Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Headlines Wednesday 6th May 2009
AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty stepping down
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty has decided to step down effective September, Sky News is reporting. - One can't help but feel Rudd has shouldered aside another valuable public servant. - ed.
Rich super cuts to pay for pension increase
Superannuation benefits for the rich will be cut in half to fund a $30-a-week pension increase for the poorest Australians in the upcoming federal Budget.
Budget deficit to last 'six years'
We are being told Australia will be in deficit for longer than first thought, with reports it could take up to six years to return the economy to surplus.
'I'm not the Marysville arsonist'
A firefighter interviewed over the deadly Marysville bushfire says police have bugged his home and are tracking his car.
Truckie protest targets CBD traffic
Truck drivers are staging protests on Sydney's roads this morning, causing long delays for peak hour traffic.
Jetstar fined nearly $150,000
Budget airline Jetstar might have to tighten the purse strings even further after being fined almost $150,000 for breaching the curfew at Sydney Airport.
Parramatta prison escapee charged
One of the men recaptured after escaping from Parramatta Correctional Centre has now been charged.
A serious investment in environmental goodness:
Brisbane environmental lawyer Jo Bragg and her partner, Gary Kane, spent $28,000 on three roof panels to generate solar power for their home in the inner Brisbane suburb of Highgate Hill.
Their purchase was taxpayer-assisted:
After receiving a federal government rebate of $8000, they hoped to recover their investment in a cleaner planet within a few years by selling excess power into the mains electricity grid.
How has that plan worked out?
In the three months to April, they used 1384 kilowatt hours and produced 388 kilowatt hours of excess power, for which they received the princely sum of $12.96 after taxes.
At that rate they’ll pay off their solar panels in just ... 385 years.
“Governments are not being serious about reducing energy consumption with lousy amounts of money like that,” Ms Bragg said.
HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAA! HA HA HA HA HA!
DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER
US newspapers aren’t alone in facing possible closure. The UK’s Independent is also threatened, although only five years ago owner Independent News & Media anticipated a glorious future:
At that time, INM was emboldened by a near-30% sales rise (the daily had a circulation of 262,588 and the Sunday 218,593) and predicted headline sales would rise to 337,449 by 2006.
According to the latest ABC figures, average circulation of the daily title stand at 205,308 and full-price sales at 113,927.
As well, the Independent‘s owners face a £1.2 billion debt and a collapsed market value:
Shares in the publisher have fallen by almost 90pc over the last year …
The Bush era was the Independent‘s golden era.
Right product, right market, right price, right time:
Tata Motors, India’s largest vehicle maker, has raised about $678 million from consumer bookings for its Nano, the world’s cheapest car …
Tata Motors received 203,000 fully-paid orders during the initial bookings from April 9 to 25, and it sold 610,000 booking forms during the period, the company said.
The company’s response: “Tata Motors places on record its gratitude to the people of India for according such a warm welcome to the Tata Nano.”
Certain groups know a racket when they see one:
Anti-Mafia magistrates in Sicily have opened a sweeping investigation into the wind power sector where local officials, entrepreneurs and crime gangs are suspected of collusion in the construction of lucrative wind farms before their eventual sale to multinational companies.
It’s the stimulus plan with a rich, satisfying flavour:
Officials in a county in central China have been told to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of locally made cigarettes annually or risk being fined, state media reports …
Departments that fail to meet their targets will be fined, the report said.
“The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax,” said Chen Nianzu, a member of the Gong’an cigarette market supervision team, according to the paper.
DON’T BE A NACHO JUDAS
Who among you will be the first public man to taste of the nacho?
You’ve heard of Peking Duck. Now observe Mr Bingley’s peeking dog:
Rudd’s warming fraud squad
WHY trust one more word from the professional fear-mongers of this spin-crazy Government?
Kevin Rudd’s decision to delay his emissions trading scheme for at least a year exposes his most brazen deceit.
For two years the Prime Minister and his crew warned there was not a day - an hour - to lose to save the planet from apocalyptic global warming.
So terrible was the cost of delay that if we didn’t back Rudd’s scheme to tax business tens of billions of dollars for emitting carbon dioxide right now we’d fry in hell or drown in red ink.
Bye bye the Reef. Good night Kakadu.
Remember their scares?
Kevin Rudd in September, 2008: To delay any longer, to stay in denial as the climate change sceptics and some members opposite would have us do, is reckless and irresponsible.
Tortured out of her body
THE tragedy is complete. The Family Court has treated the troubled mind of a 17-year-old girl by letting her cut off her breasts.
Chief Justice Diana Bryant even added: “It wasn’t a particularly difficult issue . . .”
But, by God, it should have been.
The girl, “Alex”, was just 13 when the Family Court allowed her to go on hormone medication to stop her from turning into a woman - from menstruating and developing breasts.
That first decision was the worst - and made this latest, four years later, to seem one of mere process, which is why Bryant found it so easy.
Howard learned. Will Rudd relearn?
When will Kevin Rudd admit he blundered again?
AUSTRALIA is facing the biggest spike in unauthorised boat arrivals since John Howard implemented the Pacific Solution, with the Australian navy intercepting another boatload of asylum seekers northwest of Broome… It is the 18th boat to be detained since the Rudd Government announced a softening of detention policies last September…
If the current pace of interceptions were to continue, the number of arrivals for this year would rival the 1212 (people) intercepted in 2001-02, the year the Howard government introduced the Pacific Solution of offshore processing centres. In the years after the Pacific Solution, the flow of boats slowed to a trickle, a fact the Howard government attributed to the tough message the policy sent to people-smugglers.
Critic proves Plimer, er, right
When Professor Mike Sandiford can write this in rebuttal, I’m even more convinced the case for warming alarmism is shonky:
IN his recent contributions to the climate change debate, Ian Plimer tells us the geological record should allay any concern that rising carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere will disrupt the climate.
CO2 is a trace gas that has never affected climate, he says. But there are other readings of the geological record that lead to a profoundly different conclusion. Geology tells us that for at least the past 200 million years there has never been so much CO2 in the air with so much ice on the land; that rising CO2 always accompanies a melting of the ice and that when the ice melts, seas rise fast.
The implication that rising carbon dioxide concentrations drove higher temperatures in the past is also stressed by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth:
In fact, as is now widely acknowledged (even by die-hard believers), the rise in carbon dioxide usually comes around 800 years after the rise in temperatures. From Fischer et al, 1999:
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations show a similar increase for all three terminations, connected to a climate-driven net transfer of carbon from the ocean to the atmosphere. The time lag of the rise in CO2 concentrations with respect to temperature change is on the order of 400 to 1000 years during all three glacial-interglacial transitions.
Frank Lansner also wonders why temperatures then fall, despite carbon dioxide remaining high, for a lagged period. His conclusion: the case that CO2 drives temperature is flawed.
Sandiford is entitled to argue that the lag between rising temperatures and rising CO2 means nothing, and even that there’s a later feedback that makes the initial (unexplained) warming even worse. I don’t buy it, but he could try it.
But what worries me is that he didn’t even acknowledge the most basic point - that temperatures in the past have risen long before C02 did, suggesting the very opposite of what he seeks to argue. It seems, in fact, that higher temperatures may explain higher C02 concentrations, and not the other way around. Plimer is right.
Taxing Rudd on his emissions
Alan Moran nails this farce:
(T)he Prime Minister’s website continues to say, “The cost of inaction on climate change will be much greater than the cost of taking action now."… At the very least the PM, in postponing the carbon trading tax, is acknowledging that immediate measures to reduce emissions would be costlier than doing nothing. But his proposed watering down of the already diluted proposals has all the hallmarks of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow…
Doubtless Rudd’s postponement of the planned new carbon tax is a prelude to an attempt to replace it with a tax on households to help defray some of the costs of his reckless cash giveaways. What is increasingly clear is that there will not be a carbon emissions trading scheme…
Inadvertently, the PM’s website remains spot-on in saying, “There is no greater challenge now facing our world and our nation than dangerous climate change.” The challenge is to his Government’s credibility at having commissioned endless reports, undermined the integrity of Treasury forecasting and created a monster department of hundreds of globe-trotting drones to promote phantom opportunities that a carbon tax would offer Australia. The “dangerous climate change” is the shift in the climate of business opinion and community opinion more generally, as the reality of a crippling new energy tax looms.
John McLean on the great warming scare:
But another force has driven science into its present parlous state where the output of computer software is held in higher regard than observational data, where marketing spin is more important than fact and evidence, and where a trenchant defence of the notion of man-made global warming is seen as paramount.
The single, pre-eminent force driving this distortion of science originates in the once-august UN.
Column - Gretel was meant to die
WHY the surprise that Gretel Killeen died at the Logies? Surely this was a professional hit.
Any TV exec who actually thought she’d work as host of the Channel 9 show on Sunday shouldn’t have a job.
After all, absolutely no one is allowed to succeed in that gig unless they have talent and, far more important, pose no threat to the thousands of other sensitive egos packed in the room.
They can’t be from a rival show or commercial station. They can’t be young, with big futures.
And they can’t be a woman, especially not a pretty one, because men will patronise and women envy.
They must be beyond ridicule, either because they’re too venerable, or, better, because they ridicule themselves. Both easier for a man.
Break those rules and you get a Gretel - with a crowd that wouldn’t laugh and mostly wouldn’t listen.
And soon the home audience picks on the sweat on the upper lip and the sound of a joke falling like a fork on Jacques Reymond’s tiles.
My recipe for a great host cuts the field to just three - too-old-to-envy Bert Newton, too-ABC-to-count Andrew Denton and too-Hollywood-to-threaten Hugh Jackman. But Gretel? Someone just wanted her to die.
No deficit of spending under Rudd
So why make new spending committments in the past six months of more than $100 billion - and announce a $300 billion defence plan?
THE Rudd Government is bracing for a $200 billion revenue black hole over the next four years as the impact of the global recession slashes its tax take.
And this isn’t true:
Mr Swan said today the budget will be in deficit for a longer period of time than initially expected because of the global economic downturn.
Not expected by whom?
Save the planet! Poison Chinese
Why do green solutions so often involve more seeming than doing?
Chinese workers making energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs for Western consumers have been sickened by the hundreds due to mercury poisoning. While poor factory conditions in China shoulder most of the blame, the news does raise serious questions about just how “green” the mercury-rich fluorescent lightbulbs actually are.
How many before Rudd owns up?
Yet another boat lured by Kevin Rudd:
KEVIN RUDD faces a continuing influx of asylum seekers after another boatload has been intercepted on its way to Australia.
Death toll so far: 18. Boats since Rudd softened John Howard’s laws against illegal immigrants in August: 18
Cost to taxpayers?
Melting detected in media
Like cracks in an ice shelf. Paul Syvret - former Labor staffer and now Courier Mail assistant editor and Leftist columnist - confesses:
When it comes to the climate change debate, I’m an agnostic.
Soon scepticism will become even fashionable.
Universities complain: too few poor
A problem that could trouble only a welfare state:
THE university sector will struggle to meet the Rudd Government’s targets on boosting numbers of students from poor backgrounds unless targets are based on the plausible available numbers of such students, University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis said yesterday. He warned that Victorian universities were unlikely to be able to meet the target unless they poached from each other because there simply were not enough young people in the state who met the definition.
Once universities competed to attract the most talented. Now they fight over the poorest.
Were you, or have you ever been….
First the vicious abuse and now the punishment for holding views even Barack Obama endorses:
Miss California USA Carrie Prejean is in danger of losing her title. Pageant officials Tuesday said they are looking into whether Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to gay marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a 17-year-old model.
Prejean’s sin? To say, as does Obama, that she believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
Prejean’s response shows all the class, civility and respect for difference that her critics so manifestly lack:
“I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be,” she said. “But these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive. While we may not agree on every issue, we should show respect for others’ opinions and not try to silence them through vicious and mean-spirited attacks.”
Taxing Rudd on his emissions
Yes, but where were these accountants in the past two years, when the Government was falsely claiming that the costs of inaction were greater than the costs of action, and the economy couldn’t afford any delay to an emissions trading scheme?:
The Australian Government’s decision to delay the introduction of its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) should lead to an improved long-term economic outcome according to CPA Australia.
Bayonetting the wounded. I suspect we’ll see a lot more of that over the next few years, as the timid emerge from their hiding holes, to say they were behind us all along.
Why You Cannot Trust the American Press
By Bill O'Reilly
Many of the Founding Fathers despised the press, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson among them. Yet they granted us more privileges than other citizens because they wanted independent, fair-minded eyes on government to inform the folks. After all, if we don't report honestly to you, how will you know the truth? Do you think the politicians are going to tell you?
But now in the year 2009, the American press is largely corrupt. Newspapers are dying because of the Net and ideological craziness, and TV news is generally more interested in making money than taking the risks necessary to deliver important information. There are exceptions, but you know what I'm talking about. And if you don't, here are two dramatic examples:
First, the swine flu. You may have noticed that "The Factor" has not done much on it because we simply can't find out what is true and what is hype. There are so many conflicting reports, we cannot cut through the fog. So we largely confine our comments to facts. Now reports are the swine flu is not as bad as first thought. But again, we don't know if that's true, so we cannot confirm it.
Second example: In early March, reports out of Sacramento said a homeless camp featuring hundreds of people damaged by the recession was a very important situation:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, "TODAY" SHOW: If you want to see the economic downturn's impact on average Americans, look no further than Sacramento, California. The city's homeless rate is growing at an alarming rate as people who just a few months ago had decent jobs suddenly find themselves with no place to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across the country part of the urban landscape is growing, right along with the recession. Tent cities as they are called. The homeless living in modern day shanty towns. This one about a mile northeast of California's capital on the banks of the American river.
STEVE INSKEEP, NPR: Widespread layoffs, home foreclosures and a deepening recession have created something new, a sprawling tent city of homeless people on the American River.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well guess what? The story is bogus. The Economist magazine, a British publication, writes:
"The tent city had actually been around for close to a decade. There may have been a foreclosed homeowner or two among its denizens ... (but) almost all of the people there have problems with mental health, drug abuse, or both."
Again, it took a British magazine to tell the truth about a false story generated by the U.S. media. So you can see the propaganda on the wall. These days we can't believe what we hear or read.
One final note: The insidious NBC News operation is taking out ads urging advertisers to buy time on their failing cable operations. The tag line is: Buy into the momentum. Sure.
Since October, in prime time MSNBC is down more than 50 percent in total audience and key demo. Buy into the catastrophe is more like it.