=== Todays Toon ===We've been told more about her hair than her views. Cartoon: Warren Brown
=== Bible Quote ===“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.”- Psalm 33:12
=== Headlines ===Americans Kicking Off Patriotic Festivities to Celebrate Fourth
Americans from coast to coast are taking part in parades, barbeques and fireworks to celebrate the nation's 234th birthday
Rockets Fired at Embassy in Baghdad
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad comes under fire as Vice President Biden is in the country talking to troops and Iraqi political leaders
Steele Scrambling to Contain Gaffe Fallout
RNC chairman is not resting this holiday weekend as pressure mounts from GOP for him to step down after claiming Afghanistan war was of 'Obama's choosing'
Choppy Seas, Wind Stymie Oil Cleanup
Wild waves and strong winds in the Gulf of Mexico slow efforts as crews survey the damage caused by Hurricane Alex
Global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir urges Australian Muslims to shun secular democracy and Western notions of moderate Islam, sparking angry reaction from protesters.
Sex offender wins custody of girl
HEROIN-addicted father awarded care of daughter after her mother was considered "unsuitable".
Border security worry isn't racism - PM
AFGHAN and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are likely to be sent home as "political correctness" is over.
Why freezing Canberra is hot property
NATIONAL capital overtakes Sydney and Melbourne as the country's hottest housing market.
Folau turns back on fast cars, hot women
ONE of the highest-paid young men in Australia lives on pocket money doled out by his parents.
Greg's divorce hit me for six, says Evert
TENNIS great reveals she's still shell-shocked after the sudden end of her marriage to Norman.
Six Australian soldiers hit by bombs
SOLDIERS wounded in roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan, ahead of today's funeral for helicopter crash victim Private Tim Alpin.
Doctors profit in waiting list race
SURGEONS were paid up to three times their normal fees as NSW raced to get $15m in reward payments.
Congo truck fire death toll rises to 235
THE death toll from a horror fire which raged through a Congolese town following a fuel truck explosion has risen to 235.
Police fail to tell public about thousands of crimes in NSW
THOUSANDS of crimes, including rape and murder, are being hidden by the NSW Police Force with details being kept secret for days or weeks. In a long-running investigation, The Daily Telegraph found that police are underplaying the seriousness of crimes in the force's new digital reporting system. During one week in March, 11,508 of the 31,536 reported crimes were listed as "check bona fides" and "concerns for welfare" - terms that cover anything from murder to street crime. One crime unreported until today was the abduction and rape of a 26-year-old woman, Caitlan, by two masked men. "You need to know there are monsters out there worse than the ones in our dreams," she said. Caitlan has told her story to The Daily Telegraph as a warning to women. Yet more than two months after she was assaulted, not a word about the attack has been released by police.
=== Comments ===A taxing question
THE federal Labor Party is hoping that its strategy of change the leader, change the game, will appeal to the voting public and new Prime Minister Julia Gillard is certainly going at it with gusto. - Gillard is not in charge, neither was Rudd. She is able to shift things to suit her purposes, and so the name change of the dumb tax has occurred. Maybe she will change the name of illegal migrants to asylum seekers, or some such, but the facts remain the same.
I like migrants and want more, but I feel compassion for them, and do not believe that drowning them is compassionate. Neither is forcing them into the hands of pirates. I am appalled at how the UN runs its refugee camps, but that is not the Australian government’s fault. The ALP are leaving many asylum seekers in limbo, possibly for eternity. That is not fair. Gillard will not do anything worthwhile here. I am really concerned that the public is not roused on this issue. Jason Clare, in his first term in Blaxland has been conspicuously silent while ALP rorts erode further the conditions of the working families in his electorate. Clare is called future ALP PM material, and his cowardly stance certainly seems to deserve that appalling indictment.
Gillard sells her tax which now is revenue poor, and so mining companies can’t be bothered to oppose it, and so the Libs seem foolish for opposing it, except it is a bad tax and deserves to be opposed. The numbers given are wrong, but then none of the budgets provided by the ALP have been correct.
Gillard could have dumped the tax, reinstated the Pacific Solution and gone to the polls as an honest broker. Instead she has renamed the tax, lied about the figures and is leaving many desperate people in limbo. I have read in many places this makes her special as an ALP PM. She isn’t worse than Rudd, but she isn’t competent either. - ed.
- Jules has merely moved from issue to issue capitulating as she goes. ‘Clearing the decks’ seems to be code for ‘getting rid of the bodies.’- Yes, Tim ,and very funny, Gandalf. To move the point forward a little, Gillard is not looking at what she can do, but who she must assure. Not only is she not changing anything substantive, she is claiming she is .. and the usual supporters are falling over themselves to applaud her for that. Also, the usual supporters are also blaming Mr Abbott for being competent .. that kind of sustained attack sometimes leaves the best of us looking as if they are covered in dirt, but actually, it is just ALP muck raking.- ed.
There is a glaring contradiction that those enamoured with her have missed - The figures don’t add up. She cannot simultaneously cut a large hole in revenue and expect a surplus in three years. The national budget, like any budget, is a zero sum game. To meet the three year surplus target she must either tax more or borrow more.
Labor has not changed.
Besides, Jules has a more serious problem - Rudd. The guy is just figuring out he is never going to be in the cabinet room again. The vindictive bitch is probably going through his interview notes as we speak - I doubt he will be handing out the kisses.
Tim of LieVille
Rudd is already working on his next book ‘Julia and Abbott and the Ungrateful Australian Labor Party Reshuffle’.
Until just 13 days ago, Tony Abbott stood a decent chance of winning the next election. Polls were trending the coalition’s way. Abbott’s numbers as preferred PM were holding up. Surveys in marginal seats were all sliding from Labor.
Then Julia Gillard tapped into the nation’s most potent and fastest-growing political force: absolute loathing of Kevin Rudd.
Up to the moment when Gillard went knocking on Kevin’s door – late on June 23, to tell him she would challenge for the Labor leadership – Abbott had been doing quite well by the simple tactic of being someone other than the 26th Prime Minister.
But how could he compete with Gillard? After all, Abbott is just the opposition leader. Gillard, however, could steal Rudd’s job and make him cry.
New Jersey: home of the half milf.
WRITING, TALENT AND INTELLECT SET FREE
Margo Kingston’s Webdiary celebrates its tenth anniversary:
Margo’s mission was to build a bridge to get people talking again. Talking and understanding. The idea was that people of different political persuasions could talk with each other. They could debate. Through this we would discover the things that unite us as Australians and the values we share.Younger readers may also not recall Australia’s brief war with Norway, as reported exclusively by Webdiary. Australia won, natch. Good times.
Margo had grand ideas. For her it wasn’t just enough that for the first time ever readers could publicly interact with journalists. Two way public conversations with journalists? It hadn’t been done before. Margo instigated this and immediately saw more. Margo went 180 degrees and immediately turned and said let’s do 360! Margo was happy to turn the whole thing on its head and around again! The whole media model. Writing, talent and intellect were set free, previously unknown people developed a profile and a following. Mini giants of the online world were born !Lives were changed! People noticed! If you’re younger you may not get the significance of this. This was world Internet and media history and Margo was making it.
(Via Dan Lewis)
Intriguing inside-Labor views from Bob Carr, newly alerted to the historic influence of communists on his party:
Historians should rediscover Whitlam the anti-communist.Read on.
It was he who took on the Victorian executive, even abusing them to their faces, in 1967 at the first Victorian conference he addressed as leader. It was he who treated the federal executive of the party with the contempt it deserved; it was he who sought to build a modern, reforming social democratic party instead of the comm-dominated rabble it had sunk to.
Just think: with no Gough, Jim Cairns would have led Labor, a naive academic who never conceded the North Vietnamese presence in South Vietnam, never criticised North Vietnam, could refer to Stalin and Mao as “leaders of world socialism”, and as treasurer said he would print money to reduce unemployment. As I write this, the chilling analogy dawns on me: Cairns as an Australian Salvador Allende.
A farming uncle once owned a cat named Ween, a feral creature he attempted to domesticate. The experiment wasn’t entirely successful. Ween quickly adapted to the advantages of life beneath a roof but resented human interest in his activities. He even hated his own name, possibly sensing that it was a contraction of Weenie, and became visibly hostile when addressed.
Ween especially disliked females. One afternoon I watched as Ween took up position on the head of a chair, behind my sister. He rested there for time as Dianne read a book, then commenced an intense Hate Stare. Eventually Dianne turned to face him, and … well, it wasn’t pretty. That cat knew where to strike. Ween was the fastest feline I’ve ever seen, until now:
One day I will tell the story of Oily, the cat that went for the legs.
Only a few months on from Kevin Rudd’s holy invocation of little Gracie at Copenhagen, and we’re already in a post-alarmism era, writes Lawrence Solomon:
Last week’s G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto and its environs confirmed that the world’s leaders accept the demise of global-warming alarmism.Besides Rudd, other politicians who’ve been brought down or compromised by their alarmism faith include Malcolm Turnbull, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy. Spain’s José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi have both abandoned large-scale greenish energy projects. Barack Obama is stalled:
One year ago, the G8 talked tough about cutting global temperatures by two degrees. In Toronto, they neutered that tough talk, replacing it with a nebulous commitment to do their best on climate change — and not to try to outdo each other. The global-warming commitments of the G20 — which now carries more clout than the G8 — went from nebulous to non-existent: The G20’s draft promise going into the meetings of investing in green technologies faded into a mere commitment to “a green economy and to sustainable global growth.”
Major environmental and liberal groups are pressing President Barack Obama to play a stronger role in crafting climate change legislation and shepherding it through the Senate, claiming their members are “deeply frustrated” by inaction to date.Get used to it. Inactivism is the new Big Thing.
WEDDING DRESS SAFE
More sad news from the Al Gore camp, who is starting to look more and more like the new John Edwards every day: Gore and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Tipper, will not be attending Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, and event they had reported been “looking forward to” a year ago, before the Gores hit this recent unfortunate patch of eventsThe unfortunate patch is allegedly preserved on Molly Hagerty’s pants.
Everyone who meets him has a weird Kevin story.
In my case, the meeting was a couple of years ago at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Rudd was there among many former and current politicians for the first day of the Test match against South Africa.
At one point Rudd joined our small group – me, a TV exec and a newspaper editor – for a chat. It was friendly enough. The Prime Minister joked about how nervous a new Australian player must be before his first game, and spoke in general terms about certain government policies and his own political calling. A Jim Carrey movie received praise. I asked, for no particular reason, if he’d seen any recent polling figures for Julia Gillard. Rudd laughed: “He never stops, does he?”
My attention drifted a little as the conversation went on – there was a cricket match happening, after all – but returned when I became aware of Kevin Rudd’s hand around my neck.
It wasn’t quite touching. He just sort of held it there, presumably to illustrate a point he was making about maintaining political advantage. And held it there. And held it there.
I didn’t feel threatened – Rudd isn’t a threatening presence at all – but it was … awkward. Then, as he took his hand away, Rudd’s index finger quickly traced a line across my throat.
Most likely it was accidental. Hey, it’s easy for friendly gestures to be misinterpreted when, er, your hand is around the neck of someone you’ve just met.
Eventually Rudd was called away. The exec turned to me and said: “What the hell was that about?”
UPDATE. Further on Rudd weirdness from Graham Richardson.
Just some advertising…
... to remind you that here is where you can read tomorrow’s news today. In this case, you could have read today’s news in December 2007:
PUT serious money on Julia Gillard becoming our first female prime minister....The trick: read a politician’s character.
Rudd may yet develop as John Howard did in the job, blooming into a warmer, huggier bloke, but right now he seems the kind of martinet it would be murder to work for, bossing his colleagues as if they were children, even ordering them to visit schools and homeless shelters.
Rudd’s cold authoritarianism, his evasive waffling, his slogans from Marketing Central and his tendency to panic may, if not curbed, make Gillard seem by contrast far more warm, genuine and calm, in a prime ministerial way.
I’d better say it again: I’m not tipping Gillard will challenge Rudd. Yet I doubt she’ll suffer the fate of a Peter Costello, destined to die of old age, politically speaking, in the prime minister’s dusty waiting room.
If there’s one thing all parties have learned from John Howard’s fall, it is that prime ministers can stay too long, and a party would do better risking a new leader than wilting under the old.
Gillard’s turn shouldn’t be more than a decade away, barring accidents, and she’ll get it without even the risks of an election, with only her colleagues to persuade. Or intimidate.
So back her now, while the odds are good. You’ll thank me for it.
(Thanks to reader John.)
Has Gillard truly left her radical past behind?
John Ballantyne wonders how much Julia Gillard has really changed:
Julia Gillard’s first foray into politics was in the early 1980s, when, as a university law student, she became active in the now-defunct Australian Union of Students (AUS).(Thanks to reader Jerome.)
The AUS was then totally dominated by the extreme left. In 1983 — the year she was elected AUS president — an AUS annual council defeated heavily a call to oppose “all acts of terrorism and political violence” (AUS Annual Council 1983: motion N28).
Furthermore, the AUS annual council declined to recognise the rights of religious clubs and societies at universities to “express their views on campus” or to have access to campus facilities (AUS Annual Council 1983: motion N34).
The AUS declared 1983 to be the International Year of the Lesbian.
It also adopted a policy on prostitution which said, in part: “Prostitution takes many forms and is not only the exchange of money for sex. … Prostitution in marriage is the transaction of sex in return for love, security and house-keeping.” (Quoted by Helen Trinca, The Australian, April 6, 1984, p.7).
This bizarre statement made headlines across Australia. Anti-AUS student activists produced posters with the slogan: “AUS says your mother is a prostitute!”
By early 1984, not only Liberals, but moderate Labor and Jewish students, were campaigning vigorously to abolish the AUS. While Julia Gillard and her left-wing colleagues were defending the union, campus after campus was seceding from it, depriving it of funds and bringing about its rapid collapse.
From 1984 until 1993, Ms Gillard became a prominent figure in the militant left Socialist Forum, which had recently been formed by disaffected members of the Communist Party of Australia and Labor’s left-wing. It sought, among other things, to remove Australia from the ANZUS alliance and to twin Melbourne with Leningrad (re-named St Petersburg since the fall of communism).
Gillard flirts with sending them back
A few shipments back of rejected boat people before the election ought to do it, Labor figures:
HUNDREDS of Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are likely to be sent home under Julia Gillard’s tough policy agenda to deter boatpeople.UPDATE
As the Prime Minister prepared to unveil a new approach to tackling the issue this week - possibly including a resumption to the processing of Sri Lankan boatpeople - The Australian understands officials are working on a pact with Afghanistan over returning asylum-seekers…
Although up to 60 per cent of Afghan asylum-seekers have had their claims rejected, only two have been returned home since the surge in boatpeople started in late 2008…
There is a push for the Gillard government to consider lifting the freeze on the Sri Lankan applicants on the grounds that conditions there are now much safer, allowing for the deportation of more failed asylum-seekers…
But Sustainable Population Minister Tony Burke yesterday ruled out a return to Howard-era temporary protection visas that would refuse permanent citizenship to people found to be genuine asylum-seekers who arrived in Australia by boat…
The Australian has also been told another key objective is to minimise the incentive for deported asylum-seekers to return to Australia, potentially by offering financial reintegration packages…
There are a total of 4251 unauthorised arrivals in immigration detention.
Julian Burnside, able to detect genocides invisible to the naked eye, urges Gillard to cut her own throat by demonising not the boat people but the Australian voters:
The human rights activist says sending Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum-seekers back to their home countries would be a scandal…Whole electorates in Australia are populated by rednecks? Isn’t this slur, well, racist?
“The Tamils have been the subject of a genocide, and anyone who denies that there is payback going on after genocide doesn’t know what they’re talking about...”
Speaking at a refugee policy forum, Mr Burnside called on Ms Gillard to loosen Australia’s border protection policies, even if it means losing some marginal seats at the federal election…
“I think Julia Gillard has enough political capital to win the election even if she loses a few marginal seats of rednecks.”
And, typical Burnside, he saves his worst abuse not for the Government which is actually making the decisions he loathes, but for the Opposition which can’t:
Mr Burnside said Tony Abbott had been “lying to the public, creating an utterly false impression about the number of people who come by boat seeking asylum and the reasons that they come seeking asylum”.Is Burnside lying when he says Abbott is lying? Where’s the proof for his defamatory claim?
And Burnside’s example of the kind of boat people we should take in seems odd:
Originally from Iraq but living most of his life in Syria, Mr Khafaji came to Australia by boat from Indonesia in 1999.So he was safe in Syria and Indonesia?
Let’s remember a few things before people start congraluting Gillard for toughening up silly Kevin Rudd’s weak border protection laws.
First, the Rudd laws which promptly lured so many boats here were largely Gillard’s own work, as she said on Sky News last year (no link):
DAVID SPEERS: … You began the process of crafting Labor’s immigration policy back when you were Shadow Minister, some years ago. Given the influx we’ve seen of arrivals this year, more than 1700 this year, do you still think Labor has the balance right between a humane approach but also providing some deterrence?Only last week, Gillard again put up her hand:
JULIA GILLARD: I think we do have the balance right and I started crafting Labor’s immigration policy after the 2001 election which became famous, of course, for children overboard.
OAKES: It’s fair to say isn’t it, that as Shadow Minister after the 2001 Tampa election, as Shadow Immigration Minister you actually were the substantive author of the policies which Kevin Rudd’s government adopted? Is that fair?Second, Gillard claimed again and again they’d struck “the right balance”. Here she is last year:
PM: I was the substantive author of a policy paper which became Labor’s policy....
OAKES: And was adopted in Government.
PM: It was adopted by the then Labor Opposition. Obviously, my successors in the portfolio put some of their own stamps on this and we brought that policy into government.
LAURIE OAKES: Can I ask you this, did the government make a mistake in abolishing Temporary Protection Visas?And:
JULIA GILLARD: No, Laurie the government implemented a policy that we took to the election. We said at the election we would be tough on border protection and we are being tough on border protection … our focus on border protection is very, very clear. We were going to have quicker processing of asylum seeker claims and we were going to bring a risk assessment approach so we didn’t have the spectre of small children behind razor wire which was a spectre in this country under the Howard government. They’re the changes we’ve made, we think they are the right changes, they strike the right balance between being tough on border protection but with dealing with people in a decent way and quickly processing their claims. So if they are genuine refugees we can deal with that, if they aren’t, then they can be returned to their country of origin.
REPORTER: … how many more instances like this is it going to take before there’s a rethink on border protection?And yet again in 2009 (no link to Sky News interview):
JULIA GILLARD: We’ve got the greatest degree of dedicated resources in border protection that this country has ever seen. We’re focusing on border protection with that kind of investment and that kind of effort, so border protection is already being dealt with.
DAVID SPEERS: But after the Pacific Solution was brought in we did see a drop and those push factors that you talked about were still there; in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in other parts of the world. So isn’t it clear if you do make the border protection policy more humane you are inevitably going to reduce some of the deterrence?Any changes Gillard now makes are to fix a terrible mistake largely of her own design, and whose consequences include a record number of people in detention, up to 170 deaths at sea and a blowout of costs of around $1 billion.
JULIA GILLARD: … What we’ve done is we’ve got the balance right, we’ve got unauthorised arrivals, should they come into Australian waters, being dealt with at an excised place, Christmas Island. But our focus is further up the pipeline dealing with the factors that push people and start them moving and of course dealing with co-operation with our near neighbours like Indonesia.
Gillard’s promise to send back boat people falsely claiming to refugees is nothing that she didn’t promise on behalf of the Rudd Government, too. Here she is in May:
Obviously our policy is we assess people’s claims, if they’re not refugees then they get sent back and we’re tough on people smuggling.
Cousins in intensive care. Not
Richmond announces that the troubled Ben Cousins has been rushed to hospital after an adverse reaction to a sleeping tablet. It’s reported that he was unconscious when admitted to the Epworth, and is in intensive care.
(Comments are closed to save us the bother of deleting all the potentially defamatory ones.)
RICHMOND FC says that despite earlier reports, Ben Cousins is not in intensive care after being rushed to hospital with a re-occurrence of stomach pains. Cousins was admitted to Epworth Hospital at about 11.45am after waking with an intense abdominal complaint, having suffered an adverse reaction to a sleeping tablet.
Save this child - and damn her parents
The poor girl. How do we produce such feral parents, and why are we so reluctant to draw a line and save their children?
A HEROIN-addicted sex offender with a sword collection has won custody of his young daughter because the girl’s mother is considered an even more unsuitable parent...How did a court in civilised Australia come to rule either parent acceptable?
Granting custody of the girl, aged about 5, to the father, the court branded the mother dishonest and criticised her continuing drug use. The court heard the mother, who has shoplifting and prostitution-related convictions and a history of drug use, left the labour ward to buy heroin soon after giving birth.
The father, who also has a string of convictions, was put on the sex offenders’ list after being convicted of wilful and obscene exposure.
The girl, who has behavioural problems and a speech impediment, has suffered serious injuries…
Her plight was reported to the Department of Human Services last year after she was treated for a serious burn to her buttocks. Each parent blamed the other for it.
The girl also had injuries from a dog bite and once suffered an injury from being hit with a shoe.
The couple separated soon after the birth, and the father is reported to have been violent to the mother.
But, despite concerns he’d taken drugs as recently as last December, and kept a knife and sword collection, the court last month ruled the girl should live with him…
The father is on a disability pension and hasn’t worked in almost 10 years because of depression. “There was no evidence (he) is making any notable contribution to society,” the court said.
It said he “was using drugs or doing something else he did not want to admit” as recently as last September, and had lied about his whereabouts when meant to be caring for his daughter…
A Department of Human Services spokesman said it was no longer involved in the case.
Miranda Devine lifts another rock:
How did we arrive at a circumstance in which a 56-year-old man is convicted in the NSW District Court this week of sexually abusing eight children aged from 12 months to 14 years, videotaping thousands of unspeakable crimes, and barely a comment is made?…Some of the most vile aspects of this case I’ve left to readers game enough to clink on the link.
We ignore it because to acknowledge the truth is to acknowledge our collective guilt for the plight in which these children found themselves, for the blind eye of tolerance we turn to the chaotic and increasingly commonplace family arrangements which make protecting children from predators like David Shane Whitby impossible.
Whitby was a DJ who ‘’groomed’’ the gullible single mothers he met in the pubs and clubs of outer suburban Sydney where he worked, a police officer who works in child protection says.
‘’They were poor single mothers doing it tough and they were conned by a predator … Whitby will be remembered as the worst paedophile in Australia’s history, in terms of number of victims, number of crimes and the extremely sick nature of the crimes …’’…
The five little girls and three little boys who are this case’s tragic victims lived with their mothers and a shifting parade of boyfriends, including Whitby....
Whitby will be sentenced on September 24. But for the police who toil at the coalface of child protection, the job is never done. They are overworked and powerless to stem the rising tide of child abuse. ‘’It’s a shitfight,’’ said the police officer I spoke to. ‘’The volume of it is a never-ending stream of jobs … It’s a taboo topic, but the ugly side of society should be spoken about and should be reported on.’’
He operates in a world of family anarchy, absent fathers, and alcohol and drug abuse.
‘’How can mum protect her child if she’s off her face?’’
When families fail to protect children, he says the responsibility should not be offloaded to police and social workers. They can’t keep up and, in any case, much of the damage has been done. It is the community’s responsibility to rebuild social norms destroyed through the social revolution of the past 40 years.
Last year in Britain, Sir Paul Coleridge, a Family Court judge, provoked a storm of criticism when he declared family breakdown to be the cause of most social ills. He said marriage, with all its faults, should be restored as the ‘’gold standard’’ and social stigma should be re-applied to those who destroy family life.
He described what he sees in court as a ‘’never-ending carnival of human misery … I have witnessed the damage done [to children] by the endless game of ‘musical relationships’, or ‘pass the partner’, in which a significant portion of the population is engaged....”
(Thanks to reader John.)
Why import enemies of democracy?
Why have they come to such an unclean country, and why did we import people with no loyalty to the fundamental institutions of our democratic society?
LEADERS of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called on Australian Muslims to spurn secular democracy and Western notions of moderate Islam and join the struggle for a transnational Islamic state.If this is the true teaching of Islam, as these people say, what does this say about the wisdom of importing more followers of such an unassimilating faith?
British Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Burhan Hanif told participants at a conference in western Sydney yesterday that democracy is “haram” (forbidden) for Muslims, whose political engagement should be be based purely on Islamic law.
“We must adhere to Islam and Islam alone,” Mr Hanif told about 500 participants attending the convention in Lidcombe.
Why do we tolerate a movement which seems, at best, unwilling to condemn the killing of our soldiers overseas?
(Hizb ut-Tahrir ) claims to be “avowedly nonviolent” and does not condone terrorist acts aimed at civilians such as the 9/11 attacks or the Bali bombings. “Islam does not allow the targeting of innocent people, anyone not involved in war is beyond the bounds,” (spokesman Uthman) Badar says… But its vow of nonviolence does not apply to Israel, Afghanistan or Iraq.(Thanks to readers CA, Ric, Tony and Case.)
“When we talk about the question of violence, we mean in regard to the establishment of an Islamic state; it’s not a case of we’re against violence, full stop,” Badar says. “When it comes to Israel, it’s a completely different issue.”
He says Israel has to be removed militarily and HT supports any and all attempts to do so. As to whether this includes suicide bombing, Badar says Islamic jurists have differing opinions…
The same applies to the war in Afghanistan, which HT sees as illegitimate. Asked whether the obligation to fight the invaders includes killing Australian troops, Badar answers, “No comment”, then adds: “I don’t want them killed, I want them home.”
Hiding the cost of this “education revolution”
Billions spent in ways they won’t tell you until it’s all gone:
EDUCATION Minister Bronwyn Pike has broken her promise to release cost breakdowns for hundreds of school stimulus projects by the middle of the year, because the government is yet to award 12 per cent of the tenders.Victorian principals have been clamouring for a breakdown of costings for the new halls, libraries, gymnasiums and classrooms being built under the program, arguing the total price tag often seemed exorbitant and saying they resented the secrecy.On MTR today, I asked Pike why she was going ahead with so many of these “stimulus” projects, many yet to even start, when the recession they were meant to prevent came and went a year ago. Her answer: she didn’t want to be the one to tell schools they were now missing out.
And so your billions are spent.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Richo lays bare a colossal failure of journalism
Graham Richardson lays bare - just in passing - one of the most extraordinary failures of the press pack that once hyped not just Rudd but the chances of a deal in Copenhagen. It comes as he tries to identify the moment of Rudd’s fall:
For me, it was Copenhagen. It seemed as if he went there believing that because he spoke Mandarin and was very persuasive, he would be able to talk the Chinese into doing something about global warming.True, enough. It was indeed obvious to the most casual observer, even more than a year before Copenhagen.
That had to be why he kept talking up the chances of success in Copenhagen when even the most casual observer knew that China and India had no intention of reining in their growth to save the planet - not yet, anyway.
But why was it not obvious to the Government and almost every single environment reporter and political correspondent in the nation?
Tim Blair lists the leaders who’ve been toppled by their own climate alarmism, and the world institutions now carefully backing away from the cliff.
More humanity from the Taliban
We’ve already tried to spot the humanity that the BBC urges us to report:
A BBC presenter has attacked coverage of Afghanistan’s ongoing war, claiming TV reporters are not covering the ‘humanity of the Taliban’.Here’s the latest humanity from the Taliban:
Lyse Doucet, a presenter and correspondent on BBC World News, was speaking at a discussion of TV reporting of the war in the country…
The positive tone throughout the weekend was dampened by talk of Friday’s attack on a four-storey house used by an US aid organisation in the northern city of Kunduz.
Taliban suicide attackers stormed the house, killing four people before dying in a five-hour gun battle with Afghan security forces. The pre-dawn attack appeared to be part of a militant campaign against international development organisations.
Where Gillard is weak
Glen Milne on the four weaknesses of Julia Gillard that he says are revealed by Liberal polling:
First, the community has been deeply “unsettled” by the manner in which Julia Gillard became Prime Minister at the behest of faceless factional and union power brokers. Even among those who did not particularly like Kevin Rudd, there was the feeling that “this is not the way things are done in Australia”.... In an interview published in Saturday’s The Sydney Morning Herald, the new Prime Minister appealed directly to voters, admitting some “would have gotten a bit of a shock” at the way she disposed of Rudd… Gillard’s tightly scripted words make it clear Labor’s focus groups are throwing up exactly the same responses…
The second, and probably most important, message from the Liberals’ research is that Gillard’s approval is only “top of mind”. In other words most people, including Liberals, wish her well as Australia’s first woman prime minister. But that does not necessarily mean they’ll vote for her…
The third area of vulnerability to emerge from the Liberals’ focus groups is that whatever she does, she has been irrevocably “branded” by the debacle of the Building the Education Revolution. Voters simply will not forget the gross mismanagement of funds…
Fourth, Liberals have been heartened from their research by evidence that despite the media over-hype that has accompanied Gillard’s ascension, voters still have not made up their minds. A tackle shop owner in the seaside town of Eden on the NSW south coast summed this up when he told the Liberal candidate, David Gazard: “Mate, same smelly feet. Just a different pair of socks.”
Police put a different complexion on our ethnic crime problem
Victoria Police seems to have abandoned its policy of describing wanted African suspects as merely ”dark complexioned”, which should help to now catch them - and to educate the public on an ethnic crime phenomenon involving refugees that the previous chief commissioner tried to conceal:
POLICE last night were closing in on three suspects in the brutal bashing of two men at a railway station on Saturday night.But the policy isn’t completely abandoned, to judge from two of the three alerts on Crime Stoppers this morning,
The three men were waiting on the city-bound platform at Noble Park station about 11.10pm when they were approached by two men asking for a lighter.
The attackers, believed to be of African descent, walked with the pair through an underpass where one of the victims, 22, was punched to the ground and a third attacker arrived, kicking the victim in the head. The victim’s 21-year-old friend attempted to intervene but was punched several times in the head.
The 22-year-old was taken to The Alfred hospital suffering multiple facial fractures and a possible fractured skull…
The assault mimics a sickening incident at Sunshine station last year in which a man was knocked unconscious in an underpass by three men, all African refugees, who repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head…
The violence comes just a week after an attack in the CBD in which up to four African men attacked a lone youth outside a nightclub.
The gang attempted to rob him and assaulted him before bashing him a second time after he followed them.
And this, from the same story:
Victoria Police set up Sarazan Taskforce, which focused on north African youth gangs. In five months, 276 people were arrested and charged with 280 offences.