Monday, August 04, 2008

Headlines Monday 4th August

We can’t measure teachers without measuring students
Andrew Bolt
I like the backdown, I endorse the $100,000, but I don’t trust this union to use the right measures to judge teacher performance:

HALF the nation’s public school teachers would be eligible for an annual salary of $100,000 under a contentious plan by the powerful education union to revamp wages based on performance. In a departure from the union’s previous opposition to merit-based pay — an idea pushed heavily by the Howard government leading up to the election — teachers are now calling for a career structure that would pay staff on the basis of performance and skills and not just years of service.
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Factory workers must pay athletes to have fun
Andrew Bolt
Surely he’s kidding:
AUSTRALIAN Olympic Committee boss John Coates yesterday called for financially struggling elite athletes to be paid generous salaries, not the minimum wage in direct assistance, as part of a plan to defend Australia’s endangered status as a sporting superpower…
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Solzhenitsyn dies
Andrew Bolt
A great man has left us:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident writer and Nobel literature prize winner, has died aged 89...

Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature, when it is in fact his brilliant history of the Soviet Gulag that is his greatest legacy.
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Rudd’s mad scheme gets madder
Andrew Bolt
It’s bad enough Kevin Rudd’s emissions scheme will choke our economy without helping the environment. Worse will be if he really does magically manage to get China to join us, says British emissions expert Liz Bossley:
“It’s really not in Australia’s interests for Chinese growth to be inhibited because you do so much of your business with them....”
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Bloated IPCC wins prize for restraint
Andrew Bolt
Beautiful Sunset
Yesterday I noted the huge gap between the preaching of the IPCC’s chief warming alarmist and his flying. Reader Hired Help now sends more proof that the rest of the IPCC, the UN’s global warming body, doesn’t seem to follow their own faith, either. Here, from Margo’s Maid’s Shadowlands, is a picture of just some of the IPCC delegation that flew to Norway to accept their Nobel Prize for warning the rest of us to emit less gas.
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Well, hello, sailor
Andrew Bolt
Nothing an old sailor hasn’t see before:

The logbooks kept by every naval ship, ranging from Nelson’s Victory and Cook’s Endeavour down to the humblest frigate, are emerging as one of the world’s best sources for long-term weather data.... A preliminary study of 6,000 logbooks has produced results that raise questions about climate change theories. One paper, published by Dr Dennis Wheeler, a Sunderland University geographer, in the journal The Holocene, details a surge in the frequency of summer storms over Britain in the 1680s and 1690s.

Many scientists believe storms are a consequence of global warming, but these were the coldest decades of the so-called Little Ice Age that hit Europe from about 1600 to 1850.

Wheeler and his colleagues have since won European Union funding to extend this research to 1750. This shows that during the 1730s, Europe underwent a period of rapid warming similar to that recorded recently – and which must have had natural origins.
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UN’s aid for poor dictators
Andrew Bolt
On top of revelations that United Nations’ aid money - almost certainly including Kevin Rudd’s - went to Burma’s dictators, comes this news:

More than a year before the United Nations discovered “very serious losses” of at least $10 million on foreign exchange transactions involving relief money sent to cyclone-battered Burma, U.S. diplomats raised similar concerns about spending in that country by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The concerns were not directly addressed. Neither was a U.S. request for copies of UNDP audits of the expenditures — even as UNDP revealed that its spending in Burma, which the country’s military regime renamed Myanmar, had soared spectacularly, totaling more than $74 million between 2002 and 2006.

The requests for information about Burma came on May 9, 2007, from then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Mark Wallace, who had already ignited a firestorm of controversy earlier that year over UNDP’s funneling of forbidden hard currency flows to the Kim Jong Il regime in North Korea.
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The Age of warming hypocrisy
Andrew Bolt
How The Age preaches:

If society is to confront climate change, it must change its behaviour and the way it conducts business.

How The Age “conducts business”:

The Age is rewarding a handful of its best Victorian Real Estate Agent clients with a special bonus: a trip to South America.
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The ABC of spreading baseless fear
Andrew Bolt
When will the ABC rein in its global warming catastrophists? On 774 ABC Melbourne this afternoon we have presenter Lindy Burns talking about the warming catastrophe that “chills my heart” and leaves her wondering “whether we have any hope at all”. She keeps crossing to an exhibition on the alleged sea level rises that she claims threatens Tuvalu with global warming doom, interviewing professional alarmists like Rob Gell. And, of course, she interviews at wailing length the ever-flighty Marian Wilkinson on her trip to the Arctic Circle to see global warming with her “own eyes” - as if melting ice in one part of the world proves man is heating the whole planet to hell. Both despair at the fate of the polar bear, and the planet.

Entirely missing from the interviews are the following facts:

- The world has not warmed since 1998, and has cooled since 2002.
- Thousands of scientists now doubt global warming theory, especially since the warming it predicted in mid-troposphere has not occured.
- Polar bears have increased in number over the past 40 years, and are only now labelled “endangered” for propaganda purposes.
- Total sea ice has increased over the past few years, and sea ice coverage in the Southern Hemisphere has been above average.
- Sea levels over the past couple of years have fallen, and tidal measurements at Tuvalu show no dangerous rise at all.
- Arctic ice this year is much greater than last year.
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Hollywood takes on the Left
Andrew Bolt
A classic man-bites-dog film:

(David) Zucker’s latest movie, An American Carol, is unlike anything that has ever come out of Hollywood. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives. Until now, conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo.
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Hamilton’s hatred of freedom is a warning
Andrew Bolt
Academic Clive Hamilton displays the Left’s traditional contempt for freedom, which is what has made it so dangerous for so long:

There is a need—more pressing by the day—to question the value of the economic, political and personal liberty that has been won.

Karl Popper had just this kind of disdain from freedom in mind when he wrote his classic The Open Society and Its Enemies, describing how a certain kind of intellectual from Plato to Marx and beyond seemed to yearn for authoritarian societies which they thought would best realise their dreams
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FISH REJECTS
Tim Blair
Contrarian academic Stanley Fish:
I resist and resent the demands made on me by environmental imperatives. I don’t want to save the planet. I just want to inhabit it as comfortably as possible for as long as I have.
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NEWSPAPER RELAUNCHES
Tim Blair
You’ll recall Iran’s missile photoshoppery. The SMH doesn’t.
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BULBAL WARMING
Tim Blair
Hybrids that don’t handle, lights that ignite ... green technology is trying to solve the global population crisis one human at a time. Thing is, though, that CFLs are apparently designed to burn and melt as they self-destruct.
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BLASTYPANTS
Tim Blair
Terrorists now have suicide underpants. Consider that for a moment. Now to events in Gaza, where Palestinian fighters are fleeing ... to Israel:
Israel has allowed 180 members of a beleaguered clan loyal to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to enter its territory from the Gaza Strip.

The Fatah faction supporters ran to a border crossing after a day of bloody fighting with their bitter rivals Hamas, who control the territory.

An Israeli army spokesman said some had laid down their weapons as they approached the crossing.

The injured among them were sent to Israeli hospitals, he added.
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WASTEFUL WASTE
Tim Blair
The NYT’s John Tierney:
Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources.
Not just in America. Here in Sydney, the front-of-house space available for my warming-solving bicycle—were I suddenly to buy one following an estrogen binge—is taken up by four council-supplied garbage bins, each dedicated to various categories of allegedly recyclable junk. Who is to blame for this?
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STEALER’S WHEELS
Tim Blair
Toronto bicycle store owner Igor Kenk is currently free on bail pending trial for narcotics possession and the theft of 2850 bikes.
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DOGS, CATS, SHARKS, PARROTS
Tim Blair
Looks like it’s back to etchings for Saudi singles:
Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.
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