Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sun 9th Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Jack Tuan Nguyen,Michael LePio Johann PamintuanDuc Vo and Andrew Ridgway. Born on the same day across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.


William P. Rogers





[edit]Holidays and observances


There is more to tragedy than meets the eye

IT was with a heavy heart I woke to the news that London nurse Jacintha Saldanha had died in a suspected suicide.
The 46-year-old mother-of-two was the on the end of a childish and seemingly harmless radio prank that astonished everyone.
Her only sin was to believe Australian radio duo Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who made a hoax call pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.
I feel for Ms Saldanha's family.
There are so many questions and what-ifs when it comes to suicide.
But I also feel for the two radio hosts.
No one sets out in search of such an outcome.
Yet in the face of such a tragedy, the blame game begins.
I'm not going to sit in judgment, nor do I want to sound like an apologist.
But I will say that suicide leaves everyone gutted and searching for answers.
There is no way such a silly prank should lead to such a tragic outcome, but the radio duo will blame themselves - and there will be plenty of haters ready to fan such thoughts.
As a human being, I feel for the pair because I have been there.
Fifteen years ago I did a story for A Current Affair on a television repair man who was overcharging for work not done.
It goes down as one of the most despicable pieces of journalism in Australia because of its outcome.
It was the weekend promotion for A Current Affair and it ran on the Monday of that week.
This man committed suicide several days later.
I can't begin to fathom the pain his family has been through, although I have met with them and cried with them, I will forever blame myself for walking in the newsroom that day and being assigned that story and not seeing the disaster that was coming.
Those consumer protection stories were daily fodder for nightly television current affairs, and still are.
The shame and humiliation this man obviously felt was quickly my shame and humiliation as well.
The then-host of Media Watch, Stuart Littlemore, called me an "unspeakable bastard" and, of course, I agreed with Littlemore.
In fact, I agreed with every aspect of the criticism.
There was no justification for the outcome, but the event tore my life apart too.
I can write now that for years I did not sleep, I woke with nightmares, I stifled panic attacks in media conferences when all my colleagues were there, perhaps casting a judgmental eye. I threw myself in the most dangerous pursuits in journalism: coups, wars; you name it, to regain some of the credibility I had lost.
A few years later, I finally sought help for the post-traumatic stress disorder I had developed.
I simply couldn't breathe.
In the boiler room that was A Current Affair back then, I couldn't even tell the boss, or seek support, because exposing a soft underbelly in that joint would have done nothing but invite derision for such a "weakness".
Later, when my first born son died at the age of eight months from complication of his premature birth, I blamed myself.
Surely, I thought, on some karmic level, this child was taken from me as a result of my part in that story.
It is not rational of course, but it is how your heart feels in the face of such incomprehensible loss.
We all search for answers.
We like to attribute blame.
I tell this story because, apart from psychopaths, no one ever intends to cause such harm to a person.
Certainly Mel and Michael had no pre-meditation.
They did not intend for anyone to die as a result of their prank.
It is cruel to blame them.
But the media, in all their forms, can and do exacerbate things.
Retired Supreme Court judge Justice Yeldham committed suicide in 1996 after being exposed in the media for suspected homosexual activity.
Senator Nick Sherry attempted suicide the following year after being mocked in parliament.
And NSW politician John Brogden self-harmed in 2005 after reports of inappropriate behaviour.
Brogden, now a patron of Lifeline, says now that it was a cry for help.
In 2003, in an interview with Andrew Denton on the ABC, financier Rene Rivkin spoke of his depression and thoughts of suicide.
"The ending of one's life, which I've thought about a lot, incidentally, because prior to Prozac, I was often depressed ... requires a certain amount of bravery which I don't have. I'm not a hero," Rivkin said.
Two years later, Rivkin took his own life.
The point is that these things never happen in isolation. There is almost always a depressive illness, diagnosed or not, simmering in the background.
Only in hindsight do the pieces fit together.
That is the true tragedy.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Idiot misses the point. The DJ's may not be criminally liable, they had a depraved indifference. There should have been follow up for the prank but there wasn't. They went cheap. Now there is a price to be paid. Only maybe it shouldn't be t
hese two who have a depraved indifference, that should pay consequences .. maybe it is the broadcaster which has a history of tasteless comedy and demonstrates a depraved indifference to those it exploits. - ed

Larry Pickering says ..

Let me explain something to you, Ms Gillard, and I know you will read this:

I have been studying politicians since before you were born. I knew great and poor Prime Ministers personally, from Menzies to Howard.

I knew their traits, thei
r foibles, their strengths and hidden weaknesses.

But each nurtured a common, unbroken thread; they all honoured their high Office. Each was respected if not liked. Each was Australian and decent in essence.

You, Ms Gillard, are different. You will never legitimately stand beside those who have gone before you.

If you worked at my corner store, if you didn’t aspire to be something you’re so obviously not, I might quite like you.

I know you won’t believe this Ms Gillard, but I wanted nothing more than to be proud of Australia’s first woman Prime Minister. You have destroyed that.

You simply don’t get it, do you Ms Gillard? This is not about policy or Left or Right... it’s not about sexism, misogyny or any other vile adjective you use. It’s about YOU!

You are emboldened by the fake infatuation of the minority who need you. You are deaf to the majority who don’t want you.

When you were nine years old Ms Gillard we had another controversial Prime Minister called John Gorton.

I recall like yesterday, a Party room meeting on March 10, 1971. A motion of no confidence in Gorton's leadership was tied precariously at 33 all.

Realising his Party’s predicament he immediately gave his casting vote against himself, effectively removing himself from Office.

He realised the marginal satisfaction with his role as Prime Minister was potentially caustic and effectively handed the Prime Ministership to my good friend at the time, Bill McMahon.

He then voluntarily suffered the ignominy of accepting the position of Deputy PM to Bill.

That was the stuff of John Gorton. And that’s difference between a decent person and you, Ms Gillard. You would not have done that.

Don’t try to pretend you possess that high tier of honour. You simply don’t, I happen to know you don’t because your selfish ideological agenda are far more important to you than the station of Office.

Your barbs of misogyny completely miss me, Ms Gillard. I happen to love women and I always will.

You see Ms Gillard, it is not at all about gender nor any other of your nasty labels and no, I don’t give a damn if you are a crook.

But I do give a damn if you are a crook AND my Prime Minister.


Border policy has more holes than a leaky boat

Piers Akerman – Saturday, December 08, 2012 (8:42pm)

THE Gillard government’s failed border protection program has passed the point of no return. It is irrevocably smashed. The arrival of a jet-load of illegal entrants, all people smugglers’ clients, flown from Darwin to Sydney last week was a powerful sign the Labor-Green-independent government had run up the white flag and capitulated to forces of the human traffickers.
Those illegal entrants, who were shuttled to Nauru, are shaking their heads. They are the losers in the people-smuggling lottery. They paid the same money as those flown south and released into the community, some even came on the same boats, but the winners were diverted into Australia, while the losers wound up on Nauru.
The winners were handed bridging visas - before they even went through the processing procedure - and the losers are sitting on a pretty barren rock wondering how they managed to miss out on a visa and a place in the Australian community.
Why, they are asking, are we not being treated in the same manner as those who sailed with us from Indonesia? Why, they are complaining, are those people walking around with bridging visas now and we are still waiting to be processed?
The issuance of the bridging visas is an admission of absolute policy failure following a series of backward steps that began with the unwinding of the Howard government’s successful border protection policy by gloating members of the Rudd-Gillard Labor government five years ago.
Not once has this government kept its word on border policy, and now, to no one’s surprise, nobody believes them. Not those who want to jump the queue and come here, not the people smugglers, and not the Australian people. More than a boat a day has delivered a human cargo now totalling more than 8300 people to Australia this financial year.
Last month, some 2450 people smugglers’ clients took advantage of this government’s failed border protection policy to enter.
To put that in some perspective, the government’s so-called Malaysian Solution was capped at 800 returnees - in return for Australia accepting 4000. More than as many unauthorised arrivals have landed since the end of June.
As Opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, has said, a jumbo jet-load of illegal entrants is indicative of a jumbo-sized problem.
“This has taken the concept of border policy failure to a whole new level,” he mused. “It is now completely out of control.”
In Morrison’s view, the total collapse of the border policy is largely due to the inability of the Gillard minority government to think more than one move at a time.
Last year, he warned that the government’s plan to release new arrivals into the community with work rights would increase the incentive, add sugar to the prize, and so it did. In response, the government removed the right to work, including even the ability to work for the dole, but it added additional sugar in the form of the bridging visas. “It’s visas first, questions later,” he said.
Just returned from inspecting Nauru, Morrison found more evidence of government failure in the siting of the camp, though he was very positive about the work being done by the agencies on the island, whose staff are living in tents just like those they are caring for. The government’s hasty decision to reopen Nauru means the permanent camp is to be built on a site with no direct access to water or power.
The government has also folded its hand before a High Court challenge from a group of Sri Lankans who faced being returned. Morrison said this was par for the course.
“Every time asylum lawyers lean on this government, they capitulate and fall over,” he says. “This has been their history and that’s why I think the people smugglers know this government is a complete soft touch.
“The send back policy the government has been pursuing for the past few weeks was a product of the pressure placed on them by the Opposition when the pirate boat was on its way to Australia.
“It was only then that this government sought to enact those powers that enable them to do exactly what they’ve been doing but I think it always had a use-by date on it because it wouldn’t be long before the asylum lawyers found their way around this and it was always an injunction waiting to happen.
“Our view has always been that we should be supporting the Sri Lankan government in their interception efforts closer to Sri Lanka first and foremost, and, secondly, where vessels actually do get past that interception activity in Sri Lanka, we should be stopping them before they get into our waters and arranging for their transfer back into Sri Lanka into safe conditions.”
Now the government has nowhere to go. That’s what repeated failure does, it removes the options. The government is acting like an opposition. After five years in office it can’t point to achievements, it can only make announcements about its aspirations. The ploy is working with the connivance of the Canberra press gallery which treats the government like the opposition and holds the opposition to account as if it were the government.
With more than 500 boats and more than 30,000 people arriving illegally by boat under Labor, compared with fewer than 300 during the last six years of the Howard government - more than a hundred-fold increase - how much more evidence do Australians need of this government’s complete destruction of border protection?
Another boat, another policy failure, Julia Gillard said in 2003. Is she still counting now?



Tim Blair – Sunday, December 09, 2012 (2:28am)

Here’s a better example of an Australian radio prank call:



Tim Blair – Saturday, December 08, 2012 (8:19pm)

Attention, leftoids! Your dream job beckons: 
The ABC is seeking an experienced and energetic Journalist with a strong interest in the Australian media industry and Contemporary Affairs with good contacts in the print, online and television media to work in the Sydney production Pool, assigned to Media Watch 2013. 
The successful Applicant will also be Familiar with Random Capitals. 
Contract Position for Approximately 12 Months 
Not a bad deal, considering the show only runs for nine months per year. 
The ABC is an equal opportunity employer. 
No, it isn’t. Climate sceptics, one imagines, need not apply.
(Via kk)


It’s not about the non-Aboriginal “us”, in the end

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(9:57am)

So much for the symbolism and guilt mongering. Twenty years after Paul Keating’s absurd and ahistorical Redfern speech, what truly has changed?
The place was Redfern Park in inner Sydney, stomping ground for Anon, one of the brightest and most inquisitive students at Redfern Public School.

A voracious reader and highly articulate, Anon had been chosen as the school’s representative as hundreds gathered to mark the launch of the International Year for the World’s Indigenous People on December 10, 1992.
When this photograph was taken, Keating was in the afterglow of what would come to be regarded internationally as a political speech of enormous significance, the first time a prime minister had acknowledged the murder and mass dispossession of generations of Aborigines.
Moments earlier, Keating had ended his speech promising to ensure Aboriginal people would no longer be denied their place in the modern Australian nation. “We cannot imagine we will fail,” the prime minister said.

His mother, Chantay Link, who makes regular visits to her son’s Bathurst jail, 200km west of Sydney, spoke to The Weekend Australian this week as Anon’s four-month-old son, also Anon, slept in a pram under her careful watch.
The real challenge remains - and the solution lies less in changing what whites do about Aborigines, but in what Aborigines do for themselves. The problem is not history or racism but culture.
Take Anon’s son. He’s now been “stolen” from his parents ... but who is most responsible for that? 


Summers finds a member of the “stolen generations” that I couldn’t

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(9:50am)

Professor Bunyip is introduced by Anne Summers to a fellow academic and another member of the “stolen generations” - those children stolen just for being Aboriginal. 


Seas take it easy

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(8:59am)

German veteran meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls here has done an analysis of sea level rise. Contrary to claims made by fringe alarmist physicists, we see that sea level rise has decelerated markedly since 2003.

In his report, Puls writes that even TOPEX and JASON 1+2 show no acceleration. “The acceleration calculated by the models and constantly reported by the media does not exist!”
Puls adds:

It is obvious to see that sea level rise has slowed down significantly. In view of the relatively short time frame in which the measurements have been made, it should not be speculated on whether the deceleration in the rise is a trend change or if it is only noise. What is certain is that there is neither a ‘dramatic’ rise, nor an ‘acceleration’. Conclusion: Climate models that project an acceleration over the last 20 years are wrong.”

(Thanks to reader fulchrum.)


Gillard need fear no more We’re not behind the world, after all

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(8:23am)

 Global warming - dud predictionsGlobal warming - propaganda
Julia Gillard explained last year why we needed her carbon tax:
Almost 200 nations extended a weakened United Nations plan for combating global warming until 2020 on Saturday with a modest set of measures that would do nothing to halt rising world greenhouse gas emissions…

Environment ministers extended until 2020 the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges about 35 industrialised nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions until the end of 2012....

But the 1997 treaty, 23 days away from expiry, has been sapped by the withdrawal of Russia, Japan and Canada and its remaining backers, led by the European Union and Australia, now account for just 15 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions.
Now that it’s clear we’re in front of the pack, and not behind, what other excuse does Gillard have for her tax? 


Time Warne declared

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(8:08am)

Jeff Thomson is right, of course. The longer this goes on, the more damage it does to Warne’s image, if not bank account:

Warne, 43, was terrible in the Melbourne Stars’ opening BBL clash on Friday night, an eight-wicket loss to cross-town rivals the Renegades, having 41 runs belted off his only two overs, the worst economy rate recorded in Australian domestic Twenty20.
The Stars captain also dropped South African Faf du Plessis while fielding at mid-wicket on a night batting brute Aaron Finch led his Renegades with an unbeaten 111 off only 65 balls. Warne, as was the case last season, has been used as a major marketing tool, for which he is well reimbursed…
Having watched Warne thumped for four sixes, Thomson said it was time for BBL officials to rejig their promotional plans.
‘’I get sick of this every year - all they talk about is ‘Warney’ or ‘Murali’ or someone else,’’ he said. ‘’The Big Bash League, if that’s all they have got to promote, they are promoting the wrong people. I am being serious. How long do you flog an old horse?

‘’You have a bloke like Finch batting out there, Dave Hussey got a 50 [he made 42 off 31 balls] - what’s up with that? I am not jealous. Don’t get me wrong. You blokes [media] write about [Warne] all the time and that’s all he wants to hear. There are other people around.’


Blanchett was many things, but not brave

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092012(7:19am)

Cadel Evans now wants to claim hero status for climate worriers - you know, credit for being so brave against overwhelming odds.
It was the biggest moment of Cadel Evans’s sporting life - his extraordinary triumph at the 2011 Tour de France. And yet he wanted to get Cate Blanchett a message.

The actor had been wrapped up in a political storm after appearing in advertising backing the carbon tax. Some media had dubbed her ‘’Carbon Cate’’.

Evans followed the debate, and at the end of last year’s Tour declared to the press: ‘’Let’s just say I like Cate Blanchett a lot.’’

Speaking to Fairfax Media this week, Evans said Blanchett’s decision to lend her voice to an important, yet unpopular, issue had been courageous.
Unpopular issue?
Excuse me, but just five years ago the real courage lay in standing against the global warming hysteria:

Actually, there’s just a single pink dot in that entire expanse, and it’s plonked right over Melbourne. Over this tower with Herald Sun on top, in fact.

To be absolutely specific, it’s over this very chair in which I’m now sitting, typing furiously with a mad cackle and hair all wild. 
All right, I have tickets on myself. But the polls back then confirmed a vast majority of Australians would do anything - even pay higher prices - to “stop” global warming:
When informed that greenhouse gas abatement would cause the price of goods and services to increase, 68 per cent said they were prepared to pay morewhile 24 per cent were opposed. 
Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Directors Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett officially ‘switched on’ the massive solar array on the roof-top of the Company’s home-base, The Wharf, on November 26. ... The $5.2m total cost of Greening The Wharf is funded by a unique private and public partnership involving philanthropy, corporate support and Federal and State government funding.
Even when Blanchett’s ads appeared, early last year, the people most vilified for their beliefs were actually sceptics, who in the opinion of some columnists couldn’t be punished enough:
I’m prepared to keep an open mind and propose another stunt for climate sceptics - put your strong views to the test by exposing yourselves to high concentrations of either carbon dioxide or some other colourless, odourless gas - say, carbon monoxide.

You wouldn’t see or smell anything. Nor would your anti-science nonsense be heard of again. How very refreshing.
Even as Blanchett prepared to film her ads, she’d have thought there was nothing brave in what she was doing, give the media was cheering and polls still suggested support even for the carbon tax: 
A new poll undertaken by Galaxy Research and released by the Greens found that the majority of Australians support “taxing the big polluters” rather than to “pay money to polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

The question was framed to compare the Government’s proposed carbon price with the opposition parties “direct action” policy that would subsidise polluters to reduce carbon emissions.

The telephone poll of 1,036 people across Australia, conducted for the Australian Greens on 18-20 March as part of a Galaxy Omnibus found that 58% believe it better to tax the big polluters, and just 17% consider it more effective to pay incentives to the big polluters as a way of encouraging them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
So you may support what Blanchett did, and admire her cause. You may regret her ads not working, and forgive their deeply deceptive message as exaggeration in a good cause. You may even be cross that, if anything, the ads backfired.
But don’t pretend it took courage to parrot what the government, the media class, the funding agencies and, for a long while, the public were all saying, too.
There’s nothing brave in the sound of baa.

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