Snap-Apple Night, painted by Irish artist Daniel Maclise in 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party he attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The caption in the first exhibit catalogue:
There Peggy was dancing with Dan===
While Maureen the lead was melting,
To prove how their fortunes ran
With the Cards ould Nancy dealt in;
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will,
In nuts their true-love burning,
And poor Norah, though smiling still
She'd missed the snap-apple turning.
On the Festival of Hallow Eve.
Swine flu has caused at least 19 more children's deaths — the largest one-week increase since the pandemic started in April, health officials say.
Island asylum centre to double
KEVIN Rudd is ready to double the size of Australia's Christmas Island detention centre.
Wife's plea to jail all cop bashers
THE wife of a bashed cop has called for mandatory sentences for people who assault police.
U.S.: Iran's Time Is Ticking
Iran's refusal to come clean on nuclear program has U.S. considering new sanctions — even if it must act alone
Give 'Em Hell, Hillary
Secretary of state's remarks give Pakistan much-needed dose of reality: relationship with U.S. isn't a 1-way street ...And Take a Little Heat, Too
Supergrass begged for death
A SUPERGRASS whose evidence had put a gangster away for conspiracy to murder said he was sorry and begged: "Execute me." Why did he want to die?
NASA space ace denies selling secrets
A SCIENTIST who helped find water on the moon accused of selling information to a fake spy.
'Obama Song' Program Released
N.J. school turns over notices for assembly where students sang Obama's praises, says lyrics 'unavailable'
Abandoned baby Sunday finds a family
SHE was left on a stranger's doorstep, but six months later she has a loving, caring home.
Holiday homes to let: just $20,000 a week
HOLIDAY home owners are asking - and getting - up to $20,000 a week rent.
=== Comments ===
Sarah Palin Re-entering National Arena
By Bill O'Reilly
A new CNN poll says that 71 percent of Americans do not believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. Just 29 percent say she is qualified. Even among Republicans, 47 percent do not think Gov. Palin should be president.
Certainly the media is driving that opinion:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS: As Politico reported, there's growing concern among some GOP leaders that controversial commentators and far-right conservatives have hijacked the message. People like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin appeal to the base, and you certainly need that base to win elections. But in an age when 42 percent of Americans call themselves independents, you can't win with just the base either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Talking Points" believes this is a fascinating story. There is no question that Mrs. Palin is a star, and her upcoming book will be a No. 1 best-seller.
To promote the book, she is going on "Oprah" and other high-profile programs, and it is here where the governor has a huge opportunity. If Sarah Palin comes across as a problem solver, a sincere conservative and a person who looks out for the folks, she can begin to turn the credibility issue around.
There is no question that Mrs. Palin did a good job running the state of Alaska. We've examined her record up there and found she lowered taxes, challenged the good ol' boy network and generally ran the state responsibly. So the woman does have political skills.
The problem is she did not come across well with Ms. Couric and with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson. She looked tentative and did not assert herself in those interviews. So now she has a second chance.
I am hoping Gov. Palin will come on "The Factor." We will put her in a position of directly addressing you. No sleight of hand. No gotcha agenda.
But even if she doesn't appear here, the governor must put forth her philosophy in vivid terms and be able to come up with solutions to complicated problems. I hope she does because this country needs charismatic politicians and new voices. Mrs. Palin is a working mother, a regular person and someone who has tremendous potential.
This is not a party play. I couldn't care less about the GOP. We are not in the ideological business on "The Factor." But I am concerned because America needs more leadership. There are simply not enough people looking out for the folks.
Sarah Palin has captured America's attention. It will be interesting to see if she can turn the credibility factor around.
RUDD WAITS AND WAITS
J.F. Beck observes puzzling activity at government websites dealing with the current Oceanic Viking standoff. More from Laurie Oakes:
If the asylum seekers ultimately succeed and the Oceanic Viking is forced to take them to Christmas Island, it will be a political disaster for the Rudd Government – a massive admission of failure after all the big talk.Judging by past performances, this could take a while.
Also, the case has attained such symbolic importance that, if Australia now buckles, the encouraging message to people smugglers will be clear. In the words of a Labor heavy: “This lot can’t be allowed to win. It’s as simple as that.”
The strategy for the moment seems to be to wait the stubborn Sri Lankans out.
What do we have here …
• It’s just some oldtimer in front of a rock.
• Maybe it’s like a famous meteorite or something?
• It’s a “before” picture. That rock will later be sculpted into something artistic.
• It’s an “after” picture. The rock is already art.
• It’s an Aboriginal sacred site, guarded by a local elder.
• It’s a protest about rising sea levels.
• It’s a protest against the Sydney Telstra 500 motor race, which will require that the rock be moved.
The answer will be posted later in comments.
UPDATE. In other cultural developments …
WARMING IS GOOD
“Finally,” writes Michael. “The credulous dupes in the AGW gaggle make an appeal which is worth our attention.” This is true:
Almost as entertaining, the commies at Adbusters – posing as “The Canadian Tourism Federation” – try to come up with a video shaming Canadians for not doing enough about global warming, but instead produce something that looks like anti-warmy mockery:
Great work. But greater still is the same crowd’s brilliant poley bear colouring contest – just lookit them babies scream!
SPEAKING TRUTH TO HORSEPOWER
Fresh from a war against Fox News that catapulted the network to its highest ratings ever and during running battles with powerful sign-carriers, the White House opens fire on … a car website.
Views on climate change from Rod Liddle:
One is no longer allowed even to question climate change: it is a fact, and there’s an end to it. This seems to me a little unscientific …Like funding, for example. And from Bernard Ingham:
And all the while you feel that these people actually want the earth to be heating up, the polar bears to die and the floods to engulf so that we will all burn, starve or drown. If somehow it could be proved tomorrow that climate change was a huge con, these people wouldn’t be relieved — they’d feel robbed of something intrinsic to themselves.
The whole tawdry climate game, with its carbon pricing, capping and offset scams, needs to be brought crashing down about the ears of the fanatics running it so that common sense is at last brought to bear on the problem …Happily, local conservatives are now inclining towards common sense:
Never in the field of human endeavour did so many need so few to see sense to prevent the world bankrupting itself again to no purpose.
Liberal Party frontbenchers have begun to dump their support for carbon emissions trading after receiving party research showing voters are increasingly skittish about putting a price on carbon.UPDATE. Imre in comments:
Despite Malcolm Turnbull’s ongoing attempts to broker a deal with Labor that would clear the way for Kevin Rudd’s proposed ETS, political hardheads among the Liberals are moving closer to the Nationals’ view that endorsing carbon trading is political poison.
Ask yourself this: if an instant technical solution to accumulated carbon in the atmosphere were discovered tomorrow, would they be happy or sad? Would they support or oppose it?
Well, obviously, sad and opposed: first, because their own power and influence would dissolve along with the carbon; and second, because capitalism and growth would not be destroyed in the process of solving “climate change”.
If it were a choice between fixing “climate change” without ending capitalism, or sticking with “climate change,” they’d choose “climate change” any day.
Same thing with the GM foods issue: they have decided to oppose a scientific solution to hunger, because they will stick with hunger if the solution does not involve . . . you join the dots.
The reason this second example is so tragic is that hunger exists.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah gets his wish.
Luqman’s son, Mujahid Carswell, was subsequently arrested in Ontario. More on this intriguing case from Christie Blatchford, who begins with a line for the ages: “Imam my arse.”
UPDATE. “As stunned Muslims tried to make sense of the shooting death of a Detroit imam,” reports the Free Press, “some sought to tell a different story about the life of Luqman Ameen Abdullah.” Apparently he was “a modest, reserved man.” He’s a lot more reserved now. Also:
His death was probably the first time the U.S. government has killed a religious leader since the 1993 death of David Koresh at the Branch Davidian ranch in Waco, Texas, religious leaders said.I blame the Democrats. Further background here, and a video report:
UPDATE II. There is also a sad side to this story.
UPDATE III. An interview with the ex-Imam (from 4.40):
Prince Charles knows best
David Marr detects a sinister pattern:
The leading monarchists left in Canberra are Tony Abbott and senators Nick Minchin, Connie Fierravanti-Wells, Cory Bernardi and George Brandis. Here’s something strange: Brandis to one side, they are all global-warming sceptics.Wow. Four out of five politicians picked by Marr are sceptics of two Leftist theories they suspect may, on the evidence, leave us worse off.
But then Marr immediately ruins his own conspiracy:
This puts them seriously out of sync with the Mountbatten-Windsors who are as green as royal families get. In Brazil in March, the Prince of Wales declared global warming the “greatest and most critical challenge” facing the world.Er, so Marr, the virulent republican, now suggests Prince Charles, the frequent-flyer hypocrite, as the source of wisdom? I mean, if Charles wants us to cut emissions, why was he in Brazil?
But let me offer Marr a rival conspiracy:
The strongest global-warming sceptics in the Rudd Government are reputedly Martin Ferguson, Craig Emerson, Stephen Conroy and Gary Gray. Here’s something strange: they are all republicans.
Gore’s Apocalypse delayed yet again
The Arctic has stopped melting away, which forces Al Gore into several readjustments.
In December 2008, he says the Arctic ice could vanish by 2013:
In April 2009, after a big refreeze, Gore pushes out his prediction of a possible ice-free Arctic to 2014:
(R)esearchers at the Naval Postgraduate School have told us that the entire Arctic ice cap may totally disappear in summer in as little as five years if nothing is done to curb emissions of greenhouse gas pollution.In October 2009, after a summer in which the Arctic ice hung around as per recent usual, Gore adjusts again, extending his prediction to 2019:
The North Pole ice cap is 40 percent gone already and could be completely and totally gone in the winter months in the next 5 to 10 years.And surely the reporter misheard Gore, because this is cartoonishly false, especially given Gore is talking about sea ice:
If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres, Gore said...
Can Obama do a Bush?
Obama is facing the same decision on Afghanistan that Bush faced in late 2006 in deciding to surge in Iraq.Difference is that Bush acted, and sent in more troops to win a war. - Bolt is reaching there. There were many other differences between the two leaders, but it is true that US troops were safer and better led by President Bush. - ed.
Easy from outside
It’s so easy to say “let them in” when you’re not in power:
Then Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten tells The Age newspaper on February 4, 2006:Shorten is now in the Rudd Government, backing its anti-boat people line. And replacing him at the AWU is Paul Howes:
OUR country is the loser when we reject people who want to make a home and a contribution here. The success of many recent asylum-seekers in becoming productive members of our communities shows the potential for expanding the humanitarian migrant intake as well as our skills-based program. Anyway, other than indigenous Australians, we’re all descended from immigrants so I’m dead against the Howard government’s anti-immigration style.
The Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes tells the ABC on Thursday we must take in the Sri Lankan boat people:Just what Bill would have said, before he joined the Government.
PAUL HOWES: Let’s get some reality put into this about process. You know, I mean these words like queue jumping and choice of country. What are these people fleeing?… They’re fleeing chaos, they’re fleeing war, there is no orderly queue in concentration camps ... What we need to actually do here is inject some reality into this debate. There is no crisis.
KERRY O’BRIEN: But ...isn’t it inevitable that if Australia adopts a more compassionate, dare I say, humane approach to asylum seekers, that is allowing more of them to come to Australia to be processed, that the numbers coming will increase significantly if your policy approach was adopted?
PAUL HOWES: I think the numbers would increase, yes. I don’t know how dramatically they would, but I don’t have an issue with that. As I said, I believe in a large immigration intake… I would bring them onshore straightaway and process them. If they are refugees, I’d let them stay and afford them the rights they are entitled to.
His policies are working beautifully:
KEVIN Rudd is preparing to double the size of Australia’s Christmas Island detention centre in a stark confirmation that his government expects a continuing flood of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka. The multi-million-dollar upgrade, sparked by a sharp increase in boatpeople arrivals in the past month, is expected to lift the facility’s capacity to as much as 2300.UPDATE 2
Red marks August 2008, when Kevin Rudd weakened our laws against boat people. The immediate leap in the number of people in immigration detention says everything. So does the sudden rise in the number of boats.
Source: The Department of Immigration.
Alarmist denounces alarmism
David King was once one of the most notorious of global warming alarmists:
“Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the (British) government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King said last week. He said the Earth was entering the ‘first hot period’ for 60 million years when there was no ice on the plane and “the rest of the globe could not sustain human life”.That was just five years ago, when alarmism was all the rage. (Certainly King didn’t feel any need to dispute then the accuracy of that report. Indeed, he even preached the falsehood that global warming was melting the snows of Kilimanjaro.)
But since then, the planet has cooled and so has the public to such scaremongering. Now King worries that this kind of frantic exaggeration - by others, of course - is staining his credibility:
Exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the threat from global warming risk undermining efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change, senior scientists have told The Times.King seems to have tried to distance himself from the greens even more than he did last year, when he said:
Environmental lobbyists, politicians, researchers and journalists who distort climate science to support an agenda erode public understanding and play into the hands of sceptics, according to experts including a former government chief scientist…
“I worry a lot that NGOs [non=governmental organisations] are very much in the habit of doing exactly that,” said Professor Sir David King, director of the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, and a former government chief scientific adviser.
“...The danger is they can be accused of scaremongering. Also, we can all become described as kind of left-wing greens.”
There is a suspicion, and I have that suspicion myself, that a large number of people who label themselves are actually keen to take us back to the 18th or even the 17th century. [Their argument is] ‘Let’s get away from all the technological gizmos and developments of the 20th century’,..I think King is finally cooling, too.
Benny Peiser notes it was only a year ago that King was still up for some alarmism himself. claiming:
If all the ice on Greenland were to melt, sea level would rise by seven metres. Is that likely to happen? Well I was saying six years ago unlikely [but] I’m afraid that that’s having to be revised… 80 percent of our human population lives within less than a one metre rise of sea level so imagine the destabilisation of our geopolitical system with a sea level rise of the order of one or two metres. And that is on the cards I’m afraid.
Vote for the planet with the half-naked bimbos
Models say they’ll strip if global warming isn’t stopped. This is a promise that turns warming from a threat into a hope.
In fact the whole ad seems the work of airheads. We see the models strip off more as carbon dioxide levels fall. Now their fans really won’t know what cue they’ve been given. Will their heavy breathing help?
What executions? What genocide?
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young immediately assumes the Tamils in boats must be nice people fleeing massacres:
The point is these people are desperate. If you listen to the stories of the conditions in the camps in Sri Lanka, where people are fearful even to say that they want to leave, the stories of people being persecuted and executed simply because they say, “We don’t want to be here anymore”; “I want some future for my family.”I’ve heard of no credible evidence of Sri Lankan forces executing displaced Tamils being held in camps, where they await resettlement. Indeed, far from shooting Tamils wanting to leave the camps, the Government is releasing them:
“The US welcomes Sri Lanka’s acceleration of the voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their villages,” the US embassy said in a statement.Indeed, could Sri Lanka really be the genocidal hellhole that some of the Tamils on the boats and many ill-informed compassion contestants such as the Greens claim, when even former members of the Tamil terrorist movement are being resettled there?
“We are encouraged by the government’s announcement that it intends, in the next few weeks, to facilitate the voluntary return of over 40,000 of the approximately 250,000 IDPs in the camps,” it said. “We understand that thousands have already been released....
The United States on Friday announced funding for up to 1,000 former Tamil guerrillas to reintegrate in society by starting their own businesses or learning new skills.The US embassy here said they were giving equipment and supplies to ex-fighters while vocational training was also being made available to help them start small enterprises in the island’s east.Government forces crushed the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May after killing the group’s top leadership in the island’s north. The LTTE was driven out of the east of the island in mid-2007.Sri Lanka’s government is also launching an ambitious rehabilitation program for thousands of rebels who surrendered during the final stages of fighting that ended nearly 37-years of bloodshed...Hanson-Young, on this evidence, cannot be trusted to tell the facts.
Heretic defends heresy at the ABC
Several readers have rightly urged me to post a link to ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann’s nice defence of global warming sceptics.
Look, Mr Rudd. Terrorists on boats
Will Kevin Rudd denounce Tom Quiggin as “disgusting” and “divisive”, too, and demand he be thrown out of the Liberal Party?
Oh, wait. Quiggin is in fact not a Liberal like Wilson Tuckey but just a senior research fellow at the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies - and he warns of a danger that Rudd last week pretended was too racist to even discuss:
The successful interdiction of the Merchant Vessel Ocean Lady by the Canadian Forces was based on advanced intelligence, most probably aided by law enforcement agencies in Toronto. This has no doubt helped Canada prevent a major terrorist infiltration. When the ship attempted to enter Canadian territory on 16 October 2009, the Canadian Navy patrol frigate HMCS Regina was working with law enforcement and intelligence agencies to interdict the ship. Investigations to date have revealed that Ocean Lady is a ship owned and operated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE)…
More than a dozen men from a ship now docked in British Columbia have already been identified as members of the terrorist group…
It has emerged that the militarily defeated LTTE have not disappeared, but rather they are dispersing. The most popular destination areas for their fighters and supporters will be well known terrorist safe havens such as Canada. Other target areas for their fighters will be Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and other European countries. According to figures from Sri Lanka, 10,000 or more LTTE fighters and supporters have been identified and are being held, but a few thousand have escaped. As such, we can expect that literally hundreds of individuals will want to escape to countries such as Canada.