Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 9th June 2009

Indian and Middle Eastern communities clash in Sydney
About 150 people of Indian background rallied in the streets in Sydney's west following a series of assaults overnight

Mum escapes jail over 'extreme' neglect
A Blue Mountains mother who left her eight children alone for more than a week while pursuing an internet lover has escaped a jail sentence.

Minister fluffs job figures on first day
New Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib has stumbled over the unemployment rate in his first day on the job.

Sartor challenge to Nathan Rees looms
NSW Labor MP Frank Sartor has refused to say whether he intends on challenging Nathan Rees for the leadership, as senior Ministers throw their support behind the Premier.

More NRL players monitored for swine flu
There are concerns next weekend's NRL round could be disrupted with the withdrawal of more star players because of swine flu fears.

Grimshaw fires back at 'arrogant narcissist' Ramsay
They've never been friends. He's an "arrogant narcissist" and a bully. And no, she's not gay.

Ramsay deserves an uppercut: Rudd distressed he is not in the news more
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has congratulated Tracy Grimshaw for hitting back at Gordon Ramsay, saying his comments represented a new form of low life.

Rudd 'distressed' at Bob Brown's plight
Rudd says he's distressed that Greens leader Bob Brown could be booted out of the Senate over an unpaid legal debt.

Kevin Rudd annoyed Woman's Day published exercise photos of Therese Rein
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has slammed Woman’s Day magazine, for publishing a series of photos of his wife, Therese Rein, working out. - they should have been looking at Rudd - ed.

Watts doing Demons? Melbourne show Jack all
Jack Watts should enjoy hundreds of better days at the footy than this in the years to come.

Sonny Bill Williams 'too slow' for rugby: O'Connor
Dual international Michael O'Connor has questioned whether Sonny Bill Williams has the speed to be a top class rugby union centre.

Opposition to Rio/BHP deal emerges
According to a leading Chinese business magazine, the country's leading steel industry group has come out against the joint venture deal consolidating iron ore assets of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Australia.

Family of David Carradine claim kung fu mafia killed actor
A new twist has emerged in the death of David Carradine, with his family claiming a Kung Fu mafia killed the actor for trying to expose secret martial arts sects.
=== Comments ===
Steve Fielding’s warming to the climate doubters
Piers Akerman
Fielding, in just one trip to Washington, has discovered what he does not know about global warming and climate change and what’s more has found that the Rudd Labor Government has not explained why it is rushing through repugnant legislation that will hurt the Australian economy, destroy jobs and throw hundreds of thousands out of work. - I applaud Mr Fielding for making public his discovery. However, I think it easier for him to come to this understanding because he has been even handed and scrupulous in his past utterings on the issue. He doesn’t have to lie now. Someone like Gore, Pelosi, Rudd or Rees have to embrace their faith or be seen to be bad liars .. which they are. They have prospered from the rhetoric, not from the truth. Obama will not change from the bad policy .. although he can, he won’t.
Then there is the balkanised position taken by Mr Howard, Dr Nelson and Mr Turnbull. I think the position politically savvy while the wind was blowing that way, I think a better position will be with those who who have discovered they have been hoodwinked, as Mr Fielding has discovered.
I too once thought that skepticism was over the top. In ‘98 I told some students I felt Global warming was the case, but I thought it was stupid to move against it until industry could. When industry is capable of doing so, the change will be overnight .. as when horses became obsolete by the car. By 2000 I was convinced that Global warming was a crock .. and no one has been willing to discuss why it isn’t since. Almost ten years, and no one has been able to debate me on the issue. At wikipedia, I have been abused and smeared for suggesting there is room for debate .. the left wing are too caught up with the policy. - ed.

Tim Blair
Any senator declared bankrupt or insolvent – or who is forced to enter into a payment schedule with creditors – is immediately disqualified from holding a seat in Federal Parliament. Which is good news for the forests – no more needlessly printed online articles – but bad news for Senator Bob Brown, who (despite the ABC’s helpful advertising) must pay $240,000 in legal costs by June 29.

June 29 … that’ll be 61 years to the very day since Nat King Cole topped the charts with Nature Boy. The Greens seem to be cutting their own nature boy loose:
A spokesman for Senator Brown said the Greens party was not responsible for the bill because Senator Brown had taken the action as an individual.
True, but that doesn’t rule out assistance. You’d think the Greens would be able to round up 48,000 saps with $5 they can throw Bob’s way. How hard is it to organise an online fundraiser? Get moving, leftoids.

UPDATE. Rich folk to the rescue:
Greens leader Bob Brown says he has already had offers from wealthy Australians to help cover a legal bill that could send him bankrupt and force him from the Senate.

“Dick Smith rang me last night ... he didn’t make any specific commitment but he wanted the number of my lawyers,” he said.
Tim Blair
Parisian restaurateur Jacques Boudon meets Obama:
“I saw God before me,” he said …
Get this man a job with Newsweek.

UPDATE. Maybe Obama is the long-heralded earthly incarnation of Xatptipltical, the Frog God of Crap! End of days!
Tim Blair
No more Saint Bernards in the Swiss Alps:
After a three-century run, the emblematic rescue animal, often depicted with a barrel of rum under its neck, has lost out to helicopters and modern technology …

The breed shot to international fame thanks to one legendary pet named Barry, who lived in the hospice from 1800 to 1812 and is said to have saved more than 40 people.
Then he became President.
Tim Blair
The Claring of Australia continues:
A racehorse was registered last week under the name Chik Chik Boom.
Tim Blair
I can’t remember where I heard it, but the story goes something like this:

Young journalist files a piece on a local tragedy. Man killed, family devastated. Next day, editor hauls journalist in to show him a rival paper’s much more prominent report on the same tragedy, containing an element our youngster had missed – it was the man’s birthday.

Thereafter, reporter spends the rest of his career making sure he’s got the birthday angle covered, culminating in one spectacular moment when the reporter happens upon a crashed car containing a seriously injured driver. First question to the trapped and bleeding motorist: “Is it your birthday?”

Anyway, birthdays won’t cut it anymore. These days every disaster story needs a global warming angle:
As the investigation continues as to what brought down the French airliner over the Atlantic Ocean with 228 people on board, a Russian climatologist believes global warming played a significant part …

“A consequence of global warming is that the frequency and severity of such events (severe weather conditions) is higher,” Aleksey Kokorin, head of Russia’s World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Program, told RT. “Unfortunately, the risk for airplanes, especially in tropical areas above water, will be higher. This could be difficult for pilots to understand.”
Because pilots are notoriously ignorant about … weather. It’s of absolutely no professional interest to them.
Tim Blair
Nashua Telegraph readers are disgusted:
• I’m not at all happy with your headline.

• This headline is grotesque!

• That is such a rude article title.

• Very inappropriate and distasteful.

• I agree with everyone...the title to this article is offensive.

• What a stupid headline.

• a rather insensitive headline don’t you think?
Be warned. Here is the terrible headline. Only the very bravest may cluck ... er, click.

UPDATE. A headline that could only come from Canada:
Burger King’s “Global warming is baloney” a sign of U.S. decline
Presumably they want the sign in French, too. Meanwhile, if you’re not eating at Burger King, eat a stupid duck instead:

It’s a tilty stupid duck. They’re the tastiest.
Tim Blair
Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for Al Gore’s toy TV network, have been sentenced to ”12 years of reform through labor” in North Korea. The pair, who have no avenue of appeal, were found guilty of an unspecified “grave crime”.

Gore has apparently said nearly nothing about his two employees since they were arrested in mid-March. His network hasn’t mentioned them either, as Arthur Bruzzone reports:
There’s been a virtual news blackout at Gore’s TV Current, his on-line TV station has suppressed readers’ comments, refused to report the story about his own reporters. TV Current even posted a guard to keep the press out, as reported by the SF Weekly.

Now, the two journalists, Ling and Lee, have been convicted and sentenced.

Then and now, the former Vice President remains silent.
How … North Korean of him. Meanwhile, the Silent One is preparing to visit Australia, where no journalist will ask him anything unpleasant about those employees he lost.

UPDATE. AFP copy in the Age doesn’t mention Gore.

UPDATE II. Readers note that both the Seven and ABC news also omitted any mention of Sacred Al. So much for television always seeking out a celebrity angle. If Gore’s network had been owned by the mother of the boyfriend of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter, however …

UPDATE III. No mention of Gore by UPI ("The two journalists represent Current TV, a San Francisco-based Internet system …") and nothing in this Associated Press item. Strange; AP is usually hot for stories with a political connection. Reuters buries a Gore mention way down in the second-last par:
Current TV network was co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
Only “co-founded”? Sounds a little remote. In fact, as of early 2008 Gore and his family owned at least 3.7 million shares in Current Media, Current TV’s parent company. The year prior, Gore was paid $1.05 million by the company, including a $550,000 bonus. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear from Al himself:
I’m the chairman of Current TV …
UPDATE IV. Angry comments at Current TV’s site:
How can Current continue to block and deny information on the Laura Ling North Korea PRISON story to it’s viewers and subscribers? I have been posting articles and emailing feedback@current.com about this story since March. Current- your silence comes off as hypocritical! Freedom of information! Freedom for Laura Ling and Euna Lee NOW!

The censorship is frustrating. These comments will be the next to go. I’m wondering if we should organize a boycott.
No need. Very few people watch it anyway. How did Al Gore earn that bonus?

UPDATE V. Why the silence? A Current TV employee’s explanation:
I’ll confirm that we’ve been told not to talk to anyone about it … We’ve got a fairly overzealous legal department so I’m guessing it half stems from them. We’ve got a standing “don’t talk to the media about anything, refer them to our media liaison” order for the most part that goes around so that aspect is nothing new… it’s just that the entire “hey, lets all ignore this whole situation entirely from the top down” thing for a media company seems a bit weird.
It doesn’t sound weird for serial media blocker Gore, however.

UPDATE VI. Now the focus shifts to Obama:
Others thought the sentence was overly harsh. “It sounds [like] a pretty strong sentence,” said Kim Dong-han, a North Korean law expert at Dongguk University in Seoul. “I had not thought that North Korea would have strongly punished them, but it seems that a political motive was factored into this case.”

He speculated that the verdict may have been North Korea’s retaliation for what it considered a diplomatic cold shoulder from the Obama administration.
But … but … the whole world loves him!
Tim Blair
They didn’t really think this title through:
A vote against global warming
Andrew Bolt
Benny Peiser draws a different conclusion from the results in Britain of the European Union elections:

The fact that UKIP, an openly climate sceptical party, has beaten Labour into third place in the EU elections is a clear signal. It suggests that any party promoting unpopular climate policies and green taxes that will further increase the cost of energy, transport and travel for ordinary families risks being punished in future elections. As far as Britain is concerned, the Labour government and its green agenda is finished. Let that be a warning to President Obama and other would-be salvationists.

From the UKIP manifesto:

UK Independence believes that global warming is a recognisable phenomenon, but that there is insufficient proof that this is generated by carbon emissions. The over-reaction by other parties to global warming borders on the hysterical and risks damaging Britain’s economy and its people’s way of life.

I suspect Peiser reads too much into the result, but it’s also true that a party suspicious of Big Government, and especially Big Supranational Government, would see in global warming theory a Trojan horse for their power-seeking opponents on the Left.
How the ABC’s priests damn Fielding
Andrew Bolt
The ABC’s Jon Faine this morning gave Senator Steve Fielding a taste of the treatment he must expect from the ABC’s global warming faithful. None of Fielding’s questions on weaknesses in the man-warming warming theory were addressed - not one.

Instead, Faine asked whether we could take seriously a man who allegedly believed in “creation science” (which is not a question he puts to the many clerics who support warming theory).

He asked whether Fielding’s “religious approach” was interfering with his thinking.

He asked whether Field was “simply positioning” himself for more political clout.

He demanded to know why Fielding did not agree with Rupert Murdoch and give the planet “the benefit of the doubt”. (Mudoch, incidentally, is the one authority Faine cited.)

He insisted that “tens of thousands” of scientists backed man-made global warming theory, and that just a “handful” did not.

And the tone throughout was angry, hostile and even panicky. Faine then followed up with a much, much softer interview of a green alarmist from Environment Victoria prattling about “climate change”. First question:

Tell us about green jobs.

The alarmist was then invited to kick Fielding, which he did by sliming him, linking scepticism with denying that smoking kills. Again, the evidence was not addressed at all.

Yes, there were some hard questions of that alarmist, too. But they were of the “that’s not really green enough” kind.

Debate? We’re yet to be allowed a fair one.


Fran Kelly on ABC Radio National gives an equally soft interview to Chief Scientist Penny Sackett, not even asking her about Fielding’s main question - why the world hasn’t warned for at least seven years, even though CO2 emissions are rising. Nor is Sackett asked to respond to the criticism Dennis Jensen made in parliament of her critical misunderstanding of the response of temperature to carbon dioxide concentrations. She is not even picked up for her use of the loaded and misleading propaganda term: “carbon emissions.”


Jon Faine, in taking calls from listeners hoping to slime Fielding, let one caller accuse Professor Bob Carter, another sceptic, of having taking money to defend tobacco companies. So, suggested Faine, he’s just a “gun for hire”?

This libel - that Carter is so corrupt and unscientific that he would say something false for cash - is fiercely disputed by Carter, who adds that he has NEVER taken money from tobacco companies, and hasn’t accepted it from coal or petroleum ones, either. Faine’s caller claimed that this smear had been substantiated by Four Corners. I’ve checked the only two programs it’s made to specifically smear climate sceptics, and neither mentions Carter.

If the case for catastrophic man-made warming is so strong, why such vile smears of the sceptics? Surely a Faine need only point to, say, a chart measuring global temperature, as I’ve done. It’s the abuse and the refusal to argue in good faith that damns the believers most.
Indians now do their own policing
Andrew Bolt
It’s getting ugly, but it’s no more than we must expect when our police fail to protect:

A 20-YEAR-OLD man was stabbed once in the neck and twice in the arm in St Albans early yesterday after allegedly racially abusing a group of Indian students.

The victim allegedly said: “You are black. You don’t belong here. Go away from our country"… A car believed to belong to people attacking Indians was also torched in a factory near St Albans station…

The attack on the 20-year-old is the first time Indian students appear to have retaliated against violent attacks against them as they walk home late at night from St Albans station. One man, who did not want his name published, said they took the action “in self-defence” after police failed to respond to their call for protection in the wake of attacks on fellow Indian students.

And while I understand the reaction, I worry that it could actually attract a racist backlash.


The same response in Sydney, as Indians retaliate against that traditional Australian racism we’re told they’re suffering:

Police say a crowd of about 150 people of Indian background had gathered at Wigram and Marion Streets in Harris Park on Monday night, in protest at an assault on an Indian man aged in his 20s, which occurred yesterday evening by a group of men of Middle Eastern background… Shortly afterwards, a large crowd of Indian men congregated on Wigram Street, where it is alleged they assaulted three men of Middle Eastern appearance who received minor cuts and bruises.

How did David Marr theorise about these attacks on Indian students?

Attacks on Indian students, riots in Cronulla and pigs heads on stakes in Camden are ugly breakouts of anxieties that are old and widespread but for the most part shallow.
Wives are usually more frank
Andrew Bolt
A penny for her thoughts.


Barack and Michelle Obama are said to have declined a dinner invitation from Sarkozy and wife Carla, even though they are staying at the residence of the US Ambassador, yards from the Elysée apartments where the Sarkozys spend their weekends.
Only Grimshaw has hit Ramsay where it hurts
Andrew Bolt
Why did Gordon Ramsay say such disgraceful things about Tracey Grimshaw. Hmm, I can think of a few thousand reasons.

If the media is as appalled by Ramsay’s pig-woman attacks as it says, it must break the link between Ramsay’s rudeness and the publicity he harvests from it. If what Ramsay said was truly horrific (and I think it very low) then shun him, rather than exploit him.

Grimshaw’s response is therefore the right one - first to explain that Ramsay’s abuse was not just a joke but hurtful and degrading, and then, more importantly, to make this vow:

I will not interview the bloke again. Never.

Now that breaks the nexus between boorish look-at-me abuse and publicity rewards. Now, will Channel Nine do the same and cancel future shows with Ramsay or will it reward him for attacking its star?


Ramsay’s attack demeans him, sure. But why didn’t more people boo?
She’s back and she’s angry
Andrew Bolt
Sarah Palin on Barack Obama’s huge spending:

We told ya so.
God will not be mocked
Andrew Bolt
How worshipful is the US press corp towards Barack Obama? Well, they stand for him:

Bow to him:

And now call him God:

The broke Latina
Andrew Bolt
Sonia Sotomayor, the ”wise Latina” picked by Barack Obama for the Supreme Court, seems to have been not so wise with money:

Yet after a career that has spanned 25 years, Ms Sotomayor only has one thousand dollars in net savings. As reported in the New York Post, Sotomayor’s bank account holds $31,985. Her credit cards debts are $15,823, and she has $15,000 in unpaid dental bills. That leaves her with $1,162. Sotomayor’s total assets, revealed as $708,068, consist almost entirely of equity in her Manhattan apartment. The judge’s financial filing does not disclose what percentage of this figure is unrealized gain, but it must be sizable. In other words, other than home equity, Ms Sotomayor is essentially broke.

The New York Times tries to explain how Sotomayor ended up so short of cash. Her gambling, it says, is just occasional.
Buddhism’s “stolen generation”
Andrew Bolt

It’s actually a barbaric way to choose a new leader, and one the ABC would not forgive if done by the Pope rather than the Dalai Lama:

As a toddler, he was put on a throne and worshipped by monks who treated him like a god. But the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a spiritual leader has caused consternation – and some embarrassment – for Tibetan Buddhists by turning his back on the order that had such high hopes for him.

Instead of leading a monastic life, Osel Hita Torres… is now studying film in Madrid and has denounced the Buddhist order that elevated him to guru status.

”They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal,” said Torres, 24, describing how he was whisked from obscurity in Granada to a monastery in southern India.
Obama Alienating U.S. Allies?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 5, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight in "Your America," President Obama extended an olive branch to Iran and Hamas in his Egypt speech, but today there are reports that the president's relationships with some of America's closest allies are now on the rocks.

Now the Obamas are set to arrive in France in just a few hours, but they have turned down a dinner invitation from French President Sarkozy during that visit.

Now, that snub caused an uproar in the French press. And Mr. Obama's relationship with the German Chancellor Merkel, well, that's also reportedly experiencing some turbulence, thanks to both private and public criticism of Germany by administration officials.

Joining me now to sort through all of this is columnist — you see him often on National Review Online. Mark Steyn. Mark, good to see you.

MARK STEYN, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Good to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY: Maybe they — maybe they only appreciate President Obama when he calls America "arrogant"?

STEYN: Yes, I think they like the president when he's apologizing for past behavior, but when it comes to actually advancing common interests, the Europeans are growing disenchanted pretty quickly.

You remember, President Sarkozy made some very, I think, forthright remarks about Obama, actually saying that the guy was inexperienced, he'd never run anything, and his inexperience was beginning to show. And I think Obama clearly takes this personally and has no desire to reward the French president with the photo op.

HANNITY: Well, I tend to agree with you.

Did you notice, in the speech that he gave in Cairo — now for those that don't know it, Hamas, a terrorist organization, that has in their charter, you know, a pledge for the destruction of Israel –- that he says Hamas can play a role in the future of the Palestinian people — did you catch that?

STEYN: Yes, that is really interesting. That whole speech essentially subscribed largely Arab York of the Israeli state that, in effect — you notice that he began by talking about the Holocaust, and then talked about the Palestinian people.

And essentially, he gave credence to the idea, which is widely held by Hamas and by Ahmadinejad and all kinds of other people that effectively the Israel is sort of an European colonial imposition on the Muslim world in return to compensate for the Holocaust in Europe. That is not the case, and he gave an awful lot of hostages to rhetorical fortune in suggesting that.

HANNITY: I don't know if I'd agree with Anthony Weiner, but I thought he made a good point when he said the president went beyond what is appropriate to go in dealing with another democracy, and I'm thinking about this. He was more critical of — has been more critical of the United States, more critical of our Democratic friends than, when you really look at it, than he is of our enemies or totalitarian governments or governments that subjugate women.

STEYN: Yes, I mean, you mentioned the women's point. He essentially gave a few — a few remarks about the need for women's rights in the Arab world.

But at the same time, he praised the institutional stability that oppresses women's rights throughout the Muslim world. I thought his speech — it's interesting to me how the soaring rhetoric with Obama increasingly curdles almost as soon as it's left his mouth. It sounded great as he was uttering it. It was a beautiful speech, as I believe the Iranians said.

But to all intents and purposes, it was absolutely meaningless because it was the soft option. He doesn't have any serious plans to advance women's rights in the Muslim world.

HANNITY: Did you notice the emergence of the very things, all the things that were off the table during the election about his Muslim roots, even his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. His families, you know, the Muslims in his family, and also the absence of how we liberated Kuwaiti Muslims, we fed Somali Muslims, we protected Bosnian Muslims, and liberated Kosovo, and Afghani and Iraqi Muslims. All of that was missing.

STEYN: Yes, he apologized for America's relations with the Muslim world. Reality is, you say, Sean, is that during the 1990s, the United States military basically served as a Muslim rapid reaction force. When Muslims were in difficulty in the Balkans, when Muslims were in difficulty in Kuwait, when Muslims were in difficulty in Africa, in Somalia, it's the U.S. military who went in.

And this idea of the president essentially repudiating what was done, the humanitarian efforts made for Islam by the United States who had no particular strategic interest is quite amazing.

HANNITY: Did you find it odd, no mention of "terror," "terrorism," "terrorist," and then Iran can have nuclear power. We're stuck with solar panels and wind mills?

STEYN: That's right. Iran has the right to nuclear power, but the United States doesn't. That energy policy makes no sense. Even more interestingly, Sean, he gave an explicit line in which he said that no single nation as the right to say whether another country should or should not become a nuclear power. That was very important.

The United States has now joined the European Union members in accepting as a fait accomplit de-nuclearization of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

HANNITY: Very frightening foreign policy. And I think he's perceived as week. Mark, we'll talk more in the future. Thank you for being with us.

STEYN: Thanks a lot, Sean.
War on Terror Gets Real for President Obama
By Bill O'Reilly
The president talks a good game, and I do not say that in a negative way. His speech to the Muslim world was a big success, as the world press gave him high marks. So once again the president scores with words.

But actions are more difficult, especially when it comes to the War on Terror.

On Friday the president was in Germany trying to convince that reluctant nation to take a few Gitmo prisoners and to help out more in Afghanistan. Germany could be far more cooperative in those areas.

In fact, most nations could be more cooperative in fighting the War on Terror. On Friday Canada said no to taking any Gitmo prisoners, citing security concerns. Yeah, security concerns. That's why these guys are in Gitmo in the first place.

I guess the president thinks that closing down the prison at Guantanamo Bay makes him a hero, but to me the facility is needed.

Since it opened, 779 detainees have passed through Gitmo; 540 have been either released or transferred to other prisons. But only a very few nations have helped out in this regard.

So the president is left almost pleading, as he did Friday with German Chancellor Merkel:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have spoken to the European Union about the possibilities of working with us and helping us in managing the closure of Guantanamo. Chancellor Merkel has been very open to discussions with us. We have not asked her for hard commitments, and she has not given us any hard commitments beyond having a serious discussion about are there ways that we can solve this problem?


And I hope there are because the Department of Defense says 14 percent of released Gitmo prisoners may have returned to killing people. Fourteen percent.

So it is clear that words are easy but actions have consequences. Like President Bush, President Obama is realizing the USA is the main force in the world against terrorism. Many other nations are cowardly and sometimes we have to go it alone. This is painful for some liberal Americans to acknowledge. That consensus does not always lead to safety and security.

As we said Thursday night, President Obama is right to try to engage the world and persuade people to support America. But he's naive if he thinks the world will rise up against the bad guys. It will not.
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