Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 22nd July 2009

'Taliban will win if our troops quit'
DEFENCE Chief issues warning that withdrawing forces from Afghanistan would spark civil war. - sorry, but Rudd is PM and if he feels it will be electorally unpopular, or limit his chances for a UN seat, then it will end. - ed

Neighbourhood row ends with shots fired
A FIGHT between grandfathers over leaves thrown over a fence has ended with one being charged with attempted murder.

Boys get lessons in emotions, feelings
PRIVATE school boys are being taught emotional intelligence, but one MP says it's creating sooks. - maybe schools aren't good at non academic subjects. -ed

Cotton On's risque kids' T-shirt slogans under attack
BABY clothes boasting slogans such as "The condom broke", "Pardon my nipple breath" and "I'm living proof my mum is easy" have outraged family groups.

Baby's toes bitten off by rats
Three people have been accused of letting rats chew the toes off a six-week-old girl in a cluttered mobile home.

Doctors urge Rudd to rescue hospitals
Doctors fear long waiting lists and poor services will plague public hospitals for years, unless the Federal Government takes complete control.

Dark days: Eclipse casts long shadow
The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century cast a shadow over much of Asia on Wednesday, plunging hundreds of millions into darkness.

Man tried to sell girl for child porn
A judge has sentenced a Texas man to 30 years in federal prison for attempting to sell his......

Amorous moment leads to car crash
An Adelaide man has learned the price of love, crashing his car into a power pole because he was......

Judge unsure drunk sex was rape
JUDGE questions whether a man who had sex with a woman who consented, but then passed out, should be sentenced for rape.

Aborigines arrived from India - scientists
GENETIC tests have revealed clues about how the first Aborigines made their way from Africa to Australia.
=== Comments ===
STOP TOP
Tim Blair
A guidebook is being prepared to instruct Australians on how to avoid mentioning Islam when discussing terrorism. The aim, apparently, is to “change not just language but attitudes.” Presumably someone in Indonesia is working on a guidebook for Noordin Mohammed Top, whose attitude and language – and a few other things, like his body temperature and pulse – also require change, as Sally Neighbour reports:
[Top] harbours a visceral hatred of Australia, which he has pinpointed repeatedly in his diatribes and is bound to target again in future attacks unless he is captured or killed …

Top and his fellow fugitives referred to themselves as the muhajarin (migrants), a term used by the original followers of the prophet Mohammed who fled with him from Mecca into exile in Medina to evade their enemies and build their Islamic state …

Top harbours a ferocious hatred of Australia. A co-conspirator in the 2004 embassy bombing told of how Top gathered his cell together, unfolded a map of metropolitan Jakarta and told them their target would be the Australian mission …

Top’s hatred of Australia is so intense that he is willing to deliberately target children in his campaign. In 2003 he scouted the Australian International School as a potential site for a bombing. On that occasion he settled instead on the Marriott hotel, apparently because it was easier to get to and owned by Americans, who he hates more.
That’s another guidebook needed, then. Despite his enthusiasm for suicide attacks, Top is reluctant to, er, top himself:
Top always plays a hands-on role in his operations. He cased the Australian embassy to examine the building’s construction and measure the distance between the fence and the main building. He also chose the suicide bomber, Golun, and slept in the same room as him on the eve of the bombing to provide encouragement and religious advice through the night.
After a hands-on night with Toppy, who among us can say they wouldn’t kill themselves?
After dispatching Golun on his mission, Top sent another underling to buy a television set so he could watch the images of the carnage.
Sadly, Top Gear disappointed its Islamic viewer.
===
NOBODY REFUSES PAVLOVA
Tim Blair
In the tradition of peer-refused science, we now have Pavlova’s dog.
===
38 youths, 1118 charges … and then what?
Andrew Bolt
Why do some young yobs have contempt for our police and courts? A senior Victorian policeman in southern Melbourne checks the court stats for the year to January for clues:

SNAPSHOT

38 Individual Juvenile Offenders Arrested and Charged

CRIMINAL HISTORY OF 38 ARRESTED

135 Appearances before the Children’s court (doesn’t include cautions/ charges awaiting court)

1118 Offences (doesn’t include drunk/offensive behaviour/missile offences)

75 Appearances Without Conviction

51 Appearances Struck out (Attendance at ‘ROPES’ Course)

9 Appearances With Conviction (this represents 12.1% of appearances)
(4 custodial)

OFFENCES

57 Counts of Armed Robbery (includes attempts)

97 Counts of Robbery (includes Attempts)

142 Counts of Injury (includes serious both intentional/Reckless)

241 Counts of Assault (includes affray/police/weapon/common law)

162 Counts of theft

117 Counts Criminal damage (includes graffiti)

41 Counts of Theft of Motor Car

21 Counts Theft from M/Cars

26 Counts of Burglary

35 Counts of Handle and Proceeds of crime

11 Counts of Drug offences

7 Counts of alcohol related offences

71 Rail offences (includes assault on staff)

16 Weapon offences

The balance is made up of Arson, Deception and driving offences.

Doesn’t include breaches of Bonds/ adjournments

RECIDIVISM

4 Offenders have in excess of 100 offences at Court.

5 Offenders have in excess of 50 offences at Court

19 Offenders in double figures

APPEARANCES AT COURT

26 Offenders (out of 38) have more than 1 appearance – 3 have more than 10

The 12 who have 1 appearance have multiple charges

UPDATE

Paul Sheehan tells a remarkable tale of a meeting which involved men with records, a broken jaw, a shooting and lying to police - but not one day served in jail:

One message that could be taken from the case is this: why would any idealistic young person want to join the police force when the legal system constantly treats contempt for police with dismissive indifference?
===
Our new third-world medicine
Andrew Bolt
It’s tragic that some people still put their faith in this primitive nonsense:
A group of British scientists have appealed to the World Health Organisation to publicly condemn homeopathy as treatment for serious diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria. They called on the WHO to act amid fears that vulnerable patients are dying after turning to homeopathic preparations instead of effective medicines.

In the letter, early career medics and researchers from the Voice of Young Science network highlight homeopathy projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Botswana that all offer to treat patients with HIV, malaria, diarrhoea or the flu. Homeopathy practitioners have opened clinics throughout Asian and sub-Saharan Africa and offer to treat patients with HIV, malaria, influenza and childhood diarrhoea, none of which have been shown to respond to homeopathy.

Oh, dear. How sad that some countries are still so backward to put such faith in superstitions. And sadder still that others are even so stupid that they have actually spent government money on spreading thesse quack cures. But guess which one:
Gold Coast Institute of TAFE…

Our Humanities Faculty also manages the successful Academy of Natural Therapies, which provides training in Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Massage, and Homeopathy.

And:

Advanced Diploma of Homeopathy (available at ACNM & Southbank Institute of TAFE)

And:
Southern Cross University…

Bachelor of Naturopathy:…

HLT00255 Homoeopathy I (Introductory Homoeopathy)…
HLT00256 Homoeopathy II (Homoeopathic Theory and Practice)
HLT00263 Homoeopathy III (Clinical Homoeopathy)
And:

Homeopathy course from Nillumbik Shire Council Living And Learning Centre - Panton Hill

And:

Southern Cross University introduced a four year program leading to a Bachelor of Naturopathy in 1996 through their School of Natural and Complementary Medicine.

The University of Western Sydney offers a three year Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) in conjunction with Endeavour College (Sydney). This was formerly Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Therapies).

Latrobe University in Victoria offers a 5 year combined Bachelor of Nursing/Naturopathy…

A small number of Universities offer extension programs that take the Advanced Diploma level qualifications to Bachelor degree level, these include:

Charles Sturt University (Bachelor of Health Science - Complementary Medicine)
University of New England (Bachelor of Health Science - Conversion)

Victoria University (Bachelor of Health Science - Natural Medicine)

Southern Cross University (Bachelor of Natural Therapies)

Can’t be long before this isn’t a joke:

===
Did Palin kill Michael Jackson?
Andrew Bolt

What kind of race-baiter is the “Reverend” Al Sharpton? How deranged by hatred of Sarah Palin can he be?

You be the judge:

FEMALE CALLER (31:50): He (Michael Jackson) is truly the soundtrack of my life. I also have a theory about Sarah Palin as well and I’m going to put it out there on radio, hopefully someone can investigate.

But, I think maybe she did something to Michael Jackson. Maybe there’s a scandal there. Maybe she’s stepping down because something’s about to come out. I don’t know, but I’m gonna just put it out there on your show so we’ll see.

SHARPTON: All right, thank you for your call, Ashley. That’s interesting. I’ll put it out, we’ll see. I don’t know.

Sharpton will gladly “put it out” that maybe Sarah Palin “did something” to Michael Jackson. But when callers (black, actually, too) dare turn against Barack Obama…

The “shut up” aside, though, Sharpton has a point in calling out those activists who now want Obama to do what they didn’t want him to say before the election.
===
Global swining
Andrew Bolt
Leading epidemiologist Tom Jefferson, of the Cochrane Collaboration, on the latest UN-sponsored fear campaign. And, no, not global warming this time:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Jefferson, the world is living in fear of swine flu. And some predict that, by next winter, one-third of the world’s population might be infected. ... Do you consider the swine flu to be particularly worrisome?

Jefferson : It’s true that influenza viruses are unpredictable, so it does call for a certain degree of caution. But one of the extraordinary features of this influenza—and the whole influenza saga—is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn’t stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur.

SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization (WHO)?

Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They’ve built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there’s a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding.
===
Save the planet! Make politicians hold babies
Andrew Bolt
Presenter Bridget Kendall, on BBC World Service radio’s The Forum on Sunday, knows how the world can be saved at Copenhagen:

If men having more to do with babies makes them more peaceful—less aggressive, perhaps, in a meeting like the Copenhagen summit on climate change or the G8—we should have babies lined up for the all the leaders to cuddle a bit so that when they go into their meetings they’re more inclined to make agreements.

Anthropologist Sarah Hardy:

When they did start to look what was the endocrinological effect on men of being in intimate contact withbabies, their testosterone goes down and their prolactin and their nurturing impulses go up. And sure, this is going to help with climate change.
===
Rio challenges Rudd’s “green power” myth
Andrew Bolt
Rio Tinto wants an end to the lies about the new green power on which we’re supposed to soon rely:

MINING giant Rio Tinto has urged Kevin Rudd to immediately begin work on a regulatory regime allowing use of nuclear energy in Australia, arguing the viability of energy alternatives has been dramatically overstated.

The company has advised the government to consider “every option” for power generation because its pledges on reducing carbon emissions and using renewable energy will expose industry and consumers to huge increases in their power bills.

And it says that overly optimistic assumptions on the viability of alternatives such as wind and geothermal power, as well as so-called clean coal technologies, have created a “false optimism” which the government must challenge by commissioning new research. ..

(M)anaging director Stephen Creese… writes that Rio Tinto is concerned about the combined effect of the government’s proposed emissions trading scheme and its 20 per cent renewable energy target…

“Overly conservative assumptions on the cost of alternative low-emissions base-load generation technologies have created a false optimism about Australia’s ability to maintain competitive power prices,” the submission says. “This will significantly disadvantage Australia, given our heavy reliance on coal-fired generation for base load.”

Think Labor will admit that Kevin Rudd campaigned on a lie - that he could both ban nuclear power and slash our emissions?

UPDATE

Ziggy Switkowski’s report recommending a nuclear power industry nailed this very problem before the election, of course:

Renewables will also increase their market share slightly; however, growing off a low base means that even by 2030 they will probably still contribute less than 10 per cent of electricity supply. Wind and biofuel generation are forecast to triple their market share, although the hydro share is expected to decrease…

Nuclear power supplies baseload electricity — something that key renewables like wind and solar energy cannot do economically until practical and affordable energy storage systems are available.

So much for Rudd’s promise of 20 per cent of renewable power by 2020. And why will it be so hard to get more of that wildly expensive renewable power, despite the government’s billions?

It’s because more than 80 per cent of our renewable power today is actually not wind or solar, but hydro-electricity from dams, and which green politicians will build more of them?
===
SBS sees only half the world
Andrew Bolt
The BBC:

Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, said that the corporation should encourage “peculiarity, idiosyncrasy, stubborn-mindedness, left-of-centre thinking.”

The ABC:

Here’s David Marr, who used the ABC’s Media Watch to launch a jihad on conservatives:

The natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft-Left inquiry sceptical of authority. I mean, that’s just the world out of which journalists come. If they don’t come out of that world, they really can’t be reporters. You know, just find another job. And that is kind of a soft-leftie kind of culture.
And it’s the same story at SBS, according to Gerard Henderson:

If you want to work out who won what was billed as “the culture wars” during the time of the Howard government, tune into SBS One at 8.30 pm tonight. This is the first episode of the three-part series titled Liberal Rule: The Politics that Changed Australia..

Of the academics and journalists who were interviewed for the program, a couple of journalists took an empirical stance. However, the overwhelming majority of commentators heard on Liberal Rule bagged Howard, Costello and the like - all from the leftist or left-of-centre perspective. The directors could not find even one conservative or right-of-centre commentator suitable for interview who was not presented as associated with Howard or the Liberal Party in some way. It was as if the only so-called “balanced” commentators are all on the left…

In fact, the “balanced picture” of the Howard government was provided by such Howard-haters as Norman Abjorensen, Judith Brett (the one-time editor of the leftist Arena Magazine), Mark Davis (author of The Land of Plenty), Andrew Jakubowicz and James Walter among others.

None of these commentators has worked as a political staffer or in the public service and most would have trouble being noticed without the assistance of such programs as Liberal Rule. For example, Abjorensen’s book John Howard and the Conservative Tradition, which was published last year, has sold fewer than 100 copies.

But for some reason their views resonate with SBS more than they do with the public or their peers. Why might that be, do you think?

Another question, this for SBS: If Howard was so bad, why did voters elect him four times?
===
If the media’s vote was all…
Andrew Bolt
This shouldn’t be, given the coverage:

Barack Obama, who completed six months in office Monday, has a 55% approval rating in the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, putting him 10th among the dozen presidents who have served since World War II at this point in their tenures.

This won’t help:

With the public’s trust in his handling of health care tanking (50%-44% of Americans disapprove), the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to pass Obamacare: all Obama, all the time. As part of that effort, Obama hosted a conference call with leftist bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible.

During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”
===
How to waste a soldier’s life
Andrew Bolt
ONCE Afghanistan was the “good” war that protesters against the “bad” Iraq war could back to show they weren’t all mush.

Back then Afghanistan was the war the Left demanded we first win before joining George Bush’s insane jihad against innocent Iraqis.

As then Labor leader, Kim Beazley put it: Afghanistan was “terrorist central” and Iraq a mere “distraction”.

But the Iraq war that Beazley’s successor, Kevin Rudd, only two years ago described as the “greatest . . . national security policy disaster that our country has seen since Vietnam” is now won, to the surprise or even anger of many Bush haters.

A genocidal dictator is gone, and Iraq is free and democratic, with coalition troops pulling out or back to their bases. It’s also a lot less menacing.

And that now leaves just Afghanistan for our soldiers to help save from Islamist fascists and terrorists. But guess what? Suddenly that “good” war has turned “bad”, too.

Last Saturday Australia lost its 11th soldier there - 22-year-old Private Benjamin Ranaudo, killed by a bomb during a search for the enemy. Listen! Hear the wails of defeat now start again? From the kind of people who swore Iraq would be lost, too?

Here are examples drawn from letters to just one newspaper yesterday - The Age, to be redundantly specific:
===
Hunting for Eddie’s racists
Andrew Bolt
WHY are so many clever people so eager to blame racism for the violence on our streets?

Stop with the racism word, guys. You’ve so abused it, you’ve gone blind.

Example? In the latest Sunday Herald Sun, TV star Eddie McGuire wrote of having just hosted the finale to Melbourne’s “Harmony Day” walk.

The Premier, Opposition Leader, Lord Mayor and police chief had been there, too, making “impassioned and heartfelt speeches about how racial intolerance would not be stood for”.

Lovely! Yet it’s a mystery where this racism is and who’s standing for it.

But wait. Speakers mentioned recent attacks on Indian students, and McGuire seemed to spot more racism in two recent assaults in Melbourne.

“Nineteen-year-old Luke Adams gets his head punched in, is choked and left to fall on his unconscious face in a Hungry Jack’s restaurant . . .” And the latest of “a long-running series of violent attacks . . . led to the death of Canadian tourist Cain Aguiar”.

True, McGuire did not specifically say these were racist attacks, but he added: “Racial vilification is a thing of the past, to indulge is to become a pariah. So, ladies and gentlemen of Melbourne, are we fair dinkum about wanting to change the violence on our streets?”

Well, yes, we are, I hope. But what has racism got to do with this violence?

Indeed, think too hard about race and these attacks and you might conclude we have a racial problem very different to the one I think McGuire meant.
===
Learn from Garrett: unreason is not noble
Andrew Bolt
Janet Albrechtsen says global warming preachers should learn from Peter Garrett, rather than abuse the old anti-nukes rocker for now approving a new uranium mine:

The Garrett saga highlights the particularly unfortunate outgrowth of modern culture: the idealisation of idealism. A passionate wish to improve the world is nowadays so often seen as honourable in itself, even if the change sought is patently unachievable or clearly undesirable. What passes for moral integrity and clarity is frequently little more than a juvenile inability to deal with complexity or understand contrary views. Regrettably, the hairy-chested idealists with infantile minds are all too often embraced by those in the media with equally unquestioning minds.
===
The BBC’s new charter: foster the left
Andrew Bolt
The words:

Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, said that the corporation should encourage “peculiarity, idiosyncrasy, stubborn-mindedness, left-of-centre thinking.”

The hurried “clarification”:

He later denied that he had meant the comment to have a political meaning. “Like ‘left-field’, it is a phrase that I use with frequency when talking to the creative community to encourage them to develop and approach their ideas from a completely new perspective,” he said.

I don’t buy it.

We’ve had the same lofty assumption here, too, that a bias to the Left is no bias at all. Here’s David Marr, who used the ABC’s Media Watch to launch a jihad on conservatives:

The natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft-Left inquiry sceptical of authority. I mean, that’s just the world out of which journalists come. If they don’t come out of that world, they really can’t be reporters. You know, just find another job. And that is kind of a soft-leftie kind of culture.
===
China determines what you watch - or won’t
Andrew Bolt
China proves it neither respects our free speech or that of its own artists:

Statement from Melbourne International Film Festival

It is with a great deal of regret that MIFF now has to announce further changes in our programming schedule in this year’s festival.

Following correspondence with the producer of Hong Kong based X stream Pictures, Mr Chow Keung we have been informed that Jia Zhangke, the director of the short film Cry Me A River, and Emily Tang, the director of Perfect Life have decided to withdraw their films from this year’s festival. Ms Tang has also cancelled her trip to Melbourne as a guest of the festival.

Their stated reason for this withdrawal is their objection to the inclusion of the documentary 10 Conditions of Love, in this year’s program. This documentary about the leader in exile of the Uyghur minority in Western China, Rebiya Kadeer, was the subject of a phone call from a Chinese consular official last week to MIFF Executive Director, Mr Richard Moore. MIFF stands firm by its decision to include the documentary in the program.

MIFF has also received news that Zhao Liang the director of Petition - a harrowing documentary about the fate of Chinese people who petition local authorities for change has also requested that his film be withdrawn from the festival.

I’ve mentioned before my respect for the stand that MIFF Richard Moore has taken against Chinese and far-Left anti-Israeli bigots demanding he censor films or reject Israeli sponsorship. You may feel the need to congratulate him or, even better, attend his festival:
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