Sunday, October 17, 2010

Headlines Sunday 17th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, DSO, PC (1 August 1876 – 29 September 1955), was a British soldier, Conservative politician and Governor of Queensland.
=== Bible Quote ===
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”- Psalm 19:14
=== Headlines ===
Endangered Democrats Campaigning Against Pelosi
Several endangered House Democrats think they may have found a way to escape voters' wrath in next month's midterm elections: run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

European Plot Linked To 9/11, Probe Finds
Terror suspect from Germany killed last week in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan helped to coordinate and finance the Sept. 11 attacks, court records show

Justice Alito Skipping Obama's State of Union
Supreme Court justice refuses to attend the annual speech to Congress, saying it has become very political and awkward for the justices, who he says are expected to sit 'like the proverbial potted plant'

Lebanon Won't Join Ahmadinejad's Axis
After Iranian president's controversial visit to Lebanon this week, Lebanese prime minister refuses to join the regional axis, which currently consists of Iran and Syria

Breaking news
Ten killed after bus plunges off bridge
TEN people are dead in China and another 34 injured After a bus plummeted off a mountain bridge.

Earthquake shakes Tonga and East Timor
A 6.1 MAGNITUDE earthquake struck 135 kilometers north of East Timor this morning after Tonga was also rocked by a moderate tremor.

Drunk man bites guard's ear off at concert
A CONCERT by rock band W.A.S.P. took an earsplitting turn when an inebriated man bit off part of a stage guard’s ear.

Eight killed in Mexico helicopter crash
A HELICOPTER crash in eastern Mexico has killed all eight people aboard, the oil exploration company that leased the aircraft has announced.

SuBo hopes to shine in autobiography
SCOTTISH singing sensation Susan Boyle says she wanted to write a book to prove she was "as good as anybody" else.

NSW/ACT
Doctor in online tirade
A DOCTOR has been caught using Facebook to ridicule patients - branding some "whingers".

Medich breaks silence over arrests
BUSINESSMAN Ron Medich has broken his silence over the McGurk murder arrests, saying "I just have to deal with" the attention.

Big rivals plate up fresh menu
TELEVISION rivals Seven and Nine will bombard viewers with new shows in a last-ditch attempt to win the ratings year.

Kids go gourmet at 'six star' day care
ON-SITE chef, handmade $1800 cots and fingerprint security: welcome to 'BMW child care'.

Bike lanes a compo timebomb
CLOVER Moore's controversial $76 million cycleway could cost the council millions in compensation.

A return to wintry gloom
SNOW in Bathurst, floods in Wagga Wagga and chilly winds in Sydney. What happenedd to spring?

Dads will get more kid time
COMPANIES will be forced to give fathers who request it greater flexibility in working hours.

Wii were hurt while getting fit
At least 66 people attended NSW hospital last year with injuries sustained playing Nintendo Wii.

Queensland
Housing to replace Alma Park Zoo
HUNDREDS of animals at Brisbane's iconic Alma Park Zoo face an uncertain future with moves to bulldoze the park and turn it into a massive housing estate.

Town 'can't fit' asylum seekers
RESIDENTS of Weipa in far north Queensland say their town cannot cope with 300 asylum seekers the Federal Government plans to house at a nearby air base.

Name change for Fraser Island?
A CONTROVERSY is looming over a push by the Fraser Island Aboriginal community to have the tourism hotspot returned to its traditional name, K'gari.

Bank's $70,000 tank man blunder
A MAJOR Australian bank is at the centre of an embarrassing bungle after it mistakenly handed over almost $70,000 to one of Queensland's most notorious businessmen.

Dreaming Track puts us on world map
CONSTRUCTION of eight walking trails - totalling more than 2000km and stretching from the Daintree to the tip of Cape York Peninsula - is expected to start next year.

Forecaster says prepare for worst
AN URGENT briefing from the state's top weather forecaster has been ordered as concerns mount that we are facing the worst flooding in more than a century.

Shonky builders take a $42m toll
THE state's building watchdog has paid out a record $42 million in claims and banned dozens of builders as shonky tradesmen move in on the boom in home renovations.

Couple lost $7m in online scam
A GOLD Coast couple aged in their late 50s have lost about $7 million in what police believe is Queensland's biggest individual online financial scam.

Fixed camera to reap $250k/day
A FIXED speed camera planned for a section of roadworks along the Pacific Motorway could potentially collect up to $250,000 in fines every day, according to police.

More spin than a ferris wheel
QUEENSLAND taxpayers are forking out $42 million a year to help Anna Bligh sell her government's message through an army of public service media advisers.

Victoria
Shame list flagged for wife beaters
VICTORIA will push for laws to allow police across the country to track domestic violence offenders who may be kept on a "shame list".

Drug drivers pose huge road risk
POLICE say they catch 120 "extremely high risk" drug abusers on Victorian roads each year, some of whom are repeat offenders.

Fashion stakes still high
THE fashion stakes were still high despite the blustery conditions at the wettest Caulfield Cup in 18 years.

OPP cracks deepen
SENIOR Office of Public Prosecutions staff are bracing for more strife despite the issuing of a public peace pact.

Dads to get flexible hours
COMPANIES will be forced to give fathers who request it flexible working hours so that they can play a greater role in child-rearing.

Legal stoush over Chihuahua
A CHIHUAHUA show dog named Elvis is at the centre of a bitter legal dispute between a Queensland breeder and a Melbourne family.

Facts may become a casualty
SO CLOSE to an election it seems the last thing the Government wants is a potentially damaging investigation into the OPP.

Luxury home prices drop
THE bubble at the top end of town has burst, with median house prices in many of the city's wealthiest suburbs falling in the September quarter.

Family law in crisis
FAMILY law activists say the system has become a "lawyers' picnic" with each case now costing parties an average of $40,000.

Wild weather floods highways
AN unseasonable cold snap and deluge of rain has caused havoc across the state with trees hitting houses and roads closing.

Northern Territory
Nothing new

South Australia
Big surge in power bills
RESIDENTS in the Lower Lakes town of Meningie have been shocked by a mystery spike in their power bills of up to 100 per cent.

West holds all the aces
GO WEST if you want an inner-city bargain buy, a new survey shows. Eight of the 10 best value-for-money suburbs - within 7km of the GPO - are in the city's west.

Pool fencing debacle
ALMOST eight years after the State Government announced pool fences would be mandatory, confusion still reigns over safety regulations.

Penola: God's own country
IT has been a quaint, unhurried pastoral town for more than 160 years, but tonight everything will change for Penola.

How they talk the talk
Homespun: How the Sunday Mail unravelled some of the work by the state's standing army of spin doctors

Comrades want new blood - now
THE head of the state's union movement wants Premier Mike Rann and Deputy Premier Kevin Foley to step down and allow Labor to return to its core values.

Don't go crook - she's our lass too
RONNIE CAMPBELL admits the tears will be almost impossible to stop. The weathered Scot - a shepherd and crofter - from the west coast highlands is not one to make a fuss.

Girl power gives Wong a big tick
POLITICAL heavyweights, business leaders and SA's most powerful union have thrown their support behind lord mayoral aspirant Francis Wong.

Pollies driven to churn and burn
A COUPLE of years ago in one of his excellent machine-gun sprays, Paul Keating lamented the emergence of a new class of political leaders who wouldn't get out of bed in the morning unless they had focus group research telling them to do so.

Neighbour battles $80,000 house fire
A NORMANVILLE homeowner used a garden hose to battle a fire at his neighbour's property.

Western Australia
WA MPs spend $22m a year on 'spin'
THERE are almost three taxpayer-funded "spin doctors" working in WA for every state politician.

Buses speeding, running red lights
BUS drivers have been running red lights and speeding to meet "unrealistic" timetables, their union says.

Dragun's fiance tells of heartache
CHARMAINE Dragun's fiance, Simon Struthers, has spoken of his continuing love for her and his hopes for change in the system that let his "best friend" die.

Tme bomb heart fixed by robot arms
ONE of WA's most successful fashion identities is recovering from major heart surgery after doctors discovered he was a "ticking time bomb".

2700 nurses leave WA health system
MORE than 2700 nurses have left the WA health system - with half of them preferring to work in another industry, according to a new Federal Government report.

Manjimup braces for timber redundancies
GREEN tea could replace the timber industry in the South-West town of Manjimup as locals brace for as many as 110 sawmill and timber-processing jobs to be axed.

City bars are breeding biffo
POLICE have expressed concern about an explosion in the number of small bars in the Perth CBD, as statistics show there are more assaults in the city than in Northbridge.

Twiggy's $50m-a-day pay packet
WHILE all eyes have been on the surging Australian dollar, Andrew Forrest has quietly enjoyed a billion-dollar boost to his fortune in the past few weeks, making him once again the nation's richest person.

Top cop orders discipline review
BADLY behaved police could be disciplined under an "AFL Tribunal-type model", Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan says.

Motor biker dies in dirt road crash
A MAN is dead after his motorcycle hit a tree on a dirt road near Harvey, 140km south of Perth, this afternoon.

Tasmania
Nothing new
=== Comments ===
Batt debacle’s real culprits are spared
Piers Akerman
THE Auditor-General’s report into the Federal Government’s home insulation program is utterly damning, but it leaves unmentioned the real source of the catastrophe - Kevin Rudd. - No one in the ALP had the talent to anticipate Rudd’s failure with the Batts. No one in the ALP had the ability to correct the faults as they were rising. No one in the ALP had the talent to be able to address the problems that had arisen. No one in the ALP is capable of running a program of expenditure. - ed.
===
The 'W' Word Brings Fresh Hypocrisy to the California Governor's Race
By Tammy Bruce

You know the phrase "a disaster waiting to happen?" For over a decade now I've been waiting and watching, knowing that the National Organization for Women would inevitably have a very public nervous breakdown brought on by the pressures of using women's issues to further the misogynist leftist agenda.

The only questions were when it would happen and how public the collapse would be. I now have my answer--October 2010.

After years of slouching into obscurity, NOW finally got some attention last week, much like car wrecks do on the freeway. By now you all know the details--a week ago California NOW endorsed Jerry Brown for governor within 24 hours of him (or the obligatory "someone associated with him") calling his opponent, Meg Whitman, a "whore."

But that endorsement wasn't sloppy or bizarre enough for California NOW president Patty Bellasalma. On Thursday, Bellasalma doubled down and told a reporter she thought Brown's use of the word "whore" was a "poor choice," but "the description was accurate."

Great. I suppose that translates to, yes, what an awful word, that shouldn’t really be used against any woman, except, well, Meg Whitman. -- And probably other women who aren’t real women because we say so and also therefore deserve to be called “whore.” Or something.

With that rather remarkable position, Bellasalma manages to expose the rank absurdity NOW has become. At the very least the dozen or so women who still support NOW have found out why they're the only ones left in the room.

When you think about it, where was Patty when Bill Clinton needed her? Bill could have used this "Sure, women we don't like are whores" spin to explain the victimhood that strikes all men who wander around without pants. Or the trauma Men Without Pants with Interns in the Oval Office experience. Maybe Patty is just taking a page from the feminist Clinton years when the first response to the Lewinsky allegation was an attempt to cast that 20-year-old young woman as an obsessed stalker whore.

And where was Patty when Obama needed her? Maybe even more of the "Bros Before Hos" (Hillary the "Ho" of course) T-shirts worn by Obama supporters during the 2008 primary season would have been sold...to women!

NOW, of course, hasn't been taken seriously by anyone of consequence for at least a decade. The problem here is not NOW's impact on the election, but the message to a new feminist generation which, up until now, has had nowhere else to look for authentic feminist advocacy on behalf of women; an activism that's based in respect for women, our success, and making sure all of us are free to make the choices in life that best suit us an individuals. -- NOW claims to be that entity, but Bellasalma's comments should confirm for everyone that their agenda has nothing to do with improving the quality of women's lives and everything to do with promoting the so-called progressive agenda as operatives for the Democrat party.

During my time in NOW I knew Patty Bellasalma. She was a new activist and an up-and-coming lawyer. She saw what was happening in NOW and I felt she was smart enough to see through it and resist the inevitable pressure to abandon truly feminist principles in the name of establishment liberalism.

I resigned from NOW over a decade ago because I refused to have my commitment to women twisted into an agenda determined to increase victimhood and mainstreaming misogyny.

The Patty I knew in the 1990s would be appalled at the idea of participating in the denigration of another woman to promote the career of a man simply because he’s The Democrat.

NOW, of course, has never shied away from trying to destroy women who do not conform to their agenda. It's usually pro-life Christian women NOW feels don't qualify as real women worthy of support. The group's commitment to the leftist agenda is apparently now all consuming, as this remarkable attack on the pro-choice feminist Whitman -- whose monumental crime is that she chose to be a Republican -- confirms.

Make no mistake--I'm not suggesting woman are off limits when it comes to calling them out for their actions or engaging in whatever political fight that comes with this territory.

I have and will continue to be aggressive in taking on women I disagree with whom I believe are harming our nation. Women in business and politics are adults who have enough agency to understand this and know how to respond.

The problem with NOW's pathetic decline into mainstreaming misogyny is the message it sends to the next generation of young women and men--that using sexist slurs is an appropriate way to respond to women who stand in the way of something you want.

Bellasalma and everyone associated with California NOW should be ashamed of themselves. If Patty has any self-respect left, she should resign. If she doesn’t, national NOW leadership, which has shown signs recently of not simply toeing the leftist party line, should demand her resignation.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host. She is also the former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW. For more visit TammyBruce.com.
===
Save the planet! Break an ankle
Andrew Bolt
Warming alarmist Clover Moore tells voters to join her on Ride to Work Day:
Bike riding, even in Sydney traffic, is easier than many people might think… For trips of less than 10km, riding a bike will often get you to work cheaper and faster and will keep you healthy"> riding a bike will often get you to work cheaper and faster and will keep you healthy.
Clover Moore discovers she has not told the truth:
The Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP has fractured her ankle getting off her bike during Ride To Work Day...
===
Miners saved by capitalism
Andrew Bolt
Capitalism is the mother of invention, which is why 33 miners in Chile are alive today:
If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.
More on the drill and its inventors here.

UPDATE
Predictably, Leftist critics in comments below claim that capitalism created mines in the first place, thus putting the miners’ lives in danger. In fact, humans have mined the earth for more than 40,000 years, under capitalists and communists, tyrants and anarchists. It is not capitalism but a human desire to better our condition that has men mining today, but it is capitalism - or freedom generally, including the freedom to complain - that has stimulated the invention of ever-better tools to do that job.

Or are Leftitsts really claiming that the mines of Mao’s China - let alone those of ancient Egypt and Rome - really safer than those of capitalist nations today? Even today China’s death rates in mining are way above democratic India’s.

(Via Catallaxy Files.)
===
Bigotry confronted
Andrew Bolt
On Insiders this morning, Gerard Henderson gave David Marr a rather merited serve - with seconds - for sneering at Catholics yet again on the day of the canonisation of Mary MacKillop. Why not the same sneers at Muslims, he asks? Why the cheap disparagement of a woman and a faith responsible for such great good?

UPDATE

Reader Judith adds:
David Marr also proved himself to be a complete idiot when he started waxing on about the MDBA Guide, which he clearly had not read or even perused. Memo to David: there are tables in the Guide that give exactly what you said was missing: information on river catchment by river catchment basis of the required flows net of what has already been achieved. Take a look before you speak, David.
===
Gillard drowns another promise
Andrew Bolt
Anyone still believe this promise by Julia Gillard from August 10 on proposals to slash farmers’ water around the Murray-Darling basin?
Today as Prime Minister I announce that I am determined that we will do what is necessary to implement the Murray Darling Basin Authority Plan. Which is why I’m determined as Prime Minister to implement the plan which will be released by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.
Not Gillard herself at any rate. From her October 15 press conference:
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, on the subject of the Murray-Darling water authority, are you still committed, without qualification, to implementing the final recommendations of the Murray-Darling Authority?

PM: Look, got to be clear about Government decision making here - the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is an independent authority. It’s produced a guide. That guide is the subject of consultation.

It will lead to a draft plan, then there will be more consultation leading to a plan and Government will make its decisions, and as a Government we obviously will be listening to community views. Minister Burke is doing that, Minister Crean is doing that, and of course Minister Crean has asked the Parliamentary Committee, headed by Tony Windsor, to also engage in consultation.
===
Merkel monsters multiculturalism
Andrew Bolt
The problem with such social engineering is that a “sorry” won’t fix it and a change of policy can’t reverse it:
Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.
More here:
Mrs Merkel told a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday that at “the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country… We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, sometime they will be gone’, but this isn’t reality.

“And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other… has failed, utterly failed."…

Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.

“Anyone who does not immediately speak German”, she said, “is not welcome”.
(Thanks to reader Abel Tasman.)
===
Labor selling more than it’s doing
Andrew Bolt
The art of governing well now lies in persuading people that that’s what you’re doing:
THE Victorian Government is the spin king of Australia, with more than 700 of the nation’s 3000 media advisers working for Premier John Brumby and his team… Internal Government documents reveal that if the total Victoria Police corporate communications team is included, the total figure is 822...

There are more publicly-paid spin doctors in Victoria than MICA paramedics, orthopedic surgeons and forensic police.
===
Gary Gray says Rudd “weak” and “sneaky” for scapegoating Garrett
Andrew Bolt
Special Minister of State Gary Gray whacks Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd as “weak” and “sneaky” for making Peter Garrett the fall guy for his bungled free insulation scheme:
While the opposition demanded yesterday that Peter Garrett, the environment minister at the time, resign, a new book quotes the Labor frontbencher Gary Gray as blaming the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd.

The book, The Party Thieves, by the ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy, quotes Mr Gray as saying it was ‘’disgraceful, weak, sneaky, unprincipled and just plain wrong‘’ that Mr Garrett was demoted over the insulation debacle. All along, Mr Gray says, Mr Garrett raised his objections and concerns.

‘’The shape and execution of the program was certainly designed by the Prime Minister’s Office, if not the prime minister himself,’’ Mr Gray says.
UPDATE

To order The Party Thieves, go here. I was going to help Barrie launch it at Readings on Thursday, but a son’s debating grand final has got in the way.
===
If it’s green, it’s sold on a lie
Andrew Bolt
It’s a green scheme and the Victorian Labor Government is behind the infrastructure.

So two things you can already assume: it won’t work half as well as advertised, but will cost around twice as much. And, indeed:
Findings by the Australian Energy Regulator have undermined the state government’s position on smart meters - which will be fitted to every Victorian home by the end of 2013…

The new meters have two-way remote communication with the power company, sending energy use data 48 times a day… The program, dubbed by the opposition as the ‘’myki of metering’’, has doubled in price.

When it committed to a universal implementation, the Brumby government promised the meters would help ‘’tackle climate change’’ and allow householders to manage energy and reduce power costs.

The customer benefits, however, now appear shaky. The meters tell customers virtually nothing about their energy use. Households need an ‘’in-home display’’ or web-based program to see energy use and power charges. There is no plan about who - the retailer or the householder - pays for this technology in the program’s next stage.

The government has also put a moratorium on a big benefit of smart meters: time-of-use tariffs. These allow people to shift energy use to cheaper times of the day.

The tariffs have been put on hold, possibly until the end of 2011, after the government accepted it had not considered disadvantaged groups and stay-at-home families who cannot easily shift power use and could be penalised by up to $200 a year.

But even when the moratorium is lifted, it is unclear whether Victorians would change their behaviour, therefore cutting power costs and reducing stress on the system at peak times, according to a recent finding by the Australian Energy Regulator.
(Thanks to reader Robbed Blind.)
===
Were the victims just a means to Fraser-Kirk’s end?
Andrew Bolt
Kristy Fraser-Kirk justified her absurdly high claim - and turned it into a moral weapon, in my opinion - by saying it would be donated to other victims of sexual harassment. Doesn’t that suggest that the compromise payment she’s now won by using such suasion should, morally, still go to victims?
SHE sued David Jones for $37 million, but Kristy Fraser-Kirk will walk away from Australia’s biggest sexual harassment case without a job at the department store and with up to $300,000 in legal costs.

The 27-year-old publicist will sacrifice a chunk of her $850,000 settlement to pay her legal team, publicist and three barristers, after agreeing to pay her court costs in the settlement with David Jones and former chief executive Mark McInnes, 45.
(No comments to save me legal fretting on a Sunday.)
===
Drowning in the booze
Andrew Bolt
And the violence it unleashes is of a brutishness they never imagined:
Alcohol plays a role in 50 to 60 per cent of the nearly 300,000 criminal cases that come before the state’s Local Courts each year, (NSW) Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson said.
===
Better dress up for the next dinner, ladies
Andrew Bolt
Hmm. Which of these women at a state dinner given by Lebanon is the wife of the Iranian president, and best represents what that regime has in mind for other politicians’ wives in the Middle East?

(Thanks to reader Paul.)
===
Which means 200 must go because they are white
Andrew Bolt
The lack of Aboriginal staff at the Ayers Rock Resort is extraordinary - and especially tragic since it’s caused by a problem more intractable than racism:
The 930-room resort currently employs 670 staff, but only one of them is indigenous.
Still, I’m not sure I approve at all of a policy of race-based hiring to fix it, even though I do very much want more Aborigines to become both employable and employed. So this will be a fascinating experiment in “good” racism, and an extremely challenging one:
A consortium led by the Indigenous Land Corporation will acquire the resort from GPT property group, with a plan to employ and train indigenous Australians at the site… Under ILC control the resort will aim to have 30 per cent indigenous employment by 2013, rising to 50 per cent later in the decade.
And, yes, the ILC is buying properties like this with taxpayer funds.
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