Sunday, October 24, 2010

Headlines Sunday 24th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Sir Walter Benjamin Campbell, AC, QC (4 March 1921 – 4 September 2004) was an Australian judge, administrator and governor. He was a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Chancellor of the University of Queensland, and Governor of Queensland.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”- Galatians 6:2
=== Headlines ===
Midterm Races Could Hold Key to White House, Congress 2012
Obama's name is not on the ballot Nov. 2, but his chance at a second term in the White House could be on the line as Dems look ahead to what this year's race will mean for 2012 — and so far, the forecast is not good for the party.

Iraqi Deaths Higher Than U.S. Count?
Self-proclaimed whistle-blower website WikiLeaks' Iraq War document purge — the largest leak of secret information in U.S. history — suggests that far more Iraqi civilians died than previously thought

13 Dead in Massacre At Border City Party
Gunmen kill 13 and wound 15 others in a suspected drug war-related attack on a house party in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the second such massacre in less than a week in the violent city bordering Texas

Meth Lab Found at Georgetown University
Three students were arrested after police responded to reports of a strange odor and found a suspected meth lab in campus dorm room, prompting 400 students to evacuate the building early Saturday morning

Fatal shooting spree in New York diner
SHOTS rang out at a popular NYC diner early Saturday morning, killing one man and sending scared patrons scattering into the streets.

More than 200 die from cholera in Haiti
A CHOLERA epidemic has claimed the lives of more than 200 people in Haiti, a top health ministry official said Saturday.

Margaret Thatcher recovering in hospital
FORMER British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was said to be feeling "a lot brighter" in hospital as she recovers from a bout of flu.

Guests arrive for Brand, Perry wedding
GUESTS arrive at a luxury resort in northwestern India for the wedding of British comedian Russell Brand and US pop singer Katy Perry.

Gunmen storm party, kill 12 in Mexico
GUNMEN burst into a party in the violence-wracked Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and shot to death 12 young people.

Parents pay up for teachers
STRUGGLING public schools are turning to fund raising drives to help pay for staff salaries.

Pill stats tough to swallow
PARACETAMOL poisonings in children aged under three have hit a record high in the state of NSW.

Rise in dog attacks on kids
CANINE attacks on children have risen alongside the number of "dangerous dog" declarations.

Barry's council carrot
LOCAL councils will be encouraged by an O'Farrell government to tap into a $1 billion slush-fund.

Extra cabs for Christmas
THE Government will get a Christmas bonus of up to $75 million when 170 extra taxis hit the road.

Energy drinks go off tap
PUBS are likely to be banned from selling energy drinks on tap amid claims they provoke violence.

40 thugs in inner west street brawl
POLICE used capsicum spray to break up 40 thugs in street brawl in Sydney's inner-west overnight.

LNP work kept in family
OPPOSITION Leader John-Paul Langbroek's office is handing taxpayer-funded advertising work to the daughter of a Liberal National Party powerbroker.

Health worker 'bullied'
QUEENSLAND Health staff have been accused of bullying a female worker after she complained to police about being raped by a colleague.

Cyclone shelters still not built
JUST one cyclone shelter has been built since the State Government promised four years ago to provide safe havens in every community from Cooktown to Bundaberg.

Beach reopens after flare scare
TEEWAH Beach near Noosa is open again to traffic and members of the public following an incident with a large, phosphorus-based military flare.

Chief's $46K office makeover
MELBOURNE'S new fire chief spent more than $46,000 on carpets, blinds, a sofa, chairs and plants as part of an office renovation.

Tragedy ends apprentice's dream
A TEENAGER who lived his dreams fixing cars has been killed after the vehicle he was working under came crashing down on him.

The great water debate
Victorians fear a suggested plan to cut irrigation allocations from the Murray-Darling will destroy their business and communities.

Young Audrey can now sleep easily
ANGELIC Audrey Truong's airways were blocked, but now a newly-fitted tracheotomy is helping the 11-month-old breathe easy.

Model's dog enjoys a surf
IF you are heading for a surf at Point Leo there is a fair chance you will run into Jack the surfing dog with his owner, model Heath Meldrum.

Top toys for Xmas 2010
IT'S that time of the year when parents start thinking about Christmas shopping, we take a look at 10 of the most popular toys this season.

Police raid Hep C doctor's home
POLICE have raided the home and former workplace of the anaesthetist alleged to have infected dozens of women with Hepatitis C.

Baillieu 'has no passion' to lead
DEPUTY Premier Rob Hulls has unleashing a scathing criticism of Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu and his ability to lead Victoria.

We'll testify against Rapke - lawyers
OFFICE of Public Prosecutions staff will testify about the relationship between their boss and a junior lawyer - if an inquiry is held.

The Silbert letter
THIS is the confidential letter Gavin Silbert sent his boss, Jeremy Rapke, on July 19.

Nothing new

Streetcar named perspire
COMMUTERS will sweat through summer on Adelaide's trams because TransAdelaide does not know how to operate or fix $4 million airconditioners, court documents show.

Bye-bye first buys
THE great Australian dream of home ownership is becoming a next generation nightmare with the number of first home buyers in SA dropping to its lowest level since 1998, new figures show.

New Boys boss now target of anti-bikie laws
POLICE are on the brink of using controversial anti-bikie legislation against the New Boys street gang.

Tragic joyride
MOTHER-OF-TWO Kelly Jonas was looking forward to a big night of partying with her favourite sisters in the Mid North on Friday.

parole escapee back in custody
A VIOLENT parole escapee has been arrested in the northern suburbs.

Man winched to safety after cliff fall
A 54-YEAR-old man had to be winched to safety by a helicopter after falling off a cliff at Black Hill Conservation Park at Athelstone.

Patients to miss Monday elective surgery
AT least 48 patients will have elective surgery cancelled on Monday because of an ongoing pay dispute between hospital support workers and the Health Department.

Cricket the ticket as drought hits hard
FARMERS will be bussed from the country and given tickets to the cricket as the WA Government tries to ease their plight as they face the worst drought in memory.

Curtain falls on Oktober binge
A WA university has clamped down on an annual beer-drinking festival, forcing students to cancel the biggest social event of their year.

Schoolboy exposed to terror pic
A YOUNG WA schoolboy was exposed to the gruesome picture of an apparent terrorist-attack victim after the image was posted on Facebook.

Team Twigley doubles effort for Flemington
TWO sisters. One's a glamorous West Australian who goes out with a footballer and will be turning heads at Flemington this Spring Carnival.

Inquiry reveals cattle cruelty at sea
ALMOST 300 cattle that perished on a live-export voyage from Fremantle to Egypt suffered a slow, cruel death, a Federal Government inquiry has found.

96 drivers caught daily in 40km/h zones
ROAD-SAFETY groups have blasted WA drivers' attitudes to speeding after a recent spike in the number of motorists flouting 40km/h limits.

'Suspicious' Joondalup bushfire controlled
FIRE crews have been working through the morning to contain a suspicious bushfire on Lakeside Drive, Joondalup.

Car dealerships firebombed
TWO car-yards in Wangara were targeted by arsonists this morning, causing tens of thousands of dollars damage.

Hoon's car seized after 230km/h blast
A 21-YEAR-OLD man was arrested last night and his car confiscated after he was clocked doing 230km/h on Tuesday.

Nothing new
=== Comments ===
Truth better than fiction
Piers Akerman
FORMER prime minister John Howard’s devastatingly complete memoir should end the time-wasting what-if debate about his handling of the succession of the Liberal Party leadership but, of course, it won’t. - I think it overstates things to lay the blame at Costello’s feet or Howard’s. Truth is that the schism was less about the ambitions of either and more to do with the media exploiting a perceived weakness. The so called schism was ‘apparent’ since the time Mr Howard took over from Mr Downer. The era that resulted was a golden age. The ALP that took office were little different to Keating’s mob, but they look so bad in comparison with the Howard administration.

The fact is that the media need to justify their actions in tearing down the Howard administration. They paraded lies until the public did not know which way to look. They need to maintain their lines in order to keep the public from recognizing what happened. Which isn’t to say that neither Howard nor Costello mattered. Things could have panned out differently in terms of leadership, but nothing was going to change the car wreck of the 2007 election because the media spinners had too much control.

Even now the media have not come clean on why Rudd was dumped. We have Liberal party analysts admitting fault in prosecuting their case over the NBN when they are faultless, media analysis is that bad.

I thank you Piers for your work. I wish there were more like you. I may not agree with you on every detail, but why should that matter? I don’t think it is only because of a dirty tricks campaign, but I do feel the Chinese government funded the campaign against Mr Howard and that must be disturbing for anyone who cares about democracy in Australia. It wouldn’t have mattered who lead the Libs, because the left wing media weren’t letting information out .. and still aren’t. However, Mr Howard played it right, he took the best chance. The result even surprised the media. Oakes is overrated, but powerful, as an advocate for the ALP. Even Latham’s contribution got transmuted to ALP support. Oakes is only reliable in trotting out an ALP line.

Red Kerry was never his equal, although he tried. Red Kerry shot Rudd down in flames without trying .. it was supposed to be a boost to Rudd, but Rudd crumbled. Thing is the media do not dance to the ALP. They dance to the same pipers, however. It is a mistake to think the media want the ALP to win, they don’t. They want the masters of the ALP to get their pork barrels. In some ways, the Libs will not get a look in until they convince those masters they won’t take away all of their pork barrels. It isn’t the media’s fault that the Gillard and Rudd administrations were as bad as they are. They are responsible for public opinion, but not for government performance.

However, I would note that 2GB is still restrained from reporting on matters like the death of Hamidur Rahman. Until that happens, the abysmal ALP government continues. - ed.

===
COUNT DOWN
Tim Blair
One or two readers may recall Tim Lambert, the error-prone Sydney academic who became romantically attached to Lancet‘s absurd claim that some 655,000 Iraqis were killed during allied liberation of their country. According to shocking WikiLeaks data, however, the death count in Iraq over six years was closer to 100,000:
The Iraq documents gave “not just the aggregate, not just that, you know, ‘in Fallujah a lot of people died,’ but rather the deaths of each person, with precise geographic coordinates and the operation under which they died”, [WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange] said.

“That is the big outcome for us, is that these people whose deaths were previously anonymous, they are no longer anonymous.

“We can see where they died and under what circumstances.”
Further from Slate‘s Fred Kaplan:
The WikiLeaks documents add further doubts to a controversial report in a 2006 issue of the medical journal the Lancet, claiming that, even that early in the war, 655,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed, most of them by U.S. air and artillery strikes.
Previous thoughts from Francis Sedgemore. And further still.

UPDATE. “I’m not sure it’s what WikiLeaks intended,” writes Andrew Bolt, “but its latest leaks reveal that the infamous Lancet paper which claimed the US-led liberation of Iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis in fact exaggerated the death toll by at least 600 per cent.”
===
TIES THAT BIND
Tim Blair
A warning to Labor from Sweden’s Niklas Nordström:
Across Europe, middle-of-the-road voters are leaning to the right. The social democratic parties have been taken to the electoral cleaners in country after country and Sweden is no exception. In the 2010 general elections, Sweden’s Social Democrats registered their worst result since 1911, garnering a mere 30 per cent of the vote.

This was hardly a shock. We social democrats have meandered into the proverbial political wilderness – with neither a compass nor a map.

In Sweden part of this ill-defined journey has involved holding hands with the greens.
(Via Benny Peiser)
===
REO MEGAWAGON
Tim Blair
Terrible Los Angeles fact: Steve Jones – former Sex Pistol, now LA radio presenter – drives a Prius. In happier news, the Petersen Automotive Museum currently features a device so large that it can’t actually fit inside the museum. Behold the 1938 REO Tractor, which is housed in the museum’s expansive parking lot. That’s only the start of it. Observe as the REO continues and continues and continues. This epic machine, formerly used to ferry execs around on interstate real estate inspections, can sleep six passengers. It also has a viewing deck and sleeping space for the driver.

Incredibly, that monster REO was in frequent use right up until 1991. Let’s see today’s unpopular urban electrics achieve similar longevity:
Sales of new electric cars in the UK plummeted by nearly 90% in 2009 compared with their peak in 2007 …

Just 55 of the green cars – whose fans include Boris Johnson, Jonathan Ross and Jade Jagger – were registered in 2009, in contrast to 397 in 2007, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The huge fall is a blow to UK efforts to meet tough carbon emission cut targets …
So sad. We need more REOs.
===
Wasn’t England once the land of free speech?
Andrew Bolt
Mark Steyn has already beaten off one disgraceful attempt to silence him, and now faces a petty other:
Mark Steyn will be speaking on November 1st in a speech entitled “Head for the Hills: Why everything in your world is doomed.” Apparently, London-area Muslims didn’t like that idea too much.

Due to capacity constraints at the University of Western Ontario, the original venue for the event, we had booked the London Convention Centre (LCC,) London’s premiere conference facility. On Tuesday, I received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there. The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation.

It’s interesting that a government-run business decided that freedom of speech was no longer a concept to be upheld, and even more interesting is the fact that the Muslim community in London is applying pressure to a company to not entertain a speaker when only a day earlier they made a statement to the press saying that they didn’t care about Steyn speaking and wouldn’t do anything to counter it, (except “charity work.")
Weaselly excuses are offered here.

The increasing attacks on freedom of speech in Western nations is alarming.

(Thanks to reader Greg.)
===
Howard whacks Gillard
Andrew Bolt
Howard takes out his stick:
KEVIN Rudd would have won a “clear victory” over the Coalition and Labor made a “colossal blunder” in dumping him, former prime minister John Howard has declared…

And, in a big swipe at Julia Gillard, Australia’s second- longest serving prime minister says she ran a “shrill and negative” election campaign and is likely headed for failure.

Mr Howard’s dramatic viewpoint in his much-anticipated book Lazarus Rising will be challenged by Labor MPs, who argued that the Government was headed for a trouncing under Mr Rudd…

Although Mr Rudd had “not been a particularly good PM”, he would have brought “one great virtue to the election campaign” for Labor.

“Rudd would have been able to deliver an uncomplicated re-election message: that his Government had saved Australia from a recession."…

He also lashes out at independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, whose votes delivered power to Labor. Mr Oakeshott’s “opportunism should cost him dearly” when he next faces the voters, while Mr Windsor is more interested in survival than good outcomes.
===
WikiLeaks nails the wild Lancet scare
Andrew Bolt
I’m not sure it’s what WikiLeaks intended, but its latest leaks reveal that the infamous Lancet paper which claimed the US-led liberation of Iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis in fact exaggerated the death toll by at least 600 per cent:
The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq (over six years). These include 66,081 “civilians,” 23,984 “enemy” insurgents, 15,196 “host nation” (Iraqi government forces), and 3,771 “friendly” (coalition) forces. Some 60 percent of the total is civilian deaths.
And that’s leaving aside the argument about who actually killed the Iraqis, and whether more would have died under Saddam. Note also that this death toll is less than the number of people murdered in South Africa over the same period, and that even allowing for population differences, Iraq’s death toll is now lower.

Settle back and see if that’s how the ABC and Fairfax report these latest leaks.
===
If they need mentoring, they don’t deserve to be here
Andrew Bolt
I am not convinced that our role is to offer more mentoring to people we should perhaps be rejecting instead, if this theory is right:
The former president of the Ethnic Communities Council has called for his community and the Government to better mentor young Indian men in a bid to curb a rise in sex crimes allegedly committed by the youths.
Suresh Rajan, a prominent member of the Indian community, spoke out this week after police charged two Indian nationals over separate sex assaults in Perth....
In Melbourne, meanwhile:
TWO Indian students suspected of bashing and raping a Melbourne mother as she was buying orange juice for her diabetic son have fled the country.
But back to Rajan’s solution:
He believed some of the incidents could be explained by cultural differences, but that would never justify the crimes.

“My concern in respect of these incidents stems from the view that the Indian male population is one that has been sexually repressed,” Mr Rajan said.

“If we accept this proposition that sexual repression does exist and that these boys have been subjected to it in India, there are some very important considerations for the lawmakers of this country.”
To be frank, if Rajan’s theory is correct, this is a very important consideration for our immigration officials above all, is it not?

As reader Casie says:
Should they be coming here if they can’t control themselves? Why is it the responsibility of our government to mentor them?
I do not endorse (or, for that matter, reject) Rajan’s analysis of “sexual oppression” of Indian males and note onlty that the imprisonment rates of Indians here is in fact much lower than the community average. However, his assumption that the government’s role is to mentor immigrants from cultures dangerously incompatible to our own, rather than to limit their entry to keep our own citizens safe, is one I question.

UPDATE

Laurie Ferguson, the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, unwittingly raised exactly the same question last week in what was meant to be praise for immigrants in his own federal electorate of Werriwa:
I wish to congratulate a number of residents of Macarthur and Werriwa electorates—Charlie and Mal Fruean, Alofa and Faiva Aii, Barbara Lealiie’e, Ron Inu, Sam Lenk, Rich Manu, Mal Smith, Char Elers and Tania Tungalu, who constitute the awards night committee of the South-West Sydney Regional Advisory Committee of the New South Wales Council for Pacific Communities—for the event they held on 17 September at the CUBE at the Campbelltown Catholic Club....

I want to salute their effort because in actual fact Werriwa has the second highest concentration of Polynesians in this country—there are 5,500 people—and, equally, it is the ninth placed electorate in this country in regards to Maori speakers. Obviously this is a very challenged community. We see antisocial activity. We know that because of the state of the New Zealand education system a number of Polynesian migrants passing through New Zealand come to this country with poor English, an issue that most people would not be aware of, and this leads to a number of problems.
Question to Ferguson: why are we admitting to Australia people from a “very challenged community” who are badly educated and with “poor English” and once here become “antisocial” and cause us “a number of problems”? How is this fair on the other people on your electorate? What are you doing to get your government to change the immigration rules? Just who is minding the gate?

(Thanks to reader Barry.)
===
How many children did Carson’s green lies kill?
Andrew Bolt
National Geographic describes how the fight against malaria was crippled by green bans on DDT:
But it was also clear that the (malaria eradication) campaign was far too ambitious. In much of the deep tropics malaria persisted stubbornly. Financing for the effort eventually withered, and the eradication program was abandoned in 1969. In many nations, this coincided with a decrease in foreign aid, with political instability and burgeoning poverty, and with overburdened public health services…

Soon after the program collapsed, mosquito control lost access to its crucial tool, DDT. The problem was overuse—not by malaria fighters but by farmers, especially cotton growers, trying to protect their crops. The spray was so cheap that many times the necessary doses were sometimes applied. The insecticide accumulated in the soil and tainted watercourses. Though nontoxic to humans, DDT harmed peregrine falcons, sea lions, and salmon. In 1962 Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, documenting this abuse and painting so damning a picture that the chemical was eventually outlawed by most of the world for agricultural use. Exceptions were made for malaria control, but DDT became nearly impossible to procure. “The ban on DDT,” says Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health, “may have killed 20 million children.”
To make this holocaust worse, Rachel Carson’s book - which so excited this anti-DDT hysteria - was actually riddled with errors, exaggerations and plain falsehoods, as Professor Gordon Edwards demonstrates:
I trust that this partial analysis of Carson’s deceptions, false statements, horrible innuendoes, and ridiculous allegations in the first 125 pages of Silent Spring will indicate why so many scientists expressed opposition, antagonism, and perhaps even a little rage after reading Carson’s diatribe. No matter how deceitful her prose, however, the influence of Carson’s Silent Spring has been very great and it continues 30 years later to shape environmentalist propaganda and fund-raising as well as U.S. policy.
Now comes more evidence of the devastation caused by such green lies:
Malaria has always been one of humanity’s biggest killers, but it may be far bigger than we realised. An unprecedented survey of the disease suggests that it kills between 125,000 and 277,000 people per year in India alone. In contrast, the World Health Organization puts India’s toll at just 16,000.

Other countries using similar accounting methods, such as Indonesia, may also be underestimating deaths from malaria. That means it could be killing many more than the WHO’s official estimate of nearly 1 million people a year worldwide, suggesting more money should be spent to fight it.
(Via Instapundit.)
===
Green cars stall
Andrew Bolt
In 2009, the British Prime Minister revealed the latest government scheme to use taxpayers’ money to stop global warming:
Gordon Brown has promised an environmentally friendly Budget later this month to kick start a “green recovery” – including the mass introduction of electric cars on Britain’s roads. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, the Prime Minister trailed measures to make Britain “a world leader” in producing and exporting electric cars, hybrid petrol-electric vehicles and lighter cars using less petrol.
Electric car sales in Britain last year:

55
===
Revolt against Rapke
Andrew Bolt
This has become ridiculous, and the Victorian Government can’t keep just wishing it away:
FOUR Office of Public Prosecutions lawyers have said they will testify about the relationship between their boss, Jeremy Rapke, and a junior lawyer - if an inquiry is ordered.

The staff, furious over the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to promote solicitor Diana Karamicov, have independently confirmed their intentions to the Sunday Herald Sun.

The OPP has been in turmoil since July over Mr Rapke’s appointment of three solicitors as associate crown prosecutors - a job that pays $140,000 a year…

In his letter, dated July 19, (Gavin) Silbert, the Chief Crown Prosecutor, repeatedly accuses his boss of having a relationship with Ms Karamicov.

Mr Silbert also writes that Mr Rapke is interfering in Ms Karamicov’s career by seeking to advance her beyond her experience and skills....

This month, Mr Rapke told broadcaster Jon Faine that he did not have a sexual relationship with Ms Karamicov, but refused to answer on Friday when asked if he had had a sexual relationship with her in the past.
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