Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sat 15th Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns John ChanJulie Morris and Anthony Khuu. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

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Adolf Eichmann on trial

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Events

[edit]Births

[edit]Deaths

[edit]Holidays and observances


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Freedom doesn’t mean killing five-year-olds

Miranda Devine – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (9:11am)

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I was born in America and lived there for a long time. I went to university there and I worked there.
As a people, Americans are courteous, hospitable and socially adroit. But the scenes which come all too often from the country I admire, of massacres by misfits with automatic weapons, of ordinary people traumatized beyond belief, are a blight on America.
They tell us there is something sick in a nation that is a shining beacon of freedom to the world. Of a paralysis in democracy that prevents sensible limits on the availability of powerful weapons the founding fathers would never have envisaged when they enshrined the right to bear arms in the US constitution.
At least 27 people, including 20 children, have been killed in the latest school shooting at the Sandy Hook primary school in the idyllic town of Newtown, Connecticut.
One of the weapons used reportedly was a .223-caliber assault rifle, a semi-automatic weapon that fires up to six bullets a second. It is a weapon designed for combat.
Will America now finally do something about gun control?
Heartbreaking images of small children being led out of the school in single file, faces frozen in shock, keep coming. Mothers breaking down.
It is an unimaginable tragedy. And yet so preventable.
You can’t always stop mentally ill or evil people being violent but you can limit the death toll by controlling their access to powerful weapons.
For instance, in a remarkably similar incident in China on Friday, a 36-year-old man with a knife rampaged through a primary school in the village of Chengping. Twenty two children and one adult were injured. No one was killed.
After the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, in which 35 people were killed by a man wielding two semi-automatic rifles, John Howard banned all such weapons. We have not had a similar incident since.
“As a country we have been through this too many times,” US President Obama, said yesterday. “We’re going to have to come together to meaningful action on this, regardless of the politics.”
About time. Both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney disappointingly dodged the gun control question in the second presidential debate.
But the tyranny of an uncompromising gun lobby over the vulnerable majority is the opposite of freedom. The right of children to go to school without being murdered outweighs the right of an angry man to own a military assault rifle. The gun control lobby need to point to legislation that works. At the moment proposed legislation would not have prevented this tragedy. - ed

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MR 2.7 PER CENT

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (5:14am)

The SMH’s Lenore Taylor actually seems surprised
The sexual harassment claim against the former speaker Peter Slipper has been thrown out of court but his constituents still appear intent upon throwing him out of Parliament – with just 2.7 per cent of voters in his Queensland electorate saying they supported him. 
In fact, this week’s ruling has turned voters even further against Julia Gillard’s selection as speaker:
More than 37 per cent said they were ‘’less likely’’ to vote for the former Liberal National Party, now independent, MP as a result of the case being thrown out, with only 17.9 per cent saying the decision made them more likely to vote for him. 
Meanwhile: 
Despite the criticism of the pre-selected LNP candidate, Mal Brough, in the judgment – it said he had acted ‘’in combination’’ with Mr Slipper’s former staffer James Ashby in order to advance his own political interests – the former Howard government minister appears set for an easy victory in next year’s election if he remains a candidate. 
Consider, as no doubt is a certain old Slipper pal, how this matter might play out across the rest of Queensland, a state already inclined to smash Labor governments. Also, marvel at this Gillard interview, during which the Prime Minister condemns Liberals for “the filth they’re rolling in”.
That’s from someone who effectively drafted Peter Slipper, of all people, into her own team. He’syour problem, Julia. Roll with it.

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REAL CARTOONISTS CAN DRAW

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (5:10am)

Fairfax’s cash for calendars contributor Michael Leunig
My cartoons have also had me labelled a misogynist, a blasphemer, a homophobe, a royalist, a misanthrope and a traitor, to name but a few. I would sum it all up by saying: I am a cartoonist. 
No, Michael. No, you are not. But you might be a very old lesbian.

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SCHUSS FUSS

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (5:02am)

Besides gay marriage, the ultimate first world problem must be the threat to skiing presented by alleged climate change – which presumably is the reason why rich leftists at the New York Timesworry so much about it. Back in 2007, the Times – which has a history of chill panic – asked: 
How Do You Ski if There Is No Snow? 
The correct answer to that question, as to almost every question about climate change, is: “Who cares?” But still the Times is concerned about the ability of wealthy poseurs to attain satisfactorily slippy descent speeds
Whether this winter turns out to be warm or cold, scientists say that climate change means the long-term outlook for skiers everywhere is bleak. The threat of global warming hangs over almost every resort, from Sugarloaf in Maine to Squaw Valley in California. As temperatures rise, analysts predict that scores of the nation’s ski centers, especially those at lower elevations and latitudes, will eventually vanish. 
This same article, in an aside, notes that “the winter of 2010-11 was one of the snowiest in recent memory”. And snow salvation is currently but a flight away
The heavy snowfalls in France and Switzerland have now spread east. Austria has received huge amounts this week. Already people are talking about it being the best start to winter in living memory …
It has been another week of bumper snowfall.
Austria has done well and resorts are opening across the country.
Elsewhere in the Alps resorts are starting early and Christmas looks like being one of the best ever. 
Global warming ain’t quite so global. And it isn’t even that local, according to Pennsylvania ski area owner Barbara Green
“In 2008, ‘09 and ‘10, we had record years [for skiing],” she said. “We had the highest number of skiers in the nation skiing right here in Pennsylvania …
“I don’t think the climate is any different than it was 35 years ago when this place opened.” 
The real danger to the skiing industry, says Green, may be the warming-obsessed media: 
“We all had snow, but everybody was saying isn’t it terrible, global warming, the poor ski resorts, and the Pennsylvania ski resorts are saying we have snow. We couldn’t get the message out that we had snow and the skiing was good.” 
Just because the Times is tanking doesn’t give it the right to take others down with it.

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BIGGER NUMBER, LESS INK

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (4:02am)

2011
The United Nations refugee agency has released data showing Australia has defied the global trend with a 19 per cent fall in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the first half of this year.
2012
Latest data from the UNHCR for asylum applications lodged in 44 industrialised countries shows there have been 59% more asylum applications in Australia in the first 6 months of this year than in 2011. 
Oddly, the most recent data isn’t receiving much attention.

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APOCALYPSE CLAIMED

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (3:52am)

It’s a faith showdown
Nearly four in 10 U.S. residents say the severity of recent natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy is evidence the world is coming to an end, as predicted by the Bible … 
Crazy fundamentalists. 
… while more than six in 10 blame it on climate change, according to a poll released on Thursday. 
Crazier fundamentalists. Elsewhere, climate fundy numbers are in decline
Numbers of delegates and journalists attending the 18th “conference of the parties” to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18), were down on previous years to 17,000.
Owing in part to the unlikely location, as well as a lack of progress made at previous COPs, the summit was seen by many, governments and journalists alike, as a lower priority than last year’s meeting in Durban, which attracted 25,000, or the one at Copenhagen in 2009, which drew 45,000. 
So we’ve gone from 45,000 in 2009 to 17,000 in 2012. If attendance continues falling at this rate, the big UN climate conference in 2015 will attract just 6409 delegates and journalists. By 2018, it’ll be down to 2416. And by the year 2037, just seven people will be turning up to complain about the heat. The UN could double those numbers – and remain on topic – by holding that particular meeting at a Florida retirement home.

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MORGAN IN MINUTES

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (3:49am)

Britain’s best carmaker shows how it’s done.

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REST THAT MINDD

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 15, 2012 (2:33am)

An email from concerned reader Gabby C.: 
Why is it that you right wingers are always attacking someone,with your keyboards,’’you,akers,boltsy,Miranda,hadley’’,wow what a plethora of haters.Always being in agreeance of going to conflict against some poor country that cannot defend itself,’’well as long as you dont have to participate yourselves’’,.But I noticed that the lefties dont spend all their precious time on this earth hating,attacking,losing their peace of mind,maybe you should jump ship for a while to give your mindd and body a rest. 
Good idea. Perhaps we should devote a day next week to some mind-clearing leftist love.

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IPCC turns sceptic on cyclones, floods and droughts

Andrew BoltDECEMBER152012(7:51am)

So who are the sceptics and “deniers” now? The draft of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has been leaked - and it dumps many of the alarmist claims once made about the effects of man-made warming.
IPCC AR5 draft shows almost complete reversal from AR4 on trends in drought, hurricanes, floods and is now consistent with scientific literature

IPCC AR5 Draft: “we have high confidence that natural variability dominates any AGW influence in observed/historical TC records”
Draft IPCC Ch2 bottom line on extremes: “generally low confidence that there have been discernable changes over the observed record”
on lack of trends in extremes, exceptions are trends seen in temperature extremes and regional precipitation (but not floods)
On XTCs “unlike in AR4, it is assessed here..there is low confidence of regional changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones”
Bottom line IPCC trop cyclones same as SREX: “low confidence that any reported long term increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust”
More IPCC draft Ch2 on trop cyclones: “current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency”
IPCC on trop cyclones “AR4 assessment needs to be somewhat revised with respect to the confidence levels associated with observed trends”
IPCC draft Ch2 on drought: “The current assessment does not support the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts”
More IPCC Ch2: “low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”
More IPCC draft report: Ch2: “there is currently no clear and widespread evidence for observed changes in flooding” except timing of snowmelt
And, of course, there is an admission the world isn’t warming as predicted - which may come as news to the Press Council.

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Column - Censoring the sceptics

Andrew BoltDECEMBER152012(7:41am)

THE Press Council has - in my opinion - abused its power to find against one of my reports on global warming.
Here is one more sign of a new war against free speech.
I’ve long suspected the Press Council, grown more aggressive with the Gillard Government’s encouragement, is pushing a political agenda on to journalists.

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Life is overrated. Some say to their mate they would die for them. As if it is impressive. Better still is to live with them and for them. To share indignities and ride the waves of passion. And children are the fruit, the promise of such life. It is a curse to die barren. - ed===
Photo: There was a moon in my back yard tonight...
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<...Not a single word of outrage for the forty thousand plus innocent victims, many of who were children, murdered, maimed and tortured by Assad of Syria.>
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I am proud to have announced light rail would be built through the Sydney CBD to Randwick and Kingsford to reduce congestion and revitalise the city. For more info about this great project go to:http://ow.ly/g5KAq
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