From Rasmussen Reports.
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are virtually identical to those of George W Bush at the same point in his presidency.
Pakistan is one of at least five Muslim countries in which the number of Muslims deliberately murdered by Islamic fundamentalists in the past year exceeds the number of Palestinian civilians killed in the Hamas conflict with Israel. In the last 12 months, Islamists killed over thirty Muslims for every civilian casualty of Cast Lead.
Monthly Jihad Report for March 2009 Jihad Attacks: 169. Countries: 19. Religions: 5. Dead Bodies: 686. Critically Injured: 953
ReligionofPeace.com has announced its Dhimwit of the month for March 2009 is President Barack Obama.
One of the reasons: Backing the Swat Valley ‘Peace for Sharia’ Deal with the Taliban. Actual peace lasted about five minutes. That’s how long it took the Taliban to explain how Islam requires the implementation of Sharia in all parts of Pakistan.
I’m not sure ‘Backing the Swat Valley ‘Peace for Sharia’ Deal’ is a fair summary of the Obama administration’s view, but given Obama’s enthusiasm for opening discussions with terrorists and dictators, Pakistani authorities may have thought they were taking a leaf from his book.
Instead of laying down their arms as promised, the Taliban used the stand down of Pakistani forces in Swat to take over ever-larger areas. The 6,000 to 8,000 fighters even came within 60 miles of the nation’s capital this week.
Given how fragile the situation in Pakistan is, and how dangerous radical islamist control of power in that country would be, any legitimisation of islamist forces by Obama’s administration, whether disguised as negotiations, discussions, or anything else, would be disastrous.
Sulu provincial Governor Abdusakur Tan has ordered troops to rescue kidnapped Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni.
Vagni was kidnapped with two other Red Cross workers, Filippina Mary Jean Lacaba and Swiss man Andreas Notter on the island of Jolo on January 15th. The terrorists released Lacaba on April 2nd. Notter was rescued last Saturday.
The order to rescue Vagni was given in the light of after growing concerns for his health – he has a hernia and suffers hypertension – and after talks with Abu Sayyaf failed following the refusal of the Red Cross and Philippine authorities to negotiate the payment of a ransom.
Refusing to pay a ransom was a scary decsion, but was absolutely the right thing to do. Paying terrorists encourages an industry of kidnapping, and enables them to purchase arms and support.
As at Saturday, troops have already clashed with Abu Sayyaf, but there have been no sightings of Vagni.
One hopeful sign. Governor Tan said said he was grateful to “a great number of local residents” who have been providing information on the movements of the Abu Sayyaf. He said they wanted to end the crisis as soon as possible. Even the civilian volunteers who joined the operation said they already want to put an end to the Abu Sayyaf and get Vagni safely.
Support for Abu Sayyaf has come from the largely Muslim local population. If the locals have had enough of terrorists in their midst, their time is coming to an end.
On the 25th April 1915 troops from Australia and New Zealand landed north of Gaba Tepe in Turkey at a spot now known as Anzac Cove.
2,000 men from Australia and New Zealand were killed on the first day.
More and more Australians are attending ANZAC services each year. The ANZAC campaign is considered by most ordinary Australians to be the time when we came of age as a nation.
This idea is rubbished (of course) by the trendy elite. We became a nation at Federation. The ANZACS were defeated. It wasn’t our war. We were fighting for the British Empire.
Nitwits like Marilyn Lake seem to think we are celebrating war, or our subservience to England, or the privileges enjoyed by males, or whites, or something:
When participation in foreign wars becomes the basis of national identity, it requires the forgetting or marginalising of other narratives, experiences and values. The Anzac myth requires us to forget gender and racial exclusions, the long history of pacifism and anti-war movements, the democratic social experiments and visions of social justice that once defined Australia; to forget that at Gallipoli we fought for “empire” not the nation, symbolising our continuing colonial condition.
As we prepare to inaugurate a republic, she says, we should move on from this redneck racist view of history, and of our identity, into a more inclusive way of seeing ourselves and the way we relate to the world. People like Professor Lake cannot seem to abide the thought that people might not share her passions, and see things her way, or be thinking about her issues, even for a minute. They should be made to. For their own good.
I am not at all distressed or alienated by the fact that Australia is part of an international community – the British Empire, now the Commonwealth of Nations – which has brought higher standards of living, education, rule of law and stable government to many nations and many millions of people around the world. I am proud to be part of that family. The constant blathering by Australian republicans about the need to cut our apron strings to Britain and form our own identity seems more like teenage rebelliousness than maturity or vision.
The ANZAC campaign was a failure at many levels – politics, planning, local command. Foolish, ill-informed choices were made. Thousands of young men were killed in a campaign that probably made no difference to the outcome of World War One at all. None of that should be celebrated, and it isn’t.
But here’s the thing. We made a commitment and we kept to it. The young men from Australia and New Zealand who landed on that beach had every reason to complain, to refuse to comply, to rebel. But they didn’t. They endured cold, poor food, poor command. Many of them endured grievous injury and death. And in all of that they were courageous, disciplined, purposeful. They cared for one another, they did not give up, they sacrificed their own hopes and even their lives for the sake of others.
We became a nation at Federation. We showed what kind of nation we could be at Anzac Cove. The qualities shown there – discipline, self-sacrifice, courage, persistence – are exactly the qualities we need now. They are what defines us at our best. They are our best hope for the future.
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.
Yes, there is a general increase in the number of people around the globe seeking new and safer homes. But as Andrew Bolt has shown, this general increase is not sufficient to account for the dramatically higher number of illegal immigrants heading to Australia in recent months.
Kevin Rudd and his posse of experts are all saying it is nothing to do with the government’s loudly proclaimed ‘nicer’ policies on immigration. The experts all seem pretty confident because, among other things, how would potential immigrants know about changes in Australian policies?
But why do these enlightened and nicer experts and politicians assume that potential immigrants, even the illegal ones, are so stupid they cannot read a paper, watch TV, use the internet, or even talk to friends or family?
One refugee from Iraq says he’s heard from family in Australia that things have changed under the Rudd government.
“Kevin Rudd, he change everything about the future,” he’s told ABC Radio. “If I go to Australia now, different, different. Maybe accepted. But when John Howard (was the prime minister of) … Australia he said come back to Indonesia.”
Surely it is time think again about the message we are sending.
I’m amazed but pleased by this obviously commonsense decision from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Fiona Dickie, of mixed Zulu and English background, complained that she had been subjected to a ‘campaign of racism’ at the Melbourne school where she was employed as a teacher.
For example, she claimed to be shocked when a fellow teacher complimented her by saying ‘You look lovely today, you remind me of that Negro Australian singer, Marcia Hines.’
Senior Tribunal member Noreen Megay said there was no evidence of racism at the school.
“To say that the complainant’s allegations turned out to be entirely unsupported would be an understatement,” Ms Megay wrote. She said it was important to understand that conduct considered unfair by certain people was not necessarily discriminatory.
“Put simply, just because someone does not warm to you and does not like you and does not agree with you and does not share your particular passions, it does not follow that his or her conduct is unlawful.”
Ms Megay said an emotionally fragile Ms Dickie believed that anyone who did not agree with her was against her, discriminatory and racist.
The Australian Navy has released photos of before and after the explosion on board the boat of illegal immigrants north of Australia a week ago.
The boat exploded after passengers doused it with petrol in an attempt to force the Navy to escort them to Australia rather than the immigration centre on Christmas Island.
Navy personnel were on the boat at the time of the explosion, and were injured. Five of the passengers were killed.
What stands out from these photos is the instant and compassionate response of armed forces personnel as they rescue and give first aid to illegal immigrants who had no right to be in Australian waters and had deliberately set fire to their own boat.
It is the courage, care, efficiency and self-sacrifice of young men and women like this that we celebrate on ANZAC Day. Well done. And thanks.
Hilary Clinton also has a few kind words to say about ANZAC Day:
“Anzac Day is a day of respect and remembrance, a day to mark a defining event for Australia and New Zealand – Gallipoli – where courage and loyalty demonstrated the intrepid character of two young nations, whose heroes now rest in peace in the soil of a friendly country,” Senator Clinton said in a statement on Friday.
The US recognised the significance of the Anzac tradition and Americans joined with Australians in remembering those lost in battle, she said.
“Along with you, we pay our respects and express gratitude to your dedicated troops,” Senator Clinton said. “Most importantly, along with you, we remember.”
This is gruesome.
Police have released an x-ray picture of the head of Chen (aka Anthony) Liu, who was murdered in Sydney last year. He was shot in the head multiple times with a nail gun.
I’m not sure why police released the photo, or how this could help them with their enquiries. No one has been arrested yet. Police are asking for help, particularly from anyone who might have seen Mr Liu’s car in Rockdale or Connells Point around 19 October 2008.
It beats me how anyone can do something like this to another human being.
Yahoo/Seven has a poll asking this question.
At 9am this morning the answer was entirely predictable.
This is a good indicator of the basic common sense of the ordinary Australian. The kind who never stood a chance of being invited.
Iranian President Imanutjob said at a conference in Teheran on Wednesday that Israel is ‘a regime that only understands the language of violence and force. I am confident that there will come a day when all Zionist criminals will be brought to justice.’
Being consistent means he’s predictable – it isn’t too hard to guess what he’s going to say. And that means, as I have pointed out before, that the UN officials who said of his similar speech at the racism conference in Geneva, ‘Oh gosh, how awful, we had no idea, how could we have known?’ are either stupid, or were simply lying.
Mumbai police have found nothing in newspaper reports, or in video of a meeting between a fake sheik and Rafiq Qureshi, to suggest he was trying to sell his daughter, Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali.
There never was anything to this.
The real story should be how a shonky News Of The World journalist lured Rubina Ali’s father to a luxury hotel after telling him he was a wealthy sheik who had been moved by her story and wanted to meet her. He then offered the father money for Robina. The father declined and left. Not interesting enough for News Of The World.
Look at the photo in the story. Robina does not look like a little girl whose family is in the middle of negotiations for her sale.
What is disturbing about this is the willingness of News Of The World readers (and apparently lots of others) to believe that ‘foreign’ parents don’t really care about their children, and are quite happy to sell them to strangers as long as the price is right.
I watched Phelim McAleer’s documentary ‘Mine Your Own Business’ again last night.
It is difficult to watch and not feel angry at the easy complacency of western environmentalists who, from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, tell people in the developing world that their way of life is quaint and worth preserving, and that even though they cannot afford basic medical care, or to feed their children, they are rich in other ways.
A bit like our own Russell Crowe, who knows far better than the people of Cape York and the government of Queensland what is really good for people in remote regions of Australia. In Russell’s view, it isn’t job opportunities, better housing or decent roads, or any of the things he takes for granted and would throw a massive trantum if he was deprived of for even a few minutes. No, none of those things matter when you have a spiritual connection to the land. What contemptible tripe.
A few excerpts from a review of Mine Your Own Business:
Half a world away, when confronted with the argument that denying the people of Fort Dauphin a chance to obtain jobs would keep them poor, the leading critic of the ilmenite project and the owner of a luxurious catamaran pontificates to Gheorghe Lucian, an unemployed Romanian traveling with the film’s crew: “I could put you with a family here and you can count how many times people smile … and I can put you with a family that is well-off in New York and London and you can count how many times they smile, and then you can tell me who is rich and who is poor.”
You can imagine what this esoteric interpretation of wealth sounds like to Lucian, the Romanian who graduated from Rosia Montana’s Technical College and is desperate to find a job. Two-thirds of his fellow villagers lack running water and use outside bathrooms even in freezing winter. For him, as for the other 700 prospective employees of the mining project back home, the choice is literally “between having a job and leaving.”
The film crew also traveled to the Chilean Andes to find out who was leading the fight against Barrick Gold. It turns out—as one local villager explains—that those who oppose the investment are mainly rich landowners who don’t want the peasants working on their lands for a pittance to flock to the mines for twice their current wages.
McAleer tells us that the claim the mining project will displace three glaciers that provide irrigation for local agriculture is false. The glaciers will not be affected and the company will build a reservoir to guarantee that local farmers have a decent supply of water.
Will this industrial progress in Romania, Madagascar or Chile pollute the environment? Well, the alternative is much worse. Communist-era gold mining, which was technologically backward, bureaucratic and unaccountable, turned Rosia Montana’s river into disgusting filth. In Madagascar’s Fort Dauphin, slash-and-burn agriculture—the sort the rural poor resort to in order to survive—has destroyed the rain forest.
As one of the people interviewed in the documentary points out, it is wealthy, well developed societies which are able to divert funds and energy into conservation. Wealth and development are not just good for people, but also for the environment.
And anyway, who are we to tell people whose children are starving that they cannot have jobs and industrial development because we would rather their cute lifestyle and pretty village stayed exactly as it is?
1. It’s raining on Kangaroo Island. I realise this may not be much of a cause for celebration for you, but it is for me!
Most communities on KI have no mains water. We rely entirely on rain water we catch and store at home. Rains usually come in April, and here they are. Just in time, too – the tanks are nearly empty. Yay!
2. Kevin Rudd is not a nice person. No one, let alone a Christian, who should have some idea of what hell is, should ever wish another human being to rot in hell.
I am sure people smugglers do not think they are ‘the scum of the earth.’ From their point of view, for very little return, and at considerable risk to themselves, they try to help people find new hope in a new country.
I imagine they think that ‘the scum of the earth’ is a title better reserved for politicians who try to give the impression that they are more caring, more welcoming and will be nicer to anyone who arrives in Australia, when they have no intention of being nicer to anyone, and the end result is more suffering for everyone.
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