Thursday, December 31, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Andreas whipped up a gorgeous tune to my posting. This includes the full lyric, although the pronunciation is a little wide and not all the chorus are performed.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I'll be mine !
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou'd the gowans fine ;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o' thine !
And we'll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.

song is posted at

Peter Lucas - Suzanne

Peter Lucas performing Suzanne by Leonard Cohen at the Ubuntu Charity Concert, with Jamie O'Donnell, Emma Phillips, and Brandon Grigull.

Headlines Thursday 31st December 2009

While Time magazine called it the 'decade from hell,' it wasn't all bad. 'The aughts' saw broken glass ceilings and the fall of Saddam Hussein — take a look at the best and worst in politics at the start of the 21st century.


Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil Wahid (7 September 1940 – 30 December 2009), colloquially known as Gus Dur, was an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001. The long-time president of the Nahdlatul Ulama and the founder of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Wahid was the first elected president of Indonesia after the resignation of Suharto in 1998. Like many Indonesian names, "Abdurrahman Wahid", does not contain a family name. The name "Wahid" is patronymic.

Intel Agencies On Defensive
Defense officials, lawmakers start to point fingers after failed terror attack amid demands for 'accountability'

Terror Plot Smoking Gun?
CIA had detailed report on Nigerian man well before attempted plane bombing, but report's distribution was held up over lack of photo, source tells Fox News

Defense Bill Pays for Sprinkler System
Obama goes against promise to veto pork-barrel bills with $636 billion defense behemoth carrying $4.2 billion of pork

Abuse Claims Down College Coach
Texas Tech football coach fired as team prepares for Alamo Bowl after injured player alleges abuse

State Attorneys: Health Deal Illegal
13 GOP attorney generals threaten legal action if Congress doesn't remove Nebraska deal from health bill

Residents have questioned why they only received text alerts about the devastating Toodyay fire more than two hours after it started. The blaze eventually destroyed 37 homes. - the ALP govt left a mess. - ed.

Turn the boats away, says Abbott
TONY Abbott says he's got the guts to turn asylum boat people away, unlike the Prime Minister.

Party hard but safe this New Year's Eve
NEW Year's Eve revellers are being told to stay off the booze and play it safe, but still have fun.

Jessica battles her toughest time yet
JESSICA Watson says the Southern Ocean's been the worst part of her round the world sail.

How your life changes from tomorrow
WORKERS will get more rights, the first-home boost will end and IVF will cost more from midnight.

Where the bloody hell is my $250K car?
LARA Bingle's $250,000 Aston Martin has been stolen in what appears to be a targeted attack.

Barman sacked for pokie 'tip-off' scam
POLICE will investigate a Sydney barman who was sacked for selling "useless" information to hotel patrons revealing the payout history of poker machines.

Creepy crawlies hit Sydney

THEY are heavily armed and efficient predators _ and they're on the move. Weeks of hot, dry weather followed by recent rain has brought creepy crawlies out to invade backyards, laundries and pools in Sydney and regional centres. The conditions, and factors such as urban development and lots of pollen, has snakes, spiders, stinging caterdhpillars, bees, paper wasps and other bities looking for food or a mate.

Civilians die in suicide attack at US base
EIGHT American civilians have been killed in a suicide attack on a US military base in Afghanistan.
=== Journalists Corner ===

All American New Year
Celebrate our nation, our troops, and some of the hottest musical guests!
Plus, your texts and shouts outs could be on the air!

Sarah Palin Sounds Off!
Don't miss this encore presentation of the interview that had America talking!
Terror on Trial
Al Qaeda terrorists to stand trial steps from Ground Zero! Now, the victim's families speak out!
Countdown to New Year's
Glenn reflects on his first year at Fox and looks back at the show's best moments.
=== Comments ===
Gen. Clark: Time to Play Defense and Offense on Terror Threat in Yemen
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Hi, I'm Eric Bolling reporting for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us. We'll get to our top story, because we've got the new information about the attempted Christmas Day massacre, when 23-year-old Nigerian man allegedly tried to set off a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. We're now getting our first look at the explosive packed underwear the suspect wore. He claims he got the material from al Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

Meanwhile, late this afternoon, the president blamed the incident on a combination of bureaucratic breakdowns and human failure.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When our government has information on a known extremist, and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been, so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could have cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred. And I consider that totally unacceptable. The reviews I've ordered will surely tell us more. But what already is apparent is that there was a mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this catastrophic breach of security.


BOLLING: And yesterday, as the president detailed the list of investigations he's ordered into the incident from airport security, to no fly lists, it was this part of his Hawaiian statement that caught our attention.


OBAMA: Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values that we cherish as Americans. This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient that an isolated extremist.


BOLLING: But all evidence points to the fact that this was not an isolated extremist. Two former Gitmo detainees may have been involved in the Christmas Day plot. They were reportedly released from U.S. custody and sent to Saudi Arabia in 2007 after ending up in Yemen, in which - which is now evidently becoming a breeding ground for terrorists. In fact, a Yemeni foreign minister claims that hundreds of al Qaeda extremists are planning terror attacks from his country.

Joining us now from Little Rock, Arkansas, General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and former Democratic presidential candidate.
Tim Blair
The latest in a series of scientific reviews drawn from the New York Times archives:
• 1948: ”Scientists took stock here today of what science had wrought in the past hundred years and visioned a dark outlook for the human race in the next century. They linked this outlook to overpopulation and the dwindling of natural resources, both of which are the direct consequences of progress in science and technology.”
Bad science. Bad, bad science.
• 1955: “Three top scientists called today for a halt in the mass vaccination of children against poliomyelitis with Salk vaccine. They urged an immediate concentrated effort on producing a ‘safer’ vaccine …”
In the case of Salk, the science was definitely settled.
• 1963: “A team of three Australian scientists has concluded, with reservations, that their continent has moved some 3,400 miles, with respect to North America, during the last 100 million years.”
You can’t really blame us. We were trying to get away from all those Salk denialists and their polio germs.
Tim Blair
Maureen Dowd’s brother Kevin seems like a sensible fellow.
Tim Blair
An Australian tourist in India mocks the locals:
As we drove though a mid-sized village I noticed a petrol tanker at a service station bearing a hand-painted sign on the back: “Highly inflammable”. I love Indlish.
It isn’t “Indlish”. The locals are correct.
Tim Blair
It’s the 2009 Ford Multifont:

This impressively-decorated sedan is a massive step up from last year’s lowly Ford Chomsky.

UPDATE. In other motoring news:
A shopping centre in China’s Hebei province has built a car park with wider spaces that it says is designed especially to suit women drivers …

Official Wang Zheng told AFP news agency the car park was meant to cater to women’s “strong sense of colour and different sense of distance”.

The parking bays are one metre (3ft) wider than normal spaces, he said …

The Global Times website says female parking attendants have been trained to help guide women drivers into their parking spaces. The bays also have extra lighting.
Seems expensive. Why not just leave the bays as they were and hire some male valets?

Michelle Malkin & Mark Steyn Report on Obamacare Backlash

Michelle Malkin and Mark Steyn talk about the backlash against Obamacare.
Michelle mentions Obama's jokers signs springing up across the Midwest.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman pt 4

This follows part 3. Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
I was willing to accept the bargain made with Pat that I would not be subject to any further abuse, or more precisely, that I would be fairly treated in future. I took the label of being disabled from being too fat. I worked hard to limit the criticism of me partly by complying with some outrageous suggestions Helen was making regarding my teaching. I recognized my career was in tatters and that there was nothing I could do, so I worked for a way out of teaching. I did all the unpaid jobs I normally did that no one else would do, and I encouraged others to do the paid positions. I trained a staff member to run presentation day, and photograph day. I invited other teachers to go with students on chess excursions. I supported staff becoming year advisers and I continued to do the work supporting training teachers while not being paid for it. But I also took long service leave and wrote a book and got treatment for my sleep apnea. The Apnea treatment was described by my specialist as a 'cure' because I no longer suffer from the effects of it, so long as I use a CPAP machine to aid myself breathing at night.
Helen modified her complaints as I addressed them. Originally she didn't like my reports for being written to the student, not the parent. Then she didn't like them for my phrasing .. revealing an American accent that she felt the parents would not understand. Then she complained I wasn't providing individualized anecdotes of behavior. Then she decided that the reports that I was writing were too similar. She got a staff member to photocopy some report comments she endorsed. She complained of my using the same spelling as those reports. Not everything she did was that petty or humorous.
I had referred a student in '98 to Helen. The year 7 girl had sworn at me in class because I hadn't given her a merit card which she felt she had merited. I had the student wait outside the classroom and tried to speak with the student, but made no headway as the student had decided not to speak to me at all. After some twenty minutes or so of the student being abusive or not responsive I sent them to Helen. Helen came to the class before the end of the period, last period of the day. She waited for the class to leave and told me that the student had been sent home with the belief that I had said she had little tits to the entire class. She said it was a sexual allegation and needed to be dealt with by the Principal, Geoff. I went home to Hurlstone were Geoff had tried to nobble my position there at interview with his friend the Hurlstone Principal Michael. The next morning I got to work and the parents of the year 7 girl demanded I resign for abusing their little girl. I directed them to speak to the Principal. The girl was left in my class for the rest of the year, but she was not in my class ever again, except when she had a sport class in 2002 which Kathleen visited for no reason before declaring I was disgustingly fat. Helen later said that the girl withdrew her allegation, but I had heard Geoff ask her about them in 2001 and she had said she stood by the claim. I never confronted the child about the claim, which she continued to make to the class in '98. Her year adviser (Sean) had jokingly said that he probably shouldn't observe she had an inappropriately small school bag. The child had a younger brother who apparently successfully had a sexual assault allegation made regarding his year 3 teacher. He was placed by Helen in my class when he was in year 7.
Helen gave me strict instructions to mark every child's book every period. I did that, and included the results in my reports to parents. Helen placed in my class a student with learning difficulties who was the child of a colleague. I was instructed to check their bookwork and not accept any excuse for not being up to date with the class. The parent was very upset with me and their child, who was maths phobic, was traumatized before being withdrawn from my class. My class desks were arranged in pairs and straight lines, when I preferred that they were in group work format so there was more room for me to move.
Helen was advised that a year 7 girl had sworn in class in 2006 and that I had dealt with it, but I was concerned at what underlay it, as I thought some kids were demanding of her sex. She asked me what the language was the child had used and offered to speak to the girl. I declined, thinking the counsellor better capable of dealing with the issues and not wanting the poor student to be twisted by Helen's agenda. Helen agreed on a compromise of a teacher report being collected from the student's other teachers. Instead, the next day, Helen was acting Deputy when Kathleen had taken time off. Kathleen used to seem to take time off to let Helen do her work, which she never seemed on top of. On this occasion, Helen took the opportunity to pull the year 7 girl out of class and interview her. Helen called me while I was in the math staff room and asked me to repeat what the student had said. I pointed out that the student had already been dealt with, but I was concerned for their welfare, but Helen pressed, and I repeated what the student had said. Helen said "She is nodding, now she claims to remember." Helen had called me on a party line. I went and reported to Pat what was going down. Pat promised to deal with it. Helen led the student to me and the student shook my hand and promised to never swear again. The student was left in my class. I am unaware of any counseling taking place regarding the issue I wanted the student to address. The student left the school in year 8 and went to an all girl private school, graduating year 10 in 2009. We still meet from time to time but I have never explained to her how Helen had used her. I do not know what Helen had hoped to achieve, but believe she may have been fishing for an allegation of a sexual nature from the child that may have been used to target me.
With her constant failure to claim my career, Helen took the unusual step of marking every student down who was in my class for their trial HSC. She did not show me the papers she remarked. An independent authority had found my marking had been unusual, but not clearly biased. What I had done was to mark generously (and fairly) so as to not have the students complain about my marking. The marking was later standardized, so there wasn't any foul. Until, Helen marked down only my class. Later, Helen decided to amend my timetable without telling me. I went to my classes on time, even when I hadn't been warned.
Helen finally became successful when she spread her attacks to include my ambition for a post teaching career.
I had been writing since 2003, and I had written a book in 2004. I had written some short stories and I posted several daily blogs as well as music. I had some 2.5 million words and images to my name online, and these words were on diverse topics. My main blog Was Sydney's Conservative Weasel. That was a politics blog which had nothing to do with my day job. It included postings of daily headlines with links to articles. A few of the early articles dealt with Hamidur Rahman's issue.
The story continues

Headlines Wednesday 30th December 2009

Transportation Security Administration looks to increase number of full-body scanners at U.S. airports in wake of attempted Northwest Airlines flight bombing.

Was Big Government Obama's Answer?
Obama's decisions in his first year show what role he sees for government in addressing nation's problems

Obama: 'Systemic Failure' Leading Up to Jet Attack
President says information on terror suspect not properly shared, should have landed him on no-fly list

Iran Eyeing Secret Nuke Deal?
Tehran close to clinching deal to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, intel report says

Shooting Standoff at California Casino
Ex-employee reportedly opens fire, barricades himself inside Barona Resort and Casino gaming office

Burning car filmed as mum begs
ONLOOKERS ignored mum's pleas in order to film a burning car in which her daughters lay dying.

Man threatens to kill over $3 pizza topping
A MAN assaults a pizza delivery driver and threatens to kill over a $3 extra topping charge.

Python attacks in backyard spectacle
A FAMILY watched in horror as a python living in their backyard ate a young wallaby.

Teen fights for life after mosh pit madness
THE mum of a teen almost killed at a concert has warned parents of how a fun night can end in tragedy.

Windows got less annoying. Smartphones became smarter. The Internet became more entertaining. All in all, it was a good year for technology and the folks who use it.

Twins swindled millions from friends
IDENTICAL twins swindled more than $2.2 million from friends in a share scam, prosecutors say.

Defence salutes rare for women
JUST 30 of the 537 most senior officers in the Australian Defence Force are women and the navy has the worst record of promoting women, we can reveal.

Christmas family feud ends in dad's death
A FATHER-of-six died and his brother is fighting for his life after they were deliberately run down.

'Hand of God' Seen in Miracle Birth
Mom and son show no signs of life after Cesarean section on Christmas Eve, but then recover with no problems
=== Journalists Corner ===

As the year wraps up, we wanted to share a story of hope.

Jackie Tatje is an inspiring young woman. She first learned about Burma a few years ago while working with refugees from Burma in her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. After hearing the refugees' stories of determination and persistence, she was inspired to volunteer with U.S. Campaign for Burma.

Working with USCB this October, Jackie and four recently arrived Karen and Karenni refugees piled into a minivan and drove 3 hours to the U2 concert in Tampa Bay. They spent all day in the baking sun collecting signatures calling for the Burmese generals to be held accountable for crimes against humanity.

Jackie and her friends were rewarded that night when U2 invited them on stage for "Walk On," a tribute Bono wrote for Aung San Suu Kyi, "What an incredible moment it was to stand on that stage and look out over a crowd of 72,000 people who were all showing their support for something so near to my heart. I just stood there and cried."

We want to thank Jackie for her work. However, she is not alone. Many USCB members have stories similar to Jackie's. Burmese and American communities working together for real change in Burma forms the core of our membership. We want to thank each of you for your assistance throughout the year.

With your support, we collected 10,000 signatures at over a dozen U2 concerts. With your calls, we received record support from Congress and President Obama. And with your donations, we have continued to work every day for a free Burma.

As the year ends, we ask that you make a small holiday donation. Your donations fund the bulk of our work-we could not continue without your support. Together, we are working so that attacks in Burma end and Burmese refugees no longer need to seek safe haven elsewhere.

Bringing you the hard news - First!
Only one team delivers real reporting, real insight, and the real story!

Christmas Terror Plot
He's on the terror watch list - But, how did the suspect get past U.S. officials?
Guest: Karl Rove
The GOP continues the health care clash on Capitol Hill! So, does Rove think they have what it takes to stop the bill from becoming law?
All American New Year!
Celebrate our nation with some of the hottest musical guests; live from Times Square!
=== Comments ===
After the Airline Bomb Scare, Is It Time to Start Ethnic Profiling at Airports?
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: In the "unresolved problem" segment tonight, is political correctness to blame for allowing that would-be bomber from Nigeria on the Northwest Airlines plane? Think about it. The guy was on a watch list. He paid cash for his ticket. He had no luggage. Meantime, elderly grandmothers are getting stripped searched before they can board. Is it time to start profiling passengers?

Joining us now is Ann Coulter, author of the book "Guilty: Liberal Victims and their assault in America" now in paperback. And from L.A., Matthew Littman, a former senior advisor for the Obama campaign.

Ann, I'm going to start with you. Boy, you know, so what if we profile? They're trying to kill us. Jihadists are doing whatever they can, pulling things out of the book trying to kill us. And it's like we're fighting with one or two hands behind our back. Profiling, good or bad?
Tim Blair
Increase in Climate-linked Disasters Intensifies Demands on the Humanitarian Community
Natural catastrophes took many fewer lives and caused much less damage on average in 2009 than in the previous decade.
Tim Blair
James Morrow judges Judith White’s twisted “artistic freedom” defence of rapist Roman Polanski.
Tim Blair
The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Anne Davies – Washington correspondent and Sambo smearer – explains the US President’s declining popularity:
Obama ends his first year in office with the worst ratings of any modern president at the end of his first year - 49 per cent approve and 46 per cent disapprove of his job performance.

His problems have provided new momentum to the Republican Party and the conservative movement, whose protests have swelled to a political outpouring of discontent over causes as diverse as bank bail-outs, taxes, government spending, health-care reforms, immigration and discomfort with having an African-American president.
Got a source on that, Anne? Is it “Charley James” again?

UPDATE. The year in Obamic burger trends. Previous cigarette, whisky and handgun trends reflect superior leadership.
Tim Blair
The US ABC network reports:
Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents …

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.
So much for the brutal tactic of watercolouring.

St. Louis Protesters Bring Claire McCaskill Lumps of Coal for Christmas

Claire McCaskill gave Missouri rationed health care this week. So today tea party protesters returned the favor. Each protesters was rationed one lump of coal to leave at McCaskill's St. Louis office.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 29th December 2009

Multiple SIM cards linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab may help determine whom terror suspect spoke to leading up to incident on Detroit-bound flight.

Iran Gripped by Chaos
Anti-government protests turn deadly as 15 demonstrators reportedly killed in clashes with Iran security forces

GOP Eyes Vacancies in House
With 11 Democatic seats opening up in the House, Republicans presented with numerous attractive targets

Mississippi Fire Tragedy
Nine people, including at least six children, killed in early morning apartment blaze, officials say

Kiwis pip Aussies at finish line

THIS year's Sydney to Hobart race saw four-time winner Wild Oats left out in the cold.

National road toll now reaches 51
A fiery collision between a tanker and several cars has killed two children as well as an adult.

Trapped pets' owner faces cruelty charges
THREE dogs rescued from a car have been returned to their owner who now faces cruelty charges.

No charges likely in Pope attack
THE alleged Pope attacker is unlikely to face charges due to her mental state.

More Aussies breaking law abroad
MORE Australians are getting into trouble with the law resulting in a record number being arrested overseas during the past year.

Cancer charity gives less than 1%
LESS than one cent in every dollar raised by an Australian charity has gone to its intended cause in its first two financial years, documents show. The Adelaide-based National Cancer Research Foundation last year picked up $387,864 in donations but gave just $4900 away, according to its audited profit and loss statements. The year before, it raised almost $197,160, giving away only $935.

How tragedy took their little Houdini

JOEL Walker's mother thought he was locked safely inside his grandmother's house but the tiny "Houdini" had escaped to the pool in the backyard.
=== Journalists Corner ===

'Terror in the Skies!'
As a man with suspected terror ties boards a plane with explosives and attempts to detonate them - What does this say about our security?

A New Year ... A New Health Care System?
The Senate said yes - But does it really mean the new bill is a go?
"I Survived 2009"
Look back to the moments that made the show special, and the moments that gave people an aneurysm...
All American New Year!
Celebrate our nation with some of the hottest musical guests; live from Times Square!
=== Comments ===
Contempt detonates Aussie-Arabic future
Piers Akerman
WITH uncanny timing, The Sydney Morning Herald has gone in to bat for Keysar Trad, long-time sidekick of Lakemba’s notorious Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Din al-Hilaly, as a Nigerian would-be suicide bomber was dragged from a US plane after unsuccessfully trying to blow it from the skies. - Piers nailed it. For some reason it is acceptable for any one opposing conservatives to say anything. They may apologize for terrorism without every saying sorry. At least Rudd says sorry .. or is that at most? Anyways, Marr's career is based on smearing the dead man of former NSW Premier Askin. NSW prospered under Askin, so Marr needed to inflate an issue against Askin that he ignored about Wran, Unsworth and Carr. That is the style of Marr's journalism. - ed.
Is Couric Right About Our Angry, 'Disrespectful' Nation?
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: And thank you for staying with us. I am Monica Crowley reporting tonight for Bill O'Reilly.

And in the "Personal Story" segment, CBS News anchor Katie Couric seems to think her viewers are, well, kind of cranky.


KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I think the economic situation in this country, I think when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage.

And I think -- I feel like right now, in many ways, we're a very angry nation, and whenever I think it's never -- it's not going to get more polarized, it seems to. But it all seems to be expressed through a prism of anger and disgust and disrespect, which I find really, really troubling.


CROWLEY: Way to attract more viewers, Katie.

Is this another example of the elite left-wing media looking down on Americans, or is Katie right about the mood of this country?
Tim Blair
An ethical challenge emerges for those of us who rejected and ridiculed the hunger strikes of various green types who’d vowed not to eat until world governments gave them what they wanted. Now someone from the opposite side of the issue – an Australian farmer who claims he’s being railroaded by government carbon sink plans – is also on a hunger strike:
As his health begins to fail, protesting farmer Peter Spencer swore yesterday he would die before giving in to a Federal Government decision to make his farm a carbon sink …

Mr Spencer, who is chained to a wind tower more than 20m above ground, claims the government declared his property in Shannons Flat, north of Cooma, a carbon sink without offering any compensation. He says the move has left him unable to earn a living because he cannot clear land and redevelop the farm, and he is demanding a personal meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss the issue.
So, here’s a bloke most regulars here would probably agree with about pointless and invasive government environmental policies. Were we to choose sides in this dispute, we’d take Spencer’s – particularly given the trees-before-people nature of the government’s decision. Yet he is vowing to starve himself to death unless the government yields. He is using Climate Justice Fast tactics.

This kinda changes things for us, doesn’t it? Hmmm?

Well, no. It doesn’t change things at all. The government is right not to respond to Spencer while he is attempting this form of extortion. It doesn’t matter how unfairly he believes he’s been treated – the hunger strike is a deal-breaker.

In fact, what we have here instead is a test for Paul Connor and Anna Keenan and the two or three other climate fasters worldwide who measure the value of a cause by how much someone won’t eat. Do they support Peter Spencer? Do they think the government should cave in and allow him to harvest trees due to the evident integrity of his beliefs? Are they convinced by the seriousness of his quest that Spencer is “morally right”?

Let’s make the question direct. Were the decision up to the climate fasters, would they let Spencer chop down trees – or let him die?

Over to you, fasters.
Tim Blair
These numbers are staggering:
Less than one cent in every dollar raised by an Australian charity has gone to its intended cause in its first two financial years, documents show.

The Adelaide-based National Cancer Research Foundation last year picked up $387,864 in donations but gave just $4900 away, according to its audited profit and loss statements.

The year before, it raised almost $197,160, giving away only $935.
Only $935? Even common blogs do better. So where did all cancer charity money go?
Most of the money raised in the past two financial years went on commissions, management fees, travelling expenses and drivers.
Yep. That’ll fix cancer.
Tim Blair
Teenager Umar Akmal – a name to remember, writes the ABC’s Glenn Mitchell – lights up the MCG:

Tim Blair
Warmenist hostilities continue, now including round two of James Hansen vs. Tim Flannery:
Tim is a great biologist, but he hasn’t looked at the data on emissions and the effect of a cap with offsets. In fact, it does not decrease emissions.
You going to let him get away with that, mate? After you’ve finished your moonbattle with Clive Hamilton, you should take this Hansen fellow down, whoever he is. In happier news, art:
Mohib Ebrahim has created professional timelines for exhibitions, so it must have seemed only natural to him to want to visually piece together the full timeline of ClimateGate, laying out the analysis, graphs, emails and history of the scandal as revealed by dozens of researchers over the past weeks, months and years.
It’s beautiful, and would make perfect wallpaper to improve dull East Anglia offices. A good question is asked:
How can the AGW alarmists maintain their religion in the face of such science?
How? Why, they just crank up the numbers, like Sydney Mitchell of Erina:
Australia is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter per capita; our major source of power is coal, the most polluting fuel source; we export zillions of tonnes of coal to China, encouraging them to copy us.
Millions isn’t good enough. Nor is billions. Only by invoking zillions will Gaia now be pleased.
Tim Blair
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be stuck next to some eloquent yet tiresome Eurobore at a dinner party – I’ve sacrificed a few hours in such circumstances – just read this piece by ex-EU commissioner Chris Patten, which begins sharply enough (as your deceptive Eurobore will do), descends into extended conventional-wisdom waffle, then ends in over-refreshed whimsy as hosts nudge him towards the door:
Still, however gloomy the outlook, we do stagger on - the flowers still bloom, the breeze stirs the trees, the birds sing, and children laugh.
You much prefer to dine with General Patton, the ex-commissioner’s near-namesake. For that matter, you’d prefer to be shot by General Patton.
Tim Blair
Finally, a worthwhile use for bicycles.
Tim Blair
Jo Thornely celebrates enhanced reality:
I’m actually flattered that hundreds of people are working tirelessly while I sleep, snap-freezing, thawing, waxing, polishing and preservative-pumping just so I can have a plump, shiny, juicy, apple to eat in the morning.

Hey, Snow White ate a poisoned apple, and look at her statistics - she’s beautiful, famous, married to a prince and has seven hard-working mates. PLUS she managed to get a good nap. That’s chemical-fuelled multi-tasking, people.
I bet that organic food joints throw apples out if they don’t have enough imperfections.

UPDATE. Nature wins as a naturally-occurring substance appears following a back-to-nature bongo fest:
A New Hampshire woman diagnosed with a form of anthrax recently attended a drumming circle event, and authorities are asking other owners of African drums to consider having their drums tested for the naturally occurring spores.
The poor woman is critically ill. This isn’t the only recent case of drum-induced sickness:
Authorities are exploring a possible link to African drums because two of the most recent U.S. cases involved drums. In 2007, two members of a Connecticut family were treated in 2007 for cutaneous anthrax traced to animal hides used to make African drums. In 2006, a New York dancer and drum maker recovered from the first case of naturally occurring inhalation anthrax in the United States since 1976.
On those numbers alone, drumming circles are a greater public menace than is global warming. Ban them.

Health officials said more testing must be done before the woman’s case could be linked to the drums. The anthrax spores can be examined to determine if they are the same strain.

Officials said no one who participated in the drum circle events is in danger, but they are asking people who brought their own drums to the events between October and December to contact them so the drums can be tested for anthrax.
These drums – all drums – should be tested to pieces. You can’t be too careful.

Nebraska Governor Tells Dem Senator Nelson to Give Back His Bribe to Harry Reid

Nebraska Republican Governor Heineman told Democratic Senator Ben Nelson to give Majority Leader Harry Reid back his $100 million bribe. Reid slipped the bribe in the Obamacare bill to buy Nelson's vote.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman pt 3

This follows part 2. Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
I was unaware of the cover up as it was happening because I had been focused on other things and it hadn't occurred to me it could happen the way it did. I had known I was being unfairly shuffled off from my night work at Hurlstone AHS. I was also aware of being undermined by some of my colleagues at Canley Vale HS. I had thought they were independent and the result of natural office politics. I was arrogant and felt that the worst case scenario for me in dealing with my abusers was to wait them out. I had turned to my father for advice, but he had already disowned me because of his choices he had made many years previous.
Richard P had been undermining me at Hurlstone. I believe it was because I am fat. Our first meeting in 1996 had not gone well. I was one of many interested persons applying for a residential boarder tutor position at Hurlstone. Richard stared at my belly for awhile, and said that there were long walks involved with the position. I said I was up for it, but I didn't progress for interview that year. In 1997, I applied again. Richard was not acting as position supervisor this time, and I went to interview and got a position. I was the only male Math Teacher, and the only Math teacher interested in working with Mathematics. Richard had apparently undermined the previous Welfare Head Teacher (Boys) and he replaced him before I began work in '98. Richard's first move with me was to declare my position was probationary subject to my proving my fitness. On my first night as supervisor, Richard made a show of keeping me up beyond the 11pm lights out and made me watch as he opened a child's locker which turned out to have drug paraphernalia (items like a dirty bong or two). It was about 1am before I was allowed to go to sleep prior to a work day. I could do that because I was untreated for my sleep apnea, and for the first 36 years or so of my life I never actually slept, but rested. It was never announced, but I was off probation and highly respected for my math teaching.
I was asked to apply to transfer to the school by the new Head Teacher of Math. Richard seemed unhappy about it, and he would often pull me aside and raise some concerns he might have with my professionalism. He would say I should take care to tutor more than invest time in residential welfare, pointing to times when I had clearly gone above and beyond and should have been congratulated for. I would cover for my colleagues who seemed to work hard at doing the bare minimum, but I had wanted to devote my life to a worthwhile purpose and I felt Education was it. So I would be left alone by my colleagues seeking to skip prep(study supervision) times, or I would go to more than a few parent teacher nights placed around the state and Richard would tell me I needed to go to at least one parent teacher night, or mustn't skip prep when I hadn't. I was concerned that Richard might be fabricating a case against me, but I could do nothing, so I kept smiling and talking up the work and Richard. Richard was eventually made permanent in his role, much to the amusement of staff who could remember his five or six previous attempts at getting the position. At one stage, Richard had apparently been told that he would never get the position because everyone knew he wanted it and no one would respect him because of what he had done previously.
Helen was also apparently fabricating things at Canley Vale HS, but she only took the position in 1998 and I had been fielding abuse from Geoff, then Principal at Canley Vale HS, and Helen kept blaming Geoff for decisions she was making, or statements. She would tell me that Geoff was concerned that I might not be teaching my class properly. Helen would use examples like "Reading the newspaper in class." In fact, I would occasionally read from a historical column on something relevant to the class, a birthday of someone or some event that happened long ago. There were others who actually read the papers and ignored their classes, so the comment from Helen was particularly offensive. If I was forced to send a student to Helen they would return with an attitude that they had somehow gotten me into trouble. Helen would later raise some wild inflation of events to me, and I had thought it was the student's doing. It was only later that I realized Helen had an agenda and she wasn't being hard on me because she wanted the best of me, but because of other, more personal reasons.
Things would have been merely difficult for me, until I applied to transfer to Hurlstone. Firstly there was an unfortunate meeting between the Head Teacher of Math at Hurlstone with Campbelltown PAHS Head Teacher of Math. I ws later to find out the Capmbelltown HT Math was a colleague or cousin of Helen's. Further, the Campbelltown PAHS HT only knew part of my role in whistle blowing on an apparent pedophile which the Department had apparently covered up after the Woods Royal Commission branched into teaching. I had been promised the President's position by the incumbent who was Head Teacher Math at Hurlstone. He also promised to advise me on my resume. But after the meeting with Campbelltown HT Math, I was not invited to interview after he declined to advise me on my resume. I asked why, and was told it had nothing to do with the Campbelltown meeting, but from Canley Vale. I knew it was either Geoff or Helen. Geoff was friends with the Principal of Hurlstone and had nobbled me at interview. Helen was claiming to act on Geoff's orders. Hurlstone's HT Math wouldn't say who. I had told Helen of my fears regarding the Campbelltown meeting, so I began to think she was the one who had talked to Hurlstone and burned me.
After the failed application, Richard began inflating things I couldn't ignore. He ordered me to appear before the Hurlstone Deputy Joe on a fabricated matter. I pointed out the things I had ignored previously in a written submission. Including Richard's opening a toilet door I was using for year ten students, or undermining me when a student had spent a night with his girlfriend and I had found out by taking a role. I pointed out that Richard's behaviour may be bigoted or wrong headed, but it was not professional and was certainly personal. However I would behave professionally. I was later moved from my accommodation to be adjacent with junior boys. I had no problems with that, but my new accommodation was beneath the boiler room. Other staff alerted me to porn being stored in the ceiling, and they got rid of it for me, as i couldn't climb into a roof space and i was concerned that the porn would be 'discovered' by Richard and I would be blamed. Richard then decided that there was a leak into my room from the boys showers or toilets, and so I was moved to emergency accommodation and my goods were left in the staff common room. During the Olympics, the staff common room was used by the Olympic Road traffic Authority who were also given access to my toilet and shower. I was told by Richard that my accommodation had been fixed by the end of the year, but in the last week, he said there was another leak. He pointed to where what looked like a glass of water had been thrown on the ceiling and wall. I spent the holidays in an unlocked common room which had mosquitos, mice and other vermin. I then had to find accommodation outside the school until the repairs were made. The repairs were made, but then another teacher nearing retirement was given the place. Then they said they might not retire after all.
It was after I found out that another teacher was to be given my accommodation for a time that I had the meeting with Hamidur.
I asked the Principal of Hurlstone if I had any complaints about my work. I was assured that there had been none. I asked when I might return to my duty at Hurlstone and was told I might never work there again, and that i had never been promised I would. I approached the local director of schools and he said he could do nothing for me. however, he allowed me to call the principal who purchased an air conditioner I had left behind for a reduced price. Then in 2002, Hamidur died. I had dropped all hope of working at Hurlstone again by that time, and had also felt I was a marked person who would never get a promotions position either. Helen told me to come with her to a Higher School Certificate markers meeting. She offerred me a lift from a nearby railway station. She lived nearby, but it was a long trip for me. The Campbelltown PAHS HT Math was there, and I saw them together for the first time. I asked if they were related, and they laughed together and said that I couldn't prove anything. Helen seemed really upset with me for not extending an olive branch to Campbelltown.
Some things I didn't pay attention to. When the Principal of Canley Vale walked to school with me one morning, claiming he had car maintenance, I took the opportunity to share unimportant conversation with him. He also tried to give me a lift in his car when it was raining, but I politely declined. Once, Canley Vale Deputy Kathleen asked to tag along with sport and watch Volleyball with some year 10 kids. I accepted and asked if there was anything I might do and she said it was ok. At the end of the year (02) Geoff had decided to retire. I had completed a team leadership course outside of school hours. Helen led me to Geoff's office and Geoff and Kathleen then told me they had spoken with the local director of schools Hedley. Hedley was directing me to attend Healthquest to see if I was fit enough to teach. Hedley's direction was followed by observations Geoff had made with my walk to school, with declining to accept a lift in his car and with Kathleen's observations of my sport supervision. They listed some allegations Helen had made about students complaining about my teaching Math. I asked Geoff why this happened just before he retired, thinking that any appeal attempt i would make might be overturned because Geoff had retired. He said, I was thinking a lot about this over 8 years, and finally decided I had to do this. Kathleen said I was so fat it was disgusting. Geoff and I ignored her. I pointed out that the faked observations were a denial of natural justice.
Beginning 2003 I approached the new Canley Vale Principal Pat, and asked him to reconsider. He pointed out it wasn't geoff but Hedley who made the call.
I engaged a lawyer to see if i could avoid the Healthquest meeting not because I was concerned about my fitness, although I knew i was fat, but because of the inflated aspects of the referral. A few thousand dollars later I attended Healthquest, having been assured by Pat that if unfair things had happened in the past, they would be kept in the past. I was told to use it as an opportunity to possibly lose weight. The doctor of Healthquest asked me attitudinal questions regarding child protection which I patiently answered. They got me to urinate in a small cup, which I did, nearly hurting myself in the process as there was no surface with which to place the cup and I was very fat and holding it with my hands was nigh impossible. The doctor checked my genitals and declared they were small (a symptom of obesity). The doctor offered me a retirement pension or the ability to go back to work. Taking Pat's promise as read, I accepted going back to work. My employment was marked as my having a disability with no special provision.
I complained to the Director General of Education (Boston) and was referred to a family friend who Assistant Director General. Legal office from the Department of Education called me to tell me that the Department would never talk to me again as they had labeled me a nuisance complainer. I asked why, and he said it was because of the death at Hurlstone. I pointed out I had nothing to do with that, and was many miles away when it happened, and the legal officer quipped "Can I quote you on that?" Then the legal officer said the conversation I was having with him was unofficial, but if I ever sent another complaint to the Dept. of Ed. it would be recorded but ignored.
The story continues

Headlines Monday 28th December 2009

Cops searching for two men who gunned down Salvation Army major on Christmas Eve in front of his 3 kids.

Incredible Coincidence?
Sick Nigerian passenger on same flight terror suspect took in failed Christmas attack causes panic at airport; officials call it a 'non-event,' coincidence

Fierce Clashes in Tehran
Iranian security forces fire on anti-government protesters in Tehran, killing five — including opposition leader's nephew — in the fiercest clashes in months

Al Qaeda's New Playground
With stepped up presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, terror organization eyes Yemen for new home base

It's nearly New Year's Eve, just as we recover from all those Christmas parties. One charity says it's time for a break.

Wave of retirees could break the bank
A ‘DOUBLE whammy’ as baby boomers start claiming the pension and paying less tax.

Floods, fires in extreme weather watch
ONE end of the country is on flood alert, while the other side braces for catastrophic fire conditions.

Dad 'hit baby in head' while in car
WITNESS phones police after allegedly seeing a father hitting a baby in the head in a car.

Drunken brawl lands Sheen, wife in rehab
CHARLIE Sheen and wife to enter rehab after violent Christmas day brawl which involved a weapon.

Bush roads an easier route for P-plates
CITY learner drivers are sitting their tests in country towns with more chance of passing, with the top 62 places drivers get their P-plates in rural areas.
=== Comments ===
The riddle of Rudd’s incredible popularity
Piers Akerman
ONE of the year’s intriguing mysteries remains the source of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s popularity when there is no evidentiary reason for the continuing level of public support he enjoys. - They are not in trouble yet. Nor will they be until they have lost an election. William Connelly has smeared me on wiki a number of times. His latest effort was to remove a question I had asked, repeating the claims of another git. He replaced the question with the statement that he had removed personal abuse. A terrible smear. What his colleague had said was that climate gate was the product of fevered imaginations, and those supporting condemning the scientists involved were probably influenced by aliens, lasers and wore pot pans on their heads. I asked if that was going to be his argument, as he had contributed no other.
I have also contributed articles to wikipedia and I know that it is very difficult if you don’t have the support of fellow editors. I have declared myself a christian and a conservative and whenever I post an article I face some outrageous accusations. I even posted one on my late father and another on his colleague both of whom held significant posts at universities and both of whom contributed much to knowledge. Yet within seconds of my posting them there were calls to cut them down, claiming they weren’t significant. For anyone to have authored 5000 articles suggests substantial editorial patronage.
Rudd benefits from similar media support. Channel 7 Today Tonight promised to support me if I chose to resign over the Hamidur Rahman issue, but following the NSW state election in 07, and prior to the federal election, they withdrew support after I had resigned. I think they did that in order to eliminate anything that might have hurt Rudd. Those same people are still defending Rudd from valid criticism and will do so until he loses .. but he won’t lose for lack of their support. - ed.
I wonder DD also how serious the media really are in the current supposed campaign to remove the NSW Government. I would have thought that a proper examination of how a NSW Government Minister accused of child sex crimes was tipped off and protected within parliament would have been sufficient to call for its dispatching, but the media are protecting Labor mates by keeping what could cause serious damage quiet. That includes ignoring the tabling just before the Christmas recess of a report from a committee which was supposed to be examining the evidence, but which fortuitously found advice that it had no jurisdiction to do so. It served well to keep the matter quiet for another 18 months though. There are enough pertinent questions in meeting transcripts to raise the alarm about whether the law is upheld in the very place where it is made! We are not well served by those we rely on to keep them honest!
DD Ball replied
Linda, I held off reporting the full facts of my story for as long as I could because there are stupid but largely innocent people involved. However, I have now been forced to default on my home loan and I am negotiating with my bank as to when I may have to sell, subject to an appeal to APRA to access my superannuation. I have initiated telling salient points here, and will continue to do so until I finally go under.
As for how it was swept under the carpet, the answer is simple and obvious. I do not know the actual detail of your issue, but I know ALP Govt processes. Basically the independent bodies have been compromised so no investigation is done. Obfuscation is performed by ministers over the issue and they get away with it not so much because the press is partisan, which they are, but because junior people cover the issues which senior people want ignored. In a similar, sick kind of way, Hamidur Rahman may have died because a Dept of Ed. official wanted to know if peanut allergy was as serious as had been told to them and they wanted to force their will on a school boy with an independence streak. It wasn’t malice, it was stupidity.
Linda replied
DD - There is indeed a similarity with your issue in that an employee involved in reporting a crime has been prevented by a failure of so-called independent and investigative agencies, meant to protect the people and get to the truth, from disclosing what she knows. In a nutshell that it was known within parliament that a NSW Government Minister was under investigation for the kinds of crimes which out in the real world are subject to mandatory reporting requirements and nothing was done except remove an identified police witness from where she was endangering the Minister. Put whatever interpretation you like on that!

This is not my issue, I merely try to raise the alarm, but one I would have thought of grave public concern, the point of the article being the protection afforded to those of the same political persuasion as the majority of journalists. It is especially pertinent at a time when a supposed campaign to remove the NSW Government is being promoted in the media to question why such a serious matter is not being vigorously pursued.
Tim Blair
An oldtimer gets it on and gets thrown out:
The 86-year-old governor of a southern Indian state resigned Saturday, a day after a television news channel broadcast a tape allegedly showing him in bed with three women, an official said …

A statement issued on Friday by Aryendra Sharma, an aide to the governor, said ‘’the news channel report is fabricated, false and malicious to tarnish the image of the governor.’’
Such a terrible, terrible tarnishing. Meanwhile, consider the peaceful and virtually crime-free town of Taylor, Alabama:
Crime in Taylor (2008):

0 murders (0.0 per 100,000)
0 rapes (0.0 per 100,000)
0 robberies (0.0 per 100,000)
0 assaults (0.0 per 100,000)
2 burglaries (101.0 per 100,000)
4 thefts (202.0 per 100,000)
0 auto thefts (0.0 per 100,000)
So what explains the glumness of three-term Taylor mayor Joel H. Napier and his friend Cynthie Casper?

Tim Blair
Seinfeld fans will remember The Switch:

JERRY: Can’t be done, huh?
GEORGE: The Switch?
JERRY: The Switch.
GEORGE: Can’t be done.
JERRY: I wonder.

They’re talking about the difficulty of ending a relationship with one woman and seamlessly beginning a relationship with her roommate. Granted, it couldn’t be easy, but there’s another move that makes The Switch seem almost as simple as breathing, or receiving a parking ticket in Sydney.

We’re talking here about The Switch of Federal Governments After a Single Term.
Tim Blair
Longtime reader and friend Richard McEnroe is dealing with a family crisis in NYC this Christmas. Please leave a supportive note at the link. Our thoughts are with you, mate.
Tim Blair
Border security as it should be:

UPDATE. Maybe Toyota should stick to rugged 4WDs. Sam Abuelsamid reports Prius braking issues:
The problem reportedly being experienced in the new Prius relates to an apparent loss of deceleration when the brakes transition from regen to friction braking. Having worked on the controls for similar braking systems in a previous life as an engineer, I can say from experience that this is not an uncommon problem. Typically, it occurs when the friction brakes are producing less torque than the model predicts.
Stupid models. When will they get their predictions right?
Tim Blair
Another scientific tour through the NYT’s archives …

• 1902: “HOLY SHROUD TESTED; French Scientists Claim that It Possesses Photographic Properties—Their Conclusions Accepted.”

Thus the Shroud of Turin is vindicated by peer review.


The NYT should employ that cat as an editor.

• 1926: “The skull of a man declared to antedate any yet found in the Americas and which scientists claim supports the theory that a race of supermen once inhabited Cuba has been presented to the University of Havana.”
Tim Blair
Peter Roebuck describes Australia as:
… the most uptight of Western countries.
No wonder Roebuck spends so much time here, then. His Royal Uptightness must feel right at home.
Certain people believe Cuba is still inhabited by supermen.

Lib Reporter Connolly: White House Gave Sen. Dodd Sweetheart Deal To Help Him Win Re-Election

Liberal reporter Ceci Connolly admitted that the Senator Dodd received a sweetheart deal in the Obamacare bill from the White House to help him with his re-election.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman Pt2

This follows part 1. Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
Dinner time had all the children lining up in year groups. There was a set pattern for entrance which was rotated so as to be fair. The students would collect their meals from the kitchen staff. Normally a senior member of staff would give the instructions, and on this evening this was not going to be me. I had worked on staff for the last three years, and everyone else had arrived recently, but one of the new arrivals, John B, was a special case. He was employed as five boarder tutors, so that he worked every day of the week, and every other weekend. He was more senior and he had been told by Richard that he was the person in charge of the evening. I stood in a supportive position and quietly told him what to do when he looked helpless.
The students would generally finish their dinner in about 15 minutes, and the staff would sit at the staff table and not dismiss them until half past. The students would have cleaned up their dishes and set up for the following meal, which in this case was to be breakfast. Before the dinner was well underway, but after the staff had seated themselves, this year 7 boy who looked Indian and very out of place, made his way to the staff dining table. He passed some senior tables and they made some comments and he gave back as good as he got. Approaching the teacher's table he called out, and the staff member closest to him turned around and faced him. He said his fork was dirty from breakfast or lunch with some peanut butter. My first comment was for him to enjoy it. He said "You don't understand. I have a peanut allergy and if I have so much as a microscopic amount I could get very sick or die and it would be your fault." John quickly grabbed a fork and followed the boy back to his table, checking to see if anything else might need cleaning. When John came back to the table I asked if he knew about the boys issue, or if anyone else had had similar needs. He said 'no' but maybe the Head Teachers were aware. I pointed out that I was being pushed off campus, so I volunteered to raise the issue with Richard.
I got my opportunity to raise it with Richard later. We were in the staff common room, and alone. It was just prior to my going for the evening. I told him about the incident and he asked who it was. I said I didn't know the boy, but had seen him around recently. He was the Indian boy. Richard said that it was Hamidur Rahman. I shrugged and said it didn't matter who it was, but it was a substantial issue affecting all the boarding staff. Richard asked if Peanut Allergy were that serious when the Head Teacher of Science (Greg P) walked in. Greg said Peanut Allergy was serious, although unlikely to kill. I said the staff needed to know. Richard agreed he would tell them.
A few weeks later, on another duty, I asked Richard if he had told the staff. He said he had, and warned me not to discuss the matter with anyone as it would be a serious breach of discipline if I were to discuss the welfare issues of a school child. I thought Richard might have lied to me about telling the staff, so I spoke to his superior, the Deputy Joe M. Joe M also said staff had been told, but I must not discuss welfare issues with anyone. I met with some of the members of staff from that evening and asked if anything had been said, and they said it might have been, but not to them. Prior to dinner, I came across Hamidur again and asked if the staff were more sympathetic now, and he said that if they were, he wasn't aware. I told him it was important he speak up, as I wouldn't be around much longer to press the issue. He asked why I was going. I said I might not be employed again as I was casual, although I thought to myself it was because Richard was trying to get rid of me for being fat. Hamidur asked if I had given up. I said "No, I haven't given up." Hamidur answered "Well I won't give up." And he turned and left me. I never saw him again.
Hamidur died in a school camp a year later. A teacher had rewarded him for finishing an activity by ordering him to lick peanut butter from a spoon. Maybe Hamidur thought that as he was in front of everyone in his year, and he had spoken enough on the issue, this might prove once and for all peanut allergy could make him very sick .. and the supervising teacher would get into trouble. Instead, Hamidur died in seconds. A coronial enquiry was not allowed to see my testimony on the issue as the Department of Education would later cover it up. When asked about the issue in the Legislative Council, the Department of Ed. replied
The tragic death by anaphylaxis of a student of Hurlstone Agricultural High School in March 2002 was the subject of a Coronial Inquiry conducted by Senior Deputy State Coroner Milledge. She delivered her findings on 9 September 2005. The recommendations of the Coronial Inquiry have been closely examined by the Department of Education and Training, NSW Health, non-government schools and other organisations as part of a Coronial Taskforce chaired by the Chief Health Officer. As a consequence, many changes to the management of food allergies were introduced from 2006 onwards and have become a standard part of Departmental policy and practice.
I am advised that the letter from the former teacher in April 2007 was provided 18 months after the conclusion of the inquest. The information appears not to relate to the boy who died, as it describes an event that occurred in the dining hall of the boarding house in 2001. That is, it appears to relate to a boarding student, while the boy who died was a day student.
Following is part 3

Headlines Sunday 27th December 2009

Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab charged with attempting to blow up Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day.

Communication 'Breakdown'?
Lawmakers say attempted terror attack raises troubling questions, pledge to 'get to the bottom' of incident

Lawmakers to Take On Health Bill Issues
Americans receiving medical coverage — and who will pay for it — will be key issues when Congress returns

'Christmas Miracle' as Missing Girl Found
A 5-year-old girl taken from Phoenix home rescued hours later after police chased down suspect's pickup truck

People across Asia paused today to remember the day five years ago when an undersea earthquake unleashed a devastating wave that killed more than 220,000 people

Man shot by police linked to bikie gang
A MAN shot dead by police on Christmas Day during a heated stand-off has been linked to the Rebels motorcycle gang.

Robert Mugabe 'forward thinking': Aussie MPs
ZIMBABWEAN dictator Robert Mugabe is "forward-thinking", the Islamist paramilitary organisation Hezbollah is "not radical" and chickens in Thailand are scrawny. These are among the startling findings of $4.9 million in taxpayer-funded political study tours. Federal MPs spent the record sum in just six months of globetrotting to June 30 this year, visiting 31 countries to "investigate" everything from the global financial crisis to Mekong River hill tribes and upmarket boutiques in Milan - the ALP have a gift for befriending such dictators, and they are the government supporting this dictator - ed.

Booze ban bottles up New Year spirit
NEW Year's Eve may be one of the soberest on record, with alcohol banned in parks and beaches

'Stupid' men swim in baited crocodile trap
MEN who made faces from inside a croc trap have been criticised for their "absolute stupidity".

Pregnant woman hit by van loses baby
A PREGNANT woman who was struck by a van that mounted a footpath on the NSW Central Coast has lost her baby.

Clogged volcano could erupt explosively
RUMBLING Mayon volcano, which has oozed lava for weeks, is showing signs of a powerful eruption any day now.

Smile for the $1m camera
A LONE red-light camera has collected more than $1 million in fines for the NSW Government, snaring a record 50 drivers every week, official documents show.

Foreign students pay public shools $40m
New government figures, released exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, show that 3163 international students were enrolled in 240 primary and secondary schools to June this year. The industry has become such a lucrative export sector - foreign students pay as much as $12,820 each in fees - it has bolstered the NSW economy by $40.3 million.
=== Comments ===
The riddle of Rudd’s incredible popularity
Piers Akerman
ONE of the year’s intriguing mysteries remains the source of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s popularity when there is no evidentiary reason for the continuing level of public support he enjoys. - They are not in trouble yet. Nor will they be until they have lost an election. William Connelly has smeared me on wiki a number of times. His latest effort was to remove a question I had asked, repeating the claims of another git. He replaced the question with the statement that he had removed personal abuse. A terrible smear. What his colleague had said was that climate gate was the product of fevered imaginations, and those supporting condemning the scientists involved were probably influenced by aliens, lasers and wore pot pans on their heads. I asked if that was going to be his argument, as he had contributed no other.
I have also contributed articles to wikipedia and I know that it is very difficult if you don’t have the support of fellow editors. I have declared myself a christian and a conservative and whenever I post an article I face some outrageous accusations. I even posted one on my late father and another on his colleague both of whom held significant posts at universities and both of whom contributed much to knowledge. Yet within seconds of my posting them there were calls to cut them down, claiming they weren’t significant. For anyone to have authored 5000 articles suggests substantial editorial patronage.
Rudd benefits from similar media support. Channel 7 Today Tonight promised to support me if I chose to resign over the Hamidur Rahman issue, but following the NSW state election in 07, and prior to the federal election, they withdrew support after I had resigned. I think they did that in order to eliminate anything that might have hurt Rudd. Those same people are still defending Rudd from valid criticism and will do so until he loses .. but he won’t lose for lack of their support. - ed.

Tim Blair
Email awkwardness:

Tim Blair
The NYT reports:
Rebecca Young of Mountain View, Calif., recently opened her mail to find a gift from an old friend in New York City.

“Carbon reduction certificate,” it read. It is good for three tons of carbon emissions that will be “retired” in her name so that no power plant will ever release them into the atmosphere …

Ms. Young, a marketing manager for the environmental Web site, was delighted.
And who wouldn’t be? It’s the gift that keeps on … well, doing nothing at all, which is how your green types prefer things. That’s some enticing future they’re demonstrating for us. Ms. Young may have been delighted, but imagine the reaction from certain kids whose grandparents fell for a radio station’s carbon-certificate fundraiser:
[WAMC president Alan Chartock] said he was “astounded” by the response. “We were inundated with telephone calls,” he said. “Some people wanted one for each grandchild.”
Minimum cost per each of those certificates: $100. At least Chartock is honest about why the oldsters bought them:
“The appeal is fear,” he said.
Tim Blair
Conspiracy goon Charlie Sheen fights the system – and his wife:
Actor Charlie Sheen [shown below in his police mug shot] spent Christmas Day behind bars after being arrested on charges of domestic assault.

The 44-year-old Two And A Half Men actor was allegedly in a fight with wife Brooke Mueller in Aspen, Colorado.
Thus distracted, the celebrity 9/11 wifer was conveniently unable to comment on a certain hot pants incident aboard a US jet. Join the dots, truthers! Sheen’s spokesman is even using a truther-sounding defence:
Rosenfield declined to comment further except to say, “Don’t be misled by appearances. Appearances and reality can be as different as night and day. It would benefit everyone not to jump to any conclusion.”
Tell your client, pal.

UPDATE. Further to that “hot pants” incident mentioned above.
Tim Blair
All of a sudden Australia can’t afford tax cuts. We’ve heard this story before …

UPDATE. Barack Obama promises a great amount, doesn’t deliver, and loses popularity. Kevin Rudd promises a great amount, doesn’t deliver, but maintains popularity. It’s probably something to do with racism.