Saturday, April 18, 2009
Headlines Saturday 18th April 2009
They tore out his heart: Dajka's dad lashes out at those who were appalled at drug use
Cycling Australia officials should be tormented by guilt about cyclist Jobie Dajka's death, his father has told mourners.
Govt welcomes jailing of people smuggler
Immigration Minister Chris Evans has welcomed the jailing of an Indonesian skipper found guilty of people smuggling.
Obama aims for 'new beginning' with Cuba
US President Barack Obama seized on an extraordinary overture from Cuba to propose talks aimed at breaking decades of hostility between Washington and Havana.
WA police say gunman still at large
WA police investigating a shooting in suburban Perth have ended up charging another man with drug offences and seizing luxury cars.
Aussies on edge, but confident of safety
Of numerous comeback stories in Australia's series against Pakistan starting next week, none match the return to cricket of the Pakistan team itself.
Britain's MI5 seeking a real-life 'Q'
James Bond always went to Q to keep ahead of the enemy with the latest gadgets, and now real-life British spies are to get their own technology mastermind.
Asylum seekers fighting for life
Five asylum seekers injured in an explosion aboard an asylum seekers' boat are on life support in Royal Perth Hospital, with doctors saying the injuries are eerily similar to those sustained in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Girl left to die for not doing homework
An 11-year-old schoolgirl has died after a teacher allegedly made her stand in the baking sun as punishment for not doing her homework
Review silences Ngo's 'naive' supporters, ALP rests knowing more questions won't be asked
NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos has labelled Phuong Ngo as "serial maipulator" as says the judicial review into the former Sydney councillor's murder conviction should finally silence Ngo's "naive and gullible" supporters.
Brain-damaged son beat mother to death
A brain-damaged man has admitted he abused his mother for years before beating her to death and sleeping on the couch next to her body in 2007.
Teacher forgot GPS before fatal trek
An inquest has heard a teacher forgot to give a GPS device to David Iredale days before the......
People smuggler jailed for six years
An Indonesian fisherman who captained a sinking vessel with 10 asylum seekers intercepted off the......
Obama reveals CIA interrogation tactics without reference to terrorists
President Barack Obama has blown the lid on CIA interrogation tactics approved by the Bush......
More boat people on the way: govt
It's been revealed that the Australian Federal Police had warned PM Kevin Rudd that border protection laws are making Australia a magnet for people smuggling.
Looks like we’re all dead:
The US Environmental Protection Agency has shifted course and deemed carbon dioxide a health risk, in a turnabout important to global warming-related regulation.
“After a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the US Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding ... that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare,” an EPA statement posted on the agency website said.
Strange how we keep living longer all the time.
DON’T YOU JUST HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS
The SMH’s Malcolm Knox:
Not only did yesterday’s explosion on the fishing vessel near Ashmore Reef kill at least three people, it ripped a hole in the narrative of the event.
I could row faster
The ABC shows why Kevin Rudd has little need to fear the media. Here’s the headline on its report on the latest boat to try to get here:
Latest boatload began journey under Howard
Seventeen months ago? Slowest boat trip ever. Or greatest spin.
Rudd’s great future: more cartoons
Kevin Rudd a year ago summoned 1000 of our “best and brightest” to build us our future. Four months late, Rudd finally announces the 2020 summits mighty results:
Action is being announced on nine modest proposals, including a children’s TV station, “golden gurus” (retired people who would become workforce mentors), a study for an indigenous national knowledge and cultural centre, and backing for the bionic eye.
So time for some Rudd spin to beat this egg into a great souffle
Yes, Rudd is indeed luring people to their deaths
Immigration Minister Chris Evans admits what Kevin Rudd’s media boosters yesterday furiously denied - people smugglers did indeed notice Kevin Rudd had gone soft:
Senator Evans conceded that Labor’s decision to soften laws by dismantling the Pacific Solution could have helped people smugglers market their services.
“I don’t think they’re significant but I do accept we have seen people smugglers market (the changes) ,” Senator Evans said.
But somehow we’re supposed to believe Evans and the Left when they insist none of the customers of these people smugglers heeded this marketing pitch when they suddenly signed up in bigger numbers for Australia.
I hear mad spinning.
Talking of spin, here’s the latest shameless effort from Rudd:
The Prime Minister insisted the recent surge in boats intercepted off northern Australia was due to global influences rather than his policies and called people-smugglers “scum of the earth”.
“People-smugglers are the vilest form of human life,” Mr Rudd said in Sydney.
“They trade on the tragedy of others and that is why they should rot in jail and in my own view rot in hell.”
Classic Rudd. Don’t blame him when the economy tanks, blame bastard bosses. Don’t blame him when Pacific Brands sacks workers, blame its blood-sucking chief executive. Don’t blame him when you can’t meet your repayments, blame greedy banks.
But here’s the dilemma for his frantic boosters: if the boat people are no threat, and in real need of saving, why demonise the people who rescue them by bringing them here?
Cue Left outrage at Rudd’s hate-mongering.
What other warnings did Rudd get that he was encouraging the “scum of the earth” and luring more boat people, some to their deaths?
AUSTRALIAN Federal Police warned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd just weeks ago his border protection laws were making the country a magnet for smuggling… The Daily Telegraph understands the AFP also expressed reservations last year as the Rudd Government wound back John Howard’s tougher approach.
And how much more is the Rudd Government keeping secret?
Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus last night refused to disclose details of the AFP intelligence.
Debus is also keeping secret whether the boat people at Ashmore Reef blew up their own boat. Why the secrecy? What are these people hiding?
A smile a day keep the divorce away
Research agrees: Smile, and the spouse smiles with you. Frown, and you’ll dine alone:
In one test, the researchers looked at people’s college yearbook photos, and rated their smile intensity from 1 to 10. None of the people who fell within the top 10 percent of smile strength had divorced, while within the bottom 10 percent of smilers, almost one in four had had a marriage that ended, the researchers say.
Choose: Garrett or the icy facts
Tough choice. Should we believe the measurements?
ICE is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap… Antarctica has 90 per cent of the Earth’s ice and 80 per cent of its fresh water…
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week’s meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades”.
Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica…
Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia’s Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years…
A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.
Or should we believe the Rudd Government’s Minister for the Apocalypse, warming alarmist Peter Garrett?
Mr Garrett insisted global warming was causing ice losses throughout Antarctica.
What does it say about Garrett’s trustworthiness that he cannot acknowledge the plainest facts that challenge his warming alarmism?
Green flies off handle: “binge flying” kills
Caroline Lucas, leader of Britain’s Green Party, says “binge flying” is murder:
When asked if flying to Spain was as bad as knifing a person in the street, Ms Lucas said: ‘Yes - because they are dying from climate change.’
This turns out to be too extreme even for a party of extremes, which offers the Keysar Trad defence:
A Green Party spokesman said the comments have been taken out of context.
Oddly enough (and worryingly), Lucas is also a member of the European Parliament. This involves much flying between Britain, Brussels and Strasbourg. It also means Lucas is killing people.
Greens fly, people die. Unless Lucas is telling lies, of course. Or was “taken out of context”.
Latham now monsters Gillard
Former Labor leader Mark Latham pays out on former colleague Julia Gillard, all but calling the Deputy Prime Minister “barren”:
To listen to the federal minister, Julia Gillard, talk about schooling is to realise she is clueless about what needs to be done. Since the beginning of 2006, Australia has been in the unusual position of having education ministers, first Julie Bishop and now Gillard, without first-hand experience in parenting and educating children.
Odd, because Gillard is in fact at least trying, however imperfectly, to do something of what Latham recommends:
If you say you want a revolution in Australia’s schools, then placing resources and authority in the hands of the key stakeholders—parents and students—is a standout reform.
Gillard is in fact trying to give parents more data on the performance of local schools, both academic and social, against the furious opposition of unions.
Ah, the education unions. Latham whacks them, too, for “their social-welfarist approach to schooling”. But The Australian wonders why Latham and the education unions had such a mutual love affair going when he was actually leading Labor. - poor Bolt adores Gillard, and can't seem to see that she is part of this incompetent government. If she had her way, those education reforms would still be very shonky. - ed.
Damn Chinese spend all Rudd’s cash
Spend-spend-spend leads to debt-debt-debt:
The February budget review predicted that the deficit in 2009-10 would reach $35.5 billion, with economic growth still positive at 0.75 per cent. Treasury is now expected to forecast a recession next year while the budget deficit could climb to $50 billion or beyond.
So who to blame?
WAYNE Swan has warned of a horror budget, seizing on China’s slumping economy to highlight the threat to the deficit and growth.
Easy done. It was the Chinese who spent $3.9 billion of our money on pink batts. Who splashed out $6 billion before Christmas in free cash. Who lavished $14 billion on new school halls and the like. Who spent or promised more than $100 billion in extra spending in just the past six months.
Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan had nothing to do with it.
DAN GAINOR: Chris Dodd Lied, His Local Support Died
By Dan Gainor
Apparently, lying has a cost — a financial one. I’m referring to Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, who famously lied about protecting the AIG bonuses. As the New York Post put it, he “denied creating a loophole to protect the whopping bonuses doled out at AIG.” Now he seems to have almost no support in his home state of Connecticut. Dodd has received less than 1 percent of his money from his own state.
But this is Washington and that might not matter. He’s still collected more than $600,000 — the rest of the cash from out-of-state supporters who probably want special favors. This report is ironic, coming just two days after 750 tea party protests that complained about size of government and corruption in Washington. Even liberal residents of the Constitution State will have a hard time kicking out the powerful Dodd despite the fact that clearly few of his constituents support him.
When people like Dodd can still fill a campaign war chest despite local disinterest, we’ve moved from oligarchy to idiocracy.
Arrested Palin Documentarian: 'I Did Nothing Wrong'
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Speaking of Governor Palin, Katie Couric received an award last night at the University of Southern California for her interviews during the 2008 campaign with the Alaska governor. Filmmaker John Ziegler, who slammed Couric's interviews as unfair in a recent documentary, went to the event and ended up in handcuffs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ZIEGLER, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Escort me based upon - No, you're not. You're not going to escort me. You guys realize that you are breaking all sorts of constitutional
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not breaking any laws -
ZIEGLER: Well, I am not going to move. This is ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Handcuff him and get him -
ZIEGLER: I am now trying to get my property, which are my movies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will give you your property.
ZIEGLER: Sir, now you are taking my property.
Now, my wrist is being broken by this security guard. And all I am trying to do is ask questions of people about why they would come to this ceremony to honor Katie Couric for an interview that was not journalism, it was advocacy. This is amazing. This is the country we're now living in. And my wrist is being really hurt, dramatically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just cooperate. Stop struggling.
ZIEGLER: I am not doing anything. I am not resisting a damn thing. Go ahead and do whatever you want.
Apparently, my property --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of it, I'll --
ZIEGLER: You are taking --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of it.
ZIEGLER: I am being now handcuffed for standing on a sidewalk, asking questions. We are at an awards ceremony on journalism excellence. You can't get more irony than this. This is amazing.
What in the world is going on? This is insane.
Why? This is ridiculous. I am not going to leave here. I have done nothing wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Ziegler is the director of "Media Malpractice," the film he says shows the mistreatment of Governor Palin by the media during the 2008 election.
John Ziegler joins us live. John, let me ask a couple of questions. First of all, were you disturbing the peace, or were you trespassing, either one of those?
ZIEGLER: No. And I urge people to go to our Web site, where they can see the entire episode in its context at howObamagotelected.com. There is about 20 minutes of video there that is almost a real time. And they will see I did absolutely nothing wrong, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: What provoked this?
ZIEGLER: I would like to know what provoked this. I happen to believe this was provoked because I wrote an op-ed piece leading up to this award ceremony criticizing the fact that Katie Couric was being rewarded for alleged journalism that I believe was journalism of the type that should have been condemned.
And it is very clear that I had a bull's-eye on my back the moment that I arrived at the event. They had a barricade set up thinking that we were going to protest or something, which I had thought about doing but decided against.
And I just was there with a couple of cameras, wanting to ask questions, and wanting people to know what a farce this award was and how dangerous this was for the industry of journalism.
So I don't really understand what the rationale was. And, clearly, in the end, after telling me I was arrested and I was going to be booked, after deciding to let me go as long as I left the premises, clearly they knew that I had done nothing wrong.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were any journalist allowed to cover this event, because, obviously, it seems a little peculiar that you would have journalism awards, and you would expect that journalists could cover it? Were other journalists allowed in there?
ZIEGLER: Yes, I ask that question, Greta, and I was told that only media outlets that had been invited by the award winners could be inside this event.
And, of course, we have the ultimate irony, where Katie Couric is getting an award for her Sarah Palin interview at the very same moment where I am trying to give people copies of my Sarah Palin interview who are entering the event so they'll know what a lie the Couric interview really was, and I can't do it, literally because my arms are behind my back, handcuffed.
I was shocked and amused at this at first, Greta. But now, I am angered and saddened. And this really doesn't have that much to do with me. I think this is about what's going on in this country and how things that were once unthinkable are now happening in almost ordinary ways and becoming acceptable.
There ought to be great outrage about this regardless of the political persuasion of the person who's simply there asking questions. And, of course, this is about journalism, which is absurd.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you were not an invited journalist to a journalist event. I take it that you weren't trying to force your way in. Were you standing out on the sidewalk, and did they then say, "You to go," and you didn't go, so they handcuffed you? Is that what happened?
ZIEGLER: Well, Greta, it's an important point to make. I was told I was not allowed to go in the building. I never tried to go in the building.
So I said, OK, I will stand outside, and I will give copies of my movie "Media Malpractice" to anyone who enters, because I want them to know the truth of how ridiculous this Katie Couric award for the Sarah Palin interview was.
I was on the sidewalk away from anybody. There was no way I was blocking anybody's path. And I was refusing to move to where they wanted me, which would have been in a place where I couldn't have spoken to anybody or done anything at all, which was clearly an attempt to try to minimize me. I did nothing wrong, and I'm being told that I should pursue my legal rights, and I am thinking very strongly about doing so.
VAN SUSTEREN: I was just going to give you some free legal advice, because I saw the full tape and saw the marks on your wrists from the handcuffs. I was going to say, go find yourself a lawyer to explore it.
John, that's your free legal advice for coming on tonight. Not everybody gets it, but, anyway, John, thank you.
ZIEGLER: Thank you, Greta - howObamagotelected.com.
You're Radical If You're Pro-Life? Gov. Tim Pawlenty Weighs in
This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin set to address a pro-life group tonight in Indiana. It follows the release of this report on right-wing extremism, singling out groups opposed to abortion.
Does that make anyone who is pro-life a radical?
Because that would include my next guest, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Governor, good to have you. What do you make of this?
GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: Mr. Cavuto, good to be with you.
I think it’s absurd. I mean, to suggest that the threat should be characterized in partisan philosophical terms is ridiculous. We had a national convention here in the Twin Cities this past summer, and the groups that were wanting to, and did, in fact, break up the city were, you know, leftists, were anarchists, were people who were opposed to conservative thinking.
So, at a minimum, it’s unfair. And I think, more candidly and bluntly, it’s absurd.
CAVUTO: But do you notice that it puts your party in a bit of a box, then, because then those who want to remain loyal within the party run way to the right, which, if — if the Obama folks are right, marginalizes you on the main stage after that?
PAWLENTY: Yes, it’s quite insidious, Neil, and it’s not limited to just the Democrats.
There is a — kind of a media perspective that, if you’re conservative, you’re somehow, you know, deranged, or you’re somehow deficient, that, if you were a rational, well-thought-of, intelligent person, that you — you couldn’t be a conservative.
So, that’s embedded, I think, as a bias in our media culture more broadly. And it’s insidious, and it’s unfair, and I think they should be called on it.
And I — I heard your report earlier that Secretary Napolitano at least partially apologized. They should fully apologize.
CAVUTO: Well, we had a — a — a conservative radio host here who — who — who all but said: Look, I see where this is going. If you’re on the right, you’re wrong, and you’re a target.
PAWLENTY: Well, you know, the — we get the label of extremist.
You know, you saw it earlier — in the earlier decades, they always say, well, the religious right. Well, there’s also in this country a religious left. And, so, if you’re going to express concerns like that, at least express them fairly.
But it’s worse than that. I think this is a stigmatizing label. It kind of implies, in fact, asserts, that, if you’re conservative, you’re, you know, dangerous, reckless, deficient.
And it’s — it’s really insulting.
CAVUTO: You know, you — you have argued for quite some time, Governor, that Democrats are getting kind of cavalier, if not cocky, in their approach to things, taking far more from this election mandate than was given them.
I talked to an Obama supporter yesterday in Sacramento for these tax protests who said, essentially: I voted for Barack Obama. I voted for more government. I didn’t vote for this much more.
That’s kind of your argument for the Democrats potentially torpedoing themselves. Could you explain that?
PAWLENTY: Well, and, in fact, I saw that coverage, and I thought your little blue and white windbreaker was quite natty, of you, nattily — you were nattily dressed.
CAVUTO: Well, I got — I got that — well, you know, the windbreaker was the least of my criticisms, but...
CAVUTO: You know, the millions in that audience...
CAVUTO: ... probably tens of millions live in that audience — I would dare say maybe 100 million — they didn’t — they didn’t have a problem with the windbreaker.
PAWLENTY: I’m just pulling your chain, Neil.
CAVUTO: That’s quite OK, Governor. That’s all right. Just pile on.
PAWLENTY: Neil, I’m just pulling your chain. Now, you lighten up on the windbreaker.
CAVUTO: Pile one, because this was going to be a nice last couple of minutes of this interview, but you wanted to go there. Away we go.
CAVUTO: But continue to this point about the Democrats.
PAWLENTY: The point I wanted to make is that it may actually inure to the benefit of conservatives and Republicans, because they will overplay their hand.
That will boomerang on them in ways that will give conservatives not only passion and energy, but also will reopen a window of opportunity, if we can do it responsibly, to govern again. And, so, in some ways, it may be an opportunity.
CAVUTO: All right. I had no problem with that jacket, by the way.
I’m offended. My wife is offended.
PAWLENTY: I’m just teasing you. I’m teasing you.
CAVUTO: My daughter is offended. I think my daughter bought me that jacket, so nice — nice going there.
PAWLENTY: Oh, now you’re — now you’re — now you’re...
CAVUTO: Two very big fans of yours have been very much alienated.
You better pray none of us moves to Minnesota.
CAVUTO: Now, speaking of Minnesota, what’s the Norm Coleman deal? Is this thing now done? Is Al Franken your next senator?
PAWLENTY: No, I don’t think it is done, Neil.
I think it’s going to go to the Minnesota Supreme Court in short. Norm has raised the question, how can you legally have one county count ballots under one standard and a different county count ballots under a different standard? That’s a violation of equal protection.
And he wants that question answered. And I think it’s a fair question. And, so, it’s going to go on for a little while longer.
CAVUTO: Are you going to run for president?
PAWLENTY: I’m still thinking about wrapping up my legislative session.
And I also have not closed the door, and, in fact, I’m going to decide about running for a third term for governor here shortly. So, that’s on my agenda and horizon, not the other things.
CAVUTO: All right, because a lot of your fans are starting on the — want to start all these PACs, or whatever you do as a precursor to running.
Are you encouraging them, discouraging them?
PAWLENTY: I am — I’m genuinely just focused on my business at hand in the legislature and being governor. I have not given that a thought.
CAVUTO: All right.
PAWLENTY: And got to — first things first, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right.
Well, Governor, I wouldn’t have asked these questions if you didn’t jump nasty on the jacket thing.
PAWLENTY: You’re just mad about the jacket. I’m sorry.
CAVUTO: Yes, I am. Yes, I am.
CAVUTO: Governor, very good seeing you. Always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
PAWLENTY: All right. Very good.
CAVUTO: Governor Pawlenty. All right.
Reporting on Tea Parties
By Bill O'Reilly
Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested Wednesday against big government, massive spending, and what they believe is irresponsible behavior by the feds. There is no question these protests were newsworthy, but they deeply offended the committed left-wing press, which is about 75 percent of all the American media.
Predictably, the uber-liberal New York Times buried the tea party story on page 16. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal ran the story on page 3. USA Today also on page 3.
On the network news side, here was the tone:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS: The self-styled tea parties were aimed squarely at President Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress and aimed at garnering media attention as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheered on by FOX News and talk radio, the hundreds of tea parties today were designed to protest the bailouts, the stimulus plan and President Obama's budget.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But from the White House perspective, not all of it was as homegrown as it may seem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the sentiment is about organizing anti-Obama rallies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A fistful of rightward leaning Web sites and commentators…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is big in Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...embraced the cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
There is no question that FOX News recognized the tea parties as a major story, and we promoted our coverage of the protests heavily this week. Also, FOX News analysts were at some of the events. That strategy was very smart.
Millions of Americans feel they have no voice in the left-wing media. Again, that comprises about 75 percent of the press. So when the folks hit the streets in a big way, it should be covered, correct?
That is why FOX News destroys NBC and CNN on cable every night. We cover the news. We don't ignore it. We don't denigrate it. And there was plenty of that going on Wednesday:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course, right-wingers are going nuts on tax day. They're holding these tea parties across the country.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think you get the general tenor of this. It's anti-government, anti-CNN, since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network FOX.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you also saw was this sort of fringe group, the secessionists, the militia types.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These tea parties were filled and fueled with one network, which has got, of course, a stable of talk show hosts who throw around the word revolution all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A few hundred hearty souls come out with their mildly racist signs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Summing up, many in the American media are not very interested in reporting the news. Their mission is to promote left-wing ideology. This network has been accused of the opposite, but our coverage of the tea parties was vastly superior to anything else around. So you make the call.