Saturday, December 12, 2009

Headlines Saturday 12th December 2009


The last person to know Sen. Baucus wanted a divorce may have been Wanda, his wife of 25 years, even as a member of his staff — Melodee Hanes, now his live-in girlfriend — was plotting the senator's life without a wife.

Michael McGurk 'killed by ex-bikie'
HOMICIDE investigators are checking sensational claims Sydney identity Michael McGurk was executed by an ex-bikie hitman.

GOP Pushes to Ice Debt Hike

House Republicans try to derail Dem efforts to lift national debt limit to nearly $2T, but acknowledge it may be too late

U.S., Allies Threaten Iran With Sanctions
Iran warned of 'significant' sanctions, possibly in a matter of weeks, if country continues with nuclear program

Health Care Tab Set to Grow Rapidly
Nation's health care tab will grow an estimated increase of $234 billion over 10 years, nonpartisan analysis shows


Traditional glamour was the theme at the Australian Film Institute event which thanks people behind the scenes.

Crash pilot free to fly again
A PILOT whose plane crashed killing 21 people, including five Australians, will return to work.

Tiger teed up escort girls, says madam
TIGER Woods allegedly used a call girl service so he'd have someone wherever he stayed.

China rejects draft climate deal
CHINA says the developed world is retreating on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Wine cheaper than Coke and water
WINE is now cheaper than water and Coke, due to a grape glut, a surging dollar and fresh tastes.

Volvo hopes movie will give it star sales
VOLVO is hoping its tie-up with the hit Twilight vampire movies will lead to increased sales.

Airport 'gas leak' remains a mystery
A SUSPECTED gas leak at Sydney Airport saw 900 people evacuated and 27 needing treatment.
=== Journalists Corner ===

Al Qaeda terrorists to stand trial steps from Ground Zero!
Does it mean the administration sees 9/11 as a crime ... rather than an act of war?
===

Unemployment Strategy?
With a plan costing taxpayers billions, how does the president really expect to recover US jobs?
===
Guest: John Ratzenberger
Cheers star John Ratzenberger shares his ideas for solving the unemployment crisis!
===
Climate Change Controversy!
Is "man-made global warming" a cold hard fact, or is it just a bunch of hot air? Chris Wallace gets answers!
=== Comments ===
'Law & Order' Out of Control
By Bill O'Reilly
The NBC program "Law & Order" is run by a far-left guy named Dick Wolf who often uses the program to promote his progressive point of view.

A recent "Law & Order: SVU" featured a guy killing kids, children of illegal immigrants, and Wolf approved this piece of dialogue:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ICE-T, "LAW & ORDER" STAR: I don't get why you are defending this wacko.

JOHN LARROQUETTE, "LAW & ORDER" GUEST STAR: It's a symptom, not the disease.

ICE-T: That symptom killed three kids.

LARROQUETTE: Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them. They're like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they have convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system.

ICE-T: Save the soap box, Randy. The cameras aren't even running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

That is simply defamatory and outrageous, and Dick Wolf is a coward for putting it out there.

He's also a liar. I have consistently defended poor people who only want a better life:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: I've always said if I were a poor Mexican, I would try to cross the border and earn money here and send it back to my family. I don't blame the illegal aliens. I blame the federal governments of both Mexico and the United States of America.

I've said many, many times, and perhaps you've heard me say that if I were a poor person in Central America or Mexico, I would come here illegally to feed my family as well.

Most illegal aliens are good people. They are poor. They are Catholic. They have come to America to try for better lives. All compassionate people should sympathize with the downtrodden all over the world.

It's hard to say that Jesus wouldn't want everybody to get health care. On a humanitarian basis, you don't argue with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

If you watch "The Factor" you know my beef is with the federal government not controlling illegal immigration and with violent aliens who wreak havoc once they get here.

Again, Dick Wolf, the executive producer of "Law & Order," is a despicable human being for distorting and exploiting this very complicated situation.

I mean, enough is enough with these network pinheads who shove propaganda down our throats under the guise of entertainment. Patriotic Americans can debate illegal immigration respectfully. No one on "The Factor" has been allowed to demonize any innocent human being, and it is partially because of this program that the border fence was finally put up so that there could be some kind of responsible regulation about who comes into America.

I can't tell you how angry I am that this "Law & Order" thing happened, and it's no accident it happened on NBC, which is propaganda central in the USA. It's also the lowest-rated network.

But again, enough is enough. I'm calling out Dick Wolf.
===
JUST LOOK AT THESE IDIOTS
Tim Blair
Copenhagen’s self-harmers congratulate themselves for not eating:

Key quote, from some calorie-shunning scrawn-porn Eurochick: “In the sustainable future we will be happier than today.” These people are out of their tiny minds.
===
Save Fiji! Dry your tears
Andrew Bolt
Rowan Callick says Fijian global warmists are more likely to drown in their tears than in rising seas:
THE climate change conference opened with a 24-year-old banker from Fiji, Leah Wickham, weeping as she said: “All the hopes and dreams of my generation rest on Copenhagen.”

Said Wickham, a Suva-based Greenpeace activist: “Fifty years from now, my children will be raising their own families. It is my hope that they will still be able to call our beautiful islands home...”

The Australian Associated Press report from Copenhagen described “some scientists” as saying that “low-lying island nations such as Fiji are vulnerable to rising sea levels"…

Every tourist who arrives at Fiji’s Nadi airport gazes up at the mountains that tower nearby. Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, which contains 70 per cent of the population, rises to Mt Tomaniivi’s 1324m. Vanua Levu island rises to Mt Batini’s 1111m, Taveuni to Mt Uluigalau’s 1241m and Kadavu to Mt Washington 822m. In comparison, it is “low-lying island nations” such as England that are truly vulnerable, with a highest peak rising only 978m, or Denmark at just 173m.

Australia’s National Tidal Centre, based at the Bureau of Meteorology in Adelaide, administers the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, which is the only Pacific-wide operation that monitors increases in the sea level… The tidal centre’s equipment shows that the sea level in Fiji has been rising by 5.3mm a year since the equipment was installed in October 1992… It is a safe bet that in 2059, Wickham’s children will still be able to call their beautiful islands home. By then, the sea will probably have risen 26.5cm.
Yet again I ask: if the evidence for catastrophic man-made warming is so clear, why tell so many lies and exaggerations?
===
The climate totalitarians: switching from red to green
Andrew Bolt
Science manipulated, dissent crushed (see below) and now democracy railroaded to regulate almost every aspect of the economy. Why does the global warming crusade seem so familiar to students of socialism? Charles Krauthammer raises the alarm:
On the day Copenhagen opened, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claimed jurisdiction over the regulation of carbon emissions by declaring them an “endangerment” to human health.

Since we operate an overwhelmingly carbon-based economy, the EPA will be regulating practically everything. No institution that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 a year will fall outside EPA control. This means more than a million building complexes, hospitals, plants, schools, businesses and similar enterprises. (The EPA proposes regulating emissions only above 25,000 tons, but it has no such authority.) Not since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service has a federal agency been given more intrusive power over every aspect of economic life.

This naked assertion of vast executive power in the name of the environment is the perfect fulfillment of the prediction of Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus that environmentalism is becoming the new socialism, i.e., the totemic ideal in the name of which government seizes the commanding heights of the economy and society.

Socialism having failed so spectacularly, the left was adrift until it struck upon a brilliant gambit: metamorphosis from red to green. The cultural elites went straight from the memorial service for socialism to the altar of the environment. The objective is the same: highly centralized power given to the best and the brightest, the new class of experts, managers and technocrats…

Forget for a moment the economic effects of severe carbon chastity. There’s the matter of constitutional decency. If you want to revolutionize society—as will drastic carbon regulation and taxation in an energy economy that is 85 percent carbon-based—you do it through Congress reflecting popular will. Not by administrative fiat of EPA bureaucrats.
===
Climategate: those defending it are damned themselves
Andrew Bolt
How loud would these carpetbaggers scream if the review was held instead by a sceptic funded by ExxonMobil?
As the science scandal known as ClimateGate grows, the largest U.S. physicists’ association is finding itself roiled by internal dissent and allegations of conflict of interest over a forthcoming review of its position statement on man-made global warming.

The scientist who will head the American Physical Society’s review of its 2007 statement calling for immediate reductions of carbon dioxide is Princeton’s Robert Socolow, a prominent supporter of the link between CO2 and global warming who has warned of possible “catastrophic consequences” of climate change.

Socolow’s research institute at Princeton has received well over $20 million in grants dealing with climate change and carbon reduction…

”It is Socolow whose entire research funding stream, well over a million dollars a year, depends on continued alarm over global warming,” says William Happer, a fellow Princeton University professor and head of the Happer physics lab who has raised the question of a conflict of interest…

Happer and other members of the APS have been urging the society to take a second look at the 2007 statement… Their letter circulated last month says: “By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen… We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done."…

Hal Lewis, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara who has been an APS member for 65 years, says that he asked both the current and incoming APS presidents to require that Socolow recuse himself from a review of this subject, and both refused.

That means the review will be “chaired by a guy who is hip deep in conflicts of interest, running a million-dollar program that is utterly dependent on global warming funding,” Lewis says.
Professor Will Alexander, who argues that temperature rises are driven more by solar activity and will be beneficial, says those who dismiss the Climategate scandal are damned by it:
The most recent development is that on 4 December Working Group 1 of the IPCC issued a statement that it firmly stands behind the conclusions reached in its 2007 assessment reports, “The key finding that the warming in the climate system is unequivocal.” This is still a long way from proving human causality. The only proof that they can offer is manipulated deductions from limited tree ring measurements in remote areas of the globe that show that present global temperatures are higher than any experienced in the past thousands of years. Therefore the increases must be due to human activities. I repeat my question. Why did they not base their conclusions on solid analyses of rainfall and river flow measurements during the past 100 years?

Their statement also defends the integrity of the individual scientists involved in the climategate affair. I share the view that the individuals should not become the scapegoats for the scientifically corrupt system. I have personal experience of the extent to which climate alarmists are prepared to go to silence the opposition.

An unforeseen consequence of the working group’s proclaimed support for the individuals and their tactics in particular, now places the whole IPCC structure in the same boat. If the investigations confirm serious shortfalls in procedures used in the two institutions, then by its own admission, the same criticisms must apply to the IPCC itself.
===
Don’t mention the Climategate war
Andrew Bolt
Not the best way to answer allegations that warmist scientists have suppressed incovenient information:
A Stanford Professor has used United Nation security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book.

McAleer, a veteran journalist and film maker, has recently made a documentary “Not Evil Just Wrong’ which takes a sceptical look at the science and politics behind Global Warming concerns.

He asked Professor Schneider about his opinions on Climategate – where leaked emails have revealed that a senior British professor deleted data and encouraged colleagues to do likewise if it contradicted their belief in Global Warming…

Professor Schneider was interviewed for McAleer’s “Not Evil Just Wrong” documentary but lawyers later wrote to McAleer saying he was withdrawing permission for the interview to be used.

McAleer, who is from Ireland, has gained quite a reputation for asking difficult questions of those who have been promoting the idea of man-made Global Warming. His microphone was cut off after he asked former vice-president Al Gore about the British court case which found that An Inconvenient Truth had a nine significant errors and exaggerations. Almost 500,000 people have watched the incident on youtube.
(Thanks to readers Steve and Debbie.)
===
The day Abbott saw the sceptics’ light
Andrew Bolt
Tony Abbott’s road to Damascus passes through Beaufort, in Western Victoria. Here’s a nice account of how Abbott came to out himself as a sceptic and damn the global warming theory as “crap” - a conversion which brought him the Liberal leadership, and which gave his party new hope:
Abbott spoke for about 20 minutes (at a meeting of local Liberals), plugged his book Battlelines, outlined the difficulties confronting the party and then opened the floor to questions. After several questions on the ETS, including the impact on farmers and whether it was wise to commit to a policy before Copenhagen, Abbott called for a show of hands on whether the Coalition should support the ETS. Only a handful voted yes.

Abbott, until that point (Liberal leader Malcolm) Turnbull’s main defender on the ETS, became increasingly blunt. According to many in the room, he left no doubt that he was a climate change sceptic. He ruminated there had been many changes of climate over the millennia not caused by man. Finally, he said the science behind climate change was “crap"…

“The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger."…

Branch secretary Margaret Barling describes it as “a very happy night"… (Beaufort newsagent Jim) Cox says Abbott’s comment was “very well received” and he quickly realised “he was on a bit of a winner”. (Beaufort Liberals vice president Joe) McCracken says Abbott looked relieved by the applause. Deb Bain, a former rural woman of the year, says there was “quite a buzz” in the room afterwards…

The next morning, Abbott was feeling his usual sprightly self. “He came in here bouncing,” Cox says. “He was a different boy.” ..

About midday, Abbott left Beaufort for Melbourne in a government car. On the way, he writes in his new afterword to Battlelines, he had the long phone conservation with Minchin that crystallised his new thinking, after which he had decided that “the politics of this issue really had changed”.
===
Gillies entertains with a pratfall
Andrew Bolt
The husband of Louise Adler, whom I’ve criticised for this, this, this, this and this, indulges in revenge of the Wile E Coyote kind.
===
DECLINERS DESCEND
Tim Blair
Climategate denialists take to the streets:
A sea of flags and banners has descended on central Melbourne as thousands begin a rally to speak out on climate change …

More than 10,000 people are expected at the rally, including Country Fire Authority volunteers, but the number of participants is down on previous years.

Climate scientist David Karoly says it’s disappointing to see the drop in number …
Dave needs a t-shirt.
===
MAYBE HE SHOULD QUIT SOMETHING ELSE
Tim Blair
Headline in the London Times:
Tiger Woods quits golf ‘to be a better husband’
Interesting decision. Golf wasn’t really the problem.

UPDATE. As Woods – a seven-time winner in 2009 – semi-retires, a seven-time world champion may return:
Just on Friday came more “evidence” for the case that says Schumacher is coming back. A prominent German newspaper reported that Brawn has formally offered the seven-time world champion a contract for 2010 at a relatively modest annual salary of €7 million (about £6.3 million).
===
It’s a Climategate walk - fewer protesters than the models predicted
Andrew Bolt
ABC radio led its 3pm bulletin with not news but propaganda, promoting the Walk Against Warming rallies and passing on unchallenged the organisers’ claims that “100,000” were marching across the country, with 10,000 in Brisbane alone. Someone should be sacked.

In fact, in Melbourne the real news was how few marched on this unusually cold December day, despite the Copenhagen hysteria to whip them along. Even The Age could not ignore the indifference:
More than 10,000 people were expected at the rally, including Country Fire Authority volunteers, but the number of participants was down on previous years. Climate scientist David Karoly said it was disappointing to see the drop in number..
Only hours earlier, The Age had predicted double this number (as had the Melbourne City Council):
Today she will march down Swanston Street at midday with up to 20,000 others demanding those in Copenhagen take greater action to combat climate change.
In fact, even the greens-friendly ABC now radically revises again:
Around 2,000 people joined in (in Canberra), including two colourfully dressed stilt walkers representing the birds affected by climate change. Similar numbers of people are marching through Melbourne’s CBD ...
UPDATE

In their latest guess, the organisers halve their estimate/exaggeration:
Organisers said as many as 50,000 people had taken to the streets nationwide...
Hey, it’s just like Climategate - real world data undermining the predictions.

UPDATE 2

The Walk Against Warming organisers seem to make up figures with all the abandonment of a University of East Anglia climate scientist. Their very latest estimate for the Melbourne rally alone:
Police contacted by Reuters declined to give figures for the protests, confirming only that the Melbourne protest numbered in the thousands. However, organizers told Reuters police at the scene had told them the official police estimate was 40,000.
UPDATE 3

The Melbourne rally. Can you count 40,000? From the high-resolution image I make out not the claimed 40,000, not the predicted 20,000 or even the media-conceded 10,000 - but fewer than 5000.

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Christmas has come already for sceptics
Andrew Bolt

Minnesotans for Global Warming offer these fine carols for a cool Christmas.
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Name just 10 warming proofs, Robert.
Andrew Bolt
Professor Robert Manne once insisted there were at least 25,000 “stolen generation” children, only to find he was unable to name even 10. Never mind. Now he insists there’s a runaway warming, but once more he’ll find himself unable to show that, either.

You see, I was curious about this passage in his typically abusive and fact-light piece on his new cause - a passage that would have compelled a real academic to go on to ask the obvious question, rather than to vilify those who suggested an obvious answer:
The overwhelming consensus of the climate scientists is that the continued emission of greenhouse gases is imperilling the Earth. Since the Kyoto conference of 1997 these emissions have greatly increased. Yet the worse the situation becomes...
Well, let’s see how “worse the situation” has become since our “emissions have greatly increased”:

Hmm. No increase in temperatures since at least 2001. In fact, there’s been a decrease, as even IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth and alarmist Tim Flannery now concede.

So a real academic, with eyes unclouded by sanctimony or ideology, would finish that paragraph above like this:
Yet the worse the situation becomes with rising carbon dioxide concentrations, the more the temperature has cooled over the past eight years. This sure suggests the sceptics may be right, after all.
Dear Robert, let evidence, not ideology, be your guide. Now: name 10 proofs that the world since 2001 has warmed, not cooled. Just 10.
===
An action flick for these mad green times
Andrew Bolt

James Cameron’s new blockbuster Avatar is an action flick that green extremists and anti-capitalists will just love:
The story takes place in 2154, three decades after a multinational corporation has established a mining colony on Pandora, a planet light years from Earth. A toxic environment and hostile natives—one corporate apparatchik calls the locals “blue monkeys”—forces the conglom to engage with Pandora by proxy. Humans dwell in oxygen-drenched cocoons but move out into mines or to confront the planet’s hostile creatures in hugely fortified armor and robotics or—as avatars.

The protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is a crippled former Marine who takes his late twin brother’s place in the avatar program… Without any training, Jake suddenly must learn how to link his consciousness to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that mixes human DNA with that of the native population, the Na’vi…

It’s every fairy tale about flying dragons, magic plants, weirdly hypnotic creepy-crawlies and feral dogs rolled up into a rain forest with a highly advanced spiritual design. It seems ... a flow of energy ripples through the roots of trees and the spores of the plants, which the Na’vi know how to tap into.

The center of life is a holy tree where tribal memories and the wisdom of their ancestors is theirs for the asking. This is what the humans want to strip mine.

Jake manages to get taken in by one tribe where a powerful, Amazonian named Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) takes him under her wing to teach him how to live in the forest, speak the language and honor the traditions of nature.
How curious that a film preaching anti-capitalism, peace and the joys of eco-primitivism will make millions for big-money corporates by showing the mob shooty-bang-bangs with the most high-tech special effects science can devise.
===
Climategate: the conspiracy to “hide the decline”
Andrew Bolt

Steve McIntyre does what the warmists demand and puts into context the infamous email from Climatic Research Unit boss Phil Jones which brags of having used a “trick” to ”hide the decline”.

The context shows that Climategate scientists indeed conspired to hide evidence of a decline from an IPCC report that would cast doubt that recent warming was unprecedented:
(Other) emails show that the late 20th century decline in the Briffa reconstruction was perceived by IPCC as “diluting the message”, that “everyone in the room at IPCC” thought that the Briffa decline was a “problem” and a “potential distraction/detraction”, that this was then the “most important issue” in chapter 2 of the IPCC report and that there was “pressure” on Briffa and other authors to show a “nice tidy story” of “unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more”.
This is not science. It also shows that the IPCC’s own processes were corrupted by evangelism and secrecy, if not outright deceit. And the IPCC’s reports are the entire basis of not just the treaty being negotiated at Copenhagen, but of Kevin Rudd’s great green tax.

Hold an inquiry. Now.

UPDATE

Watts Up With That destroys another excuse - the “trick” was an innocent term often used by scientists to describe a clever technique.

UPDATE 2

More manipulating of data to produce an increase where there was a decline, this time from Orland.
===
PEACEFUL PRIORITIES
Tim Blair
Canadian canines provoke Presbyterians:S
pecially trained bomb-sniffing dogs might soon be patrolling Metro Vancouver’s buses and SkyTrains just in time for the Olympics, but that has some Muslims concerned.
They’re not concerned about bombs. They’re concerned about the dogs. Other Muslims have gotten over it.
===
BIG RESEARCH
Tim Blair
NYT slowthinker Thomas Friedman:
The climate-denier community, funded by big oil, has published all sorts of bogus science for years …
I’m still waiting for my first payment. But academic Robert Socolow – “a prominent supporter of the link between CO2 and global warming” – has been on the big oil payroll for years:
Socolow’s research institute at Princeton has received well over $20 million in grants dealing with climate change and carbon reduction, plus an additional $2 million a year from BP and still more from the federal government. In an interview published by Princeton’s public relations office, Socolow called CO2 a “climate problem” that governments need to address.
He needs to say that, or the money dries up:
“It is Socolow whose entire research funding stream, well over a million dollars a year, depends on continued alarm over global warming,” says William Happer, a fellow Princeton University professor and head of the Happer physics lab who has raised the question of a conflict of interest.
BP shareholders might ask a few questions, too. Speaking of climate change and funding …

===
CONSIDER IT PROMOTED
Tim Blair
Riding his bicycle to Copenhagen, Australian warmy Kim Nguyen was hospitalised three times, ran out of food and spent all his money:
The aim of his journey was to promote sustainable travel.
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