Monday, November 09, 2009

Headlines Monday 9th November 2009

Rudd doing a 'bad job' on boats

MAJORITY of voters think PM isn't handling boatpeople issue while almost half think he's "too soft".

Ft. Hood Suspect Frequented Strip Club
EXCLUSIVE: Exotic dancer says Hasan brought in beer, paid for lap dances and stayed for several hours at club


New York bicycle cabbie and Muslim extremist who has called for the murder of Jews pens well-wishes to suspected Fort Hood gunman, saying, 'We love you.'

Will Health Vote Doom Dems?
Democrats will suffer at the polls for their vote in favor of sweeping health care reform package, a top House Republican warns

House Bill Is 'DOA' in Senate
Gov't health plan included in House bill won't fly with some moderate Senate Dems who hold the balance of power

Taliban Foe Killed in Pakistan Blast
Homicide bomber strikes crowded market in Pakistan, killing anti-Taliban mayor and 11 others, police say

Aussie food prices rising at a rapid rate
AUSTRALIANS pay the fastest-rising food prices of any major developed nation in the world.

Labor pains, neighbours won't vote Della
LABOR would be unlikely to hold more than half a dozen seats at the next election if John Della Bosca became premier, according to a secretly leaked poll.

Centrelink's silly mistakes cost us $33m
CENTRELINK mistakes surge, making it our most complained about government agency.

Fall of Wall celebrations kick off in Berlin
CROWDS gather to relive the scenes that heralded the demise of European communism.

'No excuse for pro-rape web page'
UNIVERSITY "appalled" but head of college at the centre of a sex scandal says "we're not parents".
=== Comments ===
CHILL-DREN
Tim Blair
Climate change berserker Clive Hamilton:
The scattered acts of disobedience we have seen to date in Australia and other countries are a mere taste of what is to come. The only hope for the world lies in a campaign of radical activism aimed at shifting power away from those who do not care about the future.

Never has a campaign been more necessary. It is a campaign for all of those who understand that the lives of our children and grandchildren are at stake.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:
This brigade of do-nothing climate change skeptics are dangerous because if they succeed, then it is all of us who will suffer. Our children. And our grandchildren.
Australia’s favourite climate dieter Paul Connor is also in a panic about the children and the grandchildren:

Brilliant crowd the PM is running with. Odd that you so rarely hear these types worry about future generations growing up in a world subject to Islamic terrorism. Malcolm Farr has more on Connor, who has now completed day three of his Jenny Craig-4-Gaia program:
Connor isn’t going to give up all food; he’s just not going to have as much as he usually would. But to him, it’s like exposing his body to the bullets and bayonets of the enemy.

“I’m very conscious that both my grandfathers put their lives on the line to safeguard my future in the Second World War so I think it would be selfish of me to refuse to do the same for my grandchildren,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

Hold it. Next man burns fossil fuel, the activist lowers his caloric intake.
It’s a huge sacrifice. But, as Connor’s low-cal associate Sara Svensson says:
I’m showing how much I care.
===
BENNY BANNED
Tim Blair
A stamp celebrating Benny Hill is rejected by funless Brits:
Newly released minutes from a Royal Mail committee meeting show that political correctness won the day when it came to selecting images to represent ITV comedy. “Benny Hill has been included in previous presentations but concerns were raised by our public relations team as it was in direct opposition to company’s policies on harassment in the workplace,” the minutes stated.
Also rejected: Kenny Everett (gay) and Miss Piggy (unclean).
===
HE SEES ALL
Tim Blair
Tim Flannery – one of “Australia’s most admired citizens” according to Jill Singer – offers a Hopenchangen prediction:
“It will be interesting to see if Barack Obama attends but I don’t think that he will.”
Put me down for $20 on Obama to attend. And why wouldn’t he? It’s nowhere near Fort Hood, for a start. Another Flantastic prediction:
On the topic of electric cars he said their future is Australia is looking bright.

“Nissan are bringing four electric car models to our country next year,” he said.
Really? The Parramatta Advertiser has a global scoop here, but seems to have underplayed it. And with good reason. Nissan’s first electric car isn’t due in the US until late 2010, before hitting global markets in 2012. As for four electric Nissans in Australia by next year … there’s a much chance of that happening as there is of Adelaide
===
MYSTERY SOLVED
Tim Blair
A new word is invented! Or is it?
===
OLD YELLER
Tim Blair
Mohammad Munif Abdallah Hasan, cousin of the Fort Hood killer, continues his search for a motive:
“If he had killed one or two, I could say that he was defending himself.”
So if Major Hasan stopped after just a couple of infidel slayings – “defending himself” against unarmed teenage girls, among others – we wouldn’t be having this current motive dispute. As for him yelling “Allahu akbar” during the bloodshed, Guardian careboy Michael Tomasky explains:
The fact that Hassan reportedly shouted the above is meant, I suppose, to imply that he was an extremist fanatic.

I’m not sure that it does. My understanding is that it’s something Arab people often shout before doing something or other. It’s used in many different situations.
It’s the Victoria Bitter of Islamic slogans; you can shout it when you’re painting a sign, digging a mine, leading a band or with a gun in your hand. A fellow Muslim who’d become aware of Hasan’s brooding hatred offers this background:
[Osman] Danquah assumed the military’s chain of command knew about Hasan’s doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates in a graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan’s “anti-American propaganda,” but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.
Well done, political correctness. Thirteen dead due to sensitivity.

UPDATE. Prayers for Hasan ("May Allah see fit to return this loyal son of Islam back to perfect health") from a Washington-based sister who asks: “Please keep this discussion board civil.”

UPDATE II. “In retrospect,” observes AP, “the signs of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s growing anger over the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem unmistakable.” Note the spin; it’s about wars.
===
Obama spared what Bush didn’t deserve
Andrew Bolt

Naturally, the president has visited the wounded at Fort Hood. Er, the former president, that is…

Hmm. The holidays. The sinister mates. The ”Pet Goat” moment. And this Hurricane Katrina one, too. What could a Michael Moore make of that?
===
CRACKERS KEENAN
Tim Blair
Environmentalist Anna Keenan – shown here addressing the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference and here competing in the 2006 Australian Jitterbug Championship – explains why she’s got “climate justice” tattooed on her neck:

My mother worries that this tattoo is somewhat strange and psychologically unhealthy, but I feel that it is totally sane to wear my principles not only ‘on my sleeve’ but on my actual body. It is a non-violent action, a sign of my commitment to the Climate Justice movement.

After all, the cultural history of tattoos goes along with them being a sign of membership of some ‘club’, or a sign of rebellion. Therefore, I think that it is perfectly appropriate to use a tattoo to signify my membership of this rebellious, reforming, and beautiful movement!
She’ll grow out of it. Her neck won’t.
===
SILENT TREATMENT
Tim Blair
You can always tell when something bad has happened involving a follower of the Islamic faith. The big hint is that Islam isn’t mentioned.

UPDATE. When Barack Obama says “we cannot fully know” why Hasan murdered 13 people, he means “we cannot say”.

UPDATE II. From the UK Telegraph‘s timeline:
1.30pm: According to eye-witnesses, Hasan – who had at first sat down as if to help soldiers with their paperwork – stands on a desk and shouts “Allahu Akhbar” ("God is great") before opening fire with the fn 5.7 inside the centre, spraying soldiers and civilian workers with bullets.
UPDATE III. A BBC interviewer is set straight: “I honesty have no pity for them.”

UPDATE IV. Jeffrey Goldberg echoes a point made in the column:
I do think that elite makers of opinion in this country try very hard to ignore the larger meaning of violent acts when they happen to be perpetrated by Muslims. Here’s a simple test: If Nidal Malik Hasan had been a devout Christian with pronounced anti-abortion views, and had he attacked, say, a Planned Parenthood office, would his religion have been considered relevant as we tried to understand the motivation and meaning of the attack? Of course.
UPDATE V. Bangladeshi-American civil engineer Golam Akhter:
“So many time I talked with him,” said Akhter, a community leader who is sort of like a mosque gadfly, challenging congregants to reject literal, rigid interpretations of Islam. “I was trying to modernize him. I tried my best. He used to hate America as a whole. He was more anti-American than American.”

Despite all the conversations, Akther said, “I couldn’t get through to him. He was a typical fundamentalist Muslim.”
UPDATE VI. I’ve credited Sgt Kimberly Munley with four hits on Hasan. Wrong; it was fewer. Nevertheless: “She knows what she’s doing with a pistol in her hand.”

UPDATE VII. Yaacov Ben Moshe on the media’s “affected contortions of logic, pompous intentional ignorance of recent history and bland stupidity.” Plus, an apposite Peter Cook sketch.

UPDATE VIII. Why, in this case, being a Muslim matters; further from Gregory Boyce. (Via Ganesh Sahathevan)

UPDATE IX. Fort Hood wasn’t an isolated case:
The Fort Hood attack is the third instance this year in which American military personnel in the United States have been targeted by people reportedly opposed to U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan …

Overall, U.S. authorities have disclosed at least 10 domestic terrorist cases in the last year – the most since 2001 …
Hope and change.
UPDATE X. Neil Steinberg is appalled:
The killings at Fort Hood might say something about the strain that overtaxed U.S. soldiers are under. It might say something about security on Army bases. But if you think that it says something about religion, what you’re really doing is saying something about yourself, and it isn’t something good.
===
ROLE MODELS
Tim Blair
To hell with the Taliban:
Fashionistas defied militant threats to celebrate couture culture in a Taliban-troubled conservative nation plagued with Islamic extremism as the Pakistani fashion fraternity gathered in the country’s largest city for Karachi Fashion Week ...

Intricate and colourful fabrics lit up the catwalk as bold models shrugged off all security fears as well as local social norms.
The event had been delayed by almost a month due to safety concerns.
===
CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN FORGOTTEN
Tim Blair
A quick quiz from Gavin Atkins:
What is the single most important decision the Rudd Government has made to influence the amount of carbon dioxide going into the air?

Was it signing the Kyoto Protocol? Delaying the implementation of the emissions trading scheme? Funding of renewable energy projects and clean coal technology? Or developing the carbon pollution reduction scheme?

The answer is none of the above.

The most significant decision the Government has made was to …
Read on for your answer.
===
Flannery’s little earner
Andrew Bolt
2007 - We learn of a vested interest:
High profile Geodynamics shareholder and Monash University geology graduate, Tim Flannery, was named Australian of the Year on Thursday 25th January, obviously in recognition of his support of geothermal energy.
2007 - We learn from Tim Flannery that geothermal power is the great green answer - but we don’t always hear Flannery declare, as he should have here, that he’s an investor with a vested interest:
The social licence of coal to operate is rapidly being withdrawn globally… We’ve seen it with asbestos. We’ll see it with coal… There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run Australia’s economy for the best part of a century. They are not being fully exploited yet but the technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively straightforward.
2009 - We learn what Flannery means by “relatively straightforward” technology at this Geodynamics Innaminka plant, but it takes ASX releases (no link) to tell us:
On April 24, shortly after applying for the Fed Govt grant, the high-strength steel inside the Habanero 3 well broke allowing briny “reservoir fluid” and steam to gush to the surface. ASX releases reveal the 4221m-deep well was only 2 months old. It was to supply the pilot plant, now delayed.

Dissolved carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide in the “reservoir fluid” caused the steel to become brittle. Two other wells were also damaged. Fluid and steam continued to flow from the wells for at least 3 weeks before they were plugged with cement.

All three wells are now on hold indefinitely and the pilot plant is delayed by up to 9 months, according to ASX releases. The company is claiming it on insurance.
November 2009 - We learn that Geodynamics gets yet another big grant from the Rudd Government, regardless, this one for $90 million for a demonstration plant.

Oh, and let’s hear again from Flannery about wicked vested interests distorting the global warming debate:
the fossil fuel lobby became even more powerful, and it has been able to corrupt processes within the federal bureaucracy and the soliciting of scientific advice...
And here’s his complaint that the governments only listen to paid shills when splashing out these green grants:
It is interesting to look at the technologies that get a leg up from the Government. First of all there was clean coal because there is a huge lobby group pushing for that . . . But we’ve totally ignored the technologies that really, I think, have a lot of potential to do the job very cost effectively such as geothermal and solar thermal, and the reason for that is there there’s no special lobby group behind them.
We’ll consider that problem now fixed, shall we, Mr Lobbyist?
===
Defend your rights from this Bill of Rights
Andrew Bolt
If you’re around and free:
A book that sets out the case against an Australian Bill of Rights will be launched on Wednesday night by former Victorian Governor and Supreme Court Judge Sir James Gobbo. The launch follows the release of Frank Brennan’s National Human Rights Consultation report recommending an Australian Bill of Rights.

The book, a collection of essays: Don’t leave Us with the Bill: The Case Against an Australian Bill of Rights edited by Julian Leeser and Ryan Haddrick published by the Menzies Research Centre.

Contributors include Sir Ninian Stephen, Dr Sue Gordon, Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, John Howard, Dr Gary Johns, former High Court Judge Ian Callinan AC, QC, Dr David Bennett AC, QC, Major-General AJ Molan, Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Senator George Brandis, Bronwyn Bishop, Cardinal George Pell, Rabbi John Levi, Western Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter, Justice Kenneth Handley, Brigadier Jim Wallace, Professor Helen Irving, Professor James Allan and Dr John Hirst.

Sir James joins a number of serving and retired judges have entered this debate to warn of the consequences of a bill of rights including former High Court Judges Sir Ninian Stephen and Ian Callinan, Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, NSW Judges Ken Kandley and Keith Mason, former Tasmanian Chief Justice William Cox and former Federal Court Judge Peter Heerey. The rare participation of senior judges in this debate underscores the significant danger a bill of rights presents to the justice system.
It sure does, so here are the details:
WHEN: 11 November 2009 AT 6.00PM
WHERE: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 250-290 Spring St, East Melbourne

===
Sure do
Andrew Bolt

Glenn Reynolds detects some signs.
===
$10 billion more of your cash
Andrew Bolt
Wow. Kevin Rudd’s dream of slashing Australia’s emissions - which are too tiny to affect the world’s temperature, anyway - sure doesn’t come cheap:
VICTORIA and NSW could get two gas-fired power stations, with TRUenergy planning to spend more than $2 billion to slash emissions and provide cleaner power to about 1.2 million homes.

But the company says this will depend on it receiving enough compensation under the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, due to be put to a Senate vote as early as next week. TRUenergy argues that unless it remains profitable, it will be unable to move away from brown coal electricity generation to cleaner technologies....

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said the Government’s CPRS would provide more than $3 billion worth of assistance to coal-fired electricity generators to help them transition to a carbon price.... But Mr McIndoe said $3 billion ‘’wouldn’t even come close to providing reasonable assistance’’ and that $8 billion to $10 billion was the ‘’bare minimum’’ needed.
So we’ll pay $10 billion to get power that will actually cost us more, and drive some industries overseas. And this is just a small part of Rudd’s plan - which won’t actually lower temperatures anyway.

Get the idea you’re living in a madhouse, where the only sure thing is that someone is spending your money? Do you wake up each day now and wonder: “What wild scheme will Rudd spend fresh millions on today?”
===
How many billions will you give the UN, Mr Rudd?
Andrew Bolt
So how many billions of dollars will Kevin Rudd agree to pay the United Nations to “stop” global warming?

Last week Rudd denounced as ”back of the envelope” calculations my warning that the UN draft treaty for next month’s Copenhagen meeting demands we hand over $7 billion a year, plus any fines.

But suddenly his government has gone all shy of any talk of specific amounts of money:
Britain, which was hosting a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Scotland, was determined to push toward a $100 billion deal to cover the costs of climate change by 2020. But talks got bogged down in a row with large developing countries about who should foot the bill.
Treasurer Wayne Swan admitted on AM this morning that Australia was one of those refusing to make hard promises.

That’s good.

But he said the right place to discuss how much we’ll pay would be at a UNFCC meeting - like the one at Copenhagen.

That’s bad.

In fact, Rudd is still promising to pay some unspecified figure: “Australia, once a global agreement is shaped, would always be prepared to put forward its fair share.”

So how many billions a year will you hand over to the UN, Mr Rudd, to pass on to countries such as China? Tell us before you promise our cash to the world. Why this secrecy? After all, it is our cash.
===
McKibben punished for dissent, too?
Andrew Bolt
We’ve had the CSIRO censor a critic of Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. School principals banned from criticising Rudd’s school spending. Journalists stopped from asking embarrassing questions and now publicly smeared and vilified. A diplomat demoted after givng Rudd unwelcome advice.

Now this:
RESERVE Bank director Warwick McKibbin has publicly questioned whether the Rudd government dumped him from the Prime Minister’s science council as payback for saying its fiscal stimulus package was “too big”.

Speaking yesterday after Wayne Swan said the RBA was “entirely comfortable with our fiscal policy”, Professor McKibbin said he had no doubt history would show that the Rudd government had overdone the stimulus…

“I think when people look through the entrails of this, they will find billions, if not tens of billions, that was just lost,” he told The Australian.

A few weeks after he suggested that the second part of the stimulus package was too large while giving evidence at a Senate inquiry in May, he was dumped from a government advisory role on the Prime Minister’s Science and Innovation Council, Professor McKibbin said…

“I have never been punished by any other government, but maybe my views haven’t been at odds with them. I wouldn’t say it was punishment or not punishment but it wasn’t a good look.”
If only there were a David Marr around, who could write something like this - but this time with far more accuracy:

Since 1996, Howard has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced non-government organisations, neutered Canberra’s mandarins, curtailed parliamentary scrutiny, censored the arts, banned books, criminalised protest and prosecuted whistleblowers.
===
Amazing: one third still back Rudd on boat people
Andrew Bolt
That most think Kevin Rudd has mishandled the boat people issue isn’t the surprise:
KEVIN Rudd is doing a “bad job” on managing asylum-seekers, according to a majority of voters, while almost half think he is “too soft” on the issue. A Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, reveals 53 per cent think the government is doing a bad job of handling the large influx of asylum-seeker boats this year, while only 31 per cent of voters are happy with the Prime Minister’s performance on the issue.
A third still think he’s doing a good job? That’s astonishing.

Barnaby Joyce offers good advice:
Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce yesterday urged the Rudd government to take a stand and send the Oceanic Viking 78 back to Sri Lanka.

“If you want to show strength, if you want to be decisive . . . then send the Oceanic Viking to Colombo and you will have made a strong statement,” Senator Joyce told the Nine Network.
Too harsh? Then here’s another tip: Many Tamils on the Oceanic Viking claim they were officially accepted as refugees by the United Nations years ago, after fleeing Sri Lanka’s war. If they must come to Christmas Island to break this impasse, then Rudd should warn they’ll be reassessed all over again - with Australian authorities bearing in mind that the war is now over. So stay in Indonesia as a UN-approved refugee, or risk losing your refugee status in Australia.

Of course, the flaw in my scheme is that the Refugee Review Tribunal members who’ll do that assessing tend now to be drawn from human rights, legal aid and other activist groups, and may well be inclined to help people in than to keep them out.

That’s not to say they do not administer the law with scrupulous fidelity. But if the culture of their working environment does influence decisions on the margin that require a gut instinct call, which way might you guess that culture would lean? Here’s some clues, from the RRT members’ biographies - and remember, some of these people may actually be as tough as nails, even if only on the poacher-turned-gatekeeper principle:
Prior to her appointment to the Tribunal, Jennifer has worked in various capacities as a human rights lawyer, a Federal Court research associate, a solicitor, a barrister and a university academic in Australia as well as in India, Canada and Costa Rica…

John has previously been a member of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal and the NSW Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. Prior to these appointments, he was an Administrative Law solicitor with the NSW Legal Aid Commission, a solicitor with the Inner City Legal Centre and a Senior Conciliator with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission…

Derewlany ... has worked as a migration consultant for a number of companies and has also had a number of years experience working at DIAC. He has also been a member of the Management Committee of the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre in Sydney…

Dione Dimitriadis previously worked as a solicitor in private practice and as a legal officer in the Australian Legal Aid Office, the Public Solicitor’s Office and the Department of Consumer Affairs…

Namoi Dougall has served on a number of state tribunals, including as a Member of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal…

Paul Fisher practised as an administrative lawyer for over 10 years, chiefly with Victoria Legal Aid. He has also performed voluntary work with a number of community legal centres…

Hely ... most recently worked for several years as a senior lawyer with the Australian Human Rights Commission… He has been a volunteer solicitor with several community organisations, particularly the Fitzroy Legal Service and Kingsford Legal Service, as well as a former volunteer board member of the Victorian Council to Homeless Persons....

Lennon has been a solicitor with the Victorian and Commonwealth Offices of Public Prosecutions and the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA....

McIntosh worked with the British Refugee Council and other non-government agencies in the UK for 10 years to 1987. Over this period with these NGOs she was a community worker, consultant, researcher and caseworker, in areas relating to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. She was subsequently the Co-ordinator of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (NSW) from 1987 to 1993.

Mitchell ... has lectured and tutored in environmental and administrative law, and he is an accredited mediator and trainer. He has been retained by the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria to appear as counsel in prosecutions, and to provide other consultant advisory and training services. He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria…

Nicholls ... was Solicitor in Charge of the Parramatta office of the Legal Aid Commission of NSW (1996-2001)…

Roushan… has previously worked at the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Government Solicitor and the Cape Town office of the South African Human Rights Commission… In 2004-2005 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Gender and Refugee Studies, University of California Hastings College of the Law…

Silva ... (served in) the NSW Cabinet Office as Director of Greenhouse and Sustainable Development (2002-2003)…

Smyth ... has also worked as a Legal Officer at the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers in the UK…

Symons has worked ... at the Legal Aid Commission of NSW and the Department of Community Services… She has also worked at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission…

Urquhart ... is a former Deputy President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, where she headed the Civil Claims jurisdiction and later the Anti-Discrimination jurisdiction…

Wilson ...has completed a Masters programme in Human Rights Law...
Again - no conclusion can be made about the leanings or professionalism of any individual on this list. Indeed, their professionalism is not questioned. The point I make is about the likely culture of an organisation drawn largely from such fields.
===
Our TV stations need to get more foxy, too
Andrew Bolt
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News didn’t merely fill a cultural gap left by the Left-leaning mainstream media:
Fox is supplanting the role long played by the New York Times and the Ochs-Sulzberger family that owns the 88% of the paper. For nearly 50 years, the Times has sent out its headline for the next day out on the wire and newspapers and broadcasters have en masse synchronized their own stories to whatever the NYT decided to cover. . . . Now Fox has stolen the crown. Even people who hate Fox now find themselves forced to react to it. Politicos and pundits who want to reach half of the cable news audience have to show up on Fox. Other news organizations are forced to cover the same stories as Fox just to remain relevant.

Once again, you can only marvel that Australia’s TV stations and Sky News have not learned from the astonishing rise of Fox. There would be no show on TV, other than perhapos Sky News Agenda, more in need of inspiration from Fox than this one.
But Rove has certain political views, of course, as do his team.
===
Strangers in their own multicultural club
Andrew Bolt
Multiculturalism is for us, but not for multiculturalists - or, rather, not for the tribalists who tend to push it:
ONE of Sydney’s largest multicultural clubs told staff they could face disciplinary action if they did not speak English in public areas.

An internal Club Marconi memo from September said “no staff member is to speak any language other than English whilst on the floor or in a Back of House area”.

This appeared to open up the bizarre scenario of staff members being prevented from speaking Italian in the public areas of Sydney’s largest Italian club.

The memo noted “a number of staff” had been talking in foreign languages, saying: “Please understand that whilst we understand that the conversations may be innocent other staff and patrons who do not understand these languages may take offence to it.”
I actually doubt that the language that gave offence is Italian. And note that our discrimination police actually insist on laws that help to make even Italians feel like strangers in their own club:

The memo also drew opposition from NSW Anti-Discrimination Board president Stepan Kerkyasharian, who described it as “very shortsighted"… Mr Kerkyasharian said: “At face value, any of the staff members there would have reasonable grounds to lodge a complaint.”
===
Criminal fleeing persecution in Canada
Andrew Bolt
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on the boat people now refusing to get off ships in Indonesia:
The point is these people are desperate. If you listen to the stories of the conditions in the camps in Sri Lanka, where people are fearful even to say that they want to leave, the stories of people being persecuted and executed simply because they say, “We don’t want to be here anymore”; “I want some future for my family.”
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd explaining why they are there:
What we’re faced with in Sri Lanka is 260,000 people displaced because of the civil war.
In fact:

FORMER Toronto gang member Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah is heavily tattooed, has a criminal record for death threats and firearms possession that got him deported from Canada six years ago…

Kuhendrarajah was, for about three years until his arrest in September 2000, a member of the A.K. Kannan gang, one of two major Tamil criminal organisations responsible for a reign of terror on Toronto’s streets. An uncle was also a senior leader of the gang....

(After deportation) he moved in 2006 to Chennai in India, fearful of ongoing anti-Tamil violence in Sri Lanka…
Because of his excellent English, Kuhendrarajah became the voice of the boatload of nearly 250 Sri Lankan refugees tied up at Merak dock, in western Java, after it was intercepted by the Indonesian navy on an Australian intelligence tip-off early last month.
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