Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 1st July 2009

Turnbull's Ozcar statement satisfies police
THE Australian Federal Police have declared a statement from Malcolm Turnbull over the weekend was all they needed concerning their investigation into the fake email at the heart of the Ozcar affair. - Rudd was wrong to use the AFP to attempt to smear Turnbull. Will Rudd submit himself to a similar examination? Will Rudd stand up like a man and resign for his appalling behavior? - ed.

Turnbull visits troops in Afghanistan
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has escaped to the relative sanctuary of Afghanistan after one of the toughest weeks of his political career. - Still Rudd escapes serious examination of possibly corrupt conduct. - ed.

Silvestri's 'slap on the wrist' slammed
Leo Silvestri, one of the men charged over the cruise ship death of Dianne Brimble has been handed a 15 month suspended jail sentence.

Anthony Zervas's brother charged
The brother of the man killed in the Sydney Airport brawl has been charged over the deadly fight.

Jackson's parents get his kids, for now
Michael Jackson's mother has become the temporary guardian of his three children.

Police apprehend escapee 'Buffalo Bill'
Police have rounded up a furious escapee in Sydney’s west this afternoon, known only as ‘Buffalo Bill’.

Officer at centre of Mallard case quits
A former assistant West Australian police commissioner at the centre of a wrongful imprisonment case has resigned from the force.

Jackson's children 'aren't his or Debbie's'
WEBSITE reports neither Michael Jackson or ex-wife Debbie Rowe are the parents of his children.

Israel boards activist ship
THE Israeli navy overnight boarded and seized a ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists that was heading to the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israel's blockade, a military spokesman said.

First Europeans were cannibals, say Spanish archaeologists
The remains of the "first Europeans" discovered at an archaeological site in northern Spain have revealed that these prehistoric humans were cannibals who particularly liked the flesh of children.

=== Journalists Corner ===
Too Much, Too Soon?
The president's trying to tackle healthcare, the economy, global warming, automakers, and more -- but is he in over his head?===
A City in Trouble
One city's staggering unemployment -- is the government doing enough? The mayor of Elkhart, IN reacts!
===
D.C.'s Epic Energy Battle!
The Cap & Trade bill passes in the House! Now, Michael Steele on the GOP's plan to shut down the biggest tax hike ever!
=== Comments ===
SCAR LUST
Tim Blair
AAP’s Gabrielle Dunlevy on lottery winner priorities:
Most winners have a list of things they want to do immediately – pay off the mortgage, pay off their children’s mortgages, have a holiday and buy that long lusted-for sport scar, boat or dream home.
Heh. Already got one. I’m so rich.

UPDATE. Fixed in the SMH, but the scar remains elsewhere.

UPDATE II. An Adelaide man is $53 million richer following last night’s draw. How will he spend his riches?
“I might take a holiday to Melbourne or Sydney …”
===
BYRD AGAINST BILL
Tim Blair
Barack Obama’s global warming bill requires 60 votes to pass the Senate, a task that should be made easier by Al Franken’s victory in Minnesota. But at least two Democrats – including old lefty favourite Robert Byrd – are leery of the job-stripping Obamanian carbon madness:
One of West Virginia’s U.S. senators is opposed to the landmark global warming bill that passed the House Friday, while the other has “serious concerns” about the measure.

Aides to Sen. Robert C. Byrd issued a statement Monday that said Byrd “cannot support” the American Clean Energy and Security Act “in its present form.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s office also issued a statement that said Rockefeller “continues to have serious concerns about the House bill.”
That’s 58 votes for, assuming support/rejection along party lines from other Senators.

UPDATE. Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln may also be among the sane.

UPDATE II. Rich Lowry:
The cap-and-trade bill passed the House of Representatives shrouded in a fog of willful ignorance and calculated irrationality.

No one could be sure what he was voting for — not after the 1,200-page bill had a 300-page amendment added at 3:09 a.m. the day of its passage. The bill is so complex and jerry-built that even its supporters can’t know how, or if, it will work. And it’s metaphysically impossible for someone to know whether the motivating crisis, impending planetary doom, will ever materialize.

Other than that, it’s a model exercise in thoughtful lawmaking.
UPDATE III. Poll news:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 19% believe the climate change bill passed by the House on Friday will help the economy. Fifteen percent (15%) say it will have no impact, and 24% are not sure …

The divide on the question between populist or Mainstream America and the Political Class is a wide one. Fifty percent (50%) of Mainstream Americans say the climate control measure will hurt the economy, but two-thirds of the Political Class (67%) say it will help.
No surprise there; the Political Class likes pushing people around. Happily, people are pushing back:
There’s more intensity on the “no” side: Only 12% strongly favor the measure, but more than twice as many (25%) strongly oppose it.
===
HE’S RIGHT
Tim Blair
News Ltd CEO John Hartigan, currently on ABC TV delivering a Press Club speech, on why US newspapers are closing:
Many of them are boring … their management and editors have a lot to answer for.
===
MONGERS MOCKED
Tim Blair
New Scientist continues its recent doomer mockery:
Doom-mongers have got it wrong – there is enough space in the world to produce the extra food needed to feed a growing population. And contrary to expectation, most of it can be grown in Africa, say two international reports published this week.
===
Banning burkas
Andrew Bolt

ABC newsreader Virginia Haussegger on banning the burka:

The sight of this hideously shrouded figure in an Australian shopping mall is confronting and offensive. And it makes me angry, very angry......I abhor the burka, and the niqab......This shroud of cloth thrown over women defies freedom. It is a symbol of control.....Australia must not allow that radical and overt tool of fundamentalism, the burka, to be worn here. It defies our cherished values of equality and freedom......There is no place here for the burka. Australians must rally to have the burka banned.

Is it still racist to say such things? Or is it now an ABC-approved feminist cause? I get so confused.

If I dared to opine, I’d say I agreed the burka was offensive, oppressive and divisive. I’d be very glad if it were removed from Australia, but I’d rather wage that battle with opinions than bans. There’s one exception, though - I’d ban, as Turkey has, the wearing of burkas in government buildings, or at least schools. I’d also question whether our immigration rules are apppropriate if we bring in this country people whose values are so hostile to those which have made this country so free and easy.
===
We will survive
Andrew Bolt
News Ltd boss John Hartigan is bullish about Australian newspapers, noting that the crashes in circulation seen in the US and Britain have not been seen here. He’s also confident that our own internet sites and blogs (one of which he alas fails to mention) can beat off the challenge of other blogs and news aggregators:

Like Keating’s famous “all tip and no iceberg”, it could be said that the blogosphere is all eyeballs and no insight.

Relevance and credibility will be the keys to our survival.
===
Hype update
Andrew Bolt
Again, I ask: if the evidence for catastrophic man-made global warming is so clear, why the exaggerations, lies and absurd abuse?

That abuse grows even wilder as the alarmists’ case crumbles. Take Nobel laureate Paul Krugman:

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

We now owe allegiance to the planet? And can commit treason against Mother Earth? Wow.

So what’s Krugman’s evidence for catastrophic temperature rises?

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate.

But as Thomas Fuller points out:

If these are the reasons he cries treason, he should perhaps reconsider. One ice cap shrunk, as it has before, but is recovering, as it has before. The other ice cap is growing at the rate of 10,000 square kilometers per year. As for deserts, both in China and Africa deserts are actually shrinking.

Then there’s the alarming reports from a conference in Copenhagen of alarmist scientists (who want us to use less of the gases they just blew out the back of their jets to get to yet another warming jamboree):

The world faces a growing risk of “abrupt and irreversible climatic shifts” as fallout from global warming hits faster than expected, according to research by international scientists released Thursday. Global surface and ocean temperatures, sea levels, extreme climate events, and the retreat of Arctic sea ice have all significantly picked up more pace than experts predicted only a couple of years ago, they said.

In fact, says distinguished climatologist Professor Roger Pielke Sr, none of that seems true.
===
More rights for them, not you
Andrew Bolt
The Australian Human Rights Commission demands the Rudd Government do more for human rights. In particular:

Recommendation 36: The Australian Government should resource a significantly enhanced nation-wide human rights education program.

Recommendation 37: The Australian Government should enhance the powers, functions and funding of the Australian Human Rights Commission, particularly if a Human Rights Act is adopted. Any new functions should be accompanied by appropriate funding.

Recommendation 38: The Commission’s existing functions and powers should be enhanced as follows: ...

Do the words “gravy train” resonate?
===
Power blown away
Andrew Bolt
Wind power costs way more than coal-fired power, and for what? We get ruined views, and power that comes and goes - and goes just when things get very hot, or very cold and blowy. Just ask Rodney O’Hearne of South Australia’s Snowtown Wind Farm, as Matt Abraham did yesterday on Adelaide ABC:

ABRAHAM: … we had a question about the wind farms … they do switch off when the winds get too high, and I imagine today was such a day?

O’HEARNE: Yeah it was … they turn off around 85 kilometres an hour. We had several turbines actually shut down with over wind speed earlier on this morning, then we had a major storm come through about 10.20, which tripped the electronet transmission network and tripped the whole wind farm out, which is still out at the moment.
===
Lemmings demand higher cliff
Andrew Bolt
Michael Stutchbury has a question:

Could there be anything more bone-headed than the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union vowing to set the pace for a national wage round of more than 4 per cent just as business is trying to avoid a wave of job layoffs that would push the unemployment rate above 8 per cent?

===
Embracing what kills
Andrew Bolt
What is it with the Left and violence?

THE Green Left Weekly is probably Australia’s best-known radical-left newspaper. While nominally independent, it is affiliated with the Socialist Alliance party and its youth movement Resistance! Like most radical socialist groups, it invariably aligns with the anti-Israel movement.

For some time it has been apparent that an unholy alliance is growing between extreme left-wing groups and Arab and Islamic extremists, despite completely different visions for society… But what isn’t widely known is that the Green Left Weekly is openly promoting extremism among Arabic speakers in Australia through a monthly Arabic-language insert called the Flame. This support is not limited to Green Left Weekly’s own far-left agenda. It supports terrorist groups and promotes violence as the solution to the existence of the “Zionist state.”

You would think GLW’s declared pursuit of the advancement of “anti-racist, feminist, student, trade union, environment, gay and lesbian, civil liberties” would rule out the promotion of radical Islamist groups such as Hamas, which are deeply hostile to all the above.
===
Questioning Rudd
Andrew Bolt
Madonna King is just the latest player of an increasingly popular new game: try to get a direct answer out of Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan.

Previous players, with equally entertaining results, include Emma Griffiths, Chris Uhlmann, Tony Jones (twice), and Kerry O’Brien.
===
Mission accomplished
Andrew Bolt
Ralph Peters:

OUR effort in Iraq passed a major milestone today: Our troops are leaving the cities.

Advisers remain in place. Joint patrols will still occur. And our forces will wait nearby to respond to Iraqi calls for support. But the last of the bases and US-only outposts within Iraq’s urban centers will be vacated.

Terrorists have already begun testing the new security arrangements. Iraqi forces won’t always pass with flying colors. Yet this situation seemed a pipe dream not so long ago: Iraq’s security forces, serving an elected government, assume primary responsibility for the good order of their own country.

We all recall the delighted leftist claims that Iraq had entered a hopeless civil war. Wrong. That Iraqis preferred al Qaeda to us. Wrong. That Shia militias represented the people. Wrong. And that Iran would seize control. Wrong again.
===
Bush unplugged
Andrew Bolt
Professor Paul Kengor hears a noble man speak, some six months after he’s left office:

Speaking of ingratitude, the unpopular ex-president didn’t whine about how he was poorly treated… He said it was far harder watching his father get attacked as president… Besides, said Bush, he can look in the mirror knowing he didn’t “sell his soul” for political gain. He always did what he felt was “morally right.” The George W. Bush presidency was truly the sacrificial presidency…

Bush shared a fascinating insight into his conviction that the Middle East can be democratically transformed. He reaffirmed his faith-based belief that Middle East Muslims have an inherent yearning for freedom placed on their hearts by a “loving God.” To think otherwise was “condescending.” God created them, too.

He made explicit reference, speaking passionately, and to hushed silence, about Muslim women in particular, and how they long to be educated and raise their babies in freedom. That emphatic statement from Bush haunts me right now as I now watch footage of Iranian women literally taking bullets for freedom…

What was new was the personal way he brought Japan into the equation. After World War II, many judged that Japan couldn’t become a democracy.... And yet, explained Bush, not only did Japan change dramatically, unthinkably, but one of his best friends as president was Japan’s prime minister, who was the first to telephone after 9/11. Imagine, exhorted Bush: There he was, President George Bush, son of President George Bush. The father had been shot down by imperial, anti-democratic Japan. Now, after 9/11, peaceful, democratic Japan was calling the son to express condolences and offer help.

That moving message deserves pause: If Japan could change that much, what might transpire in the Middle East?
===
Going negative on Obama
Andrew Bolt
Barack Obama is now even more popular outside the USA than inside it. Or, to put it less kindly:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 31% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-three percent (33%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That matches the lowest level yet recorded
===
Too many sevens
Andrew Bolt
Another sign that Iran’s theocrats stole the election: like most humans, they are hopeless at making up numbers.
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