Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (11:37 am)
David Hicks was in the Pakistan/Afghanistan region undertaking training to help the people of Kashmir when the September 11 attacks changed everything, leading to his imprisonment in Guantánamo Bay.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (05:57 am)
A familiar name is proposed:
The Australian understands the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is looking to recruit about a dozen “NBN champions” who would be conscripted to publicly spruik the benefits of the Gillard government’s $36bn wholesale fibre network, if a yet-to-be-revealed communications strategy gets the green light.
Tim Flannery, who earns a salary of $180,000 for three days a week as the Prime Minister’s chief climate change commissioner, is one of several high-profile names already identified by the department on an unpublished short-list of potential candidates.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (05:49 am)
Even the National Fatwa Council couldn’t help:
Islamic clerics in Malaysia are firm on their ban on ‘poco-poco’ a popular dance form, claimed of having Christian roots, despite the country’s National Fatwa Council’s decision to allow the dance.
The Perak Fatwa council’s Mufti, Harussani Zakaria, said the state fatwa council was convinced that the dance contained elements of Christianity and spirit worshipp.
“We will not back down on our decision. It is final,” the Star quoted Zakaria, as saying.
That’s where you’re wrong, Zak-man. Nothing is final in the world of poco-poco.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (04:10 am)
Barrack-burning boaties booted:
Any asylum seeker convicted of a crime while in detention will fail the Government’s character test and almost certainly face deportation.
Changes to the immigration laws will make it easier to send criminals back to their country of origin or, at the very least, prevent them from being allowed to apply for permanent protection visas.
Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said that if the laws are passed they would come into force from today, meaning they will cover any troublemakers convicted over the violent riots at Villawood last week and at Christmas Island last month.
Cue the human rights shriekers.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (03:58 am)
From Zombie’s coverage of an Obama fundraiser, the non-caption caption of the week:
Another passerby came over to investigate the hubbub, and I have no real reason to post her picture except to lure in as much male Web traffic as possible. In fact, I might as well not even write a caption for this picture, because I know you’re not reading it.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (03:49 am)
As the enlightenment continues, expect more of this:
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) was once a champion of policies like cap-and-trade to combat global warming pollution, but he now calls his past climate leadership “stupid” and a “disaster.”
The polar explorer who worked with Pawlenty to “convince the skeptics” and find solutions to greenhouse pollution from oil and coal, Will Steger, is now “baffled” by Pawlenty’s reversal.
Morning television is also breaking free.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (01:15 am)
“New Yorkers and their dogs,” writes Paul Toohey. “Of the two species, the dogs are more highly evolved.”
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (12:46 am)
Poor carbon tax. It just wants to make the world friendly and safe, but people keep running away. Even the cow community scorns it:
The Murray Goulburn Cooperative says a carbon tax will hit the dairy industry hard.
The cooperative says a carbon tax will damage the Australian economy and is unlikely to help the environment.
Oh, for sad! Add the dairy industry to barley growers, insurance companies, local councils, state governments,CFOs, food and grocery producers, miners, union members, Gerry Harvey and possibly the Chinese.
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (09:21 pm)
At least federal Labor still has two years to turn things around. That’s the optimistic line currently being run by the few remaining federal Labor optimists.
More likely is that Labor federally is currently where NSW Labor was in 2009 – down and on the way further down. When favourable polling is somewhere at 30 per cent, that means voters who have never cast a ballot for a party other than Labor are now in play.
It’s no easy deal to secure the swing voters required to form government when your formerly rusted-on voters are dripping with WD-40 and looking for another home. And the next time around, seeing what happened after Labor scored preferences in 2010, that home might not be Green. As we saw in NSW, once the Labor faithful are sufficiently revolted, they break right rather than left.
But where there’s two years, there’s hope. Before we get to my offer of a right-wing death beast plan for Julia Gillard’s and Labor’s revival, let’s run through the things the party definitely cannot do, beginning with …
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (01:55 pm)
UPDATE. Maybe Wikileaks doesn’t deserve credit. Greg Mitchell:
Assange tormenter David Leigh talks about The Guardian’s take on the Gitmo files – which he saysthey obtained from NYT, not WikiLeaks. This is sure to make Assange get madder.
Stamp those feet, Julian.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (10:59 am)
Yesterday I published a partial but alarmingly long list of brawls, sexual assaults and stabbings in Australia involving offenders of African appearance in just one month. Overnight another:
Maribynong Crime Investigation Unit detectives are seeking witnesses to a brawl in Braybrook this morning that left a man and two police members injured.
Police responded to the brawl which broke out between two groups of people at a reserve in Burke Street, just north of Cranwell Street about 1.40am.
Members located a 22-year-old man with lacerations to the leg and arm…
OC spray was deployed at the crowd after they began to throw bottles at police members and police vehicles… A senior sergeant sustained a facial injury after a bottle was thrown at him and a senior constable was punched to the back of the head.
The link - not specificed in that police report - is teased out by a reporter:
Supt Hendrickson said police were investigating whether the incident was related to a brawl the night before at a “kickback party” for the Miss South Sudan Australia beauty pageant.
He would not confirm reports the Braybrook fight was also linked to a beauty pageant.
“That’s something we’re still trying to establish. Quite clearly, that’s one of the first things on the agenda,” he said.
Someone agrees with me that the Sudanese community has a problem with violence:
THE winner of a beauty pageant marred by a violent brawl at a “kickback party” a day after the event has called on the government to help save her community.
Nyakor Tut was named after a war that broke out the day she was born in Sudan but, after being crowned Miss South Sudan Australia on the weekend, she wants to end perceptions of violence in her community…
The 18-year-old from Narre Warren was at Sunday’s party in Clayton where a man was stabbed and others injured during a wild brawl that saw police officers pelted with bottles…
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (10:39 am)
Remember how Julia Gillard tried to tell us China was switching to green energy, so Australia should ,too?
Appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Ms Gillard argued the rest of the world was moving on combating climate change. “There’s this image that somehow we’re the only ones - simply not true,” she said.
“You know, China [is] closing down a dirty coal-fired power generation facility at the rate of one every one or two weeks. Putting up a wind turbine at the rate of one every hour. They set their own targets by 2020 of reducing carbon pollution by 40 to 45 per cent per unit of GDP,” Ms Gillard said.
Remember how the Greens kept claiming China shamed us in its move to renewable energy?
Meanwhile other countries such as China are attracting large volumes of investment in renewable energy. The recent announcement by US photovoltaic firm First Solar that it is to build the world’s largest solar power station in China is a perfect example, says Milne.
“And the reason China is attracting these businesses is that the government there has set up a system that encourages investment in renewable technology. It has a gross feed-in tariff scheme.
“This system has been demonstrated around the world as a way to grow the renewable sector and yet Australia has nothing for the large scale renewable industry.”
China indeed invests more than any other nation in environmentally friendly energy production: $34 billion in 2009, or twice as much as the United States. Almost all of its investment, however, is spent producing green energy for Western nations that pay heavy subsidies for consumers to use solar panels and wind turbines.
China was responsible for half of the world’s production of solar panels in 2010, but only 1 percent was installed there...
In wind power, China both produces and consumes. In 2009, it put up about a third of the world’s new wind turbines. But much of this has been for show. A 2008 Citigroup analysis found that about one-third of China’s wind power assets were not in use. Many turbines are not connected to the transmission grid. Chinese power companies built wind turbines that they didn’t use as the cheapest way of satisfying — on paper — government requirements to boost renewable energy capacity.
Consider the bigger picture: 87 percent of the energy produced in China comes from fossil fuels, the vast majority of it from coal, the International Energy Agency found in 2010…
Wind today generates just 0.05 percent of China’s energy, and solar is responsible for one-half of one-thousandth of 1 percent.
The avoided carbon emissions from all of China’s solar and wind generation — even maintained over the entire century — would lower temperatures in 2100 by 0.00002 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the equivalent, based on mainstream climate models, of delaying temperature rises at the end of the century by around five hours.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (09:50 am)
Donna Laframboise on how friends of Greenpeace are now at the heart of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (08:01 am)
How desperate is the Gillard Government , with its boat people “policy” an utter debacle? Desperate enough to pass retrospective laws and to reinstate a limited form of the Howard-style Temporary Protection Visas it so stupidly abolished, claiming they were “inhumane”:
Changes to immigration laws will make it easier to send criminals back to their country of origin or, at least, prevent them applying for permanent protection visas.
First, the retrospective laws:
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said that if the laws were passed they would come into force from today and cover any troublemakers convicted over acts of violence and riots at Broadmeadows, Villawood and Christmas Island.
And the reason for the panic:
As protests continued at four detention centres around the country yesterday...
These very belated changes involve quietly bringing back a form of the TPVs, under which boat people were allowed to stay only while their countries were still too dangerous to return to:
Under the Migration Act, Mr Bowen already has the power to refuse visas, but it is easy for him to do so only where a person has a substantial criminal record, or where someone has been sentenced to jail for a year or more.
The changes will mean that, if a convicted criminal faces persecution in their own country, they will most probably be granted only a provisional visa, which does not permit refugees to bring their families to Australia.
Once the threat in their home country is over, they can be sent back.
This “provisional visa” will operate in precisely the same way as did the Temporary Protection Visas which the Howard Government introduced and which Gillard Government Immigation Minister Chris Bowen once damned:
The same can be said about Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) – they were inhumane, unfair and ineffective. We moved quickly to abolish TPVs on taking government.
Will the Greens now back what they two years ago condemned?
“Temporary Protection Visas should remain buried as a cruel relic of the former Howard regime,” said Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. .. “Temporary Protection Visas left genuine refugees living in limbo and fear, while attempting to build a new life after fleeing torture and persecution.”
This leaves a burning question: if Labor now accepts the principle of the TPVs, why not bring them back for all boat people?
Sources in the centre told the Herald Sun the riot started about 12.20am yesterday, after a number of detainees witnessed a young Iranian man being transferred to an adult facility.
Men in the facility, all unaccompanied males under 18, were incensed by the decision to transfer the man and began vandalising windows, tables and ``anything they could get their hands on’’, the source told the Herald Sun .
“If they don’t get their way they threaten and they menace,’’ the source said.
Seven employees were on duty to manage the unruly youths and it is believed one of the few things not vandalised was the communal TV.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (06:58 am)
If al Qaeda had a nuclear bomb, I’m sure it would have gone off already:
The terror group also planned to make a 9/11 style attack on London’s Heathrow airport by crashing a hijacked airliner into one of the terminals, the files showed.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed, according to the classified files released by the WikiLeaks website.
To be clear, if al Qaeda ever got a nuclear bomb, I’m sure....
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (06:44 am)
The Australian Christian Lobby head, former SAS commander Jim Wallace, tweets:
Just hope that as we remember servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for - wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic
Huge coverage and instant damnation from The Sydney Morning Herald:
The head of the Australian Christian Lobby and former special forces soldier Jim Wallace has “unreservedly” apologised for commenting against gay marriage and Muslims on Anzac Day… Mr Wallace was heavily criticised on Twitter for his comments.
And from the ABC and other organs of the Left:
ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, has apologised for writing on a social networking site that the ANZACs did not fight for Islam or gay marriage.
Mr Wallace made the remarks on Twitter earlier today. After a wave of criticism, he issued an apology, saying that he did not intend to suggest that veterans had not fought for all Australians.
Fair enough. The comments were at best offensive and inappropriate.
But now search the web for the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC’s condemnation - or even coverage - of another recent and newsworthy tweet, this time from a symbol of the Left and not an opponent of it. I mean, of course, Larissa Behrendt’s tweet on Aboriginal leader Bess Price:
The ABC had very little news coverage of Behrendt’s tweet, and its on-line Drum site largely - and angrily - defended it. The SMH restricted itself to this sole reference in a news story - a parenthesis inserted in another story:
This is a similar political position to that of the Sydney lawyer Larissa Behrendt (who has apologised for a tweet she wrote during the ABC1’s Q&A program last week about Northern Territory Aboriginal woman Bess Price’s comments being more offensive than the ABC2 program screened at the same time in which a man had sex with a horse).
The Left looks after its own.
(Thanks to reader Brian Jago.)
Media colleague and friend “Wilde Oscar” disagrees with me:
I’m Gay and fully support what Jim Wallace said. The whole idea of “gay marriage: would have sounded so preposterous to Diggers that they would have thought some one who mentioned it was either nuts or pulling their gaitered legs. In fact only a decade or so ago 99.9% of the public (including many Gays) would have thought, as many still do, the “gay marriage” agenda was the raving of lunatics.
As for the Islam issue I see militant Islam (is there any other kind?) as being every bit as dangerous as the vicious agenda of Nazis, Stalinists and Japanese imperialism. And Jim you should never have apologized because these forced apologies are phoney and are the method by which PC Fascisti force people to march to their drum.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (06:36 am)
Sally Neighbour is rightly worried about the quality of the US intelligence on Davids Hick and Mamdouh Habib - let alone on everything else:
THE secret files released by WikiLeaks on the two Australians formerly consigned to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp provide a unique and disturbing window into the quality of the intelligence relied on by the US to confine terror suspects in the prison camp supposedly reserved for “the worst of the worst"…
The case against Habib is summarised in a memorandum marked “secret” on the letterhead of the Department of Defence Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, dated August 6, 2004… The documeny ... is full of factual mistakes. For example, it says Habib lived in “Meadowbark” (a misspelling of Meadowbank) in Sydney in 1980, when he didn’t arrive in Australia until 1982; that he later moved to “Greenwika”, apparently a reference to Sydney’s Greenacre; that he visited Egypt with his wife and children in 1986 when in fact they went in 1988; that he travelled to the US in 1992, which he did not; and so on. These could be dismissed as trivial slips except that this is a quasi-legal document that was used to justify Habib’s detention in Guantanamo for more than three years.
The critical part of the dossier is the section headed “Reasons for Continued Detention” at JTF GTMO, the military acronym for Guantanamo Bay. Reason No 1 reads: “Detainee has been linked to the 11 Sept 2001 hijackers."…
This now discredited claim was entirely based on information obtained from Habib in Egypt when he was detained incommunicado there from October 2001 to May 2002 and subjected to methods of torture including electric shock, water immersion to the point of near drowning, cigarette burns and extraction of finger and toe nails.
The memorandum’s author, Brigadier General Jay W. Hood, admits as much when he reports: “While in the custody of the Egyptian government, under extreme duress, the detainee alleged that he made the following admissions of guilt, which he now denies.” ...
The US dossier on David Hicks is likewise filled with errors, unsupported assertions and hyperbole seemingly designed to bolster the US plan at the time to make the Australian the first person tried before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay. In a statement released yesterday through a spokesman, Hicks listed 13 errors in the US file.
The most glaring error is an assertion in the secret Defence Department file that after his well-publicised stint in Kosovo in 1999, Hicks “flew to East Timor in order to take part in the conflict there”....
This and the fact that the US file incorrectly gives Hicks’s middle name as Matthew, rather than Michael, suggests the US was confusing Hicks with another Australian, former soldier Matthew Stewart, who left the Australian army and allegedly joined al-Qa’ida after a stint in East Timor in the late 1990s.
It is hard to imagine a more flagrant mistake in a document that purported to be the legal justification for the historic first military commission trial.
Reader Alan RM Jones says Neighbour has overreacted badly:
Whether or not there are errors and typos in a 2004 memorandum recommending Hicks’ continued detention, the document is not as Sally Neighbour contends “the legal justification” for his trail. That information is included in Hicks’ charge sheet, which can be viewed here:http://www.wcl.american.edu/nimj/documents/ChargeSheet_008.pdf?rd=1 (East Timor is not mentioned). Hicks apparently used many aliases, which are included on the charge sheet. Hicks, who was an illegal combatant, is a confessed supporter of terrorism who was captured fleeing the theatre of hostilities in Afghanistan. That is not contested. Can we move on?
Neighbour also makes straw man arguments out of some of the concerns raised about Habib, e.g. whether or not his statement made, while he alleged he was tortured in Egypt, that he trained 9/11 hijackers was true. So what? The U.S. had their doubts about some of the information. There is plenty of information in Habib’s memorandum that is demining and, so far as I am aware, explained away.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (06:32 am)
Victoria’s former Labor Government claimed it had to build a $5.7 billion desalination plant - rather than a $1.4 billion dam that would have given it three times more water - because global warming was drying up the rains:
THE companies building Victoria’s multibillion-dollar desalination plant are seeking compensation from taxpayers because of the impact of this year’s floods on construction.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (05:54 am)
This is as ridiculous as it is desperate:
JULIA Gillard’s top salesman for climate change action and a former judge are on a shortlist of candidates to promote the $36bn NBN. The Australian understands the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is looking to recruit about a dozen “NBN champions” who would be conscripted to publicly spruik the benefits of the Gillard government’s $36bn wholesale fibre network, if a yet-to-be-revealed communications strategy gets the green light.
Tim Flannery, who earns a salary of $180,000 for three days a week as the Prime Minister’s chief climate change commissioner, is one of several high-profile names already identified by the department on an unpublished short-list of potential candidates.
Retired High Court judge Michael Kirby, a former self-confessed luddite who recently set up a Twitter account that has more than 3000 followers, is also among the contenders as a possible NBN champion.
The increasingly messianic Flannery cannot even sell us the dangerous and futile carbon dioxide tax, let alone anything technological, despite being the ”Panasonic professor”.
The Government should put this money into a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN instead. That way it might have a hope of convincing us - or learn enough to save us billions before it is too late.
(Thanks to reader Pira.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (05:48 am)
Suddenly Labor everywhere confesses it’s done your dough.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has admitted the Government faces a tough task to return the budget to surplus by 2012-23 as promised, after revealing that patchy business conditions and Australia’s run of natural disasters has conspired to cut tax revenues by $4 billion.
THE State Government should admit it has been overspending and not simply blame falling revenue for the state’s parlous budget situation, shadow Treasurer Peter Gutwein says.
Ahead of an expected horror State Budget, Mr Gutwein said Labor profligacy had caused a crisis which had left a $1.2 billion hole in the state’s balance sheet.
Premier and Treasurer Lara Giddings has said the state would need to make up for an $800 million collapse in GST revenue and a $400 million shortfall in state taxes.
PUBLIC sector union officials have pressed the Government not to cut leave entitlements…
The issues were the focus of a meeting between Public Service Association general secretary Jan McMahon and Treasurer Jack Snelling.
The Opposition rejected government claims the tight Budget conditions were owed to external factors and accused it of presiding over $2.7 billion in infrastructure blowouts.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (12:02 am)
Maurice Blackburn lawyer Liberty Sanger uses ABC television to plug the appointment of an MB colleague with an agenda:
I couldn’t help but mention this. My friend and colleague Bernard Murphy has been appointed to the Federal Court. He’s the first Victorian solicitor to be appointed and we’re very proud of him. I’m personally very proud of him. But the firm’s very proud of his achievement. He’s really pioneered class action litigation in Australia. So it’s a terrific appointment for him, it’s a terrific appointment for the country. And I think we can see some great things coming as a result of this with respect to the processing and advancement of class action claims.
Uh oh. I thought judges didn’t have agendas.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (05:53 pm)
David Hicks has been a minor celebrity of the Left, honored even by having his white-washed autobiography published by the fawning Melbourne University Press.
But here comes another reason to remember his past:
The file of Adelaide man Mr Hicks, dated September 2004, says he was in good health and reveals he was overheard saying he would rather be a mercenary than a terrorist.
It goes into detail that Mr Hicks, freed in late 2007, was eager to get military experience in East Timor in the 1990s but that he arrived in the conflict too late and was “disappointed”....
Mr Hicks was relocated to an Australian prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to providing material support for terrorism and has since been released.
In December 2000, detainee returned to Kandahar and was introduced to the Al-Qaida organization. Detainee trained at Al-Qaida’s Al Farouq terrorist camp and received the following training: Basic Military Training, City/urban Tactics, Mountain Tactics and Intelligence/Target Gathering… Detainee also met Mohammed Atef, who was Al-Qaida’s No. 3 in charge of military operations. Detainee trained with Al-Qaida at multiple locations in Afghanistan, including the Abu Obeida terrorist camp for urban warfare training… He left the surveillance course prior to completion and went to visit the front lines. Detainee was then called back to Kandahar for another meeting with Abu Hafs, a senior Al-Qaida planner and coordinator…
Detainee has had direct involvement with senior Al-Qaida leadership, including Usama Bin Laden. ..
Detainee actively sought out extremist organizations throughout the world in order to train, operate, and fight with them.
The detainee’s truthfulness level is low, and he is very likely to have information regarding terrorist operations and tactics.
Detainees’ involvement and extensive training with the KLA, LeT, Al-Qaida, Taliban, and Jama’at Al Tablighi make him a highly skilled and advanced combatant, as well as a valuable asset and possible leader for extremist organizations.
Detainee is an admitted/sworn fighter for Al-Qaida and has written a statement affirming such…
4. (S/A[F) Detainee’s Conduct:
Detainee’s overall behavior is compliant, but he has been deceptive. Prior to being put on hold on 24February0 4, detainee was highly influential and often led in prayer, conducted speeches, and organized disturbances… On 28 October 2002, detainee was overheard saying he would rather be a mercenary than a terrorist… Detainee possesses leadership qualities; and other detainees, including ISN 024, hold him in high regard.
6. (S) JTF GTMO Assessment:..
It is confirmed that this detainee is a member of Al-Qaida and its global terrorist network. The detainee is an admitted/sworn fighter for Al-Qaida and has written a statement affirming such on 21 March 2003. Detainee has traveled extensively to seek out
extremist organizations for the training aspect, as well as for the combat experience. Detainee’s statements that he wants to be a mercenary, as well as his history, indicate that he is likely to pursue such a career if released. Detainee is associated and has trained with numerous high-level Al-Qaida operatives ...
The detainee is highly trained, experienced, and combat-hardened, which makes him a valued member and possible leader for any extremist organization. It has been determined this detainee poses a high risk, and poses a significant threat to the US, its interests and allies.