Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Headlines Tuesday 7th April 2009
Search for survivors as Italy quake toll soars to 150
A violent earthquake rocked central Italy on Monday killing at least 150 people, injuring 1,500 and devastating a walled medieval town where buildings and homes were reduced to rubble.
Military in lockdown over fears of bikie raid
Security levels at military facilities in Sydney's south-west have been heightened amid concerns bikie gangs might attempt to break in and steal weapons.
'Witch-hunt' inquiry angers Defence staff
Hundreds of Defence Department security officials have been asked to sign statutory declarations in a bid to unmask those behind a probe into Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon's private life.
Brumbies return home after Shawn Mackay’s shock death
Grieving ACT Brumbies players have returned to Canberra without their team-mate Shawn Mackay, who has died in a South African hospital.
Two Australian soldiers wounded in Afghanistan
Two Australian soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, the defence department says.
Hells Angel arrested with gun and police cap
An alleged member of the Hells Angels bikie gang has been charged with a number of firearms offences after police found a gun during a vehicle search in Sydney's inner west.
More former Knox teachers to be questioned
Another three former teachers from Sydney's Knox Grammar school are expected to be questioned over......
Doctors blamed for black market surge in prescription drugs
There are concerns an increasing amount of mood-altering drugs such as Valium, Xanax and Diazepam......
Fresh warnings as $900 handouts start flowing
The Rudd government’s $900 stimulus payments have begun flowing to working Australians today, but......
Primary school kids sex website shock
KIDS are taught that abortions are "a relief" and hormones make you "feel sexy", on a site backed by education boards.
Foster mum wins fight to bury Bridgette Barbara Wynne
FOR two months, the body of a 15-year-old Aboriginal girl has lain in the morgue in Albany in Western Australia while a bitter dispute over her remains, and even her soul, has raged in the Supreme Court.
Government website links to porn
BRITAIN'S interior ministry homepage mistakenly linked to a Japanese pornography website, a government spokesman said today
This gentle humanity is born in the heart
IT is now almost cliched to talk of the extraordinary manner in which the Black Saturday bushfire tragedy touched Australians and many people around the world and the spontaneity of their response. - Beautiful, Piers. This is not other peoples money being put away, but their own. Personal and heartfelt. As Bolt pointed out soon after the disaster was realized, ‘my, but we are strong.’
Our strength is not always seen as the envious ones parade and demand. Nor is it evident as we indulge. But Australia was forged in adversity, in drought, in times of need. We give, and we are known for our generosity.
I was humbled, at the time, when a group of Australians (ethnically Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian) raised funds for the bushfire victims. A sausage sizzle and a lion dance. No ALP showed to the Cabramatta event, but the Liberal Party had Dai Le there. The kids had put together a martial arts film over four years .. for no money. But they know how to give. - ed
ALL SEMBLANCE OF ORDER BREAKS DOWN
Jemaine sleeps with an Australian:
The G’Day B’rith was founded to counter exactly this type of anti-Australian vilification. Meanwhile, in New Zealand:
Safety arrangements at New Zealand’s answer to Spain’s Running of the Bulls — the Running of the Sheep — are under review after hundreds of the animals ran amok through a country town, injuring a spectator …
All semblance of order broke down with the sheep crossing the main road and a railway track before heading into the hills.
They cannot control their sheep. These are the sort of people we are dealing with.
GREAT WALL OF WHINERS
Big news from Surat, India:
In a unique initiative to create awareness about global warming, students of an engineering college here have engaged themselves in painting a wall.
The painting of the wall will continue for 24 hours.
AT LAST, A NON-EMBARRASSING PRESIDENT
Barack Obama thinks Austrians speak Austrian.
NSW Premier Nathan Rees is under 24-hour armed guard for fear of bikie gangs angry about government crackdowns (that is, when they’re not strolling around the PM’s Canberra residence, for reasons unclear).
At the same time, Sydney is bracing for further possible power outages. This isn’t a situation that seems particularly secure. Also, the bikies have drugs.
THEY’RE TREMBLING IN PYONGYANG
Headline in the NYT:
Obama Calls on U.N. to Punish North Korea Over Rocket
Be sure to click for the picture, which shows the President in earnest consultation with his two closest advisors.
UPDATE. Mark Steyn:
So we approach a state in which the planet’s wealthiest jurisdictions, from Norway to New Zealand, lack any capacity to defend their borders, and the planet’s basket-cases, from North Korea to Sudan, will be nuclear powers.
We’ll see how that arrangement works out.
Rise of the Christian pagans
Urban Seed is a Christian activist group - one that confirms just how much Christian “progressives’’ have in fact regressed into pagan earth-worshippers:
If we intentionally include the soil, water, plants, and native animals in our sense of community, it might also help us consider using the (Rudd Government’s cash splash) money in ways that are affirming of the earth and our place in it.
Defence shoots at wrong target
If only the Rudd Government were as busy checking the Defence Minister’s mysterious Chinese benefactor, which surely is a bigger issue than the leaker who first raised the alarm:
HUNDREDS of Defence Department security officials are being pressed to sign statutory declarations as part of a widening investigation into the Joel Fitzgibbon affair. The head of the Defence Department, Nick Warner, has authorised the push for statutory declarations in a bid to flush out anyone involved in a covert probe into the Defence Minister’s private affairs.
More bandaids demanded
Once again, the deeper question is ignored:
AN urgent summit has been called to stop crowd violence after a vicious attack following a game at the MCG. Premier John Brumby will call together major sporting codes, venue operators, police and health experts this month amid growing concern over public safety, the Herald Sun can reveal.
The summit follows a savage attack on Brad Jones, father of Melbourne midfielder Nathan Jones, as he was leaving the MCG after the Collingwood match at the weekend.
How is that we’ve actually grown so much more violent? And so shameless, too, to judge from some pictures.
More divisive than Bush
So much for Barack Obama uniting the US after George Bush’s “divisiveness”:
For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama’s job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president—88% job approval among Democrats—and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).
Welcome mat detected
Seems the people smugglers have heard about the new management:
A GROUP of more than 60 suspected illegal immigrants have been detained after their boat was detected off northwestern Australia… On the same day, another group of 50 suspected illegal immigrants was transferred to a customs vessel after their boat ran aground at Warriors Reef, 65km north of Thursday Island, and was detected by a border patrol aircraft.
The circus begins again.
The big joke finally told
My eldest son is an Arj Barker fan. After watching from 3:15, I’m relieved. I’ve also figured that Barker can’t be an Australian comic, with that line on global warming.
For them, not from them
Human rights are what the lawful extend to the lawless, and not vice versa.
Human rights are there for bikies, too
Gold Coast Lone Wolf bikies admit cutting alleged drug dealer’s ears off
How the G20 conned you
The G20’s “$1 trillion” rescue package was an astonishing con. The Financial Times crunches the numbers:
When all the sums are added together, rather than $1,100bn, the new commitments appear to be below $100bn and most of those were in train without the G20 summit. While the inflation of relatively small and old commitments into an enormous number does not render the summit a failure, the desire to produce large headline numbers as the main result of the gathering suggests the divisions and spats on other issues were considerable.
It’s worrying enough that so many reporters fell for it. Even worse is that so many political leaders perpetrated such a deception. We don’t have the only Kevin Rudd.
It wasn’t heat alone that killed them
How many died because Victoria’s power supplies failed through lack of investment?
JANUARY’S extraordinary heatwave could have killed 374 Victorians, more than double the number of deaths in the Black Saturday bushfires.
The alarming findings have just been made public by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Carnie, who investigated the health effects of the extreme heatwave that ran from 26 January to 1 February.
Dr Carnie found the heatwave particularly affected the elderly, especially those with existing health conditions. He found that compared to the average of the past five years, 248 more people aged 75 and older died during the heatwave.
Why vote when we have experts to decide?
Catherine Branson, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, thinks we should leave the experts to decide what the public wants:
While a referendum is one way of measuring popular support for a human rights act, I am confident that such support will be measured more quickly and cost effectively by the National Human Rights Consultation Committee.
Even quicker and more cost effective is to leave that judgement to me, Catherine. Deal?
Good and Bad of Obama's Speech in France
By Bill O'Reilly
First, let's set the scene. Europe does not like the United States very much. President Obama acknowledged that Friday, but why?
Well, two basic reasons. Many countries in Europe are socialistic. The government takes care of you, cradle-to-grave entitlements paid for by huge taxation. Here in the USA we place more value on rugged individualism and tend to frown on socialistic countries.
Second, Europeans, perhaps because of World War II, do not want confrontation, so they are much more likely to look the other way on terrorism and cut threatening countries like Iran and North Korea slack. The same mindset, by the way, existed before World War II, which was why Hitler and Mussolini were able to violate international law and get away with it until 1939.
Here in America, we don't like to take a lot of garbage, if you know what I mean. You hit us, we'll hit you back.
That's what President Bush did, and honest people know he was somewhat successful. The Bush administration badly damaged Al Qaeda and kept America safe for eight years and counting. But the Europeans don't really care about that. They did not like Mr. Bush's style, and so the gulf got wider.
Friday, President Obama tried to persuade Europeans to once again support America:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent years, we've allowed our alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
That was the president's smartest move Friday. He complimented the Europeans, making them feel good, while at the same time gently scolding them for being foolishly anti-American. A very good sequence for Mr. Obama.
Then the president moved on to something many Americans are furious about: the lack of support in Europe for the War on Terror:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. We were attacked by an Al Qaeda network that killed thousands on American soil, including French and Germans. Along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, those terrorists are still plotting today. And if there is another Al Qaeda attack, it is just as likely if not more that it will be here in Europe, in a European city. So I've made a commitment to Afghanistan, and I've asked our NATO partners for more civilian and military support and assistance. We do this with a clear purpose, to root out the terrorists who threaten all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, that was well said, but I have no confidence the president will persuade Europeans to help us. They remain deeply afraid of conflict, no matter how justified.
Just seconds after telling Europeans they need to man-up in the terror war, the president slyly massaged them again:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Europe has acted with the seriousness of purpose that this challenge demands. And in the last few months, I'm proud to say that America has begun to take unprecedented steps to transform the way that we use energy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, "Talking Points" understands some Americans will role their eyes at the global warming reference, but, really, what good does that do? Europe is buying the global warming deal. They believe it and they will not change their minds, so why fight it?
The carbon cap and trade deal has been defeated in the Senate, signaling that our government is not completely in the tank for radical environmental policies that would hurt Americans families. But giving the Europeans a little credit on green policy is smart. I mean, the cleaner the planet the better, right?
Ironically, Europe remains pretty dirty. Try swimming in the Mediterranean. But the president was clever to throw an aspirin to take the sting out of the terror deal.
Now the bad news. Towards the end of his speech in France, Mr. Obama began to pander:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: In America, it is written into our founding documents as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In France, liberte — absolutely, — egalite, fraternite. Our moral authority is derived from the fact that generations of our citizens have fought and bled to uphold these values in our nations and others. And that's why we can never sacrifice them for expedience sake. That's why I've ordered the closing of the detention center in Guantanamo Bay. That's why I can stand here today and say without equivocation or exception that the United States of America does not and will not torture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
That just reinforces every piece of far-left propaganda coming down the pike. I guess the president believes this nonsense, that the USA simply tortured people for no reason and locked them in dungeons for fun. But it's absurd.
After 9/11, the U.S. government had an obligation to prevent another attack on America. Senators and Congresspeople were briefed on anti-terror measures, and they worked. We got intel; we stopped further attacks.
President Obama's Monday morning quarterbacking may get him cred in the salons of Paris, but I believe he is dead wrong and insulting to the brave Americans in the field who have kept us safe.
Let's hope President Obama doesn't have to deal with mass murder on his watch. He should cut his country some slack and knock it off, especially overseas.
All in all, however, Obama's strategy of engaging Europe and the world helps all Americans. This is one screwed up, dangerous planet, and we need all the help we can get.
Left-Wing Blogs' Rush to Judgment
By Glenn Beck
Blaming TV or radio hosts for the nutjob who killed three Pittsburgh police officers over the weekend is like blaming a flight attendant after a terrorist takes down a plane. In other words: Giving passengers a safety talk to prepare them for a worst-case scenario doesn't mean you are responsible should a terrorist make that worst-case scenario happen.
One person is providing important information. The other is a nutjob who would've acted no matter what.
Before any facts came out on the Pittsburgh shooting, left-wing blogs like Daily Kos, Media Matters and The Atlantic decided that this maniac was worried that President Obama was going to take away his guns — therefore, conservative talk shows were to blame.
Wait — what?
Bloggers rushed to paint this killer as a conservative — presumably one who was clinging to his guns and religion. But the truth is that this guy in Pittsburgh was about as much of a conservative as Stalin was cuddly. He's a neo-Nazi, a white supremacist and, more importantly, he's a premeditated killer… (allegedly, of course).
That's why I'm not even going to waste time addressing the people who lump everyone who questions Obama's policies into the same hate group. So let me talk to the rational people instead: you.
Civil unrest, for any number of reasons, is coming. You must help your neighbors when you can, report them if you must and tell them there are three types of revolutions: the American kind, which was basically 13 years of anarchy; the French kind, which ended in guillotines, prison and rivers of blood; and the civil kind; a kind of revolution that gets results by using the weapons of democracy, like civil disobedience; the kind practiced by people like Martin Luther King and Gandhi.
That is the type of revolution that fed-up Americans should be embracing. But understand that nutjobs never will; they're just looking to kill.
Left-wing bloggers seem to want to blame everyone for a crime except the actual criminal, but that's because they don't understand that our Constitution is a lot more than just the Bill of Rights; there's also an implied "Bill of Responsibilities."
Yes, you have the right to free speech, but you have the responsibility to warn about fire in a crowded theater only if there actually is smoke.
Yes, you have the right to bear arms, but you have the responsibility not to use those arms to take away the rights of others.
Responsible gun owners are no more of a threat than someone who responsibly exercises their right to freedom of religion. Sure, religion can be used to justify horrific acts, but it's still the criminal or terrorist who is responsible for them. Isn't that what the left is always saying about Islam?
Let me be as clear as I possibly can: Shooting cops — or anyone else — does not make you a patriot or a defender of the Republic; it makes you a traitor and an enemy of it.
Our forefathers fought a bloody, violent war so that we would be able to put down muskets and bayonets for weapons with far more power, weapons like free and fair elections, term limits and, yes, civil disobedience.
Maybe it's about time we start using them.