Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 17th November 2009

Nathan Rees' secret plot to lop Labor heads

THE only way it was going to work was under the cover of darkness. Premier Nathan Rees needed complete secrecy to carry out his plan to choose his own Cabinet and sack ministers Joe Tripodi and Ian Macdonald. But it was a phone call to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Singapore that really kicked the power play into action - a plan that Mr Rees threatened to resign over if it wasn't carried out. - Rees has no support, but he can blackmail Rudd at any time. It still remains to be seen if Rees can move on from the incompetence of Della Bosca and Tripodi. Both of whom threatened a former public servant who had appropriately reported on the matter of the death of school boy Hamidur Rahman - ed.


President Obama's deep bow to Japanese Emperor Akihito on Saturday may not have violated any 'official' protocol, but it's touched off a national debate: bad form, or "when in Rome..."?

Video Captures Farm Cruelty
EXCLUSIVE: Video released to Fox News shows string of alleged abuses at one of the nation's largest pig farms

Officials Split on Gitmo-in-Illinois Plan
Dems, Republicans voice opposite views on putting Gitmo detainees at Illinois maximum-security prison

Missing Girl Search Now Hunt for Body
Police holding out hope as they scour a North Carolina highway for the body of missing 5-year-old Shaniya Davis


Flight check-ins have been thrown into turmoil after an industry computer system failed across Australia and the world, with 485 airlines affected. Picture: Ian Currie

Banks pocket $4.5bn in fees
AUSTRALIANS will pay billions in bank fees this year, despite the big banks saying they have slashed their charges.

Twins' marathon surgery continues
DELICATE surgery to separate three-year-old twins is expected to be completed within hours.

'Wife killer's injuries self-inflicted'
A MAN who claims he killed his wife in self-defence after she attacked him with a knife may have cut himself, a court heard.

Dental patients risk deadly diseases
DENTAL patients have been treated with unsterilised equipment, potentially exposing them to diseases such as HIV.

Nine bones Hackett from sports job
NINE is set to dump former swim champ Grant Hackett as its weekend sports news presenter.

Man dies after a dog pack mauling
A 22-YEAR-OLD man is believed to have been mauled to death by feral dogs at a remote Northern Territory community.

Cruise ship trapped in ice
MORE than 100 penguin-loving tourists including dozens from Britain are trapped by ice off Antarctica, aboard a ship.
=== Journalists Corner ===

A must see 'Factor' exclusive!
Dobbs' departure.
Was his tough stance on illegals too "alien" for CNN's news culture?
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Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin
In an exclusive, he breaks down the technical & financial plans taking this satellite radio station to new heights!
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Guest: Mike Huckabee
He has expert analysis on the GOP strategy to stop health care in the Senate.
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Guest: Sarah Palin
From why she decided to resign to whether politics is in her future, Sarah Palin tells all!
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How Should This Be Handled?
Here is a hypothetical fact pattern: A single mother, 3 kids, works 40 hours a week minimum wage and hence she and her family live paycheck to paycheck ... a very hard worker. Assume she gets the flu ... she wants to work (she needs the money) but people worry she will get others sick ... she does not get sick
=== Comments ===
Victoria drive leaves NSW swinging in the wind
Piers Akerman
YOU don’t have to know a wedge from a woodie to be aware that golfing superhero Tiger Woods won the Australian Masters in Melbourne at the weekend. Melbourne, that is, not Sydney, where Premier Nathan Rees appeared before an easily pleased audience of ALP members and went through an act designed to distract attention from the failures of the past 14 years of Labor Party state government. - Should the NSW Gov’t choose to claim it is rejuvenated it could provide evidence of that. In the case of Hamidur Rahman, it could acknowledge the role played by the former Education Minister Della Bosca and Minister with local constituent Tripodi in threatening a whistle blower who appropriately reported on the issue.
Even now, that whistleblower works full time for his former employer but is not paid any conditions of super, sick leave or holiday pay, the result being that should they work for a whole year without leave, they would earn less than $30k. Thank you Julia Gillard for your fair work. - ed
Linda replied
And while they are at it DD the current and past premier could confess to knowing that there was an accused paedophile in Cabinet for three months before he was arrested. During that time he was protected from discovery by removing the witness whistleblower, allowed to continue in his most sensitive portfolio attending several Aboriginal youth functions and supposedly considering a report on sexual abuse in Aboriginal Communities! This is a comparatively recent matter which is sadly lacking any serious media attention for some inexplicable reason because the evidence is there.
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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Gets a Break
By Bill O'Reilly
Mohammed, the Al Qaeda big shot involved in planning the 9/11 atrocity, is perhaps the biggest terrorist ever captured by America.

As you may know, he was waterboarded and gave up some of his Al Qaeda colleagues, who were then taken into custody. For the past three years, Mohammed has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, where he should have been tried in front of a military tribunal.

The man is a war criminal. He killed thousands of civilians. That's what war criminals do. It is hard to believe the Obama administration does not understand that.

So now Mohammed will be tried in a New York City civilian court, and New York Congressman Peter King is outraged:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. PETER KING, R-NY: Absolutely no purpose to be gained by this. It's going to put Americans at risk and probably most importantly, it's going to be giving constitutional right to war criminals who are not entitled to them. This, I think, will go down as one of the worst decisions any president has ever made.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

But the Obama administration sees it differently:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm a prosecutor myself. I've looked at the evidence. I've considered the problems that these cases present, and I'm quite confident that we're going to be successful in the prosecution efforts. To the extent that there are political consequences, well, you know, I'll just have to take my lumps to the extent that those are sent my way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

"Talking Points" believes that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not be on trial in New York City; waterboarding and the CIA will be. The exposition is likely to be a fiasco. It will take years. It will cost tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Again, why are we doing this? Do you think the 9/11 families want to see a circus? Do you think they appreciate the fact that an Al Qaeda killer and his lawyers will get to spew all kinds of anti-American propaganda? Because that's what's going to happen.

President Obama should explain this thoroughly. Instead the announcement is made while he's in Asia. Does that tell you something? Why didn't he wait until he got back? I'll tell you why: because this is indefensible.

War criminals should be tried by military people. If you don't know about the trials at Nuremberg, look them up. Hermann Goring was not taken to New York City and tried before a civilian jury because that would have been insane — just as this is.
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Pray, or at least hope
Andrew Bolt

I’ve never seen so many people in this state hang on a single operation, with hourly bulletins telling us of each step. Even waiting to go on air this morning at 3AW we gathered around a TV during an ad break to listen in on the latest press conference:
Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital says there is still a long recovery ahead for conjoined twin girls who were separated earlier today. Surgeons at the hospital separated Bangladeshi twins Krishna and Trishna in an operation that lasted more than 26 hours.
Wish at such times I had faith in the power of prayer. At least I have faith in the kindness of so many.
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Rudd will turn off our lights
Andrew Bolt
Finance guru Robert Gottliebsen warns that most of Victoria’s power stations will declare themselves broke as soon as Kevin Rudd’s colossal taxes on emissions are passed:
Within a week of the current proposed legislation being passed, the boards of each of the companies that own the Latrobe generators will meet with their auditors on whether the companies’ debt covenants have been broken. Almost certainly a majority, if not all the boards, will decide to appoint official administrators.
Gottliebsen says the Victorian Government has bitten its tongue (like too many)… so far:
The Victorian government has received the KPMG report which spells out exactly what will happen. The Victorian government has explained to the federal government what will happen but the level of understanding in Canberra is very poor and they have not yet grasped the implications.

John Brumby has not gone public apparently because he hopes that either the legislation will not be passed or it will be passed in a way that minimises the danger to Victorian electricity supply. But if it looks like being passed in its present form, he has to choose between raising the alarm and minimising his own electoral damage or ‘copping it sweet’ and receiving his full measures of federal money in many other areas.
“Federal money” actually means yours.
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Rudd finally stops someone from reaching Australia
Andrew Bolt
Yesterday we noted that the Indonesian President had dodged Kevin Rudd’s attempts to talk to him about his boatpeople problems:
Kevin Rudd made little progress with the Indonesians over the handling of asylum seekers during the APEC summit in Singapore and was unable to secure a formal meeting with the President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Rudd denied yesterday he’d been snubbed, but that may turn out to be yet another of his little lies:
Indonesia’s President has called off an impending visit to Australia. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was due in Australia early next week, but now the Indonesian foreign ministry has confirmed he won’t be making the journey. The ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah says the cancellation is due to a scheduling issue...
Other people from Indonesia are still coming, though, and in a rush since Rudd last week offered his special invitation to the Oceanic Viking passengers:
The setback came as a third boatload of asylum seekers in three days was intercepted off Ashmore Island and as the Rudd Government was attacked in Parliament for offering a deal to entice refugees off the Oceanic Viking.
UPDATE

Make that now four boats that have come since Kevin Rudd caved in to the Oceanic Viking passagers:
Another boat with 41 asylum seekers has been intercepted in Australian waters… Four boats have been intercepted by Customs officials in the past four days.
UPDATE 2

Rudd now claims he knew nothing about the special deal offered to the Oceanic Viking’s Tamils. But is that yet another lie?
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has revealed that members of his staff were on a committee that approved the Government’s deal for the Oceanic Viking asylum seekers - but he insists he had no prior knowledge of the deal.
Michelle Grattan still can’t bring herself to call her Prime Minister a liar despite not only writing the above, but co-writing what follows - evidence that even the boat people in Indonesia don’t believe Rudd:
As Mr Rudd yesterday continued to say the Sri Lankans were not being given special treatment, The Age learnt that those who have left the Oceanic Viking for detention in Indonesia are being held separately from other detainees.

A source at the Tanjung Pinang detention centre said the Sri Lankans had been separated from other detainees out of fear they would be targeted for receiving special treatment.

The deal, under which the Sri Lankans were promised they would be fast-tracked compared with other asylum seekers in Indonesia, has so far persuaded 22 of the 78 to disembark.
So even Grattan concedes the Sri Lankans have been “fast-tracked”. Then Rudd lied, right? Why not say so?
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ABC hires the man who bashed Howard with a stick
Andrew Bolt
“Our” ABC is committed to every kind of diversity except diversity of thought.

Latest evidence? It hires as the editor of its new on-line opinion section Jonathan Green, who has been not only the editor of the far-Left Crikey website, but a proud member of Victoria’s Pinata Left as well. Yes, that’s John Howard hanging from Green’s tree:
[The image of the Howard pinata in Green’s tree that was here has been taken down by order of Green friend Sophie Cunningham, the owner of the site which proudly displayed the picture for two years but now fears it may hurt Green to be shown on this blog.]
It must be Green’s politics that particularly appealed to the ABC. Why else hire a largely unread blogger?

Of course, I may be wrong. Maybe the ABC’s online section will indeed prove under Green to be fair and balanced. One clue will be who the ABC hires to balance both Green and its other on-line signing, Annabel Crabb.

UPDATE

I’d also urge the ABC to be very careful of Green’s quality control over his writers and blog readers. I was forced recently to write the following to his boss, Eric Beecher, the famous campaigner for “quality journalism”, and am still considering my options, as they say:
Last week I drew your attention to comments and blog postings you had published over the space of just a few days calling me a “proven liar”, “nutty”, “unhinged”, “underhand”, “loopy”, “paranoid”, a “hypocrite”, a “racist”, “dishonest”, “hysterical”, “petty”, “evasive”, “deluded”, “irrational”, lacking in morality, someone guilty of “deliberately misrepresenting” people, “full of poisonous shit”, and a “notorious liar” who practices “lies, misrepresentations, and deceit”, “lies, distortions and smears”, “fakery” and “cowardice and dishonesty”, while giving “tacit approval” to “extremist sickos” and “playing the paranoid schizo’’, resembling in my person an “asylum for the criminally insane”. You conceded that these comments included a number of statements that were “untrue and unnecessarily personal in tone”.
Since then one of Green’s writers has urged in a headline that I be ”sodomised”, and his site has said of me that “we are dealing with fascism, plain and simple’’ and, referring to me and my readers, “I sometimes think Stalin had the right idea - line a million or so of ‘em up against a wall”. Yesterday I was named in a Crikey article as someone so corrupt as be evidently driven to scepticsm by “a desire for funds from fossil-fuel companies”, and was smeared besides as “undoubtedly more dangerous” than a “Holocaust denier”, and, in time, ”morally worse”.

I hope the ABC’s lawyers are ready for the exciting new brand of “quality journalism” coming their way. I’m still considering how to respond to Crikey’s “quality journalism”, especially after this latest foul claim, and any lawyer should consider themselves free to advise.

(I mention this because I’ve just received a furious call from some person whose identity I cannot reveal saying I’d crossed a line. If the line was drawn by Green, I’d still need a telescope to find it.)
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Newsweek: looking after Al
Andrew Bolt

Ever got the impression the media won’t tell you both sides of the global warming story?
Newsweek has done it again: a few weeks after acknowledging half its letters were critical of Joe Biden (but publishing none of them), they proclaimed their Al Gore cover was unpopular. Forty-six percent of their letter writers wrote on the subject of Gore, and 74 percent of them were critical. Still, Newsweek ran only positive letters. The first, most prominent one (in larger red type) read: “Until each nation makes responsibility for this earth a priority, we will continue to devastate it – and ourselves.”
UPDATE

Al Gore has a rough guess on the temperature of the earth’s mantle as he flogs Tim Flannery’s preferred form of investment.

Watts Up With That checks his answer.

Oh, dear. He really doesn’t understand science, does he?
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Palin reloads
Andrew Bolt
The Wall Street Journal’s Melanie Kirkpatrick review’s Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue:
“Going Rogue” offers little guidance on the big question: Is Mrs. Palin preparing to run for the presidency? The final chapter, “The Way Forward,” is a mere 13 pages and reads like a stump speech. It consists mostly of generalities on conservative values, fiscal restraint and the need for a strong defense. But the quotation from her father with which she introduces the chapter perhaps offers a clue to her future plans: ”Sarah’s not retreating; she’s reloading!”
UPDATE

Palin responds to Associated Press’s astonishing camapign to tear her down:

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, the AP somehow nabbed a copy of the book before it was released. They’re now erroneously reporting on the book’s contents and are repeating many of the same things they spewed during the campaign and afterwards. We’ve heard 11 writers are engaged in this opposition research, er, “fact checking” research! Imagine that – 11 AP reporters dedicating time and resources to tearing up the book, instead of using the time and resources to “fact check” what’s going on with Sheik Mohammed’s trial, Pelosi’s health care takeover costs, Hasan’s associations, etc. Amazing…

- Sarah Palin

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Why omit the inconvenient truth, Tim?
Andrew Bolt
The Age’s Tim Colebatch, a climate alarmist, indulges in some cherry-picking - and some misleading-by-omitting - the claim ”the earth is getting hotter”:
THIS year saw the second warmest winter in Australia since records began. Across the continent, day and night, average temperatures were 1.33 degrees hotter than the average from 1961 to 1990, the 30-year period meteorologists use as their base.

September was 1.22 degrees above the long-term average. October was more normal, at 0.22 degrees above average. But as our cities and farms sizzle in the heat of November, 2009 is already our eighth hot year in a row.

It’s not just in Australia. Monitoring by Britain’s Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia found that around the world, on land and sea, June, July and September were the third hottest in 160 years of records - August was the second hottest.

And it is not just in 2009… Over the 11 years to 2008, the average global temperature was 0.41 degrees higher than in the 1961-90 base period, and 0.83 degrees warmer than 100 years ago.
The cherry-picking is obvious, of course. If Colebatch was writing in the United States instead, and with his same standard of “proof”, he’d tell you that the rest of the world must be as cold as he’s feeling:
The average October temperature of 50.8°F was 4.0°F below the 20th Century average and ranked as the 3rd coolest based on preliminary data.
He’d be just as convinced it was cooling if his office were in New Zealand, just next to the “sizzle” of Australia:
The coldest October in 64 years, with all-time record low October temperatures in many areas.
And here is what Colebatch omitted. No one disputes that globally the past decade has been warmer than average. What is in dispute is whether that warming is indeed caused by man’s increasing gases, especially given that this warming stopped eight years ago, as you can see from the graphic created by Iowa State University atmospheric researcher Lucia Liljegren.

Why did Colebatch not mention this critical fact?
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In that case, give my new best friend a medal
Andrew Bolt
Two weeks ago I noted how curious it was that Kevin Rudd had decided to give General David Petraeus the Order of Australia for leading the victorious surge in Iraq which Rudd had, er, opposed.

Has the mystery been solved? I now know for a certainty that Rudd was informed around a month or two earlier that the brilliant Petraeus could well be the next president of the United States.

Not accusing. Just noticing.
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How wind power generates only red ink
Andrew Bolt
Wind is perhaps the greatest snake oil being sold by green carpetbaggers - other than carbon permits, of course:
THE (British) Government’s renewable energy strategy is in tatters after a report exposing the true costs of generating electricity by wind power.

An internal document from the National Grid, seen by the Sunday Express, says wind turbine energy will at times cost over 3,000 per cent more than conventional power.

Industry experts say over-reliance on wind power could mean fuel poverty for consumers, as older power plants reach the end of their working lives while Britain’s new generation of nuclear stations is still a long way off completion. Some experts claim the cost of upgrading the nation’s electricity grid – so it is possible to use all the renewable energy – could be £250billion or 10 times the Government’s estimates.
The scale of the insanity overtaking the western world at the moment is so vast that future generations will not credit it.
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Hamilton flips: “Deniers” deadlier than Nazis
Andrew Bolt
Greens candidate Clive Hamilton says global warming sceptics will prove to be not just worse than Holocaust deniers, but deadlier than the Holocaust’s genocidal killers. After all, Hitler killed only 17 million people:
Instead of dishonouring the deaths of six million in the past, climate deniers risk the lives of hundreds of millions in the future. Holocaust deniers are not responsible for the Holocaust, but climate deniers, if they were to succeed, would share responsibility for the enormous suffering caused by global warming… So the answer to the question of whether climate denialism is morally worse than Holocaust denialism is no, at least, not yet.
Wow. Faced with such unfettered madness, I can’t even get angry. I knew Hamilton was strange, but now the only question left is what such a hysteric is doing as a Professor in our universities?

(UPDATE: Intro tightened since this was first posted.)

UPDATE 2

Odd that Hamilton is the one to raise the Nazi analogy, given, first, that his own totalitarian instinct seems oddly familiar:
The implications of (a rise of) 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of emergency responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.
And, second, there’s the historical links between Hamilton’s neo-pagan green ideology and a previous totalitarian temptation described here:

Environmentalists and conservationists in Germany welcomed the rise of the Nazi regime with open arms and hoped that it would bring about legal and institutional changes… This landmark book underscores the fact that the “green” policies of the Nazis were more than a mere episode or aberration in environmental history.
Those links are further described in an influential essay:
A study of the membership rolls of several mainstream Weimar era Naturschutz (nature protection) organizations revealed that by 1939, fully 60 percent of these conservationists had joined the NSDAP [Nazi Party] (compared to about 10 percent of adult men and 25 percent of teachers and lawyers). Clearly the affinities between environmentalism and National Socialism ran deep.
Oh, yes, how chillingly familiar, too, is that base appeal to fear that Hamilton recommends:
I cannot see any alternative to ramping up the fear factor.
If Hamilton truly is as much as as student of Nazi history as he suggests, he’d be ashamed and alarmed to find himself ranting as he does now.
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