Sunday, October 10, 2010

Headlines Sunday 10th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Frederic John Napier Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GBE, PC (12 August 1868 – 1 April 1933) was a British statesman who served as Governor of Queensland (1905-1909), Governor of New South Wales from 1909 to 1913, and Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921, where he was responsible for the creation of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. After serving a short time as First Lord of the Admiralty in the government of Ramsay MacDonald, he was appointed the Agent-General for New South Wales by the government of Jack Lang before his retirement
=== Bible Quote ===
“It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”- Deuteronomy 13:4
=== Headlines ===
BREAKTHROUGH: Celebrations in Chile as Drill Reaches Miners
Dozens of trapped workers see their way out as a drill breaks through to their underground purgatory, 66 agonizing days after a gold and copper mine collapsed above them.

D.C. Health Fair — on The Taxpayers' Dime
Senate staffers, who already enjoy the best health care, to take part in health fair — complete with massages, food tastings and screenings — and taxpayers are footing the bill

Iran Reveals Spy Drama at Nuke Sites
Iran reveals for the first time that it has ended espionage at its nuclear facilities where some personnel were promised cash to pass secrets to the West, as the Islamic country says it is ready for talks over its nuke program

Vote4Me: Pols Texting While Campaigning
As the 2010 election season enters the final stretch, some political hopefuls are ditching the robocalls and turning to text messaging to reach voters while on the campaign trail

Breaking News
Nobel prize 'will force China to open up'
A LEADING Australian-based democracy campaigner said there's now more pressure on Beijing to move to a more open society after jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Storm over Miley Cyrus sexy music video
AMERICAN starlet Miley Cyrus is taking heat from a powerful parent’s group for her ongoing efforts to shed her good-girl status in the sexy new music video for her song Who Owns My Heart.

Mass turnout call for Ahmadinejad visit
THE Shiite militant group Hezbollah called for a huge turnout to welcome Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he arrives on a two-day official visit to Lebanon next week.

President asks Taliban to lay down arms
AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai visited the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar yesterday, calling on insurgents to lay down their arms and locals to join the government security forces.

Star Wars raider robs pub at gunpoint
AN ARMED raider wearing a Star Wars mask pulled off an armed robbery at a South Australian hotel yesterday, police said.

NSW/ACT
Bus assaults jump 50 per cent
THE northern beaches, Maroubra and Newtown have been declared the city's most dangerous routes.

Bouncers face scrutiny
AN inquest will investigate the death of a man allegedly placed in a "sleeper hold" by a bouncer.

Clubs cop a tax break
THE State Opposition has unveiled a pledge to cut pokie taxes to "save rugby league" in NSW.

NSW at mercy of utility bill rip-off
VICTORIANS and Queenslanders are being offered electricity at rates up to 30 per cent lower.

Fairfax begs for journo freebies
MEDIA company Fairfax has been caught pleading for Christmas 'goodie bags' for its journalists.

Night fight: Kyle v Clover
KYLE Sandilands has vowed to wrest power from Lord Mayor Clover Moore over midnight curfews.

Reality is putting the bite into children
RATINGS juggernaut MasterChef is sparking some heated debate at Australian family dinner tables.

Queensland
Brimble P&O group parties on
AS the family of Dianne Brimble quietly mourned last weekend, four of the eight men named as "persons of interest" in her death were partying.

Big Brother hits our beaches
ARE Big Brother-type surveillance cameras and loud speakers the future of surf life saving along Queensland's coastline?

Is this the airport croc?
THE mystery surrounding possible crocodile sightings in Brisbane waterways has forced Brisbane Airport Corporation to erect warning signs.

Facebook not for kids
PRE-TEENS should not be on Facebook, insists Queensland Premier Anna Bligh - and the social networking site needs to enforce its 13-year age limit.

Bligh vows to help pay bills
QUEENSLANDERS have been promised relief from soaring household bills in a bid to ease discontent over the Bligh Government's asset sales.

Nuttall turns to prayer in prison
JAILED former state government minister Gordon Nuttall has told his family he has turned to God as he battles his demons in prison.

Lucas rejects new limo
THIS is the $60,000 luxury Holden limousine that wasn't good enough for Health Minister Paul Lucas ... because it didn't have an in-built GPS unit.

Coastal flash-flood warning
EMERGENCY services remain on standby as gale-force winds and flash floods affect southeast Queensland, sparking landslides on the Sunshine Coast.

Cowboys quizzed in NRL bet probe
THERE is unlikely to be any resolution to the alleged betting scandal investigation gripping the NRL and the North Queensland Cowboys until next year.

Water cuts concern Qld farmers
QUEENSLAND farmers and the government say proposed water consumption cuts from the Murray-Darling river system could significantly hurt communities.

Victoria
West Gate Bridge closes
THE West Gate Bridge will be closed on Tuesday for the first time since it was opened 32 years ago.

Brumby pleads for fire caution
JOHN Brumby has written to Victorians ahead of the fire season, urging the public to take precautions to a Black Saturday repeat.

The four hour bus route arrives
THE wheels of the bus go round and round and round. For almost 4 1/2 hours.

Nun trains for MacKillop pilgrimage
DEDICATION is familiar to Sister Diane Moore, having been a nun since she was 16.

Prisoners routinely sneaking out of jail
GUARDS are fudging records so prisoners do not appear to be missing, and they just "hope" they return, a whistleblower reveals.

OPP a cornerstone of Victorian democracy
THE Office of Public Prosecutions is a cornerstone of Victorian democracy.

Young lawyer's rise rocks OPP
EXCLUSIVE: HOW the promotion of a junior female lawyer plunged the body charged with prosecuting Victoria's worst criminals into crisis.

ATO hunts our very own Al Capone
THE tax office is targeting a notorious Australian crime figure for millions of dollars in tax evasion, in an Al Capone-style sting.

Jeremy Rapke fights for victims
SINCE becoming Director of Public Prosecutions in 2007, Jeremy Rapke has repeatedly clashed with the judiciary over his public comments on sentencing.

Frankston house engulfed in flames
PARAMEDICS are treating a man after a house fire in Frankston which took crews took more than 15 minutes to get under control.

Northern Territory
Nothing new

South Australia
Brimble mates in big night out
THE timing was deplorable: A dinner of four mates implicated in the Dianne Brimble cruise tragedy - almost eight years to the day that she died.

SA to get corruption watchdog
SOUTH Australia is set to get its own corruption watchdog, as the State Government caves in to public pressure to establish an anti-corruption agency.

My life with bounding Beemer
THERE are plenty of kangaroos in South Australia but not many of them like cider, playing footy, watching TV and sitting at the table for breakfast.

Man dies in car rollover
THE state's road toll has risen to 89 after a man died in a single car roll-over near Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula, on Saturday afternoon.

Exclusion zone around sunk boat
AUTHORITIES have established a 300-metre exclusion zone around a tuna boat leaking fuel after it was struck by a container ship at Port Lincoln and sunk.

Thief in Star Wars mask robs hotel
TWO men, one wearing a Star Wars mask and armed with a firearm, threatened staff at the Aussie Inn at Hackham early this morning before stealing cash.

Western Australia
Prostitutes on Perth's sleazy streets
BRAZEN street-walking prostitutes are operating in Perth - just hundreds of metres from the WA Police headquarters.

Tinder-dry WA faces worst bushfire threat
WA is facing one of its worst bushfire seasons in recent history, with a record dry spell making the state a tinderbox.

Bikie alert at Kwinana concert
A LOCAL council is demanding specialist gang crime police and extra security to patrol Perth's Guns N' Roses concert in December, which will be held at the same venue as last Sunday's bikie shooting.

Port sounds Swan River alarm
SWIMMING at popular beaches along the Swan River has been discouraged this weekend after fresh dredging in Fremantle created a huge plume of sediment.

Sentencing power for crime victims
VICTIMS of crime will be able to call for tougher sentences in WA courtrooms, under measures being considered by the Attorney-General.

Legends turn it on for Mainy tribute
THEIR best football is behind them but the former greats playing in the Chris Mainwaring Legends Match created history at a familiar ground with a new name.

Collie fire threatens forest, plantations
A BUSHFIRE 30km north-east of Collie in the State's South West is threatening state forest and blue gum plantations.

Third boat in 24 hours carrying 66
A THIRD boat in 24 hours carrying 66 suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted by authorities off Australia's northwest coast.

Tasmania
Nothing new
=== Comments ===
Labor shows it’s not easy being green
Piers Akerman
AUSTRALIANS are about to be hit with the spiralling cost of Labor’s unholy alliance with the Greens. - While Australians are enjoying flood conditions, it is worth thinking of the fact that dams are flood mitigating. We could have built several dams for all the desalination plants and we would have had enough fresh water for our farmers as well as for towns and cities. Now all we have is debt. And they are planning to get worse. We have many examples of waste to do with green policy around the world, and we might pat pourselves on the back and say it wasn’t that bad because we haven’t done it that badly. But the bad planning is concentrated, and far worse than it appears. Yes we don’t have those windmill farms they have in Spain and Italy. Yes we don’t have that Carbon thingy NZ has which costs them billions of dollars for not being at 1990 levels. But we haven’t developed what we need to sustain our lifestyle or our production. That is because before the Rudd government the ALP state governments were working to erode our infrastructure.
NSW could have had over $100b turn around on the sale of Electricity in the mid ‘90s. Instead we don’t have the money and we do have the debt, and the media still portray Carr and Egan as conservative. - ed

===
Give Less Government a Chance
By Lawrence A. Hunter & Ph.D.
A recent article in Fortune Magazine ("It's Time for A New Version of Government") reminded me just how destructive the smartest among us can be when they grab control of the levers of political power or when their “wisdom” is used by politicians and bureaucrats as the basis of some grand new scheme to “reinvent” government.

In this latest reinvention, what is being called “Government 2.0,” government is envisioned to be “a citizen-centric philosophy and strategy that believes the best results are usually driven by partnerships between citizens and government, at all levels”—what I have called "Contracting Out Tyranny," ruinous schemes at which Republicans and business leaders are particularly adept.

The truth is, we don’t need a new vision of government; we need less government, period.

From the time of Woodrow Wilson, at least, the best and the brightest among us have been in constant search of ways to reinvent government to make it more citizen-centric, more citizen-friendly, more efficient, more rational, more empowering of citizens, more efficient, more management oriented, more transparent, more businesslike with more citizen engagement, more stakeholders and more new technologies, which the smarties believe will leverage government to achieve the greater good and the general welfare. Woodrow Wilson, call your office; Your Grand Government Delusion is alive and well among the smarty set, all empirical evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Let me offer the counter hypothesis, one supported by a century of empirical evidence: A little bit more of this and a little bit more of that where government is concerned all adds up to nothing more than, well, more government, not better government—the Grand Delusion, not the grand solution. What the smart guys never seem to get is that the only good government is small government.

More of anything where government is concerned means more government, and more government is the problem, not the solution. The very fact that the best and the brightest among us feel the need to keep reinventing government every few years proves government doesn’t work. The solution is less government. How difficult is that to understand?

One would think after a century of ever-growing government concurrently with ever growing social and economic problems it would dawn on the smartest among us that the common element in the build up of problems facing the nation has been more government. So here’s an idea: How about giving less government a chance? Giving less government a chance is the central, spontaneously organizing principle around which resurgent grass-roots political action is arising. That rumbling one hears from the grassroots is building to a crescendo: “All we are saying is give less government a chance.”

No wonder. Government is a serial offender when it comes to stealing from its citizens and abusing them, all in the name of the greater good and general welfare, of course. Yet, we keep giving more government an infinity of second chances. Isn’t it time we stopped enabling government? Isn’t it time we stopped listening to politicians’ and bureaucrats’ lame excuses? Isn’t it time to revoke the probationary work-release program government has been free on now for a hundred years and put it back in the constitutional chains the Founding Fathers bound it in originally?

The problem of government can be stated succinctly in biological terms: Government is what biologists call cacophonous—a creature that feeds on its own excrement. Government nourishes itself on the problems it creates. The more it eats, the more it excretes, and the more it excretes, the more it eats until pretty soon it is obese, and we are all knee deep in government doo-doo.

In virtually everything government does, it is reacting to problems it created in the first place and then exacerbated by interventions to correct the problems it created, which then justifies further interventions and creates more problems and so on ad infinitum. Thus does government become a serial citizen abuser with its chronic meddling in human affairs.

When Galileo Galilei was forced to his knees before the Pope to recant his belief in the heliocentric theory, he defiantly uttered sotto voce, “Eppur si muove” (“Nonetheless, [the Earth] does move”). The not-so-quiet defiance toward politicians and bureaucrats boiling up from the grassroots today may not be so exquisitely rendered in Latin— “excrementa tua vorare”—but the Anglo Saxonism one hears increasingly uttered instead when people find themselves prostrate under the heavy boot of government serves well both as observation and invective, exposing a crude reality crudely, and effectively. Government is, after all, literally an excrement eater; a simple biological description of what government is and does.

Dr. Hunter is president of The Alliance for Retirement Prosperity
===
“Save” the river, kill the river communities
Andrew Bolt
The cost of the new green faith is fast escalating, and it’s not just power and water bills that are soaring:
ABOUT $800 million in rural output and 800 jobs will be lost from the Murray Darling Basin if proposed cuts to irrigators’ rights become reality.

But farm leaders say the impact will be far worse.

The (Murray Darling Basin Authority’s) guide to its proposed basin plan today confirmed cuts (to farmers’ rights to irrigation water) of between 27 and 37 per cent were proposed.

The cuts to Sustainable Diversion Limits would achieve another 3000 – 4000 gigalitres of water for environmental purposes…

The cuts would result in a drop of 13 per cent of the gross value of irrigated agricultural production in the basin, the guide says… A long term regional reduction in employment of 1.1 per cent is expected.
===
Gillard’s latest trick to stop the boats - to count two of them as one
Andrew Bolt
That’s four boats in three days - if we ignore the Gillard Government’s craven and preposterous attempt to count two boats as one:
ANOTHER boat carrying suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted by authorities off Australia’s northwest coast…

Initial indications suggested there were 66 passengers and three crew on board, he said.

It was the third arrival in as many days, and the 103rd this year.

On Friday two boats, one towing the other, were intercepted north of Christmas Island. A Border Protection Command spokeswoman said that arrival was being treated as a single suspected irregular entry vessel with 74 passengers and three crew on board.
However you count them, one thing is clear: whatever Gillard has tried has not worked.
===
A scientist resigns: global warming corrupted my profession
Andrew Bolt
Hal Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, resigns from the American Physical Society in protest at its attempts to shut down debate on its global warming stand:
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood....

As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time…

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it....

The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it… In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one..)…

In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work…

So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list.... To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition…

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?…

Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation.
A short precis of the author’s qualifications:
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)
UPDATE

800 scientific papers supporting sceptical positions on catastrophic man-made warming.

(Thanks to reader Brad.)
===
Prosecutor’s promotion protested
Andrew Bolt
Who always thinks with their head?

(No comments, because otherwise my Sunday will be full of worries.)
===
Not sadder as we get older, but smarter
Andrew Bolt

Oh, no - the laughter stops next year:
‘Victor Meldrew Syndrome’, when adults become more grumpy than happy, kicks in at the ripe old age of 52, scientists have found…

Researcher Dr Lesley Harbidge of Glamorgan University said: “The Lifetime of Laughter Scale shows that there really is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to laughter.

“We laugh twice as much in our teens as we do in our fifties. And our findings suggest that it’s all downhill from 52.”
Of course, one benefit in being older is that we’ve become wise enough to learn that if we look around long enough, we’ll find research that indicates the very opposite.
===
Why a bigger airport for a drowning nation?
Andrew Bolt

Hmm. Do we believe the Maldives Government when it claims its islands will drown?
The Maldivian president and ministers held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting on Saturday, in a symbolic cry for help over rising sea levels that threaten the tropical archipelago’s existence.
Or do we believe the Maldives Government when it claims its airport won’t?
The Hong Kong based architectural company, Integrated Design Associates (IDA) has unveiled the new look of the Male’ international airport, under its expansion and modernization project… Earlier this year, the government leased out the Male’ international airport to GMR and Malaysia Airport Holdings to expand, manage and operate it for the next 25 years.
(Thanks to reader Watty.)
===
Labor’s stunt exposed: Abbott visits Afghanistan
Andrew Bolt
Tony Abbott has just left Afghanistan, where he talked to our troops on a visit he arranged weeks ago.

Abbott had been forbidden to discuss his plans for security reasons. So what does this say about the cynical and irresponsible attempts by Labor and the media last week to make it seem that feckless Abbott was refusing to go - when Julia Gillard knew full well of his plans?

Study this case and learn how despicably politics is now played, and how seeming trumps doing.

UPDATE

Readers in comments below wonder if this was a lie:
JULIA Gillard has denied deliberately leaking word that Tony Abbott passed up an invitation to accompany her on a visit to Afghanistan… Ms Gillard said she was unaware of how word got out about Mr Abbott’s non-attendance, and that she was not aware herself that he had a solo visit to Afghanistan, already locked in.

”Your suggestion that he had a fixed date to go (to Afghanistan) when I issued the invitation to him is not correct,” she told reporters in Brussels.
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