Saturday, May 07, 2011

News items and comments

Oakes is wrong again. Osama's death was a broken promise of Obama.
IT'S unlikely John Howard will apologise, but he should at least feel deeply embarrassed. Al-Qaeda would be praying that Barack Obama became US president, Howard said in February 2007.
General education is the weapon to defeat such depravity.
EIGHT people are being held for stoning to death an Indian couple who eloped against their families' wishes.

Soul mate?
MUAMMAR Gaddafi's "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse and confidante has applied for asylum in Norway.

Round em up.
AN Islamic militant was arrested at a plush building in Manila where he was working as a security guard.

Community can stop what security can't. Know your neighbors and be good to them. Labor politics ignores that truth.
SECURITY could not have prevented the 2005 London bombings, the coroner has found.

Obama handled this badly.
PAKISTANIS have taken to the streets, cheering the slain Osama bin Laden and shouting "Death to America".

They can still lie and hide behind women.
AL-QAIDA vowed to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden and urged Muslims to rise up against the US

Sack Bligh for bad management.
BEFORE floodwaters tore through Grantham, Don Walmsley and Mary King had their future all mapped out - now they have nothing.
Only my name and dance style connect me.
A SMALL paragraph of an 1887 history book mentioned that a time capsule memorialising explorers Burke and Wills had been buried beneath a Ballarat monument.
I like to believe the cheating is isolated. Some Principals are fools.
STUDENTS were asked to re-write their NAPLAN answers and fill in missing ones after they completed the exams last year, documents reveal.
Schools have failed parents by making tutoring a necessity. Teaching is what schools should do.
TEACHERS are encouraging parents to get their children privately tutored for the NAPLAN tests because of pressure on schools to perform better after the launch of My School.
If Hamidur's parents ever get justice I won't do a tele movie.
'MAD Uncle Tony' is back and he's still mad as hell. Given the colourful nickname by media after a 15-year pursuit of nephew Jeffrey for the 1993 murder of his parents, Tony Gilham says he carries the...
We are paying for a rort.
THE State Government is considering clawing back money from Solar Bonus Scheme customers in an attempt to balance the books.
Sleep is overrated. Time management is under rated.
WHILE most mums will be hoping for flowers, chocolates or other goodies tomorrow, Kerrie Perry just wants a good sleep in.
Senseless killing. The law won't sleep until they are caught.
MURDERS don't come much more cold-blooded than the slaying of Gary Allibon. Three thieves ambushed the Chubb security guard and his colleagues as they made an early-morning cash drop to a hotel on Sus...
It is all good.
MAX "The Axe" Moore-Wilton was approached to be chair of Infrastructure NSW before Nick Greiner was given one of the most important jobs in government, Liberal sources claim.
I pray to the lord she awakes and grows in the love of her family.
ELOISE De Silva is placed on her mother's chest. Two hearts beat as one. Sensing her baby girl so close, and hearing her murmurs, Emma flinches and moves her arms a little, sometimes she even cries.
I love walking but don't do it enough.
POUNDING the pavement with your children can be a life saver on two levels. Experts say walking children to school teaches children crucial pedestrian safety lessons while also encouraging healthy lif...
If it works it gets my vote.
DRUGMAKER Pfizer said overnight that the European commission has approved treating children with its medicine for a rare, deadly lung condition - a drug better known as Viagra.
Make it worthwhile to keep documents.
MORE than 80 per cent of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat throw away their passports before landing, presenting a security nightmare for ASIO and immigration authorities.
Not a government savings or budget cut.
CHARITIES will have at least $500 million extra to help needy Australians under a plan to slash red tape to be announced in Tuesday's federal Budget.
ALP spent our money badly.
CANCER patients and chronic pain sufferers may be denied cheap access to a pain-killing drug for another year because of forced savings from the health portfolio in the Budget.
Obama did not handle this well
AT LEAST half the positive public impact of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden was ruined by bungling officials who misled the public about crucial details of the special forces operation.
Obama cannot be trusted. He promises trials and is given peace prize, but silences his enemies.
CLOSURE - a favourite word of many Americans - is a myth. The death of Osama bin Laden, while welcomed, and the decision of Barack Obama to strike him down in his compound, while applauded for the mos...
Keating has a gift for abuse, not completing important projects.
PAUL Keating has resigned as the chair of the Barangaroo Design Excellence Review Panel after a letter from Planning Minister Brad Hazzard told him to stop calling Clover Moore a "muesli chewer".
That is not a special loop
JULIA Gillard was among the first world leaders to be told Osama bin Laden was dead after word was passed down through US intelligence agencies to the Federal Government an hour before Barack Obama's ...
He leaves as a giant of the game.
AUSTRALIAN cricket legend Shane Warne is set to bow out of professional cricket at the conclusion of this month's Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition.
Their grief this time will be lessened when they see the evidence.
GRIEVING grandparents Yang Fei Lin, 77, and his wife Feng Qing Zhu, 76, return to Sydney this morning from a holiday in Shanghai to face the unbearable news that their son-in-law has been charged with...
ALP are bad economic managers
IT'S the double financial king-hit destined to drain the pockets of struggling homeowners - a June interest rate rise just weeks after a penny-pinching Federal Budget, both deliver as living costs soa...
IT WAS her second trip down the aisle in as many weeks - but in this case she was met by a supermarket cashier and there wasn't a white dress in sight.
God, our help in ages past. Our hope in years to come
10 good reasons
On this, the National Day of Prayer, it's fitting that we reflect on the value of taking a moment to speak with God. At its best, prayer is an offering of one’s self to be used by God as a part of the answer.


Tim Blair – Saturday, May 07, 11 (04:43 am)

A millionaire actress may change carbon dioxide history:

A wide-ranging coalition of supporters of action on climate change is planning a massive campaign to rescue Julia Gillard’s carbon tax in the face of growing industry opposition.

The Weekend Australian understands Oscar-award winning actress Cate Blanchett has been approached to be part of a national advertising campaign.

This gets better every day.


The wrong man may be out the door

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (08:50 am)

This confrontation is bringing the police into disrepute, and the Baillieu Government may need to intervene very soon:

VICTORIA Police is in crisis after Chief Commissioner Simon Overland ordered his deputy Ken Jones to leave the force last night amid a broadening scandal over the administration of justice…

The Saturday Age ... submitted questions to senior government officials and police about the role of one of Victoria’s top public servants in sanctioning the placement of Williams in a jail unit with other underworld figures, including the man who allegedly murdered him.

It is understood Sir Ken and several other senior police and government officials held concerns about the decision by Justice Department officials, including department secretary Penny Armytage, to approve the moving of Williams from isolation at Barwon Prison to the maximum-security Acacia unit… It can also be revealed that Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the moving of Williams…

Mr Brouwer is also investigating whether Mr Overland was pressured by the former Brumby government to release inaccurate crime statistics ahead of last year’s state election - an issue believed to have soured relations between Sir Ken and the Chief Commissioner…

Sir Ken was abruptly called in to Mr Overland’s office yesterday afternoon and ordered to clear his desk and leave immediately. His removal came hours after The Saturday Age had submitted detailed questions to the office of the Attorney-General, the Department of Justice and the police about the circumstances of the slaying of Williams…

A police spokesman said: ‘’The Chief Commissioner has asked Sir Ken Jones to finish at the end of today because it is right for him and Victoria Police.’’

Which Victoria Police in particular?


Boatloads of welfare recipients

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:45 am)


NOW even the Gillard Government knows the truth about its bungled refugee program.

The people it’s bringing in are costing us billions, with 85 per cent of refugees on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here.

Worse, it’s the “refugees” who push in—the boat people we don’t pick, and who exploit the Government’s weak laws—who cost us most.

The vast majority of boat people say they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, and these are exactly the refugees most likely to be unemployed and living on welfare, even after five years.

Just 9 per cent of Afghan adults have a job and 94 per cent receive benefits, which means every boatload of Afghans landing here is a boatload almost entirely of people we’ll be paying handouts to for years.

And since January last year, more than 3300 Afghans have sailed here.

It’s the same story among Iranian adults, just 12 per cent of whom work.

Sri Lankans have a better employment rate—34 per cent, but even that is still lower than the rate among African refugees, almost none of whom come by boat, being selected by us from refugee camps instead.

These are just some of the alarming revelations in a first-ever survey commissioned by the Immigration Department of 8500 people accepted under our humanitarian program.

And they are findings that should have us ask not just how much Labor has cost us by putting the people smugglers back in business by weakening the boat people laws in 2008.

It also should have us ask the tough question Denmark just did: what does it cost us to bring in people from countries with very different and poorer cultures?


Obama shoots Osama, and then his own foot

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:44 am)

FOR a second I thought I’d misread President Barack Obama.

What guts, after all. What a leader.

Against type, the Nobel Peace Prize winner sent four helicopters of troops into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.

What’s more, his hit squad did the job right under the nose of an army that was surely protecting the al-Qaida boss.

But then, Obama’s greatest victory turned into a farce, thanks to all the President’s familiar traits of ineptitude, regal disdain and fuzzy Leftism.

In Iraq, the US under George W. Bush wasn’t squeamish about showing the bodies of enemy leaders it had killed, and did so with al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, psychopath Musab al-Zarqawi, and the two sons of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

It seemed to work. Far from inspiring jihadists, these bloody pictures seemed to deflate them.

But Obama decided no such trophy pictures of bin Laden would be shown.

Indeed, his body was dumped into the sea, in line, the White House laughably said, with Muslim custom.

Obama’s reasoning seemed conflicted. He claimed that releasing pictures of bin Laden with a hole in the head could inflame opinion against the US, and, besides, it so was also “not who we are”, which makes me suspect Obama was fretting less over enraged terrorists than enraged Leftists.

In fact, his call kicked off the usual anti-US conspiracy theories, and not just in the Middle East. Even Canada’s deputy Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair said: “I don’t think, from what I’ve heard, that those pictures exist.”

Worse followed fast.

On Monday, the President’s counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, made these claims: “Osama was engaged in a firefight” and was found “hiding behind women”. A woman he hid behind was said to have been shot dead.

White House spokesman Jay Carney then added the soldiers who shot bin Laden “were met with a great deal of resistance” from “many other people who were armed”.

Uh-oh. In fact, every one of those claims is false. Bin Laden was unarmed. Just one of the five men killed that night had a gun, and he was shot early. Bin Laden did not hide behind any woman, none of whom were killed.

I have close to zero doubt that the US got its man. But somehow Obama’s “trust me” reassurance sounds very hollow.

The bumbler is back, and now we really do need those pictures.


Meet London’s new residents: angry bin Laden supporters

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:34 am)

I am not sure at all that these pictures of a protest against the killing of Osama bin Laden are reassuring. After all,they are taken in London.


Deal? What deal?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:08 am)

For heaven’s sake, wasn’t this supposed to be the one policy victory of the Gillard Government?:

JULIA Gillard’s $16.4 billion deal to reform the health system is in strife, amid claims that proposed legislation putting it into effect does not reflect the Prime Minister’s reform deal with the premiers.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has accused the commonwealth of attempting to sideline states under the reformed health system, in contravention of a deal sealed in February.

While Health Minister Nicola Roxon has played down the concerns, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association has backed Mr Barnett, warning that the legislation fails to recognise the role of states and territories as managers of the health system.

(Thanks to reader CA.)


Abbott picks the right wave to surf with a refugee

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:38 am)

Tony Abbott is a man of his word, even when he’s the victim of a set-up - but he’s timed the delivery of his promise of a surfing lesson to a refugee advocate to his advantage:

The opposition leader’s offer of breakfast and a surfing lesson attracted the highest bids when it was auctioned off at last year’s annual press gallery ball in Canberra.

At $16,100, it easily beat lawn bowls with Kevin Rudd ($12,600) and dinner with then-deputy prime minister Julia Gillard, which went for a neat $10,000.

The winning funds were raised by lobby group GetUp, which nominated former Afghan refugee Mr (Riz) Wakil as the lucky recipient.

He said he’d use the one-on-one meeting to urge the coalition to adopt a more humane approach to asylum seekers, having spent nine months in detention in 1999…

But now, 323 days later, the opposition leader is set to meet Mr Wakil at Sydney’s northern beaches (today)...

Villawood burned, detention centres overflowing, Labor backflipping on the Pacific Solution ... I don’t think Abbott is going to find this surfing lesson embarrassing at this point in time.

(Thanks to reader marg of nambour.)


Al Qaeda “statement”: bin Laden dead

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:32 am)

If genuine, these statements should help the White House stem the doubts it’s caused by its own incompetent spinning:

Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of its leader, Osama Bin Laden, according to a statementattributed to the group and posted on jihadist internet forums…

“[His blood] will remain, with permission from Allah, the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries,” it warned.

“...We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was killed, to rise up and revolt....”

The Afghan Taliban issued its own statement on Friday, saying the death of Bin Laden would give “new impetus to the current jihad"…

“The martyrdom of a martyr leads hundreds more to head to the field of martyrdom and sacrifice.”

(Thanks to reader Grand Wizard.)


Tanner spins Labor’s obsession with spin

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:03 am)

Chris Kenny says it’s a cop-out for former Treasurer Lindsay Tanner to claim in his new book that the media forces Labor to wow it with spin and gimmicks:

It is no longer contentious to observe the Rudd government was a triumph of spin over substance, that the public quickly realised this and that the Gillard government is heading the same way. Sideshow unwittingly shows how this happens. In page after page Tanner wonders at the workings of the media, he strives to gain its attention, he despairs at what it highlights and what it misses....
If these things mattered as much as Tanner says, John Howard would never have won an election… Howard’s most diligent and enduring enemies were the bulk of the Canberra press gallery, the Fairfax press and the ABC.

Yet he assiduously spoke through and around this media antagonism to pitch his messages directly to voters. No amount of media conspiracy can prevent a significant message getting through, while no amount of media management will make up for the lack of substance.

Spot on.


Peter van Onselen says that not only is Julia Gillard short on policy, delivery and authority, she’s now losing out on spin, too:

THE day after the extraordinary news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces ..., Julia Gillard appeared on page two of a daily newspaper feeding the chooks at what looked like a primary school.... By contrast Kevin Rudd managed to get himself on a podium with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ...

When Gillard goes abroad to attend the royal wedding, Rudd gets to England hours earlier while back at home Tony Abbott sets a deliberate contrast to the jet-setting PM by hanging out in the Northern Territory discussing how to alleviate Aboriginal disadvantage while sitting in the dirt.


No way to sell the country

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:53 am)

James Packer says our tourism industry and campaigns aren’t up to speed any more. For instance:

As Packer says of the Barrier Reef: “The experience for a well travelled tourist is you arrive in Cairns, where the beach is unfortunately a mud flat, you go out to the reef on a hydrofoil that looks like it needs some money spent on it, you dive into the water and where the pontoon is located the reef looks like it is dying. You come back up and you are meant to say, ‘Isn’t this amazing’. It could be an amazing, world-class experience, but we need to get our act together.’’


Cate to save Gillard’s tax

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:46 am)

I detect in the comment from “sources” that even the warmist lobby is starting to realise that the celebrity endorsement of global warming alarmism may not quite work in middle Australia:

A WIDE-RANGING coalition of supporters of action on climate change is planning a massive campaign to rescue Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.... Oscar-award winning actress Cate Blanchett has been approached to be part of a national advertising campaign.

But sources said it would be wrong to suggest the world-famous actress would be the spearhead of the campaign, which will also include a raft of “ordinary Australians”.

The Weekend Australian understands the planned print, radio and television campaign is being supported by groups including Get Up!, Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Southern Cross Climate Coalition, a conglomerate including the ACF, the Climate Institute and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.


PNG stalls on Gillard’s last, desperate plan

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:14 am)

And on the farce rolls:

THE Somare government is pressuring Julia Gillard to become personally involved in negotiations to reopen a refugee processing centre in Papua New Guinea, which is expected to be on Manus Island.

The PNG cabinet yesterday broke without making a decision on Australia’s proposal, after ministers were unhappy that the Australian Prime Minister had failed to make a personal approach about the bid.

I find it hard to believe that this stalling isn’t about extracting more cash from a desperate government with few other options left, now that its first proposal - for a detention centre in East Timor - is embarrassingly dead:

The Weekend Australian understands the processing centre is not strongly opposed in PNG, but the cabinet is seeking more details. The deferral of a decision indicated that some ministers felt the manner of Canberra’s approach to be somewhat presumptuous. This perception is amplified because in PNG’s case, unlike that of Nauru, which hosted a centre after reaching an agreement with the Howard government, the money brought in by Australia to run the centre is not a key issue. PNG’s economy is growing rapidly, at 7.1 per cent last year and even faster this year, as resources investments pour in.

I can understand why Gillard doesn’t want to get personally involved, and therefore a hostage. Even so, keep an eye on the cash she’ll have to splash.


I mean cash like this:

Mr Polye says Australia has offered development assistance packages in return for establishing a centre.

Greg Sheridan says even an PNG detention centre probably won’t work unless the Gillard Government toughens up:

The government refuses to face up to the inescapable choice regarding boat people.

Either they come to Australia eventually, in which case a stay on Manus Island or somewhere else in PNG won’t deter them, or they are refused a visa for Australia, in which case the product the people-smugglers are selling becomes void, and they can no longer get people to pay for it…

It is worth noting that both PNG and East Timor are signatories to the refugee convention and if boatpeople were simply fleeing persecution, they could seek refuge in either of those countries. In truth, this is a determined illegal immigration and the object is permanent residency in Australia…

The Australian processing and appeals system is a farce. If an Afghan applies as a boat person without documents, they end up getting a better than 90 per cent acceptance rate after the exhaustive appeals are gone through. If they apply offshore, where there is no pressure on the Australian system to take them, they get an acceptance rate of 10 per cent.


And, no, it probably won’t really be the ”regional processing centre” Gillard has promised and sold throughout Asia:

PLANS to detain asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea would be badged as a regional solution but would most likely only involve those boat people who arrived in Australian waters.


Now, why would they ditch the docs? I mean, if they were real refugees...:

MORE than 80 per cent of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat throw away their passports before landing, presenting a security nightmare for ASIO and immigration authorities.

New figures obtained from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship revealed that 5213 people arriving illegally between 2008 and 2010 had first flown to Indonesia before boarding a boat to Australia.

But only 21 of those people still had passports with them by the time they were intercepted in Australian waters.

(Thanks to readers Pira and CA.)

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