China’s conjuring acts were hardly a surprise
THE most surprising thing about the waves of outrage emanating from the Beijing Olympics about the manner in which the despotic Chinese Government is running the games is that anyone is actually surprised.
Surely no one could really have believed for a moment that Chinese officials would agree to change the nature of their totalitarian government’s rigid decrees against press freedom and human rights at the behest of the slick fixers who operate the international Olympic gravy train?
That officials from the historically corrupt International Olympic Committee could pretend to have reached an agreement with the current crop of mandarins which would have seen a relaxing of China’s Draconian control of its internal media, that Sinophiliac national leaders such as our own Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, could claim that China was going to enter into meaningful discussions with supporters of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and that his presence at the phoney Games’ opening was in some way a recognition of these talks, or that the very act of awarding China the Olympic Games was ever seriously seen as an impetus which would presage a new era of Chinese openness, were always farcical confabulations.
Yet there are apparently those who are surprised that Chinese political leaders prevented a buck-toothed child from appearing as the face of “new” China because her features were deemed to lack the blemish-free quality the backroom boys from the Politburo were trying to project. Good enough to sing, not good enough to be seen.
If a Western nation had pulled this stunt, the forests of Finland would have been pulped to meet the needs of batteries of roaring presses. With China, it’s a sort of a ho-hum.-As has been pointed out, these are fake games with many fake acts. However, as bad as it gets, the good thing is also there, and that is that the world can see it. It may not be recognized for what it is, but it can be seen. And while the Nazis stole the show in '36, they were gone nine years later. Lets us hope that the wind will stir in what was once mighty China, and that she may rise majestic again.- ed.
Now Russia threatens Poland - with nuclear attack
Still in any doubt about the growing Russian menace?
Moscow lashed out at Washington and Warsaw on Friday, saying the plan to site a US anti-missile defence shield in Poland would undermine the global balance of power and put Poland at risk of nuclear attack… Anatoly Nogovitsin, the deputy head of the Russian armed forces, warned Poland that by hosting the shield it could become the target of a nuclear attack in war time.
NBC journalist Chris Collinsworth is strangely surprised to meet patriot Kobe Bryant:
Collinsworth: Tell the story when you first got your USA uniform.
Kobe: Well I had goosebumps and I actually just looked at it for awhile. I just held it there and I laid it across my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.
A bronze for Beijing
Seven’s Olympics coverage is getting hammered:
And although the Games are winning the ratings with an average of 44 per cent evening audience share and 75 per cent for its much-maligned Yum Cha morning show, the cumulative first-week audience of 15.46 million is 300,000 down on Athens 2004.
Chris Berg finds green consumers are like green advertisers - more interested in seeming than being:
In a recent survey conducted by the Shelton Group, a Texas-based ad agency, 49% of US consumers said the environment was an important consideration when they purchased a product. But only 21% said that environmental considerations had led them to choose one product over another.
Head for the hills!
I’m afraid the Brumby Government actually does believe in the Apocalypse:
THE Victorian Government is so worried about the impact of coastal erosion triggered by climate change it is already appealing to the Commonwealth for money to shift seaside towns inland.
How the Age makes scientists disappear
Age environment reporter Adam Morton wouldn’t need to exaggerate and misrepresent so wildly if he really had the global warming facts on his side. Ditto the man he tries to portray as an eco-God, Brumby Government warming advisor David Karoly:
A LONG time ago, for a brief period in 1987, David Karoly was a climate change sceptic. Like a handful of scientists and a truckload of columnists and MPs today, he doubted that climate change was man-made.
Iguana's MP faces new allegations
BELINDA Neal, the federal MP at the centre of the Iguanagate affair, could face another investigation after a retired judge made an official complaint about a letter she allegedly sent on government notepaper to a witness at the centre of the incident at the restaurant on the NSW Central Coast.
Foreign workers' scheme 'not cheap labour'
THE Government has made up to 2500 visas available for Pacific Islanders to come to Australia to harvest fruit and vegetables.
He’s off yet again
Kevin Rudd really does love the international stage, doesn’t he? He’s off on his sixth overseas trip in eight months as Prime Minister - each almost as meaningless as the last:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will travel to New Zealand and the small South Pacific Island of Niue next week. In New Zealand Mr Rudd will hold trade talks with Prime Minister Helen Clark and speak at a climate change conference. He will then travel to Niue for the Pacific Island Forum, where he will discuss economic development, the environment and the security situation in Fiji.
How did that ice we see not get seen by NSIDC?
Steven Goddard checks those predictions that the North Pole could melt clear away this summer, and finds we can (yet again) relax.
Here is Saturday’s satellite picture of the North Pole (right) from the University of Illinois, compared to the picture from a year earlier:
But here’s the funny thing. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center refuses to be consoled:
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado released an alarming graph on August 11, showing that Arctic ice was rapidly disappearing, back towards last year’s record minimum. Their data shows Arctic sea ice extent only 10 per cent greater than this date in 2007, and the second lowest on record. Here’s a smaller version of the graph: