Monday, July 06, 2009


Three articles below. All deplorable in different ways, as usual

Alleged bashing victims to sue Queensland Police Service

The Queensland Police Service is facing a million-dollar civil lawsuit over alleged brutality in the bashing of three tourists by a former officer. Families of the alleged victims plan to file a joint civil damages claim against the Queensland Police Service alleging excessive force and a breach in duty of care. Former Senior-Constable Benjamin Price, 32, has pleaded not guilty to the alleged assaults at Airlie Beach and is backed by the Queensland Police Union, which is footing his legal bill.

Video footage of two of the alleged assaults was shown in court ahead of the former officer being ordered on Friday to stand trial on six counts of assault on three holidaymakers. Magistrate Athol Kennedy ordered Price to stand trial after a four-day committal hearing heard evidence from the victims, witnesses, fellow officers, and a whistleblower who filed a misconduct complaint against her former partner. Price quit the police service last year.

An internal affairs investigation obtained the dramatic CCTV footage from Airlie Beach police station. Graphic footage shows the uniformed officer allegedly punching, kicking and "nearly drowning" one of his victims, Timothy Steele, 24. Price is shown jamming a fire hose into the mouth of the handcuffed Steele as fellow police looked on.

In another incident, Sydney bartender Renee Toms, 22, was allegedly swung around by her hair by Price inside the police station. Ms Toms, who weighs 47kg, subsequently needed medical attention for a cut to the chin.

Sydney investment banker Nicholas Le Fevre, 32, alleged he was king-hit and beaten unconscious by Price and mocked by other police as he begged for help.

Four other officers have quit the QPS under the probe by internal affairs into alleged police brutality. Steele, 24, a plasterer from NSW, allegedly suffered a broken nose, black eyes, a head wound, hearing problems, and memory loss in his May 24 arrest last year.

Steele's parents have criticised the police union for their financial support of Price. "We are at a loss to understand why the Queensland Police Union is continuing to meet the considerable costs of Price's defence," they said.

Price allegedly handcuffed Steele after a scuffle outside a nightclub, before smashing his face into the side of the police car, knocking him out. He then allegedly dragged Steele from the car outside Airlie Beach watchhouse, repeatedly punched him and "kicked him with his boots" in the face, breaking his nose.

CCTV video footage from the police station shows a dazed, heavily bleeding Steele being dragged into an alley beside the watchhouse. It shows the handcuffed man being punched in the head before having a fire hose jammed into his mouth.


Tiny bureaucratic minds running the South Australian police

The offending blue cap can be seen above

A police officer, who rushed to the aid of colleagues during a violent rampage has been asked to explain why he wore a baseball-style cap instead of official uniform. And a senior officer, who sent an email to his superiors defending the officer involved, was counselled after his email was deemed "inappropriate". That email was forwarded to The Advertiser by a third party.

The junior officer was photographed by the newspaper after rushing to help colleagues in Snowtown, where a man allegedly went on a rampage, slashing the throat of an elderly woman, stabbing her daughter, running down one man and attempting to run down others.

But in the email to his superiors, the traffic policeman's senior officer said there was "no thanks, job well done ". "Can you imagine the disbelief when (the officer) is advised he has to submit a police report for why he was wearing the baseball cap. . .(the officer) is very upset and demotivated by this," he wrote. "And so he should be. (the officer) was dumbfounded and quite rightly so."

The Advertiser reports the junior officer was attached to the Northern Traffic Enforcement Section, predominantly motorcycle officers who are permitted to wear the baseball-style cap as part of their uniform. It understands his senior officer, who wrote the email and forwarded it to Assistant Commissioner Graeme Barton and the Northern Traffic Enforcement Section, was counselled after the action was deemed "inappropriate".

Other officers who contacted The Advertiser said bad management was adding to stress. "The road toll is through the roof and all management can do is have this officer type a report why he was wearing a baseball cap," one said.

SA Police spokeswoman Roberta Heather said: "As part of a review of that incident, where the officers were commended for their good work, an officer was reminded he was not authorised to wear a baseball cap."


Police wobble when asked to intervene against school bullies

The resultant police "action" was just talk: to "formally counsel them and issue cautions". No prosecution for assault despite undisputable evidence of it? It should surely have been up to a court to decide what punishment was appropriate

WA Police have for the first time taken action against a school student who encouraged bullying by recording it on a mobile phone. The Education Department has described the decision by police to refer the 14-year-old girl to the Juvenile Justice Team as a landmark development. Determined to get a grip on the troubling trend of students filming fights and bullying, education chiefs have backed principals who call in police.

In the past, the camera-wielding bullies -- who replay videos of their victims' torment to classmates or even upload them to the internet -- have been disciplined by schools. But calling in police means students face criminal charges.

Kiara police were called to investigate an assault on a schoolgirl at Lockridge Senior High School on June 25. The girl was assaulted by a 15-year-old classmate in the school toilets. A 14-year-old girl was a given a phone and took pictures of the incident. Police inquiries led to the two girls being referred to the Juvenile Justice Team, which formally counselled them and issued cautions. They escaped stronger action because of their age and clean records. One was referred for common assault, the other for inappropriate use of a mobile phone. They were also suspended from school.

Despite Government efforts to reduce school violence, latest figures obtained by The Sunday Times reveal that in the first semester of this school year there were 413 assaults in public schools _ little change from the previous semester. Of these, 132 were student-against-student assaults and 281 were student-against-staff assaults.

Education Minister Liz Constable said the case was a timely reminder to students and parents that police involvement was a possibility in bullying cases. "Kids have to understand that it is, in fact, a crime to assault someone,'' Dr Constable said. ``I don't think there is any one rule, but they do need to know that if they behave in this totally unacceptable, anti-social way, that one of the sanctions considered is police involvement.''

Education Department head Sharyn O'Neill also backed the police action against the LSHS student who held the mobile phone. ``I endorse the police taking action against both students, including the one who recorded the incident, as it sends a very strong message that this will not be tolerated both in and outside of school,'' she said. ``The fact that the police have taken action against the students shows just how serious the inappropriate use of mobile phones is and sends a very strong warning to anyone against being involved in this kind of behaviour.''

Ms O'Neill had written to every public school principal to ensure they had a mobile phone policy that was understood by staff, students and parents. This had to include a statement of the consequences students could expect for using mobiles inappropriately. ``Currently, every school must ban mobile phone use in the classroom, but some schools may take this further and ban their use anywhere on the school site if they feel this is necessary,'' Ms O'Neill said.

A Youth Poll survey released last year found that cyber bullying affected more than one in five young Australians. Latest Roy Morgan research shows 23 per cent of children aged six to 13 in Australia own a mobile phone. For 12 to 13 year olds, the figures are 55 per cent for boys and 65 per cent for girls. Text messaging is the most common form of cyber bullying and is used to deliver and spread death threats, insults and rumours.


Senator Barnaby Joyce dismisses climate nonsense

"The ETS is the Employment Termination Scheme"

Senator Barnaby Joyce has a good grasp of political issues and the ability to speak in a language the people understand. When Oppositions fail to do their job properly, an individual, a group or party faction inevitably steps forward to fill the power vacuum. In the case of the Rudd Government's proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS), Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce has moved to fill the space of a credible policy alternative by speaking out against a scheme which has the potential to devastate Australia's economy.

Rather than take a leadership stand on behalf of the Opposition, Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has taken the soft option of calling for a delay in any government decision until after the United Nations climate talkfest in Copenhagen in December. Moreover, Mr Turnbull has also called for yet another inquiry - this time by the Productivity Commission. Presumably, Mr Turnbull is incapable of striking a balance between the Liberal Party's climate-change believers, such as Greg Hunt, and its sceptics, such as WA MP Dennis Jensen, and does not want to be "wedged" on the issue.

His position is one of agreement with the Rudd Government's steps to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to 20 per cent below 2000 levels. However, he wants to delay action for another few months. The Labor Party rightly criticises Mr Turnbull for continually moving the goalposts without offering a feasible alternative policy.

If Mr Turnbull's suggestion of a referral to the Productivity Commission is taken up, at least officials in that organisation will be familiar with the subject matter. The commission has already completed as many as a dozen separate reports on the economic effects of attempting to contain greenhouse gases, stretching back to 1991 before the issue was even fashionable. Most recently, the Productivity Commission produced yet another - a substantial 93-page submission to the Garnaut Climate Change Review, itself the landmark advice to the Rudd Government on moving the policy forward.

However, Senator Joyce is arguing that any Senate deferral of the ETS until after Copenhagen would be the equivalent to voting it down. "The ETS is the Employment Termination Scheme for working families in the coal-mining and farming belts of Australia," Senator Joyce wrote in a statement late in May. "It is undeniable that this scheme will put our major export at risk and also put us on the path to further exacerbate the loss of our food sovereignty. "You cannot take the major income-earner out of the house, then put more impediments on the food in the cupboard and expect the life in the house will go on as before. "The mining industry has clearly spelled out this will be a disaster. The farming sector has shown us that this could lead to a 20 per cent reduction in the economy of some regions. The ramifications will flow up every street, no matter where you live."

Senator Joyce argues that ETS basically is tokenism, an ineffective gesture when put against the vast quantity of emissions from overseas. In a typical turn-of-phrase he describes it as a sop to Labor's constituency at "the Mystical Monkey Coffee Shop in inner suburban Nirvanaville".

From his arrival in Canberra from Queensland in 2005 as an unpredictable maverick who was prepared to defy his party and Liberal colleagues to repeatedly cross the Senate floor on key issues, Senator Joyce has slowly graduated into the mainstream of political debate. He has a good grasp of issues and - that rare commodity in politics - the ability to speak in a language that people understand. He also understands that riding shotgun alongside the Liberal Party but without a gun, is as good as useless. In other words, the party has to stand for something or die.

In September last year, Joyce was elected without fanfare as Nationals leader in the Senate, but, critically, he refused to take an Opposition portfolio responsibility. This meant that, even though he was in the Coalition leadership group, he was not locked into a Coalition policy straightjacket and had the ability to continue to speak his mind.

Reluctantly, Nationals MPs are coming around to realising that Senator Joyce's aggressive, independent strategy is more effective in raising the Nationals brand name - particularly while in Opposition. Some Nationals MPs resent the publicity that Senator Joyce manages to attract, and they consider him an unpredictable upstart. But older and wiser hands, such as long-time Queensland Senator Ron Boswell, whose loyalty to the Coalition was never given the recognition it deserved, realise that a separate identity for the party is vital. Events are moving in a way whereby Nationals will soon be asking: is Senator Joyce a leader in the making?


Young men more likely to stay living at home

A lot of my generation left home at age 16! -- JR

AUSTRALIA is breeding a generation of mummies' boys - and young men in Sydney are among the hardest in the country to get out of the family home. The latest snapshot of our nation shows 27 per cent of men 20 to 34 in Sydney are still enjoying home-cooked meals and having their washing and cleaning done for them, often long after their sisters have flown the coop.

Echoing TV series Packed To The Rafters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows the proportion of young men living at home rose from 24 per cent two decades ago, The Daily Telegraph reports. While they still have a way to go before they catch up, the number of young women staying at home is also increasing rapidly - from 13 per cent to 18 per cent over the same period.

Even when KIPPERS (Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) do move out, many come back - with the probability that someone would return home at least once before turning 35 being almost one in two.

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt, an adviser on the SBS series The Nest, said men formed relationships later, so stayed home longer. "We're breeding a generation of mummies' boys," he said. "I think that's one of the greatest complaints many young women have." However, Mr Salt said other parts of the world were experiencing the same trend, which is known as "Hotel Mamma" in Italy.

Sydney and Melbourne parents were the least likely to get their children to leave, with 27 per cent still at home compared with 20 per cent in Brisbane, Hobart and Canberra.


"Denialists hiding behind ideology" (?)

Green/Left "projection" at work again. The post below is from the Warmist in Chief of a major Australian newspaper. He accuses "denialists" of being governed by ideology but look at what he says. There is NOT ONE scientific fact mentioned in what he writes. It is ALL ideology!

In ExxonMobil’s 2008 corporate citizenship report, the fossil fuel giant said this: "In recent years, we have discontinued contributions to several public policy research groups whose position on climate change diverted attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."

If only it were true. This from the Sydney Morning Herald, via The Guardian: "Company records show ExxonMobil gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to such lobby groups last year. These include the National Centre for Policy Analysis in Dallas, which received $75,000, and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, which received $50,000."

Heritage was one of the groups which helped to fund the conference - mutual denialist back-slapping - which Senator Steve Fielding attended a few weeks ago before returning to Australia having swallowed their nonsense. From it’s title, you might think the NCPA was a genuine centre of repute. Not so. This from their website: "NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth’s current warming trend is still unknown.."

Wow. These guys are scholars. Aren’t they supposed to read stuff? At least have a stab at a theory. Back in May, Professor Geoffrey Heal, professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School, told an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the following"

"It is mainly politicians on the right, who champion the efficiency of free markets, that have tended to dispute both the science and economics of climate change. They have a problem because they believe that governments should not intervene in markets. But environmental problems, such as climate change, cannot be tackled without governments acting. In addition, there are many on the right in the United States who are hostile to science because of their beliefs, whether it is evolution or climate change."

And who’d have thunk it? So it’s not down to science after all - just a bunch of free-market ideologists and Christians desperately trying to justify their beliefs.


He also greatly misrepresents both what Exxon Mobil did and what it reported. They did in fact cease funding some "denialist" organizations and their contributions to "denialist" groups in total came to only 4% of what they gave to groups interested in the environment. See my third post down here. Warmists just wallow in deception. It's all they've got

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