Monday, July 06, 2009

Headlines Monday 6th July 2009

Howard comfortable he didn't 'say sorry'
John Howard says he is still comfortable with his decision not to apologise to the stolen generation, while defending his government's "paternalistic" indigenous policies. - Once again we read how great a man Howard is. In contrast Rudd is very small. Rudd started with an apology and continued being sorry. Whereas Mr Howard's intervention into the Northern Territory communities was overwhelmingly beneficial, the apology of Rudd has been a sham which hasn't hidden the fact that community abuse is ongoing under Rudd. - ed.

MP 'raped woman on office couch'
STATE MP silenced his alleged rape victim by threatening to cut her parents' pensions, court told.

Girls escape schoolyard abduction plot
TWO young girls were grabbed while playing in a Sydney schoolyard in a failed abduction attempt, police say.

Private ambo system 'fatally flawed'
WEST Australia's private ambulance company is fatally flawed, leaving patients to die waiting for assistance, whistleblower paramedics say. - the public system is no better either, but the ABC wouldn't report that. - ed.

Federer on own as greatest of all time
ROGER Federer defeated Andy Roddick in an epic match to win a sixth Wimbledon title and claim a record 15th Grand Slam crown.

Hi, I'm a Green and I love my fellow MP
TWO MPs from the same party have revealed they share more than just a passion for politics. - each of them dumped their partners. -ed.

Navy sex games 'put NRL to shame'
A SENIOR navy officer says a proper inquiry into RAN sexual horseplay would "put rugby league sex scandals to shame".

Spook's wife in strife over Facebook post
THE wife of the new head of Britain's spy agency has posted pictures of her husband, family and friends on Facebook.

Parents not starting kids at school until six
SOME children do not start school until they're almost six-and-a-half as parents agonise over when to send them.

Drunk 'crashed into undercover cops'
A QUEENSLAND woman who allegedly stole a taxi and then crashed into a car containing two off-duty police officers will appear in Richlands Magistrates Court today.
=== Comments ===
THEY WANT IT FOR FREE
Tim Blair
Encouraging/disappointing news for warmies, all in the same poll:
A poll for The Economist by YouGov found that 62% of Americans want carbon curbs …
Happy!
… but only 30% would pay even $175 a year for them, and only 7% would pay $770.
Sad.

UPDATE. Happy again! It’s almost time for Climate Camp, featuring the joy of Spokescouncil:
The Spokescouncil is the place where discussions and decisions about actions (protests) at the Climate Camp will take place.

Each Action Team will allocate a spokesperson to represent them at the Spokescouncil. Action Teams will be allowed to sit behind their spokespeople, but only the designated spokespeople can speak for them.
It’s important to know that Action Teams are sometimes called “affinity groups”.
===
GRANT APPLICATIONS UNCOMPLETED
Tim Blair
Australian actors are threatening to go on strike. Our economy trembles.
===
GO NUCLEAR
Tim Blair
Rita from Sydney’s Bon Trading writes to advise that they now have a new shipment of Atomic coffee machines:

Cost: $A495 per Atomic, or about $US400. Cheaper new than old.

UPDATE. In other nuclear news, Malcolm Farr writes:
The Rudd Labor Government now is politically handcuffed to a blanket rejection of atomic power - no matter about the ministers who believe it is worth investigating …

A Labor Government, certainly a Rudd Labor government, won’t do the preparation that could take Australia into the era of cheap, clean power which is now common in big areas of the US and Europe.
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THIRTY GRAND ROOFED
Tim Blair
Sydney man Warren Yates paid $30,000 for a solar power system. Here’s all the fun he’s having:
“At first, we weren’t self-sufficient; it took us a while to get our energy consumption down,” he said.

Turning off the family computers overnight, running the dishwasher every couple of days and refusing to turn on the heating “unless we have visitors” were some of the tactics the family used to reduce consumption.
It’s worth it, though. Recently Yates received a $10 power credit.

UPDATE. “In Spain, the dead help fight climate change”.
===
LEGAL OPTIONS EXPLORED
Tim Blair
The reason(s) for Sarah Palin’s resignation is (are) still unknown. Naturally, leftist bloggers assume it’s due to her soon-to-be-exposed evil. Palin’s lawyer Thomas Van Flein puts them (and others) on notice:
To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.
Interesting. Further on this from the LA Times:
A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges.

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor’s surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI’s Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

“There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we’re investigating her or getting ready to indict her,” Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. “It’s just not true.”
Which will be read by certain types as “IT’S TOTALLY TRUE!” They’re funny like that.

Not running: Palin in the August edition of Runner’s World.

Looking ahead, Bill Quick suggests the tactics Palin might employ were she to continue a career in politics, including:
Ignore the mainstream media and the Democratic party. Define herself on her own terms. No more chat-fests with the likes of Katie Couric. No more efforts to make herself likeable to enemies whose only wish is to see her career—and conservatism itself—destroyed.
===
HIZBIE FANTASY
Tim Blair
An Islamic group outlawed in Pakistan but legal in Britain dreams of establishing a fundamentalist Pakistan – and then taking over the planet:
Followers of the fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called for a “bloodless military coup” in Islamabad and the creation of the caliphate in which strict Islamic laws would be rigorously enforced.

Members of the group, which describes itself as the Liberation party in Britain but is banned in Pakistan, revealed last week that it had targeted the country as a base from which to spread Islamic rule across the world.

The Sunday Times has obtained the names of a dozen British Hizb ut-Tahrir activists based in Lahore and Karachi, or commuting between Britain and Pakistan. There are believed to be many more.
We’ve got Hizbies in Australia, too. They tend – along with their media defenders – not to be particularly smart.
===
Send the women back, too
Andrew Bolt
Another sex scandal - this time involving the navy - actually demonstrates a shift back to an older sexual morality:

Four sailors from the Success were ordered home from Singapore for allegedly organising a sexual conquests contest in May. According to Channel 7, which first aired the claims, sailors awarded themselves bonus cash prizes for conquests of lesbians or officers during extended voyages at sea.

What older morality? Well, ask yourself: Why were none of the women sent back, too?

I’ve noted before, in the Matthew Johns case, that yes no longer means yes, and even a willing woman is now seen once more as a man’s responsibility to protect from debauchery. And a third example:

THE AFL Players’ Association is funding counselling sessions for a woman who claimed to have had sex with up to 200 elite players… She said she was not abused, had always engaged in consensual acts and had not suffered as a result of her lifestyle.

Presuming the report is correct, why is it the players’ association’s reponsibility to pay for counselling for a woman who freely agreed to have sex with so many strangers?

Note: in observing this shift, I do not necessarily condemn it. After all, we all have a responsibility to treat others decently. But surely women are also responsible for their own actions, and to the same degree as are men?

PS

The irony about the ADF’s indignation over male sailors treating female sailors as sex objects is that it’s only two years since it approved recruitment ads like this:

UPDATE

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard is upset about the sailors’ competition. But Opposition defence, science and personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin wonders if the same outrage was levelled at her former boss:

It reminds me of the (Joel) Fitzgibbon/(Mark) Latham bet, where they had a bet to see who could bed the first Coalition staffer...

UPDATE

The Don, like our sailors, had a Ledger, too - so not much has changed:

Interestingly, Mozart suggests the women weren’t exactly all unwilling, but we must necessarily all tut.
===
Why no burka?
Andrew Bolt
ABC television in Canberra interviews five Muslim women who unanimously condemn newsreader Virginia Haussegger’s call for the burka to be banned.

Oddly, not one wears a burka themselves, and the ABC does not put to air any woman that does. Perhaps an esoteric discussion of rights might come uncomfortably alive if the participants actually demonstrate the oppressive and alienating garment under discussion:

===
Obama makes you miss him
Andrew Bolt
Barack Obama succeeds in lifting the sinking approval ratings for the president. The Left-leaning New York Times reports:

SIX THUNDEROUS STANDING OVATIONS FOR PRESIDENT BUSH…

“We miss you, George!” a man in the crowd yelled.
===
No to Gore
Andrew Bolt
Not everyone at green millionaire Al Gore’s latest Melbourne mass for global warmings believers will be a carpetbagger or dupe:

Those attending the “Safe Climate” 7am breakfast with Al Gore on Monday July 13th will be met by a peaceful educational protest where they will be greeted by signs showing graphs and reasons why CO2 is not the main cause of climate change.

Leon Ashby, president of the new political party “The Climate Sceptics” is organising the event… Anyone wanting to attend the protest can visit The Climate Sceptics web site (http://www.climatesceptics.com.au) for more details or meet on Harbor Esplanade outside Etihad Stadium in Melbourne Docklands at 6.15 am on Monday 13th July.
===
Teacher dead, lessons fading
Andrew Bolt
Stefan Beck reviews Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart:
Hart meets head-on the contradictions and embarrassments in early Christian history that are the New Atheists’ bread and butter. The example of slavery, to which he devotes many pages, goes a long way toward illuminating his thesis. Why, a sneering Sam Harris might ask, wasn’t slavery abolished immediately and totally by the ascendant Christians? Hart writes:

Given the inherently restive quality of the human moral imagination, it is only natural that certain of the moral values of the pagan past should have lingered on so long into the Christian era, just as any number of Christian moral values continue today to enjoy a tacit and largely unexamined authority in minds and cultures that no longer believe the Christian story.
Blink and you might miss it, but this is one of the most frightening statements in Hart’s book. It says, in effect, that there is no reason to expect that what was permitted as a matter of course in the pre-Christian world will be condemned by a post-Christian one. This is not Hart’s way of insinuating the cynical argument that religion (though he takes pains to distinguish the meaningless term “religion” from his true subject, Christianity) is a necessary tool of social cohesion. It is simply a reminder that what has been learned can be willfully forgotten, at great cost.

I confess to making that “cynical argument” myself on Christianity’s use, but also share Beck’s fears.
===
Rudd deserves no credit
Andrew Bolt
Glenn Milne explains to the apoplectic Kevin Rudd why News Ltd newspaper may be excused for not instantly believing his denials that a Beaut Ute email allegedly from his staff was a fake:

Rudd is the man who brought us the Anzac Day false dawn ceremony story. The one where he kinda, maybe and finally was found to be complicit in plans to dummy up a dawn service to suit his appearances on the Seven Network’s Sunrise program.

The same man who kinda, maybe and finally was found to have been the main speaking attraction at a cosy dinner hosted by disgraced WA Labor lobbyist Brian Burke. And the man who kinda, maybe, did nothing wrong at the New York Scores strip club but rang his wife the next morning to apologise for his behaviour. Just in case.

And the man who had his office flat out deny he’d abused an RAAF VIP hostess until (News Ltd journalist Steve) Lewis nailed him in print, forcing him to abjectly apologise for doing exactly that…

But then in this climate for the Prime Minister to demand that the media automatically take him at his word on every utterance borders on the megalomaniacal. And megalomaniac is how some of his ministers refer to him behind his back.
===
The judgment of imperfect man
Andrew Bolt
Professor Robert Manne demands less process and more judgment:

Far too few inside the firefighting bureaucracies were willing on February 7 to break the rules, to disobey authority or to act spontaneously at a time of crisis… Conformity to rules was the enemy of judgment, commonsense and moral responsibility.

Professor James Barber demands more process and less judgment:

Our best hope in the prevention of child abuse lies in a movement that is yet to arrive in Australia known as evidence based practice. Paradoxically, EBP requires suspending the role of human judgment in judgments about humans.

Always beware of either-or arguments. And beware of the judgment of an academic who disparagingly refers to an appropriate grief and moral outrage as “moral panic”. Take Barber’s use of this much overused pejorative:

Moral outrage accompanied by calls from the federal Opposition for a government inqury is yet another example of what is a depressingly familiar ritual to those of us who have worked in the field of children’s services… The latest episode in the politics of child abuse was spawned by a young girl who was starved to death by her parents.

I’d have thought a community that didn’t respond with outrage to the starvation of a young girl by her parents, under the nose of welfare officials, would be more deserving of criticism than the community which did. I suggest Barber feel more moral outrage himself.
===
Not all Keynesian now
Andrew Bolt
A challenge for Kevin Rudd, both a committed multilateralist and spendthrift:

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has flagged she will be pressing for nations to commit to lowering their deficits and reversing their stimulus measures...
===
Palin doesn’t have to put up with it now
Andrew Bolt
When Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska, Leftist bloggers decided to slime her all over again, on the assumption that anything she did must be sinister.

Shannyn Moore:

For weeks the rumors of a criminal investigation against the governor have been brewing. They are rumors, but are swirling fresh again with Palin’s resignation.

Brad Friedman:

Okay, I’ve now been able to get independent information from multiple sources that all of this precedes what are said to be possible federal indictments against Palin, concerning an embezzlement scandal related to the building of Palin’s house and the Wasilla Sports Complex, built during her tenure as Mayor. Both structures, it is said, feature the “same windows, same wood, same products.”

There’s more where that came from, but Sarah Palin doesn’t have to put up with the sliming any more, and won’t. Her lawyer therefore warns::

To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.

As Tim Blair notes, the FBI dismisses the rumors that it’s about to pounce on Palin:

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor’s surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI’s Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

“There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we’re investigating her or getting ready to indict her,” Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. “It’s just not true.”

Here’s a counter-slime of Shannyn Moore and two other Palin-hating bloggers, Mudflats and Celtic Diva, which Moore ran on her own blog. The allegation that the three women were paid off is false, of course, and I therefore don’t approve of this. But it’s surely right in nailing a certain lack of proportion, and not just from these three:

UPDATE

Reclusive Leftist wonders why it doesn’t matter to other Leftists - especially feminists - that every reason they give for hating Sarah Palin is false.
===
How not to measure warming
Andrew Bolt

Meteorologist Anthony Watts and his volunteers meticulously checked the siting of most of the 1221 US weather stations that had allegedly recorded a rise in temperatures over the past century. What they found was that a great many temperature gauges (nine out of 10) were in fact in areas increasingly surrounded by heat-trapping concrete and asphalt, or even machinery, which would exaggerate temperature readings over time. (See the MMTS above.)

The US National Climate Data Center has since claimed that Watts’ findings really didn’t make much difference to anything because any inaccuracies magically balanced out and, besides, it was the trend in temperature, not the absolute value of even a badly positioned site, that counted. What’s more, the reported trend of rising temperatures fitted with other evidence, for instance: “Plants are blooming earlier in the spring.”

Now Professor Roger Pielke Sr, one of the world’s leading climatologists, tears the NCDC defence to shreds, saying the NCDC had ignored poor siting for years and had no evidence to back its claim that this problem did not exaggerate warming measurements. The evidence was in fact rather the reverse:

Their claim that temperatures have been “rising rapidly” over the past 50 years is based on the surface temperature record in which there are reported warm biases; e.g. see Pielke Sr. (et al)

And, suggested Pielke, claiming that plants were blooming earlier was just clutching at straws:

However, a new paper in press (see White MA et al) ... (says):

“Trend estimates from the SOS [Start of Spring] methods as well as measured and modeled plant phenologystrongly suggest either no or very geographically limited trends towards earlier spring arrival, although we caution that, for an event such as SOS with high interannual variability, a 25-year SOS record is short for detecting robust trends.”

Pielke concludes of the NCDC what we might conclude of so many such warming-preaching bodies, including our own CSIRO:

NCDC would be a much more valuable resource in the climate community if they worked to be inclusive in presenting all peer reviewed perspectives in climate science. Currently, they are only reporting on information that supports their agenda and not communicating real world observational data that conflicts with that agenda.

Moral: If the US data on warming is so dodgy, how much can we rely on weather stations in vast countries such as China, Russia, Brazil and India? Or even in Italy (above)?
===
Jackson’s father tells of his grief
Andrew Bolt

Here he is, grieving again (check especially from 3:12):
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