Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Headlines Tuesday 3rd March 2009
Bloodbath: Global markets slump on fresh bank woes
Global stock markets fell heavily on Monday, hitting fresh multi-year lows after news of another massive bailout for key US insurer AIG and a huge cash call at banking giant HSBC....
Teens to face court over machete attack
Three teenage boys will face court today accused of a machete attack on an Auburn high-school allegedly sparked over a love triangle....
Girl, 12, fights off attacker in school toilet
A girl has fought off a man who approached her inside a school toilet block near Newcastle....
Nathan Rees gets bump in the polls - still projected to lose by landslide
There is finally some good news for the embattled Rees government which is finally up in the polls, but not by much....
IVF mums free to choose 'father' for birth certificates
Single mums and lesbian couples who fall pregnant after undergoing IVF in Britain will soon be allowed to name any adult as the baby's second parent....
Blood allegedly found in Chris Brown's car
Chris Brown's silver Lamborghini reportedly had traces of blood in it when it was impounded by police....
Arsonist strikes as Victoria braces for fire storm
An arsonist is believed to have lit a grass fire this morning as Victoria faces some of the worst fire weather in its history, with 4000 emergency workers on hand.
Man rapes 4-year-old, walks free
There is outrage over a judge's decision to allow a man who admitted to raping a four-year-old girl on the New South Wales north coast to walk free from court. - There is nothing here to explain the sentence .. except the guilty plea. I have no confidence in their existing a reason, but I would like to know what it was. - ed
GPS gadgets a 'safety risk' for male drivers
Boys love their toys but a new survey shows the latest must-have gadget for blokes could pose a safety risk.
ATMs to charge 'disloyalty' fees from today
PAULINE'S MELTDOWN: Hanson lashes out in TV interview
Joyce wants probe of Chinalco deal
5000 left without cancer treatment
THOUSANDS of cancer patients are being denied lifesaving treatment, with Government "buck-passing" being blamed.
Guinea-Bissau President murdered while trying to flee
GUINEA-Bissau's army denied staging a coup after soldiers assassinated veteran President Joao Bernardo Vieira in apparent reprisal for a bomb blast which killed the head of the military.
Muslims must face their own monsters
HOPE springs eternal, and Dan Gillerman, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, is an optimist. He must be.
He believes that there is hope of some sort of settlement to the Palestinian problem in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s retaliatory strike against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza who ordered the eight-year rocket bombardment against Israel.
- I don’t see Gillerman as being an optimist. I think he is right (in the sense that he is correct) in his assessment. It will always be the case that moderates will win. What will be disappointing is the lag time before success. I believed that peace was possible even as Hamas won those ‘elections’ because Fatah was not side of peace, there being no moderates in the ballot.
Moderates have been eliminated within Palestine by Palestinians. But, more will be born and raised. There is a terrible price to pay for allowing anarchy, as the left dominated UN has done. But, while anarchy has been fed by strong neighbors such as Iran and Syria and Egypt and Libya and any of many other nations, there will come a time when moderates will succeed. Israel has been a good neighbor, behaving responsibly and the reward for that is the growth of moderates .. maybe from within Israel, or maybe as a result of witnesses of the horrible excesses of sixty years of Palestinian anarchy. - ed.
COLDEST WARMENIST PROTEST
Everyone’s turning up in DC for the massive anti-warming demonstration, starring crypt-dweller James Hansen:
A national coalition of more than 40 environmental, public health, labor, social justice, faith-based and other advocacy groups today announce plans to engage in civil disobedience at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C. on the afternoon of March 2, 2009. The Capitol Climate Action, the largest mass mobilization on global warming in the country’s history …
And, of course:
A potent March snowstorm blanketed much of the Southeast with snow Sunday before barreling toward the Northeast, where officials prepared snowplows and road-salt for a wintery assault …
Up to 7 inches of snow was expected through Monday morning in areas of Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., where Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency.
It’s Global Warming Snow Day! This follows a long history of freezing-warming activism
FASTER BY SEA
The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joe Garofoli, January 19:
Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails
The Sydney Morning Herald‘s US correspondent Anne Davies, March 3:
The radio talkback host Rush Limbaugh, America’s answer to Alan Jones, has said he wants to see President Barack Obama fail …
That’s a 44-day wait to see Davies fail. She’s usually much quicker.
KEEP IT BELOW 800 WORDS
Science writer Gary Robbins asks:
Why do people hate Al Gore?
SOLUTION: TAKE AWAY THEIR OIL
We used to be told that poverty caused terrorism. Now it turns out that wealth causes sexism, at least according to MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell:
And to another big story, is oil behind sexism in the Middle East? It’s a provocative new theory out there today, suggesting the real culprit of the lower status of women in the Middle East is because of the region’s oil wealth.
Oil wealth must also explain the rampant sexism in Norway and Canada.
“Beautiful women are always on the cutting edge of social trends,” as P.J. O’Rourke once observed. On that score, the anti-stimulus movement in the US is doing just fine.
DOGS OF LAW
Dreadful insensitivity at a court hearing for accused wife-beheader Muzzammil Hassan:
In the courtroom, security was beefed up. A canine unit was even brought in.
UPDATE. A British law dog brings down several critter-libbers:
Animal terrorist group foiled by informant dressed as a beagle
The sentences handed down weren’t teensy. Two of the libbers copped nine years; another got 11.
UM UMMM UM
CNN contributor Alex Castellanos:
I think, as a friend told me once, that—listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex.
It doesn’t work unless you use a Teleprompter?
JOURNALISM IN THE AGE OF CRIKEY
Fraud is alleged. The accused isn’t contacted. Lies are published. Adults become involved. The story is removed. An apology is offered.
CFMEU to get the other 7000 sacked, too
How thick are the guys that run the CFMEU? To protest against the sacking of 1850 workers at struggling Pacific Brands, they plan a boycott that threatens the jobs of the remaining 7000 workers there as well:
BLUE-collar workers are planning a national boycott of Pacific Brands products unless the company reverses plans to slash 1850 jobs.The boycott, targeted at iconic work wear brands King Gee and Hard Yakka, is the brainchild of one of Australia’s most powerful unions, representing 120,000 mining, construction and timber workers.
Don’t these geniuses understand enough about business to know that forcing a company to keep operating unprofitably spells bankruptcy?
How did he get off?
I’ve tried - but failed - to imagine the circumstances in which a man who breaks into a house and rapes a four-year-old could escape jail:
THE Opposition has demanded that the Director of Public Prosecutions urgently appeal against the sentence of a 24-year-old man who escaped jail despite pleading guilty to raping a four-year-girl as she slept at her grandmother’s house. The man, who cannot be named, was given a two-year suspended jail term in the District Court in Sydney on February 5 after he pleaded guilty to breaking into a house at Gulmarrad near Yamba in November 2007 and sexually assaulting the girl.
The judgment had better be convincing.
This decision by Justice Felicity Hampel strikes me as just as extraordinary:
CONVICTED paedophile Jamie Armstrong, who pleaded guilty to 33 charges of sexual assault on children as young as two, could be back on Geelong streets by October. Armstrong, 28, of Boundary Rd, Mt Duneed, pleaded guilty in Geelong County Court earlier this month to 30 counts of sexually assaulting seven children under 16 and two counts of assault with intent to rape.
The court heard the offending occurred over a period of about 12 years and involved both sexes with the youngest victim aged two and the oldest 11.
Yesterday, Armstrong was sentenced to four years’ jail with a non-parole period of 18 months....
Earlier the court heard how Armstrong told police ... he still fantasised about children and was always in danger of re-offending. Armstrong admitted in a prior court appearance to indecently assaulting a girl at a swimming pool in 1999, an offence for which he was placed on a community based order and completed the sex offender’s program.
Rising jobless, not temperatures, is the real worry
Consider it a sign that Kevin Rudd’s lost the support of the very people he needs to push his insane plan to tax our gases from next year. The Age’s Tim Colebatch is, after all, a true global warming preacher on the country’s most fervent warmist paper:
WE ARE entering a recession that could destroy not only hundreds of thousands of jobs, but many of the companies that created them. None of us knows how bad things will get. But we know that this year, the only thing that matters will be jobs, jobs, jobs.
Two things flow from that. First, this is the wrong time to decide the design of an emissions trading scheme... I vote we start again. Set a starting date of January 1, 2013, the day the European Union’s stage three scheme begins (and roughly when the US might start action).
Owing the taxes they impose
It seems Barack Obama’s Democrats like taxes more in theory:
Ron Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration, owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes from earlier in the decade and has agreed to make his payments, the Senate Finance Committee said Monday.
The committee said the taxes arise from Kirk’s handling of speaking fees that he donated to his alma mater, and for his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
The disclosure made the former Dallas mayor the latest in a string of top-level Obama administration appointees found to have underpaid their taxes, following Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle, who withdrew as candidate for Health and Human Services secretary. Nancy Killefer, Obama’s pick for chief performance officer, also bowed out amid tax problems.
A minor breach, maybe, but the pattern seems clear.
Frosty to the truth on Nixon
Gerard Henderson says yet another film rewrites history, and again to suit the agenda of the Left:
Ron Howard’s film Frost/Nixon… (mixes) fact with fiction to the detriment of president Richard Nixon and to the benefit of the interviewer David Frost and the leftist academic James Reston. Yet the play and the film are presented as an account of what took place when, in 1977, Frost interviewed Nixon about his forced resignation from the presidency three years previously…
Writing in The Huffington Post last December, Elizabeth Drew (who is no fan of the late Republican president) said that the plot of the film Frost/Nixon “is a contrivance; it’s telling is so riddled with departures from what actually happened as to be fundamentally dishonest; and its climatic moment is purely and simply a lie”.
For example, contrary to the message of the film, Nixon never folded before Frost by admitting that he had participated in an illegal attempt to cover up the break-in at the Watergate building in Washington. And there never was a late-night phone conversation initiated by Nixon when he downloaded on Frost.
The scene is particularly damaging to the reputation of the late Nixon. He is presented as a binge drinker who consumed so much liquor during an evening that he had memory lapses about phone conversations the following day.
If the facts don’t count, why claim your film is true?
Putting the dark in dark green
Yes, the greens do indeed oppose moves to make your power cheap and reliable:
THE Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, has criticised the electricity industry’s federal watchdog, accusing it of giving the go-ahead to a billion dollar plan that will boost investment in polluting coal-fired power stations, increase electricity bills for residents and seriously undermine her green vision for the city unveiled last year…
The criticism was prompted by the regulator’s decision to endorse proposals by the state’s energy retailers such as EnergyAustralia, Integral Energy and Country Energy to pump $15 billion into the electricity network, including strengthening the poles and wires connecting households and businesses back to coal fired power stations.
“This short-sighted plan to invest in unsustainable technology will lead to billions wasted on expanding connections to coal-fired plants which are set to become financially unviable under carbon pricing plans,” she said.
If our coal-fired plants are indeed to become financially unviable under Kevin Rudd’s plans, be very afraid. They provide 95 per cent of NSW’s electricity alone.
Greens need only open their own wallets
Alex Robson says the greens are wrong - there is indeed a way that individuals can cut Australia’s emissions under Kevin Rudd’s plan to issue permits to emit greenhouse gases:
Instead of complaining about big business not reducing emissions, individuals would readily be able to ease their green consciences, not by installing a solar panel or pink insulation batts, but by going into the marketplace, buying permits, and directly paying “polluters” not to “pollute"… Indeed, by implementing the buy-and-hoard strategy, the ETS creates a unique opportunity for climate lobbyists to achieve any aggregate emissions target they desire, as long as they are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
Easy done. So what’s the problem?
And therein lies the rub: deep down, climate zealots have always preferred government action and regulation to market-based alternatives and the voluntary exchange of permits for cash. Many activists cannot accept the proposition that instead of lobbying and using political influence to get what they want, they might actually have to cough up the dough and put themselves at the mercy of market forces to achieve their aims.
Robson could also add that greens want applause (and subsidies) for living conspicuously green lives. Just cutting emissions by buying permits is too clinical.
You see, it’s the seeming, rather than the doing, that counts.
Still two years to go, though:
LABOR remains in dire straits in NSW but has made up ground on the Coalition by reversing a series of unpopular decisions… Despite Labor’s comeback, the Coalition would win easily if an election were held today, retaining an eight-point lead on the two-party-preferred measure, 56 per cent to 44 per cent.
Labor’s made-up ground could soon be lost again:
THE Premier has been accused by some of his MPs of failing to refer the Fair Trading Minister, Virginia Judge, to the Independent Commission Against Corruption because his mother Fran works for Ms Judge.
The Herald revealed last week that Ms Judge had lobbied the Police Minister, Tony Kelly, to have a shopfront police station placed in Strathfield Plaza, a shopping centre owned by Memo Corporation, a big donor to her campaigns.
A very typical NSW Labor story.
Standing in the snow, howling at the warming
Try not to laugh:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had to cancel an appearance Monday at a global warming rally in Washington, D.C., that was hit by a snowstorm because her flight was delayed… Brianna Cayo-Cotter, the spokesman for the Energy Action Coalition that held the rally, told a group of reporters that she had been in contact with Pelosi and that her flight had been delayed because of inclement weather.
Cold stops people from protesting against warming. How long before pennies drop about the global temperature, which has failed to rise since at least 2002?
The new invasion of Europe
Eastern Europe has threatened the richer West: give us $377 billion, or we’ll send another 5 million desperate workers across the European Union’s non-borders. Or, put more smoothly:
The spectacular collapse of some of the post-communist tiger economies led to demands at an EU summit in Brussels for a rescue fund of €190 billion ($377 billion) to stop social collapse in the Eastern nations spilling over into the rest of Europe…
Ferenc Gyurcsany, the Hungarian leader, openly raised the spectre of collapse in Eastern Europe… “A significant crisis in Eastern Europe would trigger political tensions and immigration pressures. With a Central and Eastern European population of 350 million, of which 100 million are in the EU, a 10 per cent increase in unemployment would lead to at least five million unemployed people within the EU.”
Britain is promising to pay some of the bribe, but doesn’t actually have the cash:
(Prime Minister) Gordon Brown renewed his call for a huge injection of funds into the International Monetary Fund, which has already doled out large sums to Hungary and Latvia and is soon to receive a begging letter from Romania. The Prime Minister refused, however, to say where the fresh money for the IMF would come from.
Europe, which in previous slumps gave us such exciting reactions as fascism and communism, could prove to be an interesting place over the next few years.
Rise of the barbarians
Today’s crime news from Sydney - a declining city that seems to be producing more feral children and ethnic gangs than ever:
Spend and there’s no tomorrow
Terry McCrann warns that the Rudd Government could kill us with its big-spending “rescue”:
(I)t is not obvious that the massive, even panic-stricken, cuts to rates around the world have achieved anything significant…
This goes even more for our down-under fiscal stimulus packages....(I)n these very unusual times, it could prove exactly the wrong course. As PacBrands demonstrates in the small, it is not at all clear that conventional pump-priming has any relevance to the—the critical point, pre-recession—problem. That is to say, it will not head it off at the pass. And when we actually need the fiscal and monetary firepower, it will all be gone. Or very much depleted…
Pink batts for Gaza
That is an awful lot of money to a territory run by fascists and terrorists, and channelled through an organisation known for mismanagement and corruption:
The federal government will give a further $20 million to help with the recovery and reconstruction of Gaza… The Australian government has committed $75 million to the Palestinian territories since December 2007.
Killing girls “honorable”
How to preempt a Taliban-style regime from taking over your country? Impose your own:
The bullnecked president of Chechnya emerged from afternoon prayers at the mosque and with chilling composure explained why seven young women who had been shot in the head deserved to die.
Ramzan Kadyrov said the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honor killings.
The 32-year-old former militia leader is carrying out a campaign to impose Islamic values and strengthen the traditional customs of predominantly Muslim Chechnya, in an effort to blunt the appeal of hardline Islamic separatists and shore up his power.
Harvard’s newest course: how to lose $11 billion
The value of an MBA from Harvard has probably fallen, too:
The lavish spending (last year) was made possible by the earnings from Harvard’s $36.9 billion endowment, the world’s largest. That pot was supposed to be good for $1.4 billion in annual earnings. Behind the scenes, though, a different story was unfolding....
Harvard had derivatives that gave it exposure to $7.2 billion in commodities and foreign stocks. With prices of both crashing, the university was getting margin calls--demands from counterparties (among them, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs) for more collateral. Another bunch of derivatives burdened Harvard with a multibillion-dollar bet on interest rates that went against it.
It would have been nice to have cash on hand to meet margin calls, but Harvard had next to none… Although the full extent of the damage won’t be known until Harvard releases the endowment numbers for June 30, 2009, the university is already working on the assumption that the portfolio will be down 30%, or $11 billion.
Nillumbik Council, where so many of the Black Saturday dead were killed, holds a meeting. One councillor - just one - asks why it doesn’t now instantly drop its dangerous bans on clearing vegetation:
My Notice of Motion ... calls for the Council to ask the relevant Minister to urgently suspend laws and clauses such as 52.17 Native Vegetation and others to allow residents to undertake bona fide fire protection clearance works without the requirement to obtain a permit and without the fear of prosecution. Let’s do something that shows leadership...
Passions then explode, and the councillor is outvoted by every other councillor.