Thursday, September 30, 2004

Multiculturalism UK Style 

One of Britain's community leaders says Britain should give in and release some of his buddies from prison in the UK - or else there'll be some "unpleasantness":

The leader of the radical Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun today said that extremists held in Britain – such as Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza – should be released in exchange for Iraq hostage Ken Bigley....

He said the beheading of the British hostage by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s ruthless Tawhid and Jihad group would be “something unpleasant” but blamed the Government for not negotiating and accused Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of “giving the green light” for the execution to go ahead.

The British sheikh has history, in the extremism department, and says the head-sawyers are merely making citizens "arrests" on foreigners:

Bakri, who praises the 9/11 hijackers as the “magnificent 19”, told PA News: “All foreigners should leave Iraq and and leave Arabia. The forces in Iraq have the right to fight foreigners.

“They are arresting foreigners in a Muslim land – I believe he (Mr Bigley) should not be there in the first place regardless of his mission.”

He went on: “That does not mean I condone his killing. To see the beheading is something unpleasant. No one wants to see it, nobody likes to watch it.

Sort of like dentistry or open bowel surgery, messy and upleasant to watch, but necessary none the less.

“But every day we see what is going on in Iraq and we see how our brothers are reacting.

“By condemning them we are condemning the cause they stand for and I cannot condemn the cause.

He and his like, that lie coiled like vipers in our bosom, are part of the cause.

He issues his threat:

“I believe myself there must be some flexibility from the the British Government in order to save the life of the British hostage.

“If you just ignore the threat you see what happened to the two Americans.

“You are giving the green light to the kidnappers to take the life.

Meanwhile another team of UK community leaders have arrived in Iraq with much media fanfare to rescue the hostage.

If they can pull it off it will be a great PR triumph and should boost sales.

Big Bucks and Media Exposure for Kidnappers 

The Italian government has paid $1.4 million dollars to support kidnappers.

The cuteness of the kidnapped hostages may also have helped in securing their release, the abductors and "mediating" islamic clerics being concerned at the negative publicity and damage to the brand that would be incurred by hacking off the heads of two pretty girls.

The clerics mediating for the Italians' release had strongly urged the captors against killing Italian charity workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta.

"One of the clerics drew up for the kidnappers this image of how negatively killing women would reflect on Arabs and Muslims," Roz told Reuters.

So, they escaped a "negative killing".

Instead the kidnappers wanted to get the girls on their team, but they still wanted the money of course.

The attraction was mutual. So taken with their captors were they that the two women are heading on back to Iraq as soon as they can arrange a flight.

"I hope to return to Iraq soon. It's a country that I really love," Pari said on Wednesday. "We were always treated with a lot of respect."

Torretta was quoted as saying she would "do it all over again, with all of the consequences".

"We never understood. But they apologised for kidnapping us and they even asked us for forgiveness," she told reporters.

This poor bugger just wishes he could get the hell out of the place. He was forced to watch and listen to a video of his mate having his head hacked off.

I hope he makes it out. I wonder if he'll say he's kindly disposed to Islam and that he thinks highly of his captors.

Meanwhile spurred on by the thoughts of $700,000 per hostage Iraqi kidnappers have nabbed another ten hostages. Indonesians, Iraqis and Lebanese - muslims all.

Despite all the evidence Britain's highly respected Guardian believes that the two women were kidnapped by Americans, or by Iraqi secret police - anyone but muslim extremists or money grabbing opportunists.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Islamic leaders are hinting that the raid on A Bridge to Baghdad was not the work of mujahideen, but of foreign intelligence agencies out to discredit the resistance.

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Nothing about this kidnapping fits the pattern of other abductions...

...An Iraqi government spokesperson denied that Allawi's office was involved. [YEAH RIGHT - HUH? HUH!] But Sabah Kadhim, a spokesperson for the interior ministry, conceded that the kidnappers "were wearing military uniforms and flak jackets". So was this a kidnapping by the resistance or a covert police operation? Or was it something worse: a revival of Saddam's mukhabarat disappearances, when agents would arrest enemies of the regime, never to be heard from again? Who could have pulled off such a coordinated operation - and who stands to benefit from an attack on this anti-war NGO?

Is the Media Helping Muslim Kidnappers ? 


Does publicity help or hinder their plight? Was Margaret Thatcher right to decry the 'oxygen of publicity'?

The dilemma is beginning to haunt editors everywhere. How do you deal with this wave of hostage taking from Russia to Iraq?

How do you cover something where, time and again, your coverage is part of the reason why the hostages were taken in the first place?

Rove to PM: Please Mr PM, Sir, Make Me Richer & More Famous 

Rove McManus knows an opportunity when he sees one.

TELEVISION host Rove McManus today ambushed Prime Minister John Howard outside an election event with an invitation to appear on his chat show.

Please, sir ... Rove does his best to persuade Mr Howard, but to no avail.

The gold Logie winner has been appealing unsuccessfully to Mr Howard to go on his Rove Live show on Channel 10.

Today he made a personal plea to the Prime Minister to appear on next Tuesday night's show, approaching Mr Howard as he arrived at a business lunch in central Melbourne as protesters held up signs reading "Mr Howard, please go on Rove Live".

Too cute by far.

Monday, September 27, 2004

A Refreshing Read 

This is a great read from Gerard Baker about those stupid Americans.

All the more bewildering for the rest of the world, and for Europeans in particular, is that Bush's gains seem to be solidifying even as the war in Iraq turns uglier. Car bombings, kidnappings, beheadings – and all the time Bush's appeal to Americans edges up. How can this be?

There are a couple of comforting explanations the world likes to reach for in these circumstances. The first is that Americans are stupid. There is not much one can say to this old prejudice except that, for a stupid people, the Americans have done some clever things over the years.

Little ones such as devising the separation of powers and defeating communism and Nazism. Big ones such as becoming the most successful economy in the history of the planet.

Tree Huggers Protest at the Establishment's Door 

The Wilderness Society has dumped a tonne of wood chips on the pavement at the very front door of Peter Garret's Labor Party office.

An activist dressed in a quoll suit lay "dead" in the doorway.

The Wilderness Society's NSW Campaign Manager Francesca Andreoni said a protester dressed as a giant quoll joined activists and volunteers in the protest, calling on Labor to commit to protecting Tasmania's old-growth forests from logging.

"Obviously Peter is an advocate for the environment so we're calling on him also to actively champion this cause," she told AAP.

"A truckload of chips were driven up and dumped onto the pavement out the front ... and we were encouraging people driving past to honk.

Your Dream World Is Just About To End.
Your Dream World Will Fall.

Bob Dylan: The Counter Culture Was a Media Fraud 

Bob Dylan, one of THE icons of the 60's "counter culture" dreamt of a nine-to-five existence and longed for John Howard's much villified "house with a white picket fence".

"The world was absurd ... I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of," Dylan says.

"I was fantasising about a nine-to-five existence, a house on a tree-lined block with a white picket fence, pink roses in the backyard.

"Roadmaps to our homestead must have been posted in all 50 states for gangs of dropouts and druggies.

"I wanted to set fire to these people."

But how could this be? How could his true "message" be misrepresented in this way?

He blames his anointment as "the Big Bubba of Rebellion, High Priest of Protest, the Czar of Dissent" largely on the press who labelled him as the spokesman for a generation.

"The big bugs in the press kept promoting me as the mouthpiece, spokesman, or even conscience of a generation. I felt like a piece of meat that someone had thrown to the dogs.

"I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of."

He acknowledges that his lyrics "struck nerves that had never been struck before", but says he grated at the way his songs' "meanings (were) subverted into polemics".

From now on whenever I listen to Bob Dylan's "protest songs" I'll be reminded of their real and hidden meaning: the value of a steady job; a loving family; of quiet, tree-lined streets; and a nice home with a rose garden, and a white-picket fence.

Iraqi WMD Transferred ? 

President Bashir al-Assad of Syria is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists that was sent to Damascus before last year's war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Intelligence officials said about 12 middle-ranking Iraqi nuclear technicians and their families were transported to Syria before the collapse of Saddam's regime. The transfer was arranged under a combined operation by Saddam's now defunct Special Security Organisation and Syrian Military Security, which is headed by Arif Shawqat, the Syrian President's brother-in-law.

The Iraqis, who brought with them CDs crammed with research data on Saddam's nuclear program, were reportedly given new identities, including Syrian citizenship papers and falsified birth, education and health certificates. Since then they have been hidden away at a secret Syrian military installation where they have been conducting research on behalf of their hosts.

Growing political concern in Washington about Syria's undeclared weapons of mass destruction programs, however, has prompted Mr Assad to reconsider harbouring the Iraqis.

So if the Iraqis could transfer the scientists and their CDs to Syria why not some weapons or related equipment?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Labor Dominance Is Fine by the Greens 

Australia is faced with the prospect of every government in the country being ruled by Labor.

Every State government is currently a Labor Government.

If Latham and the ALP win power and form the Federal Government then no one and nothing can stop them from implementing their craziest, left-wing, politically correct, economically and socially dangerous legislation.

Even the Senate could be controlled by Labor too or, even worse, it could be controlled by the far Left kooks of the Greens Party.

Greens leader Bob Brown said Mr Howard only needed to get one or two extra spots in the Senate to have total control and this could be achieved by electing candidates standing on a religious ticket.

"The real concern here is John Howard's new relationship with the religious right, which is aiming to get him the extra one or two seats in the Senate he needs to have total control," he told reporters.

"It's very dangerous.

"We haven't seen a government controlling the Senate for more than two decades, but Mr Howard's right on the doorstep of doing that again."

The Greens have NEVER voted in favor of a single piece of government legislation, not an education bill, not the national security bill, not one health bill, not even the vital and simple ones that dealt with roads, have ever been voted for by the Greens.

For the good of the country let's hope Howard wins the election and gains control of the Senate.

How to Save Money. Cheaper Government Arts Grants. 

For the price of a few bananas the Federal government could totally rework the current expensive Arts grants scheme, outsourcing the work of artists to chimps. No one would know the difference.

A CHIMPANZEE called Asuka seems to have taken the Japanese art world by storm.In a short time the three-year-old chimp has created nearly 100 works of art, which have been showing in Tokyo galleries. Asuka, who works at an amusement park in Ito, began drawing six months ago. "When she was 2½, I tried to see if she could draw on my notebook and she was able to," Asuka's trainer Yasunobu Sakamoto said. "I got some canvas and got her to paint and discovered she was quite talented."

Chimps produce better quality art, and they don't pester you with their politics.

Green With Envy 

The Greens Peter Garrett presided at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) while a battle raged over a dying widow's money.

Charities and groups such as the ACF hounded the woman in her last days each urging her to bequeath them her money.

A WEALTHY widow's $600,000 dying wish has been shattered by a leading green group headed at the time by Labor candidate Peter Garrett.

The Australian Conservation Foundation went to court to get its share of the money after the woman cut the high profile group out of her will the day before she died.

The move has angered the woman's family, who said she was hounded up until her death by charity groups eager to get their hands on her money.

Margaret Anderson, of Daylesford, left a $3.3 million estate when she died in March last year aged 98.

Until the day before she died, $1.2 million of the money was to be shared by the ACF and the Wilderness Society.

But she decided to exclude the ACF five days before she died and to leave the $1.2 million to the RSPCA, World Wildlife Fund, Wilderness Society and Anglican dioceses of Bendigo.

The altered will was signed the day before she died. When the ACF found it had been cut out, it began court action to have Mrs Anderson's last minute wishes overturned.

Mrs Anderson's relatives were shocked by what they described as the ACF's callousness.

"It's disgraceful that they have done this," one relative said. "It was her dying wish. Who are they to say it should not be carried out?"

Mr Garrett was ACF president until quitting to join the Labor Party as the candidate for a safe Sydney seat in June.

Update: They got their cash, but not all of it. They cut a deal.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Sydney Morning Herald Calls Liberals Bastards 

Abandoning any pretence at civilized, balanced, or fair media commentary the online political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald resorts to this:

Come on, voters in Liberal seats, do your duty and chuck these bastards out for a term to teach them the lesson that we care about our democracy and that the Government has shamed us all, not to mention made Australia and Australians less safe.

The Sydney Morning Herald should have an ALP Logo and disclaimer on its front page.

Everyone is entitled to their personal view but is it appropriate that the vile partisan political opinions of a few elite individuals should be rammed down the throats of readers of a major metropolitan news outlet? It's an abuse of their privileged position.

If you object to this inappropriate and partisan form of news commentary you may wish to contact the Sydney Morning Herald here or the Australian Press Council here.

PLEASE be polite so that your views are respected.

Rower Suspended 

The team-mate that slapped Lay Down Sally on the shoulder has been given a two year ban suspended on the condition of good behaviour.

Just a tad harsh.

"We had a breach of the code of conduct which was obviously a serious breach," McNamara said.

"Catriona has acknowledged that.

"Rowing Australia has imposed a penalty of suspension from the national teams for 2005 - 2006.

Rowing Australia does not have a code of conduct that requires a rower selected for the olympics to actually pull on the oars during the race.

Meanwhile, Lay Down Sally continues to soak up resources, time, care and attention:

Imagine: "I can't understand why Catriona could be so cruel as to slap me on the shoulder", said Sally, "but now she goes and gets a suspension for it and I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with that. The coach has been fabulous and all the officials too. They keep reassuring me, but all this stress about things happening to other people, it's just way too unfair on me. You'd think people would be more thoughtful of my needs. It's affecting my preparations for the next big race. They should have given the punishment to her in secret so I wouldn't have to know about it. I need a lay down."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Mark Latham - the Imperious SkyWalker 

Mr Latham compared the election contest to Star Wars, and cast himself as Luke Skywalker, with the Prime Minister as Darth Vader.

"I think I would be Luke, the last of the Jedi knights, and I hope in this campaign the force is with me," he said. "Although I know one thing for sure. John Howard is not my father."

The imperious Skywalker then went on to say, "If the Emperor Johnny Howard thinks he's going to win this election he's wrong."

The Emperor scowls from under his evil hood:

"Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things. In time you will learn to call me master."

Support the Banana Republic 

The banana republic is making a comeback, thanks to the ALP - and the banana IRA.

"We've received a letter from Biosecurity Australia seeking an extension of time to answer those questions until, surprise, surprise, after the federal election," Senator McLucas said.

"This is another example of (Agriculture Minister) Warren Truss and Biosecurity Australia attempting to ensure the information about the banana IRA is withheld from growers."

Senator McLucas said Mr Truss was trying to defuse the issue in the lead-up to the election by keeping banana growers in the dark about his plans for imports.

He's Not a Terrorist. He Just Wants to be a Butcher. 

The ABC headline tells the story: "Harassment denied in passport seizure".

Happy go lucky butcher Kusmir Nesirwan has had his passport seized at Sydney airport as he prepared to jet out to Indonesia, on September 14th 2004, six days after the Jakarta embassy bomb blast.

ASIO has declared him a leading member of Jemaah Islamiah's Australian support group and "assessed he has significant involvement in JI".

Mr Nesirwan lives in Lakemba, but denies any involvement with terrorism.

In 1975 Mr Nesirwan came to our fair country by jumping ship in Sydney and existed as an illegal immigrant until Malcom Fraser made him true blue and granted him Australian citizenship.

Since then Mr Nesirwan has been striving hard to be a halal butcher.

In the 1990's Mr Nesirwan had Bugsy Bashir over to his house for dinner, sinking a few coffees, and perhaps discussing the business of butchery. Since then Bugsy has been in the news a bit.

Bashir was charged with involvement in the 2003 JW Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta and may soon be charged with involvement in the Australian embassy blast.

You may recall Mr Nesirwan himself was in the news a bit, a few years ago. It was around the time of the Sydney Olympics:

The Straits Times in Singapore yesterday [2002 ]quoted regional intelligence sources as claiming that Hambali had recruited and trained a group of activists who planned to bomb a number of targets, including the main stadium at Homebush during the Sydney Games.

But at the last minute, the sources told the paper, the operation was overruled by the man accused of being the head of JI in Australia, Abdul Rahim Ayub.

Hambali was said to be "bitterly disappointed" since he had already selected and prepared his team.

One of the team members, the report said, was an unnamed Australian JI member who had been met by Hambali at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Another was Kusmir Nesirwan Nesirwan, variously described as a Sydney taxi driver and butcher.

Mr Nesirwan was also named as an alleged Australian-based JI operative in Indonesia's troubled Ambon provence where he has travelled in the past.

Mr Nesirwan obviously cannot go about his butcher's business because of all this harassment.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Rebecca Twigley? What's all the Fuss About? 

Who is this Rebecca Twigley? And just why is she in the news?

Coverage of Rebecca Twigley's unforgettable arrival at the AFL's night of nights created a ravenous appetite for information on the model girlfriend of West Coast star Chris Judd like we've never seen before.

Even the crowning of former rugby league cheerleader Jennifer Hawkins as Miss Universe last June couldn't rival the "tale of Twigley".

Andrew Bolt is appalled.

Here We Go Again. Go Get Her. 

PAULINE Hanson stands to receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars simply for contesting the October 9 election.

The One Nation founder will receive almost $420,000 in public funds if she repeats her performance at the 2001 election.

This is because of special election funding provisions, which allocate $1.94 for each primary vote candidates receive above a set threshold.

The arrangements mean that Ms Hanson doesn't have to win a seat in the Senate to secure a windfall. Nor would she have to justify what money she had spent campaigning.

Ms Hanson yesterday dismissed questions about the special funding deal, open to all candidates who record at least 4 per cent of the primary vote.

Asked yesterday to discuss the likely windfall, Ms Hanson said: "Why hasn't it been raised about other candidates?"

Maybe she'll be put in prison again.

The US Democrats Are Losing Hope 

Democrat supporters must be losing hope that John Kerry can win. How do we know?

Because they are already defining their victim status and manufacturing reasons for losing.

In the same way that they bleated over hanging chads, and hanging judges, after the last US election.

Millions of US citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the November 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.

The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been deprived of the right to vote under laws that have roots in the post-Civil War 19th century and were aimed at preventing black Americans from voting.

But millions of other votes in the 2000 presidential election were lost due to clerical and administrative errors while civil rights organisations have cataloged numerous tactics aimed at suppressing black voter turnout. Polls consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.

"There are individuals and officials who are actively trying to stop people from voting who they think will vote against their party and that nearly always means stopping black people from voting Democratic," said Mary Frances Berry, head of the US Commission on Human Rights.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Media Mischief 

What role do the media play in generating the news that they report on.

Check this:

In response to a question from a journalist:

Prime Minister John Howard was forced to reassure Asian neighbours he had no plans to launch unilateral military strikes on terrorist networks across the region.

And why was that necessary?

In a noisy airport terminal, Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister was told that John Howard has said he wouldn't hesitate to launch a pre-emptive strike as a last resort in any South East Asian country. And the Deputy Prime Minister's response was defiant.

In the midst of the beat-up, journalists would have been doorstopping and telephoning the ambassadors and leaders of Asian countries across the region asking the big questions, one imagines, just like this:

"Mr Deputy Prime Minister, Australia has said it won't hesitate to attack terrorist bases inside your country. Is this okay with you?" and then they can write up the reply:

Malaysian deputy prime minister Najib Razak said his country would not allow its national sovereignty to be violated.

Like he's going to say yes?

Another example is the Howard as the US' Deputy Sheriff beatup. Howard never said it, journalists said it, and attributed it to him, spreading it throughout Asia.

Update: Meanwhile...???? Incongrously the above linked SMH story has this half-arsed paragraph tacked on as the last sentence to the story. Why???? It's almost totally irrelevant to everything in the rest of the story.

Meanwhile, Labor announced plans to establish a $60 million research centre designed to stop terrorists unleashing infectious diseases and viruses.

A fair summary, of the history surrounding this issue, comes via the ABC.

Latham is Not Prepared to Act to Save Australian Lives 

A reporter asks John Howard the question about pre-emption: The question was, "If you knew there was going to be an attack on Australia, would you be willing to act to stop it?", and gets the answer, "Yes".

A reporter asks Mark Latham the same question and gets the unequivocal answer of "No.".

Latham and the ALP would not attack terrorists pre-emptively to prevent the deaths of Australians in a terrorist attack.

The media piranha asked Howard if this meant he was planning to strike countries in Asia. When Howard said,

"We would always cooperate and we would always collaborate, but what I have said is if there was no alternative, that is the action we would take,"

This was a backdown.

On Cairns radio, Mr Howard rejected Labor claims he had backed down on his policy of pre-emptive strikes.

"I haven't backed away from anything and I wasn't saying that we were going to launch an attack against another country," he said.

I heard Latham on the ABC this evening saying that the government was in dissaray over this issue.

On this important issue Latham's been given a dream run in the media generally.

The media don't seem to care that he stated quite categorically that he would not act to save Australian lives if he was in a position where he knew an attack was planned and in a hypothetical situation where he knew terrorists were harbored in nearby countries.

To hear Latham bare-faced on the ABC saying the government's terrorism strategy was in disarray over this beat-up was iritating but to hear the media running with the Howard backs down over threats to strike Asia routine is a joke.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Saddam Hussein Is Sad and Depressed 

Iraq's Prime Minister says toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is miserable sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity and has begged for mercy.

Saddam is also a bit nervy.

As he was being taken to the court, Saddam was "visibly trembling".

"He thought things would go as they had done in his time and that he was being taken for execution," he said.

"He only calmed down when he saw the judges and the press and television correspondents."

Smelly Crowd Rented for Spontaneous March 

This Sunday, 26th September, a "spontaneous" march will be organised to protest at John Howard's election launch.

The march has been endorsed by Griffith University professor Ian Lowe, A Just Australia, ALP Senator Claire Moore, National Union of Students president Jodie Jansen, the Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, Murri community activist Sam Watson, Rally for Peace, the Iraq Solidarity Committee, the Qld Anti-Bases Group, the Qld Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Australian Democrats, the Refugee Action Collective, Socialist Alternative, Resistance, University of Queensland student union president Margot Balch and the Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean.

Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean? Splitters!

Deriving Virtue From a Stuff-Up 

Mark Latham said that there was NO WAY he would strike first if he knew terrorists were about to kill Australians.

Now the ALP is pretending this spineless failure of character is a virtue !!

Labor accused Prime Minister John Howard of undermining the war on terror by his renewed support for pre-emptive strikes.


Just a little while back the media was straight-faced and full of this sort of thing.

PRIME Minister John Howard had compromised the neutrality of defence forces by distributing an election campaign brochure showing images of him with Australian troops in Iraq, Labor said today.

The PM it was argued must not be seen, photographed, or filmed with Defence personnel, because, it's claimed, that is not appropriate for a Liberal PM.

Well, just, take, a look, at these, warmonger images. That shovel, in the picture, will come in handy by the time this election is over.
War Monger

Latham Tries His Hand at Censorship 

Mark Latham did not like the question that was asked, about just where it was his son would be going to school. So he's gone to the Press Gallery looking for some censorship, and asking for action against the reporter, Samantha Maiden.

Later, at a Darwin press conference, the Labor leader boiled over, suggesting "it was not coincidental" the media was asking about which school his three-year-old son, Oliver, would attend.

He later complained to the president of the press gallery and asked that action be taken about the questions being asked.

Gallery president Karen Middleton said she told Mr Latham she thought the questions, from The Australian's Samantha Maiden, were appropriate and she could not do anything about questions being asked.

New PM Stacked ALP Branches 

Mark has been accused of stacking a branch just weeks before running for PM.

Federal Labor leader Mark Latham asked party numbers man Sam Bargshoon to stack an ALP branch for him shortly before becoming leader, a NSW parliamentary inquiry was told today.

Mr Bargshoon, who has admitted to branch stacking for both factions of the ALP, said Mr Latham had asked him to shore up south-west Sydney's Austral branch against supporters of left-winger Paul Lynch.

"He wanted me to help him find some new members to put into Austral branch because Paul Lynch put in 20 members," Mr Bargshoon told the inquiry into the Orange Grove factory outlet.

"Mark hated Paul Lynch and Paul hated Mark ...

"I found him 49 new members. The memberships were also paid for then by head office."

Mr Bargshoon said the events took place "a few weeks" before Mr Latham was elected leader of the ALP in December last year.

Latham's Uncool Tizzy Fit 

"My primary responsibility in life is as a parent. These are not grown men who can speak for themselves." - Mark Latham.

No Mark, your primary responsibility in life, as Prime Minister, is to speak for and defend the interests of all Australian parents and children. Not your own children.

You make out that ordinary people must send their kids to public schools, and then send your own to a private pre-school. Pah!

Labor Leader Mark Latham's "tizzy fit" proved he was not cool under pressure, Treasurer Peter Costello said today.

Mr Latham yesterday bristled at questions about which pre-school his three-year-old son would attend after earlier appearing tetchy during an interview with Nine network reporter Laurie Oakes over descriptions of Labor's family and tax package.

"Mark Latham has got a problem with his tax policy," Mr Costello told reporters in Adelaide today.

"Mark Latham's tax policy is going to make hundreds of thousands of Australians worse off.

"When Laurie Oakes pointed that out to him on the news, he had a little tizzy fit.

"But you can't blame Laurie Oakes, he was just pointing out what everybody knows - that Mark Latham's family tax policy is going to make significant numbers of Australian families worse off, particularly low-income Australian families.

"What it shows is he's not cool under pressure.

"Now, he himself has admitted he's not cool under pressure and I think you saw evidence of it on the weekend - Mark Latham is not cool under pressure."

Mr Costello said he was not interested in where Mr Latham's children would attend school but that it was legitimate for the media to ask questions about them.

"He has invited cameras around to his house to film his children," Mr Costello told radio 5DN.

"He ... also brought his children to his press conference when he was elected leader.

"So, he has made them very much a part of his story and he gets a few questions about it, and we have all had questions about where our kids go to school. But no need to get uptight about it."

Mr Latham defended the way he handled the issue today, saying ultimately he was a dad who had to look after the interests of two boys under the age of four.

"My first instinct, I've got to say, as a dad is to be protective of them and often those things come together as they did yesterday," he told reporters.

"I'm proud to be a father of two young boys, and anyone, media or elsewhere, who wants to raise some issues and involve them in suggestions of trouble, well I'll obviously stand up for my two boys.

"My primary responsibility in life is as a parent. These are not grown men who can speak for themselves."

Why Parents Are Moving their Kids to Private Schools 

The public schools landscape is overshadowed by the might of the ALP dominated Teachers' unions.

Read this appalling example. A Rhodes scholar who wanted to become a teacher was rejected out of hand by the public school system only to be fought over by the private schools wanting to snap her up. She is now working in one of the elite private schools that Latham has targetted with his cuts.

She is a Rhodes scholar. She has a BA and LLB from the University of NSW, and a masters in law from Oxford University. At school she excelled at academics, sport and leadership. She is now a lecturer in law at UNSW, teaches classes of 30 to 40 students and, most importantly, ranks in the top 1 per cent of teacher performance surveys. She is 31, married with two young children, but willing to take the big salary cut required to become a teacher.

You couldn't write a better resume. Stone is the sort of person the public education system should be desperate to recruit. So how did the NSW Department of Education respond when she applied for a job?

Not qualified. Go away.

No ticket, no start.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Latham to Send Son to Private Pre-School 

Depending upon whether he wins the election or not, Mark Latham has got his son booked for a private pre-school.

Mr Latham said his son was listed for a couple of pre-schools. The most likely pre-school is expected to be an operation based on the grounds of a low-fee private school.

It is understood there are no council-based pre-schools in the immediate area.

Nothing but the best for young Latham.

Practice what you preach?

Latham Puts Australians At Risk 

Mark Latham has promised that he would NOT ACT to protect the lives of Australian citizens if a terrorist group was planning to attack Australia.

Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham says he would not support pre-emptive action if a terrorist group was planning to attack Australia from a neighbouring country.

Mr Latham has answered the hypothetical question about how he would react as prime minister on Channel Nine.

"We've rejected Mr Howard's notion of pre-emption, extended pre-emption," he said.

"You need to do things in co-operation with our neighbours.

"There's obviously sovereignty issues involved with that question, our approach is diplomacy co-operation with our neighbours."

Prime Minister John Howard says he is alarmed by Mr Latham's stance.

Mr Howard says he has given that commitment and has never resiled from it, as Mr Latham has suggested.

"Let's go back to the fundamental question and the answer I gave," he said.

"The question was if you knew there was going to be an attack on Australia, would you be willing to act to stop it?

"What other answer can an Australian prime minister give than to give that answer?

"I'm amazed that Mr Latham didn't give the same answer as I gave."

UN Sanctions Will Completely Destroy the Sudan 

The UN is threatening (only threatening mind you) punitive sanctions that will harm the poor people of Sudan, especially those being targeted for genocide by the muslim janjaweed aided and abetted by the Sudanes government.

Parlysed by peace activists, and in fear of a backlash from muslim extremists, the countries of the UN will not commit the small number of troops necessary to stop the genocide, so all it will do now is to watch that genocide occur or assist it with sanctions - just like it did in Rwanda.

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution threatening sanctions unless Sudan stops atrocities in the western Darfur region, where Arab militias are attacking African villagers.

It is estimated that 50,000 people have been killed through violence, disease or famine, and 1.2 million forced out of their homes in the region.

But State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Mohamed Yousif Abdalla says sanctions would affect all Sudanese.

"Imposing economic sanctions, this means that actually you condemn the whole society, this means that you are actually leading this society to a complete destruction," he said.

"Therefore I believe that if economic sanctions are imposed on the Sudan, only the Sudanese people are going to be penalised and that should not be the intention of the Security Council."

Mark Latham Doesn't Like Laurie Oakes 

We all have seen a little of what lies inside the pressure cooker, and the lid lifted again today, just a tad. Hope we get to see what's cooking inside, el dente, before election day.

Well, you know, smart alec commentary, Laurie, is no use to me, nor the polls," Mr Latham said.

The Labor leader's voice started to rise when Mr Oakes repeatedly questioned him about his claim that his weekly family welfare payments were superior to the coalition's annual lump sum payments.

"Laurie, I've answered your question, I've answered your question. I've shown you the Cabinet documents, I've shown you the Government's website, I've tried to explain to you the nature of the family debt crisis," Mr Latham said.

"Mate, if you don't get it, I can assure you 1.4 million Australian families do.

"If journalists don't get it, bad luck. The Australian people do."

The temperature continued to rise when Mr Oakes suggested Labor was no longer frightened to fight on national security issues.

"We never were. When were we frightened?" Mr Latham interjected.

"We've never been frightened of this issue. That's an absurd proposition."

ABC Bias? Not a Good Headline... 

The headline screams: "Howard cashes up Sydney candidates":

Prime Minister John Howard has announced a $50 million package to help the campaigns of 12 Liberal candidates in the western Sydney area.

The clear implication is that Howard has given cash to the candidates for their campaign, but that is not true.

The 12 Liberal candidates get no cash.

The reality is that election policy announcements result in vital public infrastructure improvements at sites situated in no more than four electorates in Western Sydney.

Mr Howard has announced extra support for western Sydney, including $25 million for a medical school at the University of Western Sydney.

Oh, a medical school, I see...

Isn't this what elections are about, the big announcement of policy directions, spending priorities and who is to get what? It's how the voters decide.

And that's ONE medical school not TWELVE medical schools.

There is also $10 million to upgrade the Penrith stadium, an $8 million local crime program and $7 million for cancer screening technology at the Westmead Hospital.

That's one stadium and not 12, one hospital upgrade not 12, and one local crime program not twelve.

The total is $43 million spent on infrastructure at three sites. The sites can be in no more than three electorates, can they?

The ABC might pretend that they were saying $8 million for the "local" crime program might, for all we know, be spent across all 12 electorates but I doubt it. The ABC might also pretend that they are saying that all 12 "nearby" electorates will benefit from the infrastructure upgrade, which is true, but this is not what their story headline blares.

Their story clearly states that $50 million was given to Liberal campaign coffers, "cashing up" 12 Liberals.


New PM Lashes Out 

Mark Latham will not answer the question. Is his son on the waiting list for a Private School or not?

Mr Latham said it was private business and accused some journalists of trying to pry into the private life of his three-year-old son.

It follows rumours on Sydney radio last week that suggested Oliver was on a waiting list for a private pre-school.

The Labor leader said Oliver's name was down for a couple of pre-schools that Mr Latham said he hoped his son would be in, but it depended on whether the family would be living in Canberra after the election.

One of Latham's key platforms is his ranting over the merits of private versus public schools.

If the boot was on the other foot, and this was Howard, the journos would be all over this like flies, asking the big questions.

It'd be all about credibility, being honest with the voters, etc., etc..

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Feeding the Chooks 

Tee hee. This is quite funny. Latham spurts out this stuff and the media chooks lap it up. This man has some similarities with Joh Bjelke Peterson.

The Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, today promised to serve as prime minister until the war on terrorism was won.

Speaking at the Labor Party's West Australian campaign launch, Mr Latham said he was the only prime ministerial candidate to undertake to see out the war on terrorism to its end.

"This is not the time for half measures and half service," he said.

"This is where [Prime Minister John] Howard has been so so nervy and indecisive. He won't give a commitment to the Australian people, to our nation that he's in for the long haul, the long fight against terrorism.

"If you elect me as prime minister, I will see the fight against terror through to the end, securing the safety of the Australian people."

People don't swallow this stuff, do they?

Bugsy Bashir's Road to Damascus 

Demonstrating his skills of taqqiya, Bugsy Bashir has denounced terrorism and has denied any involvement in the Australian Embassy, Marriot Hotel and Kuningan bombings.

I personally condemn the bombing (and) I am deeply sorry and express my condolences to the victims," Abu Bakar Bashir said according to his lawyer Wirawan Adnan who had visited the cleric in his cell in Cipinang Prison.

Bashir has been in jail since 2002, when he was convicted for minor immigration infractions. Prosecutors say they now plan to charge him with heading Jemaah Islamiah, and for a deadly bombing last year at the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that killed 12.

There has been speculation that he could also be charged over the latest embassy attack.

Bashir has repeatedly denied any involvement in terrorism and claimed that Jakarta buckled under pressure from Washington to arrest him as part of a crackdown on Islamic activists in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

"I deny all accusations that connect the bombing with me," Bashir said. "I had nothing to do with the Kuningan bombing, the Marriott bombing or any other bombing."

"Terrorists must be punished and eliminated for good," he said.

Hear, hear.

The so called War on Terror is having its effect.

Trust Misplaced ? 

In that blog called the Sydney Morning Herald serial pretender Richard Glover says "Trust me and my search engine" and proceeds to deride John Howard and to give a boost to his pal "Mark Latham".

Says Carlton:

Your Google search for the terms "John Howard" and "trust" resulted in 137,432 matches: and

Your Google search for the terms "Mark Latham" and "ease the squeeze" resulted in 137,433 matches:

I think he's trying to prove with this inanity that Google somehow mimics an opinion poll, and that the results are neck and neck, with Latham winning by ONE.

This is, of course, pure bullshit.

Today if you Google "John Howard" and "trust" you get 46,800 matches.

If you Google "Mark Latham" and "ease the squeeze" you get a mere 375 matches.

The figures are not at all like Carlton's fantasy, not even if you remove the quotes or try other combinations of the words.

Today if you Google for "We trust Mike Carlton" you get zero matches.

And if you Google for "Mike Carlton" and "fantasy" you get 176 matches.

Howard the Man 

An excellent bio of "Jack" a.k.a. John Howard, PM.

It's been 34 years since he told Janette Parker, on the St Valentine's Day they met, that he would be prime minister one day. It was another 17 years, in 1987, before she said publicly: "For me it's just been a matter of time. I think it is our destiny. He told me he'd be prime minister the first time we met. He will be, wait and see." It took another nine years for what Janette Howard saw as destiny to be realised.

The Senate and the ALP Veer Left ? 

Labor and the Greens have done a deal so the Greens direct their preferences to Labor in the Lower House in return for Labor directing its preferences to the Greens in the Senate. The likely result will be a better chance for Labor to win the election and also a much larger Greens presence in the Senate.

Australia may soon be ruled by socialists in all governments, coast to coast, state and federal, including the Senate.

Labor's chances of winning the federal election will have a boost thanks to an announced strong preference deal with the Greens, it was reported.

The Australian newspaper said Labor was expected to direct preferences to the Greens candidates in the Senate, in exchange for the minor party's support in 150 House of Representatives seats.

It cited "well placed sources" as confirming that negotiators from the Greens and the ALP had concluded talks on a potential "national deal".

Both parties would not comment on the issue, the paper said.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Shhh! Don't Tell Tim Blair.... 

Don't let anyone know...

ABC TV's Media Watch has won the 2004 George Munster Award for independent journalism.

The winning episodes include "The ABC of Free Speech", and "The Minister's Complaint" which examined the difficulties in maintaining editorial integrity in the face of political pressure.

Australian Centre for Independent Journalism director Chris Nash says the six episodes submitted for the award demonstrate excellence in independent journalism.

The award was presented to Media Watch presenter David Marr and executive producer Peter McEvoy tonight at Sydney's University of Technology.

Tee hee, The Munsters....

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wallet Stolen 

Media identity Keysar Trad has emerged to speak on behalf of the muslim cleric Sheik Mohammed Naji who earlier was reported as being kidnapped in Iraq and then released after a $36,000 ransom was paid.

According to Mr Trad, the sheikh wasn't kidnapped and no ransom was paid. He just had his wallet stolen, which happened to contain $36,000.

Lebanese Muslim Association director Keysar Trad, a friend of the sheik, said he had spoken with Shi'ite leaders and Sheik Mohammed Naji's brother in Sydney, Salem, who said the money was not a ransom.

"He didn't pay a ransom," Mr Trad said.

"That was money he had on his person that was taken from him."

The majority of kidnappings in Iraq have little to do with politics or religion. They have more to do with making money.

ELEANOR HALL: An Iraqi exile living in Australia says kidnapping in his homeland has now become a money-making industry.

Dr Mohammed Ismail is a Sydney engineer whose extended family lives in one of the safer suburbs of Baghdad. He says kidnappings are increasingly common and that the main targets of kidnappings are Iraqis, Jordanians, and other Arabs, with foreigners seen as prized catches.

While he says he doesn't know any Iraqi Australians who have been kidnapped, all nationalities are being targeted...

...ALISON CALDWELL: It's been said that Iraqi Australians would be targeted because of Australia's involvement in the war.

MOHAMMED ISMAIL: I mean, I think that's very, very possible, but look, they… as I said, there's nobody immune. They kidnap Iraqis, Arabs, Turkish and these groups… they are using these names – political names, religious names – to just get attraction to them and maybe get a higher ransom, I would say.

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words 

Despite the caption, which says, "Devastation... the embassy building after the blast", the captioned picture shown here is NOT a picture of the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

The embassy is a tougher low-rise building 2 or 3 stories high that was, except for its gate and fence, comparatively unscathed by the blast. See here.

Far better for media sales revenues to show the picture with the shot of the Aussie flag and the messed up glass building nearby.

The bogus picture is now passing into media legend. It has been re-used in so many stories now, most people think that the building is the embassy.

If you know the real name and function of the building let us know in the comments.

Bringing Back the Biff (to Rowing) 

Lay Down Sally is still the centre of attention.

Relations within the Australian women's eight rowing crew hit a new low with Olympian Catriona Oliver slapping team-mate Sally Robbins in front of onlookers at an official function on Wednesday night.

Rowing Australia chief executive Andrew Dee confirmed the incident and said Oliver would be sanctioned next week.

According to Dee, who was not present at the Australian Olympic Committee function that followed Sydney's welcome home parade, Robbins was speaking to head coach Noel Donaldson when Oliver walked past and slapped her on the shoulder.

The incident was the latest in a series of heated exchanges between Robbins and other members of the women's eight, with Robbins enduring the wrath of her team-mates over the last few weeks after she stopped rowing during their final at last month's Olympic Games.

"It is regrettable and really it is quite unacceptable but I have spoken to Sally and I can confirm that Catriona has apologised for last night's incident," Dee said today.

Update: The eight members of the rowing team were frog marched into a specially convened media conference where through gritted teeth, and with a little arm twisting from the coach, they swore undying loyalty and love for Sally. "We think she's just great," spat one. "If she lays down again in China in four years, we'll just have a bit of a giggle about it all. Really, it's fine. Winning? Medals? No, don't interest me." said another. Clawing for her team mates eyes with outstretched fingers, before being restrained in the nick of time, Catriona was heard to hiss, "We all love you Sally". "See?", said the coach, "no problems here. That concludes todays media briefing, thankyou. Back you lot! Stop it! Sally! Get off your back."

An Australian is Kidnapped in Iraq 

This is interesting.

an Australian citizen was held hostage for three days by Iraqi militants last week and released for a ransom of $36,000.

ABC television's Lateline program says one of Sydney's leading Shia Clerics, Sheik Mohamed Sidbiyani, was taken hostage by a gang of Sunni insurgents last week and was released three days later after the ransom was paid.

The program says the Sheik was driving in an area north of Baghdad when the gang stopped his car.

He and the other passengers were beaten and then kidnapped.

A leader of the Iraqi community in Australia, Dr Mohamed al Jabiri, says he believes the Sheik was kidnapped because he is an Australian citizen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Is the Hostage Claim a Hoax ? 

The fact this current hostage situation appears to be a hoax does not mean that we will not suddenly be confronted by pictures of bound hostages on the news a few nights from now. Who knows? I think we should brace ourselves in any case, especially with an election looming on the horizon, just over 3 weeks away.

Australia has sent a 15-member team of Defence and federal police officers to Iraq to help rescue any hostages.

But Mr Howard said that as each day passed without any proof, it began to look more like a hoax.

"I suppose, as each hour goes by, you grow cautiously more hopeful but I don't think we should think that it still may not be true," Mr Howard said.

"I hope, as each day goes by, we can feel more confident that things are better - I do hope that." The group has not issued any further statements since the threat was made public in a leaflet on Monday night (AEST).

No video footage, photographs or names have been released, raising hopes the hostage claim could be a hoax.

Sudanese Suffering Continues 

Where is the outrage at the terrible and continuing suffering in the Sudan?

The UN is presiding over a slow version of Rwanda where they also sat back and watched.

PEACE talks between the Sudanese government and rebels in Sudan's bloodied Darfur region have collapsed after three weeks, a rebel faction said today.

"The talks have collapsed already," said Ahmed Tugod Lissan of the Justice and Equity rebel group...

....The United Nations, the United States and others accuse Sudan's government of backing the Arab Janjaweed militia in a violent campaign that has killed tens of thousands of Darfur's non-Arab farmers and driven 1.2 million others from their homes.

Old Fashioned Class Warfare ? 

The Prime Minister John Howard has accused the ALP of waging class warfare by targetting well-to-do private schools.

Mr Howard warned the current schools on the Labor hit list could be just the beginning and said the plan was old-fashioned class warfare.

"We will not go down the divisive path of opening up old hatreds and old differences in this area," he said.

"It is a form of old fashioned class warfare."

Education Minister Brendan Nelson said Opposition Leader Mark Latham resented wealthy people.

"We know that Mr Latham is erratic and inexperienced but it also seems that he has very much signed up to the politics of envy," he said.

"If Mr Latham has such resentment of high wealth people there are other ways of targeting them if that is what he chooses to do."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


With bipartisan support for the stance of not negotiating with terrorists the media has been writhing this way and that looking for a wedge opening.

On the ABC news this evening they thought they'd found one.

John Howard announced that there would be no negotiation with terrorists.

Mr Howard is adamant he will not negotiate with the terrorists.

Labor leader Mark Latham supports that position.

"I think it's wise policy, wise attitude not to negotiate with terrorists," Mr Latham said.

"These are evil people.

Mick Keelty the police commissioner said a special hostage negotiation team was ready to go if required.

Ta dah! The Wedge! The ABC aired the question, "Doesn't this contradict the government's stance of 'no negotiation'?".

Disgraceful stuff.

Latham Admits: Mothers Worse Off. 

Labor abandons the lumpen proletariat, and is instead seeking after the votes of the bourgeois middle class.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham today conceded a mother of three who embarrassed a Labor MP on talkback radio would be worse off under the ALP's family and tax package.

Mr Latham said the woman, who phoned a Perth radio station complaining about Labor's policies, would be $461 a year worse off under the ALP.

But he said the woman would be better off in a large number of other ways outside of the family and tax package.

On radio yesterday, the caller challenged Labor MP Jann MacFarlane about Labor's policies, arguing that as a mother of three whose husband earnt $35,000 a year, her family would be $1,800 worse off.

Challenged today on the issue, Mr Latham said the $1,800 figure was wrong, but conceded she would be $461 better off under the government.

But Mr Latham said there were other ways the woman would be better off with Labor.

"There's other things you can factor in," he told radio station 3AW.

Like 10% inflation, 12% unemployment, 15% interest rates, 30% more Political Correctness and 100% more Loony Left.

Monday, September 13, 2004


The media were all over the "25 minute SMS warning" like flies.

Here, they thought, was a truth overboard scenario.

You could see the angle being worked up was "the government knew and did nothing".

As it turns out the SMS message may have been a misinformed report by a businessman to the AFP that was passed onto the government.

Now the media want to turn it into "the government misled..".

Is there somebody else who can report our news for us?

The Prime Minister has defended his Government's decision to release information which may prove to be wrong about last Thursday's Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta.

The Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty has revealed information about an SMS message warning of an attack on a western embassy in Indonesia came from an Australian businessman in Jakarta.

After the bomb attack, both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister said an SMS message was sent to Indonesian police 45 minutes before the embassy explosion.

Iraqis' Lives Are Getting Better 

Arthur Chrenkoff has released the tenth issue of his Good News from Iraq series.

The free and democratic elections are still a few months away, but the people of Iraq are already looking forward to the opportunity of electing their own government. The Iraq office of the International Republican Institute has recently released the results of an August poll of public attitudes inside Iraq...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Chestnut Dug Up Again 

This hoary old chestnut has been dug up again.

Was Australia a target before the Iraq war? Well, duurh!

Have the jihadis noticed that we fight against them and fought in the Iraq war? Well, duurh!

Do they want to target us specifically? Well, duurh!

We call upon you to leave Iraq before your country turns to pools of blood," the statement warned the Australian Government.

As far as I know no threats from jihadis have been made against Iceland.

The Left and their two-thirds of the media think they've sprung the perfect trap with this. Anderson's "admissions" were used by Latham as a key plank for his arguments in the great debate.

A remark from the Libs that going into battle is risky to ones person will be portrayed as an admission that the battle is not worth fighting.

The Left will not admit that fighting against terror will simultaneously be more risky for individual persons while reducing the overall risk to everyone else.

It's semantics pure and simple. Define or quantify "more of a target". Define or quantify "at greater risk". If you've become less or you've become more of a target why is that?

Any statement about this by the Prime Minister will be deliberately misconstrued, misrepresented and misunderstood.

The Left and its media sock puppets believe that if they can convince the populace that Joe Blow is personally at risk because of Iraq or decisions of the government then there are votes in it.

I think there are more votes in it if people wake up to the fact that doing nothing involves the much "greater risk" and that acting now will "reduce the risk" in the long-term and may actually "reduce risk" in the short term.

It's risky business, this reducing risk. Let's see them argue that point in the news papers. A tad complex, perhaps?

But they could write this: How many people would have died if no risks were taken? No one knows.

Update: Chrenkoff has more on this.

The Worm In the Media 

Watching this evenings TV debate between Howard and Latham as dispassionately as possible I could not say which of the two had won the debate.

Not that winning a debate means that you are right, winning a debate just means you sound right.

I thought it was very close.

I thought Latham wrong about most everything he said but he was saying it very convincingly. Sort of like those very convincing debaters presenting the case, to the 15th century Roman Catholic Pope, that the Earth is flat.

I was surprised to read that Howard has "lost" the debate, by a huge margin - as far as the media pundits are concerned, but thinking on it I'm not so surprised after all.

However, the worm could still turn. According to the pundits Howard "lost" the debate to that fat guy in 2001, but Howard still won the election.

Update: a couple of things about the debate. I'm not sure that the message is out there with the public that Australia was attacked in Bali BEFORE Iraq and not after. I think many people still think that Bali was a response to Iraq. It was good to hear the PM setting the media, who should know better, straight on this point. I'm sure that many viewers who heard it for the first time will go 'Oh, yeah, I forgot. That's right!'

As for the lie that university places are now costing Aussie students $100,000 each, well that one's got real legs in the media and killing it off won't be easy because facts just don't seem to matter. If you're a potential uni student and you believe that you are paying $100,000 then you shouldn't be going to university in the first place, and buying a place for $100,000 is the only option you should have.

Truly Disgraceful 

Andrew Wilkie has claimed that the Prime Minister of Australia may be pleased at the terrorist outrage of last Thursday.

"The terrorist outrage of last Thursday may please Prime Minister John Howard, particularly given his track record to try and play up national security for his own cynical political advantage," Mr Wilkie said.

Oops, Andrew. No one's going to take you seriously now.

Surely not?

Not to be outdone, shock treatment survivor and statesman Senator Bob Brown has accused John Howard of "making" Australians a terrorist target:

The Australian Greens used their federal election campaign launch to accuse the Howard government of making Australians a terrorist target.

Both Greens Senator Bob Brown and whistleblower-turned-candidate Andrew Wilkie linked Australian foreign policy and its involvement in the Iraq war with Thursday's bombing outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

"John Howard has made this country and Australians wherever they might be less safe," Senator Brown told reporters at the launch.

Australia's foreign policy should not be dictated by terrorists but nor should it be driven by another country, he said in a clear reference to the United States.

Earlier, Mr Wilkie told a 400-strong cheering crowd the Jakarta bombing was a result of government policy.

"On the face of it, the terrorist outrage last Thursday morning might please Prime Minister John Howard, in particular given his track record of trying to play up national security for his own cynical political advantage," Mr Wilkie said.

"We've seen him move quickly to position himself as the political leader in this country best-equipped to safeguard Australian interests, both in Australia and overseas in the future.

"Unfortunately for John Howard though, he is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

"John Howard and John Howard's government cannot escape the simple fact that Australian interests were targeted directly in Jakarta as a simple consequence of Australian government policy, both in the region and elsewhere over recent years."

Bob Brown has made the allegation that terrorists have targeted Australia in Bali and Djakarta because of government policy. This is despite the actual bombers declaring up front that the reason they bombed the Sari club in Bali was because the victims were, in Ali Imron's own words, "white people".

In a secretly obtained interview with London's Sunday Times newspaper, Amrozi and two of the other accused - his brother Ali Imron, the bomb-maker, and Imam Samudra, 34, the logistical mastermind - said they did not regret their actions as those killed were sinners and "infidels" and the Sari Club was a "place of adultery".

They chose the Sari Club because they thought it would be full of Americans, but were not disappointed to kill mainly Australians. "Australians, Americans, whatever - they are all white people," Ali said.

Ali Imron and fellow bomber Imam Samudra said they did not regret their actions as those killed were "sinners" and "infidels" and the Sari Club was a "place of adultery".

Paul McGeogh Still Employed 

Despite everything, Paul is apparently still employed at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, has been accused of shooting seven Iraqi insurgents, killing six of them, in the week leading up to the handover of power from the US last month.

Two unnamed people alleged to have seen the shootings have told Australian journalist Paul McGeough that Dr Allawi shot the insurgents in a courtyard adjacent to a maximum security cell in Baghdad.

Dr Allawi's office has denied the claims.

A written statement to McGeough says Dr Allawi has not visited the prison and does not carry a gun.

But McGeough stands by his claims. He says he cannot name the witnesses but says neither knows the other has spoken to him about the allegations.

"The Prime Minister is said to have responded that they deserved worse than death, that each was responsible for killing more than 50 Iraqis each and at that point he is said to have pulled a gun and proceeded to aim at and shoot all seven," McGeough told ABC TV's Lateline.

"Six of them died. The seventh, according to one witness, was wounded in the chest [but] according to the other witness was wounded in the neck and presumed to be dead."

Labor Will Make All Your Dreams Come True 

A Labor government would produce budget surpluses daily. Milk and honey on tap, bread and circuses for all. If you'll just vote for Mark Latham and the gang all your dreams will come true. No need to vote Greens, because the ALP has a committment to deliver cold fusion into every home. By 2090 no Australian child will live in poverty. There's no need to vote Liberal, because Simon Crean is committed to surplus budgets and the other ALP promises.

A Labor government would produce a surplus in excess of budget forecasts, Opposition treasury spokesman Simon Crean said today.

Figures released last week showed the surplus for 2004-05 is now tipped to come in at $5.3 billion, from $2.4 billion in May, while next year's surplus has been upgraded to $5.1 billion, from $1.6 billion.

Mr Crean told the Seven Network's Sunrise program today while he could not give specific figures until all of Labor's announcements were made, he was committed to surplus budgets.

"We will produce a surplus in excess of what the budget forecasts," Mr Crean said.

He said Labor would not need to dip into the surplus to deliver its promises during the campaign.

"We will act responsibly as we have to date - all of our policies [are] fully costed and fully funded," he said.

"What we've demonstrated is an ability to spend money in health and education and families and in tax [and] pay for it all by reorganising the budget."

Labor has been under fire for ignoring very low-income earners in its tax and families policy.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

What its About 

In case you were wondering what it's all about, why Australia must stay the course in the war against barbarism:

It's about your right to go about your business, without being killed, maimed, kidnapped, or coerced to join a bloody religion.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The Religion of Peace 

A little boy looks up with his tearful eyes and asks in his soft little voice for a drink of water, and the 'fighter' bayonets him in the body.

A little girl and her Indonesian mum are waiting on the footpath when they are suddenly pierced, punctured and lacerated by a 'fighter'. They are smashed down and silently scream. Lapsing into unconsciousness, their life's blood drains away.

The little girl may yet die. Her mummy is dead already.

It's Brewing Already.... 

Hubble bubble, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

The witch concocts her hate full poison.

Does Howard think we've lost our memory about AFP Chief Mick Keelty's remark that invading Iraq had made us a bigger terorrist target, or that Howard brutally put him down (with the support of his ADF toady Peter Cosgrove) for fear that HE would be blamed if we were attacked? (See Why won't Howard let us trust anyone?)

And does he think we've forgotten the unprecedented statment by the group of 43 distinguished former diplomats and defence chiefs that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake for the West in general and Australia in particular? (See Our military and diplomatic elders on truth in democracies and the downside of invading Iraq.)

It is now widely accepted that invading Iraq increased the strength of the terrorists, as well as allowing them to infiltrate Iraq.

Who should we trust with our national security? I'd vote Labor in an instant if that was the dominant question in the election. Has Labor got the guts to take the debate up to Howard? We'll see on Sunday.

- Margo Kingston, in her blog known as the Sydney Morning Herald.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Must See Television. The Dirt on the UN. 

Sex, drugs and corruption among United Nations peacekeeping forces in the world's most dangerous hot spots will become fodder for a new TV series, according to the whistleblowing authors of a tell-all book.

The book, Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures, written by current and former UN peacekeeping mission employees Heidi Postlewait, Andrew Thomson and Kenneth Cain, will be developed and produced as a dramatic series by Miramax Television.

"We hope the TV series will reflect the very best and the very worst of UN peacekeeping forces in the '90s," said New Zealander Mr Thomson, a UN medical doctor who served in Cambodia, Haiti and Rwanda among other danger zones.

"We haven't pulled any punches," he told a news conference.

The book caused a sensation when it was published by Miramax Books in June over objections by some senior UN officials who thought it cast the international organisation in a bad light and was inaccurate.

If the UN doesn't like it I like it already.

A Bomber's Election ? 

Just eleven days ago the Treasurer, Peter Costello warned that Australia had to be careful to ward off a terrorist attack similar to the Madrid train bombings, which happened during the Spanish government elections, and which had the effect of deciding the outcome of the election there in favor of the terrorists.

On the day of the attack against the Australian embassy the leaders of our political parties are making a good show of bipartisanship but the next few days will tell if the media and the politician machine men can resist the easy votes on offer by blaming the Howard government for today's attack or start a scare campaign about future terrorist attacks.

If that happens you can bet that terrorists will be seeking to leverage any community division, and will attempt an attack to affect the outcome of the election in favor of the party that islam sees as being more compliant to its will.

Almost certainly our media pundits, those that vote Labor and Greens anyway, will be screaming that John Howard caused the attacks personally because of his policy on Iraq and Asylum seekers, yadah, yadah, yadah...

The federal Treasurer says Australia must be careful to ensure it does not face a terrorist incident similar to the Madrid train bombings, which happened during the Spanish government elections.

The political party that won the Spanish election had promised to withdraw its country's troops from Iraq, prior to the bombings.

Peter Costello has told Southern Cross Radio that if an attack on Australia were to occur over the next six weeks, he hopes it would not influence the election campaign.

"In Spain during an election there was a terrorist incident, so we have to be careful in Australia," he said.

"Any terrorist should understand this point, if they think that some kind of attack on Australians is going to change Australian policy, they're wrong, dead wrong."

I hope he's right and that the Margo Kingstons' and Phil Adams' of this world can refrain, for a little while at least, from dipping their foul quills in their usual bile.

The Sydney Morning Herald Cashes In 

Looking for the big scoop, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) has put out an appeal for photos or eyewitness evidence of the Djakarta blast.

Let's hope the SMH will pass on all information or photos they receive to the Australian authorities.

If you have evidence that the SMH has received information that they did not pass onto the Australian Federal Police could you please let me know in email or contact the authorities yourself.

This is what their website currently says:

Did you witness the blast?
September 9, 2004

If you witnessed the blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, or if you were nearby at the time, please email us details and/or photos.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Political Discussion Cut Short 

Not all of the 30 Chechnyan or Arabic 'fighters' were 100% behind the idea of blowing up and shooting toddlers. There was a brief discussion on the subject:

Some of the militants objected to seizing a school, and their leader, who went by the name Colonel, shot one of them. He said he would do the same to any other militants or hostages who did not show "unconditional obedience."

Later that day, he detonated the explosives worn by two female attackers, killing them, to enforce the lesson, Ustinov said.

Look into my eyes little ones.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hicks and Habib Want a Democratic Vote 

Islamic fighter, David Hicks, and recruiter for islamic jihad, Mamdouh Habib, have asked for postal voting forms to be sent them while they are on holidays in Cuba.

But how can this be? For a muslim voting is haram, forbidden, because one would be voting for infidels, non-muslims, in kufr, a non-muslim system.

As staunch British citizens in England will tell you:

...the disease of democracy has become wide spread in the muslim community with even shiakh calling for something which is against the teaching of islam. democracy was never practise by our beloved messenger muhammad (saw) nor his noble companions, so why is it that we the muslims seem to thing its a good thing as muslim we shod only do what we are commanded in the quaran and sunnah. i have included an article for you to read which will explain why Voting is haram so please read it before you make the mistake of voting and the burden of guilt will be on your shouldier all i ask is you to read it and make your own minds up jazakallah khairun may allah guidance be with us all...

Australian Senator Bob Brown continues his campaign to release the two jihadis back into Australian society, in spite of the mounting allegations being made against the pair.

Australian Greens MP Michael Organ said he was glad DFAT had taken steps to allow the two men to vote in the October 9 federal election.

He called on the US embassy to ensure that the completed paperwork was returned to the Australian Electoral Commission without delay.

ALP Tax Cut: Two Sandwiches and A Milkshake. 

Deriding the government's 2003 Budget the Labor Party heckled the government on its "sandwich and a milkshake" tax cut (of between $4 and $11 week). The lower figure of $4 was always quoted in the press and Labor derided the tax cut as "insignificant"

Today with much press fanfare Mark Latham has announced a similar tax cut (originally flagged by Simon Crean).

$8 per week.

It's the ALP's two-sandwiches-and-milkshake tax cut. Latham calls it the "eaze the squeeze" tax cut.

But wait, it's all a hoax. Costello calls it the "hoax on the folks" tax cut.

Labor have deliberately left out their calculations the $600 annual bonus that is being paid to families with children. They plan to scrap it. So in effect the net benefit of the "tax cut" is almost zero.

Mark Latham has promised nine out of 10 families will be better off, under Labor's planned revamp of family payments and its proposed tax cut of $8 a week for those earning up to $52,000 a year.

But Treasurer Peter Costello says Labor's calculations are wrong, because they do not factor in its plan to abolish an annual lump-sum family payment worth $600 a year.

In a surprising development Labor's affiliated unions have publicly backed the ALP's tax plan.

The Bear Stirs 

The running dogs in the Western bourgeois press have been very keen to blame the slaughter of the innocents, not on the perpetrators, but on the Russian people and their government.

The bourgeois press in Russia are following suit.

The lumpen proletariat however think they know where the blame lies:

...the bloodshed in Beslan has sparked a primal anger among some Russians that the government was struggling to dispel.

The Russian press lashed out at President Vladimir Putin, saying his effort to link rebel fighters in Chechnya with international terrorism was a cynical ploy to escape blame for his uncompromising policy on the separatist fighters.

Mounting criticism of Putin and the government however was counterbalanced by a surge of rage against "terrorists" who have carried out the attacks in Russia and displays of nationalist fervor.

In Saint Petersburg, some 15,000 people turned out yesterday for a rally in remembrance of the Beslan victims and condemnation of terrorism. Many carried Russian flags and signs bearing slogans such as "Death to Killers of Children."

An "anti-terror" demonstration was also scheduled to be held today beside the Kremlin, the end of a two-day official national mourning period. Organisers, the Kremlin among them, said they were expecting a turnout exceeding 100,000 people.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Does Ms Universe Wax her Moustache? 

For those of you who were wondering.

Chechnya: Cuba and the Australian Connection 

Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown is very keen to get Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks out of Guantanimo Bay where they are being held safely and where they cause no harm.

But in the ABC's recent documentary Habib's fellow hardline muslims explained that he was allegedly raising money and recruiting jihadis in Australia for Chechnya, before he headed off to Pakistan where, coincidentally, he was arrested and taken to Guantanimo Bay.

SALLY NEIGHBOUR: The call to jihad was like a magnet for Habib. He was so enthused he began signing people up, according to Abu Ayman [alias Sheikh Omran].

SHEIK ABU AYMAN: So they give their names. Then they find out after that he's collecting these names for so-called jihad or something like that.

SALLY NEIGHBOUR: What do you mean by that? What do you mean "collecting names for jihad"?

SHEIK ABU AYMAN: Who wants to go to jihad, or something like that.

SALLY NEIGHBOUR: So was he trying to get people to go overseas to fight, do you mean?

SHEIK ABU AYMAN: I would say that, yes.

SALLY NEIGHBOUR: Do you know where?

SHEIK ABU AYMAN: No, but it's obvious. That time was Chechnya and Chechnya was the main area, the hot area in that time.

SALLY NEIGHBOUR: It wouldn't have been the first time someone from the prayer room headed off to jihad. Other followers of Abu Ayman are known to have trained and fought with militant Islamic groups overseas. But for a group already under suspicion, Habib's overt lobbying and collecting of names was dangerous. He was told to stop.

Update: Meanwhile, Willie Brigitte has named a Chechen as the man he was sent to meet in Sydney, Australia last year.

Regional intelligence agencies are investigating whether a Chechen bomb-maker linked to French terror suspect Willie Brigitte was also behind a foiled bomb plot in Jordan.

The Australian reports that Brigitte named Chechen Abou Salah as the man he was sent to Sydney to meet in May last year.

The Jordan plot, foiled in April, involved plans to detonate chemical truck bombs, targeting the US and intelligence offices in Amman.

The paper says Jordanian police and the CIA have been hunting for a Chechen they believe orchestrated the plot.

The man is also thought to have passed through a Pakistan-based training camp for banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba in late 2001.

Brigitte, in custody in France after being deported from Sydney in October, has admitted to being at the camp at the same time, the paper reports.

However a national security source told the newspaper the link was "highly speculative".

Putin Caused It 

Reader Rodney writes to point out this item in the Canberra Times.

The headline says it all: "Putin Stance Fans Terror".

If Putin is on the horns of a dilemma, he has no-one to blame but himself. His obduracy has needlessly fanned a nationalist struggle into a wider conflagration in which there are likely to be many more victims.

 More posts by the Gnu Hunter:
 September 2003
 October 2003
 November 2003
 December 2003
 January 2004
 February 2004
 March 2004
 April 2004
 May 2004
 June 2004
 July 2004
 August 2004
 September 2004
 October 2004

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