Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 18th August 2009

We don't want Kyle and Jackie O: Rees
NSW Premier Nathan Rees says Kyle and Jackie O should not have been allowed back on air. - the horse has bolted. Has Rees an opinion on something not already discussed? - ed.

Rate hike just a matter of timing
An interest rate hike is on the agenda but economists believe the Reserve Bank will hold off a few months to ensure it doesn't hamper economic growth.

Teacher accused of raping, killing 8yo
A female Sunday school teacher has been accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old girl.

Mother admits murder of boy in suitcase
A Sydney mother accused of killing her young son and stuffing his body in a suitcase has pleaded guilty to murder.


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Teenager charged over footy brawl
A teenager has been charged over a savage attack during a brawl at a junior football game in Melbourne's north.

Ghosts roaming NSW Parliament

THERE is the ghostly man who walks through the floor, a silent horse drawn carriage out the front and down the road a baby cries at night.

Supermarkets to spy on students
SUPERMARKETS and corner stores to dob on students who buy high-caffeine energy drinks.

Relationship with China hits record low
AUSTRALIA'S relationship with China has plunged to a decade low, with Beijing taking a series of tough measures.

Is this Australia's worst learner driver?
A DRIVER has been blasted by a judge for his complete disregard for rules, after he clocked up a long list of licence suspensions.

Rocker slammed for Rose Tattoo pokie
EIGHTIES rocker and champion of children's causes Angry Anderson has allowed his image to be used to promote pokies.

Dive victim family warns on plea pain
PLEA bargains between crooks and prosecutors should be exposed to tougher scrutiny, a dive victim's family warns.
=== Journalists Corner ===
They're the backbone of the American economy ... but all that could change!
Are small businesses being driven out by the government? Furious owners speak out when Glenn tackles this important and explosive issue!
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PETA's "Unhappy Meals"
The group's shocking attack on McDonalds exposed!
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Guest: Dick Morris
Morris breaks down the latest on the health care controversy!
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Obama on the Offensive!
But is he gaining any ground with Americans? Why some say the more people hear, the less they like!
=== Comments ===
Cool heads prevail in Black Saturday study
Piers Akerman
THE interim report released yesterday into Victoria’s fatal Black Saturday bushfires reflects cooler thinking than was displayed by those who hysterically jumped on the global warming bandwagon last January and February. - With the ALP Premier distancing himself from responsibility we have an illustration of the pitfalls of ALP governance. The death toll was from lack of governance. It was known what needed to be done, but it wasn’t done. And it might not be done this year, either.
There was good reason to blame Global Warming .. the culpable had to blame something. But now we know that the temperatures were not much hotter than those of the early twentieth or nineteenth centuries. Will Rudd’s stimulus payments go towards the creation of fire shelters? Marion Zimmer Bradley’s fantasy planet of Darkover had storm shelters on lightly travelled routes at regular intervals. It must be appealing to the ALP to copy areligious fantasy. - ed.

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MICHAEL GOODWIN: Hillary Drinks the Kool-Aid
For Hillary Clinton and President Obama, everything is still about George Bush. Anything he touched is the Dark Ages and they have self-aggrandizingly anointed themselves the Enlightened Ones.

The video of Hillary Clinton peevishly snapping at a student questioner in the Congo was the meltdown seen 'round the world. But that undiplomatic moment was hardly her worst on the Africa swing.

The real clunker came with her pathetic attempt to compare Nigeria's corrupt and violent 2007 elections to the contested 2000 American presidential results.

In equating the two, the secretary of state echoes President Obama's sour apologia tours around the globe. Either he's writing her speeches now or Clinton's drinking the White House Kool-Aid. Neither is appealing.
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SPECIES DECEASES
Tim Blair
Peter Garrett gets with the death panel program:
The Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, has warned that money to save endangered wildlife is limited and some species may have to be abandoned when funding decisions are made.
Of course, this could just be a vote-grabbing ruse by the desperate domer.

UPDATE. Speaking of votes …

UPDATE II. A death panel for cars.
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KILLERVERSARY
Tim Blair
To hell with the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. It’s 45 years since Jerry Lee Lewis recorded this at the Municipal Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama. Immediately before a riot, by the sounds of it.
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SUNSET KLAUS
Tim Blair
So much for the national stereotype that holds Germans to be obsessively logical:
Although Germany is not situated in the sunny part of the world, no country has more solar panels.
Maybe they think more solar panels = more sun. Anyway, such is the German devotion to Sonnenkollektors that they’re forecast to spend 77 billion Euros on the things by 2013:
But it is not the solar technology itself which generates this massive burden. It’s a legal funding clause, included in Germany’s Renewable Energies Act. According to this law, the producers of solar energy are paid a fixed amount of money for each kilowatt-hour they feed into the system - and all German electricity consumers are billed for this cost.
Despite massive legislative assistance, the lights are going out:
The young German solar industry faces an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies … The situation is paradoxical: Lush state feed-in laws ensure a demand boom in solar energy systems. But Germany’s solar cell and module manufacturer hardly benefit. According to the industry magazine “Photon”, the real benefactors of Germany’s green laws are Asian competitors, especially from China.
But in der Fatherland:
Germany’s Q-Cells, the world’s second-largest producer of solar cells, will cut 500 jobs after reporting a loss of EUR 696.9 million ($994 million) in H1 2009.

UPDATE. Naturally, the Greens want to import Germany’s solar debacle.
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GUS IS A GOOD DUDE
Tim Blair
Four would-be robbers – one of them armed – entered Charles Augusto Jr.’s Harlem store last Thursday. Three left. Two lived:
“I told them there wasn’t any money. ‘Take your gun, put it in your pocket, and go home.’ They had a chance to leave,” Augusto said.

But they didn’t listen.

So Augusto, 72 – known to most as “Gus” – channeled his inner Dirty Harry and pulled out the Remington shotgun he had hidden under his desk for 20 years. He opened fire three times, peppering all four men with buckshot.

“I did what I had to do,” he said. “It wasn’t my choice; it was their choice.”
Prior to the blasts, one of the goons pistol-whipped an employee:
Augusto’s beaten employee – who would only give his name as J.B. – had little sympathy.

“S- - - went real bad for them, not for me,” he said. “I’m breathing. They dead.”

The 35-year-old had nothing but praise for his boss.

“I know Gus is a good dude. He’s looked out for me since I was 19,” he said. “He saved my life, man.”
Augusto, who sells commercial kitchen equipment, faces no charges. His gun was properly registered. Impressively, his store was open for business the day after the attempted robbery. More impressive still was this scene involving JB:
When a woman came to place a candle outside the shop, J.B. angrily kicked it across the pavement.

“Who’s this for?” he demanded of the startled woman. “For the guy who died? F- - - him!”
If you’re ever in the area of 523 West 125th St., drop by the Kaplan Bros. Blue Flame Corp. and buy something. Anything.
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NO TO HYDRO
Tim Blair
Sixty-eight people are missing, feared dead, following an accident at Russia’s largest hydroelectric plant. You won’t be reading about this even one year from now, despite that number being substantially higher than the death toll at Chernobyl.
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Greens demand the power that’s ruining Germany
Andrew Bolt
Greens deputy leader Christine Milne demands we copy Germany’s green energy policy:

Also, the energy revolution in Germany and Japan to see that moving out of old electricity generation and moving into solar and renewables creates jobs and huge amounts of investment and attracts innovators to the economy and that’s what we desperately need to do in Australia.

Germany’s Die Zeit warns what we’d be in for:

Although Germany is not situated in the sunny part of the world, no country has more solar panels. The boom, however, is artificial. And it costs consumers an absolute fortune.

The sum can be spelled out quite precisely: the expected installation of new solar panels in 2009 alone will cost German consumers ten billion euros in the next 20 years. This will produce about 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of solar electricity each year, which corresponds to about 0.3 percent of Germany’s current electricity consumption. That’s near to nothing.

But the ten billion euros are just the cost for the new systems. The panels built up to 2008 will burden consumers with an additional cost of 30 billion euros, according to calculations by the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI). And the cost avalanche is growing. If the forecast of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association were to materialize, there will be so many solar panels installed in Germany by 2013 that the cost will grow to more than 77 billion euros - adjusted for inflation.

Christine Milne particularly praises Germany’s feed-in tarrifs, which pay people with solar panels for the dribble of electricity they produce:

“Feed-in tariffs”, also known as renewable energy price guarantees, were pioneered in Germany at the instigation of the German Greens. The world-leading success of Germany’s renewable energy industry is clearly attributable to this policy.

But Die Zeit particularly blames those feed-in tarrifs for saddling Germany with gigantic bills:

77 billion euros! But it is not the solar technology itself which generates this massive burden. It’s a legal funding clause, included in Germany’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG). According to this law, the producers of solar energy are paid a fixed amount of money for each kilowatt-hour they feed into the system - and all German electricity consumers are billed for this cost.

The Age took up Milne’s call and singled out one German green-power company for particular praise:

This week The Age revealed that a string of European solar companies had considered investing in Australian solar but had opted to go elsewhere because of a lack of government commitment and support… Germany’s booming solar industry now employs 57,000. One company alone, solar cells manufacturer Q-Cells, established in 2001 with 19 employees, now has 1900 workers. It is the largest manufacturer of solar cells in the world. Australia’s solar industry employs 3500.

Financial Times Deutschland suggests we would have done our dough if we’d taken the advice of Milne and The Age:

The young German solar industry faces an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies… Last week, the world’s market leader, Germany’s Q-Cells, declined to provide a revenue forecast for the current year. The group suffered a high loss in the hundreds of millions, while sales fell in the first half by almost 40 percent to 366 million euros.

UPDATE

Tom Quirk works out the astonishing cost of reaching the 2020 renewable energy target being demanded by the Rudd Government - with the craven support of the Liberals:

Wind is so intermittent that it would require an impossible building programme of 20,000 MW of wind farms by 2020 at an overall cost of some $40 billion!

The target of 20 per cent from renewables by 2020 requires about 6,000 MW of deliverable renewable power in order to meet the projected future energy demand. Realistically, only nuclear and wind power could conceivably provide this. Since the government will not consider nuclear power, wind power is, by definition, the technology of choice.

But this is not a feasible solution… Wind occurs in bursts… More importantly it does not blow at the same time all over south-east Australia… The weather systems extend for 1,000 kilometres covering most of south-east Australia! ...

(W)ind farms produce on average 30 per cent of their installed power. This is a consequence of the intermittency of wind. This means that to supply an average of 6,000 MW of power requires installing 20,000 MW of wind power, taking the average output to be 30 percent of installed power. This would be a building programme of 10,000 2 MW wind turbine towers. This is building three each day for ten years.

But again because of intermittency, at times of peak demand wind can only be relied on to deliver 10 percent of its installed power. So, for the target set by NEMMCO of 11,000 MW (of extra capacity) and wind only being good for 2,000 MW at peak demand times, a total of 9,000 MW of gas turbine generators will be needed.

So Rudd’s plan demands we spend $40 billion to build 10,000 windtowers - the equivalent of one tower every 330 metres between Perth and Sydney - to produce power so unreliable that it still needs to be backed up by other generators.

That’s the madness the government is putting through the Senate this week, with the Liberals’ enthusiastic support. God save us.

UPDATE 2

Terry McCrann wonders at the madness, too, and says July showed again how pointless it will be to invest billions in a power source that at times can’t even fire up a light bulb:

The month proved to be very good for wind. At—very brief—times, the industry produced electricity at an impressive 80 per cent of capacity. And it spent quite a time operating at various levels between 40 and 60 per cent.

But, and it is an even more devastating but in the context of a windy month, the industry also spent time at zero—producing not a kilowatt of power; and extended periods at or below 20 per cent.

So some other power source—did anyone mention carbon-based?—had to be kept ticking over to provide back-up for wind’s full capacity; and at times to literally produce instead of it.
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How bad must you be to get banned?
Andrew Bolt
It must be a fundamental human right to have a licence - a right that outranks our right to be saved from drivers like Daniel Jader, still on his L-plates:

ONE of Sydney’s most reckless learner drivers was yesterday blasted by a judge for his complete disregard for road rules, after he clocked up a staggering 10 speeding fines and a long list of licence suspensions.

Daniel Jader, 23, of Moorebank, ... yesterday won a court appeal to have an 18-month periodic prison sentence quashed after crashing into another car while driving unlicensed in February last year…

Documents showed Jader obtained his first learner’s licence in May 2003, and in just 11 months racked up five speeding fines, a negligent driving charge, three charges of driving unaccompanied and two instances of driving without L plates… In all, his record also included six licence suspensions or cancellations and a conviction for failing to list previous or current disqualifications when applying for a licence.
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Do not try this at home
Andrew Bolt

Pocho is not Australian. This, according to the report, is very important.
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Britain swims with the cultural tide
Andrew Bolt

Isn’t it time to show some tolerance to a majority culture, that has so much to offer? Instead:

British swimming pools are imposing Muslim dress codes in a move described as divisive by Labour MPs. Under the rules, swimmers – including non-Muslims – are barred from entering the pool in normal swimming attire.

Instead they are told that they must comply with the “modest” code of dress required by Islamic custom, with women covered from the neck to the ankles and men, who swim separately, covered from the navel to the knees…

Croydon council in south London runs separate one-and-a half-hour swimming sessions for Muslim men and women every Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre. Swimmers were told last week on the centre’s website that “during special Muslim sessions male costumes must cover the body from the navel to the knee and females must be covered from the neck to the ankles and wrists”.

There are similar rules at Scunthorpe Leisure Centre, in North Lincolnshire, where “users must follow the required dress code for this session (T-shirts and shorts/leggings that cover below the knee)”.

Interesting that in a clash of cultures, the more intolerant is privileged.
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Rudd snubbed
Andrew Bolt
So much for Kevin Rudd’s much-hyped plan to be an ”intermediary” between China and the West

AUSTRALIA’S relationship with China has plunged to a decade low, with Beijing taking a series of tough measures, including cancelling high-level visits, to convey its displeasure with the Rudd government.

The Chinese have effectively banned visits by senior officials and sanctioned a press campaign against Australia, angered by several recent Rudd government decisions, such as granting a visa to exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

It is believed that the Chinese have also intimated that they may not co-operate readily with Australia over Asia Pacific regional architecture, which would make Kevin Rudd’s plan for an Asia Pacific community difficult to achieve.

I don’t blame Rudd for having angered China, given that most of the right in these disputes is on his - and our - side. But I do blame him for so naively spinning the conceit that he would be the world’s point man in negotiating with the regime.
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On emerging from the womb, I observed…
Andrew Bolt
The astonishing recall of Catherine Deveny:

When I was four, one of the girls from a “good” family who sat two pews in front of us got pregnant. She was 15. She married on a Saturday afternoon wearing an orange kaftan. She wasn’t allowed to wear white because she wasn’t “a bride”. The poor girl was being shamed and made an example for the rest of us. On the way home from the wedding I remember Dad saying to Mum: “I feel for her father.” I remember wanting to jump over the front seat and ram my father’s head into the windscreen.

Gerard Henderson marvels:

How’s that for self-awareness? At age four, young Catherine was aware that a 15 year old girl was being shamed for marrying, while pregnant, in an orange kaftan. So much so that Catherine, aged four, wanted to punch-out her old man for (allegedly) sympathising with the 15 year old pregnant bride’s father. This suggests that Catherine had a remarkable perception for so young a child. She also possesses a wonderful sense of recall - being able to directly quote precisely what her dad said to her mum in a car when she was just four years old - some four decades ago. With such a grasp of detail, The Age’s columnist should be encouraged to add a fact or two to her future pieces. Also readers would be interested in CD’s reflections on Plato’s Republic at age two and a half.
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