Saturday, May 23, 2009

Headlines Saturday 23rd May 2009

Ledger's last role played at Cannes
Heath Ledger's last unfinished role, cut short by his tragic death, has premiered in Cannes.

14th Australian swine flu case confirmed
A 15-year-old boy from Melbourne's outer north is Australia's 14th case of swine flu and the ninth case in Victoria.

Man pushes suicide jumper off bridge
A man in southern China has been taken into police custody after pushing a would-be suicide jumper off a bridge frequented by people threatening to end their lives.

Released reporter arrives in Washington
Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi arrived in Washington DC on Friday, after being released from a Tehran prison following a three-month prison term for spying in Iran.

NZ bank still chasing fugitive
New Zealand's Westpac bank is using charging orders and property law notices to salvage what it can from the personal assets of a man who fled overseas after mistakenly receiving a multi-million-dollar bank credit.

Bandidos associate faces kidnap charges
A fourth Bandidos associate has been arrested over the alleged kidnapping and assault in Sydney of......

Man found dead in NSW floodwaters
A man has been found dead in floodwaters at Raleigh, south of Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast,......

Former Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun 'left suicide note'
FORMER South Korean resident Roh Moo-Hyun, who was at the centre of a multi-million dollar corruption probe, has plunged to his death off a mountainside in a possible suicide.
=== Comments ===
MANNE AND BOY
Tim Blair
The Monthly‘s new editor has only been of voting age for 60 months:
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DOMINANT DISCOURSE FUNCTIONALLY LEGITIMISED
Tim Blair
Deep thoughts from Casey, who possibly is familiar with Australia’s institutions of higher learning:
It is apparent that Clare has been socialised within a culture where racism towards immigrant groups is normalised to the point that the word is used unproblematically and not necessarily with an intent to degrade or humiliate, though it functions best in that capacity and never loses that intent. But the word is much more loaded than even that and Clare speaks from a rich history within the discourse of whiteness on the function and the benefits to the dominant culture of “not being quite white” in Australia.

Its about the role that those who are not quite white, as opposed to being Black, play in assuring the the white nation of their own legitimacy …

This word assures white Australia of its own legitimacy in Indigenous land. This wog other functions in a way the original other never can, which is why the Indigenous other, is often absented all together and appears and disappears from public view with regular monotony.

Well, obviously.
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I RELY ON THE SCIENTISTS
Tim Blair
Congressman Nosferatu effortlessly fields a question on proposed carbon legislation:

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ROBOBAMA
Tim Blair
A twitchy start for animatronic Obama:
Barack Obama was standing on a riser inside a warehouse here, delivering an inspirational speech about the blessings of freedom, when his left index finger began to twitch uncontrollably, unnerving his aides.

The nation’s 44th president was in obvious distress. At least it looked like him. But with silicone skin and a tangled nest of wires for veins, this Obama was a 21st-century reproduction.
Put a teleprompter in front of it and Robobama will be ready to join Disney World’s presidential playroom. An earlier version of this NYT piece brought Walt Disney back to life:
The exhibit opened in the early 1970s under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.
“Walt died in 1966,” emails Peter H. “There’s no acknowledgment of the change to the article, you’ll note.”
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POWER OF BERYL
Tim Blair
Pirates decked:
Feisty pensioners from Britain used deck chairs to fight off Somali pirates who tried to hijack their cruise ship on the Indian Ocean, passengers and the vessel’s owners say.

They sprang into action when pirates tried to board the MSC Melody off the Seychelles on April 25.
According to MSC Cruises spokeswoman Sarah Longbottom:
“Mr and Mrs Rowlands were on the deck. Beryl Rowlands threw deck chairs at them.”
===
RAIL TO RICHES
Tim Blair
Apparently we’d all be richer if we didn’t drive cars:
Car use is costing Australia billions of dollars a year due to pollution, congestion, accidents and rising obesity levels, a public transport lobby group says.
This explains why Australia’s wealthiest and thinnest people all catch the train to work. In other transport news, impoverished Australian motorist Ryan Briscoe will risk obesity tomorrow in Indiana.
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FAIR QUESTION
Tim Blair
“Come on, mate,” asks Bradley Dean Milne. “What would you do?”
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PITY THE FUEL
Tim Blair
Sting wife Trudi Styler is angered and saddened:
Given the Guardian’s reputation for a positive stance on the environment, I was angered and saddened by the cheap and scathing tone of your “Lost in showbiz” article about me.

It sought to demolish my credibility as an environmental campaigner by laying charges of hypocrisy against my readily admitted occasional use of private aviation fuel as well as many (less reported) flights on scheduled commercial flights.
“Occasional use of private aviation fuel”?
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DIET ADJUSTED
Tim Blair
Wanda Cromitie, whose brother James faces terrorism charges, tells the New York Times:
“I was very surprised. I heard about it on T.V. this morning. This is really shocking. This is crazy. I’m really devastated.”

Asked whether her brother had ever expressed any political views like the ones ascribed to him by the authorities, Ms. Cromitie replied: “Never. Right now to me he’s like the dumbest person I ever came in contact with in my life” …

Ms. Cromitie said she did not believe her brother was a Muslim, but noted that many inmates convert to Islam in prison. “They do a little time in jail and they don’t eat pork no more,” she said.
Yet another reason to avoid prison, then.
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TOO MUCH CRICINFO
Tim Blair
Shoaib Akhtar’s protector will never be borrowed again.
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SINGER IS PRO-WEST
Tim Blair
Andrew Bolt has got this wrong. So far as I can tell, Lily Allen’s jaunty little tune seems a quite reasonable response to Taliban-supporting, hatred-harbouring, gay-hating, medieval Islamic extremists in the UK. I mean, who else could she possibly be singing about?

UPDATE. In cheerier musical news, observe the best backing singers ever. It’s hard to believe Dave Dobbyn’s catchy number is now more than twenty years old:

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THESE THINGS ARE RELATIVE
Tim Blair
The fatter wog must’ve been quite a unit:

UPDATE. Justin Kallu is just abit upset:
The shooting victim at the centre of the"Chk-Chk Boom” video is upset that YouTube sensation Clare Werbeloff is getting all the attention.

In an email to news.com.au, Justin Kallu said: “Im just abit upset about the fact that ive been shot and that i almost lost my life and there s this girl all over the news getting popular all because she has no brains.”
Nonsense. Clare is also pretty.

UPDATE II. About those hoax rumours …

UPDATE III. Who is Jessica Stanic?
Jessica is the Online Manager for dynamicbusiness.com. With a background in journalism and marketing, Jessica is passionate about the media and communications and is dedicated to making the website the leading online resource for small to medium businesses. As a proud Gen Y’er, Jessica’s blog will give you a rare insight into the complex minds of Gen Y’ers …
Bring on the rare insights, Jessica:
I think the main issue that everyone seems to be sweeping under the rug is that an actual crime was committed. Someone was shot, and presumably died. (Did he die? Is he alright? What happened to the shooter? Was he charged?) But the media have chosen to ignore that very serious CRIMINAL fact and instead focus on some silly girl and turn it all into a big joke.
Apparently Gen Y’ers with backgrounds in journalism and marketing can’t be bothered reading news reports. Victim not dead; shooter unknown and uncharged.

UPDATE IV. Sylvia Fowler:
I first came across this story on The Age website where it featured three times on the front page, and then on LP - written by a male obviously. I have to say the treatment of Clare has been incredibly offensive in how classist and misogynist it has been. Hardly progressive at all.
(Via J.F. Beck)

UPDATE V. And yet more on our girl of the week:
===
Growing out of Leftism
Andrew Bolt
Jan Fleischhauer on growing up Left in the oppressive West Germany of the liberal middle class - and on growing out of it:

I ate almost no oranges until I was 13, an experience I share with British journalist Nick Cohen, as I recently discovered to my surprise… Oranges were such a rare commodity for us because—for a period that unfortunately coincided with our childhood—the world’s citrus fruit-producing countries had fallen into the hands of Latin American strongmen or otherwise questionable autocratic rulers. We couldn’t buy Spanish oranges as long as General Francisco Franco was in power, because every purchase would have signified indirect support for his dictatorship. South Africa was out of the question, because of its apartheid regime, and Jaffa oranges from Israel seemed politically incorrect for as long as the Palestinians had to suffer. We still had oranges from Florida at first, but that ended when Richard Nixon was elected president. Franco’s death in November 1975, at 82, was the only reason my brother and I did not succumb to scurvy…

(As an adult) I tried to suppress my conservative tendencies at first. I convinced myself that they would eventually pass, like adolescent hot flashes. The next time I heard a joke about Kohl, I laughed more loudly than usual, hoping not to be noticed. In other words, I behaved like a 40-year-old married father who suddenly realizes that he’s gay, and doesn’t know what to do.
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How open is the bureau to cooling evidence?
Andrew Bolt
When a senior Bureau of Meteorology official such as Darren Ray can belong to this kind of far-Left activist group, preach at this kind of far-Left activist conference and write this kind of far-Left alarmism on global warming, would he - or, indeed, his bureau - be really as open as a scientist should to evidence that the world has actually been cooling for at least seven years?

I might ask the same of Penny Whetton, the CSIRO’s climate change risk chief, whose former spouse and still housemate is a Greens candidate who calls her in for help. It was Whetton who said she “was really quite moved” by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and claimed its ”scientific basis is very sound” - a year before a British judge found this global warming agit-prop was actually littered with nine inconvenient untruths. And that was being conservative.
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Chk Chk Boom - the club mix
Andrew Bolt

Dance with Clare Werbeloff to the Chk Chk Boom.
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Kelly gags on Rudd’s spin
Andrew Bolt
Paul Kelly has finally had his fill of Kevin Rudd’s manic spinning:

This Government’s communications problem can be summarised in one question: does anybody believe that a Prime Minister and Treasurer too frightened to announce the deficit and debt numbers on television have the fortitude to wage a six-year-long campaign that keeps growth in government spending to below 2 per cent in real terms to achieve a budget surplus by 2015-16?

The answer is obvious. This is Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan’s real problem. Keen to promote themselves as decisive leaders during an economic crisis, this week they looked scared, silly and subservient to political spin.

Er, just this week?

Australia had a Prime Minister and Treasurer (whose) .. instinct was to avoid putting the words “dollars” and “billions” around the $57.6 billion deficit or projected $188 billion net debt… It means, you see, Rudd and Swan weren’t delivering a damaging media grab to be recycled. But it also sent another message: that the Rudd Government cannot look Australians in the eye and speak the truth.

What is extraordinary is that this tactic continued into a second week after criticism of Swan for omitting the deficit figure from his budget speech. The evasions this week left the impression of a Government desperate to hide something.

This is merely an impression?
===
God save Obama. Please
Andrew Bolt
Double the guard around Barack Obama! Whatever you may think of the President, be scared that this man is second in line:

A report ... surfaced this week saying President Barack Obama is ”distracted by his vice president’s indiscipline” ... A senior aide was quoted in the book saying (Joe) Biden “can’t keep his mouth shut.” ...

Known for his gaffes, he has forced the administration to clarify or defend his remarks. Most recently, Biden was accused of disclosing the location of a classified bunker located in the basement of the vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory… The White House had to step in after Biden sparked a furor when he said he was advising his family to avoid confined spaces, including airplanes, because of swine flu… When the vice president made a joke after Chief Justice John Roberts botched Obama’s swearing-in, the president placed his hand on Biden and shook his head.

And be even more scared that this woman is third in line to be President:

In her first news conference since accusing the CIA of lying to her about the use of harsh interrogation techniques, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday refused to answer questions on the controversy… Mrs. Pelosi last week said the CIA lied to her in 2002 by concealing that it had already used enhanced interrogation techniques, and said the agency continues to lie today by mischaracterizing the briefing. She also said the CIA lied in the run-up to the Iraq war. “They mislead us all the time,” she said.

On Friday, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta wrote a memo to his employees defending them and calling for the rhetoric attacking his agency to be toned down.

Triple the president’s guard.

UPDATE

Fact-checking Pelosi.
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Stereotype reinforced
Andrew Bolt
Even in Greece now?
Dozens of cars were smashed and 14 people were hospitalized with injuries after protests by Muslim immigrants angered at the alleged defacement of a Quran by a Greek policeman ended in a riot… Chanting “God is great!” and waving leather-bound copies of Islam’s holy book, about 1,500 Muslim immigrants _ mostly young men _ marched to Parliament in the center of Athens to express their anger.

I doubt this is a productive way for Muslims to express their political views in a Greek Orthodox country that’s still smarting from centuries of Ottoman rule
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Rudd gambles your billions
Andrew Bolt
You earn it, Kevin Rudd took it, and pokie addicts blew it - again:

MILLIONS of dollars in stimulus payments have been fed into Victoria’s poker machines, new figures show.

Spending on the state’s 27,500 poker machines outside of Crown Casino soared by almost 7 per cent last month, or an extra $14.4 million, as the Federal Government’s $900 stimulus cheques washed through the community.

The payments have been a windfall for Victoria’s poker-machine giants, Tatts Group, Tabcorp and Woolworths. Combining December and April, when most of the stimulus payments were made, the increase in pokies spending in Victoria was $45 million, or 10 per cent.

The cash handouts, taken from workers and given to gamblers, are not just bad economics, but an even worse moral message.
===
We won’t even say they’ve been boozing
Andrew Bolt
The Pakistan Cricket Board shows all the sensitivity you’d expect from officials of this most discreet game:

The PCB has withdrawn Shoaib Akhtar from the 15-man squad for next month’s World Twenty20, saying - in an unusually revealing statement - that he had been diagnosed with genital viral warts.

Contrast that with the spare-his-blushes discretion with which Australia’s selectors announce dropping the troubled Andrew Symonds:

On his axing for the India tour, Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel (NSP) Chairman Andrew Hilditch explained that “Andrew Symonds was stood down for disciplinary reasons in Darwin and is now going through a process managed by Cricket Australia designed to give him time to assess whether he is fully committed to all of the things needed for a cricketer to be a member of the world’s number one team...”

Tim Blair guesses that one pice of Akhtar’s equipment may no longer be shared.

UPDATE

Meanwhile, building team harmony in Australia’s Test squad now involves serious bonding exercises with some of its most competitive members:

THE glamorous wives and girlfriends of Australia’s Ashes cricketers have been called to a pre-England team camp in a bid to short-circuit the fractious relationships that hurt the 2005 series campaign.
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More Australian humor
Andrew Bolt
Barbarians do get in trouble when they travel to more civilised lands:

TOUCHING up a Singapore Airlines flight attendant, giving drinkers “wedgies” at Oktoberfest and pilfering bar mats from Phuket bars. Australians love to travel and are, it seems, finding ever more unorthodox ways of extending time overseas - even if it means bunking down in the lock-up…

The (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s) consular division in Canberra has 55 staff, and half of them work full-time on the 1500 cases of Australians in strife overseas. Some involve death, missing persons and medical evacuations, but many are of the Annice Smoel “bar mat bandit” variety, trivial incidents that account for a large slab of consular resources.

“Touching up cabin crew is quite common,” the official says. “On Singapore Airlines, for instance, even grabbing a stewardess by the wrist can get you an ‘outrage of modesty’ charge, which we see a bit. And Australians, usually women, can’t seem to keep their fingers off stuff when they are transiting through airports, either. We had a woman caught stealing toiletries in Bangkok Airport last year.”

Men, on the other hand, are better at “offensive behaviour like pissing in pot plants and crashing jet-skis”.

Midair meltdowns are also common. Terrance George, 57, of Melbourne, hit the headlines last week for lashing out at flight attendants who tried to move him from his seat on a Qantas flight to London. The navy officer had reportedly been making unwanted advances to a fellow passenger.

“Often alcohol is the catalyst,” the source says. “Two years ago we had three young Australian men who went round at Oktoberfest giving people ‘huggy wedgies’, where you walk up, hug a person and yank up their underwear. They thought it was hilarious....”

A Sydney barrister, Ben Clark, says offences that are regarded as innocuous by most Australians can be serious overseas. In February he represented two Sydney men who were jailed for two days in Phuket and ordered to pay $1000 compensation for stealing a 50-cent picture from a street vendor.

Ah, yes, more of those famous Australian ”jokes”.
===
Klein says cripple lacks nuance
Andrew Bolt
Leftist Joel Klein shows the “nuance” he says is lacking in conservative Charles Krauthammer:

“There’s something tragic about him, too,” Klein said, referring to Krauthammer’s confinement to a wheelchair, the result of a diving accident during his first year of medical school. ”His work would have a lot more nuance if he were able to see the situations he’s writing about.”

Consider this Klein’s Lily Allen moment. Or his Robyn “100 metres” Williams one.
===
The hateful hate of modern moralist
Andrew Bolt

Lily Allen is a perfect illustration of the new barbarism, especially that of the Left. The British popster thinks she’s moral, which gives her licence in her own mind to unleash the foulest abuse on others whose sin is simply not to think as she does. A thoroughly moral hypocrite, she has a licence to be cruel.

Check the lyrics of F… you (most of which I’ve hidden below to save the unwary and tender eye from offence - and thanks to reader Michael for the tip) The very first line already establishes the hypocrisy to come, given that this is allegedly an anthem against “hatred”:
Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
Then look a bit harder
‘Cause we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired
Of all the hatred you harbor
===
Red Kerry really is
Andrew Bolt
Gerard Henderson reveals something on his blog that makes me uneasy, for one reason or the other. He does give an excuse, however, for passing on this insight into 7.30 Report host Kerry O’Brien:
Well, (I have) come across the notes of a conversation of a Coalition staffer who happened to be shouted a tequila by Red Kerry in the Holy Grail restaurant in fashionable Kingston. The time was 2.30 am - give or take a couple of tequilas. The date was the morning after the Budget night before.

The Coalition staffer’s note of the conversation - which was witnessed by another Coalition staffer - is as follows:

O’Brien was visibly…[delete this word - let’s go with “tired and emotional” instead, Editor] but was friendly and candid. He was aware that he was talking to Coalition staffers….
Coalition Staffer: “Kerry , you realise…I respect Peter [Costello] a lot.”

O’Brien: “Well good luck to you then - I don’t. He doesn’t like politics; he has always been the first one out of here (Canberra) on Thursday. Peter Costello does not have the nation’s interests at heart. He is only in it for himself, always has been, always will be. He needs to get out.”

Coalition Staffer: “I actually really respect some of the reforms of the Hawke-Keating era.”

O’Brien: “Howard and Costello never recognised the importance of their reforms. Costello simply rode on the consequences of the Keating and Hawke wave of economic reform.”


Now, normally (I) would not publish the note of a conversation conducted in private on a dark Canberra night or morning. But this is what the 7.30 Report’s political editor Michael Brissenden did concerning a conversation he and two others had with Peter Costello in 2005. Mr Brissenden’s release of the details of this off-the-record conversation a couple of years later was specifically approved by Kerry O’Brien.
You are surprised, of course.
===
What Are YOU Doing This Weekend to Honor Our Fallen Heroes?
By Andy Ryan
“I am a loyal American soldier. I believe in things larger than myself and making sacrifices for the greater good” – Excerpt from a letter written by Jonathan K. Dozier to his father before he was killed in Iraq.

So what are you doing this Memorial Day to honor our fallen heroes?

Going to the beach, playing golf, gardening or throwing a barbeque for the family? Yeah, I know Memorial Day weekend is the “unofficial first day of the summer”, but what are YOU doing this Memorial Day to honor our fallen heroes?

Don’t worry, I am not getting on a soap box and scolding Americans if they don’t pointedly spend the day honoring our fallen heroes; doing so would make me a hypocrite.

There have been plenty of Mondays where I made a promise to change something and by the time I wake up on Tuesday, my Monday promises have faded from my memory. At times like this, I look for motivation to help me solidify my Monday promises. Motivation can come from a variety of places: divine intervention, words of wisdom from a friend or the example of others. This year, my motivation comes from Carl Dozier.

Carl is the father of SSG Jonathan K. Dozier; Jonathan was one of the Sinsil 7. On January 9, 2008 in Sinsil, Iraq, a house-borne improvised explosive device detonated and killed Jonathan and 6 of his brothers-in-arms:

CPL Todd Davis;
SSG Jonathan Dozier;
SSG Sean Gaul;
SGT Zachary McBride;
SFC Matt Pionk;
SGT Christopher Sanders; and
Iraqi interpreter, Roy
We honor Jonathan for his sacrifice on that January day. And because of his family and friends we can continue to draw inspiration from all the other days he was on this earth.

On Jonathan’s birthday in September 2008, Carl and about 30 family & friends had a remembrance birthday party. While a few tears were shed, many a laugh and stories were also shared.

This Memorial Day, Carl is dedicating a Soldier’s Cross in honor of Jonathan and others who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Jonathan’s squadron commander and others plan to attend the dedication (some are coming from the squadron’s home in Germany).

Please don’t think Carl is someone who active just because of Jonathan; he has always been involved. In his hometown, he has served on the Mayor’s Commission on Veteran’s Affairs since 1998. Carl is also active with the Honor and Remember campaign. The campaign strives to make the Honor and Remember flag a national symbol (it’s similar to the POW/MIA flag).

So this year, I am truly twice blessed. I served with Jonathan Dozier and I honor him not only for his sacrifice but for the person he is and always will be — his life is permanently etched in the memories of many and continues to guide them.

And if it wasn’t for Carl Dozier’s efforts, I may have failed in properly honoring Jonathan and my other comrades who sacrificed themselves for their country. Thank you, Carl!

That’s my story. Now what are YOU doing this Memorial Day to honor our fallen heroes?
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