Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 17th June 2009

Judy Moran's house set ablaze
Judy Moran's Melbourne home has been set on fire overnight as the underworld matriarch remains behind bars over the murder of her brother-in-law Des.

US State Dept asks Twitter to delay service maintenance so Iranians can communicate
The US government has asked Twitter to delay maintenance plans in order to allow Iranians to communicate while their government has banned other media following elections.

Alexander Downer hits out at Peter Costello supporters
Alexander Downer has hit out at Liberal supporters of Peter Costello for saying the former treasurer was robbed of his chance to become PM.

Belgian teen Kimberley Vlaeminck sues over face tattoos
A Belgian teenager says she will sue a tattoo parlour which she said covered half her face with stars while she was asleep.

8 hour siege: Maccas gunman surrenders
An eight-hour siege at a McDonald's restaurant on the NSW mid-north coast has come to an end, with the gunman now in police custody.

'Risky' Judy Moran refused bail
Judy Moran has been refused bail after appearing in court facing charges over the murder of her brother-in-law Des Moran.

Aust in new 'protect' swine flu phase
The federal government has moved to a new alert level for swine flu, creating a category known as protect.

Socceroos coach set to play it safe
Having steered Australia to the 2010 World Cup finals with minimum risk and maximum effectiveness, coach Pim Verbeek will stay true to himself in the final qualifier against Japan on Wednesday night.

British Airways asks staff to work without pay to save money
British Airways urged its staff to work for nothing in an effort to save the company money.

Rove marries Tasma in secret ceremony
Australian chat king Rove McManus and girlfriend Tasma Walton have surprised the nation by marrying in a secret ceremony in Broome, Western Australia.

Peter Andre furious with Katie Price after binge drinking at son's birthday
'Mysterious Girl' singer Peter Andre is reportedly no longer speaking to his estranged wife after she got drunk and invited all her friends to Junior's party at their marital home in Woldingham, Surrey, on Sunday.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Bail Out California???
President Obama has less than 50 days to decide this one. California is in deep, deep, deep trouble. It is now asking for the Obama Administration to bail it out. Should it? California is the 8th largest economy in the WORLD! (Bigger than Brazil, Canada etc.)
=== Comments ===
Fawlty Towers Budget has us all $45,000 in the red
Piers Akerman
FIRST, the great news—straight from Treasurer Eric Roozendaal: ``Just two short years and NSW will be back in the black.’’ Now the bad news—no one believes him. - The ridiculous circumstance is that media can still see rainbows and silver linings even in a housing crisis. I recall one media journalist proclaiming under Hawke that limited housing was good because it meant people were free to spend on other things. The truth is this state government could be worse. The tragedy is this state government doesn't have to be this bad. The shame is that the conservative opposition could still do much to improve the state's position by making sensible decisions which this sleazy, corrupt and inept state government won't do.
I am reminded here of Hamidur Rahman's death and the apparent cover up of possible negligence surrounding it. I wasn't present when it happened, but I had warned his school a year in advance of the issue and I was assured by senior school staff that the matter had been dealt with. When the Dept of Ed. became aware of their mistake, they phoned me to advise me that they had labeled me as a pest and so they wouldn't have to face up to what had happened. I was allowed to write about it, but the State Government passed a law in 2004 (Teacher's Code of Conduct) which was misapplied by a political appointment to force me to delete my writings. Harassment ensued and I resigned to be unfettered in speaking out over the issue. My local member (a state minister) threatened me and apparently pointed out to local media that my story was 'not in the public interest.'
The ICAC, Ombudsman, Police and related offices were advised of the situation, in which the incident was apparently covered up from the coroner .. to the extent that my old sites were later used inappropriately for fake kiosks so as to limit historical web searches.
I know this and can write about it freely, but the state opposition can not use it because the bodies of state no longer function under the ALP. The government 'fessed up' in the senate and there has been no follow up because those charged with responsibility of preventing corruption are not doing their jobs. The conservative parties are silenced by the majority government. In much the same way, in WA, an innocent man, Mallard, was kept in jail by the ALP for convenience sake for over a decade .. now freed, but under parliamentary operation, not exhonerated .. new parliament will not rescind the old one - ed.

Tim Blair
Guardian swoonage over Obama’s confrontational force:
The Obama administration is poised for its most forceful confrontation with the American public on the sweeping and life-altering consequences of a failure to act on global warming with the release today of a long-awaited scientific report on climate change.
This administration forcefully confronts Americans but kisses up to those who would destroy America. God moves in mysterious ways.
The report, produced by more than 30 scientists at 13 government agencies dealing with climate change, provides the most detailed picture to date of the worst case scenarios of rising sea levels and extreme weather events: floods in lower Manhattan …
Like the 1953 flood that was caused by a high tide? Or the 1961 flood, also caused by high tides? Or maybe like the NYC floods in 1901, 1903, 1927 and 1977 that were simply caused by rain? Hey, what if New York is hit by a Paris-style flood? That would be a climate change nightmare. Further from Obama’s worst-case confrontation case file:
… a quadrupling of heat waves deaths in Chicago …
More information, please. Would that be a quadrupling of the 64 deaths during one day in 1911? The 2996 deaths across the northwest in 1936? The ten deaths in one Chicago morning 131 years ago? The 20 deaths in two days during 1900? Would the rise match the 65 per cent increase in heat-related deaths from 1935 to 1936? Might one person die every thirty minutes, as happened during a 1916 heatwave?
… withering on the vineyards of California …
Now you’re getting serious.
… the disappearance of wildflowers from the slopes of the Rockies …
Well, maybe not that serious.
… and the extinction of Alaska’s wild polar bears in the next 75 years.
Email me when I’m 119. If the poley bears are all gone, I’ll post an apology.
Tim Blair
Popular Science provides a helpful online guide to Iran’s massive election protests.

UPDATE. Helpful Joe Hildebrand guidance provided by Texan Sean Hamilton:
“To speak plainly, chicks don’t dig a broke guy,” said the Dallas resident, now a part-time consultant. So he came up with a strategy: “I don’t bring it up.”
UPDATE II. It might be time to launch legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on a charge of incitement to genocide.
Tim Blair
Orange-haired web snark Perez Hilton and blue-haired alleged insurance shark Clint Elford:
Tim Blair
Gaia believers tend also to believe in the notion of karma. What they’ll make of recent events in Colorado, then, is anyone’s guess:
Diana Barnett was driving on Broadway Monday afternoon with her 18-year-old daughter in the passenger’s seat, when she felt a blast of wind, saw a blur of green and heard a “big crash.”

Downed by the wind, a 75-year-old maple tree had pierced the windshield of Barnett’s Toyota Prius, going all the way into the car’s floorboard.

A second car — also a light-green Toyota Prius — was hit by the tree, too, but it sustained only minor damage and its driver escaped injury.
Barnett’s husband previously noted that you couldn’t throw a stick in Boulder without hitting a Prius. Says Mrs Barnett: “Today, it got two of them.”
How broke was Brown really?
Andrew Bolt
Senator Eric Abetz, speaking in Parliament yesterday, outlined the curious facts behind Senator Bob Brown’s claims that he might soon be driven from Parliament by bankruptcy.

What bankruptcy? How much was really owed? And will the donors who raced to save their hero have their funds actually steered to another green cause? - we know he is morally bankrupt. - ed
What Steve asked Penny
Andrew Bolt
Here is the list of questions Family First Senator Steve Fielding asked Climate Change Minister Penny Wong on Monday - questions to which he has yet to get an answer:

This briefing paper outlines questions put forward by Senator Steve Fielding to the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, the Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett and Professor Will Steffen.

While the questions below are those which the Senator would like answered, the supporting material has been supplied from some leading scientists from Australia and overseas.

These are questions Senator Fielding would like answered so he can make an informed decision on whether or not an emissions trading scheme is the best course of action for Australia to take to deal with climate change and global warming.

The Senator remains open minded and has requested that the government address these questions, the answers to which are fundamental to shaping any climate change legislation.


Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5% since 1998 whilst global temperature cooled over the same period (see Fig. 1)?

If so, why did the temperature not increase; and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?


Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th century phase of global warming) was not unusual in either rate or magnitude as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth’s history (Fig. 2a, 2b)?

If the warming was not unusual, why is it perceived to have been caused by human CO2 emissions; and, in any event, why is warming a problem if the Earth has experienced similar warmings in the past?


Is it the case that all GCM computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990-2008, whereas in fact there were only 8 years of warming were followed by 10 years of stasis and cooling. (Fig. 3)?

If so, why is it assumed that long-term climate projections by the same models are suitable as a basis for public policy making?

(No link to the briefing paper and its graphs. UPDATE: CLICK ON CONTINUE READING LINK BELOW FOR THE FOUR GRAPHS.)

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, unfortunately, that the media has shown so little interest in what questions were actually asked, and why Wong so struggled to answer. We are interested in the science, aren’t we?
Rudd has ways to make you praise him
Andrew Bolt
The soft totalitarianism of Rudd’s Big Government:

HOURS before Education Minister Julia Gillard rose in parliament to read a statement from a school in Kevin Rudd’s electorate praising the government’s school-building program, the Prime Minister’s electorate office rang the principal asking him for the letter.

The call followed a report in The Australian yesterday detailing criticisms of the implementation of the $14.7 billion school infrastructure program by the head of the P&C at Holland Park State School, Craig Mayne. Mr Mayne was in the office of the school principal, Anthony Gribbin, when the call came from one of Mr Rudd’s electorate officers about 10.15am....

About 2.30pm, Ms Gillard rose in question time to read a response from Mr Gribbin that she described as “a pretty glowing endorsement”.

“Dear Kevin,” the note from Mr Gribbin says. “The school community is delighted by its successful application for funding under the second round of the Primary Schools for the 21st Century in the Building the Education Revolution...”


Christian Kerr draws the moral of this tale of spend-spend-spend waste:

Spending money in these days of global financial crisis, our rulers have decreed, is patriotic, no matter how badly - or madly - the spending is made.

For close to a week now The Australian has been raising questions about the use of stimulus funds in schools earmarked for closure or merger. We have told how money is being used to duplicate existing facilities or squandered on projects with oddly inflated costs.


When the money is free, the oinking starts:

AN undercover playground with concrete floors and no doors costs $1.8 million under the Rudd Government’s schools stimulus funding, the State Opposition says. And it says that’s just one example of how schools are being ripped off.

Other documents obtained by The Courier-Mail showed Mulgildie State School west of Bundaberg received $250,000 to build a basic 60sq m shed, after receiving a $29,000 quote from a local shed builder for a similar structure.
Garrett sees a melting that scientists can’t
Andrew Bolt
Two months ago, a couple of warming alarmists swapped scare stories about Antarctica:

TONY JONES (Lateline host): Another giant ice shelf has collapsed in Antarctica. (Truth here.) Are your scientific advisers telling you that this is due to global warming?

PETER GARRETT (Environment Minister): .... I don’t think that there’s any doubt that global warming is contributing to what we’ve seen both on the Wilkins ice shelf and also more generally in Antarctica…

TONY JONES: Of course, sceptics are saying that ice shelves have been collapsing for as long as we’ve been travelling down to the continent, that this latest collapse is nothing new.

PETER GARRETT: I find that pretty difficult to countenance, Tony… Now, it’s a big event. But there are many others in terms of the research that’s been identified in and around the Antarctic, and also in other parts of the world, which I think tell us unequivocally that we’re seeing climate change impacts…

TONY JONES: Here is something that is new: the report of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic research… The most scary thing it says is the upper level of those rises in global sea level could be as much as six metres - six metres - by the end of the century.

PETER GARRETT: Look, I haven’t seen that report yet, Tony, but I don’t think there’s any doubt those kinds of projections and scenarios are consistent with what the inter-governmental panel on climate change brought forward over the last couple of years.

Six metres? You’ve got to be kidding. And now for the latest research on Antarctica:
ANTARCTIC ice shelves are showing no sign of climate change, six years of unique research have shown.

Scientists from Western Australia’s Curtin University of Technology are using acoustic sensors developed to support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to listen for the sound of icebergs breaking away from the giant ice sheets of the south pole.

“More than six years of observation has not revealed any significant climatic trends,” CUT associate professor Alexander Gavrilov said yesterday.

Add that to falling global temperatures and cooling seas.

What else they got?


Chief Scientist Penny Sackett was one of the two experts Climate Change Minister Penny Wong asked along on Monday to try to answer Senator Steve Fielding’s bottom-line question: Given we’re pumping out more emissions than ever, why has the globe’s temperature actually fallen these past eight years? Doesn’t this contradict the Government’s assumption that man’s gases are causing the world to dangerously overheat?

Seems Sackett is still struggling for an answer, according to James Jeffrey:

SINCE open-minded Family First senator Steve Fielding reported on his climate change excursion to the US on this paper’s opinion pages, opinion editor Rebecca Weisser has been doing her level best to persuade the government’s chief scientist Penny Sackett to help Fielding out by writing a piece in reply. Her assistant helped Sackett dodge the bullet by saying she couldn’t possibly make the deadline (Strewth tried that tactic once; never again). Weisser offered to extend the deadline, but it must be terribly busy in Sackett’s office as no one has managed to get around to replying.
Wasn’t Rudd going to take out Ahmadinejad?
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd before the election promised Jews he’d be tough:

A LABOR government would attempt to bring Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, before the International Court of Justice to face charges of “inciting genocide” in an effort to force the rogue Middle East leader to justify his attacks on Israel… Kevin Rudd has committed a Labor government to take ”legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on a charge of incitement to genocide”.

Might be an interesting time to honor that promise, with Ahmadinejad rigging an election and blaming Jews for the furious protests against it:

The pinning of blame for Iran’s post-election turmoil on malign foreign enemies is already under way among so-called principalist, conservative factions. The pro-Ahmadinejad Keyhan newspaper today denounced plots by “politically bankrupt dictators” to thwart the popular will. ”The hopes of the imperialist triangle (America, UK and the Zionist regime) for a crawling coup d’etat in the Middle East and revival of the dead Middle East plan have been dashed,” it declared.

Or was this promise to charge Ahmadinejad just another of Rudd’s wilder schemes, like FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, charging Japan with whaling crimes and setting up a new Asia forum that Asia doesn’t want?
Just blame warming
Andrew Bolt
Michael Raper, a professional alarmist (and non-scientist) of the Red Cross, tells the ABC’s Fran Kelly that more people are dying each year from natural disasters caused by the villain guaranteed to get his outfit most media attention:

Michael Raper: It is clear that climate change is already upon us....

Fran Kelly: Why are you so confident, the Red Cross so confident, to declare that this is climate change in action?

Michael Raper: In some ways it doesn’t really matter, Fran. It’s not really worth debating if it is.
Palin accepts
Andrew Bolt
Sarah Palin accepts David Letterman’s second, belated but apparently genuine apology. It may have taken a week, but even Letterman now sees that mocking Palin’s teenage daughters as sluts or rape-bait - even if one is 18 - is way, way out of line. It remains troubling, however, that so many of the Left tried to defend or minimise it..
Only one hour for Earth
Andrew Bolt
NSW, home of Earth Hour, would rather keep the lights on for the rest of the year, thanks:

COAL-FIRED electricity will get a big boost in funding and the state’s greenhouse gas emissions will keep rising, according to figures outlined in the budget yesterday. The state’s second-largest coal-fired power station, which already emits about 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, will be expanded with an investment of $205 million.
The Obama network
Andrew Bolt
Drudge Report:

:ABC TURNS PROGRAMMING OVER TO OBAMA; NEWS TO BE ANCHORED FROM INSIDE WHITE HOUSE. “On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care — a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!”

Dan Riehl:

Hey, I know. Let’s give the Bush White House a few hours on ABC to make a complete presentation from policy advisers and military personnel to go through the run up, execution and corrections regarding the Iraq War. And explain why bringing modernity to the Middle-east actually is a part of the war against terrorism. The media always likes to get behind a war effort, anyway. Oops, sorry, too late for that. Bet they wish they had thought of it then.
Justice isn’t forgiveness
Andrew Bolt
TWICE in the past month our courts struggled to impose justice on men who’ve suffered enough. And twice they’ve shown how our legal system cannot do what humans can at their best - and simply forgive.

On Saturday, a Bendigo jury finally acquitted truck driver Christiaan Scholl of 11 counts of culpable driving.

On the face of it, and even though 11 people are dead, justice was done. Legal justice, I mean. Not the real kind.

Two years ago Scholl, 50, was driving a truckload of timber towards a railway intersection near Kerang.

In his five years of taking that road, Scholl had never seen a train cross there. And he didn’t see the one that this time was coming.
Perfect one day, broke the next
Andrew Bolt
NSW has a rival:

Queensland has by far the worst budget position of all the states, and its citizens face the sharpest fall in living standards as unemployment is forecast to almost double in the next two years, from 4.25per cent to 7.25 per cent…

A year ago, the state Treasurer, Andrew Fraser, forecast surpluses totalling $1.8billion over the four fiscal years from 2008-9 to 2011-12. Yesterday (in the state Budget), black turned red in a big way. The combined deficits for the same period are now put at $10.1bn - a turnaround of $11.9bn. It would have been even worse if Canberra hadn’t kicked in an extra $5.8bn in grants to cushion the state budget.

The reason for Premier Anna Bligh’s decision to go early to the polls looks more obvious by the gloomy day.
Why would peaceful unions hate a tough cop?
Andrew Bolt
Talking tough while giving in:

EMPLOYERS have accused the Rudd government of caving in to union pressure by reducing penalties against striking building workers, slowing access to the construction watchdog’s coercive powers, and allowing projects to be exempt from the powers.

Despite Kevin Rudd’s staring down a backbench attempt to overturn coercive powers for the construction industry, employers yesterday criticised Labor’s compromise package, questioning whether it would deliver on the government’s promise to keep a “tough cop on the beat”.

Employers are furious that the government has gone beyond the recommendations of the Wilcox inquiry into the watchdog by allowing the coercive powers to be “switched off” in “peaceful parts” of the building industry.
Hate and Hypocrisy on the Far Left
By Bill O'Reilly
As you may remember, The New York Times published more than 50 front-page stories about Abu Ghraib, far more than any other newspaper. While the abuse at that Iraqi prison was a big story, which we covered in-depth, The Times used the situation to hammer the Bush administration, which it despised.

Now, there is no question that by hyping the Abu Ghraib story, The Times fed into anti-American feeling all over the world and created even more hatred for this country. There is no denying that.

Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and editor Bill Keller hate President Bush because the paper initially endorsed the run-up to the Iraq War, printing a number of major articles detailing Saddam Hussein's deadly weapons program. Of course, The Times reporting turned out to be untrue. Sulzberger and Keller were embarrassed, and so they launched a hateful campaign against the Bush administration, which grossly offended their liberal sensibilities anyway.

The vitriol was led by far-left columnist Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, who brutally attacked President Bush and other people who might agree with him. The rhetoric used by these zealots was incredible vicious. Thus it was stunning to see both Krugman and Rich write columns saying the FOX News Channel and other non-liberal concerns were stoking up hatred against people like President Obama and Dr. George Tiller. The hypocrisy here is epic.

The campaign The Times and others have launched is designed to do two things: first, marginalize FOX News, which is becoming the nation's most powerful news organization, even while The Times and the liberal TV networks are failing, and secondly, to mainstream extremism.

There's no question, according to Kansas investigators, that Dr. Tiller was killing late-term viable fetuses for casual reasons. Testimony and documentation prove it. Yet, the far left sees nothing wrong with that horror. Last Friday, I asked the editor of Salon, Joan Walsh, one basic question, three times.


O'REILLY: Do you feel that late-term fetuses deserve any protections at all, Ms. Walsh?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR OF SALON.COM: You know, Bill, that really is the hardest, hardest issue in the abortion debate.

O'REILLY: Now, I asked you, in the first question, do you believe late-term fetuses should have any protections in the United States at all? Do you?

WALSH: I believe that late-term abortion, under the current circumstances, to save the life of the mother.

O'REILLY: I'm going to ask you once again, third time. Do you believe late-term fetuses are entitled to any protections in the United States of America?

WALSH: I believe the law should be what it is, Bill.


All right. And we were not talking about any catastrophic health issues here. We were obviously talking about casual executions of late-term viable fetuses. That was the discussion. Had nothing to do with Roe v. Wade. And of course, Ms. Walsh would not answer, which is an answer. In her mind, late-term fetuses deserve no protections whatsoever. Later in the interview, she even said Tiller was a hero. We posted the entire talk on, and I hope you watch it.

Now Ms. Walsh's position is extreme, ladies and gentlemen. It has nothing to do, as I said, with Roe v. Wade or the abortion debate. It has everything to do with destroying human life for trivial reasons. By blaming me for Tiller's murder, the far left can avoid the human rights issue and frighten other public people who believe that destroying human life cannot be a casual thing.

Radical zealots want to intimidate, but they never explain their callousness to human life. Think about it: A newspaper whips up worldwide anti-American hatred and then calls me a hater for reporting accurately on Tiller when few others will? Amazing.
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