Truckie acquitted over Kerang rail crash
The truck driver involved in a train crash that killed 11 people at a country Victorian rail crossing has been acquitted.
Climate activists halt traffic in Sydney
Thousands of environmental activists have marched in central Sydney, urging the federal government to fight climate change by creating green energy jobs.
Knox takes stand in Italy murder trial
An American student on trial in Italy for the murder of her British room-mate testified on Friday for the first time.
Five found guilty in NZ exorcism case
Cries rang out in a New Zealand court room as a High Court jury found five members of the family of Janet Moses guilty of her manslaughter in an exorcism.
Gerrit Blank survives meteorite hit
A YOUNG boy will be his mates' hero for a long time after survivng a direct hit by a meteorite, travelling at nearly 50,000 kilometers per hour. - reports say the boy, Kal El, is doing well. - ed.
Doctors criticise govt on flu response
Doctors have criticised Australia's response to swine flu, with some patients waiting eight days for test results or receiving anti-viral drugs too late.
Two types of baby dummy recalled
Two types of baby dummy have been recalled after putting infants at risk of choking.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Drama queen of the screen & talk of the tabloids!
Denise Richards reveals why It's Complicated!
Catch the interview only on 'Hannity'!
=== Comment ===
SPORT OF THE FUTURE
Can a Segway make it all the way around a supercross track? AMA Supercross champion James Stewart attempts the slowest challenge of his entire career:
Looks like this will be the closest we get to seeing Segways race.
China will not make a binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions, putting in jeopardy the prospects for a global pact on climate change.
Officials from Beijing told a UN conference in Bonn yesterday that China would increase its emissions to develop its economy rather than sign up to mandatory cuts …
Hopes that Copenhagen might deliver tougher carbon reduction targets were dashed further when Japan failed to make a significant commitment to reduce emissions.
Continued Chinese economic expansion – and Japanese opposition to emissions cuts – reduces to less than irrelevant any Australian attempts at climey-warmy-carbony-changiness. Penny Wong may as well start looking for a new job. UN climate change chief Yvo de Boer’s reaction to the latest news:
“For the first time in my two and a half years in this job, I don’t know what to say.”
UPDATE. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) meets Chinese officials:
He point-blank asked the Premier and other high officials if they were going to participate in whatever “process” comes out of the big Copenhagen meeting (the successor to Kyoto) in December; he was told by everyone of whom he asked that question that: No, China would not be signing on to any agreements in Copenhagen - they instead plan to set up their own standards and do things their own way. Whatever “mechanisms” come out of Copenhagen, it is clear that China, India, and many other countries simply will be opting not to participate …
Given these political realities, Rep. Sensenbrenner has concluded that the cap-and-trade plans now being discussed in Congress will be disastrous - since they amount to unilateral economic disarmament.
A Tim Flannery prediction from 2008:
The water problem is so severe for Adelaide that it may run out of water by early 2009.
We’ve hit 2009’s midway point, and Adelaide’s water supply is currently at 54 per cent of capacity. That’s more than 100,000 megalitres, with yet more to come:
South Australia is in for a wet weekend, including possible floods, as significant rainfall is forecast in all districts south of Port Augusta.
Up to 30mm of rain could fall in southern agricultural areas, including Adelaide, but up to 50mm is forecast in the Mount Lofty and Southern Flinders Ranges by the end of Tuesday.
Flannery’s been blown out of the water, so to speak, as is usual when he claims Australian cities are about to run dry. So how does Flannery respond?
Australian scientist and campaigner Tim Flannery, one of the conference organisers, said climate change was harming his home country. “Water resources have dried out to the point where they’re now affecting the future of some of our cities.”
Flannery is a rain denialist.
UPDATE. Flannery addresses the “carbon imbalance of the planet”:
This is the sort of speech for which Flannery once claimed to charge $50,000.
The Sydney Morning Herald missed the Letterman/Palin story as it was breaking, but now – several days later – leads its World section online with an AP piece on Letterman’s, ahem, “apology”. Jim Treacher’s analysis is sharper, of course.
UPDATE. Look forward to a Letterman piece by James Lileks in Sunday’s New York Post.
UPDATE II. An apology from David Letterman:
“I’m being needlessly coarse. I’m sorry.”
Too bad it’s ten years old. Longtime Letterman observer Verne Gay tells us how Dave is feeling:
It’s tearing him apart. I guarantee you. He’s having sleepless nights. He’s beating himself up. He’s furious with himself … it never occurred to him that this would hit the fan the way it has, and he prides himself on being smarter than that.
According to a source on the scene, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin – in Sydney after being released from quarantine – tonight told guests at a United States Studies Centre dinner that he feared he would be assassinated by the Secret Service for speaking out against George W. Bush.
Journalists now search for the real Rudd
Now even The Age’s Tony Wright, like me, can’t tell if a real Kevin Rudd even exists:
Meanwhile, we’ve got Kevin. But Kevin who? Is even he quite sure?
Wright admits that the Canberra press pack have actually been wondering about this since Rudd’s press conference the day after the election:
It was only when the PM opened his mouth that reporters, most of whom had been trailing him around for months, began to exhibit bewilderment. Here was a Kevin Rudd who bore no relationship to the breezy, ever-chuckling Kevin of the election campaign. Here was a stranger… We looked at each other. Did anyone actually know that bloke we’d just interviewed?
Incidentally, Wright’s piece also reveals why the carpetbaggers and writers close to Rudd rarely tell you what they really think of him:
“The mountain has laboured and brought forth a clerk,” muttered the baggy-eyed author, filmmaker, speechwriter to Labor legends and lifetime contrarian Bob Ellis, as he plodded away clutching his signature napping pillow, begging your correspondent not (to) be quoted lest it scotch his chances of work with the new administration.
Annabel Crabb thinks the ocker Rudd isn’t the real one, and wonders why Rudd is so scared of showing us the real one::
For all his dominance, Kevin Rudd seems strangely timorous of giving offence. His earnest search for terms of extreme disparagement for people smugglers, arsonists and Gordon Ramsey, and his eager deployment of matey Australianisms all bespeak a cry for acceptance. “Like me. Please, like me!” is what it sounds like.
I’d agree with that.
Guess which one reporter still claims that Rudd’s ocker-speak is natural?
It’s easy to forget that while Rudd might be a university-educated ex-diplomat, he spent his childhood on a Queensland dairy farm. And, stone the crows, every afternoon his family listened to Dad and Dave on the radio.
It’s the same reporter who passes on as his own work a line that sounds like it was manufactured by Rudd’s paid spinners:
Maybe Malcolm Turnbull should spell out the Liberal Party attitude in language the Prime Minister can understand.
Yes, you got it. We’re talking about the very same journalist who also claimed that Rudd’s refusal to say his debt would rise to $300 billion was not spin, but just Treasury speak, and that Treasurer Wayne Swan’s refusal to give the deficit figure in his his Budget speech (or subsequent interviews) was a mere oversight.
“Apologist” seems too soft a word.
Reader Norma notes something curious about Rudd’s excuse, as channelled by Laurie Oakes. As the Supreme Court of Queensland Library notes:
On 31 May, 1937 , Sydney radio station, 2UW, broadcast the first episode of Dad and Dave from Snake Gully. Heard in homes around the nation, four nights a week for the next fifteen years, Dad and Dave ran for 2,273 episodes, and was repeated for many years.
That means the original Dad and Dave broadcasts actually finished in 1952. Kevin Rudd was born in 1957. His family must have loved the repeats, I guess, although I doubt they were on “every afternoon” by then.
Boyle sings as she was meant to
I knew she’d be back where she belonged:
SUSAN Boyle made a triumphant comeback today, returning to the stage to thousands of screaming fans. Following a day of doubts when not even tour organisers knew whether she would perform, the Scottish singing sensation stepped out before an audience of more than 10,000 and sang the song that made her a global star two months ago I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables… Prior to taking to the stage last night Boyle said: “I’m feeling much better now thank you and I’m really looking forward to performing. ”
Lecture me only when you wear white shoes
Professor Sandy Gifford says Australia is racist. But should we trust the moral lecturing of a racist?
I came to embody this racism through subtle everyday day family life. When I wanted a new pair of white shoes to go with my Easter dress, I was told by a progressive relative: “Only coloured children wear white shoes.” To this day, I have never owned a white pair of dress shoes.
What did Fitzgibbon say to eavesdropping spies?
Unbelievable. A Defence Minister so scared of his own department that he makes sensitive calls on a phone easily bugged by anyone else:
Fitzgibbon, rattled, borrowed his wife’s phone to make sensitive phone calls: “I had no idea what to think but when you read in the paper that Defence is spying on you, you have to take it seriously,” he said in an interview with me this week.
That was grounds to fire this incompetent right there. And we still don’t know why his Chinese landlady gave him not just free trips to meet Chinese generals and other powerbrokers, but $60,000 in cash. Is this country nuts that such duchessing - some of it undeclared - didn’t immediately result in Fitzgibbon being removed from such a sensitive post?
Iran reelects its chief bigot
We have a problem:
State media declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of Iran’s election ...
Two problems, really, because we’re now relying on Barack Obama to keep Ahmadinejad from the nukes he seems to be building.
Too much carbon isn’t enough
The Rudd Government is demanding oil companies give us even more of the carbon stuff it also claims is killing the planet:
RESOURCE companies sitting on oil and gas reserves worth billions of dollars will be pressed to develop those deposits sooner or hand them to someone else under a “use it or lose it” policy being formulated by the Rudd Government.
First he said our cities would run dry
Tim Flannery, rain denialist.
One ABC program, however, is now trying to cover the other side of the argument. Brave journalist, that.
Remember the CSIRO’s claim that global warming would kill the Australian ski season? Six years on, the snow is actually even better:
VICTORIA’S snow resorts are enjoying the best ski and snowboarding conditions for a decade.
Save the planet! Don’t treat the patients
Canada switches health spending from humans to Gaia:
The Lower Mainland’s health authorities will have to dig more than $4 million a year out of their already stretched budgets to pay B.C.’s carbon tax and offset their carbon footprints.Critics say the payments mean the government’s strategy to fight climate change will further exacerbate a crisis in health funding.
Palin stands taller on Letterman’s carcase
Sarah Palin, unbowed and unabashed, remains a potent political force and deals neatly with a quietly hostile Matt Lauer, whether over American energy sources or David Letterman.
About which… Some Leftists seek bizarrely to defend Letterman’s “joke” about Palin’s 14-year-old daughter Willow being “knocked up” by a player at the New York Yankees game, claiming Willow wasn’t at the game and Letterman was actually referred to Palin’s 18-year-old. As if that made it right. Palin here confirms that Willow, not Bristol, was at the game. Next excuse?
Lauer confirms in turn that Palin is the “biggest superstar” in the Republican party for drawing crowds at fundraisers. She’ll grow even stronger with Letterman-type attacks, which serve only to make her enemies seem like too-mighty low-lifes who need putting in their place.
MSNBC slime Keith Olbermann, fresh from telling boob jokes about Miss California in punishment for her rejection of gay marriage, now savages Sarah Palin, turning her from the offended mother to the true villain. Watch how this foul man actually helps define Palin’s battle as one against the smugly evil:
A “highlight”? The guest who claims Palin’s girls are fair game for such “jokes”. Scum.
Save the planet! Make a useless sacrifice
Jonah Goldberg says it makes no financial sense for the US to adopt a Rudd-style emissions trading scheme:
It’s a legislative blunderbuss that fails any remotely honest cost-benefit analysis, as Jim Manzi painstakingly demonstrates in the current issue of National Review. Under the bill, the government would sell or give away waivers—call them ration cards—for carbon emissions, worth tens of billions of dollars. The system is destined to become politicized. Waivers will be granted to favored industries and donors in states with political clout.
If everything worked exactly according to plan, it would cost the economy trillions of dollars over the coming decades. Meanwhile, climatologist Chip Knappenberger—administrator of the World Climate Report, an avowedly global-warming-skeptical blog—uses standard climate models to show that the payoff would be to reduce global temperatures by about 0.1 degree Celsius by 2100. Sponsors of the legislation haven’t offered a competing analysis.
”The costs would be more than 10 times the benefits,” writes Manzi, “even under extremely unrealistic assumptions of low costs and high benefits.” All the while, China, India and others are simply scoffing at the suggestion they curtail carbon emissions.
Rudd’s own scheme would cut world’s temperatures (assuming they are linked to human emissions) by an amount too small to detect. How much more brainless are we?
China tells the US it won’t be cutting its gases at all. In fact, the opposite.
Rudd’s set-an-example plan assumes that if Australia slashes its own gases, sacrificing jobs and wealth, China will change its mind. Any bets on that?
How I stopped being an Obama
Once, says historian Victor Davis Hanson, he was like Barack Obama. He’d just returned to his family farm from university thinking that reason would shame the wicked, and a show of meekness would appease, not embolden, your enemies.
But then the farmer next door started to steal his water. Now, Mr President, observe…
A popular but deceptive phrase is missing fron this advertisement for two executives for Link-Up:
Link-Up (QLD) Aboriginal Corporation, based in Brisbane, exists to enhance the life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by reuniting those who have
experienced enforced separation from their families and communities through adoption, fostering, removal and institutionalisation.
Is sanity - and respect for truth - returning slowly to this debate?
If swine flu were dangerous, we’d be dead
Too much hype backed up by too little action. The swine flu farce continues:
ANGRY GPs have slammed a “conspicuous lack of leadership” in Australia’s response to the swine flu crisis, with some patients waiting eight days for test results or receiving anti-viral drugs too late to limit the infection.....
(Victoria) last Wednesday cut back its laboratory testing for the virus from about 500 to 1000 samples a day to 50 to 70 a day, after acknowledging it could no longer contain the disease. Even then, patients were falling through the cracks in the testing system, Melbourne GP Kirstin Charlesworth told The Australian.
She said a 17-year-old boy who came to her Toorak practice two weeks ago with classic flu symptoms, including a 39C fever, had to wait for eight days for test results to confirm his diagnosis, by which stage he was back at school.
Reaer Marek, whose school was closed for a week before VCE exams, illustrates how wide the mismatch has been between offical panic and proper protection:
Nancy Pelosi Putting American Troops in Even More Danger
By Bill O'Reilly
President Obama has made it clear: He does not want pictures taken in criminal investigations of U.S. military people released to the world. The president understands that any scenes of prisoner abuse by Americans will inflame terrorism and lead to more anti-American feeling around the world.
The Senate also realizes that and passed a provision that would keep the pictures in question locked down for five years. But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other far left zealots are fighting against the Senate action. On Thursday the speaker provided a lame excuse:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, no final decision has been made. The conference committee will work its will and make its decision. But I can say to you there's great concern in the House about making an exception to a Freedom of Information Act while the case is before a judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, the first obligation of every elected official in the country is to protect the folks. Pelosi is playing politics with people's lives, playing into the hands of the far left.
In an unbelievable display of hypocrisy, radical loons are still accusing me of contributing to the murder of Dr. Tiller. But these same people want those pictures out, endangering our military men and women. Incredible.
Now thousands of you have already contacted Speaker Pelosi. Her e-mail and land addresses are posted on BillOReilly.com right now. But millions of Americans should be writing to her. You can't say you support the troops if you're not willing to confront Pelosi, in a civil way, of course.
And then there's Barney Frank, who's trying to block the Senate action as well. Here's what he said about the Holocaust museum murder:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: I want to be very clear. I'm not accusing anyone of causing this, but it does become the responsibility of those who have engaged in excessive vitriol, who have engaged in hate, who have dehumanized people with whom they may disagree on political grounds to speak out loudly against it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, fine. Every clear-thinking American condemns the Tiller murder, the museum murder, and the murder of Private Long by an American Muslim terrorist. But Frank has no business lecturing anyone when he's putting our troops in danger. We've invited the congressman on "The Factor" Friday. We'll see if he shows up.
We know Gerald Nadler, Louise Slaughter and Jerry Connolly won't show up. These congresspeople are also supporting the ACLU. Again, that is a villainous action. This is not an ideological deal. Only two Democratic senators oppose the protective measure: Sanders and Feingold, the most extreme people in the Senate.
Most Democrats, the president included, are doing the right thing. But Nancy Pelosi is not. Let her hear about it.