Monday, May 02, 2011

News Items and comments

Osama Bin Laden is dead
What depth?
TEAMS have retrieved one of the black box recorders of an Air France jet that crashed into the ocean in 2009.
In a car with passengers .. Probably not licensed too?
HE was a young rugby league player with big plans who had been courted by NRL heavyweights including the Brisbane Broncos.
Who can trust a desperate drug user? Possibly if he is one, then he based his agent's career around it. The AFL have to cut him as an agent. His statement he doesn't remember is reminiscent of Clinton's comments on Marijuana and on his affair with Monica.
AFL player agent Ricky Nixon has denied allegations he threatened to kill the St Kilda schoolgirl who levelled sex and drug claims against him.
Anyone got a theory as to why? Drug crime?
A MAN lay scalped and barely conscious for more than 12 hours after a home invasion before being found by his housemate on Saturday afternoon.
Rudd hasn't improved. Gillard is worse.
KEVIN Rudd has been tapping into a network of high-profile friends, including some of the country's leading spin doctors, for strategic advice on how to craft his political revival.
Reporting the names and race of the rooftop offenders seems inappropriate as they aren't actually known. Regardless, this highlights ALP policy failure.
IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen's plan to crack down on law-breaking asylum seekers has been dealt a major blow by police, who claim they do not have the manpower to investigate every crime in detent...
Prison treatment is superior if he is sick, than that of the ordinary person.
FUGITIVE Giuseppe Di Cianni was aware the net was closing but could do nothing to escape. The man wanted over the 2009 murder of Sydney brothers Mario and Albert Frisoli had been in his mother country...
So the train is capable but "Computer says 'no.'"
MORE than 2800 signalling failures are crippling the CityRail network each year, with thousands of trains being delayed or cancelled as a result.
Not only Sony. This is a warning to all other networks. I gather China is getting better at espionage.
SONY has overhauled the security of its PlayStation network as it begins to get the network back online, days after the system was hacked.
Why did the car burn that way?
A MAN died when his car caught on fire in a three-car crash that caused chaos on the Hume Highway in the Southern Highlands yesterday.
I don't mind selling if it is at a good price and allows better provision of power.
PREMIER Barry O'Farrell has not ruled out further privatisation of the electricity industry as he sets up the Special Commission of Inquiry into the former government's botched power sale.
I missed you, Nick. Welcome back.
NICK Greiner will fix the state's infrastructure mess by creating a massive injection of private money from superannuation companies into transport projects and by encouraging the Government to borrow...
I'm happy for 'em.
PRINCE Harry has lived up to larrikin expectation, donning a fez and standing on a table to deliver a best man's speech for the "Dude and Duchess".
Liked on
In an exclusive April 29, 2011 interview on ExopoliticsTV with Alfred Lambremont Webre, Robert Stanley, weekly correspondent for the Washington Times investigative radio, has stated after a clear on-camera demonstration that purported certificate ...
21 hours ago via YouTube · ·

    • David Daniel Ball I am still not convinced it is proof that Obama was not born in Hawaii. I think it shows that Obama is wanting to suppress another element of the certificate.
His life was a terrific example to all.
On Sunday, May 1 the Catholic Church will declare Pope John Paul II to be “Blessed,” a step on the way to being declared a saint.
Parents may not have noticed before, but the material may never have been appropriate.
A Washington state mother has filed a complaint against her daughter's school district after she brought home a sexual education book.
The community organiser is now in his element
Volunteers pitch in to help communities struck by deadly tornadoes.

Twenty years is a long time to wait. I have waited a long time since I first saw something wrong with the Department of Education in '92. A PE teacher inappropriately touching year 8 girls as part of a structured activity.
IRAQI MPs have approved a $US400 million ($366.72 million) compensation deal for Americans who say they were mistreated by executed dictator Saddam Hussein's regime during the 1990-1991 Gulf War.
IF you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you're NOT a racist,

you'll have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you're NOT an idiot.

-- Anonymous

Pouring oil on to fire

Miranda Devine – Sunday, May 01, 11 (08:27 pm)

You would think that the lefty meddlers who style themselves as the saviours of refugees would realise they have done enough damage to the people they claim to be helping, even if they don’t care about the country.

Miranda, you are brilliant and even handed. I denounce what you calmly observes about ALP policy, but your reach is extended to show the hypocrisy of Gillard et al. Hicks disgusts me. I am ashamed I contributed to his legal defense when I gave to amnesty international. I no longer give to Amnesty, although I wish them well in Burma, Cambodia et al.

I feel cheated because the mainstream press have (apparently) supported the ALP’s unstated position. When I try to express how I feel about the abysmal politics I need to resort to explanation about things that many people are not aware of. It is cold and heartless to subject desperate people to piracy and possible death on empty promise of freedom and prosperity. I like migrants and want Australia to have more migrants. I feel the best way of achieving my hope for a bigger Australia is encapsulated in tough but fair policies like those the Liberals have applied. The people who arrive by boat are desperate and not at their best when they get here. And then there are those poor people who can spend decades in refugee camps.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 01 May 11 (08:58pm)

Kate: modest role model for her generation

Miranda Devine – Sunday, May 01, 11 (08:56 pm)

LONDON: There was something so formidable and accomplished about Kate Middleton’s performance on the most important day of her life that Prince William’s choice of a commoner his own age and intellect for a bride seemed inspired by genius.


The new Duchess of Cambridge, 29, has cemented her place as a role model for a younger generation. Respectful and decorous at a time when manners have been devalued, she presents as an independent woman who can maintain her dignity and modesty without becoming boring, aloof or unfashionable.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (12:44 pm)

A late-night press conference is called by Barack Obama. Subject unknown. Coverage to follow.

UPDATE. ABC24, unaware that the US has several time zones, keeps mentioning that it’s “10.30pm in the US.” But where?

UPDATE II. Still no Presidential word, but NBC reports:

Military operations in Pakistan, possibly via drone strike resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Body is said to be in custody.


UPDATE IV. Binny now said to have bought it “in a mansion outside Islamabad.”

UPDATE V. Every major Australian network is covering this live ... except the main ABC channel, which is showing something called Monarch of the Glen.

UPDATE VI. ABC24 has cut to “broadcasting partner” Al Jazeera, which is padding with commentary from Robert Fisk. This could go on for hours.

UPDATE VII. Reuters avoids the t-word:

Challenging the might of the “infidel” United States, Osama bin Laden masterminded the deadliestmilitant attacks in history and then built a global network of allies to wage a “holy war” intended to outlive him.

UPDATE VIII. Dead for a week: “According to Fox News, Osama bin Laden was killed over a week ago by a U.S. missile in Pakistan. CBS News, NBC News and CNN also said that Bin Laden’s body is in possession of the United States.”

UPDATE IX. Obama speaking now.

UPDATE X. It wasn’t a drone - it was a firefight. Someone personally took the bastard out.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (11:50 am)

Our low-carbon future beckons:

Six Scottish windfarms were paid up to £300,000 to stop producing energy, it has emerged.

The turbines, at a range of sites across Scotland, were stopped because the grid network could not absorb all the energy they generated.

Details of the payments emerged following research by the Renewable Energy Foundation.

The REF said energy companies were paid £900,000 to halt the turbines for several hoursbetween 5 and 6 April.

(Via Peter)

UPDATE. Maybe these wind barons can put all their money in a great big new Australian carbon bank:

The [Clean Energy Council] is putting out a discussion paper which suggests a carbon bank could manage the money raised by a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.

That money could then be lent out to trade-exposed industries to help them manage the change to a low-carbon economy …

The CEC says such a major structural reform to the economy needs a new institution to manage the change.

Just what we need. Another institution.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (05:22 am)

Simon Benson reports:

With Gillard now welded to a carbon tax, and the hip-pocket pain that will inflict, it appears that a growing number of MPs are questioning their commitment to a policy agenda that will cost them their seats …

In the week before the PM left for a 10 day trip to Japan, Korea, China and the UK, several Labor backbenchers privately spoke of how they thought the Julia Gillard experiment was going.

“Put us out of our misery now,” said one. “It can’t go on.”

“Clearly it hasn’t worked,” said another. “The experiment has failed.”

These were Gillard supporters.

One Gillard supporter, AWU national secretary Paul Howes, is standing by his woman, arguing that a carbon tax is “the right thing to do.” But not when it threatens union members:

Mr Howes said … applying the carbon tax should be deferred for steel or the industry exempted until the dollar returned to normal.

So it’s only the right thing, in all circumstances, for other people to do. Queenslanders aren’t happy:

A Galaxy poll commissioned by the Australian Coal Association found the highest opposition to the tax was in Queensland mining towns, where 73 per cent of voters were against it.

The poll, which surveyed 1400 voters on April 12 and 14, found 63 per cent of Queenslanders opposed the tax compared with 55 per cent nationally.

Maybe Gillard could send one of her high-profile ministers back home to Queensland so he can shore up support. Too bad that Kevin Rudd has spent almost half his time abroad since taking his post-PM role. From the same poll:

Even more worrying for the Government, 77 per cent of voters across the country thought the carbon tax would leave them worse off. Only 6 per cent believed they would be better off.

Fools! Don’t they know that Australia is about to enjoy a carbonic explosion of Wayneployment?

Treasurer Wayne Swan says the economy will become supercharged by billions of dollars of new investment …

Mr Swan predicted a jobs bonanza in the next two years, revealing “secure employment” would be its central theme.

“What I can say about the Budget is that we will see the creation of an additional 500,000 jobs in the next couple of years, with an unemployment rate coming down to 4.5 per cent,” Mr Swan said.

Swan predicts all sorts of things.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (04:18 am)

As a general rule, US political sharp-shooter Jim Treacher recently wrote, left-wingers want conservatives to shut up while conservatives want left-wingers to keep talking.

For a local example of the former, look no further than the racial vilification case against The Daily Telegraph‘sAndrew Bolt, which seeks to stop him writing on issues of Aboriginal identity. For examples of the latter, just look at the federal Labor government, which spends most of its time composing soundbites for future Liberal party election ads.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (03:29 am)

Mark Steyn on birtherism:

I don’t want this president to be convicted on technical grounds. I don’t want this presidency to end on the technicality of whether he was born in Hawaii, or whether he was born in Mombasa, or whether he was born on the planet Krypton. I want these ideas to die – the ideas to which he got elected, because these ideas are killing your country …

Those ideas have to be discredited. It’s not enough to end his presidency simply on some rinky-dink technicality like where the guy happened to be born. That’s my view on the thing.

Mine, too, as it happens. This view isn’t shared by certain birthers named Charles.



Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (03:17 am)

John Pilger believes that the media was insufficiently questioning about the Iraq War. The ABC’s Jane Hutcheondoesn’t let him get away with it. View from around 6:20, if you can tolerate Pilger’s fantastic pomposity.



Tim Blair – Sunday, May 01, 11 (02:10 pm)

First quarter score at Etihad Stadium:

Essendon: 15 4 (94)
Gold Coast: 0 1 (1)

UPDATE. Essendon’s first-quarter score is an AFL record, beating 81-point first quarters from Hawthorn (in 1982 against North Melbourne) and North (1990 against Richmond). Interestingly, Gold Coast won the second quarter 5.2 to 3.0.

UPDATE II. After scores were level five minutes into the last quarter between Collingwood and Footscray, the Pies piled on a goalfeast that was just one goal short of their opponents’ entire score. Video at the link.



Tim Blair – Sunday, May 01, 11 (01:23 pm)

Gaddafi gamblers who selected before the end of June as his departure date came thisclose to a win:

A Nato air strike in Tripoli has killed the youngest son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan government spokesman has said.

Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, was killed along with three of Muammar Gaddafi’s grandsons, according to reports.

The Libyan leader was in the building at the time of the strike, but was unharmed. Several of Gaddafi’s friends and relatives were wounded.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said: “This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country.”

Sure looks like it, although NATO claims only to be attacking military installations. Other reports claim that Old Mo left the house shortly prior to the attack:


Bin Laden dead

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (12:57 pm)

The US reports that it has the body of Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda chief..


Fox believes bin Laden was killed by a missile. Barack Obama is said to be considering an urgent address to the nation, closer to midnight.

What is significance of this? Bin Laden said it best, in talking to his senior followers in November 2001, two months after hijacking four jets and bringing down the World Trade Centre, with the loss of nearly 3000 civilians.

When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.


He reportedly was killed in Pakistan, and a DNA test verified his identity. Reports differ as to whether he was killed with a missile or a bullet. The killing apparently happened days ago.

So ends the conspiracies:


It is believed that bin Laden was killed in a mansion not far from Islamabad, Pakistan, with members of his family.

Early intelligence suggests that bin Laden was killed as a result of a US-led military assault.

The location of bin Laden and his family confirms recent speculation that he was hiding in comfortable surroundings and close to civilisation, not in the remote mountains dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan.


The questions so far:

If this was a covert US operation near Pakistan’s capital, does this mean bin Laden had Pakistani protection?

How long had bin Laden been living there? How? How long did the US know he was there?

Was any information recovered with his body? Any henchmen?

Where is bin Laden’s deputy, the allegedly even more radical Ayman al-Zawahri?

And then the unknowables:

How will jihadists around the world react?

Is this the beginning of a slow end of the jihadist culture, especially given the failure of al Qaeda to strike the US on its soil again in the decade since September 11, and given, too, how miserable the latest jihadist operations have been:

A day after the Taliban declared the beginning of its spring offensive, a young suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a town near the Pakistan border in southeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 4 people and wounding 14, an Afghan official said… He said a 12-year-old boy had carried out the attack

And I guess we’ll soon know how empty was this threat:

Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if their leader and world’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is nabbed. A senior al-Qaeda commander has claimed that the terror group has stashed away a nuclear bomb in Europe which will be detonated if bin Laden is ever caught or assassinated, according to new top secret files made public by internet whistleblower WikiLeaks.


Obama adresses the US just after 11.30pm, Washington time:

Says in August he had a possible lead on Osama, apparently in a compound in Pakistan. Last week, he determined there was enough intelligence for a US operation. Today, a small team carried it out. No Americans harmed. After a firefight, Obama killed and body taken.

Now riffs on his theme that Osama was not a “Muslim leader” but killer of Muslims.

Claims Pakistan helped lead the US to Osama’s hideout. But then says he tonight called the Pakistan president, suggesting Pakistan did not know of the operation.

“Justice has been done.”


How dare we think Australia a land of mateship and democracy?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (06:43 am)

Professor Robert Manne is offended:

Australia, we are told, is the land of mateship and the fair go. Australia’s military history is one of unparalleled nobility. Australia is the longest uninterrupted democracy in the Western world. And so on.

This kind of complacency is new.

Hmm. To state such self-evident truths (although “unparalleled nobility” is, of course, a typical Manne overstatement) is to Manne a sign of “complacency”. It is “crass” to honor what is in fact honorable.

Better, it seems, to invent whole-scale atrocities than accept welcome virtues, since Manne has devoted furious efforts to arguing we once stole a “generation” of Aboriginal children for purely racist reasons, even though he to this day cannot name just 10 of those many thousands.

But that was yesterday’s crusade (perhaps understandably). Today Manne has embraced another in his determination to find some deep stain in the nation’s soul. It is a threat he sees in Biblical dimensions:

For a quarter century or more virtually all climate scientists have warned that unless nations radically and speedily reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases the kind of environment on Earth that gave birth to human civilisation will be gravely threatened or even destroyed.

And, of course, to even question this absurdly exaggerated apocalyptis is to suffer from that “complacency” that so enrages Manne:

At the core of both the self-exculpatory politics in Australia following the invasion of Iraq and the rise of climate change denialism here, there exists a single, unifying thought. Our goodness and wisdom are self-evident and beyond question.


Imported virus in Germany

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (06:37 am)

As soon as you read “terror cell”, you can guess the rest, including the faith of the would-be killers:

GERMAN authorities say they have foiled plans for a bomb attack by breaking up an alleged terror cell whose leader was under orders from al-Qaeda.

So how is Germany’s immigration policy working out?

One suspect, a Moroccan who had lived for a decade in Germany, was recruited to attend an al-Qaeda training camp last year near the Afghan-Pakistani border, officials said. The suspect, identified only as Abdeladim El-K, 29, received weapons and explosives training and orders from an al-Qaeda official…

After the suspect re-entered Germany illegally in May 2010, officials said he recruited two long-time acquaintances: men identified as Jamil S, 31, who has joint German and Moroccan citizenship; and Amid C, 19, a citizen of Germany and Iran.


Rudd buys himself a job

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (06:00 am)

All those millions he’s spent of our money has finally bought Kevin Rudd an international job - although not yet the UN one he most covets:

KEVIN Rudd has won a place on a NATO-dominated panel to guide the conflict in Libya - even though Australia plays no role in fighting to remove Muammar Gaddafi....

Australia had been invited as an observer of the (Libya contact) group when it was formed in March, but, following intensive shuttle diplomacy over the past weeks, Mr Rudd persuaded European and Arab counterparts that Australia should become a full participant.

Australia is now the third-highest contributor of humanitarian aid to Libya after the US and European Union, donating $25 million since the conflict began....Mr Rudd’s crusading on Libya and close attention to the Middle East is continuing to raise concerns in Canberra that Australia is paying insufficient attention to problems closer to home.

Unfortunately, working on Libya will interrupt Rudd’s lobbying for a UN position:

Mr Rudd has cut short a planned visit to the Caribbean after a weekend in Washington and will fly to Rome for the meeting… The Caribbean trip had been intended as part of Australia’s lobbying campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council...

So, a world run by Rudd. How would it look? Well, let’s check the progress of the war in Libya that Rudd championed so aggressively:

Six weeks later, after a campaign of aerial bombing, the civil war is at a bloody stalemate:

The Libyan government stepped up its shelling on the besieged western city of Misrata, pounding the port, which has been the rebel-held city’s only lifeline. Heavy shelling also occurred elsewhere in the city throughout the day, killing 12 people and raising the two-day death toll to 29.... Misrata, which is the main rebel-held city in the west, has emerged as a key prize as the two sides have been locked in a stalemate with Gadhafi holding sway over the western half of the country and the rebels dominating the east.

The rebels being helped by NATO, to Rudd’s cheers, are committing ghastly atrocities that raise further questions about just who they are:

There are a number of videos circulating about from “free Libya” showing grotesque head-loppings, executions, torture and desecration of bodies, of African mercenaries who apparently were captured or killed by the rebels in Libya. No doubt, the mercenaries were quite brutal thugs whom Qaddafi employed to coerce or kill his opponents; but the sort of barbarity we see is also the sort that we are subsidizing now with direct cash infusions, as well as with military logistics and support… One could argue that these are isolated incidents beyond the control of the Westernized professionals who pop up on CNN and the BBC as the official face of the “rebellion”, but the filmed savageries take place amid large crowds, urging the executioners and torturers on, often in an apparently jihadist manner, which suggests both race and religion contribute to the hatred of the hired enforcers… Because we know very little about the rebels—who they are, what is their agenda, where they get support—we have no idea whether their utopia to come would be, as Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton seem to think, a fuzzy version of Turkish-style Islamic “democracy” or a sort of justice in the streets, Khomeini-style, as the graphic Youtube videos illustrate.

The refugee crisis has escalated:

A seemingly endless flow of Libyans crossed into Tunisia from Libya at the Dehiba border post on Sunday, a day after a record 5,000 refugees fled the conflict in their country.

And NATO, starting to panic, is taking desperate measures beyond its UN mandate:

NATO’s campaign of airstrikes against Libya came under the most intense criticism yet on Sunday, with Russian officials accusing the alliance of using “disproportionate” force in civilian areas a day after a strike on central Tripoli was reported to have killed a son and three grandchildren of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Although NATO commanders insisted that they had struck a legitimate military target on Saturday night and had not, and would not, specifically target Colonel Qaddafi, the Libyan government accused the NATO of mounting an assassination attempt illegal under international law. On Sunday, the Russian foreign ministry and a lawmaker close to the Kremlin sounded those themes as well, directly challenging the aims of the NATO mission.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry accused NATO of exceeding the mandate of a United Nations resolution allowing it to maintain a no-fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians.

Rudd’s war in Libya looks every bit the success of Rudd’s war on global warming.


Gillard supporters say she’s “failed”

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (05:57 am)

Only the lack of an obvious alternative is keeping Julia Gillard in the job, as Simon Benson seems to confirm:

In the week before the PM left for a 10 day trip to Japan, Korea, China and the UK, several Labor backbenchers privately spoke of how they thought the Julia Gillard experiment was going.

“Put us out of our misery now,” said one. “It can’t go on.”

“Clearly it hasn’t worked,” said another. “The experiment has failed.”

These were Gillard supporters. And they still are, mainly because they have little choice. But she is rapidly losing them.

But who to turn to?

You’d think things could not possibly get worse for a government already on the nose, with detention centres burning, budgets ballooning, the carbon dioxide tax sinking, the NBN blowing out and more. But Julia Gillard is betting on it:

No one in government is naive about how dire the present situation is, least of all the Prime Minister. In recent days, Gillard has told those around her that the next four months will be the toughest yetbut, if Labor comes through, it will be the stronger for it.

Tim Blair:

Gillard has achieved a rare feat in modern times: across all manner of class and geographic boundaries, she’s united the nation. Unfortunately for her, they’re united against Labor policy...

Wait until more union leaders, not least the CFMEU, realise it’s time to represent their members:

A Galaxy poll commissioned by the Australian Coal Association found the highest opposition to the (Gillard Government’s carbon dioxide) tax was in Queensland mining towns, where 73 per cent of voters were against it… Almost half the respondents in coal towns in Queensland and NSW said they were unlikely to vote for a candidate who strongly backed the carbon tax


But, Lindsay, it worked

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (05:45 am)

Cut and Paste nails the windiness of former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner’s complaint that his flighty colleagues dumped Kevin Rudd when the party had stuck with Paul Keating:

ABC1’s Insiders yesterday:

Host Barrie Cassidy: You write about the removal of Kevin Rudd and you say that had some very powerful echoes of the “sideshow syndrome”. How so?

Lindsay Tanner: Well, I compare it with the period in 1995 under Paul Keating. The difference was in 1995 there was nothing other than the most vague rumblings in the media and in the caucus about the prospect of Paul Keating being knocked off, whereas Kevin Rudd had a period of two or three months of declining polls, of the government in trouble and things getting a bit out of control politically. The key difference is people in the caucus clearly made a judgment that the intensity of the media pressure and the siege that was inevitably being laid to the government was such that it could not be resisted.

Another key difference. National Archives of Australia:

[IN 1996] Labor was defeated and a Liberal National Party coalition led by John Howard won office with a 40-seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Dumping Rudd saved Labor from defeat in 2007 2010. Had Keating been dumped, who knows? And should Gillard now in turn be dumped....


If a boat person just asks often enough, they’re in

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (05:20 am)

It’s chaotic - and an invitation to keep appealling:

MORE than 70 per cent of failed asylum-seekers who have arrived in Australia since boats started coming in late 2008 have had their cases overturned on review, undermining attempts by the government to end the people-smuggling trade by denying residency to boatpeople....

According to the Immigration Department 910 failed asylum-seekers’ cases were reviewed between October 2008 and March this year.

Of those, 641 - or 70.4 per cent - successfully argued that their negative decisions should be overturned. The figures do not include the wave of failed asylum claims that can now be pursued in the courts following last year’s High Court ruling - a development that is sure to result in more failed cases being overturned. Last year the government was warned the high success rate of asylum claims was one of the reasons people-smugglers were targeting Australia instead of other parts of the world, where the success rate was lower.

Of those further claims in the courts, the scale is amazing. Here are those which were finalised just last year:

There were about 550 cases in 2010 in the Federal Magistrates Court

There were about 300 cases in the Federal Court last year.

There were about 40 in the Federal Court’s Full Court

And here’s an insight into why so many appeals by thwarted asylum seekers get accepted, in this case by the Refugeee Review Tribunal:

Last week the Refugee Review Tribunal announced which of its 43 members applying for reappointment would be kept, and which sacked.

An unusually high number - 18 - were shown the door, including a former Labor MP, Noel Pullen.

Furious RRT insiders have checked the case records of these 43 to see how they handled appeals by asylum seekers wanting a review of Immigration Department decisions to turn them down and send them home.

The 25 RRT members who were reappointed last week have, over the past three years, rejected appeals by asylum seekers in 62 per cent of cases.

In contrast, the 18 RRT members who were sacked rejected 78 per cent of appeals. What’s more, the toughest four RRT members were all sacked.

Here are some of the people who will replace them. There’s Charlie Powles, a Refugee and Immigration Law Centre solicitor, and Anthony Krohn, a Melbourne barrister who has worked for many asylum seekers and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.

Add to them the director of the Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese’s Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care; a solicitor for the refugee advocacy group Southern Communities Advocacy Legal Education Service; and a solicitor for Sydney’s Immigration Advice and Rights Centre. Notice a pattern?…

These sackings will now increase the pressure on the remaining RRT members to decide cases not entirely on their merits. Several privately tell me there is now a “culture of fear” in the RRT, where they feel forced to let in more asylum seekers - or else.


Greg Sheridan:

The government is now paralysed on border control. It can merely react, increasingly ineffectively, to the growing aggression and self-confidence of the illegal immigration industry.

Every announcement of tough measures is shown soon enough to lack credibility....

The illegal immigration industry has got the government completely sussed. Now it is in the process of making the detention-centre network completely unworkable.

In order to defuse tensions in the detention centres, processing times will be cut and people will be released as permanent residents sooner than ever.

They will win the prize of permanent residency and they will confirm the product the people-smugglers have to sell.

(Thanks to reader Pira.)


Trixie cares

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 01, 11 (05:25 pm)

Trixie Wellington in New Matilda answers her own question on the royal wedding:

Who cares? Every drop of attention that is smeared over this wedding endorses a misogynist, backward, racist, religiously intolerant, inbred tradition that is fundamentally undemocratic.

Wellington’s 1351 words must also qualiify at the very least as a “drop of attention”, if not a flood. Which, she argues, means she endorses what she so abuses.

(Via JF Beck, currently being played by Dan.)


Superman goes all Obama

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 01, 11 (11:58 am)


Who does Superman think he is? Barack Obama?

Superman is giving up his American citizenship in the latest issue of the comic book series.
The 900th issue by DC comics has the superhero in Tehran standing in support of protesters demonstrating against their government. His action causes the Iranian government to believe he was sent there by the White House.

When presidential advisers express their disapproval, Superman decides he will renounce his U.S. citizenship at the UN while affirming his desire to fight crime from a global perspective.

“I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy,” declares the cartoon crime fighter.

His proclamation, though, is somewhat doubtful since Superman came from the alien planet of Krypton and was “adopted” by a Kansas family.

Ashamed of being an agent overseas of supposed US policy… Sounds exactly like some president we know, too scared of seeming too American in the war in Libya:

From the outset, (Barack Obama) has stressed that his military would play a collaborative and not a lead role in what his aides often referred to as a “humanitarian mission” in Libya.

He made sure that Nato assumed leadership as soon as was feasibly possible…

American weaponry and logistical backbone may be indispensable to the effort to remove Col Gaddafi, but Mr Obama, the most recognisable politician in the world, does not want an American face on a third assault on a Muslim country in a decade…

The mission’s rushed planning was based on an easy win, but the chosen means of air strikes and sanctions have proved insufficient to achieve the stated end of overthrowing Col Gaddafi.

Now that the conflict has quickly reached a stalemate, Mr Obama, for all his reticence, may well at some point be forced to admit that the only solution is to apply yet more of America’s unmatched military might.


Rafe disses Ralf

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 01, 11 (10:32 am)


Rafe of Catallaxy Files launches a savage attack on me and my companion animal, Ralf:

On the theme of evil, Andrew Bolt is outed as an abuser of small furry people. Actually the real crime was to call the poor little person Ralf. The correct spelling is Ralph. And it is pronounced Rafe but that is another story.

Rafe is wrong, being an Anglophile who fails to realise that Ralf is actually from Finland. Ralf is now considering his options under the Racial Discrimination Act.


Albo is amazing

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 01, 11 (08:50 am)

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese tweets:

AlboMP Anthony Albanese
On the Royal theme, Prince Charles gets stuck into Tony Abbott

Actually, Charles doesn’t mention Abbott at all. Informed of this, Albanese tweets again:

AlboMP Anthony Albanese
@ @mariap2145 @wildharry33 @BillfromBendigo what’s amazing is that anyone could think Prince Charles would mention TAbbott by name

Er, yes.

(Thanks to reder Vote Quimby.)

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