Thursday, January 07, 2010

Headlines Thursday 7th January 2010

Abraham Shakespeare — a truck driver's assistant who lived with his mother — won $30 million in the Florida lottery, and his good fortune may have cost him his life.

Protection or Profiling?
Heightened airport security measures receive backlash from Muslim groups who say they trigger racial profiling

GOP Optimistic About Seats in Play
As top Dems abandon their posts, Republicans are cautiously upbeat about chances of taking Senate seats

Holocaust Museum Shooter Dies
Man who opened fire inside Washington, D.C., Holocaust Museum last year dies in N.C. prison hospital at 88

Politicians set for hefty pay rise

FEDERAL MPs set to receive thousands of dollars in extra pay but some perks will be axed.

Rail bash teen's mates turn to Facebook
FRIENDS of a bashing victim left for dead have set up a Facebook group to catch his attackers.

'Moth-eaten' Thomas beats the odds
THOMAS Warren was given just a 5 per cent of survival after a cancer diagnosis, but now life's a beach.

Work colleagues are the new neighbours
OFFICES are replacing traditional neighbourhoods as people prefer to befriend co-workers.

More uproar over Jen's nude shoot
JENNIFER Hawkins' decision to strip nude has "disappointed'' the retail giant she spruiks.

Police red-faced over botched test
MAN carried bomb home after Slovakian police forgot to remove explosives planted in his luggage following a security exercise.

Speed plane puts top cops in tailspin
SENIOR police have been caught out contradicting each other over their controversial highway patrol plane, heralded as a "secret weapon" against speeding.

Just the ticket as couple fishes for buyers
A COUPLE are putting their home and business up for grabs in a lottery-style competition.

=== Journalists Corner ===

Public Safety or Privacy Threat?
How President Obama's security strategy will affect the way you travel! Former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall reacts.
Presidential Deaf Ears?
Is Obama ignoring the polls about his anti-terror policies? Dick Morris has analysis.
Guest: Newt Gingrich
Special screenings, full body scans, new watch lists. But, is flying really any safer? Newt Gingrich weighs in!
=== Comments ===
Another Victory for Al Qaeda
By Bill O'Reilly
When you think about it, the underwear bomber is kind of pathetic. A 23-year-old loon allowing himself to be used, willing to give up his own life to kill innocent civilians.

Thank God the bomb the man hid in his shorts did not go off and his clumsy attempt to kill people actually shows how downgraded Al Qaeda operations are. I mean, compare this to the sophisticated attack on 9/11.

However, just the attempt by Al Qaeda to kill people has thrown the world into chaos. Airport security is a mess, causing massive delays almost everywhere. Everybody who flies is going to be punished.

Obviously that's a huge victory for Al Qaeda, which wants to disrupt Western civilization and kill as many infidels as they can. Nobody died in the Christmas Day attack, but the disruption to world commerce is enormous. You can just imagine Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and Yemen congratulating themselves over the mess they've caused.

When you think about it, this is very frightening. These people can damage the world just by a feeble plot. That's because it's easy for murderous thugs to frighten innocent people and it is very difficult for authorities to stop terror. All it takes is one mistake in a massive bureaucracy and you have the underwear bomber.

On Tuesday, President Obama met with his intelligence people to try to figure things out. OK, that's necessary, but it's impossible to stop terror activity. It simply cannot be done. So the solution must be more intense. Confiscating shampoo from old ladies is not going to cut it.

President Obama must understand that tough rules of engagement must be implemented to find and kill terrorist leaders. So far the president has used drones extensively. These high-tech bombs effectively execute the bad guys. But when the bad guys are captured, things begin falling apart and the USA looks weak and confused by the continuing debate over the rights of foreign jihadists.

Simply put: Al Qaeda thugs have no rights. None. They should be killed on the spot, and that's what the drones are doing. And if captured, they should undergo harsh interrogation and be placed in military prisons.

Reports are that a third of the terror plots since 9/11 have occurred on President Obama's watch. That statistic is debatable, but there is no question Al Qaeda is becoming more aggressive. Every other issue is a sidebar. The United States must destroy the Al Qaeda leadership wherever they are.

Yes, there is an unlimited supply of terror killers, but as the USA demonstrated after 9/11, you can decimate Al Qaeda leadership. It can be done.

The question is: Does President Obama have the will to do it?
Tim Blair
Those NYT archives keep on rolling out the gold …

• 1913: ”Scientists Not Captured by Cannibals, as Was Reported.”

Pity. Because if you eat an entire scientist, it’s free.

• 1948: “Six leading atomic scientists met in a special session here today to issue a formal warning that the only way to avoid war was to create a powerful world government …”

That’s mighty tough talk coming from a bunch of snacks.

• 1952: ”SCIENTISTS, SEERS LINKED; They Bear Religion’s Identifying Marks, Says Harlem Pastor.”

That pastor would be amused by the latest combination of religion and science: “Atwood created a new pantheon of saints, including Rachel Carson, Al Gore and Dian Fossey …”
Tim Blair
In Fairbanks, Alaska, Frozen Al Gore – who first appeared last year – makes a triumphant return:
In what might become an annual tradition, an ice sculpture of former Vice President Al Gore has taken its place in front of Thrifty Liquor along Airport Way.

The two-ton “Frozen Gore” sculpture isn’t exactly a tribute. It’s a tongue-in-cheek critique of Gore’s vocal belief in man-made climate change, complete with hot air pouring out of his mouth.

This year’s version includes special effects, thanks to a system that pipes the exhaust from a Ford F-350 out of Gore’s open mouth. [Local businessmen Craig] Compeau will fire up the truck periodically this winter to create the “hot air” effect.
(Via Nicole)
Tim Blair
Sea Shepherd whaleyboys – previously frightened by the French – place their comedy boat directly in the path of a large Japanese security ship (which, incidentally, is aiming high-pressure hoses at the smaller vessel to keep it at bay). Hilarity ensues:

Naturally, the SS are claiming to have been “rammed” (they make this claim often, as Ampotan reports). The notion that the 491-ton Shonan Maru 2 – maximum speed 12 knots – could outmanoeuvre a 13-ton, 45-knot trimaran like the Ady Gil is insane, but the media seems to be buying it. Observe again as the nimble Ady Gil takes a hit:

Their little game of sea chicken is over.

UPDATE. Julia Gillard is “seeking legal advice” over Japanese flights – chartered from Australia – that monitor Sea Shepherd antics. What law does she think they’re breaking? The no looking at big fat Paul Watson law? Oh, and note this, from Sea Shepherd deputy plankton Chris Aultman:
At the time of the collision, the vessel was dead in the water - it was motionless and there was no confrontation taking place between the two vessels. The Shonan Maru just must have seen a very suitable target and took it upon itself to strike the vessel. It was completely and absolutely a wilful act.
As Warner Wolf used to say, let’s go to the videotape!

UPDATE II. Sea Shepherd folk are notorious bunglers, according to Sea Shepherd folk.

UPDATE III. This is beautiful. The LA Times is running news of the Sea Shepherd collision in its sports section ("OUTDOORS, ACTION, ADVENTURE").
Tim Blair
John Passant, socialist, reviews events ahead of the final day in the Second Test:
There are decades, said Lenin, when nothing happens; and [then] there are weeks when decades happen. Cricket can be a bit like that.

Sunday was one of those days. Pakistan rolled Australia for a meagre 127 runs.

Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan humbled a great cricket power that day. It doesn’t mean they’ll win the war but it places them in a position to do so.
Like the Taliban? The gay-murdering, woman-hating, progress-loathing, suicide-bombing, random-killing Taliban? Do please continue, Mr Strange Person:
Sometimes real leadership means taking decisions that are outside the expected. Ponting won the toss in Sydney and elected to bat. This is the orthodoxy. An arithmetic thinker will tell us that no one sent in at Sydney has won there in the past 17 years.
Continue reading 'CRICKET FOR COMMIES'
Tim Blair
A creative approach to airline security:
In what no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time, Slovak officials decided to test security at two airports in Slovakia on Saturday by concealing plastic explosives in eight suitcases and waiting to see what happened next.
Tim Blair
It’s a well-known scientific fact that global warming makes poley bears fall from the sky. But look at what colding does to lizards:
It was so cold in Florida, freezing iguanas were seen falling out of trees. Experts say the cold-blooded reptiles become immobilized when the temperature falls into the 40s and they lose their grip on the tree.
Just imagine all those tasty iguanapops lying around. It’s a bonanza for any poleys in the area.
Tim Blair
A problem fixes itself in downtown Kaboom, Afghanistan:
Fourteen suspected terrorists died Tuesday night when the bus they rigged with explosives blew up prematurely, police said.

The explosion occurred as the suspects were riding the bus in the province of Kunduz, said police chief Abdul Raziq Yaqobi.
And in other terrorist news:
U.S. border security officials learned of intelligence about the alleged extremist links of the suspect in the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt as he was en route to Detroit and had decided to question him when he landed, officials said in new disclosures today.
There’s a small flaw in that plan.
Tim Blair
Guest post by Pru Goward.

This year’s Australian of the Year nomination ritual is almost unique in the philosophical challenge it presents.

Illustration by John Tiedemann

It’s a ritual that comes in the middle of cricket, tennis and sunburn and is usually dispensed with by giving due homage to someone no one could ever disagree met at least the minimum standard of contribution and achievement.
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