Monday, December 21, 2009

Headlines Monday 21st December 2009


Actress Brittany Murphy was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center today after a cardiac arrest - what is the bet drugs played a role? Or anorexia?- ed.

Rudd will try again for carbon tax

KEVIN Rudd to make a second bid for ETS tax despite failure in Copenhagen agreement.

Murdered girl's final words of joy
AN hour before she was killed, Emma Wighton was celebrating finishing primary school.

'Monitored pervert attacks eight women'
SEX offender accused of attacking eight women while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Rich robbed for battlers' tax cuts
MILLIONS of people on welfare will get incentives to work longer and the rich face the loss of lucrative tax breaks, a review recommends.


Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, 14, who went to court in October to fight for her right to sail around the world by herself, disappears from her home.

Nelson Accused of 'Cornhusker Kickback'
Nebraska Dem used his stand against abortion coverage with taxpayer funds to sell health vote, critics say

Black Panthers Let Off the Hook?
Civil rights panel targets DOJ for dismissing charges against 3 Black Panthers in voter intimidation case

NFL to Players: Donate Your Brains
Football league to encourage current and former players to donate their brains to a study of concussions

Tiger's mum furious over scandal
TIGER'S mum is disgusted with him over his philandering and is demanding answers from her son.

Car ploughs into family, kills boy
A MAN in his 20s who police allege had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit has crashed through a front fence and struck and killed a boy as he played.

Blow-up pool killers in your yard
WATER safety experts are demanding better warning labels on death trap blow-up swimming pools, as new figures show drowning deaths in NSW are rising.

Thalidomide victims win $32m payout
THE British Government has agreed to an historic deal to give annual payments to the surviving victims of the drug thalidomide.
=== Comments ===
POLEYS LYNCHED
Tim Blair
Copenhagen hopers aren’t coping:
In Brisbane, campaigners tied nooses around the necks of giant soft toy polar bears and threw them off balconies and bridges.

The global warming debate is now officially perfect.
===
WORKERS UNITED
Tim Blair
Sod off, swampy:
Coal power station workers this morning tried to run down protesters picketing against climate change in Collie.

A group of anti-coal demonstrators waving placards, banners and a blow-up dinosaur in front of the Muja power station were targeted by some workers arriving for the early morning shift …

This morning, [protesters] moved to the town’s main power station to try and talk to staff about the dangers of climate change and to persuade them not to work.
According to Climate Camp organiser Emma McIntyre, this tactic was unsuccessful:
Some of the workers tried to drive into people, some stopped and talked, but they all went into work Ms McIntyre said.
Her response:
“We are now deciding what to do this afternoon but there is talk of a mass walk through town.”
No! NO! Not the MASS WALK THROUGH TOWN!
===
COMMA COMMIE
Tim Blair
Further clarity from straight-talking Guy Rundle:
As the world becomes more empty, devoid of mystery, depth and texture, and as Marxism, the one humanist movement to promise a transcendence of such, fades into historical memory, people are turning back towards religious ways of thinking, often fusing them with patriotism, in their search for a ground for life’s meaning.
Despite his obvious comic talents, Rundle’s latest attempt at satire is inexplicably failing somehow.
===
PREVIOUSLY, THE WEATHER NEVER KILLED ANYBODY
Tim Blair
Executive director of Oxfam Australia Andrew Hewett:
Globally, 300,000 people die each year from climate change and that number is rising.
He’s repeating Kofi Annan’s big lie. Warmy tactics grow more desperate by the day.
===
DEMARCATION
Tim Blair
The ABC recently launched an opinion site – but has now ordered ABC staff not to express their personal opinions on it.

Makes sense. Otherwise, how would they fill their news programs?

UPDATE. More on the ABC’s opinion issues, from J.F. Beck.
===
Hypocritical Rudd’s vile appeal to bigotry
Andrew Bolt

Labor backbencher Kate Lundy finally calls out the moral showboater:
What I think is important here (is) that we challenge Mr Rudd on his propensity to want to inflict his personal religious views, very strongly held, on the rest of the Australian population.
Brave move for Lundy, turning on her boss. But no more than Rudd deserves, of course, having talked of his Christian inspiration, ruled out gay marriage, cited a Christian pastor as his hero, lobbied for the canonisation of Mary MacKillop, appointed our first resident Ambassador to the Holy See, defended the role of Christianity in politics, and held regular press conferences on the doorstep of his church.

But wait! Lundy just got her tongue tied. She’d actually been sent out to do a bit of focus-group-tested character assassination and misrepresentation of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott - which her own boss naturally couldn’t do himself, being so obviously compromised:
In a week when most Australians at least acknowledge Bible stories, the government sent backbencher Kate Lundy out to accuse the Opposition Leader of wanting to impose Bible studies on students.

“Mr Abbott wants to take the choice away from parents and force every kid in every school to study the Bible,” the ACT Senator insisted today.

Mr Abbott suggested on Saturday “everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation That includes, most importantly, the Bible.” ...

When asked why she was making the call for Mr Abbott to “rule out including Bible Studies, in any form, as part of the compulsory National Curriculum”, a nervous Senator Lundy said in Canberra at Parliament House: “Well I’m here, for a start, and I certainly feel strongly about the issue.”
The question really should now be turned on Rudd, who has approved this despicable attempt to pander to anti-Catholic bigotry - just a week after this same Anglican Prime Minister tried shamelessly to curry favor with Catholics by taking holy communion at the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in Sydney.

(How shamelessly? Rudd was told directly by the highest church authority he was not entitled to take communion, yet for base political reasons defied that instruction. What’s his excuse for so defying the church?)

Here’s the question Rudd must now be asked. With which part of the statement Abbott actually made does he disagree:
Everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation. That includes, most importantly, the Bible.
If Rudd’s answer is “none”, why has he sanctioned Lundy’s appeal to anti-Catholic bigots? And why did he sanction the lie that Abbott wants to “inflict his personal religious views” on everyone else?

You know why, though. The humiliating collapse of the Copenhagen conference has left Rudd desperate for a diversion. This shows how low he’ll stoop to find one.
===
Bears pay the price for failing the greens
Andrew Bolt
Green groups sent polar bears to get a deal at Copenhagen:

Now Brisbane greens punish their negotiators for their failure:

===
Found! The earth’s thermostat
Andrew Bolt

Reporters credulously announce that the Copenhagen conference agreed on exactly how warm the planet will be:
In the final hours of the two-week summit, world leaders put forward a deal aimed at limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius...
Wow. The real news, as JoNova immediately realised, is much, much bigger:
In breakthrough news today, The United Nations announced they had found The Global Thermostat to control the Earth’s temperature.

With 45,000 people searching for the controls in Copenhagen at the Bella Convention Center, commentators were shocked when it turned up instead in a closet in the basement of the World Meterological Organization (WMO) headquarters in Geneva.
Apparently the Siberians are demanding four degrees of warming, but can’t get the remote out of the hands of the Egyptians.
===
You don’t find wisdom up a lamppost
Andrew Bolt

Professor Frank Furedi on the weird symbiotic relationships between the Copenhagen protesters and the mad politicians there who see them as their conscience:
A communique by Greenpeace informs the world that while heads of state were dining, “Greenpeace volunteers were out on the streets of Copenhagen, climbing lampposts to carry our theme of the day: politicians talk, leaders act”.

In this comic drama, climbing lampposts is presented as an initiative that is morally superior to the diplomatic negotiations. The organisers of this spectacle appear to agree, which is why lamppost climbers are treated as if they are the voice of the people, whose job it is to keep the proceedings real. Outwardly, world leaders defer to their moral authority. That is what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown means when he praises protesters for propelling world leaders.
The protesters’ megalomaniacal sense of utter rightness and moral superiority justifies the breaking of our laws and the imposition of any cost on the rest of us:
HUNDREDS of thousands of tonnes of coal worth millions of dollars was stopped dead in its tracks yesterday as environmental group Rising Tide vented its anger at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen.

Twenty-three protesters, including Newcastle Greens councillor Michael Osborne, were arrested and charged after blocking the line near Sandgate from 9am until 3pm…

Brad Emery, spokesman for the Australian Rail Track Corporation, said the protesters should think about the impact their actions have on the Hunter economy and jobs. “Protests like this cost millions of dollars,” he said.
Save the world from such moral absolutists. They are the ones who tend to cause the most harm.
===
Stone the blasphemer
Andrew Bolt

Brendan O’Neill on the new witchhunters:
On Tuesday night Johnny Ball, the veteran children’s TV presenter who introduced my generation (thirtysomethings) to the wonders of science and maths, was booed and slow-handclapped off stage in London for daring to express scepticism about manmade climate change. And who was in the audience, doing the booing, the jeering, the hissing and the chanting of ‘shame, shame, shame’ until a ‘shaken-looking’ Ball agreed to ‘leave the stage’? Liberal atheists who claim to be allergic to orthodox beliefs, and campaigning scientists who have defended ‘free speech for scientists’. As I said, you couldn’t make it up.

Ball was invited to speak at ‘Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People’, one of an increasing number of religious right-style get-togethers at which hundreds of individuals mock and pour scorn on the deluded masses - except the gathered individuals are self-styled rationalists rather than Bible-bashers…

Ball, who presented the BBC kids’ science show Think of a Number from 1977 to 1984, decided to devote his stint on stage to singing a George Formby-style ditty about the English physicist John Dalton, before making a speech in which he criticised the ‘bad science’ of global warming and said that natural emissions from insects and spiders (‘spiders farting’) are more damaging to the climate than fossil fuels.

Bad move… According to one report there were ‘slow handclaps, whistles and jeers’. A blogger who attended the event said ‘a cry of “shame” from the audience broke the dam, the boos started, and a perplexed and shaken-looking Ball was finally forced from the stage’. No wonder Ball looked perplexed: he thought he had been invited to a free, open-minded, rationalist ideas-knockabout and then found himself being ‘forced from the stage’ as if he were a tattooed Satanist who had gatecrashed a bishops’ tea party down Lambeth way.

Ball says ‘the reaction of the audience [depressed] me’, as well it might.
(Thanks to reader Andrew.)
===
ABC is about news, not trite views
Andrew Bolt
JF Beck tends to side with Jonathan Holmes about the ABC’s new taxpayer-funded opinion site, the Drum:
(Annabel) Crabb‘s prominence at the ABC is exactly the sort of thing Chris Masters worries about: reporting that is long on opinion and short on facts. ABC management would likely respond by saying that Crabb and the numerous Leftists appearing at The Drum offer news analysis, not opinion. And for articles at The Drum opinion content isn’t a problem anyway because it’s not a news site.

Technically true, yes, but The Drum is prominently linked by the ABC News site—with cross-links and cross-promotion, the content at ABC News and The Drum is effectively commingled…

It was perhaps inevitable that the ABC would seek to make itself more appealing to a broader online community through a move into interactive opinion. This attempt to broaden its appeal is mystifying, however: Australians have been repeatedly told that the ABC strives for quality of content and that the size of the audience it draws is irrelevant. The Drum applies that argument in reverse.
===
Not worth even the signature
Andrew Bolt
How weak was the Copenhagen deal? Let Barack Obama explain it to you, before he catches the next plane out of town:
A reporter queried the President’s departure before the draft was finalised. ‘’Does it require signing, is it that kind of agreement?’’ The President replied vaguely: ‘’You know, it raises an interesting question as to whether technically there’s actually a signature - since, as I said, it’s not a legally binding agreement, I don’t know what the protocols are.’’
UPDATE

And how brazen was the shakedown? Hear it from the generous “concession” made by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Africa’s negotiator at Copenhagen:
Zenawi said he would accept $30 billion a year in the short term, rising to $100 billion a year by 2020, for poor countries worldwide. This was seen as a key concession by developing countries, who previously spurned that figure—originally proposed by European countries—as too low.
So kind of him to accept our worthless billions.

UPDATE 2

Christopher Monckton explains exactly what Barack Obama managed to force out of China and its allies:
The White House spinmeisters spun, and their official press release proclaimed, with more than usual fatuity, that President Obama had “salvaged” a deal at Copenhagen in bilateral talks with China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, which had established a negotiating bloc.

The plainly-declared common position of these four developing nations had been the one beacon of clarity and common sense at the foggy fortnight of posturing and gibbering in the ghastly Copenhagen conference center.

This is what the Forthright Four asked for:

Point 1. No compulsory limits on carbon emissions.

Point 2. No emissions reductions at all unless the West paid for them.

Point 3. No international monitoring of any emissions reductions not paid for by the West.

Point 4. No use of “global warming” as an excuse to impose protectionist trade restrictions on countries that did not cut their carbon emissions.

After President Obama’s dramatic intervention to save the deal, this is what the Forthright Four got:

Point 1. No compulsory limits on carbon emissions.

Point 2. No emissions reductions at all unless the West paid for them.

Point 3. No international monitoring of any emissions reductions not paid for by the West.

Point 4. No use of “global warming” as an excuse to impose protectionist trade restrictions on countries that did not cut their carbon emissions
Still, Monckton is as happy as am I about this “deal”. Let’s just hope no one collects on the huge IOUs offered by Rudd to get the “deal” done.

UPDATE 3

Dominic Lawson is even happier:
So let’s toast the negotiators of Copenhagen. By failing so spectacularly, they have presented us with a wonderful Christmas present. All we have to do is open it.
(Thanks to readers John and Doug, and to several others for the Monckton link.)
===
How both sides lied to you about Copenhagen
Andrew Bolt
What Michelle Grattan is actually describing is a mutual agreement by the Prime Minister and then Opposition Leader to hoax the public:
Rudd so hyped the need to get his scheme through before Copenhagen that, now the conference has ended with only a weak ‘’accord’’, people will be inclined to say, ‘’So what was the hurry? And why rush now?’’.

The need for hastening the Australian legislation, which both Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull understood, was because of just what’s happened. If Copenhagen delivered little, it was always going to be hard to get the wind back into the emissions trading sails here.
This alone shows the unfitness of both to hold high office. If they resort to such a deceitful campaign of quick-quick panic to get up such a huge tax, knowing that the case for it would be exposed as weak within mere months, then what other trick aren’t they up for? How could you possibly expect them to tell the truth about anything at all?

UPDATE

Professor Bob Carter explains why former Science Minister Barry Jones is wrong eight times over on global warming. Indeed, I wondered myself that Jones put so little effort into research before opining, taking on trust precisely what he should have first checked. I can only conclude Jones was motivated more by fashion than evidence, stereotype than example.

UPDATE 2

The ABC asks:
Has Kevin Rudd deceived the Australian people about his position on climate change?
Its audience responds:
Yes 59%
No 41%

5345 votes counted
(Thanks to reader Ian.)
===
ANU stays in ALP hands
Andrew Bolt
Must be Labor sinecure:
Former federal Labor minister Gareth Evans will replace Kim Beazley as chancellor of the Australian National University… The former attorney-general and foreign minister takes over the university post from Mr Beazley, who has been appointed Australia’s next ambassador to the United States.
Still, Evans does have plenty of time on his hands since Kevin Rudd made him lead trainer of a white elephant:
Australian Prime Minster Kevin Rudd has announced a new nuclear weapons ban initiative after visiting the site of the first nuclear attack in Hiroshima… The announcement to form the Nuclear Non-Proliferations and Disarmament Commission, was made by Rudd on June 9 in Kyoto. The Commission will be chaired by former Labor foreign minister, Gareth Evans.
That’s proved every bit as useless a job as a position on Rudd’s 114-strong Copenhagen delegation, so maybe Evans was just owed one.
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