Friday, October 22, 2010

Headlines Friday 22nd October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Air Marshal Sir Colin Thomas Hannah KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB (22 December 1914 – 22 May 1978) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and a Governor of Queensland. Born in Western Australia, he served in the militia before joining the RAAF in 1935. During World War II he saw action as Commanding Officer of No. 6 Squadron in the South West Pacific. By 1944 he had risen to the rank of Group Captain, and at the end of the war was leading Western Area Command in Perth.
=== Bible Quote ===
“I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”- Psalm 40:8
=== Headlines ===
Homeland Security Blamed for Virtual Border Fence Cost, Delays
The troubled four-year-old federal program to install a virtual fence along the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico is behind and overbudget — and a government watchdog agency is partly blaming the Homeland Security Department.

Facebook Falls Short in Blocking Pedophiles
FoxNews.com investigation reveals that Facebook, the world's largest online social network, also serves as a home for child predators trafficking in child porn and interacting with kids — despite content filters that the company assures will filter out offensive material

White House Takes Credit for Bush Jobs
Obama administration is touting that 50,000 wind farm jobs were created by stimulus funding in 2009, but they're taking credit for jobs created during former President Bush's term

NPR Fires Williams; Fox Expands His Role
Longtime award-winning Fox News contributor Juan Williams is fired by NPR for what the taxpayer-supported broadcaster called 'inconsistent' remarks about Muslims made on 'The O'Reilly Factor'

Diabetes drug under investigation
THE diabetes drug Avandia is under investigation by federal and state law enforcement officials in the US.

Man tells thief he's homeless, gets stuff back
POLICE say an armed robber gave back everything he stole from a homeless man after learning he lives at a shelter.

Woman drove with body in car 'for months'
POLICE say a woman drove around for months with a homeless woman's mummified body in her passenger seat.

Parents renting dogs to find kids' stash
FORGET urine tests, parents are now hiring dogs to sniff out whether their kids are using drugs.

Cannabis crop discovered in four bedrooms
CANNABIS plants with a street value of more than $400,000 have been found in a hydroponic set-up.

Drug injection room will stay
DRUG addicts will remain a fixture in the main strip of Kings Cross with the controversial injecting room given permanent status.

Fiance scared by voice of demon
A MAN broke up with his fiancee after a "demonic voice" told him she was sleeping around, the jury in a black magic sex trial heard.

Deluge eases pressure on water
AUSTRALIA'S water storage levels have surged to more than two-thirds full after the recent deluge on the eastern seaboard.

Nurses' bashing sparks protest
A NURSE was bashed violently by a mentally ill patient as she went to make a cup of tea, and now her peers are walking out in protest.

Arrest as fishy chip scam foiled
QUICK action by a casino cashier uncovered a fake chip scam that led to the dramatic arrest of a woman at Star City. Read more here.

Telcos act on triple-0 cons
TELCOS will bar serial hoax callers to triple-0 from making calls from their phones in a radical plan to decrease bogus calls.

Women cut of men-only barber store
THERE aren't many rules at Hawleywood's Barber Shop and Shaving Parlour. But one rule does stick out: No women allowed.

Clover's a cycling statistic
OH, the irony. Clover Moore has joined a growing trend of middle-aged cycling enthusiasts nursing broken bones and injuries. Video

Teen, 16, missing since Monday
FEARS are growing for a teenage boy missing since Monday when he was on his way to school on the NSW Central Coast.

Shotgun bandit attacks cabbie
POLICE have released a security camera image of a man who pointed a shotgun at a taxi driver on Brisbane's southside on October 5.

Car flies into electric billboard
EMERGENCY workers have had to cut a man from his car after it careered off the Bruce Highway at Morayfield and hit an electronic billboard.

Bowls ladies thwart armed robber
SOME quick-thinking women have foiled an armed robber after he attempted to hold-up the Springwood Bowls Club.

More school kids use weapons
ABOUT 100 state school students every week were suspended for violence with weapons or "objects" last financial year - 20 more a week than only a year earlier.

Just add water for king-size catch
RECENT heavy rains have been manna from heaven for Queensland seafood lovers, with fish and prawns in abundant supply due to food flushed out from rivers.

Singer 'ignored' after collapse
AN internationally acclaimed opera singer who lay helpless at a Brisbane bus stop for more than five hours after suffering a stroke is suing.

Lucas 'rules like Stalin'
HEALTH Minister Paul Lucas has been accused of running a "Stalin-style" department after he tried to block an MP from speaking to his constituents.

'Death calls' shut down town
A TEENAGER was being questioned by police over alleged death threats which shut down an Outback Queensland town.

QR gathers steam despite price
QR National shares have defied criticism they are overpriced, with stockbrokers and financial planners putting their hands up to take $1.05 billion worth.

LNG approval in the pipeline
MORE than 10,000 Queensland jobs and more than $20 billion of investment are riding on the expected approval today of two LNG projects in Gladstone.

Suspicious blaze kills dog
A DOG has died and another had to be rescued from a suspicious fire in Kensington.

Mimi's in doggy heaven
DIRTY dog Mimi's life of squalor is behind her and she is now lapping up a life of luxury.

Brewer puts faith in black and white
FOSTER'S has announced two new beers it hopes will bolster falling sales - Carlton Dry Fusion Black and Pure Blond White.

Lout fears snuff New Year fireworks
FAMILIES are again bearing the fallout caused by drunken louts at New Year's Eve celebrations.

Star Cat's supplier pleads guilty
THE man who supplied Geelong footballer Matthew Stokes with cocaine has pleaded guilty to four counts of drug trafficking.

Dams half full, water limits stay
MELBURNIANS will remain on stage 2 water restrictions until at least March, despite increasing water storages.

Hit-run victim out of coma
A HIT-and-run victim has come out of a coma after weeks in intensive care.

Designer's spring carnival eye-opener
FLEDGING Melbourne label mucci and me has created a striking jumpsuit for a day out on Flemington's famous lawns.

Leafy 'burbs may be saved
TREE lopping in leafy suburbs will be reviewed as controversy rages over a push to enforce heavy pruning near power lines.

Muck-up day prank victim hit in face
AN aged care worker pelted with eggs in an apparent muck-up day prank thought she had been doused with chemicals.

Lord Mayor's home raided 'for drugs'
LORD Mayor to face court after a drug raid on his home allegedly uncovered an imitation pistol

Fire destroys car and shed
A CAR and shed were destroyed in a fire in the Adelaide Hills overnight.

Toxic threat to Port Adelaide
THE State Government has admitted there is a risk of explosions at a fertiliser warehouse at Port Adelaide near the Newport Quays development.

Would-be armed robber flees
A WOULD-BE armed robber fled empty-handed from a city eatery because his victim had no money.

Violent parolee on the run
A CONVICTED armed robber with a history of violence is on the run after breaching his parole.

Hills fury at detention centre
FEAR, betrayal and anger over the Inverbrackie immigration detention centre have galvanised the majority of the Woodside community against the plan.

Developer Salisbury fights creditor
HIGH-PROFILE developer and former Glenelg Tigers hardman Scott Salisbury faces a fight as a creditor chases millions of dollars from a failed venture.

Factions deal for Premiership
SENIOR Labor Party figures are ready to negotiate a Right-Left leadership ticket to replace Premier Mike Rann, to prevent an all-out factional brawl.

Can you help find my son?
DON Baird is walking the streets of Adelaide, toting his luggage and a laptop that contains a picture of his lost son, Daniel.

Rock Eisteddfod's beat goes on
AUSTRALIAN students are jubilant about the return of the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.

Bound for South Australia?
THEY'RE the men, women and children who might one day find themselves in a new detention centre in the Adelaide Hills.

Artist who reinvented self-portraiture dies
THE WA Aboriginal art community is mourning the death of Weaver Jack, the first indigenous artist to be shortlisted for the Archibald Prize.

As one drought ends, hope dries up in WA
WEST Australian farmers face a bleak future as the state's Wheatbelt continues to wilt.

Woodside faces environmental legal threat
LEGAL proceedings have begun to stop Woodside Petroleum from clearing vegetation at James Price Point in the Kimberley region as part of plans for a gas hub.

Hames backflip over hospital waiting times
THE State Government has denied its plan to ensure all patients at Perth's major hospitals are seen within four hours has failed, saying its targets are only being adjusted.

Brazen thieves in smash 'n' grab heist
POLICE are hunting for three men who stole two safes after breaking into a southern suburbs shopping complex this morning.

Media union slams MP's 'gay BC' slur
LIBERAL West Australian MP Don Randall flirts with controversy during a media interview by referring to the national broadcaster as the "gay BC''. - Show some pride, ABC. Stand up for who you are - ed.

Boat carrying 88 intercepted
AUTHORITIES have intercepted a boat carrying 88 asylum seekers and two crew in waters north of Christmas Island.

Man charged with quokka kicking
POLICE have charged a 20-year-old Butler man who allegedly kicked a quokka on Rottnest Island last month.

'Abandon Stop and Search' - MPs
CONTROVERSIAL police stop and search powers should be abandoned, the majority of a parliamentary committee investigating the proposal says.

Guard sacked over 'toothbrush in toilet'
A BANDYUP Prison guard who wiped an inmate's toothbrush inside a toilet bowl has been sacked.

Nothing new
=== Journalists Corner ===
Juan Williams Speaks Out!
It's a 'Factor' exclusive, as Williams responds to being booted off NPR. And then -- is he the first victim of George Soros's new war on Fox News?! Karl Rove weighs in.
===
The Battle for Kentucky Gets Ugly
How have cheap shots & name-calling changed the Kentucky Senate race? And, what will be the impact as people go to the polls?
===
Taking the Pulse of the Nation
Frank Luntz has answers on what's really driving America to the polls. Hannity at 9p/12a ET.

Then, which states could be in for a BIG surprise? Dick Morris goes On the Record at 10p/1a ET.
On Fox News Insider
Newt Gingrich Calls for Congressional Investigation Into NPR Funding
VIDEO - Greta to Whoopi: "Can't You Take on Bill O'Reilly?"
PIC - Steve Doocy Pitches in with the FNC Makeup Team
=== Comments ===
Victory of truth in a war of words
Piers Akerman
IT is sad but true that few Australians would have followed the debate on the engagement of our troops in Afghanistan. - I am opposed to war, in general, but I support our troops. I get it that we need to fight for peace. We can’t surrender for peace, that will not work. Peace must be earned, and the price, as with freedom, is eternal vigilance. The left have forgotten what their heroes said. Thing is, Gillard, Brown and co are promising what they cannot deliver. It works well for them when they are in opposition and their thoughts are accepted by a press keen on finding a weapon to use against conservatives. But their policies don’t work. They will get them government so they can oversee pork barrels, but they cannot administer government responsibly. The result is what we have. Iraq was won, but Afghanistan is a struggle, and the promise has not been realised. I agree that Wilkie is appalling, but there is no evidence the ALP guy he beat would have been better. The problem is the MSM have hidden the rorts of the left. So that the poor voters had no one to turn to. I gave my electorate a choice, but again the msm refused to report on my campaign, and so although many did not want the local candidate for the ALP, there was no real alternative .. and over 10% handed in blank voting cards. - ed.
===
Rudd's ruthless style entrenched Labor
Scott Prasser:
WHEN John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, he had held three ministerial posts, including treasurer, and served in different Opposition shadow portfolios in addition to two stints as Opposition leader. His policy interests were broad and his stands explicit. We knew what we were getting.

By contrast, Kevin Rudd, the new federal Opposition Leader, remains an unknown quantity for many. First elected to federal parliament in 1998, he was made a shadow minister in 2001 and his focus has been mainly on foreign affairs. He has not held a ministerial post, so we have never seen Rudd perform in an elected public office under pressure.

However, a future Rudd government might be assessed by examining Rudd's performance in relation to his pivotal role in the Queensland Goss Labor government.

Elected in 1989 in the wake of the Fitzgerald royal commission into corruption, the Goss government promised to implement Fitzgerald's agenda for parliamentary and public service reform, open government, electoral change, improved accountability and police reform.

Rudd was Goss's chief-of-staff in Opposition and in government, and then became director-general of the new office of cabinet. Given the office of cabinet's roles in overseeing the cabinet process, monitoring implementation, advising the premier and identifying policy issues, Rudd was defacto head of the Premier's Department, Goss's closest adviser, and the premier's Mr Fixit.

And fix Queensland government in favour of the Labor Party under the mantle of the Fitzgerald reform process the Goss government did. These actions tell us as much about Rudd, as they do about the Goss government.

Certainly there were worthwhile procedural changes, departmental restructurings and overdue electoral reform. However, aided and abetted by partisans such as Rudd and others recruited from academe and elsewhere, the Goss government implemented a new political fix of increased centralised control, partisan appointments across the public service, media management, continued executive dominance of Queensland's unicameral legislature and skilful containment of Fitzgerald's anti-corruption watchdogs such as the Criminal Justice Commission.

Where the Fitzgerald report suggested the public service needed to be able to "provide independent, impartial, expert advice" and to operate in an environment "without concern for the political or personal connections of the people and organisations affected by their decisions", the Goss reforms ensured greater political control through increased politicisation and centralised processes of a more competent administrative machine.

For instance, the Public Sector Management Commission established to oversee public service change was not a recommendation of Fitzgerald, although it was portrayed as such. It was seen by some to be run by those with Labor Party connections and as an instrument for increased executive and partisan control of the public service. As professor Ken Wiltshire commented, the changes led many public servants to "make a connection between the restructuring of the public service and the political allegiances of those overseeing it".

Indeed, Rudd's rapid promotion from ministerial minder to senior public servant highlighted this perception of politicisation. Rudd may have once been a Foreign Affairs officer, but as personal adviser to Goss and later a preselected federal Labor candidate, his loyalties were clear, as was the message to the public service: partisanship counts.

Also, the replacement of many senior departmental heads and managers by those with Labor connections often smacked of revenge rather than reform, undermining the Fitzgerald principle of merit.

Moreover, Rudd ran the office of cabinet ruthlessly in relation to ministers and public servants in meeting the premier's demands. Rudd was known as Dr Death because of his single-mindedness of purpose and style. While administratively competent, Rudd's actions caused considerable strains within government, alienating many, and his narrow focus and dominance were seen as contributors to the Goss government's poor 1995 election result.

Elsewhere the stress was on control rather than democratic reform.

Parliamentary reform, identified by Fitzgerald as essential "if the political processes of public debate and opposition are to operate", hardly progressed. Parliamentary sittings averaged only 50 days a year: marginally more than the previous National Party government, but less than the 58-day average for Coalition governments from 1970 to 1983. Proposals for an expanded parliamentary committee system and more Opposition staff were truncated.

Janet Ransley from Griffith University concluded that "little ... has been achieved by way of lasting reform to the uneven balance between executive and parliament".

Recommendations for the auditor-general to conduct performance audits were rejected, while excellent new freedom-of-information legislation was later amended to maintain executive secrecy. Whether the Goss government used cabinet confidentiality rules to bypass FoI procedures, as the Borbidge and Beattie governments did, remains unknown.

There was ongoing conflict with the CJC in terms of resources, powers, membership and activities. The Goss government bridled at the CJC's intrusions into executive decision-making. As Max Bingham, the CJC's first chairman, recalled, there "were competing agendas to lessen the impact of Fitzgerald's philosophy" and "almost daily there were messages from various political quarters that it would be a good idea if we were all to drop dead".

Meanwhile, the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission, another Fitzgerald innovation that provided recommendations on areas such as electoral reform and administrative law that were mostly accepted, was terminated - many thought prematurely - because, as professor John Wanna explained, it was a "source of policy advice (independent) from the conventional executive-dominated process".

In summary, the Goss government implemented the Fitzgerald report's recommendations in form but not in spirit. Executive government control, secrecy and manipulation of appointment processes remained embedded in Queensland government, as highlighted by the recent commission of inquiry into the Bundaberg Hospital overseas doctor scandal.

To know what a Rudd Labor government might look like, take a peek at what happened in Queensland when Rudd held sway in the Goss government.

Every picture tells a story, and Queensland's not one to admire.

Scott Prasser lectures at the University of Sunshine Coast and co-edited Corruption and Reform: The Fitzgerald Vision.
- This article stood the test of time - ed.
===
Why Americans Are Fed Up
BY BILL O'REILLY

Two new polls are very instructive in defining the anger in the USA.

A new Gallup poll finds just 21 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in this country. By comparison, midway through Bush's second term -- not a great time -- 35 percent of Americans were satisfied. In October 1998, 60 percent of us were feeling good because the economy was rolling back then.

In addition, a new Rasmussen poll says that 57 percent of American adults believe this country has become too politically correct. Just 23 percent say the country is not PC enough. Eleven percent believe the balance is about right.

So with nearly 80 percent of the American public dissatisfied, it is just about impossible for President Obama to effectively govern at this point. He has to change, or he will be voted out in 2012.

But it is the PC deal that is really illuminating. "Talking Points" continues to believe that Americans in general are fair-minded people, but we want straight talk, we want the facts and problem-solving based on reality.

That's why that "View" deal last week was so intense. Americans saw two opposing points of view on a very dangerous situation.

I believe there is a Muslim problem in the world. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar apparently do not see it that way and object to my assessment.

Unfortunately for him, President Obama is tied in with the PC crowd. Here's an example: The network news operation that is most supportive of the president is NBC, and its cable arm routinely brands people bigots and racists if they disagree with the liberal philosophy. Mr. Obama is now identified with the liberal philosophy, so he should know the far-left vitriol is not good for him.

In addition, both MSNBC and CNN are failing in the ratings, and on Wednesday The New York Times announced it lost more than $4 million last quarter.

So the big politically correct media operations are going south, fast. Americans are angry about the state of the union. They are in no mood for nonsense.

Complicated problems will never be solved by avoidance. The economy is a mess because private business is not hiring. That's the problem. The world is on edge because millions of Muslims accept violence and enable jihad. In order to correct the economy and the terrorist threat, those things must be understood and stated.

I do believe the tide has turned, however. I think even some liberal Americans are beginning to see that politically correct garbage is useless and prevents effective problem-solving.

Change is in the air, no question.
===
NPR Strikes a Blow Against Free Speech
By Cal Thomas
The firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio is a blow to free speech and ought to be protested in the strongest possible way.

Juan was giving an opinion on "The O'Reilly Factor" that when he sees people dressed in Muslim garb on airplans, it makes him nervous.

Jesse Jackson said about African-Americans who dress as thugs, " there is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life, than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery—then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Or how about Joe Biden saying he can't walk into a 7-11 without seeing an Indian?

There is such a double standard in these matters. I guess NPR thinks Williams’ relatively innocuous comments compare to the former CNN host Rick Sanchez, who stereotyped Jews as running the news business.

I have known Juan for years. He is a thoughtful and decent man. He was fired because he appears on Fox News and he doesn't always toe the liberal line.

Twenty years ago, I was fired from the NPR show "All Things Considered" because the producer said I had become "too predictable." Me -- the only conservative commentator at the time on a network dominated by liberals was, "too predictable."

In a ridiculous statement issued on Thursday, NPR said about the decision to fire Juan, among other stupid things, that it was especially distraught that the firing occurred during fundraising week.

That gave me an idea. Should Republicans succeed in taking back the House where all spending originates, the defunding of NPR should be high on its “To Do" list.

If the left values free speech so little, then taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize any part of it. Let George Soros and his fellow ideologues support NPR with their own money, not those of conservatives who are marginalized and stereotyped enough.

It appears that liberals are only interested in defending free speech when it agrees with theirs.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely-syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.
===
Importing HIV
Andrew Bolt
Gavin Atkins thought we’d got on top of AIDS yet now reads:
Australia has reported its highest number of new HIV infections in almost 20 years, but cases of infectious syphilis, gonorrhoea and hepatitis have dropped, leading experts to conclude the safe sex message is getting through.

About 1,050 new cases of HIV were reported last year, a level not reached since 1993,
So what is driving up the numbers? Hard to believe, but here’s one big reason:
The Australian Immigration Department is loosening health restrictions to allow migrant workers with chronic conditions to enter Australia, including those with HIV/AIDS.

With this change, Australia hopes to attract skilled migrant workers, who otherwise would have been denied a visa for health-related reasons.
Pardon?

Links at the link.
===
If only we could all live with Cameron’s less
Andrew Bolt
Director and warming alarmist James Cameron on Avatar, his ludicrous environmental movie:
I wanted to make an environmentally conscious mainstream movie.... It will be a dying world if we don’t make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth...We’re going to have to live with less.
Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer check in with Cameron to see how he’s getting on, living with less:

(Thanks to reader and blogger Bernie Slattery.)
===
Don’t tell Bob we’re not losing
Andrew Bolt
Sshhh, don’t tell Bob Brown:
American and Afghan forces have been routing the Taliban in much of Kandahar Province in recent weeks, forcing many hardened fighters, faced with the buildup of American forces, to flee strongholds they have held for years, NATO commanders, local Afghan officials and residents of the region said…

NATO commanders are careful not to overstate their successes — they acknowledge they made that mistake earlier in the year when they undertook a high-profile operation against Marja that did not produce lasting gains. But they say they are making “deliberate progress” and have seized the initiative from the insurgents.

Western and Afghan civilian officials are more outspoken, saying that heavy losses for the Taliban have sapped the momentum the insurgency had in the area. Unlike the Marja operation, they say, the one in Kandahar is a comprehensive civil and military effort that is changing the public mood as well as improving security…

NATO forces have experienced setbacks in other parts of Afghanistan, and some military officials say the advances in Kandahar may not represent a turning point in the overall war effort… But Kandahar represents the heartland of the Taliban insurgency and is the main focus of the large influx of American troops and Afghan government forces. “Afghans will tell you, if you have a peaceful Kandahar, you will have a peaceful Afghanistan,” General Carter said. “I think only time will tell."…

Lt. Col. Rodger Lemons, commanding Task Force 1-66 in Arghandab, said he had seen insurgent attacks drop from 50 a week in August to 15 a week two months later. That may be because of the onset of colder weather, when fighting tends to drop off, but Colonel Lemons said he felt the Taliban was losing heart.

“A lot are getting killed,” he said. “They are not receiving support from the local population, they are complaining that the local people are not burying their dead, and they are saying: ‘We are losing so many we want to go back home.’ “

Military and civilian officials say there are also signs of a crisis in command as Taliban leaders have struggled to maintain logistics and supply routes, suicide bombers have failed to turn up for attacks, and even senior commanders were showing reluctance to follow orders from their leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, to go in to fight the NATO onslaught in Panjwai.
But Brown, the Greens leader, understands war better than almost anyone else, and may not be easily told:
Brown rejects suggestions he is not qualified to debate Afghanistan because he has not been there. ”I am second to no one in this place at understanding the horrors of war...”
Really? Never having served, suffered or witnessed war?

It strikes me that Brown’s position is driven not by experience or even reason, but ideology - and political advantage.

I’d be fascinated to know if he could nominate a single conflict which justified the sending of soldiers. Would a Bob Brown have supported military action in:
1. The Vietnam War
2. The Korean War
3. World War 2
4. The Russian Revolution
(Thanks to reader Andrew.)
===
Canada takes a Howard idea on boat people that Labor rejects
Andrew Bolt
Canada tires to stem its own flood of boat people by introducing the temporary protection visas which John Howard introduced here but which Labor scrapped:
But these efforts should mean we head off a problem such as the one currently being faced by the Australians, who have just intercepted their 107th boat-load of mass arrivals.

The real benefits may come in the form of deterrence for future illegal immigrants, who may discover Canada is not quite the promised land for queue-hoppers. Under the new bill, illegal migrants who obtain refugee status can be re-assessed within five years to determine whether they still need protection or can be returned home; will be prevented from applying for permanent resident status for five years; will be barred from coming back to Canada, if they return to the country from which they sought refuge; and, will be unable to sponsor family members for five years.
Of course, Canada has plenty of other “reforms” from the human rights industry that guarantee the boats will keep coming:
As soon as refugees land, they receive the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the moment, the backlog of cases means it can be three years before refugees receive a hearing, by which point many have disappeared. An Auditor-General’s report two years ago revealed there were 63,000 people with enforceable removal orders against their name but 41,000 of them had simply vanished.
Some of those who vanish are the kind of people you’d rather keep tabs on.

(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
===
The more believable Hicks
Andrew Bolt
Sounds more believable than Hicks’s own self-serving tosh:
CONVICTED terrorism supporter David Hicks tried to hit guards and threw faeces at them in Guantanamo Bay, a retired US army general says.

Retired US Army Reserve major Montgomery Granger has launched a scathing attack on Hicks and publisher Random House over Hicks’ book Guantanamo: My Journey, which was released last Saturday.

Mr Granger, author of Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior, said Hicks was infamous at Guantanamo for “threatening to kill an American” and that the content of his book was “lies”.

“David Hicks was there when I was there - he threatened and abused guards, and this is in my book,” he said. “He’s an al-Qaida-trained terrorist mercenary, and will try and pose himself as an innocent victim of circumstance. His book will be lies.”
(Thanks to reader Leon.)
===
Breeding misery
Andrew Bolt

OH, it was easy to mock former Ombudsman Norm Geschke yesterday, and to even draw a swastika on his arm.

Just think of the evil suggestion he’d made to the Herald Sun.

Maybe, just maybe, he said, we should pay drug addicts to get themselves sterilised, as is being done by one charity in the United States.

Maybe we should get even tougher on parents who keep bashing their kids.

“Some authority’s got to be able to say, ‘Look, in our view, this person should not have any more children’.”

Cue outrage.

Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary said he was “appalled” by Geschke’s views, which he called “Hitleresque”.

What next? Sterilising vandals? Collingwood supporters?

Dr Kathy Kezelman, the equally offended chairman of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, said what we really needed was to fix “a history of poor communication between various departments” charged with protecting the increasing number of children being battered, starved or dumped.

Oops. I must interrupt this column for a news flash.

“Department of Human Services figures ... show 231 children-protection workers either resigned or had their contracts terminated in 2009, out of a workforce of just over 1000.”

Oh, dear. Seems that trying to save thousands of children from depraved or drugged parents is burning out the young idealists plucked out of uni, paid peanuts, confronted with horror and flogged with overwork. Who’d have thought?

Still we know the answer: Better communication!

Another news flash:

“More than 400 vulnerable children were exposed to further sexual or physical abuse within three months of their cases being closed by bungling child protection bureaucrats. .”

Goodness, our communication skills really do need work, don’t they? But back to my column - and Geschke.

Yes, Geschke, that “Hitleresque” man. Huh, what would he know - I mean, apart from what he learned writing one angry report after another on our child protection services from 1980 to 1994? Must be out of touch.

Which brings me to another news item - not from Geschke’s ancient files but from the papers just a few months ago:

“A mother prostituted her 12-year-old daughter so she could pay off her home loan and buy a couple of Commodores, a court has heard.
===
Gillard may need asylum herself in Adelaide
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard’s imperial style of government - and bungling of boat people policy - is firing public anger:
More than 500 people gathered for a vocal and passionate public meeting at the Woodside Institute building last night to discuss plans, announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday, to house up to 400 asylum seekers at a new detention facility on Commonwealth land at nearby Inverbrackie…

Most of the large crowd were furious they had not been consulted about the detention centre.

Many made their feelings felt during an extended period of questions, which evolved into a series of of heated speeches.
===
Norman in a bunker
Andrew Bolt
IF Greg Norman were as good at golf as he is at publicity you’d never have heard of him. Duffer is the word.

And if he were as good at publicity as he is at golf you’d have heard almost nothing about the latest love of his life.

But this time the word is “needy”.

See, there he is yet again, giving a cover-story interview to New Idea to tell the world that he’s now hopelessly in love with Kirsten Kutner and will soon make her his third wife in what will be “one of the happiest days of our lives”.

Meanwhile, here’s a shot of Greg in his jacket, hugging Kirsten. And in his white pants, hugging Kirsten. And in his black shirt, hugging Kirsten. And in his white cap ... ‘Scuse me, but mind if I throw up on your two-toned loafers?

Oh dear. You’d have thought Norman had learned from last time there is no greater invitation to ridicule and revenge than a man parading his latest puppy love when the indent of his old wedding ring is still plain on his finger.

Married women especially don’t like it, and more especially those married women once known as “Mrs Norman”.

The last time Norman invited the media to witness his ecstasy was just 20 months ago, when Eddie McGuire, reporting for 60 Minutes, was allowed to film the second Mrs Norman, Chris Evert, lovingly massaging her new husband’s feet.

“They’re completely besotted with each other,” concluded McGuire, who’s trained to notice telling details.

This display was widely mocked, of course. But Norman had been goaded into taking his love into prime time, when his former wife, Laura Andrassy, birched him on A Current Affair.

ACA: Do you have respect now for Greg as a man, given the way that he has behaved to you?

Andrassy: Do I have to answer that question?

And as for Evert, portrayed as a homewrecker: “I’ve never, ever encountered a woman like that before. I don’t have respect for her as a woman.”

Norman would have been well advised to simply take his punishment. Andrassy would have then seemed rather too shrewish.

But no.
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Bolt revisits an inflation that helped put Rudd in power. It suited MSM and Turnbull
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Obama falls as stakes rise
Andrew Bolt
Two weeks out from the mid-term election, Barack Obama is looking like very damaged goods.
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Calling Flannery to account
Andrew Bolt
We were meant to be almost bone dry by now:
TIM Flannery, an expert in bones, has made a fortune from books and lectures warning that we face global warming doom....

In March (2008), Flannery said: “The water problem is so severe for Adelaide that it may run out of water by early 2009.... In June (2007), Flannery warned Brisbane’s “water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months"… In 2005, Flannery predicted Sydney’s dams could be dry in just two years… In 2004, Flannery said global warming would cause such droughts that “there is a fair chance Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis”.
Meanwhile:
AUSTRALIA’S water storage levels have surged to more than two-thirds full after the recent deluge on the eastern seaboard dumped the equivalent of 25 Sydney Harbours into storage facilities.
Yet again, the models of the global warmist Bureau of Meteorology underestimated the rain to come. Here’s the bureau’s prediction in August:
The national outlook for total rainfall over the late winter to mid-spring period (August to October), is neutral with the odds favouring neither wetter nor drier conditions across most of the country with the exception of small parts of Victoria, Tasmania and northern NSW… In a small region of southern Victoria and northern Tasmania, the chances of a wetter than normal season drop below 40% indicating an increased risk of dry conditions.
Before that there was this prediction for winter, issued on May 25:
The Bureau of Meteorology says the chances of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and southwest NSW and Western Australia getting more than average rainfall are less than 40 per cent from June to August.
But in August 26:
Melbourne’s water supply is making major gains thanks to good recent rainfall…

(Senior BOM forecaster Terry) Ryan said a soggy June had been followed by a rain-drenched August. With long-range forecasts predicting a damp spring, Victoria is on target to record its wettest year since 1996.
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More evidence that our soldiers need more help
Andrew Bolt
Would Australian helicopters have failed to help Australians soldiers? And if not, why don’t we have more, and sooner
AUSTRALIAN special forces troops were left for dead by two Dutch attack helicopters during a deadly ambush in Afghanistan.

When the smoke cleared, one American was dead and seven SAS soldiers and two sappers lay badly wounded.

A combined Australian, American and Afghan patrol was under ambush from up to 150 enemy fighters when the two attack choppers arrived at a nearby American base…

The patrol’s air strike co-ordinator told the Dutch pilots by radio: “We’re in an absolute doozy of a s--- fight. We need your assistance as we’re taking casualties.”

But the pilots refused to drop under their “safe” height of 5000m, despite the fact Apaches are armour-plated and designed to operate under heavy fire at low altitude.

In his book SAS Sniper, to be released next week, former SAS soldier and ex-Royal Marine Rob Maylor reveals intricate details of the ambush and the lack of help from the Dutch…

The book adds weight to the view of soldiers on the front line that they need more firepower - including one whose email appeal for better back-up was revealed by the Herald Sun.

One of the specific complaints in the email concerned a lack of helicopter support during another deadly battle that claimed Private Jared Mackinney. Australia asked the departing Dutch to keep five Apaches in Tarin Kowt until mid-November because Australia’s Tiger attack choppers wouldn’t be ready until mid-2011.
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262 active customers so far for Labor’s $43 billion scheme
Andrew Bolt
It doesn’t seem many:
ONLY about one in 10 of the first Australians to be offered high-speed internet services under the National Broadband Network have taken up the offer.
The federal government yesterday confirmed the take-up rate in the first three Tasmanian towns to receive the NBN was less than 11 per cent, arguing it was evidence the $43 billion program was on track..

The government has not revealed how many of the NBN users are passing up the full 100-megabits-per-second internet speed, on offer at about $100 a month, in favour of slower speeds on cheaper packages costing $30 or $60 a month…

Under questioning in Senate budget estimates yesterday, NBN Co revealed there had been 561 orders for services to 436 premises in the three Tasmanian towns reached by the network so far…

However, of the 436 premises, only 262 so far had active connections - a figure the Coalition said represented only 5 per cent of households across the three towns - Smithton, Scottsdale, and Midway Point.
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Juan Williams fired for not pretending this jihad thing is a beat-up
Andrew Bolt

NPR fires Juan Williams, a Left-wing commentator an author of tomes on civil rights, for being, er, racist.

His sin:
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
Speaking such a commonplace truth frankly is forbidden at the taxpayer-funded NPR:
NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.
Being frank undermines your credibility?

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE

Paul Hinderaker says it’s an intolerance thing:
National Review Online had an email exchange with NPR regarding the sacking of Juan Williams. Asked what exactly Williams said that NPR deemed inappropriate, Anna Christopher, NPR’s senior manager of media relations, wrote: “We aren’t going to get into a back and forth over semantics. The comment violated our ethics guidelines, and offended many in doing so.” (emphasis added)

The last phrase caught my eye. I assume that NPR’s audience consists primarily of leftists (I know few non-leftists who listen to it these days). Thus, many audience members possess sensibilities not unlike those of Joy Behar and Whoppi Goldberg. Williams’ comments offended those sensibilities.

NPR cannot afford to offend its base very much. So even if its senior decision-makers did not regard Williams’ comments, coupled with those he has made in the past, as a firing offense, letting him go was the smart move.
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