Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tue 8th Jan Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Tha Ken. Born on the same day as NK's Kim Jong-un. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

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RMS Queen Mary 2

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Events

[edit]Births

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[edit]Holidays and observances


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Spare a thought for those facing bushfires

Piers Akerman – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (6:56am)

NSW is in a state of high bushfire alert today.
I am forty-five minutes from the Sydney GPO in a narrow strip of housing that lies between the edge of the Ku-Ring-Gai national park and the water of Towlers Bay and the sun is beating down threateningly.
At 6.45am there was a very light westerly blowing, no more than 1-2km/h.
But this is the teasing hint of breeze that threatens to build throughout the day, bringing hotter, drier air from the West with the potential to destroy huge parts of NSW should more bushfires be started today – January 9 – nineteen years to the day that massive fires last swept through the State, destroying homes and property, including in the nearby bays.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has bluntly stated: “This is one of the worst fire danger days on record for NSW.
“I cannot say it more plainly: the risk is real and potentially deadly.  People need to act now.
“If you live in bush land or an isolated area where there is a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating your only option is to leave early.”
In my neighbourhood, the water of the bays provides the best option.
Experienced residents have their fire pumps primed and ready on their docks, and have their hoses handy to run out.
I serviced my own pump last month, cleaning the carburettor and changing the spark plug. Yesterday afternoon I cleared the gutters.
Last night, some of the neighbours met and discussed plans for today.
During the 1994 fires, the houses that were lost were those that were occupied by tenants and abandoned when the inferno approached.
A lot was learnt from that experience.
No property is worth more than a life.
One of my neighbours (who was overseas in 1994) said his tenants had taken the items they believed he would have wished to save, and placed them in a safe place.
As it happened, his home was spared. When he later asked which possessions they had been moved to save he discovered that they chose nothing he felt was of any value and had left everything that he might have tried to save had he been present.
Family photographs seem to be the most valuable possessions. They can be saved fairly easily.
We may be spared again.
While the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges have a fire danger rating of Catastrophic and widespread areas of the State have a fire danger rating of Extreme, we do have the protection of the bay should all else fail.
However, even as the brilliant sun rises over the Barrenjoey Peninsula into the cloudless sky, that little breeze is freshening.
The temperature has risen 1.4C in the past half hour and it is now 24.4C.
The digital thermometer is rising quickly.
It will be a long day here but our prayers are with those whose circumstances are less fortunate, who safety is not as easily provided for, and of course, for the hundreds who have already lost their homes and businesses in Tasmania and elsewhere this summer.
Poet Dorothea MacKellar, who once lived in the next bay, wrote of this sunburnt country and “flood and fire and famine”.
She knew Australia and it has not changed.
Today will be long, and sorely testing for some.
Our thoughts are with those who will be at the fire front.

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Green arrogance burns fiercely

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (6:45pm)

WHEN Julia Gillard toured fire ravaged parts of Tasmania on Monday she couldn’t resist opportunism - using the calamity to push a climate change agenda. 

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LIES LOVED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (5:56pm)

“Efforts to take the Greens ‘mainstream’ will be seen by many potential voters as window-dressing,” editorialised the Canberra Times following the party’s recent attempt to appear normal. “Critics will doubtless reinforce this perception by asserting that a leopard cannot change its spots.”
Those critics would be right. Here’s senior Green Lee Rhiannon:

image

(Via WG)

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DREAM FOLLOWED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (2:25pm)

Actors have the ability to change gravity and challenge reality, according to Cate Blanchett. Which should help this mob
A Melbourne-based theatre company that has received more than $800,000 in federal government grants since December 2010 has gone into liquidation owing the Australian Taxation Office almost $700,000 …
Until the day before it entered liquidation, the company that owes the money was registered with ASIC as Follow Your Dreams. 

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BE HEARD

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (12:33pm)

“Is there a problem with the words I use?” asks commenter Stuart.W. “Half my posts don’t make it.” I can’t recall any particular examples of yours, Stuart, but it’s possible that there were legal or taste issues. Here are some commentary tips.

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CAMPAL WARMING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (5:44am)

The Prime Minister visits bushfire-ravaged Tasmania, and blames the usual suspect: 
‘’While you would not put any one event down to climate change … we do know that over time as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events,’’ she said. 
But at the end of that report: 
A man has been accused of starting a 10,000-hectare bushfire in southern Tasmania. Police allege a 31-year-old New Norfolk man left a campfire unattended near Lake Repulse last week, sparking the huge blaze which has burned through 10,600 hectares since Friday. Police said they would proceed with a charge of leaving an unextinguished fire unattended. 
(Via CL)

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CAREER LIMITED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (5:27am)

This week’s column is reviewed by Dick Smith: 
Tim,
In your opinion piece [yesterday] morning - ‘Travel’s no Issue for rich, high-flying carbon kings’ There seemed to be one important person missing, Billionaire newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch, who states “Climate change poses clear catastrophic risk”, while travelling to Australia in his mega sized corporate Jet.
Tim, Is there any reason you didn’t mention this? Or would you simply not be game knowing that your career would be limited if you wrote without fear or favour?
By the way I am completely opposed to any form of population control.
I look forward to you reply.
Regards
Dick Smith
 
Dear Dick,
My employer backs up his views on climate change with action. He employs a great number of people worldwide who are tasked with reducing his company’s carbon footprint. News Corporation is now carbon neutral, which must delight you. This also places Murdoch outside the group of carbon-screaming flybabies mentioned in my column.
Personally, I disagree with the entire climate change agenda, as you’d be aware from my columns published by News. We’re OK with views that don’t follow what you may perceive as the “company line”. Let’s see you similarly invest in opinions that differ from your own.
As for you being “completely opposed to any form of population control”, I’d refer you to your own words on the subject:



You might take this up with your friends at the ABC
Australian businessman Dick Smith is offering a million dollars to a young Australian who can come up with a solution to bring the country’s population under control. 
You might also mention this to the Age
Mr Smith says we must reduce immigration levels from 300,000 to between 70,000 and 100,000 a year. He plans to donate $1 million as part of his newly unveiled Wilberforce Award, to the young Australian who comes up with the best solution for population control. 
Smith - electronics entrepreneur, adventurer, pilot, frustrated aviation reformer, former Australian of the year, and still vocal ‘’living treasure’’ - admits he was a late convert to population control.
Cheers,
Tim
UPDATE. Further from Dick, sent yesterday: 
Tim,
Great to hear you are going to mention something in your blog, what about in the actual Daily Telegraph itself? Now that would be a challenge.
By the way, my magazine of Forbidden Ideas and the censored version Aussie Grown Foods (of which 750,000 appeared in News Ltd papers) says very clearly on page 12 “Personally I am opposed to any form of population control. Some Aussie families may choose to have 6 or more kids, while others may want 1 or none. That’s their right. Australian families are sensible. Our present population growth, accounting for births and deaths alone, is almost zero.”
This has always been my view despite a couple of reports in the Murdoch press stating that I wanted a China like 2 child policy. I have never said such a thing; it’s the complete opposite of my free enterprise views.
Regards
Dick
 

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THEY LIVE TO LIE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 08, 2013 (2:19am)

The power of deceit
Whitehaven Coal lost more than $276 million in market value after coal activist Jonathan Moylan issued a fake press release suggesting that ANZ had withdrawn its $1.2 billion loan to help Whitehaven build a new mine, because of environmental concerns. Within minutes Whitehaven shares plunged spectacularly by 31c, or 8.8 per cent, from $3.52 to $3.21 shortly after midday …
image
Jonathan’s been working on this look for years
Mr Moylan yesterday said his actions were justified. “ANZ customers have the right to know their money is being invested in a project which will force farmers off their land and destroy 1360ha of endangered koala habitat,” Mr Moylan said. 
Moylan faces potential fines and imprisonment if charged and convicted of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile: 
Whitehaven shares recovered to be down just 2c at $3.53 at close. 
Too bad for SpongeJon SmugPants. Here’s how the scam was arranged
He and and an activist group, Frontline Action On Coal, created the fake media release, using a real ANZ statement as a template, bought a website name and a dummy ANZ email address for about $25 on the internet.
When contacted by Fairfax Media, Mr Moylan initially posed as a corporate affairs spokesman for the ANZ Bank.
He later apologised for lying and tried to justify the hoax by saying it was worth it to draw attention to the environmental problems that the open-cut coalmines would probably cause …
Asked if he had qualms about lying to the public to achieve environmental ends, he said: ‘‘Our primary concern is the impact of this mine on the environment ... A lot of people were taken in by it but when you compare the cost of that to the health of our forests and farmlands, it justifies it.’’ 
UPDATE: “Not only did Moylan deliberately issue a hoax press release, but he included his own phone number against the name of Tony Kent (an actual ANZ employee) and then impersonated Kent when receiving phone calls. That is outright fraud.”

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Abbott wants ABC to flush out bias but Turnbull does not see its stacked deck===

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Photo: How seriously do the Democrats want to solve the debt crisis? About as seriously as making magic coins.  Donate $3 because we need fiscal sanity in Washington, not ridiculous trillion dollar coin schemes: www.gop.com/donate
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I need a new sound engineer .. mine has grown lazy .. - ed
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