- 1724 – In Toruń, Royal Prussia, Polish authorities executed the city's mayor and nine other Lutheran officials following tensions between Protestants and Catholics.
- 1787 – Delaware became the first U.S. state to ratify theUnited States Constitution.
- 1941 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, intending to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet from influencing the war Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia.
- 1988 – A 6.9 Mw earthquake struck the Spitak region of Armenia, killing at least 25,000 people.
- 2005 – Spanish authorities captured Croatian Armygeneral Ante Gotovina (pictured), who was wanted forwar crimes committed during the Croatian War of Independence; he was eventually cleared of all charges.
- 43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero is assassinated.
- 1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.
- 1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London.
- 1776 – Marquis de Lafayette arranges to enter the American military as a major general.
- 1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
- 1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
- 1869 – American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
- 1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
- 1930 – W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcasts video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.
- 1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton becomes the first player to score centuries in four consecutiveTest innings.
- 1941 – World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Imperial Japanese Navy attacks the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing adeclaration of war upon Japan by the United States. Japan also invades Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies at the same time (December 8 in Asia).
- 1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia kills 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.
- 1949 – Chinese Civil War: The government of Republic of China moves from Nanking to Taipei.
- 1962 – Prince Rainier III of Monaco revises the principality's constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.
- 1963 – Instant replay makes its debut during an Army–Navy game.
- 1965 – Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously revoke mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.
- 1970 – The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise is held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.
- 1971 – Pakistan President Yahya Khan announces the formation of a Coalition Government at Centre with Nurul Amin as Prime Minister and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as Vice-Prime Minister.
- 1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched. The crew takes the photograph known as The Blue Marble as they leave the Earth.
- 1975 – Indonesia invades East Timor.
- 1982 – In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr. becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
- 1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collides with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.
- 1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-boss traveling on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
- 1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale kills nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.
- 1988 – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
- 1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.
- 1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.
- 1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client alleging copyright infringement.
- 2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada is officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
- 2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, is shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.
- 2005 – Ante Gotovina, a Croatian army general accused of war crimes, is captured in the Playa de las Américas, Tenerife by the Spanishpolice.
- 2006 – A tornado strikes Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.
- 2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill begins in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collides with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.
- 521 – Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland (d. 597)
- 903 – Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi, Persian astronomer (d. 986)
- 1302 – Azzone Visconti lord of Milan (d. 1339)
- 1545 – Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, consort of Mary, Queen of Scots (d. 1567)
- 1561 – Kikkawa Hiroie, Japanese politician (d. 1625)
- 1598 – Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Italian artist (d. 1680)
- 1637 – Bernardo Pasquini, Italian composer (d. 1710)
- 1724 – Louise of Great Britain, queen of Denmark and Norway (d. 1751)
- 1764 – Claude Victor-Perrin, duc de Belluno, French marshal (d. 1841)
- 1784 – Allan Cunningham, British poet (d. 1842)
- 1791 – Ferenc Novák Hungarian Slovene writer (d. 1836)
- 1792 – Abraham Jacob van der Aa, Dutch literator (d. 1857)
- 1801 – Johann Nestroy, Austrian dramatist and actor (d. 1862)
- 1803 – Maria Josepha of Saxony (d. 1829)
- 1810 – Josef Hyrtl, Austrian anatomist (d. 1894)
- 1810 – Theodor Schwann, German physiologist (d. 1882)
- 1823 – Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician (d. 1891)
- 1838 – Sir Thomas Bent, Premier of Victoria (d. 1909)
- 1847 – Deacon White, Early American Baseball player (d. 1939)
- 1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1947)
- 1862 – Paul Adam, French novelist (d. 1920)
- 1863 – Felix Calonder, Swiss politician (d. 1952)
- 1863 – Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (d. 1945)
- 1863 – Richard Sears, American department store founder (d. 1914)
- 1873 – Willa Cather, American novelist (d. 1947)
- 1879 – Rudolf Friml, American composer (d. 1972)
- 1885 – Mason Phelps, American golfer (d. 1945)
- 1885 – Peter Sturholdt, American boxer (d. 1919)
- 1887 – Ernst Toch, Austrian composer (d. 1964)
- 1888 – Joyce Cary, Irish author (d. 1957)
- 1888 – Hamilton Fish III, American politician (d. 1991)
- 1891 – Fay Bainter, Academy Award-winning American actress (d. 1968)
- 1903 – Danilo Blanuša, Croatian mathematician (d. 1987)
- 1904 – Konstantin Sokolsky, Russian singer (d. 1991)
- 1905 – Gerard Kuiper, Dutch-born American astronomer (d. 1973)
- 1907 – Fred Rose, Canadian communist politician (d. 1983)
- 1909 – Nikola Vaptsarov, Bulgarian poet and revolutionary (d. 1942)
- 1910 – Louis Prima, American musician (d. 1978)
- 1910 – Edmundo Ros, Trinidadian musician (d. 2011)
- 1912 – Daniel Jones, British composer (d. 1993)
- 1913 – Kersti Merilaas, Estonian author and poet (d. 1986)
- 1915 – Eli Wallach, American actor
- 1915 – Leigh Brackett, American screenwriter (d. 1978)
- 1916 – Yekaterina Budanova, Soviet pilot, one of only two female flying aces (d. 1943)
- 1916 – Jean Carignan, French Canadian fiddler (d. 1988)
- 1919 – Lis Løwert, Danish actress (d. 2009)
- 1920 – Fiorenzo Magni, Italian cyclist (d. 2012)
- 1920 – Walter Nowotny, Austrian fighter pilot (d. 1944)
- 1920 – Tatamkulu Afrika, South African poet and writer (d. 2002)
- 1921 – Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader
- 1923 – Ted Knight, American actor (d. 1986)
- 1924 – John Love, Zimbabwean Formula One driver (d. 2005)
- 1924 – Mário Soares, former (17th) President of Portugal
- 1925 – Hernando da Silva Ramos, Brazilian racing driver
- 1927 – Helen Watts, British contralto (d. 2009)
- 1928 – Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer
- 1930 – Hal Smith, American baseball player
- 1930 – Christopher Nicole, British writer
- 1932 – Ellen Burstyn, American actress
- 1932 – Paul Caponigro, American photographer
- 1932 – Rosemary Rogers, Sri Lankan-born American novelist.
- 1937 – Thad Cochran, American politician, senator from Mississippi
- 1940 – Stan Boardman, English comedian
- 1940 – Gerry Cheevers, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1941 – Melba Pattillo Beals, American journalist and writer
- 1942 – Harry Chapin, American singer and songwriter (d. 1981)
- 1942 – Alex Johnson, American baseball player
- 1942 – Peter Tomarken, American game show host (d. 2006)
- 1943 – Susan Isaacs, American novelist
- 1943 – Nicholas Katz, American mathematician
- 1943 – Göran Lennmarker, Swedish politician
- 1943 – Bernard C. Parks, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
- 1944 – Jamiel Chagra, American drug trafficker
- 1944 – Daniel Chorzempa, American organist
- 1944 – Miroslav Macek, Czech politician
- 1945 – Marion Rung, Finnish singer
- 1947 – Johnny Bench, American baseball player
- 1947 – Tony Thomas, American TV and film producer
- 1947 – Garry Unger, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1948 – Gary Morris, American singer and actor
- 1948 – Mads Vinding, Danish bassist
- 1949 – Tom Waits, American singer, composer, and actor
- 1952 – Georges Corraface, Greek actor, president of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival
- 1952 – Susan Collins, American politician
- 1952 – Eckhard Märzke, East German footballer
- 1954 – Mary Fallin, American politician
- 1954 – Mark Hofmann, American forger and bomber
- 1954 – Mike Nolan, Irish singer (Bucks Fizz)
- 1955 – Chuck Loeb, Contemporary Jazz guitarist
- 1955 – Priscilla Barnes, American actress
- 1955 – John Watkins, Australian politician
- 1956 – Larry Bird, American basketball player
- 1957 – Tom Winsor, British lawyer and economic regulator
- 1958 – Tim Butler, English musician (The Psychedelic Furs)
- 1958 – Rick Rude, American professional wrestler (d. 1999)
- 1960 – Craig Scanlon, English guitarist (The Fall)
- 1961 – Lisa Fischer, American R&B singer
- 1961 – Mario Miethig, German footballer
- 1962 – Grecia Colmenares, Venezuelan actress
- 1963 – Theo Snelders, former Dutch footballer
- 1964 – Roberta Close, Brazilian model
- 1964 – Patrick Fabian, American actor
- 1964 – Peter Laviolette, head coach Philadelphia Flyers
- 1965 – Colin Hendry, Scottish footballer
- 1965 – Dorien de Vries, Dutch windsurfer
- 1965 – Jeffrey Wright, American actor
- 1966 – C. Thomas Howell, American actor
- 1966 – Shinichi Itoh, Japanese motorcycle racer
- 1967 – Tino Martinez, American baseball player
- 1968 – Mark Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer
- 1969 – Andrea Claudio Galluzzo, Italian writer and journalist
- 1969 – Patrice O'Neal, American stand-up comedian and actor (d. 2011)
- 1970 – Carmen Campuzano, Mexican actress and fashion model
- 1971 – Vladimir Akopian, Armenian chess player
- 1971 – Chasey Lain, American pornographic actress
- 1972 – Hermann Maier, Austrian skier
- 1972 – Tammy Lynn Sytch, American professional wrestler
- 1973 – Terrell Owens, American football player
- 1973 – Fabien Pelous, French international rugby player
- 1973 – Damien Rice, Irish musician
- 1973 – Charles Carl Roberts, American spree killer (d. 2006)
- 1974 – Nicole Appleton, Canadian-born singer
- 1974 – Kang Full, South Korean webcomic artist
- 1975 – Jamie Clapham, English footballer
- 1976 – Alan Faneca, American football player
- 1976 – Ivan Franceschini, Italian footballer
- 1976 – Brent Johnson, Canadian football player
- 1976 – Georges Laraque, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1976 – Vanessa Lorenzo, Spanish fashion model
- 1977 – Dominic Howard, English drummer (Muse)
- 1977 – Eric Chavez, American baseball player
- 1978 – Shiri Appleby, American actress
- 1978 – Kon Artis, American rapper
- 1978 – Frankie J, Mexican-born American singer
- 1978 – Chad Dukes, Radio Personality
- 1979 – Sara Bareilles, American singer
- 1979 – Jennifer Carpenter, American actress
- 1979 – Lampros Choutos, Greek footballer
- 1979 – Ayako Fujitani, Japanese actress
- 1979 – Derek Ramsay, Filipino actor and model
- 1980 – John Terry, English footballer
- 1982 – Chrispa, Greek singer
- 1982 – Jack Huston, English actor
- 1983 – Fausto Carmona, Dominican baseball player
- 1984 – Robert Kubica, Polish racing driver
- 1984 – Aaron Gray, American basketball player
- 1984 – Luca Rigoni, Italian footballer
- 1984 – Milan Michalek, Czech ice hockey player
- 1985 – Jon Moxley, American professional wrestler
- 1986 – Thomas Fiss, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (Varsity Fanclub)
- 1986 – Jonathan Gill, English singer (JLS)
- 1987 – Aaron Carter, American singer and actor
- 1988 – Emily Browning, Australian actress
- 1988 – Asia Ray Smith, American actress
- 1988 – Nathan Adrian, American swimmer
- 1989 – Nicholas Hoult, English actor
- 1989 – Alessandro Marchi, Italian footballer
- 1990 – Urszula Radwańska, Polish tennis player
- 1991 – Dori Sakurada, Japanese actor
- 1992 – Michael Barron, English footballer/dancer
- 1993 – Jasmine Villegas, American R&B and pop singer
- 2003 – Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands
- 43 BC – Cicero, Roman politician and author (b. 106 BC)
- 283 – Pope Eutychian
- 983 – Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 955)
- 1254 – Pope Innocent IV
- 1279 – King Boleslaus V of Poland (b. 1226)
- 1295 – Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, English nobleman and soldier (b. 1243)
- 1498 – Alexander Hegius von Heek, German humanist (b. 1433)
- 1562 – Adrian Willaert, Flemish composer
- 1649 – Charles Garnier, French Jesuit missionary (b. 1606)
- 1672 – Richard Bellingham, English colonial magistrate (b. 1592)
- 1683 – John Oldham, English poet (b. 1653)
- 1683 – Algernon Sydney, English politician (b. 1623)
- 1723 – Jan Santini Aichel, Bohemian architect (b. 1677)
- 1725 – Florent Carton Dancourt, French dramatist and actor (b. 1661)
- 1775 – Charles Saunders, British admiral
- 1793 – Joseph Bara, French revolutionary (b. 1780)
- 1815 – Michel Ney, French marshall (b. 1769)
- 1817 – William Bligh, British admiral and HMS Bounty figure (b. 1745)
- 1842 – Thomas Hamilton, Scottish writer (b. 1789)
- 1874 – Constantin von Tischendorf, German biblical scholar (b. 1815)
- 1879 – Jón Sigurðsson, Icelandic independence movement figure (b. 1811)
- 1894 – Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and entrepreneur (Suez Canal) (b. 1805)
- 1899 – Juan Luna, Filipino painter (b. 1857)
- 1902 – Thomas Nast, German-born American cartoonist (b. 1840)
- 1906 – Élie Ducommun, Swiss journalist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1833)
- 1913 – Luigi Oreglia di Santo Stefano, Italian religious figure (b. 1828)
- 1917 – Léon Minkus, German-born Czech composer and violinist (b. 1826)
- 1938 – Anna Marie Hahn, German-born American serial killer (b. 1906)
- 1941 – Among the 2,400 dead from the attack on Pearl Harbor
- Mervyn S. Bennion, American US Navy Captain, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1887)
- Herbert C. Jones, American US Navy Ensign, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1918)
- Isaac C. Kidd, American US Navy Rear Admiral, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1884)
- Thomas J. Reeves, American US Navy radioman, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1895)
- Franklin Van Valkenburgh, American US Navy Captain, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1888)
- 1946 – Sada Yacco, Japanese stage actress (b. 1871)
- 1947 – Nicholas Murray Butler, American university president, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1862)
- 1947 – Tristan Bernard, French playwright and novelist (b. 1866)
- 1949 – Rex Beach, American novelist, playwright and water polo player (b. 1877)
- 1956 – Huntley Gordon, Canadian actor (b. 1887)
- 1960 – Clara Haskil, Swiss pianist (b. 1895)
- 1969 – Lefty O'Doul, American baseball player (b. 1897)
- 1969 – Eric Portman, English actor (b. 1903)
- 1970 – Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist (b. 1883)
- 1975 – Thornton Wilder, American playwright (b. 1897)
- 1977 – Peter Carl Goldmark, Hungarian-born American engineer (b. 1906)
- 1978 – Alexander Wetmore, American ornithologist (b. 1886)
- 1980 – Darby Crash, American punk-rock musician (b. 1958)
- 1981 – Ava Helen Pauling, American human rights activist (b. 1903)
- 1982 – Will Lee, American actor (b. 1908)
- 1983 – Fanny Cano, Mexican actress (b. 1944)
- 1984 – Charles Ray Hatcher, American serial killer (b. 1929)
- 1984 – Lee Roy Yarbrough, American race car driver (b. 1938)
- 1985 – Robert Graves, British author (b. 1895)
- 1985 – J. R. Eyerman, American photographer and photojournalist (b. 1906)
- 1985 – Potter Stewart, American jurist (b. 1915)
- 1989 – William Calhoun, American professional wrestler (b. 1934)
- 1990 – Joan Bennett, American actress (b. 1910)
- 1990 – Jean Duceppe, French-Canadian actor (b. 1923)
- 1990 – Jean Paul Lemieux, French-Canadian artist (b. 1904)
- 1993 – Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Ivoirian politician (b. 1905)
- 1993 – Wolfgang Paul, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
- 1994 – J.C. Tremblay, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1939)
- 1997 – Billy Bremner, Scottish footballer (b. 1942)
- 1998 – Martin Rodbell, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1925)
- 1998 – John Addison, British composer (b. 1920)
- 2000 – Vladimir Gotovac, Croatian poet and politician (b. 1930)
- 2003 – Carl F. H. Henry American theologian and publisher (b. 1913)
- 2003 – Azie Taylor Morton, Treasurer of the United States (b. 1936)
- 2004 – Frederick Fennell, American conductor (b. 1914)
- 2004 – Jerry Scoggins, American singer (b. 1913)
- 2004 – Jay Van Andel, American entrepreneur (b. 1924)
- 2005 – Bud Carson, American football player and coach (b. 1931)
- 2005 – Lucy d'Abreu, Scottish supercentenarian (b. 1892)
- 2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, Costa Rica-born American airline passenger (b. 1961)
- 2006 – Jeane Kirkpatrick, American diplomat (b. 1926)
- 2006 – Jay McShann, American musician (b. 1910)
- 2008 – Marky Cielo, Filipino-Igorot dancer and actor (b. 1988)
- 2008 – Herbert Hutner, American banker and attorney (b. 1908)
- 2009 – Mark Ritts, American actor (b. 1946)
- 2010 – Elizabeth Edwards, American lawyer and wife of John Edwards (b. 1949)
- 2010 – Gus Mercurio, American-born Australian actor (b. 1928)
- 2011 – Harry Morgan, American actor (b. 1915)
Holidays and observances
- Armed Forces Flag Day (India)
- Christian Feast Day:
- Eve of the Immaculate Conception-related observances:
- International Civil Aviation Day (International)
- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (United States)
- Spitak Remembrance Day (Armenia)
- Student Day (Iran)
Stories from Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt
Grave marker for Private Samuel Lindsay Nixon
A farmer from Oaklands, NSW, Pte Nixon embarked from Sydney aboard SS Port Napier on 17 November 1916 with the 14th Battalion. He late
r transferred to the 29th Battalion and was a stretcher bearer when he was hit by a shellburst while bandaging a fellow soldier. He was taken to the casualty clearing station at Vignacourt but died from his wounds the next day. Affectionately known as ‘Sam’, this grave marker was made by the men in his company and erected over his grave in the Vignacourt cemetery.
View this photo in our collection here:http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/p10550.640
View this photo in our collection here:http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/p10550.640
The doctrine of doing nothing wrong and our new website name.
MP Craig Thomson in May vowed to get CCTV footage from brothels to prove he wasn’t there, spending thousands of dollars of members’ money:
CRAIG Thomson will this morning formally ask police to obtain surveillance footage of the nights he is alleged to have visited Sydney brothels on a union credit card before he became an MP.
In a fresh and final attempt to clear his name, the member for Dobell will call Victorian police to seek any tapes that may still exist, insisting his face will not be among those involved in the alleged union-funded sex romps…
“I’m going to speak to Victorian police today,” Mr Thomson said.
“It is my understanding that under licensing rules in NSW they (brothels) must keep footage for six years. I am going to ask them to look at footage of those nights.”
So I’m surprised today to find his lawyer surprised and seemingly cross that police have - seven months later - asked for exactly what Thomson claimed would clear him:
BROTHELS, a phone book publisher and Qantas Holidays are all being served with subpoenas as part of Fair Work Australia’s case against former Labor MP Craig Thomson...Several of the nine subpoenas issued today have been issued to brothels and escort agencies, seeking any records of services provided to Mr Thomson…One subpoena issued to a Sydney-based escort service also requests CCTV footage dating back to 2003.Mr Thomson’s lawyer, Chris McArdle, said FWA had filed a shaky case from the outset if it was going after crucial information “this late in the game”.“We’ve said that from the very beginning, if you need to ask for something you don’t have it, so the case is flimsy,” Mr McArdle told The Australian.
“I only found out today that these subpoenas existed, which was rather rude, and I got in touch with the other side (FWA) and they said we’d be told about them in due time.”
What a marvellous contribution Lebanese Muslims have made to Sydney. They’ve brought their wonderful restaurants, and the gangs to protect them:
ORGANISED criminals using religious and ethnic divides as a front are extorting the restaurant-lined main streets of Bankstown; three businesses were sprayed with bullets and another three torched over the past two months…
Some owners have linked the attacks to Brothers for Life, a gang formed by the convicted killer Bassam Hamzy. The group, which specialises in extortion and drug supply, has had a recent resurgence and was involved in a shooting death in Greenacre in October.Police said religion and ethnicity were being used as a front by ‘’criminals being criminals’’....The Lebanese owner of one cafe/restaurant on South Terrace said men wearing traditional Middle Eastern clothing sat down for a coffee and started talking about religion but quickly demanded $50,000 in exchange for protection.The owner could not pay, so approached a ‘’rival gang’’, which offered protection for half the price.
Others have not been so lucky. Three large Lebanese restaurants were shot at on consecutive Friday nights last month.
Another sign of the success of our immigration and multicultural programs, which have brought in self-sustaining communities so reaassuringly strong and independent that some insist in providing their own police force. And, of course, we now have rules to punish anyone so unenlightened as to criticise this most refreshing new development.
(Thanks to readers Lin and rapscallion.)
Governments can no longer afford to spend money just to seem green - not when people are bored with that whole end-of-the-world thing:
NINE green energy schemes have been axed to help stave off any more double digit price rises, [NSW] Premier Barry O’Farrell will promise today as he enters negotiations at COAG over power bills…
“I’ll be very clearly pointing out how our actions have been overwhelmed by federal Labor policies and green schemes which add $270 to the average NSW household bill.”The latest green schemes to be axed are Fleetwise and the Energy Efficiency Training Program, which duplicated an existing federal scheme, and Energy Savings Action Plans.This is on top of a further six programs the government recently ceased: Energy Savings Fund Grants, Green Business Grants, Public Facilities Grants, Renewable Energy Development Grants, Schools Energy Efficiency Grants and a Hybrid bus trial.
The state government will also merge the Energy Efficiency for Small Business and Energy Saver programs to improve their effectiveness and reduce the compliance burden for business. The government will also reform GreenPower by requiring greater industry participation.
How much difference to the climate did any of those Seem-To-Be-Green schemes make? What fools put them in place? We ought to be told.
(Thanks to reader Hmmm.)
The promised surplus - “no ifs, no buts” - is already dead. Now comes the preparation of some excuse:
The Gillard government is preparing to dump its commitment to a budget surplus if economic growth slips below its long-term average in the current quarter.
The big shift in budget strategy comes after real gross domestic product – which measures the amount of goods and services the economy produces – grew by just 0.5 per cent in the September quarter, the smallest gain in six quarters and the first clear sign that the economy is slowing below its average growth rate.
While federal cabinet’s expenditure review committee has met in Canberra this week in a desperate search for savings to keep its surplus commitment alive, sources point to the multiple statements from senior government ministers that link the budget surplus commitment to stronger levels of economic growth.
Some of the commentary is already conflating two issues.
One is: should the Government really be contracting spending when the economy is already slowing?
The other is: should the Government be held to account for promising a surplus so definitively when it was in no position to do so? Remember why that promise was made: to give the impression it was financially responsible when it was in fact irresponsibly splurging many billions more than it should have on a stimulus. The promise was simply a deception - political cover for a bad decision. This needs to be stressed, otherwise we give governments licence to lie.
John Roskam says next year could cost us some of our freedom as the culture of complaint is ramped up:
The number and variety of threats to the civil liberties of Australians during 2012 approached almost unprecedented levels.If next year the Gillard government succeeds in its aims of regulating the press, imposing surveillance over the personal electronic communications of every person, and making it against the law to offend someone because of their political opinion, Australians will be substantially less free next year than they were this year...What’s more dangerous is the way that, during the year, the Gillard government stepped up its efforts to inculcate in the community a particular set of attitudes. Australians are now urged to find sexism, racism, and discrimination at every turn.The Prime Minister’s misogyny speech was noteworthy because it revealed the sense of grievance the Gillard government wants Australians to experience in all walks of life, not just in politics.
Where no sexism, racism or discrimination is obvious, we’re now actively encouraged to go looking for it, and if we can’t find sexism, racism or discrimination, the government will find it for us. This is the approach found in a host of legislation ranging from the Fair Work Act, to the Workplace Gender Equality Act which was passed last month, to the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill which will go to Parliament next year.
Don’t tell me Al Gore was exaggerating again!
With high-altitude mountains in Himachal Pradesh experiencing up to 100 cm fresh snowfall in November month after 10 years, the abundance of snow on mountains has rejuvenated nearly one thousand glaciers and has ensured uninterrupted supply of water for drinking, irrigation and hydel projects.
Even after years of research on glaciers and climate of Himalayas, scientists have failed to learn the pattern of the weather here. While scanty snowfall and rising temperature in last decade had sparked the possibilities of fast shrinking of glaciers, good spells of snowfall in last three years have changed the trend with glaciers almost growing to their original size. Some scientists say that despite heavy snowfall in winters, the extreme heat in summers is causing the melting of the glaciers with abnormal speed and others say extreme cold in winters is neutralizing the minor effect of risen temperature in summer. Overall, speed of melting of glaciers has reduced over the past few years only due to good snowfall in winter months.
This improves even on the good news reported in February:
The world’s greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.
The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.The study is the first to survey all the world’s icecaps and glaciers and was made possible by the use of satellite data. Overall, the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less than previously estimated, with the lack of ice loss in the Himalayas and the other high peaks of Asia responsible for most of the discrepancy.
Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: “The very unexpected result was the negligible mass loss from high mountain Asia, which is not significantly different from zero.”
Not what Al Gore was saying three years ago, when he was warning of a billion people running out of water:
(Thanks to reader Steve.)