Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Headlines Wednesday 15th July 2009
Verity Firth furious at school playground sell-off reports
Claims hundreds of school playgrounds will be sold off to raise money for NSW Government coffers are being angrily rejected. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reports land at 282 schools in Sydney alone have been earmarked for sale. - Firth may get as upset as she pleases, it is true that bureaucrats have drawn up plans. - ed.
1 in 4: Swine flu explosion imminent
University of Western Australia pandemic experts says without medication to combat the virus, 27 per cent of the population will be infected. - the scare campaign continues. -ed
30 days away from being broke
A THIRD of Australians would not survive for more than a month on their savings if they lost their jobs.
Backpacker Jamie Neale found after 11 days
MISSING British backpacker Jamie Neale has been found alive and well in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales after being missing for eleven days.
Stoned drivers targeted in graphic ad
Marijuana-smoking "dopes" are the targets of a new TV campaign to promote road safety in Victoria.
Tragedy hits family returning from snow
Tragedy has struck a Sydney family returning from a holiday to the snow, their car rolling over near Jindabyne.
Two-year-old boy mauled by rottweiler
A two-year-old boy suffered chest and facial injuries when he was mauled by a dog.
China is in breach of agreement: Oppn
China is in breach of a consular agreement that stipulates it must give reasons as to why an...... - Rudd is too close to China and is incapable of making decisions in the best interests of Australians. - ed. - update, Rudd has apparently told a low level Chinese official "The world is watching." This explains why Rudd is stymied, he likes being in the limelight. ed.
=== Comments ===
Any kind of youths in particular?
French youths burned 317 cars and wounded 13 police officers overnight during the now traditional bout of street violence on the eve of the Bastille Day national holiday, police say.
I mean, if we had some clues about who these youths really were, we might better understand the issues at play, right? Or is this information for the reporter to know, but readers to find out?
RealClimate now ponders: why no warming?
There’s been an astonishing shift in the global warming debate. RealClimate, a prominent climate blog run by leading alarmist scientists such as Michael ”Hockey Stick” Mann and Gavin Schmidt, has acknowledged that the warming has paused, after all, and probably will not resume (if at all) for at least another decade.
Can anyone trust Gore now?
Al Gore lies on ABC television - or at least deceives by omission - about criticism of his wildly alarmist An Inconvenient Truth:
HEATHER EWART: There was also, though, a British judge who ruled that there were in fact, I think, nine errors when it was challenged in court?
AL GORE: Well, the ruling was in my favour.
Pardon? Here, in fact, is what the judge actually said ”in favour” of Gore’s film:
However, as will be seen, some of the errors, or departures from the mainstream, by Mr Gore in AIT in the course of his dynamic exposition, do arise in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis...
And which nine errors did the judge identify? Read on (for the proof of Gore’s deception and for some updates)…
Our PM has bad gas
A Prime Minister so worried about global warming should mind his own gases:
KEVIN Rudd’s VIP jet is a flying taxi that regularly burns cash and carbon to pick up the PM only hours after returning, empty, to Canberra.
RAAF planes are frequently travelling empty to Canberra only to turn around the following day, or even just hours later, to pick up Mr Rudd and his entourage from interstate.
Between July and December last year, the prime ministerial planes made 50 phantom flights between Canberra and the state capitals.
This is not just an astonishing waste of gases and $180,000 of our money, but a worrying insight into how unplanned and chaotic is Rudd’s schedule.
Sotomayor rewrites her racist past
Should a ”wise Latina” be made Supreme Court justice if she’s not only a racist but a liar?
Note in the video from Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing how dishonestly Democrat Pat Leahy presents her most controversial opinion, omitting the very words that made it controversial.
A president can’t just be a symbol, after all
Even CBS has now noticed, too:
President Obama’s approval rating has fallen six points in the past month, a new CBS News poll finds, amid growing skepticism about his handling of the economy and questions about the impact of the stimulus package.
The president’s current approval rating, which is 57 percent, is still relatively high. But it has fallen 11 points from its peak of 68 percent in April, and has also dropped since last month’s mark of 63 percent. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, has risen from 23 percent in April to 32 percent today.
Stern test of Rudd in any language
THE two men from the Chinese embassy met me at a coffee shop, armed with firm notebooks.
“Now,” they said. “How will this Mr Rudd deal with China?”
It was just before the last election, and Yu and Hu - I forget their real names - were charming, sharp and highly educated, and had been sent on a tour of Australia to compile a profile for their masters of the man who was sure to be our new prime minister.
And more than anything, Yu-Hu wanted to know if Rudd would be a friend of China or a stone in its slipper.
I told them privately what I’d said publicly - that the Mandarin-speaking Rudd was keen to sell himself as a leader who could deal with China, but the risk of seeming the Manchurian candidate would make it impossible for him to be as friendly as he might like. It takes a Nixon to go to China. Or a Begin to make peace with Egypt.
Yu-Hu both seemed to agree. And now, two years later, the strange arrest of Australian mining executive Stern Hu suggests their leaders in Beijing have likewise concluded that Rudd is a man on whom they cannot rely.
Indeed, he’s now being treated with a disrespect that is typical of a tyranny growing too powerful for our good. Why won’t his Chinese friends even call?
Feed ‘em (anti-Israeli) muck
The Australian notes a telling addition:
Jason Koutsoukis in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on June 30. Guess which paper carried the italicised sentences:
A PROPOSAL by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak to freeze Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank for six months was overshadowed last night by the announcement that another 50 settlement units had just been approved. The decision to build the 50 houses in the Adam settlement, north of Jerusalem, is part of a plan to relocate 200 settlers currently living in an outpost considered illegal under Israeli law. All settlements are considered illegal under international law. Under Barak’s plan, the six-month freeze would not affect construction already under way and would not include occupied East Jerusalem.
Jamie Hyams in The Australian Jewish News:
(IN The Age) Koutsoukis (made) the gratuitous, and incorrect, statement (that) “All settlements are considered illegal under international law”. The Age also incorrectly referred to “occupied East Jerusalem”, while in the Herald it was simply “East Jerusalem”. It would be interesting to know whether the offending portions were, appropriately, edited out at the Herald or, inappropriately, added at the The Age.
I’m betting on “added”.
On arguing against the slashing of wrists
Bjorn Lomborg on the stifling of rational debate over global warming:
Nobel laureate in economics Paul Krugman goes further. After the narrow passage of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill in the US House of Representatives, Krugman ... called virtually all of the members who voted against it “climate deniers” who were committing “treason against the planet"… Less well-known pundits make similar points, suggesting that people with “incorrect” views on global warming should face Nuremberg-style trials or be tried for crimes against humanity....
This is scary, although not without historical precedent. Much of the American McCarthyism of the 1940s and 50s was driven by the same burning faith in the righteousness of the mission: a faith that saw fundamental rights abrogated…
(R)easonable people can differ on their interpretation of the Waxman-Markey bill… At a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, it will have virtually no impact on climate change. If all of the bill’s many provisions were entirely fulfilled, economic models show that it would reduce the temperature by the end of the century by 0.11C, reducing warming by less than 4 per cent… Is it treason to question throwing huge sums of money at a policy that will do virtually no good in 100 years? Is it unreasonable to point out that the inevitable creation of trade barriers that will ensue from Waxman-Markey could eventually cost the world 10 times more than the damage climate change could ever have wrought?
Can’t load iron ore from a school hall
Michael Stutchbury mourns the waste:
IT took one of the biggest China conferences of the year for Wayne Swan to give due credit to exports rather than budget stimulus for cushioning Australia from the worst of the global recession. And the Treasurer already is testing out his defences to suggestions the government pumped too much fiscal stimulus into the economy…
The shipping queues outside some of Australia’s east coast ports already are starting to lengthen again, in part because of rail shortfalls. It would be better to concentrate on fixing such genuine infrastructure bottlenecks than to waste money building primary school halls that simply aren’t needed.
China is different, so our leaders watch themselves
Peter Costello notes the difference with China that has even many Australians cowed:
IN FEBRUARY I raised concerns about the proposal by Rio Tinto to sell a 30 per cent stake in its Pilbara iron ore mines to the Chinese state-owned company Chinalco. I urged Treasurer Wayne Swan to look at it carefully under the foreign investment law, which I used to assess Shell’s proposal to takeover gas producer Woodside in 2001.
At that time most of the business and economic writers supported the Chinalco deal on the grounds that Rio needed money and Australia needed Chinese foreign investment. One Asia specialist, Professor Peter Drysdale of the Australian National University, who supported Chinalco’s bid, described my criticism as “grubby”.
But when Rio’s iron ore negotiations manager, Australian Stern Hu, was arrested in Shanghai no one was suggesting the Chinese leadership was “grubby”. You don’t talk like that in China. Even back here in Australia Chinese specialists will be careful how they talk. And this is the nub of the issue. Business in China is not conducted as it is in a Western democracy.
China wants our own festival censored
The Chinese Government is getting very pushy indeed:
THE Chinese Government has demanded that the Melbourne International Film Festival dump a documentary about an exiled minority leader whom they label a terrorist and blame for instigating this month’s ethnic riots in Xinjiang, which left more than 180 people dead.
The Australian film about millionaire Uighur businesswoman and grandmother Rebiya Kadeer, who was once feted by the Chinese Government as an example of ethnic harmony in China, is scheduled to premiere on August 8.
Festival director Richard Moore said the Chinese consulate in Melbourne phoned him late on Friday after the festival’s full program was published in The Age, insisting that the documentary, The 10 Conditions of Love, be withdrawn.
Another week of ABC bias
The fact is that, three years into Mark Scott’s appointment as ABC Managing Director, you can still hear a greater diversity of views on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News than on Australia’s main public broadcaster. Fox News actually engages some left-of-centre or leftist (liberal in the American sense of the term) - commentators on its main programs. The ABC does not have even one conservative commentator on any of its key radio or TV programs.
A glimpse at last week’s programming demonstrates the reality - from breakfast to supper.
Henderson then produces the evidence, example by example. Of the riches, this example - Phillip Adams’ interview with actor Jack Charles - stands out:
Mr Charles ticks all the boxes. He’s indigenous, he’s left-wing and he’s gay. Jack Charles is also a burglar - when he is not serving at Her Majesty’s pleasure, so to speak.
On 25 June, Bastardy was reviewed by Tim Kroenert in the Jesuit online magazine Eureka Street. Kroenert wrote that Charles “justifies his acts of serial burglary as ‘collecting the rent’ from affluent white suburbanites who dwell on what could rightfully be considered Aboriginal land”. Kroenert continued: “Who can fail to sympathise with his acts of theft, from people who have plenty to spare, in the face of his appeals to the historic, systemic oppression of Indigenous people?” Who indeed?
Phillip Adams ran a similar line on LNL. Adams referred to Charles’ tactic of “collecting the rent” and implied that such behaviour was quite okay since he merely “went for posh houses in places like Kew”.
How can Scott listen to this and be proud? Leave aside the dilletantish inanity of an Adams. Isn’t this wilful refusal to permit debate a sign of intellectual cowardice or bad faith?
The Cap-and-Trade Corruption
By Bill O'Reilly
I'm going to keep this simple. There is a big con going on, and it is outrageous.
Tuesday night's "Memo" is using some information developed by Rolling Stone magazine, which did a good job on this cap-and-trade deceit.
Cap-and-trade, it's easy. The feds tell heavy industry what they can spew into the air. If a company goes over the emission amount, they must buy so-called carbon offsets from another company. So the companies that keep emissions low make money, and the companies that spew lots of gunk make less money. Of course, the gunk companies will pass their higher costs on to us, but hey, no program is perfect, right?
Now, less gunk in the air is good. A cleaner planet means better health for all of us. But already, India, China, Mexico and other countries have told President Obama they will not limit emissions. They don't really care about global warming. So even if we cap-and-trade all day long, the Earth will continue to be dirty.
But that's not the con. Here it comes. Some big corporations will make billions off this cap-and-trade deal. Let's take one vivid example.
Goldman Sachs is a goliath investment company that pays very little tax. In fact, last year in the teeth of the recession, Goldman made more than $2 billion in profit and, according to the Associated Press, paid its CEO Lloyd Blankfein about $43 million. Let me repeat: Old Lloyd made $43 million bucks in 2008. But Goldman Sachs paid zero in federal income tax. Let me repeat: Goldman made $2 billion and paid nothing in federal tax.
A quick aside: President Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes on high-earning Americans to pay for health care. But Goldman-Sachs gets a pass.
Back to cap-and-trade. Goldman owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the cap-and-trade deals will be made. On each deal a commission will be paid. Goldman Sachs stands to vacuum up money. Did I mention the company pays very little tax?
Also, Goldman employees gave President Obama's campaign close to $1 million. Did I mention that?
Ready for more? Guess who has also invested heavily in cap-and-trade? Hello, Al Gore. He's started a company named Generation Investment Management, which will also profit big time if the cap-and-trade deal becomes law. Since Al Gore launched his global warming crusade, his net worth has increased 5,000 percent to more than $100 million, according to Investors Business Daily. As they say on Wall Street, Mr. Gore is hot. Pardon the pun.
So let's recap. Global warming is bad, but cap-and-trade will not affect it much because China and India will continue to pollute. Big corporations like Goldman Sachs and big guys like Al Gore could make many millions of dollars off cap-and-trade, while the regular folks will pay more for just about everything.
That definitely sounds like change — change Mr. Gore and Goldman Sachs can believe in.
Voight Blasts Obama's Job Performance
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 13, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Actor Jon Voight came under attack for criticizing the president in a recent speech, but that's not stopping him from vocalizing his anger with the administration.
Now, not only does Voight oppose Judge Sotomayor's appointment to the Supreme Court, but he's also upset by the reckless spending, the stimulus package, the president's responses, or lack thereof, in Iran and the impending cap-and-tax bill and much, much more. And he joins me now.
Jon Voight — and on top of everything, I've got to tell you, you are one guy that has been out there, defending our troops and our military. You know, this is the antithesis. I thought Hollywood guys didn't do this stuff. How come you do?
JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: Well, obviously, Sean, you know, the things that we do, we shouldn't be in a situation where we can do enough for the troops. These guys step up for us. You know, they put themselves on the line. And — and I know their families. And you and I know visiting these guys in the hospitals as we do, we find that they're the best of us. And it's a very great honor for us to serve them.
HANNITY: These are the best of the best.
One of the things, you came out — here you are, you're willing to openly criticize the Obama administration, but anybody that does this is attacked, demonized. In your profession oftentimes it hurts their career. What has been the reaction to you speaking out?
VOIGHT: Well, let me say this, first of all, Sean. There was a — I made a speech at the House Senate dinner for the Republicans, and it was well-received, and then I had a lot of response. And of course, as you say, you know you're going to be attacked if you step out and criticize our president.
And Teresa Albano, editor of People's Weekly World, which was formerly the Daily Worker found a way to take a phrase I used and not put it in context, and then she made this statement. She said, "Jon Voight made a threat against the president of the United States."
And my response to this, which was to a reporter from The Washington Times, I said Teresa Albano has targeted me with vicious, harmful lies. She's igniting hate against me. I would never threaten the president. I said his policies must fail because they're creating a socialist America. Why do I step out and say that knowing I'm just going to get a whole bunch of other stuff coming back at me? It's important that we speak out. That's our duty as citizens.
I'm against his silence on Iran. I'm against Obama's lie that he was going to protect Israel. And now as president he arrogantly tells them what they can do and what they can't do. Has he forgot that our only hope to defend us against Iran's nuclear buildup is Israel?
And I'm against his very cunning ability to push things — to rush things through without anybody having a chance to look at them. His stimulus package has failed. We're losing job after job.
And, of course, now they're thinking, well, maybe another stimulus package. I agree with what Bill O'Reilly said, Sean. Recently, he said that Obama's on his way to bankrupting America. I agree with him.
HANNITY: I've been saying it for months, that he — it's not he's on his way. He is bankrupting the country, you know. And you've just got to look at the numbers, Jon, and the numbers speak for themselves. You cannot spend this much money, quadruple the debt in five months, quadruple the deficit. We're going to be paying a trillion in debt, and that's before cap-and-trade. That's before nationalized health care.
That's — that's one of the things that's most frightening to me is that — all these rosy predictions that they've had, none of which have come true, just the opposite is happening. So once they have to readjust these figures, they go up exponentially.
VOIGHT: And you're getting it out there, and other people are getting it out there. Millions are expressing their dissatisfaction, but the mainstream press is not reporting it, Sean.
Thank God for you guys at FOX and yourself for covering the tea parties because without you, we wouldn't think anything was going on. Absolutely no — no other network covered it. Nobody. Except maybe Janeane Garofalo covered it.
Can you imagine, Sean, 37,000 people came out in the — in protest in a town in Texas to protest against this irresponsible spending that's going to leave their grandchildren in great debt and burden. And she said about that, she said, "Oh, well, these people are just — they're rednecks, you know, they're just people who are..."
VOIGHT: Prejudice against a black president. You know, a remark like that, and she would have to — my take is she would have to be suffering from severe guilt thinking perhaps she's a descendant of white slave owners.
HANNITY: That's what you're thinking that she is? All right. But on a more serious note. Go ahead.
VOIGHT: OK. You know, I — I had heard something on the other line and it distracted me, Sean. I'm sorry.
HANNITY: Well, look, let me go back to this question. See, look, I take it as a given. Jon, I'm on the air four hours a day. I believe as you do he's bankrupting this country, socialism doesn't work, we're robbing from our kids and grandkids, he's unilaterally disarming this country, nationalized health care will be a disgrace. All of these things we talk about: the Supreme Court under Sonia Sotomayor is as radical as it will be in terms of her being a justice.
I speak out. I'm willing to accept the role and be the punching bag for the left. That just goes with the territory. I dish it out, I take it.
You are not used — you're not used to being in that role. Has it impacted your work, your profession?
VOIGHT: Well, look, when I think of this — first of all, I'm a fellow who is — I've been around, and I've taken care of myself, and I'm not — I'm not worried about losing jobs, but I am worried about millions of people with small families losing jobs. It's a big deal to me. So you know, I want to speak up.
But, you know, slowly but surely we can see that Obama's policies are failing. But the people who brought him in — the people who brought him in to office will defend them, you know, no matter what, because they refuse to — to feel that they made a mistake.
Now, who brought him into office? The press brought him in. The press was a big factor, and so was — they got a lot of help from ACORN, this corrupt organization that is now under indictment in many states throughout the country for voter fraud and registration fraud, and also, by the way, responsible for the stealing of the election of Norm Coleman in Minnesota.
But the press — the press brought him in, and now they want to make sure that nobody topples the throne, it seems. So they don't report anything that will interfere with his policies.
But when the news is biased, it can — you know, it can control the people in a dangerous way. We see what's going on in Venezuela, and we're shocked. We're shocked to see Hugo Chavez closing down the — the opposition media. We're shocked when we see what's happening to the truth in Iran.
But this same thing is happening in our country right now. The Obama regime is controlling the press. They protect them, they cover for him, and they don't want the truth to come out that there is this dissatisfaction, that people are waking up, and it's being expressed in these tea parties.
HANNITY: Well, you know, it's funny. I watched you this weekend in "Pearl Harbor," where you played — where you played FDR. And one of the moments that really struck me in the movie, and you're a phenomenal actor, and we're good friends. But the moment when you said, "Don't tell me we can't, and you stood up," and obviously FDR, and you showed that courage. It seems to me that in many ways in your real life you stand up, and you're counted. And you don't see a lot of people in your profession do it.
And I know you're probably going to, you know, take some heat again for this, but I admire you for it. And I want to thank you, because I think it's a wake-up call to those that seem to be living in that hypnotic Obama trance, if you will.
VOIGHT: Can I — can I just say one little thing about the Sotomayor candidacy?
HANNITY: Yes, sir.
VOIGHT: There are two people who I know you know, Sean, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, who are two guys — two of our leading economists and philosophers. They're both very successful African-Americans. They have always had a great pride in our country.
And they have a different take on affirmative action than — than Sotomayor who — who is very proud to say that's of that school.
They say that they are very glad that they weren't, quote, "victims" — victims of affirmative action, that all their successes and who they are today came from the school of hard work, of study, and of competition. And I think that that those are the — that is the kind of character we should look for when we're seeking people for high office, not the other.
HANNITY: Jon Voight, thank you for being with us. Appreciate your time tonight.
VOIGHT: Thanks very much, Sean.