=== Todays Toon ===Commodore Sir James Maxwell Ramsay KCMG, KCVO, CBE, DSC (27 August 1916 – 1 May 1986).
Served as Governor of Queensland, Australia from 22 April 1977 until 21 July 1985
=== Bible Quote ===“A man finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”- Proverbs 15:23
=== Headlines ===Wikileaks Releases Massive Trove of Secret War Documents
The whistle-blower website publishes about 400,000 war documents detailing civilian casualties, detainee abuse and Iran's role aiding militias in what the Pentagon warns could endanger Iraqi informants and give the enemy new insights.
Mattress May Help Locate Missing N.C. Girl
Police hope DNA from Zahra Clare Baker's mattress — found in a landfill after being thrown out by her parents around the time of her disappearance — will help them find the 10-year-old girl
Military Voters Urged to Get Their Ballots In
Despite the failure of several states to mail absentee ballots 45 days before Election Day, the government agency assisting overseas voters says 'it's not too late' to send in ballots
NPR Ombudsman: Badly Handled, But...
Listeners' rep weighs in on NPR's firing of Fox News analyst Juan Williams, admitting it was poorly handled — then defends the action as 'necessary'
Trump tries to bully 'trump card' charity
A NEW Zealand fundraising consortium was reported to have run foul of US tycoon Donald Trump for using the card-playing term "Trumpcard".
Police raid late-term abortion clinic
POLICE have raided Victoria's only late-term abortion clinic where an anaesthetist is suspected of deliberately infecting his patients.
US court keeps Aussie's verdict secret
ALABAMA prosecutor Don Valeska and the father of Tina Thomas-Watson have emerged smiling from a courtroom in Birmingham after a grand jury came to a decision on whether or not to charge Gabe Watson with murder.
Cabbie 'rubbed sleeping woman's chest'
A TAXI driver will face court charged with indecently assaulting a female passenger in south Sydney.
Woman sexually assaulted on train - police
A WOMAN has been sexually assaulted on a train in south Sydney, police say.
Labor's lost, with or without Joe
MORRIS Iemma says Joe Tripodi leaving would have no effect on Labor's prospects - they're gone.
Houses crowded out in unit boom
THE Great Australian Dream is dying in Sydney with the number of houses within a 15km radius of the CBD rapidly decreasing.
Having a long, hard look at itself
ITS been dubbed the bird that fell in love with itself. Each day, this bush stone curlew would sit for hours staring at its own reflection.
It's your bikie mates or me, son
FREDERICKA Bromich says she has no choice but to stay away from son - Hells Angels member Peter Zervas, who faced court.
Pratt's sex, files and audio tape
SEXUAL encounters between Richard Pratt's lovers, Shari-Lee Hitchcock and Madison Ashton?
Ugly feud fought on Facebook
A MOTHER in the middle of a custody dispute caught boasting on Facebook how she thought about ripping her husband off for $20K.
Teen tragedy fear for Matthew
THE search for missing teenager Matthew Appleby was abandoned after his shoes were found.
Woman held by hair and assaulted
A SYDNEY woman was indecently assaulted as she walked home from a train station early this morning.
Chem device closes Teewah Beach
ACCESS to Teewah Beach is currently closed following the discovery of a chemical device which may be dangerous to the public.
Lawyers tight-lipped on Watson
EXCLUSIVE: LEGAL counsel are refusing to confirm indications that Gabe Watson has been ordered to stand trial in the US charged with killing his wife on their honeymoon.
Witch-hunt for overpaid workers
A 26-STRONG squad will be hired to track down more than $38 million in wages overpaid to Queensland Health staff during the payroll debacle.
Detainees land at Weipa base
DETAINEES in Australia's newest immigration centre in northern Queensland will enjoy day trips, cooking classes and English lessons.
Storm in a cupcake
A WINDSOR cafe owner says the Brisbane City Council is putting her business at risk over a humble cupcake stand covering.
Watson made death joke
HONEYMOON scuba dive murder suspect Gabe Watson joked about his dead bride Tina's life insurance in the weeks after her death, a key US witness claims.
Fire station heritage listed
DALBY'S 1935 fire station has been heritage-listed along with Kingaroy's landmark peanut silos.
Normanby shattered by glass ban
ONE of Brisbane's most popular and well-patronised hotels has claimed it might be forced to close as a result of a State Government glass ban.
Beer winner fails his own brew
A BEER made by one of the judges at the Queensland beer show was picked as champion even though its creator marked it down in blind tasting.
Gas projects get the green light
THE Federal Government has given a conditional green light to two Queensland gas projects worth about $20 billion.
Western Highway carnage
A HORROR day on the Western Highway has left up to five people dead in three separate collisions in just seven hours.
Police raid health clinic
POLICE this morning raided a Croydon sexual health clinic in an investigation into a doctor with hepatitis C.
One woman's year from hell
HER husband dies and then she's diagnosed with breast cancer. This is one woman's year from hell.
Gillard runs her own race
THE 150th running of the race that stops the nation won't stop Julia Gillard from attending her most important overseas meeting so far.
Rapke seeks end to staff leaks
VICTORIA'S Director of Public Prosecutions has made an unprecedented plea to his staff to stop leaking against his office.
Melbourne's road menaces exposed
POLICE have called on the public to help them catch the ringleaders organising dangerous hoon events in Melbourne.
Couples' grief over IVF police checks
DESPERATE Victorians are having their dreams of parenthood shattered because of a "ridiculous" new IVF law.
Police fail to destroy files
THE fingerprints of tens of thousands of innocent Victorians continue to be illegally held by Victoria Police.
200 police in email scandal
ALMOST 200 police officers and 10,000 emails have been caught up in a scandal that has rocked Victoria Police.
Stokes' cocaine dealer jailed
A DRUG dealer who sold cocaine to Geelong star Mathew Stokes has been jailed for at least a year.
Five dead in road crashes
FIVE people have died in two separate crashes, among them a woman who fell from a car's bonnet, and another who was hit by a car while going to her aid.
Two killed in Barossa "incident"
TWO people have died following "an incident with a motor vehicle" in the Barossa Valley.
Flowers colour the glorious outback
SOUTH Australia's Outback is awash with spectacular colours and brimming with life following bumper rains and floodwater from Queensland.
Hickinbothams' estate on the market
ALAN Hickinbotham's family is selling at least $18 million worth of their property after the prominent builder's death earlier this year.
Andrew Garrett payback offer 'of no worth'
BANKRUPT winemaker Andrew Garrett tried to pass off a document "no more valuable than Monopoly money" to pay off a debt, a court has heard.
Carnegie campus looking down barrel
ADELAIDE'S first foreign university, Carnegie Mellon, will close within 12 months if enrolments do not improve, sources say.
Flicking the switch on a fast future
THE first South Australian cables are being laid in Willunga for the National Broadband Network - a network which will give Australia the fastest internet access in the world.
Toxic ambulance-uniforms cost $6 million
MORE than $6 million has been paid out to solve the ambulance officers' toxic uniform debacle and there are concerns the taxpayers' bill could go even higher.
Hills churches to bridge cultural gap
ADELAIDE Hills churches are forming a taskforce to help improve cultural understanding of asylum seekers and begin to heal deep divisions.
Have you seen the vanishing Liberal leader?
OPPOSITION Leader Isobel Redmond has vanished from the public spotlight since the election in a bid to train scrutiny on Labor's leadership rumblings.
Federal Government fuelled Firepower
TIM Johnston, the chief of failed fuel pill company Firepower, has told a court the Federal Government department Austrade helped boost his company's profile overseas.
Surgery cancellations snowball after strike
THIRTY-one cases of elective surgery have been cancelled across WA hospitals because of industrial action from hospital support staff.
Conservationists attack marine park plan
FOUR new marine parks are to be created in Western Australia's Kimberley region, covering a land and sea area more than half the size of Tasmania.
Skeleton found on South-West golf course
POLICE are trying to identify human remains found near the golf course in Augusta, 320km south of Perth.
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
WEST Australian farmers face a bleak future as the state's Wheatbelt continues to wilt.
=== Journalists Corner ===Juan Williams Hosts 'The O'Reilly Factor'
NPR under fire! It's further fallout from Juan Williams's dismissal, straight from the source. Get the latest on the story that has America talking.
Riots Ravage Europe Over the Retirement Age
Creating two million jobs - how the government could make it happen ... today! Plus, a health care compromise? Why the deal could be compromising for taxpayers. Then, retirement riots ravage Europe. Could the U.S. be next?
Geraldo's Interview with General Petraeus
General Petraeus' candid interview! What's really ahead for our troops overseas? Live from Afghanistan, don't miss Geraldo front and center.
On Fox News InsiderVIDEO: Barney Frank on Partner's Altercation with GOP Opponent
Chris Wallace Reacts to Colleague Juan Williams's Dismissal
Democratic Governor Calls His Party a "Bunch of Wusses"
=== Comments ===A Disgraceful Decision by the National Public Radio Outfit
BY BILL O'REILLY
NPR has fired Juan Williams, who worked there for more than 10 years. You may remember that in February 2009, NPR warned Juan not to advertise his association with them on this program. And now NPR has terminated Juan's contract because he said this on "The Factor":
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN WILLIAMS, FIRED NPR NEWS ANALYST: I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I have written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I have 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NPR president Vivian Schiller, a former New York Times employee, is too cowardly to come on this broadcast to explain, but we did catch up with her on Thursday in Atlanta:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIVIAN SCHILLER, NPR PRESIDENT AND CEO: This action was not anti-Fox. This action was pro-journalistic standards, and a news analyst cannot continue credibly to analyze the news if they are expressing opinions about divisive issues. It's that simple, and the same would go with anybody. We are not picking on Juan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Ms. Schiller is a pinhead. Juan was not giving an opinion about Muslims on airplanes. He was simply stating what he felt. If he had said that his uneasiness should be embraced by others, that would have been a personal opinion.
In my opinion, Ms. Schiller should resign immediately because she is simply not smart enough to run a media company, even if it is NPR. Juan Williams did nothing wrong. He was just being honest -- something NPR might strive to learn.
But Juan wasn't fired because of that remark. He was sacked because of his association with the Fox News Channel.
A few days ago, NPR accepted $1.8 million from far-left bomb-thrower George Soros. That in itself is a disgrace because NPR also takes taxpayer money. Now the National Public Radio crew is in bed with the radical Soros? Talk about a lack of standards.
"Talking Points" is calling for an immediate suspension of all public money going to NPR, and we understand that Sen. Jim DeMint will introduce legislation to defund that enterprise. No taxpayer dollars should be going to an outfit that abuses freedom of speech.
Even devoted liberals are outraged by what NPR has done to Juan Williams:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Here on "The View," you know, we have our -- we have our great opinions. But in all of our opinions, it seems, the firing of Juan was a total mistake and sends the wrong message and NPR, get yourself together because we all got to work on this together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NPR has now devolved into a totalitarian outfit functioning as an arm of the far left. As a corporation, NPR has the right to do what it wants, but it does not have a right to any of our tax dollars. It should compete in the private marketplace, but I guarantee you if NPR did that, it would go the way of Air America and file for bankruptcy.
There is no excuse for this in America. NPR will rue the day.
National Politburo Radio
By Ellen Ratner
In the fury of the firing of Juan Williams much of the tenor of what is happening at NPR is being overlooked. His firing is completely outrageous but it is a symptom of a larger problem at the news organization.
NPR is saying that Juan Williams crossed a line with his opinion. I have been covering The White House since 1993, and I have heard plenty of opinion. Most of it has not made it into print or on air, but journalists are human and they have opinions, hopes and fears. Most consumers of news, I think, would rather know the viewpoint of who is delivering the news rather than a “let’s pretend”-game of being objective. When training interns, I tell them it is not what is in the story but it is what the journalist left out that shows real bias.
Juan was giving a personal viewpoint, one that is, like it or not, shared by many Americans. Personal rights and viewpoints have no place at NPR. In fact, their control of staff goes beyond anything I have heard of in the nineteen years I have been in the news-gathering business. Last week NPR issued a directive that NPR staff members could not attend the Oct. 30th Colbert-Stewart Comedy Central rally on the mall.
It is fully understandable that NPR would decide which staff members they would like to cover the rally. It is fully understandable that NPR might make a decision not to cover the rally. It is fully understandable that NPR would decide not to have employees attend a rally on company time. However, to direct an employee not to go to the mall, not to observe the event, not to be at a public place on their personal time is purely the work of a news agency aimed at controlling their employees. That kind of control is what takes place in one party, dictatorship countries, not the United States of America.
NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s true colors showed through during a speech she was making where she said that Juan’s feelings about Muslims should be between his psychiatrist or his publicist. She later apologized for the remark, but it gave a huge insight into Ms. Schiller’s personality. It is a personality that wants complete control not only of the news product but also of the people working at NPR.
People accuse Fox News Channel of all sorts of things. I’ve worked for Fox as a contributor since 1997, and as a liberal I found a wonderful home for my viewpoints. It’s too bad that NPR has become a top down, controlling news organization where all have to fall in line. NPR should just call itself National Politburo Radio. It operates like one.
President Obama's Comments About American Prosperity Are No Joke
By Phil Kerpen
President Obama has now attacked "Americans for Prosperity" by name more than a dozen times, nearly every time comparing our name to “Americans for Apple Pie” or “Moms for Motherhood.” The transcripts have the word “laughter” inserted after the comparison, although crowds have been nearly silent while Obama himself laughs awkwardly.
The sad truth is that, while prosperity should be a universal American value, in this administration it has repeatedly been sacrificed to other, lesser values, which is one of the reasons our economy remains mired in the weakest recovery since World War II and is at risk of tipping back into recession.
Prosperity depends on economic freedom. An abundance of historical and international evidence shows that countries that embrace economic freedom—including labor mobility, free trade, low tax rates, low government spending, and strong property rights—have significantly higher living standards than less free countries.
For the past ten years, the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal have measured economic freedom and charted the connection between economic freedom and prosperity. In the 2010 edition of their report, they noted: “The positive relationship holds true at all levels of economic freedom but becomes even more dramatic as economic freedom increases.”
That’s cause for alarm because while the United States remains in the top ten in economic freedom, it is falling fast under this administration. In 2010, for the first time, the United States was rated as “mostly free” rather than “free” as a consequence of the extraordinarily interventionist government policies of 2009. We now rank as less free than Canada and six other countries.
The decline of American prosperity – and of the economic freedom on which it depends – was not an accident. It was a consequence of deliberate policy decisions. President Obama took office during a serious recession, and chose to focus on policies like health care and global warming that had almost nothing to do with prosperity. Moreover, his “spread the wealth” redistributionist ideology clearly elevates the value of equality of outcome above prosperity, which discourages work, savings, investment – leaving us poorer as a society.
President Obama’s derisive comments about the name “Americans for Prosperity” being a truism suggest a belief that we will prosper even as we pursue an agenda based on central economic planning and the elevation of other values above prosperity. But prosperity cannot be taken for granted. Economic prosperity, and indeed nearly all human progress, was stagnant for a thousand years before the enormous boom that began in the 18th century and accelerated dramatically in the 20th century—the American century. But stagnation can and will return again if we undermine the policies that make prosperity possible by elevating other values.
One of the starkest challenges to economic prosperity comes from federal regulations. The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy recently estimated the annual compliance cost of federal regulations at an astonishing $1.75 trillion. The cost for small businesses this year tops $10,500 per-employee, per-year – 36 percent higher than for their big business competitors. Environmental regulations are the worst culprits, costing small businesses 364 percent more than their competitors.
That could dramatically escalate next year as the Obama administration pursues its global warming fallback plan (after the collapse of cap-and-trade) of shoehorning greenhouse gas regulations into the 1970 Clean Air Act. That action, set to take effect this January, could result in a construction freeze for industrial facilities in the United States. Such an extreme regulatory measure, especially during perilous economic times, is hard to understand from a president who asserts that “Americans for Prosperity” is a truism.
Also consider Obama’s director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, John P. Holdren. Technology should be a driver of prosperity, but Holdren’s academic work has been persistently critical of economic growth. He infamously wrote: “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States… Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political.”
So it seems fair to say that Mr. Holdren, a top Obama adviser, may be an American against prosperity.
President Obama recently said: “So if you’re just watching the screen you think, well, gosh, Americans for Prosperity -- I’m for prosperity and they’re saying all these horrible things about the Democratic candidate. Maybe the Democratic candidate is not for prosperity.”
That decision, ultimately, is up to the voters. But with the precipitous decline of economic freedom over the past two years, and even more extreme policies that will undermine prosperity in favor of wealth redistribution and environmental extremism on the horizon, voters can be forgiven for questioning whether this administration and its congressional supporters are for prosperity. Maybe that’s why Obama’s awkward joke about “Americans for Prosperity” isn’t getting many laughs—what’s at stake is far too serious.
Mr. Kerpen is vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity.
We Must Have An Honest Discussion About the Jihadist Threat
By Sarah Palin
At a time when our country is dangerously in debt and looking for areas of federal spending to cut, I think we’ve found a good candidate for defunding. National Public Radio is a public institution that directly or indirectly exists because the taxpayers fund it. And what do we, the taxpayers, get for this? We get to witness Juan Williams being fired from NPR for merely speaking frankly about the very real threat this country faces from radical Islam.
We have to have an honest discussion about the jihadist threat. Are we not allowed to say that Muslim terrorists have killed thousands of Americans and continue to plot the deaths of thousands more? Are we not allowed to say that there are Muslim states that aid and abet these fanatics? Are we not allowed to even debate the role that radical Islam plays in inciting this violence?
I don’t expect Juan Williams to support me (he’s said some tough things about me in the past) – but I will always support his right and the right of all Americans to speak honestly about the threats this country faces. And for Juan, speaking honestly about these issues isn’t just his right, it’s his job. Up until yesterday, he was doing that job at NPR. Firing him is their loss.
If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for “National Public Radio” to become “National Private Radio.” It’s time for Congress to defund this organization.
NPR says its mission is “to create a more informed public,” but by stifling debate on these issues, NPR is doing exactly the opposite.
President Obama should make clear his commitment to free and honest discussion of the jihadist threat in our public debates – and Congress should make clear that unless NPR provides that public service, not one more dime.
Mr. President, what say you?
Sarah Palin is the former Republican vice presidential candidate and governor of Alaska. She is a Fox News contributor.
Obama Stimulates Big Business Allies, Not the Economy
By Tom Borelli
Last week’s disappointing Labor Department employment report is a stark reminder of the failure of President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package to initiate job growth. The national unemployment rate remains at a stubbornly high 9.6 percent, with payrolls falling by 95,000.
However, the failure of Obama’s economic recovery plan to keep unemployment at or below 8 percent has not deterred the president from using stimulus funds to drive his green economy fantasy. On the contrary: During a recent radio address, Obama touted his recovery plan is plowing over $90 billion of taxpayer money into clean energy projects.
While these funds have failed to stimulate job growth and kick-start economic expansion, they have bailed out Obama’s big-business allies, who are betting on the president’s green agenda. Dolling out stimulus money to corporate interests serves a key political need for Obama: it rewards companies for lobbying for his energy policy.
Despite all the rhetoric of Obama’s anti-business leanings, visible when he speaks of energy policy just as with health care reform, the president has carefully tailored his legislative goals to appeal to corporate special interests.
Consequently, it’s not surprising to discover that many of the remaining corporate members of the United States Climate Action Partnership cap-and-trade lobbying group, including General Electric, Duke Energy, NextEra Energy, Exelon, and Honeywell, all received economic stimulus funds.
These companies have banked on a federal law, like Obama’s, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
General Electric is perhaps the company reaping the most from Obama’s stimulus plan. As noted in a 2009 Wall Street Journal story, “General Electric Pursues Pot of Government Stimulus Gold,” GE CEO Jeff Immelt geared up his lobbying army to exploit President Obama’s economic stimulus package.
According to Recovery.gov, GE is the beneficiary of over $49 million in grants and contracts from a wide range of government departments, including Energy, Defense, Justice and Health and Human Services.
Taxpayer support of GE’s business, however, is not guaranteed to translate into job gains.
CNSNews.com tried to confirm that GE was the recipient of 14 grants worth $24.9 million and to determine if the company added employees as a result of taxpayer money. GE declined to comment on the request.
Although GE apparently will happily feed from the taxpayer trough from any government source, it seeks its biggest payout from Obama’s energy policy.
GE will profit from the Department of Energy’s recently announced plan to guarantee a $1.3 billion loan for the world’s largest wind farm. If finalized, the loan would support the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind venture in Oregon, a project co-sponsored by GE.
In announcing the plan, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu credited the Recovery Act for supporting the loan program. The wind farm project will use 338 wind turbines supplied by GE.
In addition to direct government support of its energy business, GE will likely benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars that were given to three of GE’s utility customers, Duke Energy, NextEra Energy and Exelon. Each of the aforementioned utility companies received a $200 million grant from the Department of Energy to develop the smart grid.
Although Obama’s energy suffered a setback when cap-and-trade failed to pass in the Senate (so far), the president and his big-business allies have been very resourceful in working their green energy partnership thorough the economic recovery plan. At some point, however, those funds will dry up.
The next target for the Obama/big-business alliance is a renewable energy standard. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sam Brownback (R-KS) recently introduced a renewable energy standard bill in the Senate that mandates 15 percent of electricity must be derived from energy sources such as wind and solar power by 2021.
Mandating the use of renewable energy products to generate electricity will boost GE’s profits, since it will force utilities to buy wind and solar power products that the company makes. The renewable energy standard also fits nicely with Obama’s promise to pursue his energy agenda in “chunks.”
Unfortunately, a renewable energy standard will not help our economy or promote long-term job growth.
The experience of countries such as Spain found that a green energy economy falls far short of its goals.
Unless we find a way to break up Obama’s big-business alliance, our economy will be saddled with greater deficits, higher energy prices and slower economic growth. We need to cap bailouts, not carbon emissions.
Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research.
They won’t be going to East Timor, at least
Where will Gillard cram these latest?
A boat carrying 26 asylum seekers has been intercepted off Ashmore Islands in the Indian Ocean.I think that’s 107 this year, but I may have lost count by now.
Scott Morrison counts 109.
Blog reader: I was at Guantanamo and know Hicks lies
Yesterday I blogged on the attack launched on convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks and his self-serving book Guantanamo: My Journey by retired US Army Reserve major Montgomery Granger.
Granger served in Guantanamo and said Hicks was infamous there for “threatening to kill an American”:
David Hicks was there when I was there - he threatened and abused guards, and this is in my book...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.He now writes to us in response to readers’ comments yesterday:
To be clear, my book, “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” was published in April, 2010. Second, it is a journal I kept while at Gitmo in 2002, framed by some of my opinions and some facts. As a journal, it is full of very personal thoughts and feelings never intended for public eyes when written.===
Am I proud of everthing I thought and felt while at Gitmo? No.
Am I proud of the way I and 99.9% of my colleagues performed our duties for the care and treatment of the detainees? Absolutely.
In it for the money? Not hardly.
They say your first book is a book of passion, and your second book is the one that makes money. I get about .50 cents per copy sold.
I wrote the book because I became angry and finally fed up with distorted depictions of what goes on at Gitmo. I knew better and wanted to get the real story out there for those who might benefit from it, namely, U.S. military and their families, who are the target audience for the book.
Although I have only read excerpts from David Hicks’ book, they were enough to remind me that the resistance and disruption training Hicks received as an al Qaeda fighter, including the mantra: “tell lies about how you are treated,” is still alive and well in his psyche. The things he tells in the excerpts about how he was treated are untrue. One of my main jobs at Gitmo was to ensure U.S. Army, Department of Defense, and Geneva Convention procedures, regulations, and laws were upheld to the very highest standard, and indeed they were, with very few minor exceptions.
I don’t know how much David Hicks might make on the book, but I assure you that Random House, AUS will make the lion’s share, and I think all of it should go to victims of terror, and to the Australian and U.S. governments to cover the cost of David Hicks incarceration.
Apartheid justice is as useless as it is offensive
Who’d have thought? Apartheid justice is not only racist and divisive, but ineffectual:
ABORIGINAL “shaming” courts have failed to reduce crime.We are still allowed to criticise the new racism, aren’t we?
Prominent indigenous activists have condemned the courts as too lenient and ineffective in dealing with family violence.
The Weekend Australian confirmed yesterday that a review of Queensland’s Murri Courts had concluded they did not reduce Aboriginal reoffending - mirroring recent findings in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.
The report found two-thirds of those appearing before the shaming courts reoffended within 12 months, roughly the same rate as in the mainstream courts.
Marcia Langton, chair of indigenous studies at Melbourne University, said opposition to the courts was rising in the Aboriginal community. She said it was outrageous that men who violently assaulted women were given lenient sentences in these courts, which were originally proposed to deal with minor crimes…
Her comments were echoed by other indigenous activists, including Kyllie Cripps, a law lecturer at the University of NSW…
Dr Cripps said she was shocked by the recent case of an Aboriginal man in Victoria who imprisoned and violently assaulted a 15-year-old girl with whom he was sexually involved. In February, the Court of Appeal released the man from prison, ruling he was entitled to a lesser sentence in part because his “shaming” in the Koori Court constituted an additional customary Aboriginal punishment.
That decision appeared to contradict official assurances that Koori Courts had nothing to do with customary law and were not designed to be more lenient.
More new apartheid from the Victorian Government:
THE Gunaikurnai Aboriginal people have won native title rights to almost a fifth of Victoria’s crown land in a landmark agreement signed in Gippsland. The deal is the first signed under Victoria’s Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010...Identify with one race and you get different rights to this land and the governance of it. How is it that this racism doesn’t offend people who once raged against apartheid?
Richard Guilliatt in his Weekend Australian Magazine article on our Aboriginal courts describes everything that worries me about them - the divisiveness, the apartheid justice, the entrenchment of racial division, the culture of victimhood and the formalising of a racial divide that in some cases is utterly trivial, or even invented. Every warning bell is rung here in an anecdote that should shame us (no link):
An Aboriginal flag flutters on a pole outside the window as the offender, whom we’ll call Kathy, nervously enters to take her seat. She is 21, puffy-eyed from crying, facing the latest in a long line of violence and disorder offences that stretch back to her early adolescence. This time she was ejected from a local club at 2am after her 21st birthday turned into an eight-hour drinking marathon that ended with her grabbing a policeman’s throat.On this evidence alone, Longbottom should be fired, in my opinion. And the court should be scrapped. In my opinion.
Asked why she sought a circle sentencing, Kathy admits it’s because she is now facing two years in jail on a charge of assaulting police. Later, one of the elders tells me she has only recently identified herself as Aboriginal. This is her second assault on a cop; her record is an eight-year litany of drunken escapades and feuds with her sister, mother and boyfriend, resulting in charges for assault, property damage, offensive behaviour, resisting arrest and breaching violence orders. Asked to tell the circle about herself, she launches into a statement about her personal traumas, including the recent death of her father and an abusive boyfriend.
The elders, two men and two women from the community, alternately admonish the young woman for her behaviour and encourage her to quit drinking and get her life on track. Despite her guilty plea, however, she is soon offering excuses. “I couldn’t understand why I was getting kicked out of the club,” she says. “I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong ... It wasn’t like I was causing trouble or anything like that.”
One of the elders, Uncle Doug Longbottom, appears to sympathise. “[Kathy], you’re an Aboriginal woman,” he says, “and when an Aboriginal woman goes into a pub with friends and has a few beers and talks a bit loud and gets a bit rowdy, if the police come in, no matter where the police come from, who do they go straight to? The Koori person. They don’t go to anyone else. The whitefella drunk as a skunk in the corner, they don’t go to him? ... “
It’s all too much for the young prosecutor. “I don’t mean to be rude, Mr Longbottom,” he cuts in, “but this is the kind of attitude that causes problems for police and I just don’t see how this helps ... “
“Now listen, buddy,” Longbottom shoots back, jabbing a finger at the prosecutor, “I’m telling you this straight: this is our court, not yours!”
For the next two minutes, the 70-year-old elder and the young prosecutor argue while the circle looks on. “How old are you?” shouts Longbottom at one point. “How old are you? ... You have to grow up a bit, buddy.”
“I’m simply saying this is not a good attitude for you to have in front of her, suggesting that police target Aboriginal people,” responds the prosecutor. “What I’m concerned about is that it’s going to give her a negative view of police.”
“I think you’ve had too much to say,” interjects another elder, Auntie Ethyl Little.
(Thanks to reader Michael.)
Wilders’ judges are the real danger
It was at a dinner party thrown by a pro-Palestinian activist that one of the judges who’d ordered Dutch politician Geert Wilders to be tried for alleged hate-speech against Muslims bumped into a witness and started to justify his efforts to silence the MP.
That witness has now blogged on the dinner party.
And so a sinister and farcical court case collapses. Not only has the prosecution itself called for Wilders to be found not guilty, but the judges have now been dismissed and the whole circus must start again from scratch.
Be very, very wary of laws that give judges the right to silence fellow citizens.
(Via Instapundit. Note: I’ve corrected this post’s reference to the role of the judge in the Wilders trial.)
Meanwhile in Britain, from which the then Labor Government tried to ban Wilders:
Lutfur Rahman, the fundamentalist sympathiser sacked from the Labour Party for his links with a Muslim supremacist group and several powerful local businessmen, has been elected the executive mayor of Tower Hamlets, giving him almost complete power over a billion-pound budget, sources on both sides say.More on Rahman and his new “Islamic Republic” of Tower Hamlets here.
A translation of the blog post by Hans Jansen that scuppered the Wilders show trial is here. It perfectly illustrates how judges may so easily feel themselves Olympian, and be blind to the fact that they are creatures of a social or political caste - and thus undeserving of the power to silence those outside that caste.
But these paragraphs perfectly demonstrate the outrageous impertinence of laws that give some the right to silence others who are at least equally rational, informed and responsible, but who crime apparently lies in holding different views. Jansen writes:
I was invited for dinner on Monday, May 3rd 2010, by Bertus Hendriks. Bertus is the soul of the (Palestinian community)… There would also come ‘some other friends’ of him… Bertus thought it would be nice to talk a bit about Islam, and yes, also about the Wilders Trial. The next Thursday, May 6th, I would be heard in this trial as an expert witness and testify, if I understood correctly, about the contents of the Koran and Sharia, as far as applicable and relevant for the trial.UPDATE 3
The testimony as I found out later was needed because the court, to my opinion, could not imagine that the things Geert Wilders claimed to be in the Koran, were actually in the Koran…
I am always a little early, or rather right on time… The second guest who arrived was no body less than a man named MR. Tom Schalken. He greets me friendly and starts a conversation about Islam. Where do I know this man from? Suddenly I knew. He was one of the members of the Amsterdam court that ordered the prosecution of Geert Wilders for hate mongering, discrimination and group offence.
I asked him, if I could speak freely in his presence. The man had after all, ordered the prosecution of somebody else who spoke about Islam. This lead to indignation on the part of the legal expert. I told my host I would leave, it just doesn’t make sense to talk to somebody who has the power to lock you up if he does not like the things you say. The atmosphere changed somewhat.
After my insistence LLM Tom Schalken guaranteed me not to sue me or to have me arrested for anything I would say that evening. I was satisfied with that guarantee. The exchange about this guarantee took some twenty minutes. By then the other guests had arrived.
LLM Schalken then asked from me the same guarantee. That I did not give him, supported by the formal argument that I don’t possess the power to have somebody arrested. I can only hope that, that at moment I did hide my angry emotions well. It was a few days before I had to give my testimony in court. The dinner party had lost its appeal…
Still the evening had some fun moments. Now and then Tom Schalken tried his best to act friendly and jovially started a conversation. Each time, he steered the conversation towards the Wilders trial.. He tried to convince me of the rightfulness of his decision to put Geert Wilders on trial. Schalken, the Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Balkenende, Rouvoet and Bos, let me know this was scientifically an ‘imposingly interesting case’ that needed tremendous study and that gave all kinds of perspectives.
Ah, now I understood. This is not a trial, but more like an academic working group. More something like a studently plea exercise than a serious criminal trial for the grownups. With as guinea pig a heavily threatened politician. ‘Unmasking mondial structures’. Indeed, a nice hobby.
Want to see the kind of lawyers who have been using this show trial arranged by Schalken to defame Wilders as they try to shut him up? Then hear the incoherent onslaught from the Muslim barrister and watch the ramblings of the hippy as the judges struggle to stop this farcical inquisition from being destroyed by its absurdity:
(Thanks to readers Ann and Warren.)
Why does one sexual orientation earn you a greater say?
I detest homophobia, but are more laws really necessary? And isn’t this pandering to activists from yet another “identity group” divisive - an elevating of one group of citizens over another in the political process:
LAWS against homophobia will be strengthened and the rights of same same-sex couples to adopt children will be reconsidered if Labor wins next month’s state election.- why does Bolt endorse an ALP which commits such terrible acts? - ed.
In a pitch for the ‘’pink vote’’, Premier John Brumby has also promised to give the gay community a greater say in shaping government policy…
With just over five weeks before the poll, the government will today move to reassert its social justice credentials with a $2.5 million plan that pledges to:…
? Create a government advisory committee to advise cabinet on key issues affecting the gay community, and provide $400,000 over four years for a peak body to represent its interests…
? Require all government funding and service agreements to adhere to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, meaning government-funded bodies will no longer be able to discriminate on the basis of sexuality or gender identities.
Great. Yet more activists, muscled up with fresh laws and public funding.
Three degrees of foolishness
Julian Burnside, who holds a doctorate from the Australian Catholic University, demonstrates severe failings in that university’s quality control:
I think it’s regrettable that religion has had such good press. Because religious dogma, especially, seems to have had a more malignant effect on the world than just about any other force you can identify.Gerard Henderson suggests to Burnside a few examples of religious good works he may have overlooked, and a few examples of rather more malignant creeds, such as the one to which Burnside’s partner in conversation once (sic) subscribed.
There there’s Associate Professor Steve Keen’s heart-rending failure to get more grants, as described by the outraged Age:
If Albert Einstein had applied for an Australian research grant he may never have developed his theory of relativity. Those who supported the old style of physics would have stopped him getting funding, says Steve Keen, an associate professor in economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney. “If Einstein needed time or money to build his theory, he’d never have got them under the Australian Research Council.”Two problems here. First, Einstein never got or needed a grant to develop his theory of relativity - and certainly not one from Australia. Second, Keen is no Einstein.
On News Breakfast last Monday, co-presenter Waleed Aly suggested that Kevin Rudd was “the one who started the whole campaign” to have Mary MacKillop canonised as a saint of the Catholic Church. It had to be pointed out to the Monash University lecturer that Saint Mary of the Cross’ cause for sainthood was taken up soon after her death in 1909. Dr Aly is an academic.===
Bolt seeks to find division between Mr Howard and Mr Costello when in fact he supported neither - ed.
Warmist Bjorn Lomborg is, however, no alarmist. A new documentary might be the bucket of cold water many need.
File this away as evidence to be used against them later:
Large swathes of the planet could experience extreme drought within the next 30 years unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, a study warns.Then again, if there’s an increase in overall rainfall, well, that’s consistent with the warming models, too, says the CSIRO:
“We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognised by both the public and the climate change research community,” National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai, who conducted the study, said.
...there has been a tendency over the 20th century for increased rainfall in higher latitudes and equatorial latitudes, with decreased rainfall in the subtropics, and this pattern has much in common with that predicted by climate models.(Thanks to reader Romanoz.)