Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Will they learn from the Sydney tragedy?

For me the tragedy in Sydney in which two innocent people were killed raises two critical questions.

The way police deal with hostage situations is one and the way the scumbag responsible for it was dealt with is the second.

First, as I said yesterday, the emphasis on negotiating with criminals is wrong. When they're threatening other people they need to be stopped at the first possible opportunity.

In this case the scumbag - well known to police and the rest of us - was clearly visible at windows on more than one occasion. That gave sharpshooters opportunities to end the danger to the innocent hostages.

But no, the plan is always to negotiate. As a direct result, two people are dead.

In this case in particular, given the history of the scumbag, they must have known that negotiating was totally useless. You can't - and shouldn't - even think about negotiating with a mentally defective fanatically religious criminal.

We still don't know how several of the hostages were shot. It could well have been in the crossfire when police stormed the building after shots were heard from inside.

There's always the danger of the innocents being caught in crossfire when dozens of guns are going off in an enclosed space.

The way to avoid that is for a sniper to shoot the perpetrator at the first opportunity.

It's too late for the two victims but I hope that for once lessons are learned and in future the emphasis will be on eliminating the perpetrator at the earliest possible opportunity. Any negotiating should be designed solely to lure him into the sights of a sharpshooter.

Second, the scumbag was given political asylum from Iran back in 1996. That's OK, until his true personality became obvious. That's when it should have been revoked and he should have been immediately deported back to Iran.
 
Years ago he came to our attention when he sent offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in action. Was he deported? No, he was given a few hours of community service.

Last year his ex-wife was stabbed and set on fire. He was charged with with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder.Instead of immediately deporting him.

Earlier this year he was charged with over fifty counts of sexual assault. Still he wasn't deported.

At the time of the hostage taking he was out on bail.

Again, will the authorities learn from their mistakes?





Monday, December 15, 2014

Why is the hostage taker still alive?

I don't understand the softly-softly default position the police take in hostage siruations.

The one going on right now in the heart of Sydney is a perfect example.

A gunman has people in a cafe held hostage, for over ten hours ow. The police are out in force of course, armed to the teeth.

After hours of waiting they say they're now negotiating with the hoodlum.

He's been in full view of a window, as shown on TV:


So why didn't they shoot the bastard?

The deputy commissioner has been saying that the safety of the hostages and the general public is paramount.

Well, the best way to ensure everyone's safety is to eliminate the threat.

Forget the negotiators, there must be sharpshooters all round the place. They know what he looks like so they should have orders to shoot to kill at any opportunity he gives them.

Anything less is not in our best interest.



More mandate crap

I really have a problem with governments and their supporters squawking about having a mandate.

The latest is ANZ Bank's CEO Mike Smith, whingeing about the Senate not rubber-stamping the government's patently unfair budget proposals.

"They have a clear mandate to govern and should be allowed to get on with it."

In the real world, the coalition, with all its components, managed just 45% of the vote. To claim a mandate when less than half of us voted for you is ludicrous.

Added to that, of course, with this lying government, the policies they went to the election with are not what they decided to give us once in power.

They have no voter approval, let alone a mandate, for so many of the things they're trying to push through - such as cuts to education, cuts to health, changes to pensions,cuts to the ABC & SBS.”




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Enough!

Abbott brought it all on himself and he's reaping what he sowed.

Dr No in Opposition, everything was negative, everything was in crisis, the PM was a liar, outside events were no excuse for budget blowouts, changing circumstances were no excuse for changing policy.

It would all be so different if only he could be given the power to govern.

In the year or so since he was given power - he didn't win it, he was gifted it by Labor - it's been an unmitigated disaster.

More broken promises - read lies -  than you can poke a stick at, the most unfair budget proposals in living memory, arrogance causing a fractious Senate to be even more hostile, a huge budget blowout, no chance of meeting the 'budget in surplus' bragging.

As it was with Labor, the problem with the budget is falling revenues, and they're falling faster than ever. But there was no policy to do anything about that, just cuts to expenditure which affected ordinary people.

Meanwhile, multi-nationals get away with paying little or no tax, mining companies are given concessions, including our money to subsidise their fuel costs, while paying a fraction of what they should in tax. The paid parental leave rort is still on the cards, money for religious, and only religious, school counselors was found.

Worst of all are the lies. Just as his mentor John Winston Howard did, he said anything, told any number of lies, in the pursuit of power.

And it's continued, naturally enough, since he gained power. He's even lying about lying.

His election-eve promise of  'no cuts to the ABC or SBS', for example, was broken, he and his ministers obfuscated, using convoluted garbled phrases to try to con us into believing it wasn't a broken promise.

In the face of the obvious ridicule he now says the action 'was at odds' with his earlier pledge. At odds! He has broken his promise to the electorate. Another one.

It was changing circumstances that caused it, he claimed. The reason he was so scathing of when Labor used it.

Again like his mentor, he and his ministers are thrashing about blaming everyone but themselves.

The Opposition is the cause of so much of his problems, he tells us. They won't just rubber-stamp his proposals, they're being obstructive, they're 'feral' he says.

This from Dr No!

The debacle that was the Labor government, thanks largely to Kevin Rudd, was nothing compared to this rabble.

Deceit, lies, secrecy, arrogance, unfairness, looking after their mates at the expense of  ordinary people - even with Anonymous Bill  as Labor leader this will be a one-term government.

Abbott will be thrown on the scrap heap of history where he belongs.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Why?

What's this thing with people sticking their tongue out when they're photographed, selfie or otherwise?

I'm seeing it more and more in the mainstream media and online, from 'celebrities' to nonentities.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Abbott's damage control

Panic time for government after sustained fury at many of their budget proposals, and rejection of bills by the Senate.

Such is the unpopularity of their policies that they're looking more and more like a one-term government, so it's time for urgent damage control.

With his own MPs starting to panic about losing their jobs, Abbott's talking about 'scraping barnacles off the ship'. Or backing down from some of the more unpopular, and unfair, proposals.

The extra tax on visiting a GP - the 'co-payment' as they like to call it - is a possible non-starter, although his front-benchers are still talking about getting it through the Senate - or simply by-passing parliament if they can't.

That's a threat they've used before, although it's obviously a threat to democracy.

The idiots are also parroting the phrase about a 'sustainable Medicare' being dependent on the $7 extra tax. Which contradicts their other claim that the money will be going to a medical research fund, in which case I can't see how it sustains Medicare.

The man behind it all, Smokin' Joe the Treasurer, has joined the Opposition wherever it is they're hiding. He, and they, have become totally invisible.

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill something-or-other, is either  deliberately in hiding or is so ineffective as to be invisible.

Alternatively, he is out there but the media is deliberately ignoring him, and his front bench.

My money's on it being the people Labor elected to the top positions, and now is the time to get rid of them and replace them with a team that has character and can produce policies.

Meanwhile, Abbott continues to break pre-election promises by the handful. Remember him, and his front bench, screaming red-faced every day at Julia Gillard over her, one, broken promise?

They got saturation media coverage, yet we see nothing about his myriad broken promises from the current Opposition.

You know what - just as Abbott came out on top because Labor gifted him the last election, I think it's shaping up to be exactly the same result for the same reason at the next.

All the attention is going to Jacqui Lambie and the PUP and none to Labor.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blue November


It's jacaranda time again, and they really do look stunning.