing an Earth Hour ad that helpfully demonstrates how her fellow Australians turn a light … on:
Cate spends a lot of time in the US. She’s probably just confused. Just like Earth Hour boosters, who’ve been struggling with light switch directions for years.
WRONG AND WRONGER
Predictions yesterday from the Herald Sun‘s Robyn Riley:
Pauline Hanson may argue it is an invasion of her privacy for the Sunday Herald Sun to publish explicit photographs taken of her when she was a teenager.
The independent candidate for Beaudesert may say it was a mistake made in her youth and she should not be held accountable …
Expect Ms Hanson to complain this is yet another example of unfair attention by the media.
Expect her to whine again of being a victim of a smear campaign by people wanting to derail her efforts to win the seat of Beaudesert.
Instead, Hanson (to this point) hasn’t said a word. But she’d be justified in doing so, as publication of the pictures – in both the Sunday Herald Sun and the Sunday Telegraph – was wrong to the point of indefensibility.
It’s not exactly cleaning a lawnmower in the bedroom while smoking, but it’s close:
Authorities say a Cape Coral man was injured after striking bullets with a hammer in his driveway.
The Muslim Council of Britain’s Inayat Bunglawala, who previously briefed the UK government on the domestic threat posed by Islamic radicals, has been arrested after allegedly stabbing a man at his home.
GAP YEARS UP
A bunch of anti-Howard Jesus people crawled into Australia’s Pine Gap defence facility a few years ago, but eluded jail terms due to inadequate legislation. Howard’s successor has since taken action:
The Federal Government has quietly beefed up laws protecting the US spy station Pine Gap, ensuring protesters face seven years’ jail if they go near or photograph the intelligence-gathering facility.
The new law puts the US-controlled Alice Springs spy station further outside the scrutiny of the Australian Parliament and silences critics from legally arguing whether the base is in Australia’s defence interests. The Rudd Government slipped the amendment into a miscellaneous defence bill on Wednesday.
The Pine Gap amendments were drafted by the Howard government after it failed to successfully prosecute four Christian pacifists who protested at Pine Gap in 2005.
One of the peace Christers vowed on ABC tonight to have another shot at it, and the usual types are upset about removing the right to protest. But as J.F. Beck writes: “Protesters can still protest; they’ll just have to remain outside the base.”
BEGIN THE CLEANSING
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle enters combat mode:
We should immediately commence the orderly shutdown of Adelaide.
It’s about time. - I’ve just seen a tourism ad for South Australia. It shows a couple being fined for walking too quickly on the beach. Which kind of proves Doyle’s point .. SA is bureaucratic and a threat to innocents. - ed.
Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleisher appears on MSNBC’s Hardball, where he is confronted by host Chris Matthews:
“What brings you back?” Matthews challenged. “Is this the return from Elba? Is this the 100 days of Napoleon’s return from Crawford? What is going on with this network of former Bushies — current Bushies, I should say — singing the old song?”
“Well, Chris,” Fleischer responded coolly, “I’m here because you invited me to be here.”
“Oh, yes,” Matthews stammered. “OK.”
UPDATE. The Great Uniter is veering into Divider territory:
Polling data show that Mr. Obama’s approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama’s net presidential approval rating—which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve—is just six, his lowest rating to date.
Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president’s performance. This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration.
UPDATE II. Hey, Mr President! What economy are you talking about?
UPDATE III. A car undergoes change:
Jennifer Stone-Anderson says her 2004 Saturn Ion became a work of art this fall when she covered it with elaborate paintings supporting Barack Obama.
But Chrysler, which financed her car purchase, maintains that it’s just a car. And that Stone-Anderson has been missing payments. And that her work of “art” is about to be repossessed …
Stone-Anderson missed her car payments in December, January and February and has started receiving calls from Chrysler. She has ignored them.
And why not? His followers long ago understood that the concept of payment would be abolished under Obama’s rule:
Hanson: It’s not me
Pauline Hanson puts up a pretty convincing denial:
PAULINE Hanson has denied nude photographs splashed across the media yesterday are of her…
The photos, which were published in News Limited’s Sunday papers, including the Sunday Herald Sun, were supposedly taken in the mid 1970s by Jack Johnson who says he was Ms Hanson’s boyfriend at the time. Mr Johnson claims he met Ms Hanson in a Brisbane grocery shop and later took her to the opening of the Pelican Bay Resort near Coffs Harbour on his Harley Davidson motorbike. He says the photographs were taken after a night of partying at the resort.
Ms Hanson flatly denies she knew him - and insists the pictures are not of her.
“I was married and I had my second child in February of 1975,” she said.
“I was living on the Gold Coast. I have never worked in a grocery shop north of Brisbane.
“Apparently, the Pelican Beach Resort was not opened until 1986.
“This guy has indicated he is 52 - that makes him between two to three years younger than me and if I was 19 and that would have put him at around about 16 or 17.
“I’ve never known a person named Jack, what’s his name, Jack Johnson. So there are your facts,” she said.
These pictures should never have been published in the first place, even if they weren’t fake. I doubt they would have been, either, had they been of, say, a Rudd Government minister.- So who are the pictures of, David Oldfield? - ed
Warming alarmists pick wrong target
An outcome to make the gullible pleased, not panicked:
Manhattan’s Wall Street, barely a metre (three feet) above sea level, for example, will find itself underwater more often as the 21st century unfolds, said the study, published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience.
The Australian Conservation Foundation’s scare-mongering doesn’t quite work, either:
The greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere by the war machines of Germany and the Allies in 1943 are still up there.
Save the earth! Don’t fight fascists!
They’re different up there
Fairfax discovers that its Brisbane readers have very decided tastes, to judge from the “most viewed” list of Brisbane Times stories:
Inside Melbourne’s sex slave trade
Lost Aussie survives by getting naked
Horse bites off man’s testicle
Seven-metre crocodile decapitates girl, 10
Italy dig unearths female ‘vampire’
Give the judge a medal
Two sisters try to divorce their divorced mother so they can live with their now-rich father instead:
The sisters said it’s hard living with their mum who swears, is depressed, yells, treats them like children and doesn’t allow them the independence they would get with their dad. They even said they feel easier talking about personal issues including their periods with their father’s new wife than with their mother.
But Justice Murphy ... proceeded to give them a good dose of common sense.
“It is very different, it seems to me, parenting children during holiday or weekend time than it is parenting children during week-to-week time when they are involved in their week-to-week activities including school,” he said. “It seems clear that the father has spent very little, if any, day-to-day, week-to-week time with his young children and later adolescent children, attending to the sorts of duties and responsibilities that are highly likely to cause stress within any family household.”
Not all falafels and humous
Marvellous how some Lebanese Muslim groups are making their way in their new Sydney home:
THE cold-blooded daylight execution of drug boss Abdul Qadier Darwiche will inevitably lead to more bloodshed, a senior police source warned yesterday…
The escalation of Sydney’s bloody turf wars harks back to the mid to late-1990s, when the city’s criminal scene was dominated by standover man Danny Karam and his deputy Michael Kanaan, whose enterprises ran to drug running, weapons trading, knee-cappings and murder…
In the 11 years since Karam was slain, the police source said there had been “20 to 30 murders and another 50 to 100 shootings” as control was wrested away by one side, only to be clawed back by another. The genesis of the criminal scene can be traced back to the emergence of gangs formed by members of the Raazak and Darwiche families, who were at war with the Bankstown-based Telopea St Boys and former followers of Kanaan and Karam…
Further complicating matters is the fact up to seven rocket launchers, stolen from the Australian military and sold to Adnan Darwiche, have never been recovered.
Time to hold some politicians and policies to account:
IMMIGRATION authorities warned the Fraser government in 1976 it was accepting too many Lebanese Muslim refugees without “the required qualities” for successful integration. The Fraser cabinet was also told many of the refugees were unskilled, illiterate and had questionable character and standards of personal hygiene.
Cabinet documents released today by the National Archives under the 30-year rule reveal how Australia’s decision to accept thousands of Lebanese Muslims fleeing Lebanon’s 1976 civil war led to a temporary collapse of normal eligibility standards.
But Rudd’s plan was beautiful
Big spenders unite
US President Barack Obama has given Kevin Rudd the thumbs up on economic management...
From the same story:
Treasurer Wayne Swan says Australia’s unemployment rate will “not necessarily” reach 10 per cent by Christmas… Unemployment is at 5.2 per cent.
Cheney charges: US less safe under Obama
An “I told you so” is prepared:
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has made Americans more vulnerable to attack, former vice-president Dick Cheney said on Sunday in a trenchant defence of his own controversial stance in the war on terrorism…
In his first television interview since leaving office, president George W Bush’s No.2 blasted Mr Obama’s decision to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, end harsh interrogations and close down secret CIA detention sites abroad.
The Rudd Government tactily - and belatedly - admits it made a mistake last year:
Immigration Minister Chris Evans will reveal the Government is to cut its permanent skilled migration program this financial year by 14 per cent to protect Australian jobs… The Government will reduce the planned record intake of 133,500 workers in 2008-09 to 115,000.
Ridout claims she was misled
Heather Ridout explains her cooling towards a Government that was once a pal:
THE Australian Industry Group is lobbying independent senators to water down key sections of Julia Gillard’s industrial relations reforms that enhance union power.
In a letter to senators Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding, industry group chief executive Heather Ridout has urged them to press for amendments to limit the right of union officials to enter worksites and inspect wage records.
Ms Ridout says the Rudd Government has broken its word after repeated assurances that bargaining for low-paid workers would not involve “compulsory arbitration” if negotiations fail… In her letter, Ms Ridout repeats concerns that the industry group has identified more than 60 provisions of the fair work bill, which is intended to replace the Coalition’s Work Choices laws, where the role and power of unions are increased.
This comes only a couple of weeks after Ridout also withdraw her support for Rudd’s disastrous emissions trading plan to be introduced next year.
But Michelle Grattan seems to think it’s actually Malcolm Turnbull in charge of the economy:
LEADERSHIP tensions will hang heavily over this week’s Coalition decision on whether to oppose the Government’s Fair Work Bill, with Malcolm Turnbull caught between a macho Peter Costello and the spectre of WorkChoices.
A mad Government plan is hatched to make it riskier for bosses to hire workers in a recession and it’s the Opposition that needs scrutiny?