Sunday, June 07, 2009

Headlines Sunday 7th June 2009

Gang wars: Ibrahim brothers targeted
Fadi Ibrahim, associate of the Notorious bikie gang, and his girlfriend, Shayda are in hospital after their car was sprayed with bullets on Sydney's North Shore on Friday night.

Premier Rees emboiled in scandal over sacked minister
Nathan Rees has been implicated in an alleged scandal to make room for John Robertson within cabinet.

Rudd wants to examine detail of Maralinga decision
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he wants to examine the detail before making an official comment on a decision allowing soldiers exposed to nuclear radiation in the 1950s to sue the British government. - maybe Rudd will set up a committee to examine the possibility of doing something - ed.

ACA's Grimshaw a lesbian: Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay has stirred up controversy over a scathing tirade against ACA host Tracy Grimshaw - I think he was trying to be funny in a Chaser kind of way. I won't watch anything with Tracy in it, but that is because of her politics which she shared with the world many years ago on the Today Show. She doesn't deserve that kind of abuse .. no one does. I do not feel that calling someone a lesbian is an insult. But I know that the gay community are very particular about what they call insult. - ed.

Air France Wreckage: Two bodies found
Two bodies from the missing Air France plane which crashed into the Atalantic ocean have been recovered.

Charged: woman tries to smuggle drugs
An Australian woman has been charged for smuggling drugs from Lebanon

Rally planned for Indian students
Indian community leaders are urging Sydney's Indian students not to go ahead with a rally today.
=== Comments ===
Ethics of getting away with it
Piers Akerman
APPOINTING Joel Fitzgibbon Minister of Defence was branded as a bad decision by most students of Canberra when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unveiled his Cabinet.- Tellingly, it wasn’t Rudd’s decision that Fitzgibbon went, but Fitzgibbon, having been tapped on the shoulder by Faulkner carrying a copy of the ministerial code of conduct. Rudd does not make unpopular decisions. It was Rudd’s decision to appoint Fitzgibbon, and then to appoint Faulkner to the vacancy. There is still much to be played out over this matter. Do we know why Fitzgibbon went? Or is there more to be learned? The problem with the lack of transparency is that one cannot see the end of corruption.
I do not for a minute believe that Rudd is clever or machiavellian in nature, but the lack of transparency from this administration, which seems to exist on spin alone, is such that Rudd may be responsible for the deaths of others. Firstly, soon after Rudd’s election with the death of Timor’s Alfredo Reinado from a failed special ops attempt. Secondly, with the deaths of dozens of boat people wishing to migrate to Australia by choosing the expensive mode of boating and not the cheaper mode of flying.
Rudd’s appointments lack wisdom and are blatantly political, from the Governor General through the politicization of public service.
It will cost Australia far more than the current bottom line to rectify. Where does Australia stand with China? With Tibet? With Burma? With Lebanon? We don’t know because Rudd doesn’t seem to know .. and the processes under Rudd are not transparent. So who got the Chaser off the air? Was it Rudd, who complained, and not the Australian people? - ed.

Tim Blair
It’s just a sign with some Memphis-area Burger King franchisee’s entirely reasonable opinion on it:

(Pic via the Memphis Flyer)

Naturally, panic ensued. The story has since spread from a Memphis weekly to Australia to Canada to MSNBC to the London Guardian, whose reporter Leo Hickman subsequently contacted J.J. McNelis, marketing president of the company running the Burger King franchise. “What proceeded,” writes Hickman, who is apparently astonished by someone speaking his mind (and who probably meant to write “followed"), “was one of the more memorable calls I’ve made as a journalist.” Edited highlights:
Hickman: So your reaction to this whole story that’s now gone around the world is bemusement and amusement?

McNelis: It certainly shows the power of internet communications and the society we live in, that it would even get played over across the pond.

Hickman: Apparently, it even featured on MSNBC ...

McNelis: I heard it even made that Keith Olbermann show which is, gosh, a real coup. A small franchisee over in Memphis, Tennessee, can be the “The Worst Person in the World”. If that’s the case then we’ve got a pretty good damn thing going.

Hickman: Are you not a fan of the show?

McNelis: Well, the technology now allows that anyone with a microphone can make a complete idiot of themselves … the corollary to the comment I’ve just made is that obviously this is today’s news and tomorrow they’ll be talking about something else whether it’s what Barack Obama is apologising for over in Cairo, or any other number of things, and we’ll look at this in the rear-view mirror and be movin’ on.
You can imagine why a Guardian writer like Hickman is startled by all of this; from his perspective, McNelis (a dual warming and Obama heretic) might as well be telling him that lumber is a drink and ghosts should be entitled to vote. A concluding highlight:
McNelis: If someone wants to stand up and say “Global Warming is Baloney”, then I’m all for it. It doesn’t matter to me, whether I believe in it or not. They have first amendment rights to say whatever’s on their mind. And nobody dictates otherwise.
Tim Blair
Annoyingly, there are no details about whether the car was damaged.
Tim Blair
NBC’s Tom Brokaw asks the President:
What can the Israelis learn from your visit to Buchenwald?
Obama’s reply – “Well, look, there’s no equivalency here” – wasn’t bad, but what he should have done at that point is stand up, remove his microphone and walk away.
Tim Blair
Future former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown renames Omaha Beach:

Tim Blair
Recall the tragic island of Lohachara, eaten by global warming some years ago:
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India’s part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.
The story, by the Independent on Sunday‘s environment editor Geoffrey Lean, was a complete crock, omitting even a vague date of the island’s removal. And now, as Achintyarup Ray reports, Lohachara is back:
The island is there in front of one’s eyes. Says boatman Mukunda Mondal (41), “Yes, the island is emerging. I have noticed it for the past one year. It’s clearly visible in winter.”

Judhisthir Bhuian, now a resident of Jibantala colony on the Sagar island, had his home on the Lohachara . He still goes back to the place where their house once stood. ”A huge landmass is coming up, covering Lohachara and Bedford,” he says.
Geoffrey Lean – a tilter by nature as well as by name – has been wanting for inspiration of late. Perhaps he could examine Lohachara’s revival, which marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists didn’t come true.

UPDATE. For no apparent reason, the Independent only a few hours ago republished Lean’s absurd 2006 piece.

UPDATE II. From the Times of India piece referenced by Ray:
2007. Kodak Theatre, Hollywood. The list of Oscar presenters includes Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez.

Instead of the usual million-dollar goodies, each of them receive a small glass model called the Lohachara sculpture after an island which “in December, 2006, became the first inhabited island to be lost to rising sea levels caused by global warming”.

A little more than two years later, Lohachara island is emerging again.
And the website for the holy Lohachara sculpture has vanished.
Tim Blair
Mark Steyn:
Like General Motors, the U.S. government spends more than it makes, and has airily committed itself to ever more unsustainable levels of benefits. GM has about 95,000 workers but provides health benefits to a million people: It’s not a business enterprise, but a vast welfare plan with a tiny loss-making commercial sector. As GM goes, so goes America?

But who cares? Overseas, the coolest president in history was giving a speech.
And what a speech it was, particularly these lines:
Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.
That teleprompter of his is playing tricks again. As Barcepundit points out:
By the time the Spanish Inquisition was created in 1478, Cordoba has been reconquered from Islamic hands almost 150 years earlier, in 1236.
Tim Blair
Forty absolutely true facts.
Save the planet! Trap your own methane
Andrew Bolt

A personal methane collector for the climate catastrophist in your life. An essential gift especially for greens of the mung-beans-eating kind. Extras include a free plastic hose and instructions on where to put it. Order now!
The Pharoah returns
Andrew Bolt

Barack Obama visits an Egyptian pyramid to discover an astonishing likeness.


We already knew Gordon Brown was star-struck by the new Pharoah.

But this attempt at the D-Day ceremony to say “Omaha Beach” should finish off the faltering Prime Minister for good:

UN teaches child to be warming hypocrite
Andrew Bolt
The United Nations Environment Program gives 12-year-old Alice Wang a strange prize for winning the American leg of its International Children’s Painting Competition to paint something scary on “Climate Change: Our Challenge”:

Alice Wang will travel to South Korea in August for the United Nations Environment Program Tunza International Children’s Conference.

And, no, she won’t be rowing there.
Union goes to water
Andrew Bolt
The Brumby Government is likely to put Melbourne’s water supplies in the hands of one of our most militant and lawless unions:

THE Opposition has attacked the State Government for directing the two bidders for the desalination plant to talk to Victorian Trades Hall head Brian Boyd as “an extraordinary involvement” in the tender process. In Parliament last week, shadow minister for industry Richard Dalla-Riva demanded to know why Industrial Relations Minister Martin Pakula had told the two bidders to talk to Mr Boyd, who is close to one of Australia’s most militant building unions, the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union.... The CFMEU, which has been involved in ugly disputes on the West Gate Bridge project, is in competition with the Australian Workers Union (AWU) for the bulk of jobs on the desalination plant.
Picking on immigrants
Andrew Bolt
Another immigrant family suffers from violence in racist Australia:

SYDNEY’s gang war escalated to new heights yesterday with the younger brother of Kings Cross figure John Ibrahim shot five times outside his home… John Ibrahim, 38, a Kings Cross nightclub promoter, ...has consistently denied the allegation put to him during the Wood royal commission in 1996 that he was the “lifeblood of the drugs industry of Kings Cross"… His three brothers, Hassan (Sam), 43, Fadi, 35, and Michael, 30, are said to have amassed “many powerful enemies”. Sam Ibrahim is a former branch president of the Nomads motorcycle club, which splintered in 2007 to form a new club, Notorious
Bullock doesn’t reveal quite all
Andrew Bolt

Sandra Bullock is actually the movie’s executive producer, yet wants us to believe it wasn’t a deliberate ploy for attention to strip naked:

SANDRA Bullock says it did not occur to her until after she’d shot the scene, but then suddenly she realised it would become a large part of the marketing of her latest movie, a romantic comedy called The Proposal.
Obama reads half the Koran
Andrew Bolt
Barack Obama in flattering the “Muslim world” with his Cairo speech on Friday quoted in defence of Islam half of a famous passage from the Koran.

Guess which:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;
But didn’t they want students to revolt?
Andrew Bolt

The new kind of campus rebel is a lot different to the old kind, whose grip on the universities they conquered is now under challenge - at least in the US.
$350 per tonne of hot air
Andrew Bolt
Mark Davis, without even having to question global warming dogma, explains exactly why it’s insane that our governments subsidise solar panels:

A typical NSW family spends about $1200 a year buying 8000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, which results in about 7.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. Installing a 1 kW photovoltaic system costs about $12,000. Over its 20-year working life, the $2000 inverter will need replacement at least once.

The system typically generates 1400 kWh a year, less than a fifth of the household’s electricity consumption. This would reduce the well-meaning family’s emissions by 1.3 tonnes a year and its annual power bill by $250.

Over 20 years, 26 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions will have been avoided at a net cost of $9000 (upfront cost less power-bill savings).

That’s about $350 a tonne, far more than the carbon price envisaged under the Federal Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme. But the cost would be a lot more if you factored in the time value of money, which works against solar because of the upfront cost and likely future improvements in the emissions intensity of grid power.

I don’t mind a tax on stupidity, but resent the rest of us having to pay for this power, too. Naturally, though, the Greens thinks too much spending on solar panels is not nearly enough.
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