Monday, July 26, 2004

Sudanese Genocide: A Pre-Mixed Quagmire? 

Mark Steyn thinks that instead of waiting for the UN to watch another Rwanda unfold a Coalition of the Willing should do something about the disgrace that is occurring in the Sudan.

Just as we all agreed the 1994 Rwandan genocide should never be allowed to happen again, so - in a year or two - we'll all be agreed that another 2004 Sudanese genocide should never be allowed to happen again.

But right now it is happening, and you can't help wondering where all the great humanitarians are. Alas, Sudan doesn't seem to have much appeal to them, lacking as it does the crucial Bush angle and affording little opportunity for use of words such as "neocons" and "Halliburton"...

...The USAF could target and bomb the Janjaweed as effectively as they did the Taliban.

But then the Not In Our Name crowd would get their knickers in a twist and everyone would complain that it's unlawful unless it's authorised by the UN. The problem is, by the time you've gone through the UN, everyone's dead.

A bunch of boy scouts with pea shooters could prevent the genocide, wrought in the name of allah by thugs armed with muskets, but the hand-wringers sit by wringing their hands and consider how best to thwart a quick solution for political gain.

The sands of the Sudan are a pre-mixed quagmire just waiting for the next election to walk on in.

Having seen how Bob Brown, Simon Crean and Mark Latham operate during Iraq the government should be wary of committing much in the Sudan before the election.

Sudan is where Osama used to hang out before he went to Afghanistan.

Apart from those jinjaweed nutters there could also be an influx of jihadists (some from Sydney and Melbourne) keen to get even with the UK and Australia.

Any kidnaps or deaths in the Sudan will of course be Howard's fault.

via Arthur Chrenkoff who has more.

Fine New Aussie Blog 

This is an advert for Currency Lad, serial blog commentator of acerbic wit and a deep knowledge of history and politics.

He's gone and got himself a blog.

It contains much goodness.

He will, I'm sure, be an Aussie blog sensation.

There may be a lot of concern in the west about Sudan and even the desire to 'do something' about it. Reflecting the morally vain belief in the UN's now non-existent authority, Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, has - wait for it - called for a no-fly zone over Darfur and an oil embargo against the Sudanese government. While deploring the "slaughter of black Sudanese" - is there any other kind? - he makes no case for military or non-UN intervention.

Brown's web site compares his 'plan' for Sudan with the typically unjust and clueless policy of the non black-Sudanese-loving Howard government. "Defence Minister Robert Hill, representing the Prime Minister, offered no plan of action", reports the site in a style whose woodenness, mocked-upedness and mendacity yell "Bob Brown!" with a bull-horn.

The Senator acknowledges that 10,000 people have already been murdered in Sudan and that a further 350,000 might be. The loquacious Tasmanian relativist believes Kalashnikov and club-toting men on the ground will have their gruesome plans thwarted by measures which are insulting policy left-overs from the inadequate and constantly flouted constraints placed on Saddam Hussein twelve full years before he was overthrown.

Looks like someone with a microphone said "Sudan", Brown thought he heard "Saddam", and the rest - as they say - is histrionics.

Go visit the Currency Lad.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Latham's Cannabis Use Ignored 

The storm you would expect over the future Prime Minister's admitted use of an illegal drug has not developed, and the media appear to be giving Marky a free pass on this one. The story has already slipped off the front page of the SMH, ABC and News websites.

Even the ABC reported his admission but no other serious questions have been asked about his substance abuse.

Whether or not the reporters may themselves puff the odd doobie is immaterial. The next few questions from them should have been:

- Do you still smoke marijuana?
- How many marijuana cigarettes have you smoked?
- When did you stop?
- Have you ever used any other recreational substances?
- Do you respect the law?
- What other laws have you broken?
- Do you think marijuana should be legalised?

These are the sorts of questions reporters should be asking of a wannabe Prime Minister who admits, while speaking at a childcare conference, to using a prohibited substance.

Only a couple of penetrating questions elicited a response from Mr Latham:

Outside the conference Mr Latham was asked if he had ever used cannabis in his youth, and replied:

"Yes I did, and I have got to own up, I also inhaled - so there you go. How about that?"

Mr Latham's account contrasted former US President Bill Clinton, who in 1992 admitted experimenting with cannabis, but denied inhaling.

But the Opposition Leader was not willing to detail his drug use, deflecting a question about how old he was when he smoked marijuana.

"This is not some sort of inquiry is it?" he said.

Prime Minister John Howard's office refused to comment on the issue.

It's Howard's Fault.

Update: Ditto Tony Abbott. This is the really big story. It made front page of the SMH and News Websites.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Pothead for PM?! Mark Latham Confesses to Smoking Dope 

We knew Mark Latham had a pot belly but we did not know that he may have a pot head as well.

Mark has admitted to smoking marijuana.

Followup questions seem not to have been pursued by a polite media, many of whom would be reluctant to throw the first stone. There but for the Grace of God... etc.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has admitted to trying marijuana in his youth - and inhaling.

Mr Latham was speaking to journalists after the 2004 Organisation for Early Childhood Education Congress in Melbourne today when he was asked whether he ever used cannabis in his youth.

Mr Latham responded: "Yes I did and I have got to own up I did inhale, so there you go, how about that".

However, the Opposition leader declined to elaborate on the experience when pressed by a journalist.

The next few questions of the reporters should have been: Do you still smoke marijuana? How many marijuana cigarettes have you smoked? When did you stop? Have you ever used any other recreational substances? Do you respect the law? What other laws have you broken? Do you think marijuana should be legalised?

Fair enough questions given his confession, and he will be the next PM won't he?

We need to know whether or not we are getting a pothead for PM.

Paul McGeough's In Trouble 

Oh, dear. Paul's really put his foot in it. His claims that the Prime Minister of Iraq personally murdered six people cannot be proven, and now investigations are offering up proof that no such murders occurred.

Where does that leave the Sydney Morning Herald? They'll have no choice but to sack him unless Paul comes forward to provide at least some tiny shred of proof to support his sensational claims.

The Iraq interim Government has reportedly found no evidence to substantiate claims that Iraq Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had personally executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station.

The Australian newspaper has reported that Iraq's Human Rights Minister has briefed Australian foreign affairs officials on the matter.

The allegations in a story by journalist Paul McGeough, published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said unnamed witnesses claimed to have seen Dr Allawi draw a gun and execute prisoners.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told the Australian the Iraqi interm Government could find no evidence to support the story.

"Dr Amin has indicated that preliminary inquiries provide no support to the allegations," the spokeswoman told the paper.

"The inquiries are still continuing and it would be very helpful if Mr McGeough or others would come forward and provide information on the substance of the allegations to the Human Rights Minister."

Australia's Wealth Put At Risk for Electoral Success 

Mark Latham and the ALP may scuttle the Free Trade Agreement with the USA at an annual cost to Australia of around $5 BILLION.

The ultimate folly follows a ploy by leftwing elements in the major opposition party to embarrass Prime Minister John Howard. What would have been Howard's last major coup before a coming election has now been turned into a threat to Australia's good name abroad. Far from embarrassing Howard, though, the ploy may well come back to embarrass the dream of Labor leader Mark Latham of becoming prime minister before Christmas.

Resolution of this silly situation hinges on Latham's ability to strong-arm his troops into approving the deal at the level of a Senate committee dominated by Labor. With a bit of huffing and puffing over how Labor saved Australia's face, the FTA bill will yet pass the Senate and become the best catalyst for boosting Australia's trade-led economy in decades.

At stake is Australia's unique opportunity to be one of the most prosperous countries of the next decade.

Now Latham and the ALP have put at risk another $5 BILLION. Latham has undermined Australia's position at the negotiating table promising a more favourable outcome for East Timor.

The Australian newspaper said senior Government ministers believed the Opposition Leader had undermined Australia's negotiating position with the newly established nation as talks enter a crucial phase.

Mr Latham this week suggested a Labor government would begin with a clean slate and negotiate a more favourable outcome for East Timor.

"If we come into government, I think we'll have to start again because from what I can gather, there's been a lot of bad blood across the negotiating table," he said on Wednesday.

There was now a "strong possibility" talks scheduled to be held in Canberra in September were now to be deferred

Do Latham and the ALP care about the best interests of Australia?

The Gnu Hunter's Bag of the Week 

The Gnu Hunter ranges far and wide across the savannah of the internet tracking the spoor of elusive game. Sometimes he comes across very nice prizes indeed, but this one is a tasty treat. Digesting it is no chore.

It starts out pretending to be lame, but as you pursue the storyline it springs into life and leaps away like a springbok in hops and bounds.

The good thing going for Kerry is that the rabid hatred for George Bush that drives Democrats has spread like an infection, farther and farther, sowing some doubt and fragments of dislike even among Bush supporters. Even in those we most admire, we also see weaknesses or gaps; hatred, a corrosive passion, only exacerbates these flaws...

...In the past, liberals made a point of hating hatred. They imagined that the forces of hate were entirely on the other side: "Right-wing hate merchants." Now they have begun publicly to glory in hate, first writing articles explaining why hatred of Bush is okay, then being pleasured by the ferocity of their own hatred, then competing with others to see who can voice the most intense disdain, and who can curl from his lips the most deliciously forbidden insults. The Left has engaged in an orgy of hatred. And enjoyed it, really enjoyed it....

...The Left has always had to disguise, cover over, be silent about its most dynamic left-wing momentum and ultimate purposes. It has always called its left-wingers (like Ted Kennedy) "moderates." Its socialists are described as "liberals," its liberals as "middle-of-the-roaders" or "pragmatists." Its turbo-charged source of inner energy is not the socialist dream, but only "the vital center."

On the left, there are no "ultra-leftists." "Ultra" is a term reserved for the Right.At election time, the Left pretends to be more religious than it really is, and more centrist than it has any desire ever to be. It cannot succeed without donning masks. It cannot flourish without telling the most awful lies about its opposition, and even about itself. Learning how to be a (successful) leftist is to learn elaborate codes of speech and instruments of disguise...

...the Left has developed a tic about neoconservatives. These former leftists (for a former leftist is what a neoconservative is, of the first generation anyway) do have a vision of the future, a bright vision to rival that of the Left. They fight the Left, ideology for ideology, policy proposal for policy proposal, class analysis for class analysis. The neoconservatives side with the conservatives on most issues, but with an attitude, and an aim, and a determination. They are, in the life of the intellect, warriors. Their sharpest weapon is the reality check. That is their comparative advantage over the Left. They have been "mugged by" and won over to reality. The Left has lost argument after argument to the neoconservatives for the past 20 years -- has proved to be on the wrong side of reality on issue after issue -- and hence reserves for the neoconservatives a special loathing...

...By contrast, the Democrats love the dependency of citizens on government and wish constantly to increase that dependency, as the key to their own power, the shepherds over the sheep. Listen closely when they talk about health care or education; you will hear "government" and new "dependency" loud and clear. The Democrats are fighting to preserve their big-government state. An old idea, a tired idea, an illusory idea.

Hear, hear.

The writer, Michael Novak, has his own website at http://www.michaelnovak.net

Another Quagmire 

The Sudanese government which has sponsored systematic attacks on its own citizens is using the tried and tested threat of "quagmire" to keep the UK & the USA from preventing a genocide.

Sudan warned Britain and the United States they would become bogged down in another Iraq-style quagmire if they sent troops to the country, after the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said he had not ruled out military aid.

At the same time, US Congress passed a resolution declaring that genocide was occurring in Sudan, which backers hope will pressure the world to take action to protect Africans in the Darfur region from marauding Arab militias.

The US also circulated a United Nations resolution threatening sanctions against Sudan's government if Khartoum did not prosecute militia leaders.

On a visit to Paris, Sudan's Foreign Minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, said on Thursday that his government would withdraw its troops from Darfur region if Britain sent forces. But he said the people of Darfur would look on British soldiers as occupying forces after a few months and could face the same kind of attacks as in Iraq.

"We will give [Mr Blair] the chance if he can give security to Darfur," Mr Ismail said. "[But] the same incidents you are now facing in Iraq are going to be repeated in Darfur."

Mr Ismail said he was puzzled by the increased pressure on his country. "We don't need any [UN] resolutions. Any resolutions from the Security Council will complicate things ... [This] closely resembles the increased pressure that was put on Iraq [before the war]."

What are the chances in the lead-up to an election that the US could commit troops in the face of near hysterical opposition?

Those hysterical voices would rather have thousands die.

Meanwhile, In Bizarro World 

So Indonesia lets its Bali bombers walk.

John Howard, Australia, and the UK get the blame in the bizarre and hysterical world of Margo Kingston and the Sydney Morning Herald.

G’day. I’ve just heard the news that Indonesia’s top appeal court has ruled the conviction of a Bali bomber unconstitutional because he was convicted under retrospective criminal laws in breach of Indonesia’s constitution. This could be another Howard scandal in the making.

How the fuck could any sane person come to that conclusion?????

How on earth did it happen that Australia endorsed retrospective criminal laws in Indonesia when it refused to do so itself so Hicks and Habib could be charged if returned to Australia from Guantanamo Bay? It’s a fundamental democratic principle that you can’t be convicted of a crime for conduct which was not a crime at the time. It’s likely Australia’s High Court would overrule such a conviction, even though the principle is not entrenched in our constitution.

That didn't stop Mark Latham, potential future Australian PM, from proposing retrospective legislation on two separate occasions.

Questions for Howard and co. What involvement did Australia have in encouraging or pressuring Indonesia to enact special terrorism laws after the event and charge the alleged Bali bombers under them rather than under existing murder andconspiracy laws? Why did it not strongly press Indonesia not to do so, to avoid the real risk of the tragedy dragging on for survivors and the families of the dead?

Was this yet another quick Howard fix in defiance of legal advice? Yet another "means justify the ends" play which yet again will end in tears? Let the Freedom of Information requests roll in.

Question for Margo. Is Indonesia a different country from Australia?

Freedom from information is what we get at the Sydney Morning Herald. Instead of information we get opinions, and mostly jaundiced ones at that.

The Greer PR Machine At It Again 

Anyone who thinks Germaine Greer is genuinely offended by Andrew Denton's passing remark has rocks in their head.

Greer, ever on the lookout for a new shock-horror marketing gimmick, thinks she's on a winner with recent "controversies" that she's manufactured to sell her new book. What better way to advertise than to do so for free in the "news".

Pigs might fly but the "news" goes right along for the ride. After all it is a symbiotic relationship between her and the media, journalists and Greer feeding noisily from the slop-trough of controversy.

Victim Industry Fraud Exposed 

She was a darling of the Left, a persecuted refugee victim, author, feminist, guest speaker and rights activist reducing her listeners to tears. She petitioned the UN in person on behalf of fellow victims and toured the world doing TV & radio talk shows and interviews.

Given permanent residency in Australia on account of her victim status she is nevertheless a complete fraud.

Her tragic story stole readers' hearts and triggered an international outcry. She became a best-selling author in the same league as J.K.Rowling and Michael Moore. She petitioned the United Nations personally, was published in 15 countries, and Australians voted her memoir into their favourite 100 books of all time. But Norma Khouri is a fake, and so is 'Forbidden Love'.

She visited Jordan for a week, just long enough to pick up her travel documents.

She lived a normal life in Chicago USA from age 3 to 30, going to school, studying computers and working there, but after a disagreement with her family she travelled to Australia.

Once here in Australia she knew she was among many kindred spirits, and on fertile ground for such stories she planted hers and watched it grow to earn her fame and fortune.

Like Fahrenheit 9/11 Khouri's story is not true, but so many want it to be true it will be excused.

Friday, July 23, 2004

It's Time ? 

Andrew Bolt on Latham and the ALP's plan to resurrect the "It's Time" slogan from the 70's.

On its own, this week's news that Latham will use Whitlam's famous "It's Time" slogan from 1972 for a fundraising function may seem just a little marketing glitch.

What genius in Labor's back office thought brochures of Latham's face over Whitlam's slogan would charm business leaders at the August 5 fundraiser, when Whitlam's legacy was big spending, big deficits, long dole queues and soaring interest rates? Is it really time for more of that?

And what made that genius think Latham and Whitlam could be put side to side like that without Latham seeming five cents to Whitlam's falling dollar?

Genocide Underway 

Calling the UN? NATO? France? Germany? OPEC? Peace Protestors? Anybody?

A Sudanese Government-backed militia has forced more than 1 million people from their homes in Darfur and thousands have been killed.

US Congress appeared to face no difficulty in describing what is happening in Sudan as genocide.

The resolution giving the violence in Dafur that title was easily passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Congress hopes it can now put further pressure on the international community to intervene.

Good luck.

Meddling in Sudan local politics the evil USA has threatened the Sudanese government.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sudan must act quickly to disarm Arab militias in its western Darfur region or face possible UN sanctions, stepping up pressure on Khartoum despite its accusation of US and British meddling in the crisis.


per·vert ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-vûrt)
tr.v. per·vert·ed, per·vert·ing, per·verts

1. To cause to turn away from what is right, proper, or good; corrupt.
2. To bring to a bad or worse condition; debase.
3. To put to a wrong or improper use; misuse. See Synonyms at corrupt.
4. To interpret incorrectly; misconstrue or distort: an analysis that perverts the meaning of the poem.

It will be a smash hit.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Paul McGeough's: Pullitzer Prize or the Sack. 

Al Bundy describes the thin limb on which Paul McGeough has climbed.

If McGeough is correct, then Allawi must go, and fast. But the stakes are too high for McGeough to weasel out of this one if the story turns out to be bollocks. McGeough must know that his sources could yet turn out to be Sadr stooges, or Saddam loyalists looking to make trouble. If investigations reveal that McGeough has been duped then he should quit or be sacked.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Habib's Friends Attacked the NY World Trade Center 

ABC Four Corners this evening raised several interesting points.

Mamdouh Habib, currently being held in Guantanimo Bay, once attended the trial in New York of Egyptian-born Muslim El Sayyid Nosair, who was accused of killing anti-Arab Jewish Rabbi Meir Kahane and eventually convicted on federal charges. At the court, Habib protested with Egyptian friends including Ibrahim El-Gabrowny. El-Gabrowny introduced Habib to Mahmud Abouhalima who was later convicted and sentenced to 240 years prison for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.

Habib allegedly trained with al-Qaeda and LET and met Osama Bin Laden.

The ABC aired other allegations made by Sheikh Omran (alias Sheikh Abu Ayman) who controls Sheikh Zoud's Prayer Hall in Sydney that was frequented by Habib. Omran said that Habib actively recruited and collected money for jihad.

After several altercations with followers at the prayer hall, prior to his departure from Australia, Habib was allegedly declared "Halal" by the two Aussie Sheikhs' followers, meaning that he can be sacrificed.

Greens Senator Bob Brown has not yet contacted this blog to answer questions regarding his continuing campaign to free Mamdouh Habib.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Four Corners, Sheikh Omran and Mamdouh Habib 

On Monday night the ABC's Four Corners will present its "scoop", The Life and Times of Mamdouh Habib.

Habib is or was a member of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, the organisation run from Melbourne by Sheikh Omran. There is also a very prominent branch office in Sydney run by Sheikh Zoud.

Hopefully the ABC's program will be a little more insightful than SBS' Dateline's recent program.

The ABC's promo on the TV implied the ABC may reveal allegations that Habib actively recruited fighters and collected money for jihad.

Habib's alleged indiscretions have been in the public media for a long while but the program will be worth watching because the ABC will interview the cagey Sheikh Omran.

I don't know if the ABC will also air allegegations that Habib was an old sparring partner of Bilal Khazal, who is now out on bail on terrorism charges, or whether they will probe the interesting activities of other colorful Sydney identities associated with Habib.

When you watch the program remember Bob Brown.

Also remember what you've learnt about taqqiya.

More Wedding Deaths in the Middle East 

Another wedding has been attacked in the Middle East.

TWO 12-year-olds were killed and four other people injured when a Jordanian wedding guest fired celebratory shots from a machine gun in honour of the bride and groom, police said today.

The well-wisher lost control of the weapon as he tried to fire it with one hand, sending bullets flying in all directions, police General Moslem Mahaddin told the official Petra news agency.

The accident happened in the Ojan neighbourhood of the Amman satellite city of Zarqa yesterday.

It has sparked renewed appeals from the authorities for Jordanians to abandon the tradition of marking major social occasions with gunfire.

A helicopter was heard in the area on the morning before the wedding.

Abbott Disgraced? 

Tony Abbot alleges that 27 years ago a fellow student who was speaking on a university podium pretended to have been sexually assaulted by him on stage in front of many witnesses.

His political opponent then laid sexual assault charges that were taken before a magistrate.

A person would have to be filled chock full of hate to first stage such an incident and then to repeat the claim in court under oath with a view to getting a conviction in law with the resulting consequences.

To remain silent that hatred would have to persist across 27 years, and remain festering. It would have to persist regardless that Abbott is now a mature man with family and government responsibilities.

I don't believe that such deep political hatred and moral turpitude exist, do you?

The Daily Telegraph report said: "Miss Wilson said as she approached the microphone . . . two youths moved up behind her.

"She said: 'I had just commenced speaking when I felt a hand between my legs on my lower buttocks.

If a hand was between your legs and on your lower buttocks it would not be your back that was being explored.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Journalists Outraged At Cost 

Journalists Emma-Kate Symons and Michael McKinnon thought people would be incensed that John Howard hosted an afternoon barbeque to entertain the President of the United States, the world's most powerful and influential nation. The journalists submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to find out the price tag on the barbeque. They think we need to know the type of linen used on the tables and the type of chairs that were rented. They needed to know who was invited and how much the food and drinks cost.

In the end their story says that the official estimated cost "had ballooned well beyond departmental estimates of around $24,000".

How much did it balloon out to?

Adding up the intrepid journalists' figures ($29,372) the balloon inflated by just $5,372.

Maybe they didn't include everything in their list, but they didn't tell us the total price. I suspect this may be because the price might not cover the cost, to the taxpayer, of the journalists' Freedom of Information request.

What would they have us do? The head of the world's most powerful nation arrives, the one we're negotiating a $5 BILLION trade deal with, and we offer our visitors a plastic cuppy of cordial and a packet of potato chips?

On the evidence that the two journalists provide the PMs barbeque for well over 100 people cost about the same as a couple of days at the casino, for one.

The cost of prestigious Press Club luncheons would be higher.

The food bill came to $2304 and alcohol $2373.

Guests were given their privacy thanks to a $1200 shadecloth.

They were entertained by the rustic sounds of folk bush band Franklyn B. Paverty, who charged $1500.

"This confirms the Opposition's suspicion that this was not just an ordinary Aussie barbecue but was a highly selective gathering of the Prime Minister's inner elite circle," said Labor Senate leader John Faulkner.

Mamdouh Habib Recruited For Jihad? 

Tireless campaigners (Bob Brown, the Greens, Labor, SBS, the ABC, etc..) for the release of Mamdouh Habib from US custody in Guantanamo Bay will be disappointed to learn that Sheikh Omran (much in the news himself) says that Mr Habib "collected names (in Sydney) for jihad". This news is over 12 hours old but only two other news sites are publishing it ( One is a little known African news site, the other is seven.com.au). The ABC, Fairfax and SBS aren't interested.

The influential Sheikh Omran, who heads the Melbourne-based fundamentalist Ahl Sunnah wal Jama'ah Association, said Habib was "a trouble-maker" who had tried to recruit jihad fighters by writing their names on volunteer lists without their knowledge.

"He had a confrontation with the brothers when they found out he was putting their names down -- they thought it was a petition for something, then he says 'no, this is for who wants to go to jihad' and (the) brothers got angry."

Habib's solicitor, Stephen Hopper, yesterday denied allegations that his client was involved in recruiting people or raising money for jihad.

"He should know better than to make such allegations considering he has been accused himself," Mr Hopper said, referring to Sheikh Omran having been the subject of ASIO investigations.

Habib fell out with the hardline prayer group led by Sheikh Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud, who runs the Sydney arm of Sheikh Omran's organisation.

Sheikh Omran says the rift occurred after Habib used the name of Sheikh Omran's group to help solicit a $12,000 war-chest for Muslim rebels in Chechnya.

When Sheik Omran found out about it, he told Habib to return the money.

"We told him you don't take things into your own hands without consulting your elders. He got angry (and) after a while we stopped him coming to the centre," said Sheikh Omran.

The confrontation over the cash was with Bilal Khazal, Omran's bag man in Sydney. Habib pressed assault charges against Khazal but the charges were dropped because Habib is in custody in Cuba. Khazal, who the CIA's alleged was "Al-Qaeda's man on the ground in Australia" is now out on bail on terrorism charges.

Hijacker Choked 

A passenger on a Garuda airlines flight to Bali attacked a hijacker and choked him unconscious.

Before the intervention of the mystery business class flyer the plane was at the mercy of a man run amok who claimed to have an automatic pistol and explosives.

He had earlier wrestled with staff and passengers who had put handcuffs on him only to have him break them and use them as a weapon to keep others at bay.

He attempted access to the cockpit and threatened to crash the plane and kill everyone on board.

Only the application of Mr X's choke-hold did the trick.

Later, after interviewing the hijacker, Indonesian police let the hijacker go.

AUSTRALIAN Federal Police are waiting to interview a man who allegedly terrorised passengers on a Bali-bound tourist flight from Perth.

Official sources say David Mann, 31, told passengers that he had explosives, and lunged past flight attendants towards the cockpit of the Garuda Indonesia flight on June 30.

He yelled he was going to crash the plane and kill everyone and that he was armed with an automatic weapon.

Airline handcuffs used to try and restrain him became a weapon when they broke and he used them to threaten fellow passengers, the sources said.

The terrifying ordeal ended after another passenger in the business class cabin wrestled him to the ground and applied a choke hold until he passed out.

Mann was detained by Indonesian police at Denpasar International airport but was released after several hours without charge.

Officials said he stayed in Bali until last week when he left for Amsterdam.

"He sounds like a bloody idiot," one official source said.

Threatening an aircraft is a serious offence under the criminal code and Aviation Act. Federal Police have begun interviewing witnesses.

Garuda has apologised to passengers and provided a detailed report to the AFP.

Thankyou Mr X.

I tell you what, the days of unarmed or even armed hijackers actually hijacking a plane are over. Passengers won't sit politely in their seat any more waiting for some arsehole to kill them one by one or plunge them to their death.

Why ATSIC Is Being Abolished 

FORMER ATSIC deputy chairman Ray Robinson allegedly gambled nearly $5 million - or the equivalent of more than $5300 a day - at Queensland casinos over a 30-month period...

An ATSIC commissioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Weekend Australian that late last year Mr Robinson treated his fellow ATSIC board members to dinner in Canberra, telling them he had won $90,000 at the Treasury Casino.

Throughout the 30-month period involving the gambling, Mr Robinson was chairman or director of more than 13 ATSIC-funded organisations.

Mr Robinson resigned from his deputy's post in June 2003 after being embroiled in a controversy over the funding and accountability of several organisations he headed.

Two months earlier, indigenous affairs minister Philip Ruddock ordered a forensic audit into five western Queensland-based indigenous organisations chaired by Mr Robinson.

The ATSIC-funded Bidjara organisations at Charleville, about 500km west of Brisbane, were put under the control of an administrator late last year.

One of the organisations, Bidjara Motors, was placed into receivership with losses of more than $700,000 which had been granted or loaned by ATSIC. KPMG audits of four of the organisations - Bidjara Aboriginal Housing and Land Company, Bidjara Legal Service, Bidjara Media and Broadcasting and Bidjara Community Development Program - revealed $2 million in disputed payments.

In 2003, ATSIC's then chief executive officer Wayne Gibbons briefed ATSIC's board about details of the audit.

One commissioner who attended the meeting said $2 million in grant funding could not be accounted for over a two-year period. "There are also hundreds of instances where cash payments were withdrawn with little or no records," the commissioner said.

No charges have been laid against Mr Robinson and there are no allegations that Mr Robinson misappropriated any moneys, etc. etc.

Isn't it funny, how working for the guvernmint, you can earn enough to gamble $FIVE MILLION dollars. ATSIC must pay really well.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The United States of Australia. Latham President. 

In Melbourne Mark Latham has met with Premiers from Australia's States and Territories to sign a communique "to exploit Labor's political dominance across Australia with "a new era of national co-operation" on health, education and federal-state relations."

Labor, which controls all State and territory governments across Australia, may achieve total dominance of Australian politics, both Federal and State, and perhaps the Senate too.

Mark Latham victorious at the polls together with the united Labor Party will implement policy without interference.

Monday, July 12, 2004

A Novel Approach 

So sue me. I found this item by Nicolas Rothwell read like a novel and was disappointed it was so short.

PERHAPS it was only during my second protracted stay in Baghdad's sublime Hotel Sheraton Ishtar, when I noticed a lugubrious porter wheeling a luggage trolley piled high with AK-47s, that I truly began to appreciate the deeper qualities of the establishment.

Beats the hell out of the stuff that Paul McGeough writes.

Al Bundy Has a Blog! 

Regular reader and contributor to the comments Al Bundy often writes little gems that I look forward to reading. Well he's just gone and got himself his own blog, and I look forward to reading that too.

What else is there to know. Social conservative, charming conversationalist, argumentative swine.

I am Al Bundy, man of intemperate thoughts.

Save the Trees, Injure Some Cyclists! 

BUSHWALKERS have placed dangerous traps on a Mt Wellington track to stop mountain-bike riders using it, a Hobart rider says.

Target... angry bushwalkers have allegedly set 'traps' to discourage bike riders from using bush tracks.

John Clingo said sticks and rocks were being placed on the Radfords Track, near The Springs, by walkers upset with mountain-bikers who used the track.

Mr Clingo said he had come across walkers on the track angry that riders were using the steep and winding trail.

"Walkers have been putting sticks across the track and rocks in places they should not be," he said.

ALP Split: Senator Evans Sacked ? 

Last week US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that senior ALP figures had told him Labor was split over the plan to remove all troops from Iraq by Christmas. There are only a very few senior ALP figures who visited Armitage recently:

With a notable lack of diplomacy, Armitage sourced his knowledge of the split to discussions he'd had with "colleagues" when they were in Washington for the recent Australian-American dialogue.

The dialogue is a private get-together of political, business and media figures from the two countries to discuss political and economic issues.

Latham had intended to go, but dropped out when it became clear he was likely to get a doing-over (he has got it anyway, and publicly).

Four from federal Labor attended (Rudd, Kim Beazley, trade spokesman Stephen Conroy, and Martyn Evans) and three Premiers (Bob Carr, Steve Bracks and Mike Rann).

Armitage's finger-pointing (simultaneously specific but vague) has been mischievous, in turn causing fingers to be pointed in Labor.

Today just a week later the news is that Senator Chris Evans (not Martyn Evans) has been sacked, and replaced by Uncle Kim.

LABOR'S new defence spokesman and former leader Kim Beazley today denied any split in party ranks over its Iraq policy and gave Opposition Leader Mark Latham his full support.

Mr Latham today said Mr Beazley would return from the back benches, taking over the defence portfolio from Chris Evans.
Senator Evans now becomes Opposition spokesman on defence procurement, science and personnel.

Mr Beazley said Labor was united on its Iraq policy, which includes pulling all troops out of the war-torn country by Christmas.

The policy attracted criticism by US leaders including US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who last week said Labor was split over the plan.

What's going on?

Could this be the beginning of the end for Mark Latham and the return of Uncle Kim?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Medalling for Votes 

A few weeks ago the government announced that it would issue a new medal to persons who served in the military for six years or more.

Now the Labor party has announced it will strike a medal of its own, for those who served for three years or more.

Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham promised to strike a Volunteer Defence Service Medal if Labor wins the next election.

He said the medal would be available to about 650,000 personnel who had volunteered to join the Australian Defence Force since the end of World War II.

"We believe these Australians deserve a medal for their military service to recognise their goodwill and selflessness," Mr Latham said in a statement.

The medal would be available to all Australians who had served as members of the regular or reserve forces for at least three years.

The only way the Libs could beat that would be to give out another medal just for joining.

Opportunism And the War on Terror 

The Labor Party, ever opportunistic as far as the War on Terror is concerned, has demanded to know why Australia cooperated with French authorities and gave up Willie Brigitte to them. One could imagine an equally vociferous response from Labor if the government had not handed him over but instead put him into a detention centre for questioning. Innocent man, no right to do it, married to Australian, what's the charge, etc. etc..

The case in the French courts is on hold because Brigitte's lawyers (and only Brigitte's lawyers) have claimed he was illegally deported from Australia. The claim must be investigated and the French legal process is on hold until it is.

That claim is good enough for the ALP and its half of the media. Headlines now trumpet: "Ruddock must explain Brigitte decision: Labor", "Brigitte Could Soon Walk Free", etc..

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, should explain why suspected French terrorist Willie Brigitte was hastily returned to France, in light of revelations he may have been illegally extradited, Labor said today.

The case against Brigitte reportedly has been suspended while authorities investigate claims he may have been illegally extradited from Australia last year.

Today's Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that lawyers for Brigitte insisted French authorities did not follow proper legal procedures for transferring him to Paris following his arrest in Sydney last October.

The Opposition homeland security spokesman, Robert McClelland, said this raised questions Mr Ruddock must answer.

"It casts further doubt on the wisdom of Australian authorities to return him to France rather than interrogate him in Australia," Mr McClelland told AAP.

"This decision was made with undue haste and the attorney-general should explain whether Australian authorities made inquiries of French authorities on whether the decision was made legally.

"We believe they should have."

The Opposition foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, said the Government's competency on key questions of national security was now being questioned.

"The Australian people will ask themselves some pretty basic questions about the competence of the Howard Government on basic questions of national security," he told the Nine network.

"We would hope that the Australian and French legal, foreign policy and security authorities got this one right, particularly after the earlier breakdown in communications between our two governments concerning this individual."

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The News Factory 

To see how the media construct stories you could examine no finer example than this.

The Headline reads: "Premier asks US envoy to explain".

The first paragraph reads:

Premier Steve Bracks yesterday called on the US ambassador to Australia to explain why the Bush Administration was intruding in Australia's domestic politics by commenting on federal Labor's Iraq policy.

But in the third paragraph we learn that the Premier made no "call" and didn't "ask the US envoy" anything.

The impression is of a rampant Victorian Premier giving the US ambassador a good ticking off, either in person or by letter or phone.

Instead what actually happened was that reporters asked suitable questions of Mr Bracks, got the responses they wanted and scurried off to broadcast them.

Asked if US ambassador Tom Schieffer should explain Mr Armitage's remarks to Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham, he said: "I'd like to see an explanation... [<-- I wonder what words the three dots replace] I thought our relationship was more advanced, more mature and more well developed that those statements attribute."

Mr Schieffer could not be contacted. He is due to return from the US this weekend.

Presumably other reporters will massage the Premier's comments into other 'questions' and ask these of the US side and so it will cycle round.

Here's a couple of suggestions: "Ambassador, what do you have to say to Premier Bracks after his attack on you?", or how about this: "When will the US stop interfering in Australian Politics", or "Do you think you should resign, Mr Ambassador".

The resulting headlines could read: "Ambassador Is Diplomatic After Premier's Censure", "Ambassador: No Covert Interference in Australian Politics", "Ambassador Refuses to Resign!".

Friday, July 09, 2004

Canadian Wankers Get a Free Trip Down Under 

Aussies could not be classed as a nation of wankers, so it comes as no surprise that in addition to our current drought of one kind there emerges a drought of a different kind. What can you say aboouuot this?

Could this be punishment for the way some people have treated Yamba's "Ugly Man"?

At great expense we are importing wankers. Aussies being the competitive types we are, we're not going to take this lying down, we have to rise to the occasion and pull together to come out on top.

CANADIAN students could fly into Australia on sperm donor "holidays" and pocket a trip worth $7000 for their trouble.

Authorities have given a green light to the plan after a six-month investigation, in a bid to overcome a domestic sperm drought.

Reproductive Medicine Albury advertised the two-week trips downunder through a University of Calgary newspaper in December.

Under the plan, students would donate sperm every second day while enjoying a Murray River holiday in Albury-Wodonga.

The holiday package, valued at $7000, includes return airfares, accommodation for two weeks and a daily allowance of $150.

Court Judgement Liked 

Learned judges have been setting all sorts of precedents and making extraordinary decisions in law lately, and this Gnu Hunter is not entirely happy with all of them.

This judgement however has a lot to be said for it. I can't think of any downside if parents are held responsible for the damage inflicted on society by the fruit of their loins.

THE parents of two teenage arsonists have been ordered to pay a total of $60,000 compensation to the victims of their children's crimes, in a landmark legal judgment.

Both boys were under the influence of drink and drugs at the time of the break-ins.

The two boys, aged 14 and 15 at the time, caused more than $400,000 damage when they burgled and set fire to two rental properties in Western Australia's Goldfields in June last year.

Today, in Perth Children's Court, Judge Denis Reynolds ordered the parents of the older boy to pay $45,000 in compensation.

The father of the younger boy, who is separated from the child's mother, was directed to pay $15,000.

Yamba's Ugly Man For the Chop 

Yamba store owner Barry Adams has a Balinese fertility statue (called "Ugly Man") that graces the footpath outside his store. The well endowed "Ugly Man" has a 30 cm penis. That's about 12 inches in the old scale.

Ms Wendy Shepherd, the council's surveyor, has taken the tape measure to the idol and says he intrudes 1 cm into public space.

For seven years the "Ugly Man" has stood to attention outside Mr Barry's store delighting passers by, and judging from her smile in the photograph the "Ugly Man" has made a friend of Ms Wendy too.

Now the "Ugly Man" is for the chop, because several unnamed complainers have complained.

But after objections from several unnamed residents, who claim the sculpture's erect 30cm penis is offensive and blocks the footpath, store owner Barry Adams may be forced to remove ugly man or, worse, impose the cruelest cut of all.

"The council came and measured him on Saturday, then told me he intruded 1cm on to council land and he might have to be moved," Mr Adams said.

Maybe I'll have to lop a couple of centimetres off him.

"Most people around here have got plenty of laughs out of ugly man, it's just a few prudes who are causing trouble.

"It's ridiculous. We have a naked lady out the front of my other shop and no-one's complained about her breasts."


Aussies Are Not Nice 

AUSTRALIA had racist tendencies and should abandon its mandatory detention of asylum seekers, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches said today.

General secretary the Reverend Sam Kobia called for the closure of the Baxter detention centre in South Australia, likening the facility to the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kenya, where Sam Kobia has jetted in from, is a fun filled laugh a minute paradise:

The human rights situation in Kenya deteriorated seriously in 1990, with the government arresting, detaining and sometimes torturing human rights advocates and proponents of multiparty democracy. The year began with clergymen, lawyers and opposition politicians, encouraged by changes in Eastern Europe, discussing the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in Kenya. In June, President Daniel arap Moi abruptly ordered the debate to end. He threatened to hunt down supporters of a multiparty system "like rats."

Meanwhile, Cabinet ministers and ruling party officials called on supporters to take violent action against those advocating political reform. One Minister urged government backers to cut off the fingers of people flashing two raised fingers -- a sign of support for a two-party system.

Kenya has a more sensitive approach to its refugee problem than wicked Australia.

"The police came to the camp and told us through loudspeakers to leave Mandera in two days or face the consequences," Hassan Ahmed Bakole, one of the 4,000 Somalis remaining on the Kenyan side of the border told the French news agency, AFP.

"You can't complain about rape, theft or beating if you insist to stay here and nobody is responsible for your safety," police told the refugees...

Latham Puts the US-Australia Alliance On the Line 

Further escalating tensions within the US-Australia alliance Mark Latham decides to put it all on the line in an attempt to silence criticism of his own dangerous brinkmanship.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham today warned that the Bush administration's interference in Australian politics may weaken public support for the United States alliance.

Mr Latham said the intervention of leaders such as US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage would only lead to Australians questioning the worth of the alliance.

Rather than being diplomatic and smoothing things over he injects tension with every new utterance.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

TimT's General Marvellousness 

Reader TimT has started his own blog, the appropriately titled: "Will Type For Food".

Yes. In a transparent attempt to help find myself via the blogosphere, I have returned to bloggers ravening maw and made myself a willing sacrifice...

Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need JOB! MUST HAVE JOB!...

Gold, all of it pure gold! I'd like to say there's much more, but he just started. Give him a break, sheesh. At least read his impressive resume.

1.7 Tonnes of Uranium Removed From Iraq 

The has UN has squawked because 1.7 tonnes of non existent WMD uranium was removed from Iraq without UN permission.

In addition to the uranium, approximately 1,000 highly radioactive items were transferred last month from Iraq to an undisclosed U.S. Energy Department laboratory for analysis.

The airlift ended on June 23, five days before the United States transferred sovereignty to Iraq's new interim government.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham called the secret airlift "a major achievement" in an attempt to "keep potentially dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists."

But U.N. officials squawked at the removal, saying the International Atomic Energy Agency never OK'd the move.

"The American authorities just informed us of their intention to remove the materials, but they never sought authorization from us," an IAEA official said.

However, U.S. nuclear authorities said yesterday they had Iraqi approval and didn't need U.N. authorization.

New Zealand's PM Interferes In Australian Politics 

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, is interfering in Australian local politics during her visit here.

Lending support to fellow socialist Mark Latham and the ALP, Clark has launched a scathing attack on the US and, indirectly, the policies of the Australian Liberal government.

Warning the US not to meddle in Australian affairs she began meddling herself:

Ms Clark, visiting Sydney, warned the US to leave Australians to decide who is best to lead their country. "It really is perilous to get into another country's politics and I'm always careful not to get involved in politics here," she told ABC radio.

Stop the NZ hegemony now!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

How to Reduce the Terrible Road Toll 

A touring academic seeking to justify his position in life wants the nanny-State to ban P-plate drivers from driving at night.

Everybody knows that the road toll is out of control.

In 1969 the annual road death toll for Australia was around 3,800.

Since then our population has about doubled and there are about four times as many vehicles on the road.

Currently the annual road death toll for Australia is about 1,800.

That's two thousand fewer deaths than in 1969.

Each year, many thousands fewer people are seriously injured.

Despite around 10 million extra vehicles on the roads, and the population almost doubling, the number of deaths per head of population has plunged, from 30 down to 10 per 100,000 people, and is still going down.

The information does not make sensational Easter or Christmas TV news bites.

The plunge in the road toll is due to seat belts, speed limits, alcohol bans, better roads, safer cars, education and other measures.

I don't think you would get a politician or ambitious policeman onto the TV to say that we've done enough already.

Regardless of all the good work achieved so far, I think the p-plate night driving ban is just silly interference.

I still think I'm old enough to make up my own mind about wearing a seat belt without being forced to wear one, but isn't it wonderful that the war on the road toll has been such a great success.

The George Institute for International Health said today that provisional or P-plate licence holders should be prevented from driving between midnight and 6am in a bid to reduce road accidents.

The curfew should apply to all drivers in the first six months of holding a provisional licence, the institute's Professor Mark Stevenson said.

Restrictions should also be placed on the number of passengers a P-plate driver could have in the car, he said.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Nude Protesters - No Bull. 

Authorities in Pamplona have hit on a new way to advertise their city's Running of the Bulls:

Topless women, some wearing just a G-string, and men in their underpants marched through Pamplona today demanding an end to Spain's renowned fiesta - the running of the bulls.

After police stopped animal rights activists from staging a nude protest last year, the 200 demonstrators cut a deal with the authorities that they could make their case as long as they did not bare all.

The protesters followed the route of the bull run through the city's narrow streets, shouting "Torture isn't culture" and waving placards reading "Stop the bloody bull fight".

Thousands of tourists from around the world travel to the northern Spanish town every year to risk death running with the bulls in the centuries-old San Fermin festival.

Chrenkoff Good News from Iraq Part 5. 

Arthur pours out another 5,800+ words with dozens of links to good news from Iraq.

The media, much annoyed at having missed out on a photo-op, has had a field day trying to delegitimise and downplay the transfer [of sovereignty]: if it wasn't a sham because of the continuing Coalition presence, it was a meaningless gesture considering the litany of problems facing the new Iraq.

Yet, at the same time as the media was raining on the Iraqi parade, I've been able to collect even more good news stories that in most cases got drowned in the general negativity.

Media Biases Admitted 

Mark Latham has asserted that there are Liberal Party Dirt Units in operation.

The facts as we know them are these:

i) The Nine Network ran a segment on the Sunday program that covered old allegations that Latham had an altercation with an older man who had visited his office. The program also aired allegations of financial incompetence at the local government level.
ii) News Limited media ran similar stories and in particular old allegations from his ex-wife that she had fled the family home in fear before Latham returned from holidaying with another woman.

iii) These were stories researched and put to air by the news providers. They were NOT allegations aired in the parliament or announced in Liberal Party or other press releases.

iv) The news items did not include any allegations or inuendo about family members although Latham in tears has gone to the Australian public to denounce smears against his family members. No such smears have been put before the voting public.

Mr Latham says he has heard about rumours:

Prime Minister John Howard today challenged the Labor leader to produce evidence of alleged government attempts to smear him, saying he was not aware of any so-called dirt unit.

But Mr Latham said he did not believe the prime minister.

"I'd be very surprised if he didn't know about those activities that are happening at taxpayers' expense within his government," Mr Latham told ABC radio.

"As I said yesterday, he should close down the dirt units and the smears and we get on with the more positive task of putting out good policy for the benefit of the Australian people."

Mr Latham said he was aware government staffers had been busy in the press gallery in Canberra spreading smears and rumours, because the journalists then rang his office asking for comments on them.

So he's heard about rumours in the press gallery, but no press have published them. How can he tearfully go to the public calling for a suppression against something that does not exist.

Alexander Downer told the ABC Radio's AM program.

"If I may say so, of all the people in Australian politics, Mark Latham would be the last person to complain about being criticised. He has been one of the most vitriolic and abusive politicians that I have known in my nearly 20 years in Parliament."

Mr Downer says Mr Latham should develop a thick skin if he wants to be prime minister.

"Mr Latham needs to understand, if you want to be the prime minister of Australia, you've got to be big enough to stand up and defend yourself and defend your record," he said.

"Every time you're criticised, there's no point in trying to turn the attention to your political opponents and try to score a party-political point out of it."

For Latham's allegation of a media or Liberal Party smear campaign to hold water he would have to show that:

i) persons associated with the Liberal Party fed stories or pointed reporters in the direction of stories; and

ii) now that he has alerted all the media to the "source" of the stories the media are complicit with the Liberals by not verifying that the source of all their stories was the Liberal Party.

In all of this Latham and the complaining ALP politicians are more or less conceding that the media is not just an umpire, but rather it is a player. Their implication is that the media is not merely a a psuedo-constitutional system of checks and balances, but rather it is an unelected political body in its own right.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Smear Campaign From Where? 

In an attempt to deflect attention from the revelations about his private life Mark Latham and his ALP frontbenchers have alleged that it is all a smear campaign run by the Liberal Party. Is there any evidence of this? Certainly the story of a smear campaign was pushed very hard by Fairfax and the ABC.

Senior Labor Party MPs have claimed a Liberal Party smear campaign is under way against Opposition Leader Mark Latham.

Renewed media focus on Mr Latham's past dampened speculation Prime Minister John Howard would call an August 7 election.

Free Trade Agreement Signed and Endorsed by the ALP 

Why does Mark Latham not oppose the newly signed Free Trade Agreement with Thailand? There's nothing in it for the sugar farmers, gramaphone or suzaphone makers. Is it merely that he opposed the FTA with the USA just because it was with the USA? or is he just looking out for Australia's best interest.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham said free trade would help the economies of Asia, adding that organisations such as ASEAN had a vital role to play in heading off terrorism.

But Australian Greens senator Bob Brown said the Thai FTA would effectively give companies the power to sue governments through the courts for pursuing public policy.

Good News Not Reported. Bad News Over-Reported. Why? 

IRAQ veterans often say they're confused by U.S. news cover age, because their experience differs so greatly from what journalists report. Soldiers and Marines point to the slow, steady progress in almost all areas of Iraqi life and wonder why they don't get much notice — or in many cases, any notice at all.

Marine Corps Reservist Eric M. Johnson eloquently explains why.

via Instapundit

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Hardliners Circle Lakemba 

The Grand Mufti of Australia and all New Zealand Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly may be deposed soon and replaced by real hardliners.

Sheikh Hilaly is considered by the media and politicians to be a "moderate". He was reported as saying that, "Jews are the underlying cause of all wars ... who use sex and abominable acts of buggery to control the world".

While visiting the political leadership of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hilaly is alleged to have praised suicide bombers and to have called the Septebember 11 attacks "God's work".

Sheikh Hilaly tries hard but he may not cut the mustard with the 5,000 worshipers of the Lakemba mosque many of whom consider him too moderate.

Now really hardline islamists are maneuvering for control of Hilaly's controversial Lakemba mosque. The hardliners reportedly include Sheikh Feiz Mohammad who's pupils include Jack Roche, sentenced to nine years; and Zeky Mallah arrested on charges relating to "an act in preparation for a terrorist act".

Other contenders for control of the mosque include a group led by Sheikh Zoud who has access to around $A2.65 million donated by Saudi Arabian sources for establishing a new mosque in Belmore, Sydney.

Sheikh Zoud's stable has produced thoroughbreds like Willie Brigitte, who was arrested by the French and who claimed he visited Sheikh Zoud's prayer hall while recruiting for a major terrorist strike at targets that included a US base, the Sydney Olympic Games and Sydney's nuclear reactor; Bilal Khazal, alleged by the CIA as being al-Qaeda's "man on the ground" in Australia; Faheem Khalid Lodhi, the 34-year-old Sydney architect charged with seven terrorist offences on April 22; and Izhar Ul Haque, who was arrested April 15 and charged with training with a terrorist group in Pakistan.

Sheikh Zoud belongs to the hardline group Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah that is run from Melbourne by Sheikh Omran who together with Bilal Khazal were mentioned in Spanish court documents as having numerous telephone conversations with Abu Dahdah, Osama Bin Laden's alleged European lieutenant. Dahdah visited Omran and Khazal in Australia as a friend.

To change the subject completely, on an unrelated topic, a huge steel net is being built over Sydney's new nuclear research reactor at Lucas Heights to protect its core if an aircraft is flown into it.

Mark Latham Smear Campaign 

The big news today is not that Mark Latham threw a punch at a visitor to his office or that he broke the arm of a taxi driver or that he went on holiday with his current wife while he was still married and living with someone else. The story is not that his ex-wife says she was fearful of his rages. It is not about how she fled the family home in fear before he returned. Instead, the story is about an alleged (no evidence supplied) smear campaign.

Gabrielle Gwyther has told friends she fled the marital home in fear before he returned from a holiday with another woman one Christmas.

ALP front-benchers, defending their leader, allege that the stories initiated and researched by the media are actually part of a Liberal Party smear campaign.

Two federal Labor frontbenchers have accused the Liberal Party of running a smear campaign against Labor leader Mark Latham.

Mr Latham's character has come under scrutiny in a television profile and newspaper stories, including claims about a physical altercation with a constituent 15 years ago when he was a councillor at Liverpool in Sydney.

Labor frontbencher Wayne Swan has accused the Government of lowering the tone of debate and of "dirty tricks".

Why allege that it's government dirty tricks when no one in the government has been reported making the allegations? It's entirely the media that's fueling the controversy and making the allegations.

Anyway I want to see the alleged bucks' night video.

Sit on a Jury, Test the Evidence and Go to Jail. 

Persons drafted to be on a jury in NSW, could find themselves doing more time than the villains they sit in judgement upon.

Jurors who blatantly ignore instructions of the judge could be jailed under NSW laws announced today.

The NSW Attorney-General, Bob Debus, said the jury task force had recommended new laws to make it an offence for jurors to carry out their own inquiries during a trial and to refer any investigation of misconduct to the sheriff.

"A number of recent high-profile cases have been affected by the actions of renegade jurors who decided to ignore the directions of the trial judges," Mr Debus said.

"The jury system is one of the most important institutions of our democracy, it is one of the most ancient institutions of our law and our democracy and we must protect it."

Under the new laws, jurors who ignore instructions may be charged and could be sent to jail if found guilty.

For more background on what has prompted this knee-jerk reaction click here.

Congratulations Maria Sharapova: Wimbledon Champ 

The Gnu Hunter is a great respecter of talent. Ms Maria Sharapova has it in spades winning the Wimbledon crown by crushing Serena Williams.

Bookmakers had offered odds of 12-1 yesterday morning against Sharapova, the number 13 seed, beating Williams in straight sets.

Yet she was cool and collected from the first ball. She broke Williams's serve twice in the first set and went on to win 6-1, 6-4.

The very talented tennis professional Miss Maria Sharapova

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Dissent As a Primary Industry 

A wonderful read on anti-Americanism, the new Rock and Roll.

Dissent is futile? Dissent is a primary industry in America. Americans have ceaselessly produced books, movies and TV shows that proudly depict their country in the worst possible light. No one has had more fun America-bashing than Americans.

I think a great deal of anti-Americanism (stereotypes and jaundice) is generated via the TV and movies.

NASA Pictures Faked 

A US space administration scientist today admitted, and then just as quickly denied, that the photos you see on the news, of Saturn's rings, seem faked. The admission will no doubt come as welcome relief to US President George Bush who critics say wants a diversionary scandal in the leadup to the next election. Controversy continues over the Abu Ghraib prison photographs and the fake turkey scandal and perhaps these allegedly faked photographs will divert media attention for Bushitler.

Mission scientists, many of whom have devoted more than a decade to the Cassini project, cheered and called the photos "beautiful" and "mind-blowing".

"It's so flawless it almost seems faked, but it's not," Dr Porco said in live commentary from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The NASA official has not yet contacted this blog in request for an interview to clarify her position.

Hollywood moguls are considering a movie along the lines of Capricorn One, a plot in which the evil US faked the Apollo moon landings, and which many people believe as fact.

Kaysing reckons that the Challenger space shuttle really did blow up in 1981, but that it was no accident. It was exploded by Nasa because "Christa McAuliffe, the only civilian and only woman aboard, refused to go along with the lie that you couldn't see stars in space. So they blew her up, along with six other people, to keep that lie under wraps."


Friday, July 02, 2004

The ABC Gets Into Election Mode 

In a sure sign that the Federal election is on in earnest the ABC hit the campaign trail, airing an anti-government documentary that claimed that the Liberal Federal government was culpable for the Bali bombings perpetrated by islamic extremists. The documentary claims that the government knew the attacks in Indonesia were in the offing and did nothing to stop them or to protect Australian tourists.

FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer has lodged a formal complaint with the ABC about a British documentary which suggested the Government failed to act on warnings before the Bali bombings.

Mr Downer said the ABC broadcastthe BBC program, The Third World War, on Wednesday night despite knowing it contained offensive and untrue claims.

He said he expected an apology and a correction.

"The program deliberately and inaccurately suggested the Australian Government had been warned about the Bali terrorist attacks, failed to act and therefore was culpable in the tragedy," Mr Downer wrote to ABC managing director Russell Balding today.

"This is a most offensive, defamatory and untrue claim.

"By broadcasting the documentary's claims without correction or clarification, (the ABC) has failed in its duty to present clear facts.

These Loony Left claims that conservative governments had prior knowledge or even assisted the September 11 and Bali attacks are reprehensible and should not be given prominence on the national broadcaster.

Their ABC, so there!  If you want one go get your own.

p.s. Thanks again to Patrick for hosting that picture of Mark Latham and friends at the ABC.

Update: Evilpundit wants to know who the guys in the photo are: You can find out by following the links here.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Evil Baby Bonus 

Rather than welcoming the government's payments to families the media and the ALP have had a carefree, fun-filled week, playing with the Howard Government's evil Baby Bonuses. The consensus of the ALP, and the educated middle class in general, is that ignorant poor families just can't be trusted with $600 let alone $3000. Media reports indicate that the family payment is wreaking havoc: causing teenage pregnancy, child abuse, gambling addiction, alcoholism and violence in indigenous communities, and even a new stolen generation.

The evil Howard government is at once creating a baby boom in indigenous communities while at the same time creating a whole new stolen generation.

I watched on the TV the heart rending tale of a set of twins born either side of midnight last night. Only one will get the Baby Bonus. Wicked, wicked Mr Howard.

Is there someone else that we can get to report our news for us ? Maybe then we wouldn't get stories like this:

TOWNSVILLE City Council last night attacked Federal Government lump sum welfare payments as anecdotal evidence showed people were misusing the money on grog and gambling.

Cr Jenny Hill told a council meeting she feared of a new "stolen generation" in the city in the face of reports parents were squandering family bonus payments on booze and other addictions.

"This will create a new generation of abused and neglected children," she said. "Unless we address the issue then we are going to end up with another stolen generation."

Cr Hill said she had spoken to taxi drivers, pubs and pokie machine operators who said they had experienced some of their best business in years following the release of a federal family allowance payment of $600 per child.

The Townsville council is dominated by the ALP. I wonder if this is the same Jenny Hill who is the long-serving and oft controversial ALP politician named Jenny Hill?. It's irrelevant to the story isn't it?

The Baby Bonus was blamed for mothers risking their health and the lives of their babies, although there is not one single reported instance of a complication or an injury to either mother or baby anywhere. A breathless official at one large hospital said he had only one caesarean booked on the day of the TV interview (three days before the Baby Bonus) but he had 14 booked for the day of the Baby Bonus. Not a large number of people "at risk" and presumably caesars can be moved two or three days either way without health complications.

However, some of the small group of women planning caesareans or inductions were telling their doctors they wanted to wait until July to be eligible for the bonus.

"This group of people have to decide whether they hang on a little bit longer and get the money or not," Dr Child said. "It's not quite a gamble but a negotiated deal. "We'll give them the options and the decision's up to them."

Centrelink is under threat and we've been treated to many news items about "policy backflips" concerning overpayments that were made to some families. The ALP is horrified that more taxpayers money has been returned to 2000 taxpaying families as an investment in social capital.

I watched the TV in awe as a reporter first cajoled and then almost shouted questions trying to get the Family Services Minister to admit to something, anything about her government's management of the Baby Bonus.

The Left of politics and also welfare groups have long contended that paying $180,000 (i.e. 15 years x $12,000) in Single Mother's Benefits could not possibly be an incentive to entice young women to a life of quiet luxury living on the pension, yet now they're saying that just $600 or $3,000 is more than enough incentive for the same.

The most sensible thing I've read this whole week is here. I don't think Stephen Matchett's item adequately emphasises that the people complaining loudest about how others are getting paid $600 or $3000 in a lump sum may be themselves in receipt of the same lump sum. The complainers will of course be spending every penny they get on new baby clothes, and not on a shiny new plasma TV...

A Bill of Rights? 

The Australian's Janet Albrechtsen writes many fine articles. This one about a Bill of Rights is good:

Now for the unstated case for a bill of rights. Armed with a bill of rights, special-interest groups and their lawyers need only enter the rarefied realm of the courtroom where a can-do judge will grant their wish. They are saved the tedious task of dealing with the more rigorous parliamentary process and that nuisance known as majority opinion. And it's uncanny how often judges with a taste for power and a distrust of the common man tend to share their Left-leaning world view.

Compulsory TV Viewing Comrades 

Can't wait to see how this will be downplayed.

LABOR leader Mark Latham is bracing himself for a potentially damaging TV program expected to air allegations dating back to his early days in the ALP.

Channel Nine's Sunday program will air a 40 minute segment this weekend which it said will uncover some "matters of concern". The network today refused to expand on what it plans to report.

Mr Latham, who is preparing for a federal election, said today he was not worried about his past and that his life was an open book.

The Labor leader's infamous 2001 clash with a taxi-driver, who was left with a broken arm after a dispute over a fare, has been well documented.

But the Sunday program's lengthy investigation is said to have uncovered more incidents from the time Mr Latham was mayor of Sydney's Liverpool Council.

"It's a comprehensive profile but unauthorised in the sense that he declined to be part of it, despite sundry requests," a network spokesman said.

"And yes, it will reveal some matters of concern.

 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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