=== Todays Toon ===
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. Before his election in 1860 as the first Republican president, Lincoln had been a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. His tenure in office was occupied primarily with the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Six days after the large-scale surrender of Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated.
"The Rail Candidate" – Lincoln's 1860 candidacy is held up by the slavery issue (slave on left) and party organization (New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley) on right.
=== Bible Quote ===“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”- Deuteronomy 6: 6-7
=== Headlines ===
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson was ultimate 'it' girl — but newcomer Gabourey Sidibe (above) hasn't received same star-studded style treatment, raising the question, what's acceptably 'plus-sized' in Hollywood?
Obama's Gitmo Gambit?
Moving trial of suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to a military tribunal could finally give Obama a way to close Guantanamo detainee center
Only 36,000 Jobs Lost?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid under fire for portraying 36,000 jobs lost in February as 'really good' news
Warning Signs in Pentagon Attack
Gunman who shot two cops was behaving erratically, and his family feared that he had bought a gun
Residents of St George, Queensland, are evacuated from their homes and an aged care centre into emergency shelter as once-in-century floodwaters continue to rise
Toddler death mystery deepens
AN in depth police interview with Gurshan Singh's parents hasn't shed any light on what happened.
Call for a new city commuter gridlock tax
COMMUTERS should be slugged with congestion taxes to ease gridlock costing billions of dollars
Sole carer of mum, 92, told to go away
A DOTING son who refuses to put his mum in a nursing home has been forced out of Australia.
Chang's murderer on an island break
THE killer of a medical genius who saved thousands of people is swanning around a tropical resort.
Rap fan arrested listening to lewd lyrics
A YOUTH'S been arrested for listening in his car to what police deem offensive rap music.
Rudd's secret Christmas Is plan revealed
A SECRET land audit's now being prepared for a detainee population that is predicted to reach 5000 within four years.
NSW demands no hospital closures
NSW may refuse to sign up to the federal health reforms until Prime Minister Kevin Rudd guarantees no small hospitals will be forced to close. Will this ploy work?
All ships stuck in Baltic Sea free at last
DOZENS of vessels, including passenger ferries, are now able to travel once more, Swedish maritime authorities now confirm.
Belinda Neal's fate hangs in the balance
EMBATTLED MP Belinda Neal is expected to find out this afternoon whether her 16-year parliamentary career is over. Many within the ALP believe it is. Ms Neal is facing a tough preselection battle with working mum Deborah O'Neill for the Central Coast-based seat of Robertson, which Ms Neal has held since 2007. The preselection ballot will be run between 8am and 6pm. With only about 170 votes to be counted, the result could be known by 9am.
Man facing 125 counts of sex abuse
WITH long scruffy grey hair and a bushy beard to his chest, David Shane Whitby pleaded not guilty yesterday to a lengthy list of crimes. There are 125 sexual assault charges involving nine victims - the youngest an 18-month-old baby, the oldest a 13-year-old girl - and 17 DVDs on which it is alleged he recorded himself committing the offences. His trial will not be heard by a jury but by a judge sitting alone, Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC told the District Court yesterday.
=== Journalists Corner ===
It's a special hour on our children, that the government doesn't want you to see!
Who should serve our nation? Our elementary school kids or our leaders?
Guest: Mike Huckabee
The governor weighs in on the president's push for health care.
Guest: Sen. John McCain
Does Obama really have the political muscle to bring wavering Dems on board?
U.S. "Going Green"?
The Dems want it that way! So, will their eco-friendly proposal raise prices at the pump?
=== Comments ===
Obamacare: Truth vs. Propaganda
By Bill O'Reilly
We analyze the news for a living here, and have been very successful for more than 13 years. But I can honestly tell you I do not know what is true and what is false when it comes to financing Obamacare.
That's because it's impossible to know. No one knows, yet both sides are trying to convince us they have the facts.
The president said Wednesday that higher taxes on the wealthy and more efficient spending on things like Medicare and Medicaid would pay for the trillion-dollar health care reform legislation. Mr. Obama says he has it under control.
Republicans say not true. Dick Morris estimates Obamacare will cost $6 trillion and the feds will never be able to pay for it.
On Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan makes the following points: that President Obama is misleading the nation because he is using 10 years of revenue and spending cuts to cover six years of health care entitlements. Ryan claims that when you honestly add up the cost, Obamacare would lead to about $500 billion in deficit spending over 10 years.
"Talking Points" knows a few things for sure: that both Medicare and Medicaid are going bankrupt. Even if there is no health care reform, the feds will have to find trillions of dollars to keep those things afloat.
Social Security is also running out of money, and with 77 million baby boomers about to start collecting, another fiscal crisis looms.
President Obama sincerely believes that health care reform will make America stronger. The man really believes that. Just as President Bush sincerely believed Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world.
But both could be wrong, and it is very possible that Obamacare will cause mass chaos in our medical system and drive the Treasury into bankruptcy.
This is not a scare tactic; this is real life.
The president must know Obamacare is a huge risk for the country, and at this point, I believe the risk is not worth taking. Strict government oversight and new rules on health insurance companies does not cost anything. Try private reform first, even as you figure out how to pay for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Statistics out this week say 10 percent of Americans now pay more than 70 percent of federal income tax, and 50 percent of Americans pay close to nothing. That means that affluent Americans are pretty much tapped out. Draconian tax increases against them will likely lead to more economic chaos.
Unlike some who disagree with President Obama, I do not believe his intentions are bad. But I do believe he is taking a huge risk with all of our lives by the colossal spending that's coming down the road.
THIS IS GETTING SERIOUS
The Guardian reports:
Failure at Copenhagen climate talks prompted novel rewrite
A DIFFICULT TIME
A trial date draws closer for accused wife-chopper Muzzammil Hassan:
Lawyers for the founder of an Islam-oriented television station who is accused of beheading his wife say it’s ridiculous to think religion has anything to do with the case …But it obviously has something to do with his defence:
Hassan’s attorney Julie Atti Rogers said, “The reality is that based on his name, based on the color of his skin, and based on the fear and the panic of all Americans of terrorists and Muslims, this man’s got a difficult time as it is.”Hey, at least he’s still got his head. Hassan is evidently aiming for a total victimhood strategy:
Founder of a Muslim television station, Muzzammil Hassan is claiming he was a victim of years of abuse, by his wife Aasiya Hassan …So he should have been happy when she filed for divorce. Instead, he cut her head off. Hassan’s trial is expected to begin in September.
We are at war with Texas!
Actually, I don’t much mind the idea of kangaroos fighting clowns. Someone has to fight them. But just let it happen on a level playing field, instead of having the kangaroo all tied up and restricted. Then you might see something worth paying for.
UPDATE. Similar cases may be headed for kangaroo court.
Stanford professor and warmenist Stephen H. Schneider laments his side’s financial disadvantage:
He said the scientists will never be able to compete with energy companies.Oh, really?
It is estimated that governments in Australia will spend at least $800 million this financial year on climate change research.
Your $2.5 billion at work
An Ormond man writes about Kevin Rudd’s free insulation, installed on top of the insulation he already had:
I am writing to you about this Federal Government initiative and its roll out across Australia. I have decided to take advantage of this offer. At the time of writing this email I am having new insulation batts installed.The product being used lacks any detailed data sheet of confirmation that it is an approved product.
I am concerned about the lack of adequate pre-qualifications of the subcontractors and their installation methods.
I have contacted the Govt Help Desk on this topic but it seems much of the installation methodology is left up to the installing contractor. I am most uncomfortable with my own experience of the installation on a number of levels;
The installing team could hardly be described as trades people. They have no safety clothing or equipment. One is wearing thongs!! Their ladder is faulty!
I suspect they are overseas students or other temporary status and being explioted
No ID provided
Nobody can tell me how the new batts should be installed over the top of existing wool (this is what is happening in my case) or should the existing product be removed first.
The batts are being installed over the top of existing wool and now sit much higher that the ceiling joists. I am advised by friends that this is not correct but once again I am in the hands of my installers.
The installing company does not seem to be very stable as they can rarely even answer their office phone.
Grattan starts to see Rudd
Given the Left-leaning Michelle Grattan is the author, this must count as one of the most devastating insights yet into power-obsessed, mendacious, reckless, trivial, unfocussed and grandiose prime ministers this country has had the misfortune to entrust its savings to.
True, Grattan fails again to draw the conclusions demanded by her evidence, but here’s just some of the most damning of it:
Who cares about logic when the mountains float?
Like me, Jim Schembri found the story of Avatar a joke, and fervently hopes it won’t win an Oscar for best picture. Unlike me, Schembri told director James Cameron to his face what he thought about a film that lets sheer specatacle trump bad storytelling. For instance:
At the heart of Avatar’s plot sits a glaring implausibility. During a mission against a sacred Na’vi tree, a Na’vi-loving chopper pilot (Michelle Rodriguez) decides to abort and flies off. Nobody gives chase.
We’ve just seen the base commander (Stephen Lang) say how much he values loyalty. Yet the next time we see the pilot, she’s at the base prison, where she breaks the pro-Na’vi faction out of jail and whisks them away. Again, nobody gives chase. It’s way too big a leap. Surely she would have been confined or thrown in the brig.
‘’Really? That bothers you?’’ said Cameron. ‘’There’s floating mountains in the movie and that bothers you?’’
Well, yeah, because it doesn’t make any sense. Story coherence has nothing to do with floating mountains. Said Cameron: ‘’Well, it depends on how they run the base, or whether the commander was even aware that she left, you know? What she would have done was call in a maintenance problem on the ship.’’
Oh, a deleted scene! Will that be on the DVD?
‘’I never shot that,’’ Cameron said, now speaking over his protesting publicist. ‘’But I don’t think that’s really germane to the (film).’’ ...
There it is, folks, confirmation from the biggest filmmaker in history - Titanic, True Lies, Terminator 1 and 2, Aliens - that story matters less than floating mountains.
I’m now on Greer’s side
Nowra is probably right about The Female Eunuch, but this cheap shot at Germaine Greer is not just cruel, but, worse, irrelevant:
...she looks like a befuddled and exhausted old woman. She reminded me of my demented grandmother...Just a few words, but all it takes to make me doubt the judgement of the man who wrote the other 4100.
All that said, Nowra’s essay is a great read, a brutal but thoughtful and sometimes fair critique of The Female Eunuch and of Greer: the daughter embittered by her narcissistic mother’s emotional abuse; the powerful polemicist who inspired women to leave their husbands but who wrote off gays as ‘’faggots’’; the fantasist who reckoned mothers could live in farmhouses in Italy where a revolving door of friends, relatives and local peasants would care for their children; the acid-tongued mauler of other prominent women; the woman who imagined herself as the wife of the Bard (’’I’d f--- Shakespeare except that he especially asked that his bones not be disturbed’’); the author of ‘’dull and graceless’’ and ‘’increasingly daft’’ prose; the attention seeker on Celebrity Big Brother; and, ultimately, the ‘’irrelevant noise of a shock jock few people listen to any more’’.
That buys a lot of baas
That’s an ocean of gravy:
It is estimated that governments in Australia will spend at least $800 million this financial year on climate change research.(Thanks to reader Steve.)
Read on for the full paper:
Earth Hour running slow
The organisers of Earth Hour, to be held this year on March 27, adveritse the resolution of warming worriers:
With 579 cities, towns and municipalities and 77 countries and regions across every continent already signed up to this year’s ‘lights out’ event, Earth Hour is set to show the world that a resolution to the threat of global warming is possible through collective action.What, only 579 cities signed up so far? Seems that resolutiuon may actually be fading fast, given their target:
Earth Hour 2010 aims to reach one billion people in more than 1,000 cities encouraging them to cast their vote for the earth by turning off their lights.In fact, it’s a massive drop on last year’s numbers:
88 countries and 4,088 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009, ten times more cities than Earth Hour 2008 had...(Thanks to Observer of Wodonga.)
Or, suggests Senator Cory Bernardi, you may choose on that date and time to help him celebrate something much more important:
The Conservative Leadership Foundation has launched a campaign to recognise and celebrate “Human Achievement Hour” .UPDATE 3
During Human Achievement Hour, people around the world will be recognising the incredible accomplishments of the human race.
Originally conceived by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 2009, Human Achievement Hour coincides with the earth hour campaign but salutes those who keep the lights on and produce the energy that makes human achievement possible.
Let them eat carbon credits:
The British Government, as revealed by the EU’s Official Journal, has allocated £60 million of taxpayers’ money to be spent on buying carbon credits from the Third World for the use of government buildings and other official purposes – so that our civil servants can continue to benefit from the CO2 emissions needed to keep their offices warm and lit.(Thanks to reader Mark.)
The Government has contracted to buy these credits, mainly available from China and India, through 10 British and foreign companies… The net result of all this trading and jiggery-pokery is that, after billions of pounds and dollars have changed hands, with a hefty commission for those bankers and other carbon traders along the way, there is no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions whatever. But at least our political class can continue to work in warm offices and fly righteously round the world on our behalf – while the rest of us foot the bill.
No. Not even that’s enough
No, no, no, no, no, no. Twelve years is still not enough, when you read on and learn the full list of injuries inflicted on a little boy by this psychopath:
A MAN who bashed and anally raped a two year-old-boy with a sharp object, before using it to engrave his skin, has had his sentence increased by three years.He’ll be 34 when he gets out, presuming he serves every day of his sentence. Prime of his life and his strength.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)
The rise of the anti-multiculturalists
We saw it with Pailine Hanson. When the big parties get too distant from the voters, and too delicate to discuss what’s really bothing people, then raucous and more unpredictable grass-roots ones will move in:
After scoring gains in local elections, Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders is now primed to make waves in a national poll in June by tapping into discontent over Islam and globalisation.
In the first test of public opinion since the collapse of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s coalition government last month, Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) became the largest party in the city of Almere and came second in The Hague on Wednesday.
Drawing strength from a savvy public relations machine and a populist anti-immigration stance that plays well with part of the electorate, Wilders also represents a vote against the political elite, political experts say…
Hit by the slowdown in global trade after two decades of strong growth and low unemployment, the stagnating economy has heightened concerns over religious freedom, immigrant unemployment and crime. Gay populist Pim Fortuyn was the first to tap into those concerns before he was gunned down by an environmentalist in 2002…
Recent governments have tightened immigration laws and pushed to integrate immigrants better, introducing compulsory Dutch language and society lessons. But such policy changes take time to produce results and critics say governments in the 1980s failed to see the downside of immigration, blinded by multiculturalist policies… Concerns about globalisation have turned Dutch voters inwards and away greater involvement in NATO and international affairs, a trend which has also worked in Wilders’ favour…
It is against this background that Wilders has steered his Freedom Party to the top of the polls, recent survey suggesting his outfit could become the largest party in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament.
She is not an Alex
A second case:
THE Family Court has permitted a teenage boy to have hormone treatment to become a girl.The first such case was that of “Alex”, when the Family Court allowed gender reassignment procedures for a girl who’d clearly been deeply traumatised by her parents and seemed to me to need treatment of the mind rather than the body. I was appalled by what was done to her and by what was decided.
‘’Bernadette’’ was born a boy in 1992, but began showing signs of female ‘’behaviour, preferences and traits’’ from the age of three.
A judge in NSW gave Bernadette, who was supported by her parents, permission to have hormone treatment that would suppress the onset of puberty and - at a later stage - administer oestrogen.
On the facts outlined in this second judgment, I cannot see similar reasons to be so alarmed. The judge is cautious, the parents loving, the experts united on most of the critical points.
I can’t be sure a mistake isn’t being made, but I know I can’t judge better than those who must.
The long post-mini-ice-age warming may be resuming after a break of a decade:
Weather, not climate, yet not what Tim Flannery predicted at all:
Widespread heavy rain in Queensland has broken the record for saturating the largest area of land. The weather system drowning Queensland has broken yet another record - this time for the area of land saturated by heavy rain, set 54 years ago.UPDATE 2
Reader Jan Pompe chides me:
It may be a bit early to be saying this: “The long post-mini-ice-age warming may be resuming after a break of a decade:”John McLean also blames the El Nino:
We have El Nino conditions presently in the pacific that seem to have peaked in the Nov Dev Jan quarter. Consistent with this is the slight drop drop in temperature from Jan to Feb 0.72 -> 0.69.
This Bureau of Meteorology web page shows a graph of the Southern Oscillation Index, the measure of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Sustained values below -7 indicate El Nino conditions and sustained values above +7 indicate La Nina conditions, but these are artificial thresholds and there’s not much difference at -6 or +6 compared to -7 and +7.(Thanks to reader John.)
The IPCC acknowledges that the 1997-98 peak in temperature was due to a strong El Nino. How strong was it? From January to April 1998 the average monthly SOI was always below -19.
The graph on the above web page shows an SOI that has generally been falling since March of last year, so when you include the lag, that I and my co-authors demonstrated in a peer-reviewed paper last year, the current temperatures are no surprise at all.
I will be pleasantly surprised if warmer than usual temperatures don’t continue right through until at least October.
Mates rate, and this judge doesn’t
Surely the mate-mate-maaaate Labor Party wouldn’t run NSW like this?:
THE career of a judge who criticised NSW Labor’s dealings with donor developers is hanging in the balance after the government knocked back a request from the state’s Chief Justice for him to work in the Supreme Court’s short-staffed equity division.(Thanks to reader Cynic.)
The Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, is refusing to explain why Justice David Lloyd’s commission was rejected…
Justice Lloyd angered the government last year when he described its secret negotiations over the state’s biggest housing development as a ‘’land bribe’’.
And surely Robert Richter QC didn’t go so soft on Immigration Minisiter Chris Evans on having thrown out a 92-year-old Sri Lankan woman because he’s a bit matey with Labor?
Mr Richter… held firmly onto the line that it was not the fault of Immigration Minister Chris Evans’ that the mother and son would soon have to pack their bags, but the fault of his department....
Mr Richter pointed out that Lindsay Tanner, an “extremely fine man”, had when in Opposition supported the right of the son to stay. “And I wonder if Chris Evans would come to the same decision if he was allowed to see what was at stake,” Mr Richter said.
Mr Evans already knows precisely what’s at stake. But Mr Richter was prepared to protect Mr Evans in a way he would never have done for former Coalition ministers Philip Ruddock and Amanda Vanstone.
Does this mean games don’t in fact encourage players to act out for real?
A COUPLE addicted to computer games let their real baby starve to death while raising a virtual daughter online.
Police said the couple spent up to12 hours a day at internet cafes, leaving their three-month-old daughter home alone at their apartment in Suwon, South Korea.
Shut your damn stereo instead, boy
A bit heavy-handed, perhaps, but who wants that kind of language boomed over a public place when you’re shopping with your children?
A TEEN has been arrested for listening to what police have deemed offensive rap music.
In what could be a legal test case, 19-year-old Nathan Michael Wilkie (above) faces a charge of offensive behaviour after police arrested him when he was listening to music by underground rapper Kid Selzy on his car stereo.
Mr Wilkie was parked outside a Timboon supermarket, waiting for his mother, when he was arrested.
The Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court heard he was listening to lyrics such as “shut your f------ mouth bitch, f------ motherf-----”.
The island we gave to the boat people
Might as well make it their own new country:
THE Rudd government has commissioned a secret land audit on Christmas Island as it prepares for a detainee population predicted to reach 5000 within four years… Locals sources told The Weekend Australian that senior officials from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship have told them it is necessary to research and prepare early for the possibility that the number of irregular maritime arrivals on the island could blow out from 1809 yesterday to between 4000 and 5000 by 2014.No wonder. My red dot on this Department of Immigration graph marks the date Rudd revealed that the laws against boat people would be weakened:
Which idiot included it, and who didn’t check?
The question is how a notion so stupid got on the curriciulum in the first place - and what else got through that shouldn’t have:
ABORIGINAL Dreamtime stories will be removed from the national science course on the orders of curriculum head Barry McGaw, who said religious and spiritual beliefs had no place in the science classroom.(Thanks to reader Chris.)
Professor McGaw, chairman of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, said he had not realised the Dreamtime had been included in the science course until it was reported by The Weekend Australian last Saturday…
The reference to the Dreamtime stories was contained in the elaborations for Year 4 students, which suggest students research “historical examples of different cultures, knowledge about the national environment and living things (for example, Aboriginal peoples’ Dreamtime stories that explain significant characteristics of the Earth’s surface and interactions between living things)”.
Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard said ... “While Aboriginal culture will form a part of the new curriculum, it’s not appropriate that it form part of a science course, and that’s why when this error was found, it was changed...”
He’ll do it his way
It’s too much his personality to change:
KEVIN Rudd has vowed he will not change his leadership style or government decision-making processes in a pointed rebuke to critics within his own caucus who fear his centralised approach is driving Labor’s slide in opinion polls and risking its re-election prospects…UPDATE
Mr Rudd described his cabinet as “a first-class team”. But he said he retained a close involvement in decision-making because he wanted to ensure his government delivered “substantive outcomes” against which it could be measured by voters.
If only others shared rush-rush-Rudd’s confidence in his own abilities. Christian Kerr:
“One of the problems that we have had as a government,” (Rudd) admitted on ABC television, “is that we didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to deliver things.” ...
The comments were startling because Rudd’s claim to govern was based on his claims as an administrator....
Last month on ABC1’s Q&A he admitted to making “about 600” election commitments. The opposition is suggesting he was not just kidding voters about his ability to deliver but also kidding himself, and public administration experts are openly speculating he bit off more than he could chew.
“All ministers learn to their peril how important implementation is,” former secretary of the Health Department Andrew Podger says.
Scott Prasser, head of the Public Policy Institute at the Australian Catholic University and a former Queensland bureaucrat himself, says the Prime Minister has only co-ordinated policies, rather than made them work…
Neal Blewett, the Labor health minister who oversaw (the introduction of Medicare), ... says Rudd’s proposal presents three additional challenges. “It’s novel in a sense that Medicare wasn’t. It’s massive in scale. I think you would need a longer period of negotiation to get this settled with the states, and it has constitutional complexities Medicare did not have."…
Jenny Stewart, professor of public policy at the Australian Defence Force Academy, has a similar assessment of the situation, but puts it far more bluntly.
“What Rudd is proposing is quite sensible,” she says. “I just think he doesn’t have a clue what it’s actually going to take to effect real change and, at this stage of where he’s at, that is starting to look like real weakness.”
Global warming and the Mother Earth complex
Yet more evidence of what I’ve long argued - that women are more superstitious than men, and some even brag about it:
Natalie Isaacs, founder and CEO of the 1 Million Women campaign, says it’s now more important than ever for women to stand up and be change agents in society for practical action on reducing CO2 emissions…(Thanks to reader Don.)
She says the just-published Who Cares about the Environment? – a three-yearly research report from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) - raises a number of significant gender issues in regard to climate change and environmental attitudes and action.
It found that:…
Women were more likely than men to think that climate change is having an impact now (42% compared to 33% of men)…
BUT, men were likely to be correct on knowledge questions about the greenhouse effect than women (men 57% correct, women 45%).
Would Australian agents not have used false passports, too?
Alan M. Dershowitz is rightly astonished by much of the hysteria over the forged passports allegedly used by Israeli agents in assassinating a weapons procurer for the Hamas terrorist group:
Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Bali, which killed a large number of Australian tourists, I had the opportunity to meet with the Australian Prime Minister. I was writing a book at the time on preemption, and I asked him whether he would have authorized a preemptive attack on the terrorist who killed Australian citizens, if such an attack would have saved their lives. His response was that Australia would have done anything it could, to prevent these terrorist attacks. Anything, I guess, except misusing passports? Is there anybody who believes that Australia would not have used forged or stolen passports to prevent the Bali massacres?(Thanks to reader Jason.)
Health Minister Nicola Roxon refuses to tell 3AW’s Neil Mitchell what she might or might know about a critical part of her health plan::
THERE’LL be new maximum waiting times for surgery (before public hospital patients are sent to private hospitals for operations). . . what will they be?Spin, spin, spin. Or may just one more crucial detail they hadn’t actually got around to figuring out.
Roxon: We made clear that we’ve got more announcements to come. And the Prime Minister has flagged that having national access times will be part of that.
Mitchell: He won’t say what they are.
Roxon: Not today, no.
Mitchell: When will he say?
Roxon: Well, soon.
Mitchell: We’re playing politics with it, minister, aren’t we? We’ve got people sitting out there waiting to get into hospital and you won’t tell them because of some political game plan.
Roxon: This isn’t a political game plan.
Mitchell: So why not tell us now?
Roxon: That’s not something that I am publicly announcing today.
Mitchell: Do you know what the targets will be?
Roxon: We’ve done a lot of work internally about this . . .
Mitchell: But this is cruel. You know what the new maximum waiting
times will be but you won’t tell us because you want to put it out on the drip feed.
Roxon: No . . .
Mitchell: Do you know what they are?
Roxon: I know a lot of things about the health system . . .
Mitchell: Oh minister, minister, minister! This is cruel to people!