Sunday, February 28, 2010

On The Issue of Teacher Misconduct

My father accused me of being sanctimonious as a child. He felt I had a 'holier than thou' view of the world, and that I judged others harshly. I think it was because he felt I judged him for his divorce to my mother. I hadn't, but I think he felt guilty. I was ashamed of my body as a child, and I wouldn't take off my clothes with others present, even to change for sport. Partly that was because I had been beaten up a few times and felt vulnerable without clothes, but there was some truth to the assertion that I would not be nude near others .. even family. I never understood why teachers felt they needed to be involved with my sexual development.
In the US, Princeton NJ, progressives held the floor for education and one program was instituted in my elementary school. Children, with parental knowledge, were allowed to view naked men and women in the nurses office. The pictures were from magazines that showed explicit photos, but weren't of couples engaged in sex acts. My older sister had once got a camera and had taken pictures of the family .. they had stripped me (I was the youngest of four) and I had fled to my room. My sister tried to get the photos developed and was warned she could be reported to authorities for producing child porn. She explained I was her brother and my mother was present. If the authorities were warned, they never acted against my eleven year old sister (I was five). I was very curious, and once, while in the nurse's office she asked me if I wanted to look at the magazines my eyes had been drawn to. I gave a non committal reply, but kept looking their way. She told me it was ok, that my parents approved, and I was going to break my stasis and reach for them to look, but she added that she had to watch me if I chose to look at them. I didn't want to be watched while looking.
My mother in getting a mature age science degree in geology had travelled with my younger sister and myself interstate. I would have been six or seven years old. We stopped at a hotel, and my mother left my sister and I there while she did her university things. Before she had left my sister had found a Hustler magazine left by a previous hotel guest. She looked through it while my mother looked on. My mother had asked me if I wanted to look at it while she watched. I declined. I tried to look at it when mother left, but my sister insisted she would have to watch me if I chose to look at it. So I removed it from the rubbish bin just before we left the hotel. Mother asked if we'd left the magazine behind, and I gave this tired sigh and said my sister had stared at it enough to not need it anymore but that it didn't interest me yet. At home I realized I would be caught eventually, as my mother cleaned rooms, so I hid it among my sister's things and played in her room with her .. much to everyone's surprise. When my mother found it, many days later, she discussed the matter with my dad. He thought I had put it in my sister's room. My mother asked me about it and I dissembled, pretending surprise at it still being around. Mother asked if I had kept it, and I pointed out that I had never been interested in it, but my sister had been very interested. Mother asked me about playing in my sister's room, and I said that my sister had asked me to play with her (which was true enough, but very misleading). So mother punished my sister who vehemently denied everything.
After my younger sister died we came to Australia. My parents divorced and as an eleven year old I went to Australian schools. I spent six months at Primary School, and then began year seven at High School.
My primary school teacher had had a difficult divorce and insisted on taking out unresolved anger issues on the boys. My best friend had gone home and asked his mother what a male chauvinist pig was. I didn't know, but I knew it was an insult and didn't feel I needed to know more.
At High School I found that a member of staff was a friend of my dad's. He was effete and spoke with a slight lisp. He was friendly with me, but I kept my distance. I was told, some years later, that he had touched one of the students in my year on the bottom several times. He had done it while they were in the same small room, and it had been deliberate. I was never handsome as a child, but the boy who told me this in confidence was. I filed the information away but didn't tell anyone else about it because of another incident with a family friend. My father had beaten me and I was frightened of him. I didn't want to spend time with him, but divorce proceedings had said that I must. A compromise was arranged, and I spent an evening with a family friend who took me to putt putt golf and allowed me to sleep overnight at his place. He had insisted on showering with me, and soaping me while I soaped him. Then, while I was nude, he got me to ride on his shoulders while he led me to the unit window to look out at Sydney Harbor. In the morning, he asked me if I wanted a 'whisker rub' before he shaved. This had been an activity I'd enjoyed as a younger child, while he rubbed his unshaven face across my belly, but the previous evenings nudity had left me very uncomfortable. At home, I agreed to spend future evenings with my dad instead. I explained why to my mum. She said she didn't believe it, but some months later she organized a dinner and invited the friend around. She instructed that I be polite to him, which exasperated me because I was polite to everyone. After dinner, before I went to bed, she said "He didn't hurt you." I asked her what she meant, and she said that he hadn't hurt me, I was getting along well with him. I said to her that I hadn't said he had hurt me, I had felt very uncomfortable with what we had done while nude. She negotiated with him for access to his holiday home over summer.
Years later, when I had left home at age twenty and was working full time while attending university and living on the opposite side of the city in a motel room, my mother gave him my phone number on my birthday, and asked him to call me. I moved to several other places, and each time she would give him my phone number. I explained to her why I didn't want her to give him my phone number, and she told me she wouldn't, but that I should live with her. I wanted to save money, and I thought it a good idea. But she was a habitual drunk and a manipulative depressive and she told him I was living with her on my birthday. I was very angry with her and didn't want to talk with her. She invited him to my graduation from university. She said years later it was in the hope I would make a scene in front of my dad.
My dad was a teacher academic, as was his friend. My mother was a teacher too. Years later, my father said he had known about his friend all along. My dad had made it very difficult to talk to him about what had happened, so that to this day I don't know if it was a set up to get me to confront my taboo over nudity, or if it was mere rape. If it was rape, was it rape by the family friend, or my mother by proxy?
I became a high school mathematics teacher. I was inducted into modern theory of child development and I was aware of statutory regulations involved with dealing with children. I was surprised when I saw how it didn't match practice when I began teaching. Initially placed at one of NSW's worst schools, I saw ridiculous examples of how abused children abused their rights and was aware of appallingly bad practice among staff. But then some schools are dysfunctional, and many of their students come from dysfunctional homes. One child accused me of abusing him by asking him to do homework and come to class prepared to work. His mother asked me to resign. A decade later he was in jail for murdering a news agent over a mere ten dollars.
I saw a teacher touching young girl students to 'instruct' them in PE activity. I was aware of a male teacher who felt they had to run into girls change rooms while they were changing for fear they would get into fights if they weren't watched. I appropriately reported the activity and was transferred from a school for my trouble. It was a sensitive issue for the ALP when they achieved government in NSW in '95. The issue became a political football and laws were made addressing how teachers were supposed to deal with situations. I believe it was politics which resulted in the death of school boy Hamidur Rahman, and the subsequent apparent cover up. I know of a teacher who felt they could take older kids to a park to study on nice days. That teacher later argued, when caught by police, that they took both boys and girls to the park and they only ever studied .. but it is a diminution of that which protects children which that teacher did not understand .. and they were allowed to resign from the department to work elsewhere as a teacher.
I read a report that the government released about investigations into bad teachers. I think that the problem is much worse that the figures suggest, but that those involved are show pieces which are more closely related to illustrating how the government works than how it fails. What do teachers have to do with school children's sexuality anyway? Sometimes, the ALP goes too far in bringing intrusive bureaucracy into the family home.

Headlines Sunday 28th February 2010

=== Todays Toon ===

BOOM! Look at that, Henry Clay is trying to get in the door, but Tyler ain’t lettin’ him! Andrew Jackson’s there too! That’s a hoot! I wish we could modernize this thing and have ol’ Marmaduke in there, gnawing on a hunk of tariff legislation! If I saw that, I would slap my knee with delight!
John Tyler, Jr. (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845) and the first to succeed to the office following the death of a predecessor.
A longtime Democratic-Republican, Tyler was nonetheless elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on April 4, 1841, only a month after his inauguration, the nation was briefly in a state of confusion regarding the process of succession. Ultimately the situation was settled with Tyler becoming President both in name and in fact. Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, setting a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment.
Once he became president, he stood against his party's platform and vetoed several of their proposals. In result, most of his cabinet resigned and the Whigs expelled him from their party.
Arguably the most famous and significant achievement of Tyler's administration was the annexation of the Republic of Texas in 1845. Tyler was the first president born after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, the only president to have held the office of President pro tempore of the Senate, and the only former president elected to office in the government of the Confederacy during the Civil War (though he died before he assumed said office).
=== Bible Quote ===
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”- 1 John 3:18
=== Headlines ===

Potential tsunami, triggered by major earthquake in Chile, approaching Hawaii faster than originally predicted.

The death toll is climbing after a powerful 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile buckling roads, tearing apart houses and triggering a world-wide tsunami alert / Reuters

Tsunami threatens Pacific Rim
COUNTRIES, including Australia, on alert for massive waves after quake strikes Chile.

Obama Nominee Under Fire for Political Connections, Lack of Experience
President Obama is facing sharp criticism for his decision to nominate Tim Purdon as U.S. attorney in North Dakota , a nominee who critics say lacks sufficient experience and owes the nod -- over more-qualified candidates -- to his political connections. Critics are also pointing to the nomination as evidence of Democratic hypocrisy for accusing the Bush administration, specifically his attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, of politicizing the Justice Department in the firing of several attorneys.

Obama to Republicans on Health Reform: 'Let's Get This Done'

President Obama said Saturday he is ready to compromise with Republicans on health care if they are serious about it, but that an overhaul must go forward. "Let's get this done," he said. Obama's comments in his weekly Internet and radio address, two days after an all-day bipartisan summit across from the White House, were the latest sign that Democrats are getting set to try to pass health care legislation without any Republicans on board.

Northeast Storm's Wake: Nearly 600,000 Without Power

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Utility crews are making headway as they try to restore power following a winter storm that pounded the Northeast with heavy snow, rain and hurricane-force winds. More than 1 million homes and businesses lost power during Friday's storm. As of Saturday morning, nearly 600,000 customers were still without power. New Hampshire's electrical grid is the hardest hit, with more than a quarter million customers still without power. New York has more than 170,000 outages and Maine about 75,000. Gusting winds created near-blizzard conditions in some areas that have faced three strong storms this month. Parts of New York got more than two feet of snow, while Maine and Massachusetts got hit with wind and loads of rain. The highest wind reported was 91 mph off Portsmouth, N.H.

Wash. Teacher's Stalker Waited Outside School for Hours Before Shooting

TACOMA, Wash. — The stalking began with bursts of phone calls — 10 or 15 in a day, about once a year, from an old college acquaintance. Then, flowers and unwanted visits, an anti-harassment order, an arrest — and bail. Jennifer Paulson, a 30-year-old special education teacher at a Tacoma elementary school, knew she was in danger this week when her alleged stalker was released from the Pierce County Jail, three days after she had him arrested. She started staying away from her home in an attempt to avoid him.

Sexual misconduct reports rife in schools
OVER 150 teachers reported for sexual misconduct with students in two years, documents say.

Dejected Garrett 'won't quit politics'
A BAREFOOT and miserable Peter Garrett insists he will contest the next election despite demotion.

Massive crowds celebrate Mardi Gras
THOUSANDS turn out to party as revelers take in the colourful, raucous Mardi Gras parade.

Airports 'wide open' to terrorist attack
GAPING holes have left airplanes and iconic public places wide open to terror attacks, security experts and former airline staff claim.

Labor's 'sweet face' kicks off campaign
KRISTINA Keneally will begin the fight of her political life with a personal plea to voters to give her a chance in an unprecedentedly early election campaign. - I will oppose her corruption - ed.

Trainer 'to blame' for her own death
A KILLER whale was just "curious" about a trainer's pony tail and wanted to play with the "new toy", a former head trainer says.

NSW Fire Brigades brutality claims continue

A VETERAN firefighter who witnessed bastardisation rituals in the NSW Fire Brigades has stepped forward to demand a royal commission as a woman contractor contradicted official claims violence was a thing of the distant past, claiming she was assaulted by a senior fireman in 2000. Bob Fletcher - who retired in 2004 after 35 years at stations in Sydney and Newcastle - is the first whistleblower to publicly speak out about the bastardisation culture which existed in the NSWFB in the 1970s and '80s.

Kids healthiest when mum works part-time

MOTHERS who work part-time raise healthier children than stay-at-home mums or those with full-time jobs, new research has revealed. A study of more than 4,500 Australian pre-schoolers found kids of part-time mums eat less junk food, watch less television and are less likely to be overweight or obese. The researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with mothers and measured their child's height and weight at ages four to five, and again two years later, at ages six to seven. The discovery has renewed calls for more flexible and family-friendly work programs as a means to promoting healthier lifestyles and early childhood wellbeing.

Intruders hold sword to teen's throat
INTRUDERS have forced their way into a home in southern NSW, holding a sword against the throat of an 18-year-old and knocking another teenager unconscious with an iron bar, police say. Two men knocked at a house at Griffith in the state's Riverina about 12.45am (AEDT) on Saturday, police said. Three males and a female, all aged around 18, were inside the home at Nichols Place at the time. Police allege the intruders held a sword or machete to one of the teenagers' throat as they tried to force their way inside.

'Secret diaries' expose ecstasy buyers
DIARIES allegedly containing key details of people believed to have purchased drugs from a large Sydney drug dealer are in the hands of police. Shahn Leslie Baker, 31, was refused bail yesterday in Parramatta Local Court after police allegedly found 440 ecstasy tablets worth $11,000, cocaine, ice and cannabis at his Edgcliffe home.
=== Comments ===
Talking Points: 2/26
President Obama's shoes

Time to Get Real About What Is -- And Isn't -- Terrorism
By Mohamed Elibiary
After every major act of domestic violence we need to stop debating whether or not it qualifies as “terrorism.” We need to recognize who our enemy is and that our country’s counterterrorism resources are finite.

A middle aged white guy with tax problems recently flew a small plane into the I.R.S. building in Austin, Texas. That sad episode triggered a public discussion on whether to classify this cowardly criminal act as “terrorism” or not. Austin’s Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett and Republican Rep. Michael McCall both labeled it a case of domestic terrorism, but President Obama’s Special Counter-Terrorism Assistant John Brennan didn’t deem it worthy of the designation.

Glenn Greenwald wrote recently that not designating the Austin incident a “terrorist attack” simply highlights a bigoted reality that only Muslim perpetuated violence is worthy of such designation. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), held a national press conference on February 22 to highlight “a double standard on the use of the label “terrorism” as it relates to acts of violence committed by people who are not Muslims.” CAIR quoted U.S. Code Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 defining “terrorism” as: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets.”

They further quoted from the Federal Code of Regulations defining the terrorism crime as involving, “the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Having an argument about whether or not to call specific attacks “terrorism” misses the point and indicates a misunderstanding of how counterterrorism policymaking works.

Everyone, lawyers included, would agree that “terrorism” is essentially politically motivated violence. There might be a United Nations north-south split over whether targeting militaries should be included in the definition, but when targeting civilian populations through terrorist acts as a means to achieve political objectives a global consensus exists that this is “terrorism.”

This method of defining all politically motivated violence as an equal threat is a defensive approach to counter-terrorism policy making. This model doesn’t allow a focus on the perpetrator profile likely to cause the next severely damaging attack. And without a focused profile law enforcement, with limited resources, has a lesser chance of preempting future major attacks. Often preventative analysis in the defensive model is too heavily influenced by sociological/environmental considerations such as poverty reduction, but this analysis has been proven inadequate and, since 9/11, also politically impractical.

The offensive posture to fighting terrorism recognizes the socio-political factors driving “violent extremism,” but it also recognizes that the main thrust of counter-terrorism resources must be allocated to the following two areas: First, there needs to be a focus on the type of threats that are most likely to repeat themselves in the near term, and second threat assessments must incorporate the attack’s psychological impact on society and its way of life.

We need to ask ourselves two key questions concerning the Austin-IRS office plane attack before designating it a terrorist attack: First, was it a psychologically traumatizing act of violence with societal-level impact? The fact of the matter is that while this was a very cowardly criminal act, society is not fearful of the middle-aged white guys with IRS issues massacring civilians.

Second, is the profile of this attack one likely to reoccur in the near term and thus carries a “terrorizing” impact upon society; or is it simply an infrequent/one-off event?

Two critical factors worthy of consideration here are whether there’s an ideological movement inciting folks to conduct violent acts against the IRS, and second whether the IRS is systemically -- as a matter of policy -- pushing taxpayers to a critical pressure point. While anti-taxation beliefs are as American as the original Boston Tea Party and much activism exists around the topic, no “ideology” or “movement” infrastructure exists that would radicalize our citizenry to systematically murder federal employees. When it comes to the IRS abusing taxpayers to the point where, for example, one percent of them might snap every year, that’s obviously not true and is not supported by any empirical data.

In September 1986 Christopher Hitchens wrote a column in Harpers magazine called “Wanton acts of usage. Terrorism: A cliché in search of a meaning.” In that article he explained how the word “terrorism” has lost all practical usefulness due to its misuse in political discourse.

Almost 25 years later it’s time for us to get off the proverbial hamster wheel. After every major act of domestic violence it’s time for us to stop debating whether or not it qualifies as “terrorism.” We need to recognize that our country’s counterterrorism resources are finite. We simply can’t target all sources of violence equally. We must prioritize our efforts and focus our attention and resources on combating violent extremism. We need to be aware of the psychological impact that comes from the reasonable fear in our society of an on-going and future terror threat. We also need to fight back against a militant ideological movement or movements with the capacity to consistently target civilians as a means to achieving their political goals.

The public is largely focused on what is known about previous terror attacks, to the extent it’s reported in the media, so that it can learn from them how to gauge future violent threats. While understandable, it’s not an effective way to anticipate and prevent future attacks. In fact, it’s like driving your car down the road by only looking through the rear view mirror. That might work as long as the road is straight but when the road curves or something changes, it’s easy to wind up in the ditch.

Although it might appear counter-intuitive, our public discourse needs to shift from debating labels to prioritizing efforts to identify and combat violent extremism threats. Only then can we objectively assess our efforts to prevent them.

Mohamed Elibiary is a National Security Policy Analyst advising several Intelligence and Law Enforcement agencies and serves as one of three appointed civilians to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Advisory Board. He can be reached at
Tim Blair
Entertaining poll results:
The Rudd Government’s bungled home insulation program is costing it crucial support among NSW voters, who are turning to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

An exclusive Sun-Herald/Taverner poll shows Labor is now level-pegging with the Coalition.
Lenore Taylor:
Abbott’s Coalition is getting real political traction with the accusation that Labor is “out of touch”. It’s not that hard to see why.
Tim Blair
Once they were the government’s weapons against climate change. But now:
An eagle-eyed Banner reader alerted us to these bags of insulation which she found dumped along Hoppers Lane in Werribee last week. Wyndham Council acting chief executive Bernie Cronin said it had collected 80 from numerous locations around the city on Friday. On the same day, the Federal Government announced it had scrapped its home insulation rebate scheme. Mr Cronin said those caught illegally dumping rubbish could face fines of up to $4000.
Unless they dumped it in people’s roofs as part of the Rudd government’s insulation scheme. Then they actually got paid.
Tim Blair
Islamic Rage Boy has won an Olympic gold medal. Good for him.
Tim Blair
Massive earthquake hits Chile:

Six people are confirmed killed (in 1960, more than 1,700 died in a similarly-large quake.) Australia’s east coast is on tsunami watch: “NSW could be hit after 8:45am …”

UPDATE. Ed Driscoll has further news and links.

UPDATE II. The death toll has already reached 47.

UPDATE III. Pictures.

UPDATE IV. 40-metre wave said to have struck a Pacific island.

UPDATE V. Tsunami alerts for Easter Island, Peru, Hawaii and New Zealand; death toll in Chile now 78.

UPDATE VI. Toll up to 122. In Hawaii: “Even before daybreak, lines formed at supermarkets with residents stocking up on water, canned food and batteries. Cars lined up 15 deep at several gas stations.”

UPDATE VII: “People on Australia’s east coast are being warned to stay away from beaches this morning after warnings of a possible tsunami.” Fifty countries are currently on tsunami alert.

UPDATE VIII. It’s because of global warming.
Tim Blair
Using the very latest science, Zombie creates a compelling (and accurate) new hockey stick:

Guaranteed to contain at least 80 per cent fewer lies than the market leader. Click for a larger, more readable version.

UPDATE. 65 million years of temperature swings. You can get any trend you want!
Pakistan hits wicket
Andrew Bolt

Just to further muddy Pakistan’s already grimy reputation:
(The Pakistan Cricket Board’s) 76-year-old chairman Ijaz Butt on Friday put Pakistan cricket into a new storm when he announced at a press conference that the board suspected two national team players were involved in match-fixing even though he did not disclose their identity…

“We are waiting for a report from an inquiry committee we have set up to probe into the team’s poor performances in Australia,” he said.

Confused Ijaz, initially, indicated that two players from the current squad were involved in match-fixing but later insisted that the players, cases and incidents were old ones and that nobody from the current squad was involved…

Speculation has since continued, centering more often than not around the Sydney Test loss in January and a few other performances in Australia.
Senior Pakistan players Kamran Akmal and Rana Naved have reacted strongly to the reports, which said they were under investigation by Pakistan Cricket Board for their alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Both Akmal and Naved denied they had any link with the bookmakers or were involved in match-fixing.

Choked with love
Andrew Bolt
I hope she feels half this sorry for the murdered victim and her relatives, too:
THE actress portraying Tania Herman, the woman jailed for strangling Maria Korp, says she feels for the former mistress.

Maya Elliott had no preconceptions about Herman when she took on the role in the Nine Network’s controversial telemovie Wicked Love.

But after extensive research, trawling court documents and newspaper articles, Elliott says her heart broke thinking of Herman, who is serving 12 years in jail for the attempted murder of her former lover’s wife....

Elliott has not been allowed to meet Herman, but hopes she approves of the production.

“I thought a lot about her when we were making it obviously and I would love to meet her,” Elliott says.

“I just hope she’s not offended by what we’ve done.”
So many such shows - Underbelly, for instance - inevitably invite the audience, or even the stars themselves, to sympathise with the villains they claim to expose. Another example:
Or check what Channel 9 screens in Underbelly. Is it scenes of (underwold figure Mick) Gatto walking the straight and narrow, or of Gatto billowing through a world of fast money and big-breasted women - a world that must wow every gimme-cash loser?

I’ve been dismayed that this deification of a man gleefully assumed to be a crook and a thug is the work of so many people who should know better…

For former policeman Simon Westaway, playing Gatto in Underbelly has brought him such fame - and cash - that it’s little surprise he now babbles of being “proud to be associated” with a man so “charming, charismatic, intelligent, interested and interesting”.
(Thanks to reader David.)
Rudd on Insiders, by forgiving Bolt
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd ends his ban on Insiders.

First question from Barrie Cassidy is on whether Peter Garrett is now just a vice-minister.

The answer is pure spin about Garrett needing to concentrate on his core responsibilities. Making Garrett seem like he’s got bigger fish fo fry is not the message he needs to send, when his spinning and lack of accountability are the issues.


Cassidy is right: the problem isn’t just some failing by a bureacrat but the very notion that the Federal Government should be running such a program at all. As he says:

If you can’t run an insulation program you certainly should not be thinking of running the hospitals.

Rudd’s response? He’s backpedalling now on that bold threat to take over hospitals by this year. Now he stresses that he really wants local control of hospitals.

Barrie: Was last year’s deadline of July for a hospital takeover “ridiculous”?

Rudd: Didn’t realise how hard it was to get things delivered. Offers the excuse of the financial crisis, and says that’s not an excuse (sic).

Barrie: Why did you underestimate how hard it was?

Rudd: ???? Blather.

Barrie: 600 promises was surely too many.

Rudd: But we delivered on many (oh yes?). Says will take a pounding on non-delivery of promises, and admits they deserve it.


Rudd again uses the excuse of the financial crisis for the slowness of delivery, and says it’s not an excuse.

Barrie: Is Rudd still as committed to an emissions trading scheme as was before?

Rudd: Still thinks ETS is the most effective and efficient way to deal with climate change. Can’t “walk away” from an ETS, which he later adds has to be “core, front and centre” of any response.

Rudd ducks the question on whether he’ll call a double dissolution election on a GTS.

Barrie gets his first “mate”.


Barrie: If this is the “greatest moral challenge” for our generation, shouldn’t he call a double dissolution election to get his ETS through?

Rudd won’t say yes or no, hints that the Greens may offer a deal and insists climate change is “the greatest economic and moral challenge” for our future. He has nailed himself to the ETS, not junked it to save himself.


Rudd denies any memory of telling a woman that doing a PhD was an excuse not to go on and have children. Not his view of the world, he insists, and can’t understand how someone would say it was.

Barrie gets his second “mate”.


And it’s over. Rudd escapes without many fresh wounds, but has done little to change the atmospherics.

Rather, he’s renewed his commitment to the ETS that could kill him, and backed off the hospitals threat that he’d used as a potent image of his decisiveness. Those are two issues that could really hurt him.
Voters want to do a Chantelois to the Premier
Andrew Bolt
South Australian Premier Mike Rann is in strife:
LABOR is in deep trouble in the marginal suburban Hills seat of Morialta, according to a Sunday Mail poll showing a dramatic 10 per cent swing to the Liberal Party on a two-party preferred basis.

If such a swing was mirrored in other comparable seats, Labor would lose seven seats and its majority in Parliament. Such a result opens the prospect of independent MPs such as Bob Such, Kris Hanna and Geoff Brock holding the balance of power to decide who forms government - provided they hold their own seats.
His spin-heavy style makes him the premier most like Kevin Rudd.

And I’m not surprised by women turning on Rann, after his treatment of Michelle Chantelois, his former lover:

Female voters in particular put their support behind the Liberals, with 47 per cent giving their first preference to Mr Gardner.
Australia to hunt down the wicked killers of a terrorist
Andrew Bolt
Let me get this right. Australia won’t help in the hunt for a terrorist group’s weapons procurer, but will join the lynch party trying to find his killers:
AUSTRALIAN authorities are working in an international team to track down the killers of a top Hamas militant who are suspected of being Israeli agents.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed Australian officials were ‘’co-operating’’ with the investigation being run by Dubai authorities, although he declined to discuss what that involved…

But Dubai’s police chief Dhahi Khalfan was reported in the government-owned Al-Bayan daily as saying Australia would be part of an international police unit along with officers from at least seven other countries. The unit would seek to track down those responsible for the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, whose body was found in a Dubai hotel room on January 20.

A saner reaction:

Would you be prepared to cross-dress? And kill a guest in an adjacent hotel room? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”, and you can also act, enjoy luxury international travel with a twist and can carry off a convincing Irish or Australian accent, then the job could be yours.

The Israeli spy agency Mossad may be the target of international reproach since it allegedly killed the Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel this month, but at home emerging details of the operation have generated Mossad mania.

It has never been more popular in Israel, with stores selling out of Mossad memorabilia and its official website reporting a soaring number of visitors interested in applying to become agents. “Mossad has been restored to its glory days,” said Ilan Mizrahi, a former deputy director of the agency, which is located in the affluent beach town of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.

Would you buy a used temperature record from these guys?
Andrew Bolt
The university which tried to trick us on temperature records now tries to trick the parliamentary committee investigating its deceits:

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails has been accused of making a misleading statement to Parliament.

The University of East Anglia wrote this week to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee giving the impression that it had been exonerated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). However, the university failed to disclose that the ICO had expressed serious concerns that one of its professors had proposed deleting information to avoid complying with the Freedom of Information Act.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the university’s Climatic Research Unit, has stepped down while an inquiry takes place into allegations that he manipulated data to avoid scrutiny of his claims that manmade emissions were causing global warming. Professor Edward Acton, the university’s vice-chancellor, published a statement he sent to the committee before giving evidence to MPs at a public hearing on Monday. He said a letter from the ICO “indicated that no breach of the law has been established [and] that the evidence the ICO had in mind about whether there was a breach was no more than prima facie”.

But the ICO’s letter said: “The prima facie evidence from the published e-mails indicate an attempt to defeat disclosure by deleting information. It is hard to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence.”

The letter also confirmed the ICO’s previous statement that the university had failed in its duties under the Freedom of Information Act by rejecting requests for data. The university had demanded that the ICO withdraw this statement.

Rudd’s school of waste
Andrew Bolt
Next topic: how many more billions did the rush-rush-Rudd Government waste on overpriced and unsafe school buildings?
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launched a stinging attack on the $16.1 billion (Building the Edcuation Revolution) program, the most expensive element of the government’s economic rescue package....’’This hurried $16 billion program will end up delivering only $7 billion in value...”

At Berridale Public School in southern NSW, children are unable to use their newly installed $908,000 library as parents believe the building poses a safety risk. While the library, the same model of which is going into hundreds of NSW schools, complies with building codes, it has only one door. Parents say the building needs an emergency exit.

Students and staff at Tyalgum Public School in the state’s north can’t use their $850,000 library and office block as it doesn’t fit its foundations. The building is on temporary footings until the local contractor can rectify the work.... And parents at other schools have been told they will not get items they were promised such as solar panels and rainwater tanks because their projects are over budget.

Original costings by the BER office 12 months ago show significant price discrepancies. Small libraries originally costed at $285,000 are now costing triple that amount. Covered outdoor learning areas have more than doubled in price. (The original costings excluded GST, site works, professional fees and cost escalation beyond February 2009.)

The program is the subject of an Australian National Audit Office investigation, the results of which are due to be tabled this autumn.
The audit may prove deadly to the Government.
Gillard looking better in contrast
Andrew Bolt
The good news for Kevin Rudd is the same as the bad: that he has no stronger supporter in the party than his deputy:
The poll of 609 NSW voters commissioned by Fairfax’s Sun Herald found 36 per cent backed Ms Gillard as a better prime minister than Mr Rudd. Although 49 per cent still favoured Mr Rudd over Ms Gillard, the result suggests unusually strong popularity for a deputy leader on the question of who would make a better prime minister…

The poll also confirmed the attacks (over the insuilation fiasco) have cost Mr Rudd significantly, with support for Labor plunging to 50 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis, compared with 53 per cent at the 2007 election…

Mr Rudd retained a significant lead as preferred prime minister, ahead of opposition Leader Tony Abbott by 53 per cent to 40 per cent. That was still a good result for Mr Abbott, given his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull rarely rated above 20 per cent as preferred prime minister.
All the signs are that Rudd is on a slide with little to rescue him, including little affection within his own government.

That said, the Liberals could very well still implode - and still lack a positive vision. Moreover, this is also a small poll, conducted at the very worst time for Rudd and in Abbott’s home state. But with Rudd’s spin now a public joke, and with so little to deliver over the next year and so many bills to pay, he’s in very, very deep strife - like a magician who’s let the public see how he does his one trick. Oh, and I didn’t even mention the emissions trading scheme that’s chained to his neck.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Politeness and Civic Duty

I briefly met Lalich in 2008. I was walking through Westfields in Liverpool when along one of the corridors I saw this tall, white haired man. I said "Hello sir." And I waved a friendly wave, not wanting to distract him from what he was doing. He gave a startled grunt and passed quickly enough, certain, I suppose, that I was not someone that needed to be charmed or entertained. I had a wealthy aunt who went to an expensive political dinner, once. She was on the same elevator as the then Australian PM, Keating. Keating was with some heavies, and he saw my aunt and turned his back on her. My late father had gone to the same school as then Australian PM Mr Howard, and they met briefly at a party. Mr Howard spoke a few words to my father, calling him by his first name and reminiscing, a little, in passing. Not only do we become our professions, we become our roles in our professions. In many ways conservatives tend to still address others respectfully. Among the ALP, there is a different dynamic, where one needs to remember ones friends, and a clear dichotomy is drawn between us and them.
The tribalism of the ALP has impinged heavily on my issue involving Hamidur Rahman. I have done nothing wrong, but I feel I have been smeared and I feel the ALP have been largely responsible based on form, rather than purpose. My issue could have been solved long ago without much pain to anyone, and a boy might still be alive. But I get ahead of myself with my story. Over the next few days I await a decision by APRA as to wether I can continue to live in my unit in Carramar. I have been unable to keep paying the mortgage since I left my job in July '07. If APRA allow me to claim from my Superannuation, it will cover the bill, but leave me in the same position as a few months ago. I can't find work because (I believe) I have been illegally blacklisted by the ALP from doing my work as a High School Mathematics teacher. If APRA deny my claim I must sell up. I have no where to go, and no one to turn to, but god. God has been good to me, and I believe He will continue to be. I don't know what will happen next. I had thought I had exhausted all my possibilities in early '08, but I learned a lesson I can trust in God.
My problem arises from early '92, when as a beginning teacher I saw a PE teacher touching a year eight girl on the crotch as an example to students. I reported the incident in the appropriate way, but it was before the Woods Royal commission into police branched off into the teaching profession. Before that inquiry, teachers who were pedophiles were apparently bounced around schools for (apparent) fear that they might claim damages at being denounced. After the Woods Royal commission, the ALP arranged it that there would be clear lines of reporting. My issue fell into a grey area, and was apparently covered up. All it meant was that my career was curtailed at a systemic level, but that should have been the end of things. Except it may have cost the life of Hamidur Rahman.
In trying to make ends meet, I got a job at Hurlstone Ag HS as a boarder tutor in '98. I'd applied in '97 but believe I was not accepted for being too fat. I was accepted the next year, but that was by someone who resigned before I began, and the person who replaced them was the one who rejected me the year before. I was told I was to be on probation for being fat. I did a good job, but when there was an unfortunate meeting between old colleagues in '99, I was no longer wanted at the boarding school. My abuser manipulated things so that I was living off campus in 2001, which was when I met Hamidur when he was in year seven. I warned the school, including my abuser about the health issue which claimed his life. I was illegally dismissed for that. My claims to authorities regarding the outrage were apparently entertained up until Hamidur died from what I had warned the school about, a year after I reported it. My involvement was covered up by the Department of School Education, and the coroner came back with a finding that it was an accident and the parents were partly to blame for not telling the school, when my testimony (and others) would have contradicted that.
I had asked my local member (Tripodi) for help in '02, but he had given me a reply that he didn't know what was happening, but he would represent me in parliament. That had happened after he had lied to parliament about discussing gang members with a local high school, so I didn't trust him, and had a message passed to the Minister of Education (then Della Bosca) through a third party. Della Bosca covered it up. but I had told him if my issue was not addressed then I would resign and speak publicly. I did that, resigning on July 16th 2007. I had written Della Bosca after the state election, partly in the hopes the ALP would lose and I would get a conservative Minister to address the issue. I hadn't realized the local press might give my issue a 'go slow' prior to Rudd's election. I had thought I could involve the federal government which would be clean of my issue, but then something happened I hadn't anticipated .. I had to prove my citizenship or risk being deported. It took me eight months to clear up the matter, timing me out of Industrial Relations court and with the change of government, putting in a suspect group in Federal Government who were hostile to my issue for no reason other than tribal ones.
I didn't want to involve my old students in my problems as it isn't their fault. But I felt safe in turning to Joseph Adams and Zaya Toma. I took my issue before the police. I also involved the Ombudsman's office and ICAC. I felt I was being ignored for corrupt reasons. Joseph Adams was successful in lobbying for Marie Ficarra to bring my issue before the senate. The education department admitted all that they had done, but the press have not spotlighted their answer. And so a boy dies and is buried in public, and his parents are erroniously blamed. And I, weak as I am, stand alone as a whistleblower. Alone but for God who supports me, and friends who will move to help if I fall. Meanwhile, the feds are considering a law to allow them to prevent whistleblowers working on the internet. The press behave as if the issue does not need to be reported. And those apparently criminally negligent don't get asked salient questions the public needs to know.
This has been written for Zaya Toma's blog.

Eric Cantor: President Told Us He Would Proceed to Ram Through Obamacare Using Reconciliation

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor summed up the bipartisan summit yesterday at the Blair House... Obama told us he would proceed to ram through his unpopular nationalized health care bill using the reconciliation process without us.

Obama Ends Bipartisan Summit By Threatening to Ram Obamacare Through Congress

Barack Obama ended the bipartisan summit today by threatening Republicans to accept the democrat's plan (he will not start over) or he will ram it through Congress without them.

Headlines Saturday 27th February 2010

=== Todays Toons ===

Thomas Nast, ca. 1888. “$10,000 compliments of Pious John to help carry Indiana.” Nash suggest that department-store magnate “Pious John” Wanamaker gave away some of his fortune to support the campaign of candidate Benjamin Harrison, who is wearing the too-large hat of his grandfather, President William Henry Harrison.
William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States, an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. The oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence, Harrison died on his thirty-second day in office of complications from a cold – the shortest tenure in United States presidential history. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis, but that crisis ultimately resolved many questions about presidential succession left unanswered by the Constitution until passage of the 25th Amendment.
=== Bible Quote ===

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”- 1 John 4:9
=== Headlines ===

Climate guru Al Gore was quick to take the stage to grab his Nobel and Oscar for sounding an alarm on global warming — but now that the entire science behind climate change is under fire, why's Al so quiet?

'Crash-gate' Official to Quit
White House social secretary who took blame for a security breakdown at a state dinner last year will resign

Obama Shows Testy Side at Summit
Between roles of moderator and deal-maker at health summit, Obama dresses down classroom of GOP critics

SeaWorld Stands by Killer Whale
Aquarium officials affirm giant orca won't be punished for killing trainer, but will review procedures

Paterson Expected to Drop Election Bid Amid Scandal Over Aide
New York Gov. David Paterson has decided not to seek election to a full term amid a roiling scandal over whether he and his troopers intimidated a woman who'd reported domestic violence against one of his top aides, The New York Post reported Friday. Paterson has communicated to top advisers and supporters that he will pull the plug on his campaign Friday, multiple sources said. He's expected to make a statement at between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET Friday. Paterson, who took over the state's top spot when Eliot Spitzer resigned because he had sex with a prostitute, is expected to say he won't resign. On Thursday night Paterson said he intended to continue his campaign. But he also said he would talk to fellow Democrats about his future.

Child sex abuse map tracker
NEW, live aerial snapshot software tracks paedophiles' electronic file sharing activity.

Education shakeup for kindy kids
PRIMARY pupils will learn about Sorry Day under a new draft national curriculum revamp. - I think it is harsh telling children Rudd's lies, but so be it. -ed.

New gadget to beat speed cameras
MOTORISTS can now get legal speed camera and red traffic light alerts put on their phones.

Stampede to buy 'botox' in a bottle
A NEW product's just been released that claims to reduce wrinkles in just 90 seconds.

Solo sailor Jess set to make millions
JESSICA Watson could be one of the nation's richest teens with multi-million-dollar sponsorships awaiting her return to dry land.

Government bid to curb cyber creeps
AN online watchdog could soon be trawling social networking sites to combat cyber vandalism and crime. - or maybe they will target whistle blowers who embarrass the government. -ed.

Multinational unit to hunt hit squad
DUBAI police say they now have fingerprint DNA traces of one of the killers of top Hamas militant leader Mahmud al-Mabhuh. - Dubai should never have protected the terrorist. -ed

Fourth man charged, 'up to 16' footballers in alleged Phillip Island pack rape
A FOURTH man has faced court over an alleged pack rape by a group of Melbourne suburban footballers. Jack Reade, 20, of Montmorency, in the city's northeast, is charged with six counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault and single counts of unlawful imprisonment, recklessly causing injury and assault. It is alleged he was among one of up to 16 Under-19s players from suburban Montmorency Football Club who took part in the attack on Phillip Island on October 10 last year.
=== Journalists Corner ===

A quiz for America!
Do you really know where you fit in the political spectrum?
Guest: Bill Bennett
Republicans spoke out! But, will the Dems really listen? Bill Bennett weighs in!
Talk About Transparency!
Florida is letting taxpayers see exactly where their money is going ... So, why isn't Washington? Plus - comedian Jeff Garlin cracks up the governor!
Live from the Middle East!
Israel, the Palestinian territories, even Syria - could these be the next big investment opportunities for America? Cheryl Casone gets answers!

=== Comments ===

Bloviating Gone Wild
By Bill O'Reilly
You can look at the health care summit on Thursday in two ways. First, that it was a civil, patriotic exercise designed to deal with a problem vital to Americans. Or, it was politics as usual, bloviating beyond belief.

"Talking Points" is leaning toward the latter. For example, President Obama said his plan will bring down the health care cost. The Republicans, of course, say costs will go up.

Does your head hurt?

So let's get down to basics. Each side has one strong point.

The Democrats rightly say that medical costs are out of control and many Americans are getting hurt. That is absolutely true. And costs will continue to rise if nothing is done.

Republicans say the enormous federal intrusion into the health care system could bankrupt the country and will lead to even more chaos. That is very likely true as well.

According to public records, profits for the top five health insurance companies rose 56 percent last year. However, the profit margin in this industry is just 2.2 percent. Not big.

Another however: According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, some health care bigshots are doing very well. At WellPoint, for example, 39 executives are paid more than a million dollars a year. And last year the company spent $27 million on lavish retreats for top brass.

In a time when many folks are suffering, that is a tough pill to shallow, pardon the pun. So the president does have ammunition when he says the system must be reformed.

A third however: Mr. Obama has no explanation for his apathy about stopping irresponsible lawsuits against medical personnel or setting up a more competitive interstate insurance system. Also, Mr. Obama cannot explain his continuing opposition to expanding privately funded health care accounts.

Now, conservatives believe the president has little interest in those things because he wants a big federal power grab, and it is hard to refute that. I believe the free marketplace could reform some health care wrongs, but Mr. Obama doesn't even want to try.

So what it comes down to is money and philosophy. Committed liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want the nanny state to provide, therefore making Americans more dependent on government.

Staunch Republicans like John McCain and Lamar Alexander want competition to lead the way and shudder at a big government health care scenario.

So it looks like the two sides are not going to meet on this thing.

Finally, "Talking Points" believes the USA is now heading towards bankruptcy and that would make every citizen sick. There's no way America can afford another multi-trillion dollar entitlement.

So health care reform, yes, but it has to be smaller and more marketplace driven.
Tim Blair
Or so says a text message from a Canberra pal. Nothing confirmed yet.

UPDATE. It’s just a gentle little semi-punting:
Peter Garrett was today demoted by the Prime Minister over the housing insulation debacle …

Mr Rudd said Mr Garrett’s passion lay with the protection of Australia’s natural resources and his reduced range of responsibilities would be more suited to him
He’s now on full-time Lizard Watch.
Tim Blair
Finally, a promise from the Prime Minister that is actually believable:
KEVIN RUDD: That is - that is correct, but I’m saying, even prior to this, the Employment Minster, for example, Mark Arbib, had in place a range of transitional training programs to take these workers from where they are now into a new set of skills and on to long term unemployment.
(Via Andrew R.)
Tim Blair
1. Hitch your insurance company to the climate change panic wagon.

2. Increase insurance premiums due to impending climate disasters.

3. Profit!
Tim Blair
Another scientific harvest from the NYT’s mighty archives …

• 1953: “A natural sciences group tonight called upon scientists everywhere ‘to strengthen the spirit of free inquiry by clear and courageous public expression.’ Scientists were urged to lose their fear of being ‘labeled’ for saying things they believed.”

Such as being labeled a denier for believing that global warming is rubbish. Speaking of which:

• 1961: “After a week of discussions on the causes of climate change, an assembly of specialists from several continents seems to have reached unanimous agreement on only one point: it is getting colder.”

Hmmm. Sounds like some kind of consensus.

• 1969: “A close adviser of President Nixon was told by scientists this weekend that the official Federal notion of limiting population by voluntary birth control was ‘insanity,’ and birth control would have to be made compulsory to avert the chaos of threatened global overpopulation.”

Scientists really do have something against babies, don’t they? They might get over it once they discover how they’re made.

• 1972: “Thirty-three leading scientists warned today that to avoid a world environmental catastrophe Britain must soon stop building roads, tax the use of power and raw materials and eventually cut her population by half.”

Britain’s population in 1972 was about 56 million. Currently it’s above 61.3 million. No “world environmental catastrophe” has happened yet, but if 30 million Brits need killing, well, we have to do what we have to do.

• 1975: ”Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead; Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable.”

That consensus sure seemed solid. I wonder how it was ever overturned.

• 1977: “A group of scientists opposing nuclear power plants said today that the Government’s basic safety estimates were far too optimistic and that reactor accidents might kill thousands of people by the year 2000.”

Then again, maybe not.

• 1992: “With the cold war over, many scientists are converting both their professional skills and their activist convictions from national security and nuclear weapons to other issues, particularly the environment. This intellectual shift is driven variously by principle, by a growing interest in the environment among younger scientists, by the hunger for new challenges and – not least – by the search for new sources of financial support.”

Finally, a prediction that you could take to the bank.
Tim Blair
Robert Manne introduces a speech by Clive Hamilton in 2009:
Scepticism is in general, as it should be, a positive word, denoting scientific or humanistic curiosity and in particular the presence of an open mind. That is not the mindset of those who are now denying the reality of climate change.

Denialism, a concept that was first widely used, as far as I know, for those who claimed that the Holocaust was a fraud, is the concept I believe we should use.
Cliave Hamilton in 2010:
Using the term “denier” does not equate climate denial with Holocaust denial.
Come in and help yourself
Andrew Bolt
Some border protection we’ve got there:
A boat carrying 45 asylum seekers has been intercepted off Australia’s north west coast.

Border protection authorities found the boat about five nautical miles west of Christmas Island overnight.
So what’s that navy boat we’ve got there? It doesn’t look like a tug...:

How to turn McGuire into a martyr
Andrew Bolt
Spare me. Public opinion has already done to McGuire all that needs doing. It’s offensive to have some anti-dscrimination tsar now butt in to declare some speech not merely rude but unlawful:

EDDIE McGuire and Mick Molloy will be investigated over their allegedly homophobic mocking of male ice skaters during the Nine Network’s coverage of the Winter Olympics.

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board will examine the comments after a complaint made against the presenters by Sydney gay rights activist Gary Burns.

Rudd demotes a "first-class minister"
Andrew Bolt
February 11:
… the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, stood by Mr Garrett, calling him a ”first-class minister ‘’.
February 26:
Kevin Rudd announced today that he had told Mr Garrett that he had been demoted.
I’m confused. What has Garrett done in the past two weeks that turned him from a first-class minister to a dud?


Why is Garrett the one who’s demoted, when only yesterday Rudd said he himself was to blame:
I intend to accept responsibility for what’s gone wrong here - and a fair bit has...
So shouldn’t Rudd be demoted instead?
Madden’s spin unspun
Andrew Bolt
Shock! Proof that another spin-spin government never launches a “consultation” without having first made sure of the results:
BRUMBY government spin doctors have been caught out with plans to engage in contrived public consultations, setting up photo-opportunities to boost ministers’ local profile and leaking stories to the media.

In an email accidentally sent to the ABC, Planning Minister Justin Madden’s chief spinner detailed plans to use the cover of a public consultation to knock back plans to build a massive 25-storey tower as part of the Windsor Hotel’s re-build.

The spin doctor’s cheat sheet also included plans for Mr Madden to set-up a misleading association with Essendon Football Club to promote the government much-trumpeted respect agenda.

The former football champion is transferring to the seat of Essendon for November’s state election.
Here’s how Madden’s spinner put it:
The document suggests the government release the report for public comment, and then use the reaction as a pretext for rejecting the project.

‘’Strategy at this stage is to release it [the report] for public comment as this affects the entire community and then use those responses as reason to halt it as we have listened to community views,’’ it says.
Do think people are wising up to the spin merchants who have so debased the political process?


It’s a poor workman who blames his tools:
The media adviser to the Planning Minister, Justin Madden, drafted the document which outlines plans to deceive the public with a false consultation process about a development behind Melbourne’s Windsor Hotel.

The adviser, Peta Duke, has now been demoted and moved out of planning.
So what about the politicians who order and implement such advice?
Tim Blair
“Peter Garrett’s job is now to look after fluffy animals,” reports Phillip Hudson. Bad luck for them. Let’s hope Garrett pays closer attention to any emails from his new Department of Animal Fluffiness:
Demoted environment minister Peter Garrett ignored hundreds of emails from his own department warning the home insulation program was deadly and could not be rolled out in time.

But they were repeatedly told job creation was the primary aim and safety was of secondary importance.
When it comes to job creation, Garrett is the prime beneficiary:
Peter Garrett remains a Cabinet minister earning $226,044 a year despite being stripped of all responsibility for the bungled home insulation scheme.

But replacement Greg Combet, who will have to fix the mess, will be paid almost $20,000 less.
What happened to the old ideal of the fair go? It’s a victim of compromisin’ Kev:
Kevin Rudd has finally been through all the old Paul Keating and John Howard chapters on crisis management and, being Kevin, has opted for a page that falls cautiously between the two.
Neither one thing nor the other; that’s our Prime Minister. The Age‘s Michelle Grattan:
Garrett is too incompetent to be left with roofs but safe enough when it comes to whales. And OK to be in the select ranks of the cabinet. But Combet, the insulation fixer, is not yet considered ready to join that top grade.

It doesn’t make a lot of long-term sense. Assuming Rudd wins a second term, Garrett could expect to be demoted further and Combet elevated.
Demoted further? Rudd’s already had to invent a whole new department to hide him; where else is there to go? Incidentally, Grattan’s piece covers much the same thematic ground as today’s Daily Telegraph editorial. Rudd is bringing Australians together. Why, even the Prime Minister himself is reaching out:
For two years Rudd has treated [Ray] Hadley, who runs a highly influential political program, as an irrelevance. The message was obvious: Rudd didn’t need Hadley and he didn’t need Howard’s obsolete media mates. It was not until the home insulation crisis when, finally, he could ignore Hadley no longer. The word from Labor is that Rudd went to Hadley because the announcer had been running on the insulation crisis for so long and Rudd wanted to report directly to Hadley’s audience.

This needs to be decoded: Hadley has been tearing Peter Garrett apart on this issue day after day for weeks. It has been a full-scale political slaughter, testimony to the power of talkback. Incredibly, the Rudd government has offered virtually no defence. It was missing in action, and losing by default.

At 6.30am the same day a most unusual event occurred. The Alan Jones breakfast program took a call from Rudd’s press office offering the Prime Minister for an interview about 7.30am on Australia’s highest rating breakfast show, Sydney-based but extending into other states. Rudd’s office was most anxious; yes, the Prime Minister would appear even after 8am if that suited.
Jones, luckless in securing a Rudd interview since late 2007 – “Labor insiders boasted last year that Jones’s political clout was being marginalised because Rudd didn’t need him” – declined the offer. But Rudd still has questions to answer:
Four deaths are associated with the insulation scheme. Did the Prime Minister seek a briefing about what was going wrong out there in the roofs? Apparently not.
And the scamming continues:
Several electricians told The Weekend Australian they had been contacted by insulation companies offering to sell their customer lists for $50 to $100 per name in an attempt to profit from the inspection program after the insulation scheme was suspended.
Just call it “job creation”.
Tim Blair
Harrison Ford – a driving presence in George Lucas’s only good movie – is in trouble with the activity police:
Environmental activists have blasted Harrison Ford for making “unnecessary” trips by air, following revelations he once made a jet journey to buy a cheeseburger.

The “Indiana Jones” star began flying when he was 52. After receiving his license, he went on to purchase several aircraft, which he keeps at Santa Monica Airport in California.

He recently revealed in an interview the extent of his love for piloting, telling Britain’s Live magazine, “Learning to fly was a work of art. I’m so passionate about flying I often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger. Flying is like good music; it elevates the spirit and it’s an exhilarating freedom.”

But the 67-year-old has come under fire from experts at over the comments, who are outraged he would make an airplane journey for such an “unnecessary” trip.
The late, great Frank Devine once flew all the way to the US for a hamburger. This is the mark of an advanced consciousness.

UPDATE. Oh no. It turns out that Ford – unlike burger-rejoicing Frank – is just another do-as-I-say carbon hypocrite. American burgermen should refuse to serve him.
Tim Blair
Tell-all Twittery tendencies tip off thieves:
Describing itself as ‘listing all those empty homes out there’, Please Rob Me publishes a constantly updated stream of what it calls ‘opportunities’ - giving the names of Twitter users, and details of when they left home and where they are now.

All of the information was already given out by the Twitter users themselves. Please Rob Me doesn’t actually tell prospective thieves where the users’ homes are - but if users haven’t been careful enough about protecting their personal details, an enterprising criminals could potentially be able to track down a user’s home address.
This has been a public service announcement from The Blog That Cares™.
Harrison Fraud
Andrew Bolt

Harrison Ford will do something as spectacularly useless as get his chest waxed to save the planet from global warming, but won’t give up something that might actually make more of a difference:

Learning to fly was a work of art. I’m so passionate about flying I often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.
Institute of Physics damns the Climategaters’ “science”
Andrew Bolt
The Institute of Physics, representing 36,000 members, submits a devastating assessment of Climategate to the British parliamentary inquiry into the scandal:
2. The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital…

3. It is important to recognise that there are two completely different categories of data set that are involved in the CRU e-mail exchanges:

· those compiled from direct instrumental measurements of land and ocean surface temperatures such as the CRU, GISS and NOAA data sets; and

· historic temperature reconstructions from measurements of ‘proxies’, for example, tree-rings.

4. The second category relating to proxy reconstructions are the basis for the conclusion that 20th century warming is unprecedented. Published reconstructions may represent only a part of the raw data available and may be sensitive to the choices made and the statistical techniques used. Different choices, omissions or statistical processes may lead to different conclusions. This possibility was evidently the reason behind some of the (rejected) requests for further information.

5. The e-mails reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the way in which they have been represented; for example, the apparent suppression, in graphics widely used by the IPCC, of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements.

6. There is also reason for concern at the intolerance to challenge displayed in the e-mails. This impedes the process of scientific ‘self correction’, which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process as a whole, and not just to the research itself. In that context, those CRU e-mails relating to the peer-review process suggest a need for a review of its adequacy and objectivity as practised in this field and its potential vulnerability to bias or manipulation.

7. Fundamentally, we consider it should be inappropriate for the verification of the integrity of the scientific process to depend on appeals to Freedom of Information legislation. Nevertheless, the right to such appeals has been shown to be necessary. The e-mails illustrate the possibility of networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers...
This submission in effect warns that this recent warming may not be unprecedented, after all, and those that claim it is may have been blinded by bias or simply fiddled their results and suppressed dissent.

I’ll repeat: Climategate reveals the greatest scientific scandal of our lifetime.

(Thanks to reader Realist.)
Where did Melbourne go?
Andrew Bolt
My city is going feral. At least nine stabbings last weekend, and now:
TWO men were stabbed in separate incidents in different parts of Melbourne overnight.
Time for the Labor Government to issue another press release?


Reader DJN:

Andrew, Have you considered an FOI application to obtain the country of birth information of the offenders? Particularly in relation to the Indian attacks. I am a retired detective sergeant and the claim that the police do not have this information is utterly false. (Major Crime) This information is REQUIRED by state and fed governments. It is part of the apprehension report and is a required field. You know the type. The computer refuses to continue until you put something in there. The media is being lied to.
Fraser did a Garrett on refugees
Andrew Bolt
Miranda Devine on another moralising politician who ignored warnings of a lethal problem:
Among other things, the (Rudd Government’s new) white paper (on counter terrorism) states the scale of the threat of home-grown terrorism depends on ‘’the size and make-up of local Muslim populations, including their ethnic and/or migrant origins, their geographical distribution and the success or otherwise of their integration into their host society’’.

This is something that is rarely discussed… But we have vivid evidence of the consequences of poorly managed immigration in the disproportionate number of problems that have emerged from some Lebanese families who arrived in 1977 and integrated poorly into south-west Sydney.

The prime minister of the time, Malcolm Fraser, has been out and about lately, accusing the modern Liberal Party of extreme conservative tendencies, while promoting his new book. But he has never adequately explained why he ignored warnings from his immigration department that relaxing normal eligibility standards to accept thousands of Lebanese Muslims escaping the civil war was problematic.

As cabinet documents from 1976 revealed, he was warned that too many of the new arrivals were unskilled, illiterate and ‘’of questionable character’’, and there was a danger ‘’the conflicts, tensions and divisions within Lebanon will be transferred to Australia’’.

The consequences of poor integration today include social unrest, which culminated in the Cronulla riots and their violent aftermath.

And some of our worst home-grown terrorists have come from that community. They include M, the 44-year-old ringleader of the five men convicted of preparing a terrorist act this month, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
(Thanks to reader David.)


Speaking of Lebanese immigrants:
Michael Darwiche went on trial last week, and it did not look good. On March 19 police stopped him in a car that contained three crucial items. These were a list of addresses of people with the same surname as the man who had allegedly shot and killed his brother five days earlier, a street directory and a loaded Glock pistol. His brother’s alleged killer, Mohammed ‘’Blackie’’ Fahda, was still at large.

The police thought about this. They knew some of the Darwiches and the Fahdas (and their allies, the Razzaks) were serious drug dealers, and had been involved in a long feud, in which drive-by shootings and revenge killings were common. They had heard that a few days previously the former crime boss Adnan Darwiche had issued a message to his brother’s killer from Goulburn Supermax: ‘’I’m going to kill you, even if it’s kids, I don’t care.’’

Threats from Adnan were taken seriously. He had been forced to cut short his haj a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2003 to resolve business issues back home. In the following six months there were 18 drive-bys and murders across south-eastern Sydney, leaving six dead and five wounded.
Darwiche was this week acquitted, so must of course be presumed innocent of these charges. Anyone claiming the opposite will be snipped by me.


How grotesque has Fraser’s moralising become? Judge from his condemnation of Israel’s suspected hit on Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the supplier of arms for Hamas terrorists:
Mr Fraser said the Jewish state could no longer use the Holocaust as an excuse to justify state-sanctioned murder, and criticism of its policies should not be dismissed as anti-Semitism.
The first thing to say about Fraser’s claim is that it’s false. If Israel killed Mabhouh, it was not because of the Holocaust but because of the threat he posed to the lives of Israelis today. The second thing to say is that given this undoubted fact, Fraser’s suggestion that Jews are just trading on the Holocaust dead is morally despicable, and bordering on anti-Semitism.
Just following orders
Andrew Bolt
Peter Garrett was demoted for doing precisely what rush-rush-Rudd demanded - and for which Rudd even claims to take responsibility:
Early yesterday, a Senate committee heard that Mr Rudd never raised safety concerns as the insulation program began to run off the rails.

Safety was the responsibility of Mr Garrett and the environment department which was administering the scheme.

Mike Mrdak, a former Commonwealth co-ordinator-general, said Mr Rudd’s interest was confined to the rollout of the stimulus measures and whether they were meeting deadlines.
That’s even after the first three installers had died. If Garrett deserves demotion, what does his boss deserve even more?
So Barrie turns to Rudd and says…
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd, desperate to talk his way out of trouble, has scrapped his ban on Insiders and will appear on tomorrow’s show for only the second time in more than two years.

So Barrie turns to him and his first question is…


Paul Kelly on Rudd’s sudden willingness to be interviewed by those he once banned - Ray Hadley, Alan Jones and Barrie Cassidy (love that bracketting, Barrie?):
The message this week was that Rudd saw there was a demographic he needed to urgently reach and had overlooked.
Er, “overlooked” is not quite the right word. “Spat on” might be closer. From the same piece:

It was unusual because Rudd has not appeared on the Jones show since he became Prime Minister and has given not the slightest interest in doing so. Indeed, some Labor insiders boasted last year thatJones’s political clout was being marginalised because Rudd didn’t need him.

“When I was told it was the PM’s office I assumed it was a hoax call,” Jones tells Focus. “Rudd refused to come on the program for much of the 2007 election campaign. After he became Prime Minister, we asked him on. After all, he is the Prime Minister. He had a million and one invitations. But they weren’t even acknowledged...”

This follows a recent Hadley-Rudd exchange at a fundraising auction Hadley conducted before the All Stars Rugby League match on the Gold Coast. When Hadley saw Rudd sitting in front of him in the audience, he said: “PM, nice to see you here, we must talk on air one day.” Rudd’s reported reply was: “We’ll talk when you start behaving yourself.”

The death of reason
Andrew Bolt

Mark our intellectual decline, thanks to cultural relativism, that our schools must now prefer myths to science:
SCHOOL students will learn about Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, Chinese medicine and natural therapies but not meet the periodic table of elements until Year 10 under the new national science curriculum.

The curriculum, obtained by The Weekend Australian, directs that students from primary school through to Year 10 be taught the scientific knowledge of different cultures, primarily indigenous culture, including sustainable land use and traditional technologies…

The periodic table of elements is not introduced until Year 10, when the curriculum is packed with scientific ideas including DNA, genetics, evolution, the universe and plate tectonics.

“Specific knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is incorporated where it relates to science and relevant phenomena, particularly knowledge and understanding of nature and of sustainable practices,” it says. “For example, systematic observations by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures over many generations of the sequence of various natural events contribute to our scientific understanding of seasons in Australia.”

Primary students will look at traditional bush tucker and natural remedies used in indigenous cultures as well as the use of fire to promote new plant growth and their strategies for finding water. For Year 4 students, the curriculum says they should research “historical examples of different cultures’ knowledge about the national environment and living things (e.g. Aboriginal peoples’ Dreamtime stories that explain significant characteristics of the Earth’s surface and interactions between living things)”.
Good feelings and no brains.


And kindergarten children must be taught one of the most destructive and brazen myths of all - that of the ”stolen generations” that no one can actually find:
KINDERGARTEN students will be told about the importance of Sorry Day and will be required to learn about indigenous societies by the end of Year 4 under the Federal Government’s draft national curriculum.
(Thanks to reader LH.)
Useless global warming plan wastes yet more of your dollars
Andrew Bolt
Yet more rorting of yet another green scheme set up by Kevin Rudd with millions of your dollars:

There has been an eightfold rise in complaints about home solar energy systems in the past six months amid claims of dodgy installations, higher bills and unpaid rebates on electricity that has been fed back into the grid.

Before he was stripped of his responsibilities for energy efficiency yesterday, Environment Minister Peter Garrett revealed his department would launch an inspection program of households that had received the $8000 government grant for installing a solar system.

Rudd: legitimate to ask why he hasn’t done more
Andrew Bolt
The most poll-driven Prime Minister “confesses” to one of the most sympathetic reporters. In other words, what Laurie Oakes passes on is what the focus groups have told Kevin Rudd:
THE debate over the insulation scheme, he acknowledges, “reflects a wider disappointment in the community about what the Government has done” since taking office in 2007.

“I thought we’d be much further along the road towards delivering two years into our term than we’ve been able to get,” he said.

“Some say that’s easily explicable because of the global financial crisis and the fact that we had to keep the economy afloat for a year.

“But ultimately that doesn’t wash with people, rightly or wrongly. The expectation of the public is that we still deliver on the key reforms in health, in climate change, in education and elsewhere.

“So people will be raising, legitimately, a whole series of questions about delivery...”
And that is precisely where the Liberals must and will hit him.

I think Rudd is in a lot more trouble than the polls yet show, and switching abruptly to the old Peter Beattie we’re-sorry-we-stuffed-up playbook is a sign of it. His leadership is on the line, and he has few friends in Labor who will want to save him when his magic fades.

(Thanks to readers Nettie and Pira.)
Break a taboo, and you lose your brakes
Andrew Bolt
Exactly what’s the bottom line with this movement?
A group of older Dutch academics and politicians have launched a petition in support of assisted suicide for the over-70s.

They hope to attract over 40,000 signatures, enough to get the issue debated in parliament under citizens’ initiative legislation.

Under Dutch law, euthanasia can only be practised if the patient is suffering ‘unbearable pain’. The doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice and a second doctor must also give his or her opinion.

But the new lobby group say people aged over 70 who are tired of life should also have the right to professional help in ending it.
If you agree to that, what’s the logic in denying assisted suicide to those under 70? Or 30?

(Thanks to reader Michael.)
And take the Nobel off him and his discredited outfit
Andrew Bolt
Less than three years after receiving a Nobel Prize for terrifying people:
Rajendra Pachauri, the controversial Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to face an international inquiry into the performance of his organisation.

Environment and Climate ministers meeting in closed session in Bali last night insisted that an independent review should be carried out following the publicising of mistakes in its last report, and a row surrounding Dr Pachauri’s robust response to his critics. If his management is found to be at fault his position could become untenable.

Participants in the unprecedented meeting – held at the annual assembly of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Governing Council in Bali – were sworn to secrecy over the decision and it is only expected to be announced after its detaled scope and composition have been worked out by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation, the two UN agencies that oversee the IPCC’s work.
(Thanks to readers Alex and Marty.)
Even Rudd’s fix is rorted
Andrew Bolt
The great insulation fiasco rolls on, with every new truckload of Rudd’s free cash filling the pockets of an army of spivs:
DODGY insulation companies have been accused of rorting the government’s $19 million program to check 48,000 homes with foil insulation…

The government ordered electrical safety checks of 48,000 homes with foil insulation more than two weeks ago, in response to fears that inept installers could have caused about 1000 roofs to become “live”.

In the meantime, householders have been able to hire electricians to check their homes and claim a $400 government refund.

Yesterday, several electricians told The Weekend Australian they had been contacted by insulation companies offering to sell their customer lists for $50 to $100 per name in an attempt to profit from the inspection program after the insulation scheme was suspended.
I challenge anyone to nominate a government program since World War 2 that’s been so every-which-way bungled, and has wasted so much on so little.