Sunday, January 31, 2010

Headlines Sunday 31st January 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
IGNORING THE 800 POUND GORILLAS AT YOUR OWN PERIL‏
WITHOUT a single sod being turned, $270 million has already been spent on a "metro rail" project the NSW State Government is on the verge of scrapping. See here.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”- Ephesians 4:2
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ICAC inquiry probes Keneally, Sartor

THE Independent Commission Against Corruption has questioned Premier Kristina Keneally and Environment Minister Frank Sartor over their connections with business associates of murdered Sydney standover man Michael McGurk.


After NYC balks at hosting trial for 9/11 suspects, Obama administration scrambles for new venues — but where?

'Blind Spot' on Terror War
GOP lawmaker says Obama's handling of attempted Christmas airline bombing exposed intelligence errors

U.S. Defends Arms Sale to Taiwan
State Department backs plans to sell $6.4B worth of arms to Taiwan, despite China's threats to U.S. arms makers

Afghans Mistaken For Enemy, Killed
Tensions between NATO, Afghanistan likely to rise after four Afghan soldiers killed in clash with U.S. troops

Swinger link to Rockefeller death
SECRET girlfriends, swingers parties and a web of lies may of led to millionaire's murder.

ALP Admit They Messed Up Schools Website and Will Fix it if elected again
The website, which has come under attack from teachers and their union, compares the literacy and numeracy results of schools. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it should also include information on school bullying, classroom innovation and local community participation.

My School launch leads to parent frenzy
PARENTS pull kids out of poorly performing schools following launch of controversial website. - still parents are acting without enough information. -ed.

Aussie's struggle to foot mortgage bill
ALMOST half the first-home buyers lured by government grants are struggling to meet repayments.

Serial killer hero rejects huge reward
THE man who helped put one of our worst serial killers in jail hands back $200,000 reward.

Energy drinks' health risks exposed
JUST one energy drink can cause "serious heart conditions", a world-first study has found.

The man who would be Premier
BARRY O'Farrell loathes going to the gym. He likes Mars Bars. But, because he wants to be Premier, he denies himself the pleasure of that tempting chocolate.

Protests at proposed family law changes
ANGER over new laws could make it harder for fathers to secure 50-50 custody of their children.

Zoo visitors flee after tigers escape
ZOO visitors were evacuated after two Bengal tigers sneaked out of their cage to mingle with the crowd.

Solo sailors dyslexia hell revealed

THE mother of teen sailor Jessica Watson has revealed for the first time the private pain that is driving her daughter's dream of going around the globe.
=== Comments ===
Kevin Rudd feels the heat on global warming
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd, the man who said he would never “knowingly” tell a lie, should begin the new Parliamentary session Tuesday with a few admissions of deceit. - The problem is that Rudd has no policy and therefore cannot be held accountable for anything. Any criticism is easily dismissed as being politically motivated. But the criticism remains unassailably valid too.
Rudd promised some things before coming into office. They were motherhood statements of the type expected of ALP politicians who are rarely sincere unless they are collecting pork barrel paypackets. He promised a fair go (late a fair shake of the sauce bottle) for working families by opposing the good legislation of industrial relations termed ‘Workchoices.’ Yet in 2009 I worked and was paid federal money, yet I was denied a full time contract I was entitled to, I was denied holiday pay, sick leave or superannuation. Under workchoices I could have taken my case before IR court and been compensated and had other issues addressed. Instead I was corruptly denied my basic wage. So Rudd even lied about his motherhood statements .. he is that bad.
The next problem is that no one has discussed his successor. But the ALP will need one soon. But there is no danger the successor man or woman (and who knows with Gillard?) will be no different because there is no power in the PM’s position under the ALP .. party people, behind the scenes, run it all .. illegally. - ed.

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Obama Could Learn Something from Steve Jobs
By Neil Cavuto
I think some things happen for a reason.

Take this week, actually on the same day, both Steve Jobs and Barack Obama made big announcements. Only Steve's was shorter and he had the goods to back up the rhetoric.

I say this with no disrespect to the president, but maybe as a reminder to the president.

Talk less to us. Listen more to Steve.

Here's why.

Steve doesn't talk much, and when he does, it's a big deal — usually to announce a big deal — and usually he brings along the goods to prove it's a big deal.

Not just pie in sky; but product in hand.

The president is big on pie, but lately more sleight of hand.

He needs thousands of pages to explain his products; Steve can do it all in a pamphlet. The president says his stuff could be up and running in years; Steve's stuff is usually up and running in minutes.

Kids understand Steve's stuff. Kids and adults haven't the foggiest about the president's stuff.

Every product Steve announces builds on another's success; every program the president announces seems to compound another program's mess.

To be fair, the president's stuff is big, and Steve's stuff is fun. But why do you have to make something big to be fun?

Steve keeps it simple with gadgets that make life even simpler. It seems all the president can do is come up with stuff that makes life tougher.

No, Steve's products aren't cheap, but they are reliable. The president's programs aren't cheap, but they aren't remotely reliable.

I know, night and day; a president pitching government and Steve pitching gadgets. But the gadgets are life-changers.

The president's government? Just for life; complete with a warranty that won't hold, a battery that won't last, and all underwritten by politicians who won’t, and don’t, give a damn.
===
Palin to Obama: Stop the Fingerpointing

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin right here, right now! She joins us from Wasilla, Alaska. Good evening, Governor.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR/FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening, Greta. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well. And the topic here in Washington was health care for so many weeks, dominated by health care. Now there's a lot of discussion about jobs. What do you think about what the president is saying about job creation? Is that what you would do?

PALIN: Well, you know, listening to his speech last night, I was kind of getting some whiplash there. I'd listen to what he was saying, then I'd whip my head down there and read the text to try to figure out what is he actually saying here? How does what he is saying match up to the actions that he's taken thus far? Because the acts that he's taken thus far will not get the jobs created, as he says he desires. (continue at link)
===
Shock: warming not blamed
Andrew Bolt
Is this another sign of the changing climate - an acknowledgement of a factor that isn’t the previously preferred “global warming”?
Melbourne recorded its equal warmest overnight temperature, 30.6 degrees, on January 12. The previous time the city was that hot overnight was February 1, 1902.

A meteorologist at the bureau, Harvey Stern, said that Melbourne suffered from a heat island effect, in which a city is warmer than the surrounding countryside.

This was the case especially at night, because of heat stored in bricks and concrete and trapped between close-packed buildings…

The rest of the state was generally cooler and drier than Melbourne.
Thank you, Mr Stern.

Oh, and for the warming worriers:
the long-range forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology is tipping that February through to April should be cooler than average...
UPDATE

A perfect example of the most distinctive characteristic of Michelle Grattan’s commentatary - to call politics like it was a football game, without asking whether this particular game even makes any sense:
The warming earth and Australia’s ageing and expanding population are forcing the policy-makers to lift their eyes beyond the short term. Admittedly, things change so quickly that trends can alter, and what we think now about some issues could be at odds with how people view them 40 years on. Even so, the time trips provide a few salutary checks on the short-termism for which politicians are notorious.
No mention of Climategate or the countless other scandals and unravellings. No heeding of the very caveat Grattan formally offers that - that even a “trend” to panic about climatic doom in 2050 years could “alter” so that “what we now think about some issues could be at odds with how people view them 40 years on” - i.e., in 2050.

But if the global warming extremists Grattan has believed for so long are right, there is not the slightest possibility that people in 2050 will worry less about the global warming havoc we’re told they will certainly see by that date. Which should force any commentator to ask: are those predictions actually false?

Or is Grattan’s totured formula actually a confession that she’s become a sceptic, too, and is no longer sure at all the climate will have heated dangerously by 2050?
===
Pachauri lied about Himalayan warning
Andrew Bolt
Rajendra Pachauri, head of the increasingly suspect IPCC, is caught out lying and now must surely go:
Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it…

Dr Pachauri ... told The Times on January 22 that he had only known about the error for a few days. He said: “I became aware of this when it was reported in the media about ten days ago. Before that, it was really not made known. Nobody brought it to my attention. There were statements, but we never looked at this 2035 number.”

Asked whether he had deliberately kept silent about the error to avoid embarrassment at (his IPCC) Copenhagen (summit last December), he said: “That’s ridiculous. It never came to my attention before the Copenhagen summit...”

However, a prominent science journalist said that he had asked Dr Pachauri about the 2035 error last November. Pallava Bagla, who writes for Science journal, said he had asked Dr Pachauri about the error…

Dr Pachauri had previously dismissed a report by the Indian Government which said that glaciers might not be melting as much as had been feared. He described the report, which did not mention the 2035 error, as “voodoo science”.

Mr Bagla said he had informed Dr Pachauri that Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University and a leading glaciologist, had dismissed the 2035 date as being wrong by at least 300 years. Professor Cogley believed the IPCC had misread the date in a 1996 report which said the glaciers could melt significantly by 2350.

Mr Pallava interviewed Dr Pachauri again this week for Science… In the taped interview, Mr Pallava asked: “I pointed it out [the error] to you in several e-mails, several discussions, yet you decided to overlook it. Was that so that you did not want to destabilise what was happening in Copenhagen?”
As I wrote last week, more telling than even the IPCC’s bizarre Himalayan error has been Pachauri’s instinctive reaction to deny and abuse those pointing out such mistakes. That, and his blatant conflicts of interest, as he makes money from the warming scare he whips up, demand his sacking.
===
Kevin Rudd’s latest green scam faces collapse
Andrew Bolt
Another extraordinary green rort, thanks to the Rudd Government’s wild waste of your billions:
ONE of the Rudd Government’s key climate change initiatives is close to collapse amid claims of widespread rorting and mismanagement.

Just six months after its launch, the $70 million Green Loans scheme to get Australians to install energy-efficient products will be lucky to survive past March without millions more in taxpayer funding....

The much-vaunted Green Loans program was supposed to run for three years but is being bled dry by a flurry of unregistered operators… Instead of using only registered training organisations, unregistered groups were allowed to conduct audit training courses, with one earning $300,000 in one weekend by packing 200 people in a class at $1500 a head.
More:
The Courier-Mail has learned unregistered trainers, insurance companies and a non-profit organisation running key aspects of the program have reaped millions of tax dollars from the six-month program.

Meanwhile, 10,000 people who paid $3000 each to become Green Loans assessors face unemployment soon when the program runs out of money. Some have yet to get credentials to do their first audit.

The Green Loans scheme was set up in July to encourage Australians to get an audit of their energy use and apply for subsidised loans of up to $10,000 to install solar power and water-saving products.

The Association of Building Sustainability Assessors was contracted by the Government to organise training for assessors. But instead of using only registered training organisations, the department allowed people without training experience to become trainers and conduct four-day courses…

The Government suggested the program would run until 2012 with about 1500 assessors. But without standards for trainers, the number of assessors blew out to 10,000 and federal funding dried up.

To keep the program going until 2012, the Commonwealth would have to inject another $600 million into the scheme…

It is the second debacle for the Department of Energy, which mismanaged an insulation scheme, which was rorted by dodgy contractors.

The NSW-based ABSA collected $6 million in mandatory membership dues from would-be assessors in the Green Loans program…

The Government has touted the success of the program because half of the 360,000 budgeted audits have been completed, and the rest will be done within weeks. But the aim of the program is to have homeowners qualify for interest-free bank loans and the take-up rate has been minimal, with 1000 loan approvals so far.
More evidence that we’re more likely to face ruin from green politicians and carpetbaggers than from global warming. And more evidence that Kevin Rudd may be our most disastrous Prime Minister since even before Whitlam.
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The IPCC’s latest source: Greenpeace
Andrew Bolt
The IPCC’s 2007 report - praised and relied upon by Kevin Rudd - now turns out to have relied not just on reports by WWF activists, but by ones from Greenpeace, too:

Donna Laframboise reports:
Considered the climate Bible by governments around the world, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is meant to be a scientific analysis of the most authoritative research.

Instead, it references literature generated by Greenpeace – an organization known more for headline-grabbing publicity stunts than sober-minded analysis. (Eight IPCC-cited Greenpeace publications are listed at the bottom of this post.)

In one section of this Nobel-winning report, climate change is linked to coral reef degradation. The sole source for this claim? A Greenpeace report titled “Pacific in Peril” (see Hoegh-Guldberg below). Here the report relies on a Greenpeace document to establish the lower-end of an estimate involving solar power plants (Aringhoff).
Hoegh-Guldberg? Good heavens, we well remember this notorious alarmist and his extraordinary record of dud predictions:
In 1999, Hoegh-Guldberg warned that the Great Barrier Reef was under pressure from global warming, and much of it had turned white.

In fact, he later admitted the reef had made a “surprising” recovery.

In 2006, he warned high temperatures meant “between 30 and 40 per cent of coral on Queensland’s great Barrier Reef could die within a month”.

In fact, he later admitted this bleaching had “a minimal impact”.

In 2007, he warned that temperature changes of the kind caused by global warming were again bleaching the reef.

In fact, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network last week said there had been no big damage to the reef caused by climate change in the four years since its last report, and veteran diver Ben Cropp said this week that in 50 years he’d seen none at all.
In fact, I rather suspect researcher Peter Ridd, who says the Reef is actually in ”bloody brilliant shape”, had Hoegh-Gulberg in mind the other day:
ONE of North Queensland’s top marine physicists has accused fellow scientists of exaggerating the threat that climate change poses to the Great Barrier Reef…

James Cook University’s Prof Peter Ridd said global warming could actually be good for the Reef. And he accused scientists of “pushing particular lines” in a bid to save their jobs and keep their funding flowing.
(Via Watts Up With That. And thanks also to several readers.)

UPDATE

The New Scientist declares the IPCC’s closed world of peer-review, so long abused to freeze out sceptics, ”is no longer possible, let alone desirable”.

UPDATE 2

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg responds in comments below, saying his study was peer-reviewed. He also makes this claim, which is completely false and which regular readers will know to false, too:
pity you never seem to post our responses to your one-sided diatribe...
He says he’s offered a response to my criticisms of his false predictions and gives a link. Judge for yourself. Indeed, I’ll give a link to another of his attempts to explain away his predictions, this time in the debate we had in front of ABC cameras (click on “Global warming discussion”.) My account of what the ABC did with that raw footage is here.

UPDATE

Liberal MP and sceptic Dennis Jensen responds below, and various readers offer Hoegh-Guldberg the evidence that will make him eat his hat.
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Don’t forget Matthews
Andrew Bolt

Chris Matthews may have fogotten that Barack Obama was black, but Jon Stewart can’t forget that Chris Matthews is an idiot.

Hot Air:
Stewart seems to have cornered the market on ridiculing the Left in the American comedy world, mainly by default.
UPDATE

As Glenn Beck suggests, this illustrates the essentially patronising racism of many of the Left:

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SPACIOUS
Tim Blair
Yours for just $225,000:
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