Monday, May 04, 2009
Headlines Monday 4th May 2009
"Life must go on": Alan Jones returns
It's the longest he's been away for 25 years, but life must go on, according to Alan Jones.
Teens on the run after Parramatta prison break
Police are scouring Sydney's CBD for four prisoners who escaped from a Parramatta prison.
ETS postponed until 2011
Kevin Rudd has announced the government’s emissions trading scheme will be postponed until 2011. - Turnbull called it and was abused. Rudd denied it and was applauded. Now it is announced. - ed.
School apologises over Iredale death
Sydney Grammar School have apologised to David Iredale's family at an inquest into his death today.
Sex instruction book targets toddlers
Kids as young as two are being given a book featuring detailed explanations of sexual intercourse, lesbian mums and sperm donors.
Outrage over Where Did I Really Come From
EDUCATING children as young as two about how gay parents have children should be a low priority for the NSW Government, the Opposition says. "There is nothing wrong with encouraging tolerance and diversity but why you would do that by talking about same-sex relationships? I find it a mystery,'' Ms Goward said. - Did Rees authorize this, or Orkopolous? - ed.
Jelena Dokic: I was abused by my father
Jelena Dokic has revealed she was physically abused by her infamous father, Damir, before fleeing from her family in 2002.
Third Australian swine flu victim
An Australian journalist who contracted swine flu has slammed health officials for not taking her condition seriously.
Court to let teen remove breasts
A court will allow a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can look more like a boy.
Police offer $100,000 reward to find dead father's attackers
A $100,000 reward is being offered to help find who bashed a British man in a senseless and vicious attack in central Sydney
Turnbull won't trim 'dead wood' MPs .. probably as they are all ALP and Rudd should.
Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says he hasn't seen a hit list naming 14 coalition MPs......
South Australian penalty for marijuana cultivation (personal use): $300.
South Australian penalty for supplying shoppers with plastic bags: $315.
Nine years ago, the bathing of nursing home residents in a kerosene solution (30 millilitres in however many litres of bathwater, in an attempt to combat scabies) became a political scandal for the Howard government:
Prime Minister John Howard has adamantly defended his minister, [Bronwyn] Bishop, and denied the existence of any nursing homes crisis. “I don’t accept it’s a crisis,” he said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Lateline TV program. “I mean that is just a ridiculous exaggeration. It is a very sad and regrettable incident concerning one nursing home.”
Yet the scandal lived on, even after the nursing home was shut down and its residents relocated. In 2001, the ABC mentioned:
Last year it was the kerosene baths affair …
Then there was the Age in 2004:
Four years after the kerosene baths scandal at the once-notorious Riverside Nursing Home in Melbourne …
And only last year, Queensland premier Anna Bligh:
So let’s stop for a moment and remember … the kerosene baths for frail aged people in a nursing home under the purview of a Commonwealth department.
Remember? How could we ever forget? Yet Bligh now has a more recent nursing home crisis available for reference:
A bedridden war veteran was found on Anzac Day with bloody ears, hands, face and neck after being “severely chewed” by swarming mice at a southwest Queensland nursing home …
Opposition MP Ray Hopper said Queensland Health had been slow to respond to a plague at the Dalby Hospital, which includes a nursing home, leading to the attack on the 89-year-old man …
“His hands were covered in blood because he was trying to get the mice off him. We are talking about a health facility overrun by vermin.”
A second resident was also gnawed. Time for Bligh to defend her minister:
Ms Bligh was standing by Mr Lucas over the mice attacks amid heated calls for the Minister to be sacked.
That nursing home, by the way, is under the purview of Bligh’s own government. It currently awaits the arrival of electromagnetic rodent repellent devices.
Louise Adler, publisher of gibberish, defends the Australian book industry’s cultural protectionism:
Until the 1970s, British publishers decided the reading habits of Australians … With the advent of the Whitlam and Fraser governments, an authentic Australian cultural identity was brought into being by fiat, with the establishment of such agencies as the Australia Council and the Film Commission. Overnight, Australian stories told by Australians in Australian accents were available to Australian consumers.
So much for pre-70s Australian writers Henry Lawson, Miles Franklin, Ray Lawler, Hal Porter, John O’Grady, Banjo Patterson …
By the 1990s, the Australian publishing scene had matured sufficiently to view itself as local in origin and global in practice.
What did the “scene” think it was previously? Adler next contrasts the thriving “publishing scene” to the moribund film sce … industry, which only a few words earlier she’d associated with Whitlamite cultural triumph:
We have witnessed the demise of the local film industry. In 2007, Australian films represented a paltry 4 per cent (of which 2 per cent was delivered by Happy Feet) of total box-office revenue. How can it be in the national interest for Australian consumers to be deprived of Australian content?
Revenue is a guide to how many people saw those films, not to the availability of Australian content. As it happens, there were many Australian releases in 2007. Almost all of them were rubbish, which is why local audiences avoided them.
The consequences of an open market on the cultural landscape are obvious and verifiable. Exhibit A is surely the local music scene, which has been decimated by the abolition of territorial copyright.
The top 100 singles in 2008 contained 20 Australian songs. The top 100 album chart contains 24 local works. “Decimated”?
A marketplace that abolishes the principle of territorial copyright will wind back the clock on a proud and profitable publishing culture, reduce the availability of Australian stories and hand back a monopoly to multinational publishers to make decisions about our market far removed from local realities.
Like the “reality” of a “decimated” local music “scene”? More on this fear of alien cultural influences from Bob Carr:
Publishers say they need this protection to support local culture. This is garbage. The truth is Australians will always want to buy good Australian writing.
ARMED AND RUDDY
Claimed shooting enthusiast Kevin Rudd aims to arm the kids:
The Federal Government wants military-style “boot camp” training overseen by the Department of Defence for Australia’s unemployed youth, Cabinet sources confirmed last night.
Via C.L., who emails: “Sir Humphrey shot this down when Jim Hacker thought it was a good solution to unemployment.” Indeed he did:
IT ISN’T ABOUT MONEY
People who don’t have enough money for air travel continue drowning in attempts to reach Australia by sea:
On Tuesday, nine bodies, eight of them Pakistanis, were found floating in the South China Sea off Pengerang.
On Sunday, marine authorities nabbed 33 foreigners from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq on a boat off Kuala Langat, some 30km from here.
In both incidents, the foreigners had luggage with them and most were carrying huge amounts of money.
One victim was loaded with US$8,800. These deaths aren’t happening because those killed lack money to fly here. They’re happening because asylum seekers are under the impression – an impression encouraged by people-smugglers – that Australia is, in particular circumstances, an easier mark for the sea-going.
UPDATE. Airborne fakery is alleged:
A post office clerk and a suburban mother allegedly masterminded a fake passport racket to bring illegal immigrants into Australia.
The false passports created at Fairfield Post Office were used by a people-smuggling ring to fly illegal immigrants directly into the country, police claimed.
Postal worker Lara Triglia and her alleged accomplice Samira Al Kanani, 44, faced Parramatta Bail Court yesterday.
No comments on this case, folks. It’s ongoing.
NEWSPAPER ON DEADLINE
The Boston Globe, owned by New York Times Co., faces imminent closure unless staff agree to substantial pay cuts and layoffs:
If Guild members do not meet tonight’s deadline, the Times has vowed to abruptly shutter the 137-year-old newspaper, which is reportedly losing $1.5 million a week.
The situation is made worse by NYT bungling:
Regarding the Times’ severe accounting error, which was revealed late Wednesday, [Globe union boss Daniel] Totten said he was told by management that “they simply made a mistake.” The mistake, involving about $4 million in predicted cost savings, means members will experience far deeper cuts than they expected when the bargaining began one month ago.
The NYT has on its staff a Nobel Prize-winning economist in the paranoid and bearded form of Paul Krugman. Why isn’t this genius in charge of rescuing his company? Perhaps someone should ask him. Not that the Globe would likely trust Krugman, or anyone at his paper:
Asked by one Globe staffer whether the error was due to incompetence or bad-faith bargaining, Totten said one-quarter of the error can be laid to incompetence and the rest may in fact have been intended.
NYT lied! Globe died! Last-minute negotiations continue.
UPDATE. At the Globe‘s rival paper, Howie Carr sheds no tears:
Outside the employees themselves and a few limp bloggers, nobody cares about the Globe’s demise. Let the epitaph be: Smug Is Not a Workable Business Plan. These pampered poodles assumed they had a monopoly. Nobody ever has a monopoly, at least not for long …
One last thing to all my dear friends on the Boulevard.
We’re not hiring.
No pay Jazia? No house for you.
UPDATE. In other theocratic tyranny news, charges against a Denver high school student have been dropped. The child had earlier been arrested and handcuffed following his appearance at the school in a NOBAMA t-shirt on the day of a scheduled speech by Michelle Obama.
“Maybe before you make allegations about Guantanamo, you should READ.” Condoleezza Rice schools the kids:
A girl twice betrayed
Cutting off the breasts is preferred to treating the mind:
THE Family Court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can be more like a boy.
The teenager, code-named “Alex”, was on court-ordered hormone medication from the age of 13 to prevent menstruation and breast development. She returned to the court in December 2007 asking for a double mastectomy to make it easier for her to pass as a boy.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, decided it was in the teenager’s best interests to have the surgery immediately rather than wait until turning 18. The teenager had been diagnosed with “gender identity dysphoria”, a psychological condition in which a person has the normal physical characteristics of one sex but longs to be the opposite sex.
Justice Bryant told The Age: “In the end, it wasn’t a particularly difficult issue...”
What this report does not tell you is the tragic background that suggests Alex suffers from a most terrible betrayal, and needs love more than mutilation. As I reported when she first went to court, quoting from a Family Court judgement that still troubles me deeply:
Labor spends until it hurts
This stimulus flu is getting way out of hand:
VICTORIA may lose its prized triple-A credit rating as the State Government pushes the state deep into debt to fund new roads, railway lines, hospitals, schools and water projects, one of the big four banks has warned.
In a grim pre-budget assessment of Victoria’s prospects as the world plunges into recession, ANZ says the state economy is likely to contract next year, putting the budget surplus and the triple-A credit rating in jeopardy.... A downgrading of Victoria’s credit rating would increase the cost of borrowing for major projects and infrastructure investment and dent consumer and business confidence in the state’s economic future.
What Left-wing governments around the world are failing to consider is that going deep into debt may help the economy a little now, but will hurt it a lot later.
The last great Prime Minister of Britain
The 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s election as Prime Minister of Great Britain is celebrated:
We are here to celebrate a famous victory and to pay tribute to a great Lady who not only saved Britain but together with Ronald Reagan, ended the cold war, tore down the iron curtain, and enabled millions to escape the tyranny of communism.
Her greatness may be measured by the smallness of her successors.
What might she now think of the great spending splurge in Britain, the US and Australia. Lord Forsyth, in a fine speech at Thatcher’s tribute dinner, says it for her:
When Margaret wanted to redecorate the study in no 10 she paid for it herself. She always paid cash and never signed the bill in the members dining room and many of her colleagues who did so were given stern lectures on the dangers of debt and credit..
She changed the way people thought about wealth creation, enterprise and the role of the state. Part of her legacy was the destruction of socialism and the creation of New Labour. Today we are back to the 70s in a Britain on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to the meddling excesses of Gordon Brown, the irresponsibility of some bankers and the searing incompetence of the regulators and monetary authorities here and in the United States. Old Labour is back. Margaret’s fixed ropes of sound money, living within our means, controlling public expenditure and smaller Government to release the enterprise of the British people are still in place.
Museum of myths
The Australia Museum in Sydney has an interactive exhibition on global warming that perfectly symbolises this new faith:
WHETHER you’re confused about climate change or just want the latest information, this new interactive exhibition takes you on a surprising trip through two possible scenarios: one where nothing has been done to combat climate change and the other showing how nations, communities and individuals can take positive action to help save the planet.
Developed by climate change experts and scientists in conjunction with Perth-based science centre Scitech, this exhibition gives you the rare chance to uncover the truth and consider how the decisions you make today will (affect) the future.
Things to do:
Melt the ice caps and see which parts of Sydney flood first.
Dance to the beat on a special dance floorand see how much green energy you can generate.
Discover what makes up the carbon footprint of a simple hamburger and encounter a 36,000-litre cube showing exactly how much greenhouse gas they are responsible for each day.
Be a world leader in an interactive game and make some major climate change decisions by negotiating with other visitors.
- the exhibition’s utter certainty that the world is warming, and its failure to concede there’s a debate
- the apocalyptic fear-mongering
- the suggestion that the ice caps are melting, when Antarctic ice has been growing and the Arctic is now back to near-normal extent
- the no-sweat virtue being pushed that implies that fighting this “warming” will involve nothing harder than dancing or talking
- the linking of naughty hamburgers to this “warming”, rather than, say, the child’s future job, car, overseas travel or something much harder to attack or give up
Frauds. What is this doing in a museum? Witness the decline of science.
Let’s not forget the absurd scaremongering of the museum’s previous director, Mike Archer, now Dean of Science at NSW University:
For example, if the Greenland and Antarctica icesheets melt (which they are doing in spectacular fashion), sea levels could rise, as they have done many times in the past, by 100m. If that were to happen, forget the metre-in-a-century mantra, and forget half of Sydney, along with most of the world’s coastal populations.
It’s two years since Archer suggested the seas could rise by up to 100 metres in 100 years. In the past three years the seas have in fact .... not risen at all.
Flu fizzles out, Rudd still feverish
After so much fear-mongering, so many apocalyptic warnings and so much devastation to Mexico’s tourism industry:
MEXICO says its swine flu epidemic has peaked and is now in decline… The number of confirmed deaths from the virus was unchanged at 19...
Add to that the tragic death of a toddler in the US, visiting from Mexico City, and the total world-wide death toll of this “pandemic” is 20.
But the Rudd Government will be damned if it lets a good crisis go to waste, without it Doing Something:
AUSTRALIA has so far dodged the swine flu but the deadly virus is likely to come to our shores at some stage, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said... The Government will this week launch a radio and TV campaign encouraging people to wash their hands, cover when they sneeze and look after themselves.
Total number of swine flu cases in Australia: zero.
Empire building to blame?
THE World Health Organisation has “cried wolf”’ over swine flu, a leading US researcher says. An expert in epidemiology from Stanford University, Shelley Salpeter, said that recent changes in the World Health Organisation’s influenza pandemic guidelines had exaggerated the risks of swine flu, which has infected fewer people than normal strains of influenza.
A World Health Organisation representative confirmed that, following the avian flu outbreak of 2003, the threshold for pandemic alerts was lowered so people would be better prepared for a serious outbreak… Under the new guidelines, the WHO moves to its second-highest alert level if two countries in a global region reported human-to-human transmission of the disease… But a WHO spokesman admitted that under the guidelines many normal strains of flu would also be “pandemics”.
This has been like the great global warming scare pushed by the IPCC, another UN agency, but mercifully played out much, much faster.
Rudd’s manana budget
A government of spend-happy populists baulks at facing up to the consequences of its reckless splurge:
WAYNE Swan will postpone the worst of the pain to be imposed in next week’s budget by holding off on deep cuts to benefits and is likely to revive paid parental leave but delay its start.
The Government is standing firm on key election commitments, including tax cuts to be delivered from July, despite the fact that projected federal government revenue has fallen by more than $100 billion since the last budget because of the global financial crisis.
The Australian understands that it is likely a paid parental leave scheme will be included in next month’s budget, with a delayed start date. A government source said the maternity leave scheme had not been abandoned but it may be “scaled back”.
The Government is set to argue that a paid maternity leave scheme has stimulatory benefits...
“Stimulatory benefits” - the excuse big spenders give for spending as they’d always wanted but couldn’t afford. And still the deficit rises.
By the way: has Kevin Rudd yet made a single tough decision?
Louise addled again
First Melbourne University publisher Louise Adler invents crimes by Israeli troops. Now she invents crimes against Australian artists.
With an imagination like hers - able even to see parallels between Moses and Kevin Rudd - she’s wasted in merely publishing fiction.
Rice vs the Left: no contest
If ever you needed further proof of the “person of color” America really needs in charge right now, I urge you to watch this fabulous YouTube footage of the magnificent Condoleezza Rice being ambushed by left-liberal students at Stanford University with a series of “difficult” questions about torture, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and US foreign policy under George W Bush....
Her coolness under fire is magnificent, but more impressive still is her refusal to duck the issues…
“Let me tell you something: unless you were there in a position of responsibility after September 11 you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that we faced in trying to protect Americans,” she says.
“A lot of people are second guessing now but let me tell you the second guessing that would have hurt me more is if there had been 3,000 more Americans dying because we didn’t do everything we could to protect them."…
And she is quite withering when the pallid leftie student tries having a go at her about supposed torture at Guantanamo… “Maybe before you make allegations about Guantanamo, you should READ,” says Condi, with exquisitely measured scorn.