Sunday, November 01, 2009

Headlines Sunday 1st November 2009

British nuclear expert thought to have committed suicide after his body was found at the bottom of a stairwell in Vienna may have been thrown to his death, doctor says.

Muslim doctor cries foul after Texas medical facility says she would not be allowed to wear her traditional headscarf, citing a no-hat policy.

Afghan Runoff In Doubt
President Karzai's opponent Abdullah Abdullah will ask voters to forgo runoff election in hopes of forcing delay

Gov. Corzine: Obama Not Worried
N.J. governor brushes off speculation the president is concerned about the tight gubernatorial race

Taxes Driving N.J. Gubernatorial Race
High property taxes could be the downfall of Governor Corzine as he is in a heated re-election battle

Mystery Bodies Found at Rapist's Home
Police arrest convicted rapist after finding remains of six people at his Cleveland home

The rate that will shock the nation
THOUSANDS expected to default on mortgages if RBA lifts interest rates on Melbourne Cup day.

Fashion star in A-list club toilet sex attack
MAN who allegedly raped a well-known fashion identity at an A-list party says sex was consensual.

Recycling refund will hike beer price

MANUFACTURERS say they will add 14c to the price of a beer if Australia introduces a 10c per can paid recycling scheme.

Cheap flights, but two days to fly to the UK
BUDGET flights on the "kangaroo route" spend extra 20 hours in the air and waiting at airports.

Exam cheats call on hi-tech help
STUDENTS swap tips on how to cheat in final exams using phones and MP3 players.

Police pelted with bricks, bottles
SEVEN people have been arrested when police were pelted with bricks and bottles after an angry crowd were hassling firemen at the scene of a car crash.

Agassi: My mullet lost me the French Open
TENNIS champ confesses he wore a lion-mane-style mullet wig during the 1990s and it almost fell off during crucial match.
=== Comments ===
Health Minister Nicola Roxon must go
Piers Akerman
IN THE field of medical procedures, there are two operations that are considered truly liberating - cataract removal and hip replacement. - Rudd may be able to surpass Whitlam in spending and recklessness and fecklessness, but he will never out do Whitlam in one vital area: Whitlam preceded Rudd by over thirty years in betraying peoples to their deaths. Many peoples. It wasn’t enough for Whitlam to grandstand over Vietnam, he needed to include Timor and perpetuate a situation in which the great tragedy of Vietnam persists to this day. Featured in the Movie Journey From The Fall, one sees how Whitlam’s grandstanding devoured the lives of families in their millions. Bring it up today, and those who still think it was a great idea say “Shush.”
Arthur Schopenhauer famously described 38 ways of winning an argument when you are wrong (google it). Roxon has studied from the same play book as the rest of the ALP and its’ supporters. We can replace Roxon, but another incompetent will take her place. We lost the argument when we lost the election, and we need to win the next to stop more and greater tragedies. - ed

Tim Blair
It has been drafted:
Nichola Ahern has drafted a statement on behalf of all Australians which will be read by world leaders at December’s Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
This must be part of the profound global diplomacy Tim Flannery was talking about.
“It was a real responsibility trying to come up with something that will represent all Australians,’’ said Mrs Ahern, 39, a student from Bundeena.
Anyone remember electing this national representative?
She was one of 100 randomly selected Australians chosen to take part in a two-day climate change meeting in Sydney late last month.
As for who did the choosing, we are not informed.
They were divided in to small groups and asked to vote on important climate change subjects, then develop statements.

Mrs Ahern’s group’s was selected as the best.
Let’s take a look, then:
It reads: “Act now to limit warming [to] below 2C through a legally binding global agreement. Develop new technology in an ethical and accountable process. The need for leadership, education in technological advances is paramount.’’
That was the best? Still, it’s better than mine: “Make bad weather illegal using LAWS. Arrest the tsunami! Process global climate peace through ethical accountancy. The need for conjunctions, proper grammar is not particularly great when trying [to] save the planet.”
The meeting was one of 38 being held around the world. Among other things, the Australian group voted overwhelmingly to raise the price of fossil fuels and for an urgent global climate deal to be struck.
And you always thought Big Oil raised the prices. Turns out it was Big Random Groups.
“When they rang me up and asked me to take part I thought it was some kind of sales call, but I’m so glad I did take part because it was very worthwhile,’’ Mrs Ahearn said.
And there we end, left to wonder forever who “they” were.
Will Rudd really give the new world body $7 billion a year?
Andrew Bolt
Next month Kevin Rudd goes to Copenhagen to agree to a UN deal to cut emissions. Point 41 of the draft treaty obliges Australia to hand over an astonishing $7 billion a year to a new and unelected global authority:
[Mandatory contributions from developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II should form the core revenue stream for meeting the cost of adaptation in conjunction with additional sources including share of proceeds from flexible mechanisms.] [This finance should come from the payment of the adaptation debt by developed country Parties and be based principally on public-sector funding, while other alternative sources could be considered.] [[Sources of new and additional financial support for adaptation] [Financial resources of the “Convention Adaptation Fund"] [may] [shall] include:

(a) [Assessed contributions [of at least 0.7% of the annual GDP of developed country Parties] [from developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in
Annex II to the Convention]...
Australia’s GDP now is more than $1000 billion a year.

.7 per cent of that is $7 billion a year. That’s the size of the handout that the UN officials and government negotiators working on the Copenhagen draft want Kevin Rudd to hand over each year to a new world body.

How many billions is Rudd about to sign away of our wealth?
From empty “white elephant” to a jail too small
Andrew Bolt
How fast the Rudd Government has been forced to face the consequences of its folly. Just ask Labor MP Michael Danby.

July 9, 2008:
THE head of a parliamentary committee visiting the new $396 million detention centre on Christmas Island says he is flabbergasted at the waste of public money spent on it.

Melbourne Ports Labor MP Michael Danby said the 800-bed facility — which is currently empty — resembled a stalag, a German prisoner of war camp. “I think all of us from the delegation are frankly flabbergasted about the enormous expenditure of public money by the previous government on this,” Mr Danby said from the island. ”It just looks like an enormous white elephant."…

Mr Danby said the parliamentary committee was looking at what could be done with the facility. Locals have asked if it can be used as a tourist centre or science and research centre, he said.
July 29, 2008:
Australia is ending its policy of automatic detention for asylum seekers who arrive in the country without visas, the government said Tuesday… The Rudd government has already dismantled some aspects of the Howard immigration policy. It ended the so-called Pacific solution, involving detention camps on the islands of Nauru and Manus, where illegal immigrants arriving by boat were held while the United Nations tried to find them third countries in which to settle.
October 31, 2009:
KEVIN Rudd is preparing to double the size of Australia’s Christmas Island detention centre in a stark confirmation that his government expects a continuing flood of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka.

The multi-million-dollar upgrade, sparked by a sharp increase in boatpeople arrivals in the past month, is expected to lift the facility’s capacity to as much as 2300.
Rudd gets Costello on board
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd signs up another potential critic, even luring this one out of the Parliament where he’d posed a danger:
PETER Costello has been given a taxpayer-funded job by the Rudd government helping to run the Future Fund he established as Treasurer.

He is the latest Coalition MP to accept a job offer from the Prime Minister following the recruitment of former Liberal leader Brendan Nelson and former Nationals leader Tim Fischer to diplomatic posts.
How bizarre that Rudd would have recruited one of the architects of an economic theory he declared only months ago had been a disaster:
KEVIN Rudd has put his ideological spin on the global crisis - arguing the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years represented by Thatcher, Reagan, Greenspan and John Howard has failed.

Rudd has defined himself, his Government and his re-election strategy by declaring that only social democrats and the Labor Party can recruit state power to save capitalism. He has thrown the Liberal Party on to the trash heap of history, saying it is “the political home of neo-liberalism in Australia” and that the former Howard government aimed to reduce state power “as much as possible”.

Declaring that a failed 30-year epoch in world history has come to a conclusion, Rudd says the crisis means “one orthodoxy is overthrown and another takes its place”.
Of course, it may just be true that Rudd was once again telling an untruth for political advantage.
Revolting against Captain Bligh
Andrew Bolt
Rushing to an early election to hide the red ink about to be spilled is not a winning strategy for the long term. Ask Anna Bligh in Queensland:

The Galaxy Poll for the Sunday Mail, conducted on October 29-30, shows voter satisfaction with Ms Bligh’s performance as premier is in free fall, reaching a new low of 30 per cent only six months after she became Australia’s first female premier to win an election.
Vidal turns a raped 13-year-old into a “hooker”
Andrew Bolt
Astonishing, how barbaric are those who lay loudest claim to being civilised:
Author Gore Vidal says he refuses to feel any sympathy for Roman Polanski’s rape victim, whom he dubs a “hooker.”

In an interview with The Atlantic, the controversial 83-year-old author of such books as “Myra Breckinridge” and “1876” says of the director’s sex scandal, “I really don’t give a [expletive]. Look am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s being taken advantage of?”

The young woman to whom he is referring is Samantha Geimer, who was a 13-year-old aspiring model in 1977 when she was drugged and raped by Polanski.
Until now, I’d thought Whoop Goldberg’s “not rape-rape” defence of Polanski was as low as the Left would stoop here:

I know who you called last summer
Andrew Bolt
Not a good look, and I doubt this will go ahead:
PREMIER Nathan Rees has ordered a spying crackdown on his ministers, with special phone-tracking equipment to be installed in their offices.

Staff from the Premier’s Department have met at least one company to discuss close monitoring of ministerial phones, with a plan to put sophisticated technology into Governor Macquarie Tower, where Mr Rees and his ministers are based.

The move has outraged his colleagues, who accuse him of unprecedented interference and rampant paranoia.
The defence is that it’s purely a savings measure, with the content of calls not monitored at all. But I doubt it’s a win for democracy to have some paranoid Premier or his government able to track who’s calling who in that dirty zoo.
The stimulus that kills
Andrew Bolt
Barack Obama boasts that his stimulus package is putting people in jobs - even though joblessness keeps rising. So what does each of the jobs he created actually cost?
(T)he White House claimed 640,329 jobs have been created or saved because of the $159 billion in stimulus funds allocated as of Sept. 30… The White House argues that the actual job number is actually larger than 640,000—closer to 1 million jobs when one factors in stimulus jobs added in October and, more importantly, jobs created indirectly…

So let’s see. Assuming their number is right—160 billion divided by 1 million. Does that mean the stimulus costs taxpayers $160,000 per job?

Jared Bernstein, chief economist and senior economic advisor to the vice president, called that “calculator abuse.” He said the cost per job was actually $92,000—but acknowledged that estimate is for the whole stimulus package as of the end of 2010....

DeSeve and Bernstein were not able to say how many of the 640,329 jobs were saved and how many were created. How do they know that government officials asking for stimulus funds to help prevent layoffs were legitimate?

“What we have to do is expect that our public officials are honest,” DeSeve said....

Of the 640,329 jobs cited today, White House officials said 80,000 were in the construction sector and more than half—325,000—were education jobs, despite President Obama’s claim in January that 90 percent of the stimulus jobs would be in the private sector.
So more public servants have been hired under a $159 billion stimulus package that must be repaid largely by the private sector that’s actually losing jobs. Wonder how that will work out?

Still, the stimulus is working, right? The US economy just posted a quarter of growth that annualised works out to 3.5 per cent. But it’s all fluff built on hot money that’s running out.

Mike Shedlock:
A misguided Cash-for-Clunkers added a one-time contribution of 1.66 percentage points to GDP. Auto sales have since collapsed so all the program did is move some demand forward.

Government spending increased at 7.9 percent in the third quarter which is certainly nothing to cheer about.

Personal income decreased $15.5 billion (0.5 percent), while real disposable personal income decreased 3.4 percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.8 percent last quarter. Those are horrible numbers.
John Williams adds that government home-buyer tax credits are also propping up the numbers artificially:
The estimate of 3.5% annualized real growth for third-quarter GDP included a 1.7% gain from auto sales, a 0.6% gain from new residential construction, and a 0.9% gain from a largely-involuntary inventory buildup, which appears to be understated.
Of course, Australia is not in the strife that the US now is. But then think how much the Rudd Government wasted of our savings and future wealth, blowing tens of billions on school halls, pink batts, free cash handouts and grants to first-time home buyers that have simply kept housing prices too high. And all of it to be repaid…
Fleeing not Sri Lanka but Indonesia
Andrew Bolt
Talk about jumping to conclusions about boat people…

Here’s Paul Howes, the Australian Workers Union boss, on the Sri Lankan boat people refusing to get off the Oceanic Viking:
What are these people fleeing?… They’re fleeing chaos, they’re fleeing war, there is no orderly queue in concentration camps … What we need to actually do here is inject some reality into this debate.
Here’s Sarah Hanson-Young, the Greens Senator, even imagining massacres:
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.”
Former Refugee Review Tribunal member Bruce Haigh:
The Sri Lankan people on the recently intercepted vessel to the north of Australia are Tamils. They are fleeing a totally untenable situation: they are fleeing for their lives...
Of course, they are just repeating as gospel the claims of these boat people:
Last night members of the group made a direct plea to Mr Rudd for help, telling reporters they were fleeing “genocide” in Sri Lanka and feared being killed if they were returned to the country
Two problems. First, claims of massacres and mortal danger in Sri Lanka seem wildly exaggerated, certainly those covering the period since the Tamil Tigers’ defeat. And, second, it now turns out that many on this boat were not fleeing danger in Sri Lanka at all, having lived in safety for years somewhere else:

MOST of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers in a stand-off with Australian authorities off the coast of the Riau Islands have admitted living in Indonesia for years, providing the Rudd Government with leverage to convince Indonesia to take them back… In written messages thrown off the Oceanic Viking, the Australian customs ship that has been home to the 78 ethnic Tamils for the past two weeks, the asylum seekers said they had been living in Indonesia for as long as five years and had been accepted by the United Nations office in Jakarta as genuine refugees.
Tim Blair
Forget blaming George W. Bush for Barack Obama’s lame presidency; leading Obama-worshipper Anne Davies blames the framers of the constitution:
The first year of the Obama Administration has tested the strength of the true believers who gathered in Grant Park on that November night last year. During the campaign they had suspended their beliefs in how the American system works and embraced Obama’s heady promises of a changed America, even as storm clouds gathered over the US economy …

Yet a year after the November 4 election, the checks and balances the founding fathers built into the US political system to moderate the revolutionary zeal of its early settlers have worked, all too well, to blunt Obama’s agenda.
Strange that nobody noticed these barriers before Obama was elected. They’ve been around for a while.

UPDATE. Mark Steyn: Bush holds the “new constitutional position of Blame Czar.”
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