Wednesday, March 7, 2012

134 Tamil Tigers moving to Australia?

Tamil Tigers moving to Australia?

(1) Glacier Girl doesn't prove "Global Warming"
(2) Iceland switching from Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Electric Cars
(3) Shuttered Ford Plant to Become Renewable Energy Park
(4) BBC Interview of BNP's Nick Griffin: WSWS Trots call SWP Trots "pseudo-left"
(5) Australia: Rudd intervenes to block Tamil asylum-seekers
(6) Sri Lankan High Commissioner says asylum-seekers are Tamil Tigers
(7) "Green Left" Trots say it's racist not to accept Tamil asylum-seeker boat
(8) Tasmanian dairy farmers fight Price Cuts
(9) New Ooccupational Health & Safety (OHS) laws reduce Red Tape; but Unions object

(1) Glacier Girl doesn't prove "Global Warming"
From: north-pennine rainbows <pennine.rainbows@btinternet.com> Date: 20.10.2009 07:36 PM

Here's the account of the amazing emergency landing ( & survival) of a WW2 American air crew on an ice slab of Greenland in 1942.
http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm

In 1992, and fifty years on- ( please, just follow the links on the above url to follow the account) Mr Brad McManus- a member of the original squadron, and a recovery team stood upon that same ice slab. ("surrounded by the recovered pieces of his late friend Harry Smith's P-38, as chronicled in the documentary 'The Lost Squadron' ")

Now then,- the rub: with all this "Global Warming" "taking place" "Ice caps are melting" etc, etc, etc...ad nauseous, blah,blah,blah & all that jazz. You'd think, wouldn't you, that there'd be no problem right? That the spot upon which the emergency landing all those years ago took place, would be considerably milder than the freezing condition the poor air men had to endure early 1940s? ( or that maybe the airplanes be submerged beneath the sea had the original ice slab had melted) Wrong !!!

The recovery of the late crew -gent Mr Harry Smith's aircraft needed an intense operation taking four months, seeing that the aircraft had in fifty years become buried in "268 feet of ice" !!!

Strange days indeed are these, when wrong is right,when darkness is light.When bad is good, when falsehood is truth. When Global cooling is called "Global Warming"
Kindest & God Bless from pennine

(2) Iceland switching from Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Electric Cars

Iceland Switching Gears from Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Electric Cars

The Driving Sustainability '09 conference and an intimate conversation with Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson.

September 17, 2009 at 10:25AM by Jim Motavalli

http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/iceland-president-clean-cars

Bessastadir is the historical residence of the President of Iceland. ... The setting was traditionally Icelandic, but the President is quite up to date about the fast-moving efforts--showcased at the "Driving Sustainability '09" conference, where he spoke--to turn Iceland into a showcase for electric cars. Its unique combination of political will, a concentrated population of just 310,000 people and abundant, low-cost geothermal electricity could, in fact, lead to the first national charging network in the world.

Mitsubishi will be one of Iceland's first partners. According to Grímsson, the company's relationship to Iceland goes back to the early 1970s, when it began supplying turbines to the country's emerging geothermal industry. Two years ago, Mitsubishi came to the table to talk about bringing its i-MiEV electric car to Iceland. Examples were brought over last year, their first visit outside Japan. "Given our involvement in clean energy, it made sense," Grímsson said. "And we also had an ideal combination of rural roads, cosmopolitan settings and all kinds of weather for testing."

Iceland's financial crisis hasn't derailed the Mitsubishi agreement, but it remains unclear when the fleet--initially a few dozen vehicles--will arrive. Mitsubishi representatives were at the Driving Sustainability conference, where they unveiled an ambitious clean energy agenda for Iceland, but the timetable wasn't clarified.

Iceland has also flirted with a hydrogen energy economy, and Shell operates a filling station for fuel-cell cars. Jon-Bjorn Skulason of Iceland New Energy said at the conference that there are now 10 hydrogen cars in the country, including eight Toyota Priuses modified to burn hydrogen and Ford Focus and Explorer fuel-cell vehicles.

But Grímsson and many other Icelanders have become skeptical about hydrogen for Iceland, largely because fuel-cell vehicles remain in short supply. Meanwhile, plug-in electric cars are scheduled to hit the world's roads in significant numbers next year. "There seems to be a slowdown in the development of hydrogen cars from the big players," Grímsson said. "We believe that electric cars may be better suited to transform our transportation fleet in a short time than hydrogen."

The President is also bullish on a concept advanced at the conference: A united Nordic market for EVs. "The five countries have a population of 25 million people and constitute a significant market," he said. "We could evolve unified laws and regulations for electric transportation."

Also possible is final assembly or outright production of EVs in Iceland or its Nordic partners. (Norway has a significant player already in Think, which makes the City EV.) Grímsson points out that Iceland is already assembling its own ambulances and fire engines in the north of the country.

Grímsson gestures expansively. "Look at our activity and bustling traffic," he said. "Does this look like a country in crisis? A key reason we're able to weather our financial collapse is the low cost of electricity and home heating here. A family pays only a couple hundred dollars per year to heat their home with geothermal energy. Our difficulties would be much worse if we were still heating and creating electricity with imported oil and coal. Clean energy is good for the well-being of individuals and companies--it's a pillar of the economy."

With its ultra-cheap electricity (as low as 2.5 cents per killowat hour), Grímsson estimates that consumers will be able to drive their EVs for a year on what it now costs to fill their cars up once or twice with gasoline. "Our greatest stumbling block is getting the EVs actually on the road here and on the world market," he said. "The car producers are not yet able to meet the growing demand." ...

(3) Shuttered Ford Plant to Become Renewable Energy Park

http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/ford-wixom-plant-becomes-renewable-energy-center

The decades old factory in Wixom, Michigan should see new life and green jobs.

September 11, 2009 at 6:03PM by Jim Motavalli | comment

No mistake, the recession has ravaged the auto industry. Ford, for instance, has 14 idled assembly plants in North America, and it has closed five since 2005. That's the bad news. The good news is that some of them are being reborn as alternative energy incubators.

Ford closed its plant in Wixom, a Michigan town of 12,000, in 2007. At its height, when it was cranking out Lincoln Town Cars and Continentals, the plant employed 3,000 people. Opened in 1957, it was a reliable employer for more than 50 years.

Fortunately, the plant has assets: It's right on a rail line, the I-96 freeway is two minutes away, and there's an electric power substation on the property. And now it has new tenants in the form of two major green companies, Clairvoyant Energy and Xtreme Power, which will invest $725 million to redevelop its 320 acres and 4.7 million square feet of floor space.

Phil Horlock, chairman and CEO of Ford Land (created by Henry Ford II to manage the company's more than 2,000 acres, which make it the largest land owner in Dearborn) declined to say how much the green energy companies will pay for the plant. But he described it as a small percentage of the $725 million the partners will spend to redevelop the plant.

Clairvoyant makes high-efficiency solar panels, and has developed solar parks in California and Spain. Xtreme's systems store solar and wind power until the grid is ready to use it. It's working on turn-key projects that will, the company says, support up to 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy.

A third operator at Wixom, with a satellite office, will be Oerlikon Solar USA (a branch of a Swiss company), which works closely with Clairvoyant on thin-film solar technology.

Horlock praises the role of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in supporting the renewable energy project with a variety of tax credits, including those for restoring brownfields and providing green jobs. Environmental remediation is in its second phase at the plant.

The energy partners will take title to Wixom in the first quarter of next year, and renovate the site with construction starting in the fall of 2011. The partners have applied for a Department of Energy loan guarantee. Failure to secure that loan will undoubtedly slow the project substantially, but it is expected to continue regardless.

Ford has sold three of its closed plants, and Wixom is the fourth. A fifth site in Norfolk, Virginia is in discussions with a potential buyer.

(4) BBC Interview of BNP's Nick Griffin: WSWS Trots call SWP Trots "pseudo-left"

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/oct2009/bnpa-o22.shtml

The British National Party and “Question Time”

By Julie Hyland

22 October 2009

Media lawyers this week rejected a warning by Welsh Secretary Peter Hain that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) could face legal action if it allowed Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, to appear on its flagship “Question Time” programme, scheduled for this evening.

Hain had argued that the far-right party was effectively “illegal,” after the Equality and Human Rights Commission began county court proceedings against it on the grounds that its “whites only” membership policy breached race relations laws. The action was halted after Griffin agreed to put a revised constitution to the party next month and suspended recruitment in the interim period.

Hain’s threat was the latest in a near hysterical campaign by a section of the Labour Party, including potential leadership challenger Alan Johnson, the Guardian newspaper and pseudo-left groups such as the Socialist Workers Party, to denounce Griffin’s appearance.

With plans for a demonstration outside the BBC HQ by Unite Against Fascism (UAF)—an umbrella organisation of Labourites, the Trades Union Congress and the SWP, that is also supported by the Conservatives and others—there has been talk for weeks of the programme being filmed in a “secret location” guarded by a heavy police presence.

That many workers and young people find Griffin and his organisation’s politics of race hatred repugnant is entirely healthy. But this politically inexperienced opposition is being directed towards demands for state and media sanctions against the BNP for not following “legitimate democratic” norms and used to sanctify the official establishment parties as the rightful representatives of public opinion.

The Socialist Worker, which heads the UAF, claims that the BBC’s invite “flies in the face of its responsibilities as a public service broadcaster.”

This is a whitewash of the BBC, the official mouthpiece of British imperialism in whose “service” alone it propagandises day in and day out. It also lends credence to the broadcaster’s argument that as a “public service broadcaster” it is obliged to feature Griffin. As the BNP won two seats in June’s elections to the European Parliament and has some 50 local councillors in the UK, the BBC cannot “apply different standards to different parties because of their particular policies,” the broadcaster has stated.

In reality, the BNP leader’s participation on “Question Time” is only the latest in many appearances he has made on the BBC, especially over the last year, and he is regularly interviewed on all the major news channels.

Griffin’s rise to public prominence has little to do with democratic “inclusion” and everything to do with a pronounced shift to the right amongst the entire political establishment, including its supposedly “liberal” representatives.

They regard the BNP as a useful tool for inculcating anti-immigrant prejudice in order to divert the rising social anger generated by the economic crisis away from its real target—the parasitic financial oligarchy and its political representatives that have plundered the social assets and living standards of working people for their own self-enrichment.

In March 2008, for example, the BBC commissioned a so-called “White Season” of programming. Under the heading, “Is white working-class Britain becoming invisible?” its aim was to assert that political alienation and economic insecurity amongst “white” workers was bound up with issues of race and a sense of betrayal produced by the “liberal nostrums” of multiculturalism and “political correctness.”

The BBC acted throughout as a conduit for the type of propaganda that is the bread-and-butter of the BNP. Indeed, Griffin participated in the BBC discussion panel on its “White Season” without any protest. The series was greeted enthusiastically by the media. Writing in the Financial Times, under the headline “White men unburdened,” John Lloyd welcomed the fact that “A cultural movement is happening within liberal opinion. It no longer greets immigrants with open arms.” Notions of “assimilation, cultural diversity and mutual tolerance” were “now in contest,” he wrote, including in “Britain’s most important cultural institution, the BBC.”

The World Socialist Web Site explained at the time, “From the Labour Party’s role as the chief ally of the Bush administration in the US and its doctrine of preemptive war, to the campaign by supporters of the New Statesman and the Euston Manifesto group against the ‘appeasement’ of Islamic fundamentalism, former pacifists and leftists have become transformed into political apologists for free-market capitalism and so-called liberal imperialism.”

It is the BNP’s repeated attack on Islam as being “incompatible with democracy” that has particularly earned it airspace. Its talk of a “clash of civilisations” repeats in unadulterated form the claims made by the ruling elite in Britain, the United States and elsewhere to justify their predatory wars of colonial conquest in Afghanistan and Iraq and condition public opinion for even more brutal interventions against countries such as Iran.

At the same time, the BNP has been able to exploit the political disaffection caused by Labour’s big business agenda and the tremendous growth in class inequalities this has caused to posture as an “anti-establishment” party. In turn the “establishment” has portrayed it as an expression of the legitimate grievances of “white workers” to again further its own reactionary agenda. ...

(5) Australia: Rudd intervenes to block Tamil asylum-seekers

By Richard Phillips

17 October 2009

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/oct2009/refu-o17.shtml

One week after his government forcibly deported two young Sinhalese asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd phoned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last Saturday, urging him to prevent a boat carrying 255 Tamil asylum-seekers from reaching Australia. ...

For its part, the Rudd Labor government is using the issue to intensify its anti-asylum seeker measures, in a manner similar to that of its predecessor, the conservative Howard government.

After being towed to Merak harbour on Sunday, the Tamil asylum seekers refused to leave the boat and on Thursday, more than 200 of the passengers began a hunger strike protest. Their spokesman, Alex, told the media that after leaving war-ravaged Jaffna in Sri Lanka’s north, they spent a month in the Malaysian jungle and had been at sea for 13 days before being captured by Indonesian authorities.

In a desperate appeal for asylum Alex, a former Jaffna English teacher, declared: “We are civilians, not Tamil Tigers. Every day there are Tamils being killed and raped in the refugee camps. ... We are people without a country to live in.”

These comments, which accurately describe the situation facing tens of thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka, along with a moving plea by Brindha, a nine-year-old girl, were nationally broadcast on Australian radio and television.

Rudd and immigration minister Chris Evans immediately rejected their appeals. ...

The likely consequence will be that the Tamils will have to spend years in Indonesian detention camps or return to Sri Lanka, one of the most militarised countries in the world, where racial oppression and the government’s anti-democratic methods are a daily reality.

Anti-immigrant racism

Labor’s callous indifference and its ratchetting up of anti-asylum seeker rhetoric is no accident. Nor is it a coincidence that it occurs within the context of the global financial crisis.

The Rudd government regularly claims that Australia has escaped recession, but its hysterical reaction to the latest group of asylum seekers is an expression of concerns within ruling circles about growing opposition to the assault on jobs, wages and living conditions.

Urged on by the corporate media and its wild allegations that the country is about to be overwhelmed with refugees, Rudd is now in a bidding war with the opposition Liberal-National coalition. ...

(6) Sri Lankan High Commissioner says asylum-seekers are Tamil Tigers

SLanka accuses Tamil asylum seekers of being fighters

Updated October 7, 2009 13:16:57

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/200910/s2707149.htm

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia claims that large numbers of his countrymen seeking asylum are former members of the Tamil Tigers.

His claim comes as Australia steps up its campaign to stem the recent flow of people from Sri Lanka who have attempted to enter Australia by boat and attempt to be granted residency. ...

(7) "Green Left" Trots say it's racist not to accept Tamil asylum-seeker boat

http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/814/41882

Tamils flee genocide — refugees should be welcomed!

Jay Fletcher
19 October 2009

On October 15, almost 260 Tamil refugees were stranded at an Indonesian port in west Java. They were refusing to disembark from the boat that had carried them from Malaysia and pleaded for the Australian government to hear their case. That evening they declared a hunger strike.

Alex,a spokesperson for the group, told the media: “We decided on the strike to let the whole world know that we need their assistance as soon as possible. We need somebody to consider our case.”

The hunger strike was ended on October 17, although the refugees still refuse to leave their boats.

The boat had been moored at Merak after it was caught sailing toward Australian waters. The Indonesian navy took it to the port.

The move was at the specific request of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who had phoned his Indonesian counterpart and fed “top-level intelligence detailing the whereabouts of the boat”, the West Australian said on October 13.

The information had come from Australian border security based in Indonesia.

Alex told Green Left Weekly by phone that the refugees are escaping government-driven genocide in Sri Lanka.

“We have run away from a war, a 26-year war against our people and we are fleeing genocide”, he said.

Tamils are victims of war crimes in Sri Lanka. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka have released reports of widespread abductions and executions at the behest of Sri Lankan officials.

Three hundred thousand Tamils remain imprisoned in government concentration camps. Alex told ABC journalists, “there is not the opportunity for Tamils to survive in Sri Lanka”.

He told GLW the asylum seekers were devastated by Australia's actions.

“When people are fleeing war and genocide, how can a country think protecting themselves is more important than helping these people?” he told GLW. “The world is for all of humankind, we are just like you except we do not have a country.” ...

The event has fuelled government and media panic about the rise in boatloads of people from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and, increasingly, Sri Lanka.

But this concern is steeped in racist nationalism. The opposition has repeatedly declared Rudd's refugee policy “soft” and an “invitation” to asylum seekers. The federal government says it has a “tough line” on border control and remains preoccupied with a farcical war on so-called people smugglers.

The mainstream media continue to label the arrival of boats a “surge” and stir fear. Christmas Island is at capacity and the boats keep coming.  ...

(8) Tasmanian dairy farmers fight Price Cuts

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2009/10/08/102045_tasmania-news.html

Pura boycott threat

SUE NEALES

October 08, 2009 02:00am

TASMANIAN consumers have been asked to stop buying Pura milk in a bid to save the state's dairy farmers.

The North-West farmer, who was named Tasmanian Australian of the Year in 2006 for organising the Fair Dinkum Food campaign in which farmers drove tractors to Canberra, threatened to take the Pura boycott national.

Mr Bovill's boycott call follows a heated rally of more than 500 farmers in Devonport on Tuesday. The farmers were protesting massive cuts to farmgate prices offered by National Foods to its milk producers.

"The only thing National Foods seems to understand is money," Mr Bovill said.

"That's why a boycott is the answer. If they are so greedy that they don't care about their producers then they deserve to lose money."

Tasmanian farmers are being paid less than 21c for every litre of milk by National Foods, well below the cost of production of about 39c a litre.

Last year, National Foods paid Tasmanian farmers an average of almost 50c a litre.

Mr Bovill said National Foods executives recently claimed they had no obligation to help farmers.

"We want National Foods to suffer, but not farmers," Mr Bovill said.

"If all Tasmanian consumers stopped buying Pura milk today, it would send a very clear message about the outrage in the community."

Mr Bovill said Pura milk was the biggest money-spinner for National Foods, earning the company its greatest profits in Tasmania.

The price of a litre of Pura milk remains unchanged at about $2.30 in most shops, despite the slashing of National Foods' purchase price.  ...

"So stop buying Pura and instead buy Coles and Woolworths home brand milk because National Foods make hardly any profit on that."

(9) New Ooccupational Health & Safety (OHS) laws reduce Red Tape; but Unions object

Unions buck draft OHS laws

Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter | September 26, 2009

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26126685-5013871,00.html

THE Rudd Labor government is heading for a showdown with unions following the release of draft workplace safety laws that undermine key union powers across several states.

The draft laws -- which were approved in principle at a meeting of state and federal ministers in Sydney yesterday and have been released for six weeks of public consultation -- are closely based on the Victorian model for occupational health and safety.

OHS laws in Victoria were overhauled in 2002 and were designed to remove workplace safety from the arena of industrial disputation and guarantee employers and workers took shared responsibility for safe conditions in factories, shops, offices, farms and other places of work.

As expected, the draft laws released last night by Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard include duties for workers to take care of safety, along with bosses.

They require bosses to do everything that is "reasonably practicable" to make workplaces safe -- unlike the current laws in NSW and Queensland, which carry an absolute duty of care and place the onus of proof on defendants, rather than prosecutors.

Unlike in NSW, there will not be an opportunity for unions to launch prosecutions themselves and pocket a proportion of any fine imposed in the form of a "moiety".

The Weekend Australian understands NSW Finance Minister Joe Tripodi moved at the meeting to have union prosecutions included in the new laws and was defeated by eight votes to one.

NSW and Queensland moved to include a reverse onus of proof and were defeated by seven votes to two.

Once passed nationally, the new laws will reduce the burden of red tape and compliance on businesses that operate across jurisdictions.  ...

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