Friday, April 24, 2009
Headlines Friday 24th April 2009
Images released of gruesome nail gun murder
Police have revealed details of the gruesome death of a Sydney man who was shot multiple times in the head with a nail gun.
'He touched the child on the face'
A man accused of approaching a group of children at Prospect and touching one of them on the face has been charged with indecent assault.
PM denies plan to expand borrowing limit
Claims the government is planning to break its $200 billion limit on borrowings have been dismissed by the Prime Minister.
Plea to truckie involved in fatal concrete accident
The daughter of a man who was killed when a concrete slab fell from a truck onto his car yesterday has made an emotional plea for the truck driver to come forward.
ADF release images of asylum boat rescue
The ADF has released dramatic images of the burning asylum boat rescue off Ashmore Reef last week.
Phil Hughes makes ton in Middlesex debut
Young Australian Test opener Phillip Hughes marked his Middlesex debut with an unbeaten 100 at Lord's on Thursday in a highly encouraging performance before the start of the Ashes series in July.
IMF grants borrowing relief for poorest nations
The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it has doubled the borrowing limits of the poorest countries to help them weather the global economic crisis.
'I'm not malnourished': model speaks out
A Sydney model strongly denies claims she's malnourished, after competing in the Australian finals of the Miss Universe competition.
FROM THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF ECO HUMOUR
Question – what do you get if you cross a strawberry with a fish?
Answer – an empowered, motivated community saying no to being part of a genetic experiment.
DEATH CAMPAIGNER GETS LIFE
The South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society bestows an unusual honour:
Sandra Kanck has been awarded life membership to SAVES, in recognition of her outstanding and tireless commitment to the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia.
Barack Obama celebrated Earth Day by flying in Air Force One to Iowa, making a speech, then flying back to Washington. All the pollutants he generated, however, may actually be in a good cause:
Cleaning up skies choked with smog and soot would sharply curtail the capacity of plants to absorb carbon dioxide and blunt global warming, according to a study released on Wednesday …
Common sense would suggest that air pollution in the form of microscopic particles that obstruct the Sun’s rays – a phenomenon called “global dimming” – would hamper this process, but the new study shows the opposite is true.
Green bans challenged by growth
And what will we give them to drink or to power their white-goods?
MELBOURNE’S population is growing on a scale not seen in Australia before, swelling by almost 150,000 people in two years — mostly on the city fringe.
A new dam and power station loom nearer.
Dam their excuses
It’s taken eight years, but I’ve finally goaded Melbourne Water into trying to defend its disastrous refusal to dam the Mitchell River.
We sure can’t accuse it of panicking.
Melbourne’s dams are down to record lows of 28 per cent and draining fast, much as I predicted from 2001, when we still had time and green gardens. Yet only now do these jokers, who have left us so dry, explain why they still won’t even consider the one cheap and obvious solution.
Mind you, when I say “Melbourne Water” I really mean the “Labor Government”, whose orders it takes and for whom it now tries to cover up.
But first, the background.
Fox, Pratt and the rule of mates
LINDSAY Fox crossed a line this week in claiming his mate Dick Pratt was dying early because he’d been “betrayed”.
“One person really betrayed him—somebody that ate at his house, enjoyed his company,” raged the trucking tycoon.
I believe Fox was sliming Graeme Samuel, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission boss who charged Pratt with giving false or misleading evidence to the ACCC in denying he fixed prices with rival box-maker Amcor.
Pratt later admitted he had done just that, in what Federal Court judge Peter Heerey ruled was the “worst cartel to come before the court”.
Lawyers estimated the rip-off cost customers $700 million, and Pratt’s Visy Group was fined $36 million. But Samuel judged Pratt should also be charged over his evidence.
Some may dispute Samuel’s call, but none could doubt his integrity in making it. He, like Pratt, is a big name in the Jewish community. He had indeed been Pratt’s guest. And in taking on the billionaire, Samuel was sure to pay.
Pay he did. Prominent Jews snubbed him. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry denounced him. Social invitations were cancelled.
Implicit in this (or explicit with Fox) was that Samuel should have gone soft on a mate. A Jew. A host who had many under similar obligations of patronage.
What a dangerous presumption—and how offensive to Samuel.
This must not be a country where the rule of mates trumps the rule of law. For Samuel’s courage, I hold him in even higher esteem than I do Pratt. Or, now, Fox.
What open inquiry, Premier?
THIS was the promise Premier John Brumby made to Parliament on February 24, when explaining how his royal commission into the Black Saturday fires would work:
“This commission is open to all Victorians. It is open to people in fire areas who have a point of view, it is open to people in communities who have a point of view and it is open to those who have a point of view about fire safety, fire resources and fire planning.
“This is a commission for the people. This is a commission which will allow Victorians from every walk of life to have their say and to make a submission. There are no restrictions and no controls.”
But this is the news I’ve read since:
Save the planet! Exterminate the people
The underlying hatred of humanity in the green faith is unveiled in the borderlands e-journal:
Whether the environmental destruction set in place by humans can be halted or reversed remains a pressing and open question. This paper argues that the efforts of governments and environmental bodies to prevent environmental catastrophe will not succeed if such actors continue to be guided by a general modern idea of technological and social progress and an attitude of speciesism. From the standpoint of a dialectical, utopian anti-humanism, this paper sets out, as a thought experiment, the possibility of humanity’s willing extinction as a solution to a growing ecological problem.
How the sun may have caused global warming
Professor Jan Veizer blames the sun for warming the earth:
MANY people think the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t. And the issue is not whether there has been an overall warming during the past century. There has, although it was not uniform and none was observed during the past decade…
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argues that because no amplifier (of solar activity) is known, and because the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide did increase from 280 parts per million to 370ppm, man-made greenhouse gases must be responsible for most of the energy imbalance (behind the warming until a decade ago).
But this is an assumption, an attribution by default, not an actual empirical or experimental proof that carbon dioxide is the driver… If, however, an amplifier to solar output does exist, and empirical observations detailed below argue for its existence, the need to attribute the energy input to man-made greenhouse gases would diminish accordingly....
But what might be the complementary source of energy that could account for the disputed 1.6W/m2? ...
Clouds are a mirror that reflects solar radiation back into space. The amount of solar energy reflected by the Earth is about 77W/m2 and the difference between cloudless and cloudy skies is about 28W/m2. Therefore a change of just a few per cent in cloudiness easily can account for the disputed energy discrepancy…
The amplifying connection to the sun comes via its electromagnetic envelope, called the heliosphere, and a similar envelope around the Earth, the magnetosphere. These act as shields that screen the lethal cosmic rays from reaching our planet. A less active sun is not only colder but its heliospheric envelope shrinks, allowing more cosmic rays to reach our atmosphere and seed more clouds, and vice versa. Indeed, satellite data for the past decade shows a 25per cent shrinking of the heliosphere that is coincident with the halt, or even decline, in planetary temperature since 1998: a trend at odds with the ever rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Rudd’s promises are better broken
Former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa warns the Rudd Govenment is foolish to mulishly stick by flawed policies on broadband, boat people, stimulus packages and computers in schools. And then there’s this:
The Government emissions trading scheme, the Orwellian-named carbon pollution reduction scheme, is another example of the Government valuing unrealistic election commitments over sensible policy and the national interest…
Thanks to the Senate inquiry into the ETS, convincing evidence is accumulating on its disastrous economic effects. Businesses across the economy have made it absolutely clear that it will cost jobs. Its regional effects are likely to create significant economic and social dislocation and disadvantage. In the NSW Hunter Valley alone, the Hunter Valley Research Foundation estimates the ETS could affect more than 30,000 jobs in a diverse range of industries, from basic food production to heavy manufacturing and mining. Many of these industries are unprepared for its introduction.
It is foolhardy to continue the implementation of this scheme. The only benefit the introduction of the scheme will have is it will allow the Government to claim it has met its election commitment.
It says something that a former Labor Treasurer is more damning of Rudd’s reckless spending than are prominent political journalists such as Michelle Grattan.
The good dying of Dick Pratt
MY father-in-law died as Dick Pratt is dying now. It’s how it should be, and - thank heavens - now often can be, too.
Claude spent his last weeks holding court in a hospice, as a steady stream of friends came by to say their goodbyes.
Funnily enough, my best memories of my father-in-law are of this time above all. He couldn’t have had better proof that his life, if measured by friends and their affection, was well spent. I doubt he laughed more often, either, so much did we recall all that had made us bond.
Pratt is worth a billion more in dollars than Claude ever was, but by Claude’s better measure just as lucky.
The cardboard king, lying in Raheen, has had countless visitors, too—family, friends, politicians, Jewish leaders, Carlton footballers, and workers who’ve been with him for up to 50 years.
We’re told Pratt was alert enough, as was Claude, to see them and to talk. It’s incredible how much freedom that expert palliative care can now give the dying to live, right to the end. To be without pain, yet free to feel.
One of Pratt’s visitors, Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten, went on 3AW to talk of having just paid his respects. Why speak now, he was asked?
Global warming causes even earthquakes
As you’ll see on Media Watch next week, the ABC reporter did not question even the most obviously false of the three false claims:
The head of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, says many people will support the idea of a volunteer civilian force that could assist other countries in the region.
“It’s the region where most of the world’s poor live. It’s the region, thanks to climate change, that has far more cyclones, tsunamis, droughts," he said.
Lake jumps into Anzacs
Professor Marilyn Lake celebrates Anzac Day:
Anzac was a celebration of race and manhood.
Er, it was? Funny that not a single headstone I saw at Gallipoli mentioned race, or expressed much other than grief and respect for sacrifice, courage and loss.
But it seems Lake, a historian, has a different agenda to describing the Anzac myth as it truly is or was. She’s actually cross that it stops people from thinking about something else entirely just for those few minutes or hours on Anzac Day:
The Anzac myth requires us to forget gender and racial exclusions, the long history of pacifism and anti-war movements, the democratic social experiments and visions of social justice that once defined Australia; to forget that at Gallipoli we fought for “empire” not the nation, symbolising our continuing colonial condition.
It does all that? Wow. What a terrible distraction Anzac Day is from the causes burning in Lake’s mind.
But here’s one other thing the myth requires us to forget during our remembering, if the solemnity of the moment is not to be lost:
Professor Marilyn Lake, the feminist who claims women are ‘worked to death’ as ‘slaves to the nation’ now gets $480,000 (from the Australian Research Council) to attack the ‘history of white Australia through an investigation of the idea of the ‘white man’s country’ as a defensive response to a changing world order’.
World finally gets hotter for Jared
Pulitzer prize-winner Jared Diamond, climate catastrophist, is accused of faking grand tales from the wilds of Papua New Guinea
Jennifer Marohasy has been onto this bloke for a while.
It’s a faith led entirely by sinners - in this case Barack Obama, who flew to Iowa and back to give a speech on the need to go green:
The president flew all the way out to midcountry in his large airplane to the Hawkeye State to talk about saving the environment and developing green energy, which a 747 isn’t. But who would ever point out such an inconsistent, inconvenient truth unless it involved evil automobile chief executives in their private jets?
Leading to this commentary on CNN:
ROB MARCIANO, CNN meteorologist: Is that the 747 Air Force One I see on the tarmac getting ready to go fly to Iowa for Earth Day?
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN anchor: Yup.
MARCIANO: I mean, it’s a pretty big carbon footprint just to make a speech in front of a windmill.
MARCIANO: C’mon, let’s park the jumbo jet, just for Earth Day, Mr. President.
Even believers are noticing.
Feeling good, but counting bodies
Al Qaeda “tortured”, but lives were quite possibly saved:
President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times…
Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Three terrorists waterboarded, high-value information extracted about their terror group, already responsible for thousands of deaths. And how many lives saved?
Whether you approve of waterboarding or not, this is surely a factor to consider - not suppress.
So where’s the honesty in Clinton’s response?
Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, repeatedly asked Clinton whether the administration would declassify documents that former Vice President Dick Cheney has said paint the CIA interrogators in a more heroic light and show the important information produced from the interrogations.
Clinton said she had no knowledge of such documents. “It won’t surprise you that I don’t consider him a particularly reliable source,” she said, to some laughter.
Too much ice for warming doom
The ABC is going down fighting:
It seems that global warming may actually be leading to an increase in sea ice in parts of the Antarctic.
Servant mustn’t copy master
What double standard, asks Bligh:
A SENIOR staffer of newly-appointed Minister Karen Struthers was caught drink driving in a Government vehicle late last night and has been sacked.
Principal adviser Lee Norris was allegedly caught with a mid-range blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent - a reading less than that which Ms Struthers recorded when she was caught over the limit while driving a government car in 2007.
Premier Anna Bligh this morning announced Mr Norris’s employment had been terminated, however Ms Bligh denied there was a double standard given Ms Struthers - who was a Paliamentary Secretary at the time - faced no such consequence.
Presidential Leadership and the Interrogation Controversy
By Bill O'Reilly
As you may know, we have been fair to President Obama. We don't demean or nitpick the man. In fact, we praised the president for saying that a witch hunt into the Bush administration's interrogation orders would be harmful to the country. That is absolutely correct.
But now Mr. Obama may be backtracking and caving in to uber-liberals like Senator Patrick Leahy, who's hell-bent on a show trial for the Bush people but is willing to give the CIA agents a pass:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT.: I am probably as concerned about going after them as I am the people who knew they were misstating the law, who knew they were giving the wrong directions, who were willing to set the White House and those around the White House as being above the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So Leahy wants to "go after" those who prevented any further attacks after 9/11. By the way, Patrick Leahy is afraid to come on "The Factor," even though we promised not to water-board him.
If President Obama gives in to Leahy, The New York Times and NBC News, he will damage his administration, perhaps beyond repair. Let's look at the facts.
First, the harsh interrogation methods were used after 9/11 when the Bush administration feared another attack was imminent. The tough methods worked. On April 16, Obama's director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, issued this directive:
"High value information came from interrogations in which (harsh) methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the Al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country ... I do not fault those who made the decisions at the time ..."
Again, that's from Obama's top intel guy. Just that statement alone should be enough for the president to drop the matter, but there's more.
According to a new FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, most Americans want tough interrogations of top terror killers. When asked if they would support using torture on Usama bin Laden to get information, 56 percent say they favor doing that, including 42 percent of the Democrats polled. Thirty-nine percent oppose.
So there is little doubt that most Americans believe, in rare cases, tough interrogation is necessary.
If President Bush had ordered suspects interrogated by using Army Field Manual rules, as Mr. Obama has done, and we suffered another attack after 9/11, I believe the president would have been impeached. And Patrick Leahy would have led the charge.
This whole deal is a ghastly charade, with The New York Times throwing around words like gruesome and brutal to describe water-boarding and cold rooms. The dishonesty is staggering.
So it is time for President Obama to stand up and show some leadership. No witch hunts, Mr. President. You have enough to do keeping us safe from another attack and fixing the economy. If you don't stand up to the far-left lunacy, this country will be gravely damaged.