Thursday, April 16, 2009
Headlines Thursday 16th April 2009
Govt keen for early election, Costello may contest: Joyce
Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce says Labor is trying to trigger a double dissolution election, and it may be Peter Costello who contests it as Opposition Leader.
Rudd labelled the 'pig of Australian politics' over VIP behaviour
The opposition's labelled Kevin Rudd the "pig of Australian politics", for his blow-up over food on an RAAF VIP flight earlier this year.
Asylum seekers may have doused boat with petrol
The Federal government is refusing to confirm claims asylum seekers doused their boat with petrol before an explosion killed at least three people and injured 51 off the northwest Australian coast.
Dump it: Garnaut backflips on ETS
The government's own climate adviser says it might be best to dump the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and "have another crack at it" later.
More asylum seekers head to Christmas Is
Another boatload of asylum seekers has arrived in Australian waters – the fourth in the last fortnight.
Sick message: Tamil protest turns risky
A Tamil protester on a five day hunger strike outside the Prime Minister's Canberra residence has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
Colombia nabs top drug kingpin
Police have captured Colombia's biggest drug kingpin Daniel Rendon (alias Don Mario), for whom the government had offered a $US2.1 million ($A2.92 million) bounty.
Shots fired at Sydney home
Shots have been fired into a home in Sydney’s southwest in what police believe is domestic related.
Qantas will only last six months: aviation expert
Qantas may not be able to weather the economic storm, with aviation experts saying the airline may only last another six months.
If this environment continues, we basically have an unprofitable Qantas airline that doesn't have a future. CAPA director Peter Harbison
Missing Aust man found in Japan resort
The body of Brisbane man Scott McKay has been found, two months after he went missing in freezing......
Hells Angels blitz in three countries
Police have targeted more than 150 Canadians linked to the Hells Angels motorcycle club in pre-dawn......
Huff and puff but it won't fall down
It seems the three little pigs may have been on to something as new tests show houses made of straw......
When free speech is too costly for honest citizens
DICTATOR Commodore Frank Bainimarama is taking Fiji even further from democracy. His admission that last week’s shredding of the Fijian Constitution was a result of the country’s Appeal Court attempting to “force” elections on the people said it all. - Rudd and Obama have already had a powerful say as to how Fiji has behaved. It was unlikely that Bainimarama would have done this while Mr Howard was PM. It was unthinkable that he would do it while Bush was President. What Bainimarama has done is show the world he has no confidence in the leadership of Rudd or Obama.
How will Bainimarama be rewarded by Rudd or Obama for his strong arm tactics? Neither of the two will enjoy being held over a barrel. History shows that both may respond with murderous intent. Rudd has never answered for events surrounding the death of Alfredo Reinado. Alfredo Reinado died under bizarre circumstances following Rudd’s election .. it may have been a black ops gone wrong. Obama, too, has had no problems with dropping a bomb on Pakistani civilians so as to look strong and decisive.
German composer Andreas Hermann made a beautiful, disturbing piece regarding the women’s concentration camp Ravensbrueck. Those women, at wars end, prayed for their tormentors. Amazing, humbling grace. Yet what can be said, what prayer can be made, for those who might have done something worthwhile, but dithered and did nothing, only to unleash slaughter and mayhem when things didn’t go their way?
Never annoy a recovering boozehound:
A robber who walked into the Columbia downtown Alcoholics Anonymous center, pulled out a gun and demanded money was killed in a burst of gunfire from an AA visitor’s gun, police said.
“Gimme what you got,” witnesses quoted the robber as saying when he entered the AA building at 2015 College St. in Five Points about 10:48 p.m. Saturday. They said he brandished a .25-caliber handgun.
But not for very long.
INDUSTRY CLEANSED, JOBS GONE
Malcolm Farr reports:
A confidential industry briefing to Federal MPs warned at least two NSW coal mines would close under planned climate change laws.
Mining giant Xstrata Australia’s chairman Peter Coates said the Emissions Trading Scheme would make some mines unprofitable and cut new investment …
Mr Coates’ study found both mines and others will close, leading to 5000 to 10,000 job losses in the coal industry nationally.
Remember this ad, screened during the 2007 election campaign by Rudd-friendly unionists?
Key quote, from a coal miner whose helmet is remarkably clean relative to his face: “All of our jobs could be gone if the coal industry isn’t cleaned up.”
UPDATE. Andrew Bolt recalls another pre-election ad, starring the whiny lady.
WHEN VIKTOR MET OLGA
An attempted Russian robbery goes wrong. Repeatedly:
A female hair stylist in the Kaluga region is suspected of holding an armed robber in captivity as a sex slave for two days after he unsuccessfully tried to knock over her beauty salon.
Following his ordeal, the beauty store bandit reportedly “went to the hospital to have his injured genitals treated.”
The Great Big Crocodile Hunt could be on:
Safari hunters would be able to kill 25 crocodiles bigger than 3.5m in five years under a draft management plan released today.
Stressing that the plan was not in response to recent crocodile attacks in the Top End, the Northern Territory Government said it long supported controlled safari hunting and urged federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to approve the plan …
Releasing the draft five-year management plan today, NT Environment Minister Alison Anderson admitted: “We live in a croc-infested territory.
“We should not be under any illusion that any kind of consultation or management plan would have stopped any attack.
“They will kill today, they killed yesterday and they will kill tomorrow.”
Buffalo hunter Matt Graham:
“There’s a lot of interest in this. There’s been worldwide media coverage and it’s got the hunters stirred up. People want to get on board. But it’s going to cost a sh..load of money.”
Saving Obama's Privates
How Obama finally got cheering soldiers
How did Barack Obama get troops to welcome him in Iraq with a warmth soldiers have denied him before? One sergeant gives credit to Obama’s very choosy advance party.
This is only a claim by an anonymous source, but it may also explain the marked racial profile of the soldiers lined up behind Obama as a happy-TV backdrop.
Meanwhile, despite his largely rhapsodic coverage:
Monstering minnow Morphett was convenient
How cynical, selective and manufactured was the outrage whipped up against Pacific Brands and its boss, Sue Morphett? Contrast that monstering with the reception this week to the news that Qantas is about to sack around the same number of workers.
Number of employees sacked to save the company: 1850
Salary package of CEO: Up to $1.9 million
Reaction: Morphett’s salary is “obscene”, “greedy”, “breathtaking” and a “corporate crime”. Unions threaten boycotts and disrupt Pacific Brands promotion. Kevin Rudd threatens to take back government grants. His government announces plans to slash executive bonuses.
Number of employees sacked to save the company: 1750
Salary package of CEO: Up to $4.7 million.
Reaction: Toughest story so far - ”ACTU wants talks with Qantas”. No complaints about chief executive Alan Joyce’s salary, more than double Morphett’s.
How Achilles burst into grade four
A teacher in Brisbane does what few would now dare - reads Homer to a class of nine-year-olds. Sure, it’s going over the heads of many. But one boy called David is listening hard … and a great imagination catches fire.
You may have heard already how well this story turns out, without knowing how it actually started.
Teach up, not down.
Forum - Thursday, April 16
Speak up here. One day you won’t be allowed to.
As I was warning:
Ever since 2006, when Muslims worldwide rioted over newspaper cartoons picturing the prophet Muhammad, Western countries, too, have been prosecuting more individuals for criticising religion. The “Free World” may be losing faith in free speech…
Emblematic of the assault is the effort to pass an international ban on religious defamation, supported by the United Nations General Assembly President, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann. Brockmann is a suspended Roman Catholic priest who served as Nicaragua’s foreign minister in the 1980s under the Sandinista regime, the socialist government that had a penchant for crushing civil liberties…
History has shown that once governments begin to police speech, they find ever more of it to combat.
Ethan shows them
Sad in one way, and a dreadful worry for his mother. But funnily enough, I reckon he did indeed prove his point:
A 15-year-old Brisbane boy with Asperger’s syndrome who disappeared for two weeks and rode his bike more than 950 kilometres to Sydney did it to prove to “bullies’’ he wasn’t an idiot, his mother says.
And admire these parents of a girl fallen victim to the Reality TV ferals we now raise.
How our cartoonists tickle terrorists
First it was Michael Leunig whose anti-Israeli cartoon so appealed to Islamist bigots that it was entered in an Iranian Holocaust-mocking competition:
Now it is Pat Oliphant, another Australian cartoonist, whose Israelis-as-Nazis effort so amuses the Hezbollah terrorist group that it’s selected for a Hezbollah hate-the-Jews exhibition :
What is it with our cartoonists of the Left and Jew-haters?
France hears what Obama fans do not
France’s diplomats note a certain heard-it-all-before something that escapes the star-struck editor of The Age:
The American President’s call “to free the world of the menace of a nuclear nightmare” was hot air, Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic staff told him in a report. “It was rhetoric – not a speech on American security policy but an export model aimed at improving the image of the United States,” they said. Most of Mr Obama’s proposals had already been made by the Bush administration and Washington was dragging its feet on disarmament and treaties against nuclear proliferation, the leaked report said.
Rudd - the people smugglers’ friend
Could there be, like, a connection?:
YET another group of asylum seekers has reached Australian waters - the fourth in a fortnight… Navy patrol boat HMAS Albany intercepted 49 suspected asylum seekers - thought to be mostly Afghan men - two nautical miles off Ashmore Reef, 610km north of Broome at about midday yesterday.
It was the sixth boat to arrive this year, and the 13th since September, when the Rudd Government announced measures aimed at softening Australia’s treatment of refugees from the hardline approach adopted by the Howard government.
This year’s boats have ferried 264 passengers to Australia and 12 crew members - a total of 276 unauthorised arrivals compared with seven boats last year carrying a total of 179 people, including crew.
John Howard’s “inhuman” policies stopped not just the people smugglers but the deaths at sea. If some of these boats lured here by Kevin Rudd now sink, how truly “kinder” is he?
Not quite the penniless, no-options refugees you’d imagine helping:
SOME of the families in detention on Christmas Island spent almost two months in hotel accommodation in Indonesia before travelling to a small island for a three-day boat trip to the tiny Australian territory.
Yet their assets ironically suggest these are skilled people more likely to settle in successfully than are many “real” refugees plucked from no-hope refugee camps.
Bummer of a banning
What kind of humourless, over-mighty, speech-patrolling bureaucracy would ban this ad? And try to guess the reasons it did.
Howard was right: we were never better off
Federal Treasury calculations released to economic modellers yesterday suggest that the average Australian lost an inflation-adjusted $26,400 in 2008 — 11.8 per cent of their real wealth.
Remember this pre-election ad?
The Liberals should run a remake of it at the next election. The actress might this time have a different story to tell.
“Stopping” global warming will hurt you more than global warming ever will, even if the world does start warming again:
A CONFIDENTIAL industry briefing to Federal MPs warned at least two NSW coal mines would close under planned climate change laws…
First a long-time global warming believer in the Sydney Morning Herald gives the new book of sceptic Professor Ian Plimer a great review, despite conceding:
What I am about to write questions much of what I have written in this space, in numerous columns, over the past five years. Perhaps what I have written can withstand this questioning. Perhaps not.
Now, even more amazingly, the ABC’s PM program reports on several global warming alarmists - but not before giving two sceptical scientists a fair say, and without suggesting they’re bought-off, fruit-loops or somehow unclean:
The first scientists to appear before that (Senate) committee inquiry (into emissions trading) today were environmental geologist Professor Bob Carter and environmental engineer Professor Stewart Franks. They say there’s not enough science to show climate change is due to human activity.
The two men, who say they’re not climate sceptics, say many of their colleagues are guilty of unnecessarily scaring the world into action....
STEWART FRANKS: The public, the global public in many senses and certainly in the Western world has been railroaded into this notion of disastrous climate change for which there is no empirical evidence…
SABRA LANE: And Professor Carter says Australia’s planned emissions trading scheme will have little effect, for a huge cost.
BOB CARTER: My estimate for Australia is it’s less than a thousandth of a degree. Now the idea we would spend tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, extra costs, revolutionise our energy supply system for a potential, and this is only theoretical, it’s a computer model that says “global climate might go down by a thousandth of a degree if we do”, to me I just can’t believe we can be considering legislation based on this sort of thing.
Then come the alarmists who question not Franks’ and Carters’ evidence but their qualifications, and who don’t discuss the real-world measurements but scary model predictions of the kind that aren’t actually coming true.
Is there a change in the intellectual climate?
Rudd may have to ban broadband before he builds it
An excellent question from Kenneth Davidson:
WHAT would happen to Kevin Rudd’s promise to roll out a $43 billion national broadband network over eight years if Telstra told the Government that it proposed to start building its own high-speed network tomorrow? This would be no empty threat. Telstra has both the technical skills and the necessary free cash flow to undertake such a commitment.
So how can Rudd guarantee we’ll get his high-speed broadband in 2017? By actually banning Telstra’s high-speed broadband today:
To knock Telstra out of the market, the Government would have to legislate to prevent it from rolling out fibre optic cable.
It’s Alice in Broadbandland.
JOHN LOTT: ABC’s Shameful ‘20/20′ Experiment
By John R. Lott, Jr.
Gun control advocates look desperate. Last Friday night, on April 10, ABC aired a heavily promoted, hour long “20/20″ special called “If I Only Had a Gun.” It is ABC’s equivalent of NBC’s infamous exploding gas tanks in General Motors pickups where NBC rigged the truck to explode. With legislation in Texas and Missouri advancing to eliminate gun-free zones at universities, perhaps this response isn’t surprising.
The show started and ended by claiming that allowing potential victims to carry guns would not help keep them safe –- not even with hundreds of hours of practice firing guns.
No mention was made of the actual multiple victim public shootings stopped by people with concealed handguns nor did they describe who actually carried out such shootings. Instead, ABC presented a rigged experiment where one student in a classroom had a gun. But sometimes even the best editors can’t hide everything the camera sees.
President Obama, Spain and the Radical Left
By Bill O'Reilly
The president says he wants to improve the USA's image in the world. So he must stand up against Spain, which wants to damage America.
The Spanish government will soon decide whether or not to formally investigate former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and other members of the Bush administration for human rights crimes.
Of course, this is an outrage, a transparent attempt to put the USA on trial and make us the villain in the terror war. It also diverts attention away from the true evil: Muslim fascist killers.
The Spanish president, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, is a far-left guy who has been soft on Iran and is inclined to line up against America on many issues.
It is time for President Obama to state his objection to Spain's intrusion, just as he stated he does not want a witch hunt against the Bush administration here in the USA. Mr. Obama should be forceful with Spain. His job is to protect Americans, even those who worked in the Bush administration. Silence is not an option here, Mr. President.
But "Talking Points" is becoming concerned about Obama's world view, because this week something truly incredible happened that few Americans know about. Radical leftist Rosa Brooks has been appointed to advise Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy at the Pentagon. The action is stunning because Ms. Brooks is so out there.
As a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Brooks consistently went to extremes.
In October 2007 she wrote: "George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment."
March 2009: "The Bush administration's big legal lies paved the way for some of the most shameful episodes in our history, including the official authorization of torture."
Ms. Brooks also supported the Iraqi who threw his shoes at President Bush: "He reminded the powerful and powerless alike that a single symbolic gesture can be more effective than a thousand grenades."
And this woman is a top adviser in the Defense Department? Are you kidding me? Is Michael Moore not available? What the hell is going on?
Want more? Rosa Brooks was special counsel to George Soros' Open Society Institute. And now she has access to America's defense secrets at the Pentagon?
Again, what the deuce is going on? This is madness.
We called Undersecretary Flournoy and got zero from her. Then we called other Defense Department officials whom we know. They told us they are shocked.
So let's recap: A confirmed far-left radical is now operating within the Pentagon, a woman who was shockingly irresponsible in her attacks on the Bush administration and who has worked with George Soros. And we have a country, Spain, that may attempt to embarrass America in front of the world.
What say you, President Obama?