Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 14th July 2009

July 14: Bastille Day in France (1789)
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Turnbull claws back some poll support
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has recovered some public support in a recent opinion poll following his disastrous attack on Kevin Rudd over the OzCar saga. - now that the truth is beginning to filter out over the ALP lie that Turnbull had done something wrong. - ed.

That's not a knife: Tables turn on thief
A Stanley knife wielding bandit had the tables turned on him when he attempted to rob a Brisbane convenience store attendant who was cutting vegetables.

Criminal infiltrated A-G's office
It has taken four years for the State Government's highest law office to discover a convicted criminal within its ranks, after she changed her name.

Killed Aussie's body 'tampered with'
The doctor who conducted the autopsy on killed Australian Drew Grant says the body may have been tampered with before he could examine it.

Man clocked at 231km/h in loan Ferrari
A rare Ferrari California has been impounded after a motoring writer was clocked at 231km/h in the......

Smoke from stolen car burnout prompts emergency calls
There was no fire to be seen when firefighters arrived to investigate a callout to a Melbourne street, but there was an abandoned car with very little left of its wheels - under the ALP, the authorities are not normally alarmed by theft - ed.

Petrol Commissioner investigation predatory pricing in petrol promotion
The Petrol Commissioner is looking at whether Coles and Woolworths are deliberately attempting to drive competitors out of business.

Irish Catholics riot at Protestan brotherhood parade
Masked and hooded Belfast Catholics hurled petrol bombs, fireworks and other makeshift weapons at police on Monday as the most bitterly divisive day on the Northern Ireland calendar reached an ugly end.

British teen drowns after being sucked into Thai pool pump
A British teenager died in Thailand after he was sucked into a swimming pool pump, police confirmed on Monday. Nathan Clark Griffiths, 14, was swimming with his older brother Rhys at a water park in Pattaya, east of Bangkok, when the incident occurred Friday.
=== Comments ===
Rudd stymied as the barbarians shut the gate
Piers Akerman
WHEN it comes to trade and diplomacy, China plays with a two-headed penny and has done so for centuries.

The chances of Mandarin-speaking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd or Foreign Minister Stephen Smith being capable of convincing Beijing to release Rio Tinto executive and Australian citizen Stern Hu soon are slim to non-existent.

The last Chinese-born Australian to run afoul of the Chinese legal system was James Peng. He languished in a Chinese prison for about six years before the Howard government applied the diplomatic equivalent of the blow-torch and secured his release.

Peng, who had been in a business arrangement which soured with the niece of the then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, was held in prison despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a Hong Kong court.

The old joke about “Hu you know being more important than Hu Yaobang” which circulated when the former Chinese Community Party general secretary was dumped in 1987, tells it all.

The Chinese take offence very easily. And while foreign governments complain about their commercial and judicial methods they are not going to change anything any time soon. Or at least until it suits their interests.
- I have had extensive dealings with this crew and can tell you they are hardcore racists but are really polite about it.

The thing Rudd does not get about the Chinese is they actually think it is an insult for a white guy to be speaking their lingo. When he sits there in a press conference with his opposite number the Chinese guy loses face because he cannot speak English at a proficient level. Rudd’s only value to them was as a conduit to Washington and to a lesser extent Europe .....They thought he would have the political pull of Howard ... With the change of administrations in both Washington and Canberra Australia’s importance has declined thus leaving Rudd with very little influence. Rudd also compounded matters by backing Clinton against Obama and blabbing the contents of a private presidential conversation with ‘W’ to a cocktail party. In short they see Rudd as a lightweight they cannot have off the record chats with. While many at the SMH are impressed with Rudd’s Chinese linguistic skills they forget that both nations have translators who can be ‘conveniently’ blamed when one side gets caught out.

When I am over there I tend to think of the Chinese as polite packrats. They love stealing ideas and mass producing them. Every interaction I have had with them always leads to one or more of them trying to pick my brain. They lack the innovative ability of the Japanese and the creativity of the West. Perhaps this will change as living standards rise????

While they have their downside I generally like the Chinese - They drink / smoke and gamble oh and loath violence..... all good things. -
Tim of DontFryMyDogVille
- I am constantly amazed at the people who will lie to misrepresent Rudd’s status in the international community. This morning on 2GB, Alan Jones was talking to journalist Greg Sheridan about the matter. Alan had correctly pointed out it was dismal that both Rudd and Smith (and Gillard and Tanner) be unavailable at this time of need for Hu. Sheriden agreed, and listed some of the gaffes that the Rudd government have committed. However, there apparently needs to be ‘balance’ whenever Rudd is discussed, and Sheriden made the remarkable statement that on the plus side for Rudd, he had spoken of Tibet to China. I feel I must dispute the balanced observation. What Rudd did was to say to Chinese students, in China, speaking Mandarin, that Tibet belonged to China. If that is the kind of advocacy Rudd is capable of then it may be better for Hu that Rudd never speaks on his behalf.
More personally, my ancestor, Mak Sai Ying, was apparently port liaison during 1831 to 1836. He returned to Sydney, on the death of his first wife. The first opium war began two years later. The trade of the East India company was in some substantial part, Opium. Point taken, however, trade was to win out. China respects strength above the rule of law. Notice that the Olympics were last year. China can now get back to what it does best, supporting piracy and promoting moral terpitude.
Let us hope that Hu doesn’t have to wait for the Liberals to be back in government again before the something is done on his behalf. Peng had to wait for both Hawke and Keating to be booted from office. - ed.

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PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE TO KEEP THEM UP TO DATE
Tim Blair
Barbra Streisand – previously concerned about fishes dying in the world – talks about her intense interest in environmental politics:
During the ‘90s, in addition to making grants to support the work of leading environmental organizations, my foundation helped several U.S. scientists, experts and environmental leaders attend the Kyoto meeting on climate change. The meeting produced an international environmental treaty intended to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gases. (Of the 169 signatories, only the United States and Australia have yet to ratify the treaty.)
Australia ratified that stupid treaty ages ago. Looks like Kevin Rudd’s great leap forward didn’t register in Barbraland.
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EVERYONE JUST GET MARRIED ALREADY
Tim Blair
Straight guy marches in gay parade. Media slap-fight ensues.
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NEF OFF
Tim Blair
Late to the debacle that is the New Economic Foundation’s emissions-based global happiness index, Media Watch nevertheless turns up something interesting: tiny New Zealand, which produces fewer emissions than a single Google search for “tiny New Zealand”, is rated as the 103rd happiest nation on earth – even unhappier than Australia.

How can this be? New Zealand doesn’t even have the excuse of funding Media Watch, a sad program whose host these days seems to think he’s presenting a children’s pantomime. Look out – logo monster behind you!
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SCIENCE SETTLED: WARM IS COLD
Tim Blair
Freed from BBC constraints, retiring newsreader Peter Sissons unloads on the PC British broadcaster:
At today’s BBC, a complaint I often heard from senior producers was that they dared not reprimand their subordinates for basic journalistic mistakes – such as getting ages, dates, titles and even football scores wrong – it being politically incorrect to risk offending them.
Considering they get everything else wrong, it’s no surprise that the BBC’s babies are also wrong about global warming:
The Corporation’s most famous interrogators invariably begin by accepting that “the science is settled”, when there are countless reputable scientists and climatologists producing work that says it isn’t.

But it is effectively BBC policy ... that those views should not be heard.
So much for the importance of “diversity” that we keep hearing about. In a timely accompaniment to Sisson’s piece, here’s a recent BBC report:
Almost 250 children under the age of five have died in a wave of intensely cold weather in Peru …

This year freezing temperatures arrived almost three months earlier than usual.

Experts blame climate change …
But of course.

UPDATE. Pertayter famine! Global colding is killing spuds from Maine to Ohio.
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THEY WELCOME ANYONE
Tim Blair
CNN anchor Don Lemon asks a question of correspondent Nkepile Mabuse, on location in Ghana:
Nkepile, I was watching you yesterday on the “Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer when President Obama was arriving, and they were doing the dancing, and all of the people who were running up to him. For a western leader, I know when presidents come over there, they are usually warmly received. But for a western leader, have you ever seen anything like this? Is this unprecedented?
Mabuse’s reply actually causes Lemon to jolt in his chair. But he’s a pro, so covers his surprise with dismissive condescension:
So, they welcome everyone. It doesn’t matter. That’s just part of how the people do it, right?

UPDATE. Meanwhile, no cause for celebration in Africa’s northeast:
Several Sudanese women have been flogged as a punishment for dressing “indecently”, according to a local journalist who was arrested with them.

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who says she is facing 40 lashes, said she and 12 other women wearing trousers were arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum.

She told the BBC several of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately.
Thank you, sharia law. Thank you for addressing Africa’s major problem – women in pants.
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HE BRINGETH RAIN
Tim Blair
Cold and wet today in Melbourne. Guess who’s visiting …

UPDATE. Interesting headline in the Age.
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Explain this, Mr Gore
Andrew Bolt

Will Al Gore be up to the challenge?

THIS is the chart climate change sceptic Senator Steve Fielding hopes will convince Al Gore that global warming is not real.

Senator Fielding is trying to score a one-on-one meeting with Mr Gore, who is in Australia promoting several environmental causes, to prove to him that climate change sceptics are right.

Senator Fielding has promised to clear his schedule for any chance to meet the former US vice-president and Nobel Prize-winning environmental campaigner.

I’m betting that Gore, who already avoids taking questions at his well-paid speeches, will find his schedule too full for Fielding.
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One day someone will want their money back
Andrew Bolt
I don’t think Ruddernomics is going to end too well in America, the way Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are spending:
Nine months into the fiscal year, the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time.

The imbalance is intensifying fears about higher interest rates and inflation, and already pressuring the value of the dollar. There’s also concern about trying to reverse the deficit—by reducing government spending or raising taxes—in the midst of a harsh recession.
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Going cold on forecasts
Andrew Bolt
Now try telling these people that your climate models predict hotter weather in 2100:

FARMERS have lost faith in long-term weather forecasts because they’re unreliable, the South Australian Farmers Federation said…

“The scale of current models make them unreliable measures...”
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Save the planet! Pedal to a hooker
Andrew Bolt

Boys, I think we’ve lost the fight:

A Berlin brothel is fighting climate change and the recession at the same time by offering a discount to clients who arrive by bicycle.

And there’s no shortage of men now prepared to help save the planet:

The Maison d’envie brothel in the German capital says it is getting three to five new patrons a day who have been tempted by the discount.

(Thanks to reader Neil.)

UPDATE

Is there no trick these alarmists won’t try?
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Gore sees Nazis under the bed
Andrew Bolt
Professor Paul Kengor isn’t surprised that Al Gore last week likened fighting global warming to fighting Nazis:

How can anyone take this man seriously? Well, the fact is we’ve done just that for almost 20 years.

Believe it or not, Gore stated precisely these things in his 1992 international bestseller Earth in the Balance.... In one of the many deeply disturbing passages in a deeply disturbing book, Gore hailed ecological activists as “resistance fighters” and “people of conscience” engaging in a just war akin to the World War II resistance that fought the Nazis.

That thought alone is incredibly offensive, especially in what it implies of those who reject Gore’s environmental prescriptions…

Gore’s Nazi metaphors are ubiquitous in Earth in the Balance. Warning of an “environmental holocaust,” Gore exhorted: “Today the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin.” Gore asserted that America’s consumption of resources is reminiscent of Germany’s descent into fascism.

As if his Nazi analogies weren’t aggressive enough, the Nobel Peace Prize winner envisioned “a kind of global civil war between those who refuse to consider the consequences of civilization’s relentless advance and those who refuse to be silent partners in the destruction."…

Consequently, Gore urged, the rescue of the environment must become the “central organizing principle” of all societies and modern civilization....

In a just world, or at least, in an America where “journalists” provided objective news coverage, these Al Gore absurdities would have been exposed long ago, and this man would have never gotten close to the vice presidency let alone the presidency.
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A good face for a judge
Andrew Bolt
The ABC’s AM presenter, Tony Eastley, says it’s great to pick judges for their race:

Barack Obama has chosen a New York judge, Sonia Sotomayor. While some Republicans are resisting her appointment, she’s likely to be installed as the first Hispanic on the US Supreme Court....

Traditionally Hispanics have lower average education and so many of them work in America’s service industry… So you can see why it makes good sense to have Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme court. Like Obama her face is a message to all Americans.

Totally missing from his analysis is any consideration of Sotomayor’s ability, rather than ethnicity. Race now trumps talent.
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Even Gore thinks Rudd goes too far
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd on the clean coal technology into which he’s pouring $2.4 billion of your money and for which he’s winning applause at international meetings:

Its mission is clear: it’s to get large-scale carbon capture and storage projects done around the world, not just discussed… (It’s) to make one practical contribution to the great challenge we all face of dealing effectively with climate change.

But even the great green guru himself fears it’s just more snake oil:

AL GORE, CLIMATE CAMPAIGNER: I have some scepticism about how big a role that particular technology is going to play, but I hope I’m wrong.

And other climate alarmists agree Rudd’s plan is a con:

CLIVE HAMILTON, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: Well, sooner or later we have to get over this grand delusion that clean coal will save the day… I think the Rudd Government refuses to recognise the reality, and they power on with this myth that clean coal will save us.

But spending billions is these days is proof that a leader is decisive and bold, Doing Something rather than just doing nothing. It barely matters that the something the leader is doing is no solution to a problem that may actually not exist.

UPDATE

Professor Ivan Kennedy analyses the dodgy components of this snake oil:

First, Boyle’s law and the associated formula for calculating pressure-volume work tell us that capturing, cooling and compressing carbon dioxide to the liquid form will need a significant proportion of the energy yielded by burning the coal in the first place.

Second, transporting the liquefied carbon dioxide at least three times heavier than the original coal used to generate it will add significantly to the energy cost—requiring even more fossil fuel…

Third, the ongoing cost of adequate monitoring and managing the containment of the geo-sequestered carbon dioxide, even for the next thousand years, could soon exceed the net value of the energy gained in the first place.
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Saying nothing in either language
Andrew Bolt
When the going gets tough…

AUSTRALIAN Trade Minister Simon Crean has told China to behave like the “market economy” it says it wants to be, as the Rudd Government comes under renewed pressure over the detention of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu....

But Mr Rudd, who returned from overseas early yesterday, said nothing on the matter. He is on what is being called “informal leave”.

That said, I’m not sure public intervention by Rudd is yet worth the risk, given he cannot know what evidence the Chinese have against Hu.

UPDATE

How seriously would China think we take this affair:

A REVOLVING door of acting foreign ministers will oversee the Stern Hu arrest crisis because Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is in Cairo meeting Third World leaders and Kevin Rudd is on “informal leave”.

The Australian understands Defence Minister John Faulkner, who has been in the portfolio for a month, took over the role on Sunday. He will serve until Wednesday when Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson will take the job until Friday.

UPDATE 2

Jennifer Hewett:

What is increasingly evident is that rather than Rudd’s deep knowledge of China being a strength in Canberra’s dealings with China, the government’s approach has become ever more of an irritant in Beijing.

Australians doing business in China suggest that prime ministerial references to his prowess at Mandarin and his understanding of China are widely regarded as unbecoming boastfulness by the Chinese. At the same time, Canberra’s all too evident apprehension about the level of Chinese investment in Australian resources and about the potential Chinese military threat have resonated loudly. That’s even without silly snubs like trying to change seating arrangements to avoid Rudd sitting next to the Chinese ambassador in London.

None of this explains, let alone justifies, the provocative act of the Chinese in detaining four Rio Tinto employees, including a senior Australian executive. But it may help explain why Beijing has been so dismissive of the Australian reaction and sensitivities to the extent there was no prior warning or attempt to deal with the matter through back channels.

UPDATE 3

I’m not sure Labor is drawing the right lesson from this showing of China’s teeth, or is sending the right message. In a report on Hu’s strife, Lateline adds:

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi has been invited to observe Labor’s national conference in Sydney.
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Denise might not agree
Andrew Bolt
Who would be so stupid as to demand women feel more agony?

(A British midwife) believes that women should endure the agony of labour, which is a rite of passage for building a special bond with the child.

Read on…

Dr Denis Walsh has sparked controversy over his claims ...
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Teaching the world some scams
Andrew Bolt
The particulars are new, yet strangely unsurprising:

AUSTRALIA’S lust for high-dollar Indian students has led to a thriving black market in sham marriages, forged English language exams and bogus courses, and turned a once-respected international education sector into a recognised immigration racket.

While the federal government and industry work to repair the damage caused by a recent spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia, education agents say the violence has shone a light on a $14 billion industry riven with corruption.
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