Sunday, April 05, 2009
Headlines Sunday 5th April 2009
K-Rudd not cranky, says Tanya Plibersek
Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek says her boss Kevin Rudd is not bad tempered, despite an outburst that left a flight attendant in tears. - has she been privy to his counseling sessions or phone calls? - ed
Turn back your clocks: daylight savings ends
Get ready to turn back your clocks – daylight savings ends in several states at 2am Sunday morning.
Pakistani Taliban leader claims responsibility for US shooting
Pakistan's top Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud on Saturday claimed responsibility for the shootings at an US immigration services centre in New York state that killed 13 people. - how will Obama respond? Kill civilians? - ed.
G20 protest man died of heart attack: police
A man who died on Wednesday during protests over the G20 summit in London suffered a heart attack, police confirmed on Saturday.
Suspected US attack kills 13 in Pakistan
A suspected US missile strike has killed 13 people, in a Pakistan extremist stronghold near the Afghan border, security officials said. - Obama declares his Democratic Presidency - ed.
US seeks to expel alleged Nazi guard
The US has begun moves to expel an 84-year-old man alleged to have been a top guard in several Nazi......
Obama warns NATO allies of terror risk
US President Barack Obama has warned his European NATO allies that they face a greater risk of......
NSW police probing bikie, violence link
Police say they are investigating possible links between a Hells Angels bikie arrested in Sydney......
We'll sort out power problems: Energy Australia
Sydney-siders are being assured of an end to mass blackouts across the city... with Energy......
Mortgage relief plan for jobless
KEVIN Rudd and the big four banks to announce mortgage relief for the unemployed.
Afghan Rape Law Tests Clinton
Secretary of state in uncomfortable situation over law that critics say gives Shiite men the right to rape wives
Is President Obama Selling Out America?
By Bill O'Reilly
The president continued meeting world leaders Thursday, trying to blunt the recession and rally support for the war in Afghanistan.
Meantime, a new FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll shows his job approval slipping a bit: 58 percent of Americans approve, down from 63 percent a month ago. And 32 percent disapprove, that's up 6 points from the last survey.
Talking Points believes fear is driving the president's numbers down. Some Americans believing he has not been effective on the economy so far. Others feel his policies are too socialistic with the Congressional Budget Office estimating the USA will run up about $9 trillion in deficit over the next 10 years.
Some conservative pundits actually believe President Obama is a Star Chamber guy — a man who secretly wants to turn America into a progressive country modeled on Western Europe. Also, they think he wants to lessen the power of America and sign up for a one-world combine of governance. In the past, that kind of thinking was labeled loony, but that's changing.
Writing in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, the former prime minister of Denmark says:
"In Europe, we have been protected from the worst effects of the [economic] crisis thanks to welfare states built up over the past 60 years to cushion citizens from the threats posed by the free market. We can all count on state health care, social housing, education, unemployment support and other universal, tax-funded services. The simplistic dictum of more markets and less government championed by Reagan, Thatcher and their ideological heirs has failed on a momentous scale. I am hopeful that the G20 will make progress. We must keep up the pressure by demanding a globalization that works for everyone and forge new alliances and new lines of communication across national boundaries. We must develop new, progressive ways to achieve global justice."
Well, Karl Marx could not have said it better.
Global justice requires that a one-world government seize private property and distribute it so that every human being has roughly the same amount of resources. The Denmark guy's vision is nothing new, but it's now being recycled as justice.
In America, there are a number of powerful people who subscribe to the theory, including billionaire George Soros, former Obama and Clinton adviser John Podesta and Vermont senator — a senator — Bernie Sanders.
Some believe Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid and President Obama himself are sympathetic to the one-world global justice view. By the way, I wrote about this in my book "Culture Warrior." And now the far-left movement is gaining power as I predicted it would.
Key question: Where does Barack Obama stand? Are the right wing pundits correct? Is he down with the global justice jihad? There's no hard evidence to suggest that he is, but he has not repudiated the false vision either. Until President Obama does, speculation will rage.
Lofty Ideas About What It Means to Save The New York Times
By Bret Baier
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller is comparing his paper's efforts to stay afloat to the cause of starving African refugees. Keller says: "Saving The New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause."
The Times has begun negotiations with the Newspaper Guild over ways to save money. The company is said to be asking the union to accept a five percent pay cut or lose up to 80 jobs. But the guild argues the company has not done enough to eliminate unnecessary managerial positions.
For Rudd, sorry seems to be the easiest word
Disgraced and jailed former judge Marcus Einfeld collapsed the market in living national treasures when he went down for perjury and perverting the course of justice. - Even so, Rudd got the biggest fright of his short political career when Obama pointed to Brazil’s senior politician and said he was the world’s most popular. Never before has Rudd come back so quickly on any other issue. His words were definite and direct. It was clear he was responding from the heart.
Rudd has a dream, and it has nothing to do with Australia. Rudd wants to be in the UN. A fat cat. Answerable to no one, acting without responsibility. Words without passion. Ordering people around who will jump as high as they can because their very lives depend on it .. they are that poor.
Rudd is not as popular as another politician. What did they give away to achieve that popularity? What must Rudd give away to achieve it, or surpass it?
How could Obama have been so thoughtless, so heartless? Didn’t he know who he was talking to?
Anyway, that RAAF girl was 23. When Rudd was 23, he had much to do. I’m sure he is sorry about how things transpired. - ed.
This kicks things up a notch:
North Korea launched a multi-stage rocket Sunday in defiance of international pressure. The rocket passed safely across Japan and over the Pacific Ocean, Japanese authorities said.
The rocket lifted off shortly after 11:30 a.m. local time from a military site in a rural area called Musudan-ri, near the town of Hwadae, on the country’s northeast coast, then arced over the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean.
Time to send in Hans Blix.
According to the SMH, we’re all alarmed by vegetables:
The Obamas’ vegie patch, a symbol of the US President’s focus on the environment, is alarming conservatives, writes Anne Davies in Washington.
This is Anne’s best story since she grabbed a quote from an unidentified Alaskan waitress in an unnamed restaurant at an undisclosed location on a date unspecified – sourced from someone unknown – and got it on the front page. It turns out that the “alarmed conservatives” are represented entirely by solitary Steve Milloy’s 17-day-old post:
“Michelle Obama’s garden is more about raising green ideologues than green vegetables,” said one pundit on the website Right Side News.
Thus justifying this headline: “The green grass of home is a growing concern for right-wingers”. Having established the fact of widespread organic panic among conservatives, Anne moves on:
The swing set the Obamas chose for their children is made of wood, non-toxic paint and recycled tyres.
Wrong. The Obamas didn’t choose the swing set, as the President himself told 60 Minutes:
Pretty spectacular swing set. I have to say that I was not the purchaser of this. The admiral, our chief usher, Admiral Steve Rochon, took great interest when we said that we should get a swing set, and found what I assume must be the Rolls Royce of swing sets.
I thought we were going to get like two swings. But … but they went all out.
They sure did. Anne doesn’t mention how much it cost.
THE PRESIDENT MEETS A BANKER
A brief yet moving pitchfork drama:
CONTORTER IN CHIEF
He wasn’t bowing to KIng Abdullah. He was contorting:
Obama is about a foot taller than Abdullah, and so had to kind of contort himself to get into any sort of position to shake the sheikh’s hand.
Besides albino blues guitarist Johnny Winter, moon-tanned British comedian Matt Lucas and an undiscovered race of sightless subterranean mole people, Kevin Rudd is the whitest guy around.
He’s Ned Flanders minus the funk. He’s so white that it’s impossible to keep time on a backbeat in the presence of even a Rudd photograph. Next to the Prime Minister, Family First senator Steve Fielding looks like a Wiradjuri elder.
So it was surprising this week to hear the Bishop of London, himself not exactly in danger of melanin poisoning, describe Rudd’s 2007 election as constituting “something of an Obama moment‘’ for Australia.
Well, let’s consider that.
TALIBAN FEELING IGNORED
Footage of a teenage girl being beaten by Taliban primitives is sweeping Pakistan:
The video shows a young woman held face down as a Taliban commander whips her repeatedly with a leather strap. “Leave me for the moment — you can beat me again later,” she screams, pleading for a reprieve and writhing in pain.
The girl lived, which means her attackers were probably only the moderate Taliban. But besides this victory over a 17-year-old female, the Taliban lately is missing media attention. So Baituallah Mehsud has launched an opportunistic bid for some headlines:
Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday responsibility for an attack on a U.S. immigration center in New York state in which 13 people were killed.
“I accept responsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to U.S. drone attacks,” Mehsud told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Nice try, rock ape. You’re giving orders to crazy loners who moved to the US from Vietnam as children now? Still, the killer did murder young women from Pakistan and Iraq, so at least he followed the Taliban style guide.
In the tradition of the mother of the boyfriend of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter:
A half sister of Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband is accused of breaking into the same home two times with the intention of stealing money.
Both pieces from Associated Press, specialists in association.
Now even the Guardian is mocking Obama.
Another unrequested Earth Hour surplus:
The second blackout to hit the Sydney CBD in a week left more than 50,000 homes without power this morning.
The public was urged to avoid Sydney’s CBD as another cable failure disabled more than 50 sets of traffic lights, blacked out parts of the CBD and surrounding suburbs, trapped people in lifts and closed the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
Premier Nathan Rees:
“I was told the other day that the chances of this happening again were one in a million ...’’
No more finger-pointing at the faith
As I’ve said before, it’s time to stop this scapegoating of a religious minority:
A Government-funded charity was at the centre of a row last night after a magazine it publishes for children appeared to depict Christians as Islamaphobes who regard Muslims as terrorists.
From all the demonising of Christians and other Westerners, you’d think they were the blowning-up rather than the blown-up.
Obama speaks as Bush was said to
They said George Bush was the inarticulate one. But now even The Guardian is mocking the un-teleprompted Barack Obama, offering even this translation of his waffling.
Is that true, or did Lachlan Harris tell you?
Kevin Rudd has confidence in his official liar:
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has expressed full confidence in press secretary Lachlan Harris, despite Mr Harris having been caught out lying last week.
Mr Harris denied Mr Rudd had reduced a 23-year-old flight attendant to tears by verbally abusing her for serving him the wrong meal on his VIP plane.
He was later forced to admit the story was correct… Mr Rudd’s chief of staff, Alister Jordan, said yesterday: “The Prime Minister and I have full confidence in Mr Harris.’’ ...
The latest incident ...is not the first time Mr Rudd’s media team has lied to the public. Mr Harris denied that Mr Rudd had planned a “false dawn’’ on Anzac Day - and was left red-faced when emails detailing the plans were leaked to the media. A media adviser also denied that Mr Rudd had hired a stylist to improve his image…
In the past, spin doctors have used bullying and evasion, but have rarely been caught lying.
I can’t remember a single lie told by John Howard’s press secretary, but Rudd apparently has very different standards of probity. It seems he’s confident that the right lies are told on his behalf.
Rudd even bawled out the wrong person about his meal - which is one reason why RAAF officers now leak against him:
But the issue at the heart of Mr Rudd’s tantrum, his dissatisfaction over the unavailability of a special meal for him on the flight to Canberra from Port Moresby, might be sourced back to an error from his office.
An RAAF source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday that air force officials called the PM’s office three times to check if Mr Rudd needed a special meal because he doesn’t eat red meat.
“The poor cabin crew couldn’t defend themselves by saying they’d checked repeatedly with the PM’s office and that the error came from there,” the source said.
“They just had to stand to attention being bawled out, saying ‘Yes, Sir. Sorry Sir. Never let it happen again Sir’.”
What’s dysfunctional is not the RAAF, but Rudd’s own office, where every month sees another resignation.
Rather a poor Westerner than a “rich” Third Worlder
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Marx-quoting Peter Hartcher should gloat a little less and worry a lot more if power really is being transferred to countries that are still undemocratic and less committed to the habits and freedoms that create long-term prosperity:
The Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, told us last week that the global financial crisis was “caused and encouraged by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything, but are now showing that they know nothing”.
He was backed up by the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who left out the racial identifiers but made the same point: “We all know that the present crisis does not originate in Asia, or in Latin America, it originates in the heart of capitalism.”
You will not find any references to skin or eye colour in the 8½-page communique issued by the leaders of the Group of 20 countries after their London summit. Yet, implicitly, the G20 accepted the analysis of those leaders who, between them, represent a quarter of humanity.
The club of rich, white people (plus those perennial odd-ones-out, the Japanese) that used to pretend to run the world economy has been smashed. Power has been, at least in part, redistributed to the yellow and the brown and the black.
And the ideology under which the Anglo-Americans operated the world financial system for the past 30 years - which accounted for what Lula called “irrational behaviour” - has also been dealt a sharp, corrective blow.
I don’t think China’s version of development - or even South America’s - would leave us much happier, to be honest.
I shouldn’t mention the latest Taliban news, according to Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s most notorious apologist for Islamist extremists:
A BBC presenter has attacked coverage of Afghanistan’s ongoing war, claiming TV reporters are not covering the ‘humanity of the Taliban‘.
But another example of the Taliban’s “humanity” has just been released on video:
To spare the squeamish, here is what that video shows:
FACE down before a crowd, the teenage girl shrieks and writhes, begging for mercy. But the three masked men holding her down merely tighten their grip while a fourth man whips her again and again.
“Leave me for the moment — you can beat me again later,” she screams. Paying no heed, the commander continues the flogging.
The video of a 17-year-old girl being publicly lashed by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley has galvanised the nation, drawing protests from human rights groups, denunciations from the Government and expressions of revulsion from Pakistanis… While reports of abusive acts by the Taliban have been filtering out of the north-western valley, where the Government struck a truce with Islamic militants in February, such brutal scenes are rarely caught on camera and publicly aired.
When the Left insists we should pull out of Afghanistan, this is the kind of tyranny they will abandon Afghan women to.
More spinning from Kevin Rudd’s office to seem tough(ish) on China, yet more “realistic” than its critics:
Therein lies the dilemma. Rudd sees the potential for conflict between China and the US as a serious foreign policy conundrum. Being forced to take sides in a Sino-American cold conflict would be disastrous for Australia’s interests.
But pause this Sunday Age apologia for a second. What Rudd really seems to be saying, as channelled by Josh Gordon, is that we must avoid having to side with the US. I’d suggest that should we ever leave the US to face down a growing and authoritarian power alone, it would be disastrous for much more than our businessmen can count. Rudd’s position, it seems to me, is precisely that a bureaucrat, worried more about process than principle.
But Josh Gordon doesn’t stop at defending Rudd. He also attacks the Liberals for going down the “tabloid path” for making criticisms like this:
Opposition families spokesman Tony Abbott even suggested the Chinese Government had staged a “pro-Beijing riot” in Australia last year during the Olympic Games torch relay...
But let’s see what decidedly non-tabloid papers said about that disgraceful episode which Gordon so lightly dismisses. Here’s Gordon’s own Age stablemate:
THOUSANDS of Chinese Australians are being asked to converge on Canberra next week to rally and defend the Olympic torch against pro-Tibet protesters. The mass campaign is being organised by Chinese student and community leaders in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, while the Chinese embassy in Canberra is also said to be actively supporting a peaceful show of strength. Zhang Rongan, of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, said he expected more than 10,000 Chinese and Chinese Australians to go to Canberra for the torch arrival on April 24. He said he was arranging “strong men” to protect against any attacks from pro-Tibet or Falun Gong forces.
The Rudd Government knows that embassy was indeed involved in organising a protest on Australian soil. And how “peaceful” was it? Here is the London Times:
Mobs of Chinese supporters were accused of assaulting pro-Tibet campaigners on the sidelines of the Olympic torch relay in Australia today as scuffles broke out and at least seven protesters were arrested… But observers said that behind the barricades Chinese nationals assaulted Tibetan activists and tore down their flags. Confrontations between an estimated 15,000 China supporters and about 3,000 pro-Tibet demonstrators reportedly flared all along the 16km route as the groups held aloft opposing banners and shouted competing slogans. In one incident, an Australian couple waving a Tibetan flag were said to have been mobbed by dozens of Chinese activists and punched.
Let’s not kowtow so eagerly to China that we rewrite the history recorded in our own newspapers, Josh.