Wednesday, April 27, 2011

News Items and comments

..Since it was apparently wasteful to run budget surpluses, build a savings fund, and cut tax back in 2006, Swan could show us how things should really be done now we are in a real boom.
He could, but he won't, because last week he gave a pre-budget positioning speech lamenting how hard everything has become and how we should not expect too much - not even a balanced budget in May
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Abbott is a good leader
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott has landed on Christmas Island for a tour inside the troubled immigration detention centre.
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Does Tim know about this? Or how he may be asked to change?
JULIA Gillard has refused to rule out clearing the way for same-sex marriages in Australia if Labor members change the party's policy at their national conference in December.
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Good luck
CHANNEL Seven and Foxtel are poised to be announced as the winners of the AFL TV rights for the next five years.
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There needs to be more of this. If there are good people in the ALP now is the time to stand up
MIKE Kelly, the MP for the marginal bellwether seat of Eden Monaro, has broken ranks with the Gillard Government on its poker machine smartcard reforms, saying they have the potential to "kill off clu...
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Cemetery we can use it to bury ALP. Theme park so we can dance after. Restaurant so we can also eat.
IT is the last area of undeveloped land on Sydney Harbour - and, 20 months after public consultation began, authorities remain undecided on what to do with it.
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This is bad. Mission Australia is useless to me but that isn't their fault
MANY Australians on welfare are snubbing appointments that are supposed to help them find work.

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Teachers could sleep in too. S observes "!"
HIGH-school students should be allowed to sleep longer to improve their learning potential and help reduce road congestion in Sydney, it has been claimed.
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Often unions manage these rip offs. Hawke gave them the privilege.
TENS of thousands of Australian children earning as little as $50 a week from after-school jobs are being ripped off by disappearing superannuation payments.
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Corruption takes many faces. India is famous for her bureaucracy
A FRUSTRATED Sydney Olympics maestro Ric Birch has called for tougher action by the Indian Government to help Australian firms caught up in the Delhi Commonwealth Games fiasco, after the arrest of the...
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Interesting. What if you aren't married?
A MOTHER'S work is never done - so what happens when you are sick or injured? In an Australian first, insurance is available for all the unpaid cooking, cleaning and caring mothers do.
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She is dead and won't care about the color.
THE mourners will wear purple, the music will be songs from Hannah Montana and little Kiesha Abrahams will finally get a dignified burial.
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Ineffectual Gillard admits she cannot do anything to persuade China
JULIA Gillard swapped the red beret she once wore as a student socialist for a stroll down the red carpet yesterday as China rolled out the welcome mat for Australia's most powerful person.
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It will take years to fix this mess left by the ALP
SUPER-SIZED traffic snarls clogged the state's busiest highways yesterday as tens of thousands of NSW motorists joined the rush to get home from a longer-than-usual Easter break.
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Another failed ALP policy.
THREE detainees on top of a roof at the Villawood Detention Centre continued to ignore authorities' pleas to come down yesterday, making a mockery of the Federal Government's tough talk on asylum seek...
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ALP corruption did this.
THE former Labor government instructed Treasury to put the Budget into a dubious "surplus" by moving forward hundreds of millions of dollars in rail grants to hide a $5.2 billion black hole.
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www.news.com.au
GERMAN drivers were left stunned today after a gas station was caught charging $14 per litre in a bid to stop customers from filling up.
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A study of over 200 cads ..
www.news.com.au
THE game of love has come under review after scientists found it is men and not women who utter those three little words first.
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www.theaustralian.com.au
TONY Abbott will spend today on Christmas Island, a place that locals fear will be wrecked by refugees. He flies from there to Whyalla, a town that unionists claim will be obliterated by the carbon tax, and from there to Alice Springs, a town crumbling under the weight of alcohol abuse and violence
12 hours ago · · ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      The perception Abbott wants to change is that he is a one-dimensional character. He is beginning a long and difficult process to cast light and shade on his leadership. Some people will always see him as a wrecker; however there are others still reserving judgment, or prepared to change it, depending on what else they see.
      Labor powerbroker Mark Arbib at least has been impressed by his performance so far, suggesting at the weekend that his NSW state colleagues should model themselves on Abbott.
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At last. A use for soap.
www.foxnews.com
New research reveals how ants can assemble themselves into rafts, and it could create better waterproof jackets -- and robots that can assemble themselves too.
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politics.blogs.foxnews.com
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said comments by Rev. Franklin Graham that there were issues surrounding President Obama's birth were "preposterous charges."
20 hours ago · · ·
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A limit to debt .. no more pork barrels.
www.foxnews.com
Republicans may hold a debt ceiling vote hostage to their own legislative demand for longer lasting fiscal health, through a balanced budget amendment
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politics.blogs.foxnews.com
The violence in Syria echoes that of what happened in Libya, with dozens of civilian protestors being killed at the hand of a Middle East leader, yet the White House is defending its response so far to the unrest in Syria by arguing that the two scenarios are different.
20 hours ago · · ·
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They do a lot of 'research' in the ALP
www.theaustralian.com.au
THE Labor MP facing child pornography charges in South Australia has reportedly hired Mike Rann's barrister.
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OBAMA CORRECTION

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (03:22 am)

At first, the New York Times was upset that it had been scooped.

(Via Currency Lad)

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433 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S OAKLEIGH CHAT TAX

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (02:44 am)

At 7.30pm on May 5, at Oakleigh Primary School hall, the issues of climate change and a carbon tax will be discussed. Ken McGregor is bringing a model of a thermal power plant.

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HE WAS ONLY HELPING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (11:37 am)

The activities and interests of David Hicks have been outlined in various documents, but never so beautifully as by the gentle people at the Sydney Writers’ Festival:

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.

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Why is Rudd spending so wildly on Libya?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (09:42 am)

It is bad enough that Kevin Rudd advocated this war that is going so disastrously. But now he is flinging away millions of our dollars on a country very far from us and our interests:

AUSTRALIA has funded a passenger ship to evacuate 1000 civilians from the besieged Libyan city of Misrata…

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking from Paris, said Australia had funded the operation, and was prepared to do more, because of the grave humanitarian situation in Libya.

“Australia is not a military contributor to the campaign in Libya but we have decided to become a significant humanitarian contributor,” he told ABC Radio.

“In fact we are the third largest globally after the United States and the European Union.”

Mr Rudd said Australia had already supported the IOM with funding of more than $2.5 million. Australia was also working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other international agencies to assist those in need.

Is Rudd (again) looking after his own UN interests or Australia’s? Helping himself or Libya?

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Hannibal was also a Tunisian in Italy

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (07:08 am)

An unarmed force of 25,000 Tunisians could destroy borderless Europe:

FRANCE and Italy have threatened to tear up the open-borders mandate that has been the European Union’s signature accomplishment for 16 years.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is holding emergency talks in Rome on Tuesday with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after a row over an influx of Tunisian refugees into Europe threatened to spiral out of control and lead to the reintroduction of French border controls.

Mr Berlusconi’s decision to give more than 25,000 Tunisian refugees residence permits - allowing them to travel through Europe - has caused the worst border crisis since EU countries signed the 1995 Schengen Treaty.

Mr Sarkozy sparked a major diplomatic incident last week after closing the rail border with Italy at Ventimiglia.

The French have criticised the ‘’flawed’’ EU rules that let Tunisian migrants into France and (barred) trains carrying them, saying they fear disturbances to public order…

France has accused Italy of encouraging the Arab migrants - who are mainly French-speaking - to travel on to France with the permits.

Periodic border checks with Italy have been reinstated and several hundred Tunisians, bearing the residence permits, have been sent back to Italy.

Mr Berlusconi has argued that he gave the Tunisians permits after the EU refused to activate a refugee burden-sharing scheme when Italy faced an influx of Arabs fleeing recent regional conflicts.

Now imagine if giant Egypt indeed falls to the Islamists. Or if the killings worsen in Syria, a former French mandate....

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It’s our fault they fight?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (07:00 am)

Why is it the fault of the hosts, and not the guests?

VIOLENT young Sudanese men will continue to wreak havoc unless the state government improves its relationship with youth service providers, community leaders have warned.

In two nights of drunken brawls in Melbourne’s west two police officers and several Sudanese men suffered injuries…

Multicultural Sudanese Centre manager Elhadi Abass said fractured relationships between state government and community groups were leaving African refugees behind.

He said the problem would only get worse unless funding was provided for programs targeting young Sudanese men.

‘’Some of them were adopted, they have no mother and father, they leave school early, and they become involved in crime,’’ Mr Abass said.

‘’We are trying to get through to them but we have no budget. We find ourselves asking, ‘How will the state government help us?’ ‘’

As I say in my column below, if we do bring in people from such an ill-fitting culture and with such troubled backgrounds, it’s smart to give them the help they need to settle in peacefully.

But it is a mistake for The Age, typically, to focus on the alleged shortcomings of Australia, and not the incompatibility of the culture being imported. It’s not as if Buddhist immigrants, say, are also brawling and stabbing in these numbers.

And we must also ask: is what we are seeing likely to be fixed with another government outreach?

UPDATE

Overnight, yet more violence:

A THIRD brawl in as many nights involving the Sudanese community has left at least two people injured.
The pair was reportedly hit with a bottle during the clash in the car park of Daisey’s Hotel, Ringwood, about 10.30pm last night…

It’s believed up to 30 men could have been involved in the brawl, which saw two people suffer head and leg injuries.

And:

A trainee pilot has been savagely bashed by a gang in Melbourne’s CBD in broad daylight…

The student pilot from New Delhi was confronted as he left his apartment in Flinders Street on Sunday morning by five men he describes as African.

They surrounded him and bashed him unconscious using knuckledusters.

There is a problem here that needs frank discussion.

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The stabbings tell us they aren’t quite settling in

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:51 am)

ANOTHER Sudanese beauty pageant, another brawl. This time, luckily, just two men hurt, one hit with a machete.

Even so, it took 12 police units and three dog squads two hours to stop the fighting at a hall in Clayton, in Melbourne’s southeast.

Last year, when the Sudanese pageant was held in Adelaide, the mayhem was even worse. Some 100 men fought that time, and four were stabbed.

At the 2007 pageant, in Melbourne, yet another man was stabbed.

Add that to a long list of other stabbings and bashings and we see our real problem with race. No, it’s not that we’re racist. It’s that we’re too scared to seem so.

Result: we pretend culture doesn’t count. And we import refugees who always would struggle to fit in.

First it was the under-educated Lebanese Muslim refugees we took in from the Lebanese civil war. Then it was the often parentless Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, many rejected by other countries.

Later still it was refugees from poor Muslim nations—and Muslims and Christians fleeing Somalia and Sudan.

Consider now the consequences of our willful blindness to the culture of those we brought in.

Look at the high crime rate among those born in Lebanon and Vietnam. At the 20 Muslims jailed on terrorism-related charges. At an unemployment rate among Muslims that’s between two and four times higher than our average.

Consider now the brawls in the Sudanese community, or the young Somalis returning “home” for jihad.

The Howard government’s last immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, did warn in 2007 of the violence among African refugees, only to be howled down by the usual screams of “racist!”.

Worse, Victoria’s then chief commissioner, Christine Nixon, rebuked him with a falsehood, claiming “Sudanese refugees are actually under-represented in the crime statistics”.

In fact, her private data showed Sudanese were four times more likely to be charged with crimes. If you want anecdotal corroboration, here are news reports of crimes from around the country for just this month.

(A disclaimer: Most Africans here are peaceful, and the overall crime rate of all African immigrants from South Africa to Egypt is only just above our average.)

From Melbourne yesterday:
”Two policemen were pelted with bottles when they went to break up the latest brawl at Braybrook ... 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.”

Darwin last weekend: “Two teenage boys were wounded with a machete while a third was beaten unconscious ... The attackers were described as being of African appearance.”

Toongabbie, April 18:
”An elderly motorist escaped unharmed after his moving vehicle was pelted with rocks ... The driver reported seeing three males aged 13 to 14 of African appearance.”

Adelaide, April 15:
“A Marden woman has been indecently assaulted ... Police described the suspect as of African appearance.”

Adelaide, April 15: “Detectives ... are investigating a sexual assault that is alleged to have occurred in a toilet of a city nightclub ... by a male ... of African appearance.”

Shepparton, April 15: “Three armed men terrorised two staff members in a brazen attack at a fast food restaurant ... Police are looking for three men ... of African appearance.”

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Labor needs a protection visa, after all. For itself

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:48 am)

HOW Labor crowed at scrapping the “cruel” boat people laws of the former Howard government.

Take Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who damned the Howard-era temporary protection visas as “inhumane, unfair and ineffective”.

Really, Chris? If these TPVs were so evil and useless, why did you yesterday shamefacedly sneak them back in?

And so the Gillard Government’s great retreat begins. It’s marvellous how the smell of a burning detention centre at Villawood clears the mind.

You see, when it comes to boat-people policy, this government looks like a shambles in charge of a bigger one.

Its horror show stems from two colossal blunders Labor made in 2008 out of sheer vanity. Hoping to seem “compassionate”, it weakened the boat people laws that for six years had deterred all but 18 boats.

Most crucially, it scrapped the “Pacific Solution”, under which boat people were sent to Nauru or Manus Island, and abolished the TPVs, which gave boat people the right to stay here for only as long as it was unsafe to send them home. No family reunions, either.

What havoc Labor’s “compassion” wrought. It unleashed such a flood of boats that more than 6000 people are now in detention, and up to 200 have died at sea.

The Government’s only “solution” has been to propose a detention centre in East Timor that the East Timorese Government didn’t know about then and sure doesn’t want now.

There is only one thing this stunningly incompetent government hasn’t yet tried to fix this disaster - and that’s the policies of the Howard government it once mocked. The policies that worked before, and could again.

Reopen Nauru. Bring back the TPVs.

Only pride has stopped Labor from doing what may work—but yesterday Bowen blinked.

He announced the law would be changed so that boat people who, say, burned down detention centres or were convicted of any other crime could be denied a permanent visa.

In truth, it’s likely Bowen could have already found ways to exercise his ministerial discretion to deny such people a visa under the good character test. Still, the announcement won him good headlines.

More significant, though, was what he quietly announced in his next breath—that people failing a character test would be given only a “temporary visa” until it was safe to send them back.

Yes, this is indeed the return of the Howard-era temporary protection visas that Bowen once merrily savaged.

The only difference is in the half-measure. The new TPVs apply only to boat people who break the law here, rather than to all who crash in uninvited.

But if Bowen now concedes the principle, why not apply it to all?

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Drag the alarmists in for questioning

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:47 am)

I KNOW we can’t expect the media to be saints with scaremongers.

Scares sell, and sometimes scares even turn out to be true.

But now that we know not a single person died in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear emergency, and that not a single person is likely to, either, can we please introduce a new tradition with scaremongers that could still sell papers and lift ratings?

Sure, keep interviewing them as we greedily do after every fresh “catastrophe”, whether it’s Fukushima, bird flu, the Y2K bug, SARS, a nuclear winter, acid rain or global warming.

But then, after everything settles down as it usually does, can we have the same traders in fear back for a follow-up that’s just as likely to appeal to our hunger for sensation.

Let’s call it “How did they get it so wrong?” Or “What’s your excuse?”

May I propose the first guests? For ratings gold, I want to see the following people lined up against a studio wall to be shot in close-up explaining how they got Fukushima so wrong.

First, let’s ask Crikey writer Guy Rundle to show us his dead Fukushima pilots, stripped of flesh.

Rundle is the alarmist who wrote: “As I write, the Japanese are conducting direct overflies to try and control the continuing damage most likely a suicide mission for the pilots and crew…

“The Japanese crews will slough their skin and muscles, and bleed out internally under the full glare of the world’s media.”

Then let’s have veteran nuclear hysteric Helen Caldicott, who warned on 3AW that the Fukushima reactor could blow (a scenario ruled out by nuclear experts).

This, she wailed, meant “hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying within two weeks of acute radiation illness”, with countless more later suffering an “epidemic” of cancers.

Explain yourself, Helen.

Next let’s have Dr Tilman Ruff, actually a Nossal Institute infectious diseases expert and long-time anti-nuclear activist, who wildly claimed “we might be looking at a Chernobyl-type disaster or worse” and hungrily described the many ways people could get sick from the fallout that never really came.

Such alarmists and more were given a red carpet entree into the news rooms of almost every big news organisation in the land back when fear sold.

Let them be dragged back in for questioning now that calm once more prevails.

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Just stop the damn boats

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:43 am)

Paul Kelly on the Gillard Government’s reliance once more on spin over the substance of real change:

THE tougher policy on asylum-seekers who engage in violence unveiled yesterday by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was essential and predictable but its impact will be less than its symbolism.

The truth is that Labor’s asylum-seeker policy is completely hostage to events. Labor seems unable to control the flow of boats, impose firm requirements on the refugee determination process, keep order in the detention system or enforce effective sanctions on criminal behaviour by asylum-seekers.

Michelle Grattan merely describes the backflips, without judging a government which triggered such a complete disaster - with deaths at sea and 6000 in detention - with the “compassion” she once praised:

THE Gillard government has taken yet another leaf out of the John Howard book on asylum seeker policy.

For the election, we had Julia Gillard’s version of the Coalition’s Pacific Solution - get people processed on East Timor. Of course, East Timor wouldn’t buy the plan, but that didn’t matter until much later. It was primarily a ploy to defuse the boat arrivals issue.

Now we’re to have some of the people who commit offences in detention - such as burning down buildings - face a stiffer ‘’character’’ test and put on temporary visas that don’t provide the full range of rights refugees get at present.

Never mind that Labor, including Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, vigorously attacked the inhumanity of Howard’s ‘’temporary protection visas’’ - which curtailed rights and were reviewed after a time (with people often moved to permanent protection).

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The delegitimising of Obama

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:24 am)

CNN:

A new CNN investigation reveals what most analysts have been saying since the “birther” controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period.

Yet:

...in the USA TODAY poll, only 38% of Americans say Obama definitely was born in the USA, and 18% say he probably was. Fifteen percent say he probably was born in another country, and 9% say he definitely was born elsewhere.

There is an ugly disconnect here.

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Saddam’s man in al Qaeda

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:15 am)

One again WikiLeaks confirms the conservative narrative - this time on the links between al Qaeda and the Saddam regime:

A former Guantanamo detainee “was identified as an Iraqi intelligence officer who relocated to Afghanistan (AF) in 1998 where he served as a senior Taliban Intelligence Directorate officer in Mazar-E-Sharif,” according to a recently leaked assessment written by American intelligence analysts. The former detainee, an Iraqi named Jawad Jabber Sadkhan, “admittedly forged official documents and reportedly provided liaison between the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Sadkhan’s al Qaeda ties reached all the way to Osama bin Laden, according to the intelligence assessment. He reportedly received money from Osama bin Laden both before and after the September 11 attacks.

In Afghanistan, Sadkhan served under another Iraqi al Qaeda member: Abdul Hadi al Iraqi. According to the Gitmo analysts’ assessment, al Iraqi “identified [Sadkhan] in a letter as an Iraqi intelligence officer who relocated to Afghanistan where he was associated with Taliban and al-Qaida leadership.”

Abdul Hadi al Iraqi’s identification of Sadkhan is especially important. Al Iraqi was a major in Saddam Hussein’s military before relocating to Afghanistan, where he became one of Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenants in the 1990s. Al Iraqi led al Qaeda’s elite Arab 055 Brigade, which fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In addition to being a top al Qaeda and Taliban military commander, al Iraqi was also involved in al Qaeda’s international operations. For example, al Iraqi met with two of the July 7, 2005 London bombers in northern Pakistan. Although the two had volunteered to fight against coalition forces in Afghanistan or Iraq, al Iraqi recognized their potential for committing attacks in the West and repurposed them for the 7/7 operation…

An Uzbek (detainee at Guantanamo) named Oybek Jamoldinivich Jabbarov, told authorities that Sadkhan “admitted working as a liaison between [the] Taliban Intelligence Directorate and Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.”

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A taxpayer-funded haven for terrorists

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:07 am)

How could Britain have been so lethally stupid:

According to files obtained by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, a mosque in north London served as a “haven” for Islamic extremists as the capital became a hub in the worldwide movement of militants.

The files called the Finsbury Park mosque “an attack planning and propaganda production base”.

Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers at the mosque who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, sent dozens of extremists to train and fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

At least 35 detainees at Guantanamo were captured while fighting against allied forces in Afghanistan having arrived there via British mosques.

Of these, 17 were British nationals or citizens who had been given residence after claiming asylumwith the rest coming from abroad.

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She came too

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (06:02 am)

From Rowan Callick, in China with the First Bloke and his partner on their official visit:

Tim Mathieson’s assertive traffic-cop wave, and the egalitarian body language of the first couple, could raise fleeting questions unthinkable in an earlier era when the consort—always female—hovered a couple of steps behind.

UPDATE
image
Suddenly everyone’s picking on her, Here’s trainer Gai Waterhouse now:

When will our dear Prime Minister go to Valonz? She desperately needs a make over. On the front cover of the Daily Telegraph it wasn’t the carnage behind that gave me the horrors but the woman standing in front of it. Can’t our leaders be stylish? With popularity waning she needs every card up her sleeve.

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Mundine: Labor wastes another $30 million on symbolism

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (05:54 am)

Any race-based representative body, funded by taxpayers, is a terrible mistake, But Warren Mundine is also right to damn this one as an unforgivable waste of money and a haven for ideologues:

FORMER ALP national president Warren Mundine yesterday lambasted the Gillard government’s approach to indigenous affairs, saying symbolism had replaced action at the coalface.

He called on the government to withdraw the $30 million funding for the new indigenous representative body, saying the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was a waste of money and would do nothing to improve Aboriginal lives.

“The congress is a waste of time. The government has got to stop wasting money on it and start doing real things for indigenous people,” he told The Australian.

Mr Mundine was “extremely disillusioned” with the direction taken by the Labor government on issues from economic development to education.

Speaking in Alice Springs, the indigenous leader said the old model that valued symbolism over action had re-emerged.

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There’s no terrorist in Greenwika

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 26, 11 (11:36 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.

UPDATE

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.

UPDATE

How David Hicks once described his activities in Kashmir:

I got to fire hundreds of bullets. Most Muslim countries impose hanging for civilians arming themselves for conflict. There are not many countries in the world where a tourist, according to his visa, can go to stay with the army and shoot across the border at its enemy, legally.

How the Sydney Writers Festival describes it:

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.

Dishonest. Immoral. Irresponsible. And taxpayer funded.

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I repeat: we have a problem with our Sudanese community

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.

UPDATE

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…

Our leaders and young people are worried about punch-ons in our community, but we don’t have the resources to deal with this,” she said.


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